Monday, 31 March 2008

Circus is coming to town

As it is a Monday (boo, hiss) and we all need a bit of "jollying up", here is the new video (featuring none other than Justin Trousersnake, heavily disguised) for the first single by Gnarls Barkley from their forthcoming album The Odd Couple.



Run
Yeah its still the same
Can’t you feel the pain
When the needle hits the vein
Ain’t nothing like the real thing
I’ve seen it once before
And oh it’s something else
Good god

Cool breeze come on in
Sunshine come on down
These are the tear drops of the clown
Circus is coming to town
All I’m saying is sometimes I’m more scared of myself
You better
move
I said
move

Runaway
Runaway
Run children
Run for your life
Runaway
Runaway
Run children
Here it comes
I said run
Alright

Yeah I’m on the run
See where I’m coming from
When you see me coming run
Before you see what I’m running from
No time for question asking time is passing by
Alright

You can’t win child
We’ve all tried to
You’ve been lied to
It’s all ready inside you
Either you run right now
Or you best get ready to die
You better
move
I said
move

Runaway
Runaway
Run children
Run for your life
Runaway
Runaway
Run children
Ooh
Here it comes
I said run

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Star Quality, indeed



"My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself."

We went to the very last day of the exhibition Star Quality: Aspects of Noël Coward at the National Theatre last night. I figured I’d lose too many Princess Points if I had missed it.

It was a fabulous collection of ephemera, photographs and letters relating to the incredibly creative life of "The Master" - from his early years as a young actor, through his early successes with Hay Fever, Cavalcade, Blithe Spirit and Private Lives, the War Years (when he was not only lauded for his morale-boosting films such as In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter but was also acting as a spy for HM Government!), his friendships with Gertie Lawrence, Bea Lillie, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, The Lunts and Lord Mountbatten, to his later reinvention as a top-billing cabaret artist in Las Vegas and his private life with partner Graham Payn.

Star billing went, of course, to that dressing gown...



An incredible display - but one of the revelations that came out of the exhibition was his lifelong friendship with a very remarkable pair of queens indeed. Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson were avid collectors of, and enthusiasts for, everything to do with the British theatre. Many of the items featured in the exhibition were in fact from their private collection, which apparently has at its heart two thousand or more archive boxes containing playbills, posters, programmes, engravings, cuttings and production photographs of London and regional theatres, with files on every actor and actress of note in the British theatre, and sections on circus, dance, opera, music-hall, variety, dramatists, singers and composers, together with many engravings, figurines and pictures.

The Mander and Mitcheson collection

Although the collection is only open to researchers, which is a shame, it is a tribute to these two that so much of the history of theatre - and indeed Noel Coward’s own - might well have been lost to private hands. Hopefully one day, someone might find a permanent exhibition space for this marvellous life’s work - a Theatre Museum, perhaps? (Oh no, I forgot - the last one closed down thanks to a lack of support from the rich commercial theatres!)

Anyway, here’s a treat from The Master himself.


Article from The Independent: What’s inspiring the Noel Coward renaissance?

Noel Coward website

Saturday, 29 March 2008

The brassiest of brassy ladies



"You never find yourself until you face the truth."

Today would have been the 90th birthday of the brassiest of brassy ladies - Pearl Bailey.

With her beautiful sultry tones and knowing use of innuendo, she was hugely popular on Broadway, in cabaret, and in Hollywood. Double entendre was her forte - our favourite songs of hers include She Had to Go and Lose it at the Astor, Let’s Do It, Baby It’s Cold Outside and It Takes Two to Tango.

Pearl collaborated with some of the greats, such as Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and (best of all) Carol Channing. She starred in Porgy and Bess with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, the film version of Carmen Jones, and even an all-black production of Hello, Dolly! A true star...



When the shark bites, indeed.

Pearl Bailey on Wikipedia

Friday, 28 March 2008

Astleymania

I was reading today about a nerdy phenomenon that has caught on in hyperspace. Originating with students in America (which could explain loads about their education system), the recipient clicks on a link that purports to be something else - a comedy clip, joke or new online game perhaps - and what they get is a video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up.

Dubbed "Rick-rolling", it has brought seven million viewers to dear old Rick’s YouTube video, and I assume it is meant to force the unsuspecting victim to have this infectious classic locked into their brain for the rest of the day. It works...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Oh l’amour, l’amour...



We went to see a showing of the classic film The Women last night at the British Film Institute on the South Bank. Despite the fact that it was announced as being introduced by Maureen Lipman, who never showed up, we had a whale of a time revisiting what must be one of the bitchiest films ever made - with leading ladies Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Paulette Goddard and an all-female cast of stars, it couldn’t be anything else...



If you’ve never seen this masterpiece I cannot recommend it enough. In the hands of master scriptwriters Clare Boothe Luce (founder of Life magazine) and Anita Loos (famous for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), the dialogue is as sharp as a razor, as the spoilt rich bitches catfight in their gowns by Adrian, and the wronged wife (Shearer) tries to recapture her husband from the clutches of an evil vamp (Crawford).

For its time, it is remarkably modern - so many comparable films of the pre-war era were over-sentimental, moral and puritanical - and remains a genuinely brilliant tour de force.

Some of the best quotes from the movie include:

  • - "You simply must see my hairdresser, I DETEST whoever does yours."
  • - "She’s got those eyes that run up and down a man like a searchlight."
  • - "Get me a bromide - and put some gin in it."
  • - "He almost stood me up for his wife!"
  • - "Isn’t that (nail polish) divine? Jungle red!" "Looks like you’ve been tearing at somebodys throat!"
  • - "Oh, poor creatures. They’ve lost their equilibrium because they’ve lost their faith in love. Oh l’amour, l’amour."
  • - "Where I spit no grass grows ever!"
  • - "Oh, she can’t help it. It’s just her tough luck that she wasn’t born deaf and dumb."
  • - "When anything I wear doesn’t please Stephen, I take it off."

And my favourite of all:

- "There is a name for you, ladies, but it isn’t used in high society... outside of a kennel!"



Read more about The Women

Apparently some idiot is producing a remake of this brilliant film - even with such names as Carrie Fisher, Bette Midler and Candice Bergen on board you just know it will be pants!

I mean - Eva Mendes trying to play a Joan Crawford character?! And wouldn’t the entire audience side with the man-stealing vamp if the wronged wife is played by Meg (somebody slap her) Ryan?

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The Godfather of haute couture



"I’m rather pro-prostitution. It avoids frustration, and I admire people who do it. We can’t all afford a mistress or an expensive friend. People need relief, or they become murderers. Is that a moral position?"

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is a wonderfully camp old-school eccentric, with his trademark expensive shades and chalk-white ponytail. He is not just a reknowned haute couturier in his own right, he is also credited with saving the House of Chanel from imminent bankruptcy - and the revealing documentary film about his life, Lagerfeld Confidential, has now been released on DVD in the UK.

Described as "an intimate and rounded portrait of a man prone to bouts of quiet introspection and sadness, yet who exudes a disarming sense of humour; a man whose adulation for the arts is manifest in everything he touches", the film gets right to the heart of what makes this extraordinary man really tick.

Evidently, Lagerfeld considers sexual preference to be no more complicated than hair color or fashion sense. He expresses the wish that gay people would return to their old proclivity for outraging bourgeois social norms, rather than aping what he feels are outmoded institutions like marriage. And who could honestly argue with that?

Read more about Lagerfeld Confidential

The DVD is available from Amazon now

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

An epic talent



Today is the centenary of the birth of the incredibly talented David Lean, film director and producer of such classics as Lawrence of Arabia (one of the most homoerotic films of its genre - featuring hardly any women actors in its cast), Bridge On The River Kwai and Dr Zhivago, as well as classic early film productions of Dickens stories such as Oliver Twist.

In his time, he collaborated with the greatest of writers - including Noel Coward and Terrence Rattigan - and a cavalcade of top actors, including Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Katherine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, John Mills, Trevor Howard, Omar Sharif, Jack Hawkins, Celia Johnson, Ralph Richardson, Kay Walsh, Ann Todd, Stanley Holloway, Robert Newton and Claude Rains.

He was indeed a towering talent. His instinct was for epics - in cinematography, music and casting - and, given the taste in Hollywood nowadays for quantity not quality, we are unlikely to see his like again. A dreadful shame, in my opinion...







David Lean filmography on IMDB

Monday, 24 March 2008

People open windows

Despite the snow, gales and freezing cold, I still dream of summer... And as a remix of this song (now credited to its lead singer Kirsty Hawkshaw) is doing the rounds (especially on Gaydar Radio), I thought I’d post the original - I loved it back in 1992, and I love it now!



it’s a fine day,
people open windows.
they leave the houses,
just for a short while.
it’s going to be a fine night tonight
it’s going to be a fine day tomorrow
it’s going to be a fine night tonight
it’s going to be a fine day tomorrow

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Ain’t Nobody Does It Better



To celebrate the 55th birthday today of Chaka Khan, I thought I’d just post a couple of the diva’s finest moments. Big hair, big lungs, big personality - happy birthday!





Chaka Khan official website

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Let Me Entertain You



Happy birthday today to the genius that is Stephen Sondheim.

Words can hardly express how influential this man is - his work encompasses the greatest of all musical theatre, and he remains unsurpassed in the complexity and intelligence of his repertoire. West Side Story, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Company, A Little Night Music, Follies, Sunday In The Park With George - all brilliant, and I love each and every one of them!

Every queen can sing along to at least one Sondheim number - be it Losing My Mind, Send In The Clowns, Broadway Baby or Let Me Entertain You, and his place in history as one of the most successful gay men in entertainment is assured.

Subject of numerous tribute galas and revues (Side By Side by Sondheim being my particular favourite, produced by the sadly-missed Ned Sherrin), Sondheim has been rightly lauded by every significant performer on the musical stage - Elaine Stritch, Barbara Cook, Eartha Kitt, Liza Minnelli, Maria Friedman, Barbra Streisand, Ethel Merman, Hermione Gingold, Madeline Kahn, Angela Lansbury, Lauren Bacall, Cleo Laine, Glynis Johns, Lee Remick, Patti LuPone, Julia McKenzie, Judi Dench, John Barrowman, Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Bernadette Peters and even Elizabeth Taylor have all queued up to sing his songs.

A god worthy of adulation!









Stephen Sondheim biography

Friday, 21 March 2008

Now that I’m older, the stars should lie upon my face



One of my favourite discoveries of the moment is the new single by Hercules & Love Affair, an uber-hip creation of Brooklyn DJ Andy Butler. With vocals by the very cool Antony of the Johnsons and a throbbing disco beat, this has it all - surely a huge hit in the making....



Hercules & Love Affair on MySpace

Blind
As a child, I knew
That the stars could only get brighter
That we would get closer
Get closer
Leaving this darkness
Behind

Now that I’m older
The stars should lie upon my face
And when I find myself alone
I feel like I
I am blind

I wish the stars could shine now
For they are closer
They are near
But they will not present my present

I wish the light could shine now
For it is closer
It is near
But it will not present my present
It makes my past and future painfully clear

To see you now
To hear you now
I can look outside myself
And I must examine my breath and look inside
Because I feel blind

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Scary Koreans

For no particular reason whatsoever, Madame Arcati thought I might like this. It is so awful, I thought I just had to share...

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Oh What a Wow - He's the Greatest Dancer



"A male dancer like this, with such sensuality, ability and charisma, had not been seen before.....not even Nijinsky had the impact Nureyev had on dance. To see him stand on stage was a revelation."

One of the most beautiful men to have ever lived, Rudolf Nureyev would have been seventy years old this week.

Rudolf was a sensation - as flamboyant, haughty and dramatic off stage as he was on it. His defection from Russia in the height of the Cold War was a bolt from the blue for the art world. But it was his flawless, emotional and graceful performances that projected him to super-stardom, and he was lauded as the best classical ballet dancer of the twentieth century.

And he was just soooo sexy...

Lord Snowdon recalls meeting Rudy for a photoshoot:
I said "Tell Mr Nureyev to take that handkerchief out of his pocket, it looks ridiculous." And Rudolf said, "That is no hanky, that is my cock!"





Rudolf Nureyev - The Life

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Found a huge cock

We spent the day in Dorking today. I know it sounds strange, but a very good friend of ours lives there, and is about to open a wine bar (much to the shock and awe of the elderly locals).

Dorking is a very affluent and very scenic location in Surrey, and is famous not just for being the birthplace of Laurence Olivier, nor just for being the childhood home of Rafe Vaughan Williams.

No, its claim to fame is the famous Dorking Cock, a bird notable for its extra toe, and a revered and apparently very tasty cock it is too - so famed that it now has its own statue on one of this sainted town’s roundabouts...



Big, innit?

Monday, 17 March 2008

I’m only a poor little Sparro

To celebrate in the usual way the horrible tradition that is Monday morning (even though I am off all week!), here’s one of my favourite songs and videos of the moment. An infectious little number by the stylish (and very cute) Sam Sparro - Black and Gold:

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Hot or Not?



This is apparently the cover of Madonna’s forthcoming new album Hard Candy, which is supposedly a collection of - sigh! - hip-hop and - another sigh! - "urban" songs.

I can live without it, Madge my dear - surely you should stick to the pop dance trail, and leave the shallower end of the music gene pool to the likes of trashy old Britney and Christina...?

Anyway, the album is due out on 28th April and the debut single, 4 Minutes, is a duet with Justin Trousersnake, and will be released at the end of March.

Hard Candy track list:
Candy Store
4 Minutes (To Save The World)
Give It 2 Me
Heartbeat
Miles Away
She’s Not Me
Incredible
Beat Goes On
Dance Tonight
Spanish Lesson
Devil
Voices

Madonna official website

Saturday, 15 March 2008

She’s just a nun who can’t say no



Sister Wendy Beckett - that charming nun whose wide-eyed admiration of art made compulsive television viewing in the early 90s - the subject of a musical? Preposterous! So of course we went along last night to see it for ourselves...

Marcus Reeves' Postcards from God - the Sister Wendy Musical at the Hackney Empire Studios was a wonderful surprise. Excellent songs and brilliant performances - the story of the hermit nun’s catapult to international fame, and her struggle between devotion to God and the jet-set world of "celebrity" adulation was a real treat, and a great evening’s entertainment.

Gay Soper (who was the voice of The Flumps, among her long list of stage and TV appearances) was at once hilarious and sympathetic as Sister Wendy, drawn, blinking, from her caravan at the convent to the dizzy heights of stardom - first the BBC, then ultimately the madness that is American media (her appearance on Touch a Celebrity is particularly hilarious).

Each of the artworks about which Sister Wendy enthuses is cleverly portrayed by actors (the characters from each portrait sing and dance the numbers), and vignettes about her relationships with her agent, her family and the media are similarly all portrayed in song. And you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen the Sister Wendy Rap-ture!

Skilfully done, well choreographed and sung, and as camp as tits - this was a really really good show, and one that I highly recommend!



Sister Wendy Musical on MySpace

Friday, 14 March 2008

Welcome to 28 Barbary Lane



"He’s not a strange man, Mom. He’s a homosexual.
I know you’ve heard of them. They have them on TV now!"
Mary-Ann Singleton

What a fantastic bit of news! Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters is writing the songs for a stage musical version of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. The show is being produced on Broadway by the team behind the brilliant Avenue Q, and is set to open in 2009.

I’m so excited! I wonder who they will get to play Mrs Madrigal? Or Mouse? And what sort of song will they give Mary Ann to sing?

But, much like the recent musical version of Terrence McNally’s The Ritz, I bet it won’t cross the pond and get to the UK - we may never get to see what could prove to be one of the campest, gayest musicals to hit the stage!

Enjoy this classic clip from the first TV series...



Read the article on the BBC

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Legendary



Ah!! It’s the lovely Liza Minnelli’s birthday - 62 today.

Anyone who knows me will already know that she is one of my all-time icons. I have been known on many occasions to burst into a rousing chorus of Mein Herr or Cabaret at the drop of a hat...

And Liza’s life has indeed been the stuff of legend (and a fair smattering of tragedy). But here are some lesser-known facts about Liza:
  • To achieve "that look" for Cabaret, she studied photographs of iconic actresses from the silent movie era such as Louise Brooks.
  • She took over in Kander and Ebb’s "Chicago" on Broadway when Gwen Verdon fell ill.
  • The life and times of her first husband Peter Allen formed the basis of the Australian musical The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman.
  • She is one of only twelve actors who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Academy Award.
  • After falling seriously ill with encephalitis in 2000, doctors had predicted Liza would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
  • She was the first performer to sell out Carnegie Hall for a full 11 days of performances.
  • Miss Minnelli's godfather was Ira Gershwin.
  • She stood in for Dean Martin in concert with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr for a television spectacular.
  • If rumours are to be believed, two of her four husbands have been homosexual.
  • Her latest planned project is to stage a show based upon the songs of her godmother Kay Thompson.

Happy birthday Liza!



Liza Minnelli offical website

Where the boys are



So Ken Livingstone has confirmed that The Astoria Theatre on Charing Cross Road, home to G-A-Y, is to close and be demolished to accommodate the new Crossrail station development at Tottenham Court Road.

I always had a great time when I used to go to G-A-Y! The premier home for that exquisite breed - the teenage queen - Mr Joseph’s inspired combination of kitsch music, cute boys, podiums for posing, and top chart acts (Kylie, Madonna, Christina, various Spice Girls and boy bands have all played there) was always guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

I saw Geri Halliwell there in 2000 (pic above), the last ever performance of all three members of Bananarama, Right Said Fred, Steps, Scooch, Ash, Indigo, and many many more fab acts!

So where will it go now?

What other venue could supply such an atmosphere? Nothing beats teetering precariously on a banquette on the balcony, dancing to You Spin Me Round, sixty feet above the dance floor (until the bouncer sits you down). Where is the replacement enormous stage, large enough to accommodate singer, band, troupe of dancing boys in sparkly shorts, speakers and the inevitably tearful Jeremy bearing a bouquet? And what other venue has ceilings that high, to drop enough giant ballons to lift a small car into space?

Heaven won’t suffice (although that is the most likely venue according to the rumours). Come on Jeremy Joseph - let the punters know!

News article about the closure


http://www.g-a-y.co.uk/

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

They wanna make it in the neighborhood

Justin Timberlake is such a bitch! Presenting our Imperial Ruler Madge with her induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame he said:

"The world is full of Madonna wannabes. I might have even dated a couple. But there is truly only one Madonna."

What I can't get over is the fact that these days she doesn't even look like herself...



Read more on the BBC



Everybody comes to Hollywood
They wanna make it in the neighborhood
They like the smell of it in Hollywood
How could it hurt you when it looks so good?

Monday, 10 March 2008

I get a little bit vicious, that's why you love me



A sublime treat for Monday morning...



TAKE IT LIKE A MAN
I get a little bit vicious
That’s why you love me
Because you can’t resist it
You’d do anything for me

You want out but we’re off the ground
So pick up your parachute
‘Cause I’m not gonna let you down
No, I won’t let you get away
Not that easy anyway

I know what I want
And I want you for the cause
How does anybody get anything done
You depend on us
But you’ll never get to heaven as a radical son
Just keep it up soldier

You want out
I can’t help
I’ve got to make you understand
You’ve got to take it like a man

Do you need a dozen roses
Would you like a box of chocolate
Is it really such a deep cut
That I have to come and stitch it up

Yeah I get a little crazy with the razorblades
Go on and call your Momma if you need a band-aid
But everything worth it hurts a little bit
You don’t want to run away
And I won’t let you anyway

Brilliant song, brilliant lyrics (and a great dance remix too):

Dragonette - Take It Like A Man (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix)

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Cool rain

The coolest song, and coolest video of the moment...

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Acting up



My favourite story of the day!

The most inventive tactic of the lot is being employed in Minnesota, USA to beat the smoking ban.

More than 100 bars across the state have started holding "theatre nights" in which patrons are encouraged to dress up in period costume and project their voices, playbills are pinned on the walls, and bar paraphernalia makes up the props.

The bars are seeking to bypass a smoking ban introduced last October by exploiting a loophole that allows cigarettes to be puffed in theatrical productions.

What began as an idea by a Minnesota lawyer, Mark Benjamin, to get round what he saw as an unjustified prohibition has snowballed into a state-wide protest. Bars have taken to calling their theatre nights "Before the Ban", which allows them to claim that their customers are in character playing themselves before the October injunction came down.

One bar in the north of the state calls its night The Tobacco Monologues. Black cloth is draped over entrances, with notices saying "Stage Entrance". And ashtrays are piled up under the label "Props". Other bars hand out badges to anyone who donates a dollar saying "Act Now!"

This is a fab idea, and one I hope will catch on here - "Camera, lights, action!"

Read the full article by Ed Pilkington in the Guardian

Friday, 7 March 2008

I’m So Beautiful



Can it really be twenty years since we lost the gorgeous Divine?

Possibly the most outrageously camp character ever to hit the charts, his music played in the soundtrack to my glittering coming-out years, and as such Divine was massively influential on my life - and that of many others! Where would the likes of Boy George, Leigh Bowery, Marilyn, Pete Burns, RuPaul and even Marilyn Manson have been without the shlock-gloss "f**k 'em all" attitude of this fabulous creature?

Apart from the notoriety he earned from his collaboration with John Waters in such early films as Pink Flamingos and Polyester, it was his tour-de-force as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray that earned him eternal fame and spawned the current hit musical. But my admiration for Divine was best summed up when, after complaints from viewers about his "grotesque" appearance on Top Of The Pops, far from bowing to the tabloids he immediately hit back and appeared again on the show in an even more outrageous frock singing the mega-camp hit I'm So Beautiful - a legend!







Divine on Wikipedia

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Urban satirist or vandal?



Another new piece of Banksy wall-art has sprung up along Essex Road in Islington. I noticed it from the bus on Sunday as I was travelling to Camden Passage, so the ink must still have been wet (according to news reports it appeared that day).

I am in two minds about the ubiquitous graffiti-monger. On the one hand he is incredibly talented, sharp in his choice of subject, and chooses to apply his paint to otherwise neglected walls. On the other hand, he doesn't (to my knowledge) ever ask permission of the wall's owner before he sprays, and - considering that individual works by this former member of the Bristol DryBreadZ Crew (sic) now sell at Sothebys for hundreds of thousands of pounds - neither does he offer them any cut of his earnings for the privilege.

Mind you, if I found that Banksy had sprayed something on my wall I'd damn sure get the builders in to remove it right away - and get it straight to an auction house!

Banksy website

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Nights in pink satin

Andy Gibb pink satin

Just a little tribute to one of the BIG crushes from my teenage years - Andy Gibb.

Had he lived (Andy died of a drug overdose in 1988) he would have been 50 years old today.

What hair! What teeth! What a package in those tight trousers! The man had it all...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

A departure from nature



David Attenborough announced his retirement today as an on-location presenter of the most marvellous hours of television EVER.

Such a sad day for British broadcasting - we will never see his like again! No-one but David could confront the "natives" in grainy black'n'white like he did.

No-one can ever keep hordes of truculent youth (and their parents) so enthralled at the sight of a hummingbird, or a whale shark, or a carnivorous chimp, or an elephant seal, or a naked mole-rat, or a shoal of sharks, or a lion, or a mistletoe, as he could...

"If Zoo Quest had a successor today, it would be called Zoo Idol. Viewers would vote on which chipmunk to airlift to safety and which one to leave to the jungle's hungry rattlesnakes. Only the cutest would survive."

The Guardian on David Attenborough's departure

Brilliant! Simply brilliant - and when I think of the substandard television that will probably follow after the demise of such a TV giant, I could cry.

The amazing Lyre Bird:


The desert blooms:

Monday, 3 March 2008

Relax

Something to take the edge off those Monday morning blues - what better than a slice of the ever-cheerful Mika? A song that played wherever we went in Spain last Autumn, and is therefore forever associated with holidays...



http://mikasounds.com/

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Did the public choose a winner?



Spent a fab night in the Retro Bar last night for the Eurovision: Your Decision show to choose the UK entry to go to the Song Contest in Belgrade this May.

Despite the mass support for Michelle Gayle amongst the Retro's punters - including our gang - the public voted for X-Factor loser Andy Abraham and his song "Even If".

Against some of the dross that inevitably gets put forward in these contests, Andy is a good performer. And admittedly Michelle's song was a load of pants. But once again I have my doubts that the UK will buck the trend of Eastern Bloc voting that has hijacked the contest in recent years with this sub-Tavares soul number...



The BBC Eurovision page

Never mind, we'll just have to pin our hopes on Ireland's entry, which is sung by a stuffed turkey called Dustin...

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!



Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus! Happy St David's Day!

To celebrate this day of all things Welsh, I just had to post a couple of classics by the wonderful Cerys Matthews!





And in a brilliantly camp move by the BBC they have posted Cerys's own recipe for Welsh Cakes on their site today.

Cerys's Welsh Cakes