Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Celluloid prophecy

Footage from Algie the Miner (1912) reveals how Truman Capote came to write In Cold Blood
(7 minutes):

Truman/Algie is Billy Quirk, who died in 1926. Director Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female director in motion picture history.

The drunk driver who thinks he's God

Of course he was all over the road. He's omnipresent.


Mick Hall condemns media class prejudice:
When working class people are portrayed on our screens, they are increasingly being played by middle class actors as either stupid chavs, layabouts, criminals, incompetent half wits or victims of their own class, in much the same way as black people used to be portrayed.

"Bogart was sweet"

Rest in peace Joy Page, last-but-one member of the cast of Casablanca.

(She's survived by Madeleine LeBeau, who played Rick's jilted mistress Yvonne.)

Which town has most pubs?

Let the punch-up begin.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Clowns gone bad

The unintended consequences of circus prohibition
(4 minutes):

Moppet and after

Shirley Temple turned eighty last week.


A 360 degree panorama of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur's Seat.

Great CDs of our time

(Anyone actually heard it?)

Wildlife on your body

You might prefer not to know.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Humph signs off

The late great Humphrey Lyttelton's rendition of "Fidgety Feet" with the Harlem Ramblers in 1978
(7 minutes):

Obituaries: Guardian / Independent / Telegraph / Times

The news of his death comes as I'm re-reading his father's six-volume correspondence with Rupert Hart-Davis, father of Adam, and revelling in it as much as I did twenty years ago, let the late Hugh Massingberd cavil all he may.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Barrel of Monkeys

The Fast Show (in 2000) reckons Guy Ritchie's 'avin' a larf (2 minutes):

PS (27.4.08): Believe it or not, I've only just noticed the picture's elongated. Blame my early exposure to El Greco.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Wrong to fight World War Two?

Peter Hitchens shares his unease.

Carry On Suffering

Those dismal movies portray a world of misery, thinks Tanya Gold.

Know your prejudice

Peter of Naked Blog braces himself for jury service.

Loss of a battleship

Tam Dalyell from the left, Quentin Letts from the right, pay tribute to Gwyneth Dunwoody.

The Telegraph says most about her dark years in the Eighties, while this 2003 mother-and-daughter interview made me laugh.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


On this day in 1935, the Aquitania runs aground:

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Gordon throws a party

And it's dead cool, honest:

From Headcases, the new ITV satire series

Tweet, &c., &c.

This digital channel transmits only birdsong.

Making contact

A recently republished photo of the eight-year-old Helen Keller with the teacher who helped her conquer blindness and deafness.

Salty spouse

Married to the Sea - where tawdry artwork from naffer times is reincarnated as humour.

A New Waste Land

Tony Benn applauds Michael Horovitz's long polemical poem.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

That Certain Party

More from the Temperance Seven. Sound only, but it lifts the spirits (3½ minutes):

Cor baby, that's really obscure

Froog celebrates John Otway, pop's dauntlessly gigging veteran non-star.


Supposedly not a natural leader, Pearl Cornioley commanded thousands of resistance fighters and was given her parachute wings at 92. A four-minute radio item here.

A fellow gleaner

…whose links and videos are Nothing To Do With Arbroath.

Delicate and subtle

The best obituary of Brian Wilde, famous as Barraclough in Porridge and Foggy in Last of the Summer Wine.

Pick on someone your own size

Composer, screenwriter and Ufologist Desmond Leslie assaults Bernard Levin on live television, enraged by a bad review he'd given Agnes Bernelle, Leslie's wife at the time:

Lo, he comes with strangulated vowels descending

There's fun to be had at the playful and unofficial (not entirely safe for work). Personal highlight: the "Learn to speak like Brian Sewell" section.

Echoes of laughter

A well-established, content-rich history of comedy blog, with writers who seriously know their onions, and dozens of rewarding links: take care to slip on The Third Banana.

Speaking of which…

Whoo, whoo, whoo

This blog's second posting referred to a sound recording made in 1878, said to be the world's earliest. Now a recording from 1860 surfaces. Much less distinct, though.

Subverting Heston

Did Gore Vidal really introduce a gay subtext into Ben Hur?


The top five MPs in ridiculous costumes.

A holiday from irony

Margaret Thatcher at close quarters, observed by Ferdinand Mount.

Gratuitous divers' helmets

Can't have too many:

Hat tip: the late & much missed Al Rankin