Doctor Who

English actor Anthony Ainley was born 20 August 1932. Best known for his work on British television and particularly for his role as the third Master in Doctor Who. He was the fourth actor to play the role of the Master, and the first actor to portray the Master as a recurring role after the death of Roger Delgado in 1973. He is to date the longest-serving actor to play the role, outlasting several Doctors. Ainley’s swarthy appearance tended to get him parts as villains, though an early regular role on British television was as Det. Sgt Hunter, sidekick to William Mervyn’s Chief Inspector Rose in the second series of It’s Cold Outside in 1966. Other notable roles include a subaltern in the 1969 film version of Oh! What a Lovely War, Dietz in the 1975 film version of The Land That Time Forgot, Fallowfield in the Tigon film Blood on Satan’s Claw, Henry Sidney in Elizabeth R , Clive Hawksworth in Spyder’s Web, Rev. Emilius in the BBC’s adaptation of The Pallisers (1974), Johnson in the first episode of the BBC programme Secret Army, and Sunley in The Avengers episode “Noon Doomsday”. He was also one of the Hong Kong policemen who discover James Bond’s supposed corpse in the opening sequence of You Only Live Twice.Ainley played the role of the wealthy young peer Lord Charles Gilmour in the ITV series Upstairs, Downstairs.

It was his performance as Rev. Emilius (in The Pallisers) that led to him being offered the role of the Master by John Nathan-Turner, who had worked on The Pallisers seven years before becoming producer of Doctor Who. Ainley first portrayed the Master in the 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken and appeared in almost every season up until the cancellation of the original series in 1989, including its final serial, Survival. He later reprised the role for the 1997 BBC computer game Destiny of the Doctors.Ainley’s great love of the role is often cited in documentaries and DVD commentaries. Script Editor Eric Saward claimed that he introduced himself over the phone by saying “This is the Master” and then would laugh. In the commentary and documentary for The Mark of the Rani, both Colin Baker and Kate O’Mara say that “He only ever wanted to play the Master”. Ainley was also a keen sportsman. Initially he was a rugby player, Later he turned his attentions to cricket, citing Sophie Aldred (who played Ace) as his friend once he learned that she played the game, Unfortunately Ainley sadly passed away on 3rd May 2004.

Whilst on the subject of Doctor Who characters and birthdays, English actress and television presenter,Sophie Aldred, was also born on 20th August a few years later in 1962. She is probably best known for her portrayal of The Doctor’s rather stroppy companion Ace in the television series Doctor Who during the late 1980s, alongside Scottish Actor, Comedian and former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy, who also coincidentally shares the same birthdate August 20th, with both the late Anthony Ainley and Sophie Aldred.

Sophie’s tenure on Doctor Who spanned the last nine stories of the programme’s original run, which ended in 1989.Both before and since Doctor Who, Aldred has had a varied and busy television career, particularly in children’s programming, where she has presented educational programmes such as

Corners, Melvin and Maureen’s Music-a-grams (which ran from 1992 to ’96), Tiny and crew (which she presented, 1995–99), the BBC series Words and Pictures (since 1993), and also CITV paranormal show It’s a Mystery in 1996. She also played the character Minnie The Mini Magician from Series 8 onwards on CITV’s ZZZap! between 1999 and 2001. Aldred has also presented and sung in several BBC Schools Radio series, including Singing Together, Music Workshop, Time and Tune and Music Box. She has also performed on radio and in the theatre. She has also reprised her role as Ace in the charity special Dimensions in Time and the Doctor Who audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions.Throughout the 2000s she has worked extensively as a voice-over artist for television advertisements, and has also provided voices for animated series such as Bob the Builder and Dennis & Gnasher.
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The Top Ten Doctor Who Villains according to a recent Sunday Newspaper poll

  • The Master
  • Other Renegade Time Lords ( The Rani, Omega and Morbius)
  • The Silence
  • The Cyber Men
  • The Daleks
  • Davros
  • Scaroth the Jagaroth
  • The Zygons
  • Weeping Angels
  • The Beast

I think they should have included The Sea Devils, The Silurians, Sutekh (When he took his mask off) in fact anything with sinister glowing eyes, lol (Well that’s what used to scare me anyway). The new series of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Until Christmas) also starts soon on BBC1.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You Sessions

On August 10th, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released the first of nine pairs of 7″ singles from the I’m With You sessions, and will be releasing 18 previously unreleased sides from the I’m With You sessions over the next six months. Each of the songs will be available worldwide both digitally and on 7 inch vinyl.

The first pair of sides – “Strange Man” on the A-side and “Long Progression” on the B-side – was released on August 14, 2012. The second pair of sides – “Magpies” and “Victorian Machinery” – will be released on September 11, 2012. The third pair of sides – “Never Is A Long Time” and “Love Of Your Life” – will be released on October 2, 2012. The fourth pair of sides (titles TBD) will be released November 6, 2012. The fifth pair of sides (titles TBD) will be released December 4, 2012 and the sixth pair of sides (titles TBD) will be released December 18, 2012. The final two releases will be released in early 2013.

Each of the nine seven-inches will feature cover artwork by Kelsey Brookes, and when combined together, form one larger piece of artwork. Brookes’ well-documented background in microbiology, surf culture and folk art combine in explosive prisms of raucous color, bold imagery and timeless motifs. His work has appeared in countless group shows, art fairs, and magazines such as GQ, Modern Painters, Juxtapoz, Beautiful Decay and Dazed and Confused.

“Best Lead Singers of All Time” – Happy Birthday Robert Plant

Former Vocalist with Rock band Led Zeppelin and successful solo artist Robert Plant, was born 20th August 1948 and being an absolutely huge fan of him I thought I would mark the occasion. Led Zeppelin  are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in the history of music and were formed in 1968 after former Yardbirds Guitarist  Jimmy Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. The name  Led Zeppelin stemmed from an old joke by Keith Moon and John Entwistle, of “The Who”, and Page stuck with that name to use for his new band. The name was subsequently changed to “Led Zeppelin”, to avoid a mispronunciation of “Leed Zeppelin.”

Jimmy Page had a very specific idea in mind as to what he wanted Led Zeppelin to be, and wanted to add acoustic textures. Zeppelin’s sound became a marriage of blues, hard rock and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses – a combination that had never been done back in the 1960′s. Led Zeppelin’s sound has since become a prototype for countless rock bands ever since, and was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of the 1970′s.

Led Zeppelin released relatively few singles, preferring their albums to be viewed as indivisible, whole listening experiences, helping to promote the concept of album-orientated rock. Their first two albums, with their heavy, guitar-driven blues rock sound, led to Led Zeppelin being regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock, even though the band’s individualistic style drew from varied sources and transcends any single music genre. Their next two albums incorporated wider musical influences, particularly from folk music;  the tracks “Stairway to Heaven“, and “Kashmir” are among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and cemented the status of the group as “superstars”.

Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, and Page refused to touch a guitar out of sadness for the loss of his friend Bonham, After the break up , Plant briefly considered teaching, but nevertheless embarked on a successful solo career beginning with Pictures at Eleven in 1982, followed by 1983’s The Principle of Moments. Popular tracks from this period include “Big Log” (a Top 20 hit in 1983), “In the Mood” (1983), “Little by Little” (from 1985’s Shaken ‘n’ Stirred), “Far Post” “Tall Cool One”  and “I Believe”, another song written for and dedicated to his late son, Karac. In 1984, Plant formed a short-lived all-star group with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck called The Honeydrippers, who had a No. 3 hit with a remake of the Phil Phillips’ tune, “Sea of Love” and a followup hit with a cover of Roy Brown’s “Rockin’ at Midnight”. Although Plant avoided performing Led Zeppelin songs through much of this period (he occasionally would improvise his unique Zeppelin screams into his set), his tours in 1983 (with drummer Phil Collins) and 1985 were very successful, often performing to sold-out arena-sized venues. Plant and Page occasionally collaborated on various projects, including The Honeydrippers: Volume One album in 1984. In the spring 2 years later Robert performed at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986. The pair again worked together in the studio on the 1988 Page solo effort, Outrider, and in the same year Page contributed to Plant’s album Now and Zen. Also, on 15 May 1988 Plant appeared with Page as a member of Led Zeppelin (and in his own right as a solo artist) at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert. In 2007, Plant released Raising Sand, an album produced by T-Bone Burnett with American bluegrass soprano Alison Krauss, which won the 2009 Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 51st Grammy Awards. Page also released “Band of Joy” in 2010 featuring the song “Little Angel Dance”.

Throughout their career, Led Zeppelin also collected many honours and awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Among the band’s awards are an American Music Award in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize in 2006. Led Zeppelin were the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and four of their recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. They have been awarded five Diamond albums, as well as fourteen Multi-Platinum albums, four Platinum albums and one Gold album in the United States, while in the UK they have five Multi-Platinum albums, six Platinum albums, one Gold album and four Silver albums.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Plant is regarded as one of the most significant singers in the history of rock music, and has influenced contemporaries and later singers such as Freddie Mercury and Axl Rose. In 2006, heavy metal magazine Hit Parader named Plant the “Greatest Metal Vocalist of All Time”. In 2009, Plant was voted “the greatest voice in rock” in a poll conducted by Planet Rock. In 2011,  Plant was also first place of the  Rolling Stone magazine’s “Best Lead Singers of All Time”, and was also honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to popular music in 2009. The band are ranked number one on VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and Classic Rock’s “50 Best Live Acts of All Time”. They were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Contribution to British Music” in 1977, as well as a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 42nd Annual Ivor Novello awards ceremony in 1997. The band were honoured with the “Best Live Act” prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008, where they were described as the “greatest rock and roll band of all time”.

Happy Birthday Ralf Hütter (Kraftwerk)

Ralf Hütter, One of the founder members of Innovative Pioneering German Electronic Group Kraftwerk was born on 20th August in 1946, so I thought I would mark the occasion. Kraftwerk , (meaning power plant or power station) are an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider’s departure in 2008. The signature Kraftwerk sound combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western Classical style of harmony, with a minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation. The group’s simplified lyrics are at times sung through a vocoder or generated by computer-speech software. and they are considered pioneers in the field of electronic music/synthpop and were one of the first groups to popularize electronic music during the 70′s when their distinctive sound was considered revolutionary.

Kraftwerk’s inspirations continue to be contemporary.  They are always revisiting previous songs and revamping and overhauling them in order to keep them sounding fresh. Today Kraftwerk remain as popular as ever and their influence has had a long lasting effect across many genres of modern music and has paved the way for many of todays electro/Techno bands and their influence can often stll be heard in much of today’s music and thanks to the ongoing popularity of  songs like The RobotsAutobahnTour De FranceTrans Europe Express and Computer Love they still remain relevent today.  Hütter also revealed recently that they they have almost finished new material and will be releasing a new album “soon”. which will be their first LP since 2003′s Tour de France. Their next LP will be their 11th studio album and their first without Florian Schneider, who left the group three years ago.