Posted in Events, Television

Comic Relief Red Nose Day 2013

Red Nose Day took place on Friday 15th March 2013 in aid of Comic Relief. This year Television viewers managed to raise approximately £75 million during the 25th Comic Relief telethon which featured the resurrection of old TV characters, celebrity haircuts and dozens of comedy sketches. The last Red Nose Day, which took place two years ago, raised £74.3m, marginally less than this year’s total which is £75,107,851 so far. Highlights included Singer Jesse J who raised £500,000 by having her hair cut and Ricky Gervais reprised his role as The Office’s David Brent. Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart also pledged £14,268 to Comic Relief after writing on Twitter: “I will give £1.00 to Comic relief for every retweet of this message before 9pm.” She admitted being “Twitter naive” before sending the message but told followers she could afford it. Sainsbury’s also donated more than £10m through sales of Red Nose Day merchandise, TK Maxx raised £3.7m through sales of the Red Nose Day T-shirts and homeware, and British Airways donated more than £2m. The government also promised to back the public’s support with a donation of £16m to the overall total, specifically for Comic Relief’s work to improve the lives of women and girls in Africa. BT’s 10,000 volunteers handled 458,000 calls to the donation line during the live TV show, peaking at 200 calls per second. Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis said: “Once again the extraordinary generosity of the British public has put Comic Relief in a position to be able to serve thousands upon thousands of people with very hard lives in Africa and the UK.

BBC1’s Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, was won by Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton, and raised more than £1m for charity after the last live show was broadcast from within a studio at the BBC’s TV Centre in west London. Eleswhere, after a reading from Robbie Williams,  Simon Cowell marries himself with Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon as bridesmaids. However the nuptials don’t exactly go to plan after the Church is gatecrashed by David Walliams, Olly Murs, Dermot O’Leary, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne who all declare their love for him on Comic Relief throwing The Music Mogul’s wedding into absolute chaos. There was a hilarious skit in aid of Comic Relief, entitled David’s Exes starring David Walliams & ‘Special Friends’ which starts when  TV’s Doctor Christian Jessen orders him to pay a visit to anyone he’s been ‘intimate’ with in the last year .  He then visits a range of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, a leather-clad Kate Moss and former kids TV personalities the Chuckle Brothers, Richard and Judy, Ronnie Corbet, Mary Beard, Clare Balding and Alan Carr, who tries to blame Gok Wan for the problem.

Comedy duo French and Saunders brought the laughs as bridesmaids Attending a real-life wedding of Claire Gilchrist which had been organised comedienne by Miranda Hart who had been set the challenge of organising the wedding hours previously and In just a matter of hours, had organised the dress, bridesmaids’ outfits, flowers, readings and the rings so that one lucky couple could tie the knot for charity at Westminster Registry office. She has been taking part in various challenges all week as part of The BT Red Nose Challenge: Miranda’s Mad March, in aid of Comic Relief, and has  managed to raise over £1m for Comic Relief. Singer Jessie J also had her head shaved for Comic Relief. After which she emerged to speak to hosts Dermot O’Leary and Claudia Winkleman about how she was feeling. Earlier in the evening Jessie spoke about why she decided to chop off all her hair, her jet black bob and fringe have been her signature style since she shot to fame. Jessie added that she wanted to: ‘Shock people. I wanted to do something that wasn’t going to last five minutes and was fun. Jessie also visiting some of the charities that Comic Relief helps. One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson embraced Comic Relief by dressing up with hair dye to mark Red Nose Day. Comic Relief also featured Warwick Davis and Ellie Simmonds for the Great British Bake Off.

Sadly though most of it made me cringe, particularly the sketch which featured Comedian Peter Kay being pulled round Britain in a bed, which seemed to be poking fun at the hard work involved in fund-raising efforts and made me feel very uncomfortable, because despite being dressed up as an act of charity It seemed to dehumanise and ridicule people with Dwarfism just to inflate the egos of celebrities and for so-called comic effect (Except it wasn’t funny).

Posted in music

Heart & Lordi

Nancy Wilson the American singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with the Seattle/Vancouver rock band Heart was born on this day 16th March in 1954 and she and her sister, Ann, grew up in Southern California and Taiwan before moving to the Seattle suburb of Bellevue.   Nancy finished high school, then attended Pacific University in Oregon and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she majored in art and German literature. She then played solo gigs until 1974 when she quit college and moved to Canada to join her older sister Ann and lead guitarist Roger Fisher, to become the core of the Rock band Heart.

While Ann is the lead singer on the majority of the Heart recordings, Nancy is the lead vocalist on notable tracks like “Treat Me Well”, “These Dreams“, “Stranded“, “There’s the Girl”, and “Will You Be There (In the Morning)” and frequently performs background and harmony vocals on other great songs like Alone and Never. Nancy is the band’s rhythm and lead guitarist. In 1999 Nancy Wilson released the solo live album, Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop.

Nancy Wilson married film director and former Rolling Stone writer Cameron Crowe and she has played a role in composing music for most of Crowe’s films including Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, and Elizabethtown. She had cameo roles in Crowe’s The Wild Life (1984) as David’s wife and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) credited as “Beautiful Girl in Car”. In 1990, she also contributed to the Say Anything… soundtrack with “All for Love”


Leena Peisa (A.K.A Awa) the Keyboard Player with Finnish hard rock/heavy metal band Lordi was also born on this day 16th March in 1979. Lordi were formed in 1996 by the band’s lead singer, songwriter and costume-designer, Mr. Lordi. The band is known for wearing monster masks and using pyrotechnics during concerts. They rose to domestic success with their 2002 single, “Would You Love a Monsterman?”. Lordi made history in 2006 by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with a record 292 points, becoming the first Finnish performer to win the contest.

Lordi were also featured on the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen when the band’s frontman, Mr. Lordi, presented the award for rock. They were also the closing act, playing their single  “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. They also performed on Britain’s Making Your Mind Up for the Eurovision Song Contest. Lordi performed on the main stage at Ozzfest 2007 and later that year toured with Type O Negative and Twin Method until Halloween night.