Saturday, June 24, 2017

World Enough & Time: I Looked At My Watch It Says 9:25, I Think "Oh God, I'm Still Alive"?

'Doctor, this is a bad idea.' 'No, it's a good idea. A test run. She thinks she can be me. Let's try her out.' 'Why?' 'She got us home from Mars.' 'She a murderer.' 'Enjoying your bacon sandwich?' 'Why?' 'Because it had a mummy and a daddy. Go tell a pig about your moral high-ground. I pick a scenario, we drop her down into it and see how she does.' 'How does that work?' 'We just take the TARDIS for a spin and we graze for distress calls and pick a good one. Our usual Saturday!' 'And what if she walks out and slaughters everyone just for a laugh?' 'I will be monitoring you the whole time. 'Me?' 'Yes. And Nardole. You can be her companions.' 'Forget it. Absolutely no way.' 'Nardole agreed.' 'No, I didn't.' 'You did in my head, which is good enough for me.' 'Why are you doing this?' 'She's my oldest friend in the universe.' 'You got lots of friends. Better ones. What's so special about her?' 'She's different.'
'Why do you keep calling yourself Doctor Who?' 'Because I'm pretending to be him; because that's the whole point of this ridiculous exercise.' 'It's not an exercise, it's a test.' 'Are you eating?' 'No!' 'Don't test me eating crisps!' 'He's called The Doctor.' 'He says "I'm The Doctor" and they say "Doctor Who?" See, I'm cutting to the chase, baby, I'm streamlining, I'm saving actual minutes. Also, it's his real name!' 'It's what?' ... 'Nobody knows The Doctor's real name.' 'I do, because I grew up with him. And his real name is Doctor Who.' 'Bill, she's just trying to wind you up!' 'He chose it himself, you know, trying to sound mysterious. Then he dropped the Who when he realised it was a tiny bit on-the-nose.' 'Stop teasing her, and focus!' 'Deary me, I thought you were handsome now you've gone all cross and you're pointing a gun at me. Is this the emotion you humans called spanking?' 'Are you human?' 'Oh, don't be a bitch!'
'You know what, Doctor, I said this was a bad idea!' 'Look at me. That's very, very good. You see this mad woman sitting in the chair? Her name isn't Doctor Who! My name is Doctor Who.' 'It's not, is it?' 'I like it. You don't know it yet but, in a short time you will trust me with your life. And, when I save you and everyone on your ship, one day you will look back and wonder who I was and why I ...'
'She's the only person I've ever met who's even remotely like me.' 'So, more than anything else you want her to be good?' 'Are you having an emotion?' ... 'She was my first friend. Always so brilliant from the first day at The Academy. So fast, so funny, she was my man-crush.' 'I'm sorry.' 'Yeah. I think she was a man back then. I'm fairly sure I was too. It was a long time ago, though!' 'So, Time Lords, a bit flexible on the whole man-woman thing, yeah?' 'We're the most civilised civilisation in the universe, we billions of years beyond your pretty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes.' 'But you still call yourselves Time Lords?' 'Yeah. Shut up! We had a pact, me and him. Every star in the universe, we were going to see them all. But, he was too busy burning them. I don't think she ever saw anything.' 'And you think if she did, she'd change?' 'I know she would.' 'You're a bloody idiot, you know that?' 'Of course!' 'Promise me one thing. Promise you won't get me killed.' 'I can't promise you that.' 'Thanks!' 'I mean, look, you're human and humans are so mortal. You pop like balloons. One heart. It's your most important organ and you've no back-up. It's like a budget-cut.' 'Try to keep me alive!' 'Within reason.'
'Stand away. She will be repaired.' 'You can help her is that what you mean?' 'Don't try and stop them, they'll snap you in half.' 'When will you bring her back.' 'We will not.' 'Wait for me.' 'What are you doing?' 'Leaving a message in her subconscious.' 'How, she's dead?' 'Those things are going to repair her so, clearly, she isn't.' 'Assumption.' 'Deduction.' 'Hope.' 'Faith!' 'Idiot!' 'Always!' 'Sir, step away from those doors, you'll bring them back.' 'What do you care, Smurf? They're not even interested in you.' 'Sir, I swear to you, step away from that lift or I will kill you.' 'Don't, you'll only make me angry.' 'Listen to him.' 'Why?' 'Because if somebody kills you and it's not me, we'll both be disappointed!'
'Just relax, you'll be fine. Full conversion wasn't necessary. Though, it will be in time.'
'Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!'
'This way.' 'What about him?' 'It's all right, they don't feel pain.' 'I think they do.' 'Yes, they do.' 'Si why did you say they don't.' 'It was a clever lie!But, you see straight through me.' ... 'You want the good tea or the bad tea?' 'What's the difference?' 'I call one good, one bad.' 'I'll take the good one.' 'Excellent, a positive attitude, it will help with the horror to come.' 'What horror?' 'Mainly, the tea!' ... 'Drink it while it is very hot. The pain will disguise the taste!'
'Short version: Because of the Black Hole, time is moving faster at this end of the ship than the other. It's all about gravity. Gravity slows down time. The closer you are to the source of gravity, the slower time will move. If you're standing in your garden, you head is moving faster through time that your feet. Didn't they teach you this stuff at Space School?'
'I'm the computer guy, that's always me.' 'She's cleverer.' 'More evil.' 'Same thing!' 'It really isn't.' 'A little bit the same!'
'Don't change the channel!' 'A week raising his eyebrow? Why would I change?'
'Why won't you explain?' 'They are the special patients ... Conversion is permanent.' 'Why?' 'We are dying. All of us on this ship, dying. They are the cure. They are the future. To survive, they are what we must all become.'
'That was good.' 'Venusian Aikido.' 'I thought you needed four arms for Venusian.' 'I've got hidden talents. As well as hidden arms!'
'There's always a scary thing with you, isn't there?' 'You're just getting that now?'
'You are dear to me. You are my dearest person. You are like ...' 'I know.' '... a mother to me.' 'Definitely not a mother.' 'Or, an aunt.' 'No!' ... 'Do not do this. When you hug me, it hurts my heart.' 'Aw, sweet.' 'No, your chest unit, it digs right in!'
'It's a burgling mask. Just in case.' 'In case of what? Where did you get that?' 'I have burglary skills. They don't let anyone wear a mask like this, you know!'
'Hello ordinary person, please maintain a minimum separation of three feet. I'm really trying not to kill anyone today and it would be tremendously helpful if major arteries were out of reach.'
'Hello, I'm Doctor Who! And these are my plucky assistants, Thin(g)* One and ... The Other One. We picked up your distress call and we're here to help, like awesome heroes!' 'We're not assistants.' 'So, what does he call you? Companions? Pets? Snacks?' 'He calls us friends.' 'Doctor! Think of the age-gap. Time Lords are friends with each other. Everything else is cradle-snatching!' ...'What have we got here? You're probably handsome, aren't you? Congratulations of your relative symmetry.' 'Who are you?' 'Well, I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space known only as Doctor Who! And these are my disposables; exposition and comic relief!' 'We're not functions.' 'Darling, those are genders!' * - the jury's still out on this one!
'Would it help you focus if I extracted some of your vital organs and made a lovely soup?' 'You would never be so self-destructive. But, then again, neither would I ... I love disguises. Of course they are rather necessary when you happen to be someone's former Prime Minister! Hello Missy, I'm The Master. I'm very worried about my future. Give 'is a kiss!' Yes, dear blog reader, guess what? This blogger his very self thought that was great. 'Do you know what I'd call it? A genesis, specifically, the genesis of The Cybermen.'
Pearl Mackie her very self appeared on Graham Norton's Radio 2 show this week and said absolutely nothing which could be taken as evidence about her own future on the series. However, she did drop a few titbits which may possibly hint at Bill staying on once Peter Capaldi leaves Doctor Who at Christmas, including Pearl having 'talked' to future showrunner Chris Chibnall. '[Chris] said some nice things, he was very pleased about the series and how Bill's been received,' she said, adding the she 'didn't know' if he has 'a game plan' for what to do when he takes over. Although, one would hope that he has. Norton also asked if Pearl or 'the people in charge of the show,' will make the decision if Bill were to go, to which Pearl replied: 'I don't know! I think, hopefully, we will make the decision.' Of course, all of this was before she got turned into a Cyberperson, obviously. The interview was also notable as Pearl dropped the shit-bomb at one point - 'accidentally' according to the Digital Spy website though it didn't sound particularly accidental to this blogger. Oh well, shit happens, you know.
Dracula is getting a Sherlock-style makeover, with the creators and producers of the hit BBC detective series reuniting for a new take on the Bram Stoker vampire classic. Yer actual Mark Gatiss and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) will write the series and The Moff's old lady, Sue Vertue's Hartswood Films will produce. Work on the new series has yet to begin in earnest, as both Gatiss and Moffat are currently working on solo projects. But talks are 'already underway' with the BBC - which enjoyed huge success with Sherlock. Dracula will adopt the same format as Sherlock, with a short mini-series run of feature-length episodes. Alongside British producer Hartswood, US and other international partners are expected to become attached to the new project. BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, sells Sherlock internationally and it has been one of the distributor's biggest titles in recent years bringing in geet wads of wonga which the BBC then use to make other programmes. Gatiss is well known for his love of Victorian Gothica and has recalled how the first horror film he saw was the 1960 Hammer movie The Brides Of Dracula, which he watched age five. It filtered into the humour of The League Of Gentlemen, which he co-wrote. In 2010 he presented an acclaimed BBC4 documentary about the history of British horror films. Dracula will be the first collaboration between Moffat and Gatiss since the last Sherlock episode was broadcast in January. They have said there are no immediate plans for a new series of Sherlock, but both hope to return to the series in the future, if and when the schedules of their two leading men, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman permit. It is not yet clear whether, like Sherlock - and Moffat's previous Victorian literary adaptation, Jekyll - Dracula will have a modern-day setting. Stoker's much-filmed 1897 novel has the titular vampire moving from Transylvania to England in his search for new blood.
'What if they decide that God doesn't exist?' The latest episode of American Gods - the first series finale, Come To Jesus - was an utterly outrageous, cinematically breathtaking and conceptual dazzling summation of the various themes tackled by the series so far, action-packed, funny and benefiting from a great performance by From The North favourite Kristen Chenoweth as Easter. Plus, the number one From The North favourite, Gillian Anderson and Ian McShane acting their little cotton socks off as usual, obviously. This blogger can't wait to see where Bryan Fuller and his writers will take Neil Gaiman's story next. But he'll have to. Until next year. 'What do you believe, Shadow?' 'Everything!'
'She said I was killed by a God. You are a lot of things, but you are not a God. Which fucking God? I will squeeze them out of the sack, it'll be like shucking peas. I swear to Jesus ... He's right outside!' 'You know which God!' 'Of course I know which God, I want to hear you say it.' 'Wednesday!' 'Fuck that guy! Why? Why murder me?' 'It wasn't murder, it was sacrifice.'
'When we robbed the casino, did Wednesday fuck-up my perfect plan?' 'It wasn't a perfect plan, you didn't account for Divine Intervention, did you?!'
'Do you have faith, Shadow?' 'What are you?' 'Do you want to know my name?'
'Tell the believers and the non-believers, we've taken the Spring. They can have it back when they pray for it!'
The latest Game Of Thrones series seven trailer - Winter Is Here - has been released. And, lo, it is geet lush, dear blog reader.
'Few directors stir the emotions as effectively as David Lynch, and this episode of Twin Peaks features one of the most powerful, memorable scenes in the series so far,' wrote the Games Radar website in their review of episode seven of Twin Peaks: The Return. 'Not only that, but the town of Twin Peaks plays an increasingly starring role, and old mysteries resurface with an intriguing new context. The memory of murdered homecoming queen Laura Palmer haunts the town once again and two old friends have an uneasy reunion.' Yes, what they said.
Star Trek: Discovery is reported to be shedding a creative restriction which has long frustrated top writers on previous dramas in the long-running SF franchise. Showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J Berg - working from a creative roadmap laid out by executive producer Bryan Fuller -are delivering a Trek saga which gets rid of one the franchise's decades-old limitations in an effort to evolve the series. As part of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's Utopian vision of the future (and one that franchise executive producer Rick Berman carried on after Roddenberry's death in 1991), writers on Star Trek shows were urged to avoid having Starfleet crew members in significant conflict with one another (unless a crew member is, say, possessed by an alien force), or from being shown in any seriously negative way. This guideline wasn't strictly followed across all previous franchise shows, of course - most notably in Voyager. But, in an aspirational effort to make the future more idyllic, Starfleet crew members typically weren't supposed to demonstrate baser human flaws. For writers on Star Trek shows, the restriction has been a point of behind-the-scenes contention (one The Next Generation and Voyager writer, Michael Piller, famously dubbed 'Roddenberry's Box'). Drama is conflict, after all, and if all the conflict stems from non-Starfleet members on a show whose regular cast consists almost entirely of Starfleet officers, it hugely limits the types of stories that can be told. So, for the forthcoming CBS series, that restriction has been lifted and the writers are being allowed to tell types of stories which were discouraged for decades. 'We're trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions,' Harberts said. 'People have to make mistakes - mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We're still going to argue in the future.' 'The rules of Starfleet remain the same,' Berg added. 'But, while we're human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect.' The handling of these conflicts will still draw inspiration from Roddenberry's ideals, however. 'The thing we're taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts,' Harberts said. 'So, we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it's about how they find a solution and work through their problems.' Another major change is the new series is heavily serialised, unlike all the previous iterations which consisted of close-ended episodes (with occasional story-arcs that were two or three episodes long, the major exception being Deep Space Nine's ambitious Dominion Wars arc). Of course, the last Trek series - Enterprise - ended twelve years ago and the TV drama landscape has evolved then - and so has SF. A former Star Trek writer, Ron Moore (who, like Piller, was outspoken about Trek's limitations), conceived of his acclaimed 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot as a way of telling the types of morally murky stories that Deep Space Nine and Voyager wouldn't allow.
Dame Angela Lansbury could be making a TV return in an adaptation of Little Women for the BBC. Deadline reports that Lansbury is 'in talks' to appear in the mini-series, which will be a three-part retelling of Louisa May Alcott's classic Victorian novel. Lansbury is said to be in 'talks' for the role of Aunt March, a wealthy widow who's wrapped up in the superficial elements of high society and very judgemental of those who are beneath her.
The BBC's popular genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? is returning for a fourteenth series this summer. This year's subjects include Charles Dance, Clare Balding, Big Brother's Emma Willis, Craig Revel Horwood and Thin-Skinned whinger Fearne Cotton. Actor, director and producer Noel Clarke will also feature alongside Lulu, EastEnders' Lisa Hammond, Ruby Wax and Adil Ray. The BBC has promised to take viewers on 'a number of extraordinary journeys, featuring stories from prisoners of war to African royalty, long-lost relatives and even vanishing fortunes.'
And, Celebrity MasterChef is also about to return and, this week, revealed its latest parade of a, b, c and z-listers attempting to prove they can cook up something marginally more interesting than egg and chips. Prepping their menus for this year are the likes of former S Club Seven-type person Rachel Stevens, Debbie McGee, Patti Boulaye and snooker player Stephen Hendry. Gogglebox's Reverend Kate Bottley, newsreader Julia Somerville, Aasmah Mir, actor Nick Moran and That Bloody Awful Rebecca Adlington Woman are also getting their aprons on. Ulrika Jonsson, former French tennis player Henry Leconte, Angellica Bell, Vic Reeves and about another five or six people whom, chances are, you've never heard of (including someone from Hollyoaks) complete the line-up.
Former cricketer Andrew Flintoff - nice lad, bit thick - is set to try his luck away from the sports field as an actor. Freddie has been cast in BBC1's new drama Love, Lies & Records. The series comes from Kay Mellor and follows newly promoted Superintendent Kate – played by Ugly Betty's Ashley Jensen – as she struggles with the responsibilities of being a working mother. Sounds hideous, frankly. Flintoff is set to appear in episode six of the drama alongside Let It Shine finalist Jonnie Halliwell, as well as Adrian Bower, Vera's Kenny Doughty, Rebecca Front and Mark Stanley. 'When I was waiting to register the death of my mother at Leeds Town Hall, I was next to a couple who were waiting to register the birth of their much-wanted baby girl,' Mellor explained of conceiving the series. Later on that week, I attended the wedding of some friends of ours. I realised that the register office was a microcosm of life itself – tears, laughter and celebrations. As I sat watching the registrars marry my friends, I started to wonder about their lives and how they dealt with the roller coaster of emotions that they go through on a daily basis. Not long after, a series started to develop in my head. I am delighted to be working with the BBC again on my brand new drama - their support and encouragement is invaluable. I'm also excited about attracting such a talented cast who will give birth to the series.'
Horrible Kate Garrawy's highlight of this week on Good Morning Britain was interviewing Geri Halliwell whilst wearing a Union Flag miniskirt just like what Geri used to sport twenty years ago. When she was young. And, this shite constitutes 'news', apparently.
A technical fault temporarily halted the BBC News At Ten this week, leaving presenter Huw Edwards sitting in silence in the studio. Many people - and, by 'many people' we actually mean half-a-dozen glakes on Twitter with nothing better to do with their time -  'expressed alarm' on social media when the 'Breaking News' logo flashed up eleven times during the broadcast. BBC News At Six and News At Ten editor Paul Royall said that a 'technical systems crash' caused the four-minute delay. Edwards later tweeted a photo of a can of beer, saying that he was 'going to enjoy this little beauty' after the stressful bulletin. He told BBC Radio 4's The Media Show that he had not initially known he had been on-air - even though he had 'suspected' he might be. Explaining what had happened, he told presenter Amol Rajan that the studio's software system had 'gone slightly crazy' moments before the programme had been due to start. Royall explained that the delay was due to a technical systems crash which happened just seconds before the News At Ten was due to broadcast, adding that 'hats off' were due to Edwards. 'The director had to switch to back-up system as soon as possible,' he said. Viewers on BBC1 were played some rather smooth saxophone music for part of the delay, while on iPlayer an announcer apologised for the delay. 'There was so much going on in the gallery that no-one bothered to tell me that I was actually on-air,' said Edwards. 'That was a bit of information I could have done with. But, I had a sense I was, so I tried to behave myself.' He said that he had remained silent because he realised there were 'a number of platforms' on which he could have been appearing, as well as BBC1. 'I think it's important that the entire team knows what's going on,' he said. 'If the presenter starts to freelance in that way, it could cause massive problems.' The BBC News Channel continued to broadcast Edwards live in the TV studio. At 22:04, Huw wished the viewers a good evening and said: 'A few technical problems tonight for which we apologise.'
A Somerset man who once stood - extremely unsuccessfully - for parliament was kicked off the BBC's Question Time this week for repeatedly heckling the panel members. Steve German, from Taunton, stood in the constituency of Taunton Deane in the 2015 general erection for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Party - and came last, polling one hundred and eighteen votes and extremely losing his deposit. He appeared in the audience for the live programme, which was broadcast from Plymouth this week but was giving his marching orders from the venue before the programme concluded. German referred to Theresa May as 'a zombie prime minister' and stated that 'Jeremy Corbyn has proven that anti-austerity policies are popular - the Tories and the Blairites lost the election.' Which is true. Mind you, so did Jeremy Corbyn, though that's a minor side-issue. As he continued to interrupt Conservative MP David Lidlington, a clearly irritated David Dimbleby berated him, stating: 'I know you have your views. You are one person in an audience of one hundred and fifty, I don't want you taking over this programme. He's speaking, let him speak.' German continued to heckle the panel, shouting over pro-EU campaigner Gina Millar and calling her a 'Tory', which - if you were wondering - now appears to be a sort of generic insult thrown by some, though not all, members of the broad left at, basically, anyone who disagrees with them, whether they actually are a Tory or not. Dimbles had finally had enough and suggested to German: 'I think you ought to leave, you know.' There was widespread cheering and applause from other members of the audience.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron has branded comments made by that loathsome waste-of-space smear Andrea Leadsom as 'sinister.' Leader of the Commons Leadsom drew criticism from across the political spectrum - except from those lice at the Daily Scum Mail, obviously - after making the remarks 'in a heated TV clash.'  She told BBC Newsnight: 'It would be helpful if broadcasters were willing to be a bit patriotic. The country took a decision, this Government is determined to deliver on that decision.' Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis hit back at the minister by asking her if she was being accused of being unpatriotic because she questioned whether soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Theresa May was in a position of strength in dealing with EU counterparts. Maitlis asked: 'Are you accusing me of being unpatriotic for questioning how negotiations are going, questioning whether you have the position of strength that she said she wanted?' Go on, Em, give the Tory a good hard metaphorical backhander with your withering disdain. Incidentally, you'll find a large crowd of people outside your door organising themselves into a queue to hold your coat. The worthless Leadsom at that point visibly shat in her own pants and replied: 'I'm not accusing you of anything, Emily.' Even though she, clearly, was. So, she's a lair as well as being a moron. 'I'm simply saying we all need to pull together as a country.' Something you boss might've thought of when she called a needless general erection to consolidate her own power, Andrea. And failed, miserably. 'We took a decision a year ago today to leave the European Union, we have a very strong hand and we are very well prepared for the negotiations.' Farron branded the comments 'stupid' - which they are - and called on Leadsom to apologise. Which, she won't. He told the Press Association: 'This is a sinister threat to the free media. How dare Andrea Leadsom tell the press what they should think, this isn't a George Orwell book.' No, indeed, if it was, it would have an end. Leadsom is no stranger to controversy after she pulled out of the Tory leadership race against May after telling The Times: 'Genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.' The comments provoked uproar after May had previously spoken about how she and her husband, Philip, were affected by being unable to have children. Leadsom also faced challenges over her CV during the leadership contest, in particular on some of the roles she previously held in the City.
A teenager saved her father's life thanks to CPR which she learned from watching the TV series House. Barry Holland, fifty six, suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed in the family kitchen in Helston, Cornwall. His daughter Kodie, eighteen, told her mother off for doing chest compressions incorrectly before taking over and said: 'I just knew that if I stopped then I would lose my dad.' Doctor Alistair Slade, consultant cardiologist at Royal Cornwall Hospital said it was a 'fantastic case.'
Wor Geet Canny Ant McPartlin, one half of presenting duo Ant and/or Dec, has checked himself into rehab for a prescription drug and alcohol problem, according to the Sun on Sunday. And, this constitutes 'news, apparently. Wor Geet Canny Ant says that he has been 'going through a difficult time' and the alleged newspaper claims that he will now spend 'a couple of months' getting treatment and sorting himself out and getting his shit together. For which, obviously, this blogger - who has had his own problems with mental health issues in the recent past - wishes Wor Geet Canny Ant all the best. 'The first step is to admit to yourself you need help,' Ant is quoted by the alleged newspaper. 'I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry.' According to the alleged newspaper some of Wor Geet Canny Ant's problems began with a knee injury which 'didn't heal properly,' leaving him in pain. It is believed that the medication he took to deal with that pain, then became an issue for him. 'I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends for helping me through this really difficult time,' said Wor Geet canny Ant. 'I've spoken out because I think it's important that people ask for help if they're going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery.' Wor Geet Canny Ant - and his partner, Wor Geet Canny Declan Donnelly - first appeared together as teenagers in BBC children's show Byker Grove and went on to have a brief, though quite successful, pop career. They have since gone on to host a variety of entertainment shows, including Britain's Got Toilets, Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want). Last month they won a BAFTA for best live event for fronting The Queen's Ninetieth Birthday Celebration in May 2016.
Henry Blofeld his dear old self will retire from BBC Radio's Test Match Special after forty five years in the commentary box. With occasional breaks to go to the lavatory, obviously. The seventy seven-year-old will broadcast on the show for the final time when England host West Indies from 7 September. 'Although I am still rather keener than mustard, I find it harder work than I once did,' he said. 'I leave supremely confident TMS is in the safest of hands, led by the ageless Aggers [Jonathan Agnew]. I think he will come to be seen as the best. Listeners will now be relieved to know that their chances of being told the right name of the fielders at third man and fine leg have greatly increased. I hope some will be sad that they will now hear less about the lifestyles of pigeons, seagulls and helicopters, although I fear the general feeling will be one of huge relief.' Blofeld played first-class matches for Cambridge University in the 1950s. After what he says was 'an unfulfilling three years' in banking (no, that's not a euphemism), he moved into sports journalism in the 1960s before joining TMS in 1972, forging a career he says was full of 'the greatest possible fun.' His highlight, he says, was England's third test win over Australia in 1981, a series which became known as Botham's Ashes, as a result of Ian Botham's performance with both bat and ball. Blofeld added: 'Headingley 1981, that amazing Test against Australia. Botham one hundred and forty nine not out, Willis eight for forty three. Always good to beat Australia isn't it?' Blofeld was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to broadcasting. His unique style, with regular use of the phrase 'my dear old thing' has become part of TMS tradition, as has his analysis of the food served during breaks in play. 'Happily, I shall be commentating next month on the first two tests against South Africa and then for the last one of the summer against the West Indies at Lord's.'
The Queen was reported to police by some Copper's Nark for not wearing a seatbelt as she travelled to the State Opening of Parliament. West Yorkshire Police said that they received a nine-nine-nine call about the royal journey. The pollis said that the caller appeared to think it was 'a good idea' to ring their local police force, as the Queen was travelled - with Prince Charles - through London from Buckingham Palace to Westminster. Confirming the call in a tweet, it also pointed out that the whinging in question was told their call was 'not an emergency.' Under UK law, civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against Her Maj. So, she can do what she likes. Including, one supposes, finding out from West Yorkshire Pollis exactly who snitched her up in the first place, going round to his or her gaff with a handful of her tastiest guardsman and giving him 'a jolly good talking to.' With hammers
And, now, dear blog reader ...
Many people enjoy reading Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle and wellbeing website - Goop - for comedy value over its pseudoscience and tenuous claims, but the latest organisation to do so is definitely one to be trusted: NASA. It all started when an article appeared on Goop promoting Body Vibes stickers which, allegedly, 'promote healing.' You stick them on your left arm ('close to your heart') and they will then 'rebalance the energy frequency' in your body. Which sounds nice. They should leave you calmer and with clearer skin too. 'Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems,' the website claims. 'Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut's vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.' But wires appear to have been crossed as NASA have now issued a statement to say that they 'do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.' In fact, their spacesuits are made out of synthetic materials and spandex. Body Vibes' stickers were reportedly created as 'a result of top secret research,' but Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA's human research division, wasn't particularly impressed by this. 'What a load of BS this is,' he said. Shelhamer reiterated that NASA spacesuits don't use any sort of carbon lining and, even if they did, it would be to add support and strength to the suit rather than to monitor vital signs, as Goop claims.'Not only is the whole premise like snake oil, the logic doesn't even hold up,' he said. 'If they promote healing, why do they leave marks on the skin when they are removed?' Goop told the Independent: 'As we have always explained, advice and recommendations included on goop are not formal endorsements and the opinions expressed by the experts and companies we profile do not necessarily represent the views of goop. Our content is meant to highlight unique products and offerings, find open-minded alternatives and encourage conversation. We constantly strive to improve our site for our readers, and are continuing to improve our processes for evaluating the products and companies featured. Based on the statement from NASA, we've gone back to the company to inquire about the claim and removed the claim from our site until we get additional verification.'
A Walgreens store in Modesto, California was briefly evacuated on Saturday morning after a man 'set his underwear on fire in the bathroom.' Well, come on, we've all done it from time to time, yes? The chap, one Andrew Cheadle, was subsequently nabbed by the bobbies and extremely arrested on two felony warrants out of Sacramento but has not been charged with arson,apparently 'due to the reason that he lit his pants on fire.' Modesto Police Sergeant Steve Hinkley said that Cheadle 'had an accident' and was 'trying to get his underwear off but couldn't,' so 'he used a lighter to burn them off.' Which, seems a bit drastic although - not knowing exactly what the accident was - it's difficult to comment further. Cheadle reportedly threw the burning underwear in the toilet which quickly extinguished the fire, but smoke filled the bathroom, prompting an evacuation of the store. Cheadle then left the store, admitting to several employees that he had started the fire.
A Sacramento woman was arrested on Friday after she allegedly was seen on a Humboldt County beach striking, biting and choking her eleven-year-old child 'in an attempted exorcism.' And, again, we've all done it, haven't we? Actually, on that one, no, we all haven't. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call reporting that a mother attacking her child at Centerville beach near Ferndale. The caller alleged that the mother was 'attempting to perform an exorcism.' She had stripped the child naked and was shoving handfuls of sand in the youngster's eyes and mouth, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. Well, that's not how Max Von Sydow did it, is it? Mind you, look what happened to him. The woman - who is, obviously not mental - reportedly stated that she was 'trying to remove demons from the child.' The mother was identified as forty five-year-old Kimberly Felder. The alleged assault was witnessed by 'a crowd of ten to twelve people,' the news release said. A local resident, John Marciel, stepped in and tried to restrain Felder. He struggled with her on the ground as Felder continued to attack the child, hitting the youngster in the head with a piece of driftwood. A sheriff's deputy arrived a short time later, pulled Felder away from the child and placed her in handcuffs and hauled her sorry ass off to The Big House. The child was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries, including severe damage to an ear. Felder was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on 'suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse and aggravated mayhem.' The Sheriff's Office commended Marciel for intervening, saying that he likely prevented the youngster 'from being killed.' The Sheriff's Office is requesting that Marciel be recognised with the Red Cross Life Saving Award for his actions, the news release said.
A Phoenix man - that is a man from the city of Phoenix in Arizona rather than a half-man, half-phoenix gestalt entity which is against all laws of God and man, just so we're clear about that - was extremely arrested after sending hundreds of texts to an ex-girlfriend, including pictures of himself urinating in her car. Phoenix Police report that on 14 April Joseph Anthony Cruz broke into his ex-girlfriend's Honda, damaged the interior, stole some personal items and urinated inside. Police say that Cruz took photos of himself peeing in the car which he later sent to the victim via text message. The victim filed an order of protection against Cruz - and, one imagines, a request that he pay for her to have the thing cleaned - but, has since continued to receive hundreds of texts from him including more photos from that shameful night. Police say that the victim filed 'at least six reports for the continuing violation of the court order.' Police finally caught up with Cruz at his home, where he allegedly admitted to breaking into her car, saying that he was drunk at the time. He also reportedly admitted to sending multiple texts to the victim even one while he was following her. Cruz denied knowing about the order of protection. He's been charged with multiple crimes including burglary, aggravated harassment, criminal damage and pissing in a woman's car without her permission, which is the most serious of the lot and carries in the death penalty in Arizona. Probably.
A father and daughter who 'launched a fatal attack' on a neighbour who punctured a child's football have each been very jailed for seven years. Natalie Bollen and William Jelly assaulted Kelly Machin on the day she deflated the ball using a knife. Machin, who had been 'fed up' with balls landing in her back garden in Leicester, died two weeks after the attack, which happened on 23 August. Bollen and Jelly were convicted of manslaughter last month. Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said that neither had shown 'any remorse' for having caused Machin's death. 'After these events you, Natalie Bollen, sought to protect your father knowing he had been responsible for pushing over Kelly Machin - you denied he had been present,' said the judge. 'You also seemed to have been pleased with what you and your father had done, boasting in messages that you had assaulted Kelly Machin. After Kelly Machin's death you, Natalie Bollen, responded to a text message in an almost triumphant way; "Yep, dead and gone."' The court heard that Machin had been 'concerned' about the excessive noise made by Bollen's children and 'bothered' by them regularly kicking balls into her garden. On 23 August, she punctured a ball with a knife, which led to 'a confrontation' in which she was 'punched' by Bollen and 'pushed or punched to the ground' by Jelly. The court heard how the pair 'barged' their way into Machin's house uninvited. Her injuries were assessed by paramedics, but she was not admitted to hospital. She continued experiencing severe pain and was eventually taken to hospital on 28 August, but her injuries were regarded as not requiring emergency treatment. But Machin, who lived two doors down from Bollen in Waldwick Close, was found dead at her home on 5 September, having died 'alone and in pain' either on 3 or 4 September. The court heard that rib injuries had caused 1.9 litres of blood to gradually accumulate around her heart, which stopped working. Judge Dean described it as 'an unusual case' and said that Machin was 'a vulnerable individual.' He said the impact of her death had been 'profound' and would be enduring for her family. Detective Chief Inspector Martin Smalley said: 'A seemingly minor incident resulted in a person losing their life. The defendants' actions on that day were excessive and they attacked Kelly without regard for the consequences.'
Boys who wore skirts to school in a protest have won the right to wear shorts to lessons from next year. The boys from Exeter's ISCA Academy had been told by some officious waste-of-space drunk on the tiny bit of power they have over a bunch of children that shorts were banned because they were 'not part of the uniform.' But the school has now backed down in the face of public ridicule and said 'as summers are becoming hotter' shorts will be brought in as part of the uniform next year. It said that it 'could not allow' an immediate change to uniforms because it 'would put undue pressure on some of our families.' It also said that, 'recognising the recent temperatures' students were allowed not to wear their jumper or blazer. Ties were allowed to be undone and pupils were allowed to have the top button on their shirts undone and to wear their shirts untucked 'if they are feeling very hot.' It added that none of the estimated thirty boys who turned up wearing skirts had been penalised for their hilarious protest.
Chrissy Teigen (no, me neither) went for years thinking that her husband John Legend had 'never seen her butthole' when, actually he's had a good look at it for years. according to the Metro who, seemingly, consider this revelation Earth-shattering. The 'famous' supermodel (whom this blogger has never heard of, just so we're clear about the level of her 'fame') was being interviewed by the latest issue of Marie Claire magazine when she explained that she had always thought her husband had never seen that particular part of her anatomy. Although, as the accompanying picture suggests, everyone else can have a gander. 'John and I had a double date and we were joking around and I go, "John's never seen my butthole." And John says, "Are you kidding? Every time anyone does anything doggy-style, you see a butthole. I see it every time,"' she recalled to the magazine. 'I was like, "We are never doing it doggy-style again."' Really? Is that what you were 'like' is it, dear? Is it just me, dear blog reader, or has the world gone quite bloody mad?
The Texas mother of two children who died after being left in a hot car in May was arrested on Friday afternoon. Parker County Sheriff's investigators arrested Cynthia Marie Randolph in connection with the death of her two children, a sixteen-month-old boy and a two-year-old girl. Police say that Randolph admitted she left her children in the car to 'teach them a lesson.' Police were called to her home near Lake Weatherford on 26 May where Randolph told police that she found her two kids unresponsive after being locked inside a vehicle. Randolph initially claimed that she was inside her home folding laundry and watching TV while her children played in an enclosed back porch which was visible from the living room. She said about twenty to thirty minutes had passed when she realised they were 'gone.' Randolph told police she spent more than half-an-hour looking for her children and, later, found them locked inside her car. She said that the children must have got in the car on their own and locked themselves in. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Throughout multiple interviews, police that say Randolph 'changed her story several times' about what lead to the death of her children. Randolph eventually confessed to police that she found her children playing inside her car around noon and ordered her daughter out of the car using profanity. When the two-year-old refused to exit the car, Randolph said that she shut the car door to teach her daughter 'a lesson,' thinking 'she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.' Randolph then told investigators she went into her home, smoked marijuana and went to sleep for two to three hours. Randolph implicated herself again when she told investigators that she later broke the car window to make it look like an accident.
An amorous couple who parked their vehicle at 'a romantic location next to a lake' in the Volograd region of Russia and started getting intimate ended up being tragically killed according to this report. Unfortunately, they had seemingly left the vehicle (a Niva) in neutral and the, ahem, passionate movements jolted the car into motion as it rolled into the nearby lake. The young man and his girlfriend failed to get out of the SUV in time. PE teacher Egeny Chernov and his girlfriend, Yana Kryuchkova died from drowning.
A married teacher in the US has allegedly admitted to having sex with a special needs student in her car. Laura Ramos turned herself in to officers on Tuesday after being told there was a warrant out for her arrest. The Central High School teacher, who has now been removed from her job in Connecticut, has been charged with sexually assaulting a special education student – and now faces up to ten years in The Big House. She confessed to having sex with the male student several times, police have told the Connecticut Post. The victim, aged eighteen, allegedly told police that Ramos had been 'messaging' him for some time.
A well-known lifestyle blogger in France has been killed by an exploding whipped cream dispenser. Rebecca Burger's death was announced on Facebook in what her family called 'a domestic accident.' A warning against the faulty dispensers was posted to her Instagram account, saying that it had 'exploded and struck Rebecca's chest, causing her death.' French media reported that she had died of cardiac arrest after the incident, despite medical attention. The popular fitness and travel figure was well-known in France, with some fifty thousand Facebook followers. One of Burger's family members took to Instagram, warning readers not to use the dispenser, saying that tens of thousands of 'defective devices' remain in circulation. A whipped cream dispenser works by injecting gas into a metal container, keeping the entire dispenser under high pressure. One French consumer group has warned readers for years about faulty connectors on the gas capsules, causing them to break and expel at high speed. The injuries caused range from broken teeth and tinnitus to multiple fractures and, in one case, the loss of an eye, consumer magazine Sixty Millions said. But the magazine suggests that new dispensers made since 2015 'appear to be safe.' In 2013, one victim of an exploding cream dispenser told RTL radio: 'I had six broken ribs, and my sternum was broken. At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now.'
A human toe has fallen prey to some sticky fingers in Dawson City, Yukon. The gnarled digit is the essential ingredient in the famous 'Sourtoe Cocktail' at the Downtown Hotel. Qi viewers may recall that the drink was the subject of a question a few series back on the popular BBC quiz show. 'We are furious,' said the hotel's 'Toe Captain,' Terry Lee, in a news release. 'Toes are very hard to come by.' The traditional Sourtoe Cocktail - a Klondike-inspired invention - involves a shot of whisky with the digit bobbing in the glass. The toe must touch the brave drinker's lips. The hotel's posted fine for swallowing or stealing the toe is two thousand five hundred dollar. It had been five hundred bucks until August 2013, when a patron gulped back the entire cocktail (toe and all) and slapped five hundred notes on the table. According to a news release on Monday, the hotel intends to fine and charge the thief 'unless the Toe is returned.' 'Stunts like this adversely affect the whole community, not just the Downtown Hotel. We fortunately have a couple of back up toes, but we really need this one back,' Lee says in the release. The theft of the toe is a big loss, said hotel manager Geri Coulbourne. She says the toe was donated by a man who had to have it surgically removed, then cured in salt for six months. 'This was our new toe and it was a really good one. We just started using it this weekend,' she said. The hotel says that the suspect is from Quebec and had earlier boasted about wanting to steal the toe. Lee says the man reportedly coaxed the bartender to serve him the drink after the nightly 'Toe Time.' 'One of the new staff served it to him to be nice. And this is how he pays her back. What a low life.' The suspect also left behind his Sourtoe Cocktail certificate, awarded by the hotel. 'So the police have his name,' the hotel's release says.
'A Waukesha prostitution deal gone bad' involved a stabbing, two dollars in quarters, edible panties and a seventy-year-old man. No, it's not the opening line of a joke, it's a story of passion and greed from Wisconsin.
The World Taekwondo Federation has changed its name to World Taekwondo because of the 'negative connotations' associated with its initials. The organisation had used the previous name since it was established in 1973. However, it felt in the 'digital age' that the slang of the old abbreviation was 'unrelated to our organisation and so it was important that we rebranded to better engage with our fans.'
A Wisconsin man who argued with his wife about watching porn has been reported to have threatened to shoot off his own penis, before going into another room and firing four shots. Robert Ahorner was having a fight with his wife about looking at porn online, according to the Gazette Extra. 'If I'm not using it, I might as well shoot it off,' he reportedly told her during their argument. According to Ahorner, he had drank a twelve-pack of beer the day that the argument occurred. Police who responded to the scene on 3 May discovered what appeared to be four bullet holes in the floor in a bathroom at the East Troy home. Ahorner told a deputy that he had aimed the gun at the floor and fired it to scare his wife. He said that he intended for the rounds to go into the basement, which he said was empty at the time. According to his wife, Ahorner 'struggles with mental health issues' and has been 'prescribed a number of medications.' Ahorner has been charged with misdemeanour disorderly conduct and felony endangering safety by reckless use of a firearm. He was released on bail and a competency exam has been ordered, court records show.
A Washington woman is in jail after she reportedly pulled a gun on fast food employees over a long waiting time and being shorted a chicken nugget. The News Tribune reports that the nineteen-year-old 'became irritated' when she didn't get her drink right away. She then complained that there was 'something' in her drink and eventually discovered she was, allegedly, short one chicken nugget. Employees say that's when she threw the drink at the window and pointed a handgun at them. Employees of the South Hill restaurant then called police, who subsequently went to the house where the young woman's car was registered and found her 'hiding in the attic.' Police arrested the woman for second-degree assault and ordered her jailed on seventy five thousand dollars bail.
What began as an investigation into public urination at a Pasadena Gold Line station on Wednesday led deputies to seize two guns, high-capacity magazines, suppressors and a machete from the suspect’s duffel bag, authorities said. Deputies first approached a man about 9am after spotting the chap relieving himself along the sidewalk outside the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Station sheriff's officials said. The deputies confronted the man about the offence and the suspect provided them with what turned out to be a false name, according to Deputy Katherine Zubo of the sheriff's Transit Policing Division. The man was carrying a duffel bag with him. A search of the suspect's bag turned up a loaded AR-15-style rifle, fitted with two thirty-round magazines and a suppressor, as well as a pistol with a high-capacity magazine and a suppressor and a large machete-style knife, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. The bag also contained a notebook full of writings and a Bible. The man was booked for weapons violations. Officials also said that markings on the handgun indicated the weapon was to be used by 'restricted law enforcement or government only.' Investigators said that they were 'looking into' how the suspect, identified as twenty eight-year-old Christopher Harrison Goodine, of Union City, Georgia, came to possess the weapons in the first place and what he may have ultimately intended to do with them. 'There is no intelligence to indicate there is a nexus to terrorism,' the sheriff said. But, he noted that any time a person is walking around with this type of armament in a duffel bag, 'The outcome would not have been good no matter what he was going to do,' McDonnell said. Other than the public urination, Zubo said that Goodine was 'not doing anything that would have attracted attention.' The deputy added that she was 'glad' she and her colleagues found the weapons before they became involved in a tragedy. 'Upon finding the bags, honestly, the first thing I felt was relief, because we got to this stuff first,' Zubo said.
Government officials in South Africa have moved to calm fears that a deformed lamb resembling a human baby was 'the result of bestiality' and 'the work of the devil.' Photos of the stillborn lamb went viral on social media this week, horrifying villagers in the Eastern Cape settlement of Lady Frere, approximately two hundred miles south of Bloemfontein. Pictures of the deformed foetus started to circulate on social media, leading many to believe that the photos were a hoax. But the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform confirmed the authenticity of the pictures. 'The elders when they saw it said it was sent by the devil and was born after a coupling between a man and a sheep and then there was panic,' said a villager quoted by the Sun. 'Many people are afraid and will not be happy until it is burned.' However, Doctor Lubabalo Mrwebi, the province's chief director of veterinary services, said that the animal foetus was 'infected' with Rift Valley fever, a viral illness chiefly spread by mosquitoes. Mrwebi said that the animal was 'likely' conceived in December or January, a rainy time of year which would have seen a proliferation of mosquitoes and midges known for spreading Rift Valley Fever. 'We can confirm that this deformed lamb is not a progeny of sheep ovum and a human sperm,' Mrwebi said in a statement, pointing out that sheep ovum and human sperm cannot create a viable life form anyway because their chromosome numbers do not match. 'The deformed lamb exhibits signs that are consistent with an early foetal development that went wrong as a result of a viral infection,' Mrwebi said. 'Virus infections in early stages of pregnancy may infect the foetus and lead to the development of malformations in the growing foetus. It is likely that this is what happened to the Lady Frere sheep.' Veterinary officials promised to 'conduct a full postmortem' on the animal and reveal its results to the public. 'The lesson we are learning from this experience is that small-stock farmers must keep their animals protected against diseases like the Rift Valley Fever with a correct vaccine‚ which is best given long before the mating season so that by the time the females get pregnant they are already protected against this disease,' Mrwebi said.
A woman who hit a man in the head with a George Foreman Grill after refusing to leave his apartment in Souris was sentenced to sixty days in the county jail. Melanie Dawn Sheehan appeared up a'fore Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Georgetown where she pleaded extremely guilty to assault with a weapon and 'failing to comply with a recognisance.' Whatever the Hell, that is. The court heard that on 3 April the victim was home alone when Sheehan went to his apartment. Both were under a court order to have no contact with each other. The victim reported that he had been ignoring Sheehan's attempts to contact him and after the two got into a heated argument she would not leave. Crown attorney Cyndria Wedge said that at one point the victim insulted Sheehan and she hit him in the face. Sheehan later hit him in the head with what she said in court was one of George Foreman's Lean Mean Grillin' Machines. The court also heard that on her way out of the apartment Sheehan punched the victim's TV while she was holding a pair of scissors. When the police arrived they found the apartment was 'in a mess' and the victim had several injuries including cuts and blood on the back of his head. They found Sheehan walking nearby and she told them she couldn't leave the apartment right away because she was 'gathering her things.' Sheehan claimed to police that the victim hit her with his forearm. She also told them that both parties hadn't been following stay-away orders. Before sentencing Sheehan, Orr told her that if she goes to someone's home and is asked to leave, she has to leave. Sheehan's response was 'out of proportion' to the situation, Orr added and hitting the victim in the head with the grill was 'a very serious matter. It's a wonder you didn't kill him,' Orr said.
For millions of Britons 'of a certain age' his voice, a soothing, gently laconic baritone, immediately evoked memories of childhood. The actor and children's TV presenter Brian Cant died this week at the age of eighty three. As an actor, Brian appeared in two Doctor Who stories; in 1965 he played Kert Gantry, a Space Security Agent, in the opening episode of the twelve-parter The Dalek's Master Plan. He returned to the series in 1968 playing Chairman Tensa in two episodes of The Dominators. However for most people in the United Kingdom Brian will be lovingly remembered for his work on children's television. He was working for a schools drama about The Romans in 1964 when he heard that the BBC was holding auditions for presenters on a new programme aimed at pre-school children, Play School, due to launch on the new station BBC2.
His audition reportedly involved Brian getting into a cardboard box and pretending to row out to sea in it, fishing and catching a Wellington boot full of custard. He was successful and joined the show in its third week staying for twenty-one years. He recalled in a 1995 interview '[The BBC] wanted a programme aimed at the single child at home, so you were working eyeball-to-eyeball. Whoever you were talking to, you had to make them feel that they were the only one, that you were doing it just for them.' His work with Humpty, Hamble, Big Ted and Little Ted, et al on Play School led him to be selected as the voice on three much-loved Gordon Murray puppet series: Camberwick Green in 1966, Trumpton in 1967 and Chigley in 1969. Brian recalled the recordings of Trumpton, made in the bedroom of the show's composer, Freddie Phillips: 'We would record three episodes in a day. It was as much of a studio as we needed. We would rehearse for an hour and spend half-an-hour recording it, with me doing everyone's voice.' With his friendly, child-like enthusiasm and playfulness, he brought delight to young viewers from the very beginning.
In 1971 the BBC launched a spin-off from Play School, Play Away, aimed at slightly older children, featuring songs and sketches and broadcast on Saturday afternoons, with Brian as the main presenter alongside actors such as Toni Arthur, Derek Griffiths, Floella Benjamin, Johnny Ball, Carol Chell, future Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons and Tony Robinson. Sir Tony tweeted this week: 'Brian Cant was my mentor and friend on Play Away. We wrote and performed together for two years. Always patient, courteous and funny.'
Brian was also an occasional guest presenter on Jackanory, presented another BBC show, Bric-A-Brac (1980) and appeared for nearly a decade on ITV's Dappledown Farm as Brian the Farmer. He also made a few film appearances with roles in The Pleasure Girls (1965), The Sandwich Man (1966) and A Feast At Midnight (1995).
Brian John Cant was born in Ipswich in July 1933, the son of an engineer. After school, he worked as an apprentice lithographer. A talented teenage footballer, for a time he was also on the books of his local club, Ipswich Town. Although shyness prevented him from acting at school, he developed an interest in local theatre brought about by his grandfather, who had performed as part of a roller-skating act pre-war. At the local Hippodrome Brian loved to watch music hall stars, such as Max Miller and felt inspired to emulate them on stage. Moving to London to pursue his dream, he spent time working with The Mountview Theatre Club, an amateur group. An early review of his performance in a production of the thriller Safe Harbour in 1957 judged that 'Mister Cant does incredibly well within the terms of an almost embarrassingly inept caricature.' The following year he was spotted by an agent, turned professional and spent the summer season in rep at Buxton. By the early 1960s he was appearing in dramas such as the ITV police series No Hiding Place, before joining Play School.
In his subsequent career he combined his work presenting children's TV with theatre, touring in plays such as Run For Your Wife, Doctor In The House, The Railway Children and The Canterbury Tales, in addition to pantomimes. His CV also included appearances in The Long Way Homes, Bootsie & Snudge, Crane, The Airbase, A Game Of Murder, The Spanish Farm, Girl In A Black Bikini, A Man Called Harry Brent, Theatre 625, Weavers Green, Sexton Blake, Dixon of Dock Green, Z Cars, Kate, Manhunt, The Expert, Play For Today, The Man Outside, Ever Decreasing Circles, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, Casualty and Doctors. In 2007 Brian topped a poll of presenters with the best-loved voices in children's TV and in 2010 he received a special award at the Children's BAFTAs. During his acceptance speech he paraphrased I Corinthians with his trademark friendly wit: 'When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. When I became a man I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child and they paid me for it!' In 2001 Brian appeared - effectively as himself - in a music video on Orbital's DVD The Altogether. The actor had been living with Parkinson's disease in recent years and died at Denville Hall, a retirement home often used by those in the entertainment industry. Brian was married twice - firstly to Mary Gibson and then to the writer Cherry Britton - and had five children, Rose, Christabel, Peter, Nicholas and Richard, the latter of whom is also an actor.