Posted in films & DVD, music, Television

Ol’ blue eyes

American singer and film actor Frank Sinatra saldy passed away May 14, 1998. Born December 12, 1915, He began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found unprecedented success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the “bobby soxers”, he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity.He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice ‘n’ Easy).

Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way”. However With sales of his music dwindling and after appearing in several poorly received films, Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several albums, scoring a Top 40 hit with “(Theme From) New York, New York” in 1980.

Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally, until a short time before his death in 1998.Sinatra also forged a highly successful career as a film actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, a nomination for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm, and critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate. He also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and his music remains popular and legend lives on.

Posted in music

B.B.King

Legendary American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist B B. King passed away 14 May 2015. He was born September 16, 1925 and grew up singing in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. At the age of 12, he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John’s Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi. In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King shortly returned to Mssissippi, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop a local audience for his sound. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the legendary Memphis radio station WDIA. King’s Spot became so popular, it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened toBlues Boy and finally to B.B.It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker.

In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King’s early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. Before his RPM contract King had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single “Miss Martha King” (1949), which did not chart well. “My very first recordings [in 1949] were for a company out of Nashville called Bllet, the Bullet Record Transcription company,” King recalls. “I had horns that very first session. I had Phineas Newborn on piano; his father played drums, and his brother, Calvin, played guitar with me. I had Tuff Green on bass, Ben Branch on tenor sax, his brother, Thomas Branch, on trumpet, and a lady trombone player. The Newborn family were the house band at the famous Plantation Inn in West Memphis.”Performing with his famous guitar, LucilleKing assembled his own band; the B.B. King Review, under the leadership of Millard Lee. The band initially consisted of Calvin Owens and Kenneth Sands (trumpet), Lawrence Burdin (alto saxophone),George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone), Millard Lee (piano),George Joyner (bass) and Earl Forest and Ted Curry (drums). Onzie Horne was a trained musician elicited as an arranger to assist King with his compositions. By his own admission, he cannot play chords well and always relies on improvisation. This was followed by tours across the USA with performances in major theaters in cities such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and St. Louis, as well as numerous gigs in small clubs and juke joints of the southern US states.

In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, which triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his beloved guitar, a Gibson hollow electric. Two people died in the fire. The next day, King learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.King also toured the entire “Chitlin’ circuit” and 1956 became a record-breaking year, with 342 concerts booked. The same year he founded his own record label, Blues Boys Kingdom, with headquarters at Beale Street in Memphis. There, among other projects, he produced artists such as Millard Lee and Levi Seabury. In the 1950s, B.B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music, amassing an impressive list of hits including “3 O’Clock Blues”, “You Know I Love You,” “Woke Up This Morning,” “Please Love Me,” “When My Heart Beats like a Hammer,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “You Upset Me Baby,” “Every Day I Have the Blues”, “Sneakin’ Around,” “Ten Long Years,” “Bad Luck,” “Sweet Little Angel”, “On My Word of Honor,” and “Please Accept My Love.”

King was extremely busy during this period and made 342 appearances and 3 recording sessions in 1956 alone. In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was later absorbed into MCA Records, and this hence into his current label, Geffen Records. In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois.King won a Grammy Award for a tune called “The Thrill Is Gone”; his version became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts, It also gained the number 183 spot in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. He gained further visibility among rock audiences as an opening act on The Rolling Stones’ 1969 American Tour. King’s mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like “To Know You is to Love You” and “I Like to Live the Love”.King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004 he was awarded the international Polar Music Prize, given to artists “in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music.”[19]B.B. King in concert in France 1989.

From the 1980s onward he has continued to maintain a highly visible and active career, appearing on numerous television shows and performing 300 nights a year. In 1988, King reached a new generation of fans with the single “When Love Comes to Town”, a collaborative effort between King and the Irish band U2 on their Rattle and Hum album. Also that year King played for the 1988 Republican National Convention at the behest of the notorious Republican operative Lee Atwater. King has remained friendly with the Bush Family ever since and in 1990 was awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts by George H.W. Bushand the Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2008. In 2000, King teamed up with guitaristEric Clapton to record Riding With the King. In 1998, King appeared in The Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of the lead singer of the Louisiana Gator Boys, along with Clapton, Dr. John, Koko Taylor and Bo Diddley.

On March 29, 2006, King played at Hallam Arena in Sheffield, England supported by Northern Irish guitarist Gary Moore, with whom King had previously toured and recorded, and on June 28, 2009 King returned to Wembley arena with British blues icon John Mayall. In July King went back to Europe, playing twice at the Zürich at the Blues at Sunset and the 40th Montreux Jazz Festival where he jammed with Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, David Sanborn, Gladys Knight, Lella James, Andre Beeka, Earl Thomas, Stanley Clarke, John McLaughlin, Barbara Hendricks and George Duke. In November and December, King played six times in Brazil. .”In June 2006, King was present at a memorial of his first radio broadcast at the Three Deuces Building in Greenwood, Mississippi, where an official marker of the Mississippi Blues Trail was erected. The same month, a groundbreaking was held for a new museum, dedicated to King. in Indianola, Mississippi. The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened on September 13, 2008. In late October 2006, he recorded a concert CD and DVD entitled B.B. King: Live at his B.B. King Blues Clubs in Nashville and Memphis. which was his first live performance recording in 14 years.On July 28, 2007, King played at Eric Clapton’s second Crossroads Guitar Festival with 20 other guitarists to raise money for the Crossroads Centre for addictive disorders. Performing in Chicago, he played “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss”, “Rock Me Baby” and “Thrill is Gone” ( with Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin. Also in 2007, King accepted an invitation to contribute to Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard Records). With Ivan Neville’s DumpstaPhunk, King contributed his version of the title song, “Goin’ Home”.

In 2007 King performed “One Shoe Blues” on the Sandra Boynton children’s album Blue Moo, In June 2008, King played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee; he was also the final performer at the 25th annual Chicago Blues Festival on June 8, 2008, and at the Monterey Blues Festival, following Taj Mahal. King was also inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame alongside Liza Minnelli and Sir James Galway.In July 2008, Sirius XM Radio’s Bluesville channel was renamed B.B. King’s Bluesville. On December 3, King was the closing act at the 51st Grammy Nomination Concert, . On December 30, 2008, King played at The Kennedy Center Honors Awards Show; his performance was in honor of actor Morgan Freeman.European Tour 2009, Vienna, July 2009In Summer 2009, King started a European Tour with concerts in France, Germany, Belgium, Finland and Denmark.In March 2010, King contributed to Cyndi Lauper’s album Memphis Blues, which was released on June 22, 2010.

King performed at the Mawazine festival in Rabat, Morocco, on May 27, 2010. On June 25, 2011 King played the pyramid stage at The Glastonbury Music Festival. On the June 28 he opened his new European tour at The Royal Albert Hall, London, supported byDerek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Ronnie Wood, Mick Hucknall and Slash.Barack Obama and B.B. King singing “Sweet Home Chicago” on February 21, 2012On February 21, 2012, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama hosted, “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues”, a celebration of blues music held in the East Room of the White House and B.B. King was among the performers. Later on that night, President Obama, encouraged by Buddy Guy and B.B. King, sang part of “Sweet Home Chicago”. On March 22, 2012, King played a concert at the Chicago House of Blues, where Benson made a guest appearance and both King & Benson held a jammin’ session for over 20 minutes, it was also the celebration of Benson’s birthday.King performed on the debut album of rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T., who also hails from Mississippi.On July 5, 2012, King performed a concert at the Byblos Festival, Lebanon.

over a period of 64 years, King played in excess of 15,000 performances. A feature documentary about B.B. King narrated by Morgan Freeman, was released on October 15, 2012. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King). Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatst guitarists of all time , and he was ranked No. 7 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. Throughout his musical career King performed tirelessly, appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. Over the years, King developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, he has inspired thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. King has mixed blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.

Posted in books, Fantasy, films & DVD, Television

H. Rider Haggard

English novellist Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE sadly died 14 May 1925. He was born 22 June 1856 in Bradenham, Norfolk, and studied at Garsington Rectory in Oxfordshire under Reverend H. J. Graham but unlike his older brothers who graduated from various private schools, he attended Ipswich Grammar School. In 1875, Haggard’s father sent him to South Africa, to take up an unpaid position as assistant to the secretary to Sir Henry Bulwer, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Natal. In 1876 he was transferred to the staff of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Special Commissioner for the Transvaal. I was in this role that Haggard was present in Pretoria in April 1877 for the official announcement of the British annexation of the Boer Republic of the Transvaal. In 1878 he became Registrar of the High Court in the Transvaal, and wrote to his father informing him that he intended to return to England. When Haggard eventually returned to England, he married a friend of his sister, (Mariana) Louisa Margitson in 1880. And they settled in Ditchingham, Norfolk, Louisa’s ancestral home. Later they lived in Kessingland and had connections with the church in Bungay, Suffolk.

After returning to England in 1882, Haggard published a book on the political situation in South Africa and handful of unsuccessful novels, before writing the book for which he is most famous, King Solomon’s Mines. He accepted a 10% royalty rather than ₤100 for the copyright. A sequel, Allan Quatermain, soon followed, and She and its sequel Ayesha, swashbuckling adventure novels set in the context of the Scramble for Africa (the action of Ayesha however happens in Tibet). Due to this The hugely popular King Solomon’s Mines is sometimes considered the first of the Lost World genre and features the heroic Zulu warrior Umslopogaas and Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland, while Sheon the other hand is generally considered to be one of the classics of imaginative literature . He is also remembered for Nada the Lily (a tale of adventure among the Zulus) and the epic Viking romance, Eric Brighteyes. Three of Haggard’s novels were written in collaboration with his friend Andrew Lang who shared his interest in the spiritual realm and paranormal phenomena.

Haggard also studied law and was called to the bar in 1884 and He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Conservative candidate for the Eastern division of Norfolk in the 1895 summer election, losing by only 198 votes.Haggard was also heavily involved in reforming agriculture and was a member of many commissions on land use and related affairs, work that involved several trips to the Colonies and Dominions Haggard also wrote about agricultural and social reform, in part inspired by his experiences in Africa, but also based on what he saw in Europe and this eventually led to the passage of the 1909 Development Bill.

Haggard’s Lost World genre influenced popular American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy, Philip José Farmer and Abraham Merritt and his stories are still widely read today. Ayesha, the female protagonist of She, has been cited as a prototype by psychoanalysts as different as Sigmund Freud (in The Interpretation of Dreams) and Carl Jung. Her epithet “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is used by British author John Mortimer in his Rumpole of the Bailey series as the private name which the lead character uses for his wife, Hilda, before whom he trembles at home (despite the fact that he is a barrister with some skill in court). Allan Quatermain, the adventure hero of King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel Allan Quatermain, was a template for the American character Indiana Jones, featured in the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Quatermain has gained recent popularity thanks to being a main character in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Haggard was praised in 1965 by Roger Lancelyn Green, one of the Oxford Inklings, as a writer of a consistently high level of “literary skill and sheer imaginative power” and a co-originator with Robert Louis Stevenson of the Age of the Story Tellers. The first chapter of his book People of the Mist is credited with inspiring the motto of the Royal Air Force (formerly the Royal Flying Corps), Per ardua ad astra.

In recognition of his agricultural reforms Haggard was made a Knight Bachelor in 1912 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919. towards the end of his life he also became a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position he shared with his friend Rudyard Kipling, with whom he had bonded upon Kipling’s arrival at London in 1889, and the two remained lifelong friends. Haggard sadly passed away at the age 68. His ashes were buried at Ditchingham Church and his papers are held at the Norfolk Record Office

Posted in Health

NSPCC

The children’s charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was launched in London on 14 May 1889 to campaign for and work towards child protection in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.It was founded after Liverpool businessman Thomas Agnew visited the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was so impressed by the charity, that he returned to England determined to provide similar help for the children of Liverpool. In 1883 he set up the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (LSPCC). Other towns and cities began to follow Liverpool’s example, leading in 1884 to the founding of the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (London SPCC) by Lord Shaftesbury, Reverend Edward Rudolf and Reverend Benjamin Waugh.

After five years of campaigning by the London SPCC, Parliament passed the first ever UK law to protect children from abuse and neglect in 1889.The London SPCC was renamed the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1889, because by then it had branches across Great Britain and Ireland. The NSPCC was granted its Royal Charter in 1895, when Queen Victoria became its first Royal Patron. It did not change its title to “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children” or similar, as the name NSPCC was already well established, and to avoid confusion with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which had already existed for more than fifty years. Today, the NSPCC works in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Children 1st – formerly the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – is the NSPCC’s equivalent in Scotland. The NSPCC’s organisation in the Republic of Ireland was taken up by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), founded in 1956 as a replacement for the NSPCC. The NSPCC is the only UK charity which has been granted statutory powers under the Children Act 1989, allowing it to apply for care and supervision orders for children at risk.

Posted in music

Ian Astbury (The Cult)

Best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band The Cult, the English rock musician and songwriter Ian Robert Astury was (born 14 May 1962, Heswall, Merseyside.The Cult are a Post Modern Rock band formed by Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury After the initial punk rock movement (led by the Sex Pistols) died out, They met while Duffy was guitarist for the Theatre of Hate while Ian Astbury fronted gothic rock band Southern Death Cult. Astbury was impressed with Duffy’s playing and abandoned Southern Death Cult to start a new band with him.Together, they exploited the Southern Death Cult’s success by calling themselves Death Cult. After initial fanfare and a couple of singles, Duffy convinced Astbury to shorten the band’s name to The Cult in 1984.

The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”,and Their first album, Dreamtime was released in 1984, and Duffy began establishing a distinctive sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the next album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”, which introduced them to an international audience. For their third album,Electric, The Cult dropped their post-punk sound in favour of metal-blues , with the help of producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin.who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction and facillitated a polish on this new sound and produced the record which includes the songs “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower.

In 1988 the two writing partners (with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart) turned to stadium rock and recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience. their next album, Ceremony, was released during the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury and Duffy returned to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure from Duffy and The Cult in 1995. However Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, which led to a new recording contract with Atlantic Records, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006, to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material and The album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012.

Posted in music

David Byrne (Talking Heads)

Scottish-born American musician David Byrne was born 14 May 1952 in Dumbarton, Scotland, to parents Tom (from Lambhill, Glasgow) and Emma. He is the elder of two children. Two years after his birth, his parents moved to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and then to Arbutus, Maryland, in the United States, when he was 8 or 9 years old. His father worked as an electronics engineer. Before high school, Byrne already knew how to play the guitar, accordion, and violin. He was rejected from his middle school’s choir because they claimed he was “off-key and too withdrawn”. From a young age, he had a strong interest in music. His parents say that he would constantly play his phonograph from age three and he learned how to play the harmonica at age five.

Byrne graduated from Lansdowne High School in southwest Baltimore County. He started his musical career in a high school band called Revelation, then between 1971 and 1972, he was one half of a duo named Bizadi with Marc Kehoe. Their repertoire consisted mostly of songs such as “April Showers”, “96 Tears”, “Dancing on the Ceiling” and Frank Sinatra songs. Byrne attended the Rhode Island School of Design (during the 1970–71 term) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (during the 1971–72 term) before dropping out. He returned to Providence in 1973 and formed a band called the Artistics with fellow RISD student Chris Frantz. The band dissolved in 1974. Byrne moved to New York City in May that year and was joined by Frantz and his girlfriend Tina Weymouth in September. Unable to find a bass player in New York, Frantz and Byrne persuaded Weymouth to learn to play the bass guitar. Byrne gave her lessons.

Byrne was the founding member, principal songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads, active between 1975 and 1991. Byrne is a multi-instrumentalist and is known for his distinctive voice. Talking Heads and had their first gig in June and Byrne quit his day job in May 1976 and the three-piece band signed to Sire Records in November. Multi-instrumentalist Jerry Harrison joined the band in 1977. The band released eight studio albums before going into hiatus in 1988. Byrne desired to go solo, but it took three years until 1991 to announce that the band was breaking up. A brief reunion for a single “Sax and Violins” in 1991 occurred before dissolving again. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, when they reunited to play four tracks, including “Psycho Killer” and “Burning Down the House”.

Byrne also collaborated with Brian Eno during 1979 and 1981 on the album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which attracted considerable critical acclaim due to its early use of analogue sampling and found sounds. Following this record, Byrne focused his attention on Talking Heads. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was re-released for its 25th anniversary in early 2006, with new bonus tracks. In keeping with the spirit of the original album. Rei Momo (1989) was the first solo album Byrne released after leaving Talking Heads, and features mainly Afro-Cuban, Afro-Hispanic, and Brazilian song styles including popular dances including merengue, son cubano, samba, mambo, cumbia, cha-cha-chá, bomba and charanga. His third solo album, Uh-Oh (1992), featured a brass section and was driven by catchy tracks such as “Girls on My Mind” and “The Cowboy Mambo (Hey Lookit Me Now)”. His fourth solo album, titled David Byrne (1994), was a more proper rock record, with Byrne playing most of the instruments on it, leaving percussion for session musicians. “Angels” and “Back in the Box” were the two main singles released from the album. The first one entered the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, reaching No. 24. For his fifth studio effort the emotional Feelings (1997), Byrne employed a brass orchestra called Black Cat Orchestra. His sixth Look into the Eyeball (2001) continued the same musical exploration of Feelings, but was compiled of more upbeat tracks, like those found on Uh-Oh.

The album Grown Backwards (2004), used orchestral string arrangements, and includes two operatic arias as well as a rework of X-Press 2 collaboration “Lazy”. He also launched a North American and Australian tour with the Tosca Strings. This tour ended with Los Angeles, San Diego and New York shows in August 2005. He has also collaborated with Selena for her 1995 album Dreaming Of You with God’s Child (Baila Conmigo) in 1995. Byrne and Eno reunited for his eighth album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (2008) and toured worldwide on the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour. In 2012 he released a collaborative album with American singer songwriter St. Vincent called Love This Giant. In 1981, Byrne partnered with choreographer Twyla Tharp, on the album The Catherine Wheel for a ballet with the same name, which features unusual rhythms and lyrics. The Catherine Wheel appeared on Broadway in 1981. David Byrne produced Spite of Wishing and Wanting for the Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus’s dance company Ultima Vez. In 1991, Byrne released a classical instrumental album The Forest.

His work has been extensively used in film soundtracks, most notably in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cong Su on Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 2004, Lead Us Not into Temptation (music from the film “Young Adam”) included tracks and musical experiments from his score to Young Adam. Byrne also wrote, directed, and starred in True Stories, a musical collage of discordant Americana released in 1986, as well as producing most of the film’s music. Byrne also directed the documentary Île Aiye and the concert film of his 1992 Latin-tinged tour titled Between the Teeth. He was chiefly responsible for the stage design and choreography of Stop Making Sense in 1984. Byrne added “Loco de Amor” with Celia Cruz to Jonathan Demme’s 1986 film Something Wild.

Byrne wrote the Dirty Dozen Brass Band-inspired score for Robert Wilson’s Opera The Knee Plays from The Civil Wars: A Tree Is Best Measured When It Is Down. The Forest premiered at the Theater der Freien Volksbühne, Berlin in 1988. It received its New York premiere in December 1988 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The Forestry Maxi-single contained dance and industrial remixes of pieces from The Forest by Jack Dangers, Rudy Tambala, and Anthony Capel. In 2005, Byrne and Fatboy Slim began work on Here Lies Love, a disco opera or song cycle about the life of Imelda Marcos, the controversial former First Lady of the Philippines. In 2008, Byrne released Big Love: Hymnal – his soundtrack to season two of Big Love. Byrne and Brian Eno provided the soundtrack for the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Byrne has contributed songs to five AIDS benefit compilation albums produced by the Red Hot Organization: Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter, Red Hot + Rio, Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin, Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon, and Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip. Byrne appeared as a guest vocalist/guitarist for 10,000 Maniacs during their MTV Unplugged concert, though the songs in which he is featured were cut from their following album. One of them, “Let the Mystery Be”, appeared as the fourth track on 10,000 Maniacs’ CD single “Few and Far Between”. Byrne worked with Latin superstar Selena, writing, producing and singing a song (“God’s Child (Baila Conmigo)”), included on her last album before her murder, Dreaming of You. Byrne was the host of Sessions at West 54th during its second of three seasons and collaborated with members of Devo and Morcheeba to record the album Feelings in 1997. In 1992 he performed with Richard Thompson. Their joint acoustic concert at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights, New York on March 24, produced the album An Acoustic Evening which was released the same year. In 2001 a version of Byrne’s single “Like Humans Do”, edited to remove its drug reference, was selected by Microsoft as the sample music for Windows XP to demonstrate Windows Media Player.

In 2002, he co-wrote and provided vocals for a track, “Lazy” by X-Press 2, which reached No. 2 in the United Kingdom and number-one on the US Dance Charts. Byrne said in an interview on BBC Four Sessions coverage of his Union Chapel performance that “Lazy” was number-one in Syria. The track later featured with orchestral arrangements on his Grown Backwards (2004) album. In 2006, his singing was featured on “The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter” on The Cosmic Game by Thievery Corporation. He is featured on the tracks “Money” and “The People Tree”, on N.A.S.A.’s 2009 album The Spirit of Apollo. Also in 2009, Byrne appeared on HIV/AIDS charity album Dark Was the Night for Red Hot Organization. He collaborated with Dirty Projectors on the song “Knotty Pine”. In the same year, Byrne performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. He also was a signator of a letter protesting the decision of the Toronto International Film Festival to choose Tel Aviv as the subject of City-to-City Spotlight

In 2007, Byrne provided a cover of the Fiery Furnaces’ song “Ex-Guru” for a compilation to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the founding of Chicago-based record label Thrill Jockey. a In 2008, Byrne and his production team turned the Battery Maritime Building, a 99-year-old ferry terminal in Manhattan, into a playable musical instrument. The structure was connected electronically to a pipe organ and made playable for a piece called “Playing the Building”. This project was previously installed in Stockholm, Sweden in 2005, and later at the London Roundhouse in 2009. It bears similarities to a series of installations created by New Zealand and Detroit based artists Alastair Galbraith and Matt De Genaro, which were recorded on their 1998 record Wire Music and on the 2006 follow-up Long Wires in Dark Museums, Vol. 2. In April 2008, Byrne took part in the Paul Simon retrospective concert series at BAM performing “You Can Call Me Al” and “I Know What I Know” from Simon’s Graceland album.

In 2008, Byrne collaborated with the Brighton Port Authority, composing the music and singing the lyrics for “Toe Jam. In May 2011, Byrne contributed backing vocals to the Arcade Fire track “Speaking in Tongues” which appeared on the deluxe edition of their 2010 album The Suburb and also debuted a fully staged production of his 2010 concept album Here Lies Love at New York’s Public Theater, directed by Tony Award-nominee Alex Timbers following its premiere at MoCA earlier in the year. In 2014, Byrne announced his involvement with Anna Calvi’s EP, Strange Weather, collaborating with her on a cover of Keren Ann’s “Strange Weather” and Connan Mockasin’s “I’m the Man, That Will Find You”. In 2016, Byrne was featured on “Snoopies” and the Anonymous Nobody… by De La Soul. Byrne founded the world music record label Luaka Bop in 1990 to release Latin American compilations, music from Cuba, Africa, the Far East from artists such as Cornershop, Os Mutantes, Los De Abajo, Jim White, Zap Mama, Tom Zé, Los Amigos Invisibles and King Changó. Byrne guest starred as himself on The Simpsons episode, Dude, Where’s My Ranch? In 2005, Byrne created his own internet radio station, Radio David Byrne. On which he posts a playlist of music he likes, linked by themes or genres, such as African popular music, country music classics, vox humana, classical opera and film scores from Italian movies. In 2006, Byrne released Arboretum, a sketchbook facsimile of his Tree Drawings. Byrne’s work has been shown in art galleries and museums since the 1990s. In 2010 his original artwork was in the exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Posted in Fantasy, films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

A long time ago in a galaxy far away….

American Producer screenwriter, director and Entreprenuer George Lucas was born in Modesto California (14 May 1944 actually). He is best known as the creator of the epic science fiction franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones and is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful directors/producers. Lucas grew up in Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his USC student film 1:42.08, as well as his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Lucas originally wanted to be a race-car driver. However, a near-fatal accident on June 12, 1962, changed his mind and he attended Modesto Junior College instead and got accepted into a junior college where he developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks. After Graduating George Lucas met an experimental filmmaker who toured local coffee houses and screened the work of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers. Lucas regularly went to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of these screenings. Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films and transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. where he became very good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas was also deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school & saw many great films, which inspired him to make many 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinéma vérité concentrating on camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director.

After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. and directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student Film Festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was also awarded a student scholarship by Warner Brothers.Aside from the nine short films he made in the 1960s, he also directed six major features. His work from 1971 and 1977 as a writer-director, which established him as a major figure in Hollywood, and consists of just three films: THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars. Lucas acted as a writer and executive producer on another successful Hollywood film franchise, the Indiana Jones series.In addition, he established his own effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), to make the original Star Wars film. Lucas also co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola—whom he met at Warner Brothers, and then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd. His new-found wealth and reputation enabled him to develop a story set in space – Star Wars, which quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time, displaced five years later by Spielberg’s E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial. Due to the overwhelming success of Star Wars George was able to finance the sequel “Empire Strikes Back” himself.Since Star Wars, Lucas has worked extensively as a writer and/or producer, on the many Star Wars spinoffs made for film, TV, and other media, and was also executive producer for the next two Star Wars films as well as as executive producer and story writer on all four of the Indiana Jones films.

For the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucas was able to enhance the trilogy and add certain scenes using newly available digital technology, which were released as the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. In 1994, Lucas began work on the prequel Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released in 1999, beginning a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Lucas also directed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2008, he also reteamed with Spielberg for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThe American Film Institute awarded Lucas its Life Achievement Award on June 9, 2005, shortly after the releaseof Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and On June 5, 2005, Lucas was named among the 100 “Greatest Americans” by the Discovery Channel,and was also nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti, and Best Directing and Writing for Star Wars. He received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese.On June 17, 2006, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted George Lucas and three others and On August 25, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Lucas would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum’s yearlong exhibit. Then On September 6, 2009, Lucas, along with the the Pixar team was presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Biennale Venice Film Festival. George Lucas is also involved in the latest Star Wars films episode VII The Force Awakens, and episode VIII The Last Jedi starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern and Benicio de Toro. The fortieth anniversary celebration of the release of Star Wars also takes place 25 May 2017.

Posted in Art

Thomas Gainsborough

English portrait and landscape painter Thomas Gainsborough was christened 14 May in 1727. in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woollen goods, and his wife, the sister of the Reverend Humphry Burrough One of Gainsborough’s brothers, Humphrey, had a faculty for mechanics and was said to have invented the method of condensing steam in a separate vessel, which was of great service to James Watt; another brother, John, was known as Scheming Jack because of his passion for designing curiosities. The artist spent his childhood at what is now Gainsborough’s House, on Gainsborough Street (he later resided there, following the death of his father in 1749). The original building still survives and is now a dedicated House to his life and art. During childhood he impressed his father with his drawing and painting skills, and he almost certainly had painted heads and small landscapes by the time he was ten years old, including a miniature self-portrait.

In 1740, he left home to study art in London with Hubert Gravelot, Francis Hayman, and William Hogarth. He assisted Francis Hayman in the decoration of the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, and contributed to the decoration of what is now the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. In 1746, he married Margaret Burr, and the couple became the parents of two daughters. He moved to Bath in 1759 where fashionable society patronised him, he studied portraits by van Dyck and was eventually able to attract a fashionable clientele. In 1761, he began to send work to the Society of Arts exhibition in London (now the Royal Society of Arts, of which he was one of the earliest members); and from 1769 he submitted works to the Royal Academy’s annual exhibitions. He selected portraits of well-known or notorious clients in order to attract attention. The exhibitions helped him acquire a national reputation.

In 1769, he became a founding member of the Royal Academy, but his relationship with the organisation was thorny and he sometimes withdrew his work from exhibition. Gainsborough moved to London in 1774, and painted portraits of the King and Queen, but the King was obliged to name as royal painter Gainsborough’s rival Joshua Reynolds. In his last years, Gainsborough painted relatively simple landscapes and is credited (with Richard Wilson) as the originator of the 18th century British landscape school. In 1774, Gainsborough and his family moved to London to live in Schomberg House, Pall Mall. A commemorative blue plaque was put on the house in 1951. In 1777, he again began to exhibit his paintings at the Royal Academy, including portraits of contemporary celebrities, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. Exhibitions of his work continued for the next six years. Gainsborough began experimenting with printmaking using the then-novel techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching.

During the 1770s and 1780s Gainsborough developed a type of portrait in which he integrated the sitter into the landscape. A splendid example of this is his portrait of Frances Browne, Mrs John Douglas (1746-1811) which can be seen at Waddesdon Manor. The sitter has withdrawn to a secluded and overgrown corner of a garden to read a letter, her pose recalling the traditional representation of Melancholy. Gainsborough emphasised the relationship between Mrs Douglas and her environment by painting the clouds behind her and the drapery billowing across her lap with similar silvery mauves and fluid brushstrokes. This portrait was included in his first private exhibition at Schomberg House in 1784.

Gainsborough sadly passed away from the effects of cancer in 1788 and is interred at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, Surrey. However he has left the world with some wonderful paintings most of which are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits. There have also been many films based on his life and Cecil Kellaway portrayed him in the 1945 film Kitty.

Posted in locomotives, steam locomotives

Talyllyn/ Beyer Garrett

Trains first ran on the picturesque Talyllyn Narrow Gauge Railway in Wales on this date 14th May 1951, making it the first railway in the world to be operated by volunteers and paving the way (or laying down the tracks) for other preserved steam Railways like the Bluebell & Severn Valley Railway. The Talyllyn Railway runs for 7.25 miles (11.67 km) from Tywyn on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage. Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers. Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages.

In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. The fictional Skarloey Railway, which formed part of the Railway Series of children’s books by The Rev. W. Awdry, was based on the Talyllyn Railway and The preservation of the line inspired the Ealing Comedy film The Titfield Thunderbolt.

German-British locomotive engineer and co-founder of the firm Beyer-Peacock, Charles Beyer was born this date 14 May in 1813. He studied at Dresden Polytechnic, and Upon graduation Beyer took a job in a machine works at Chemnitz, and he obtained a state grant from the Saxon Government to visit the United Kingdom to report on weaving machine technology. He visited Manchester, then considered the major centre in engineering technology. Beyer began work with Sharp, Roberts and Company in Manchester, manufacturers of textile machinery, as a junior draughtsman and developed a lifelong friendship with Richard Roberts. During the following years Sharp, Roberts and Company began to turn its main attention to the construction of locomotives, and Roberts soon delegated most of the locomotive design work to Beyer. The Sharp locomotives of the 1840s, particularly the 2-2-2 passenger and 0-4-2 goods, were almost completely Beyer’s creations, and while he was careful to ensure that his designs were stout and long lasting, he also contrived to give his designs a distinctive and beautiful external appearance which became a tradition of Sharp locomotives. It almost certtainly caught the attention of the King of Saxony, who visited the Sharp factory in 1844, and it was not long before the Saxon railways ordered Sharp locomotives.

In 1853, with Richard Peacock, Beyer founded Beyer, Peacock and Company in Gorton, Manchester. The new works, known as Gorton Foundry was built on the opposite side to the railway to Gorton locomotive works of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway. Beyer, Peacock became one of the most famous locomotive building companies, exporting engines all over the world and becoming famous after Beyer’s death for the gigantic ‘Beyer-Garratt’ articulated locomotive.

Posted in Events, Television

BAFTA Award Nominations 2017

The British Academy of Film and Television Awards takes place at rhe Royal Festival Hall, London on Sunday 14 May 2017. Hosted by Sue Perkins, Here are this years nominations:

BEST COMEDY & COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME
CHARLIE BROOKER’S 2016 WIPE Production Team – House of Tomorrow/BBC Two
CUNK ON SHAKESPEARE Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones, Sam Ward, Lorry Powles – House of Tomorrow/BBC Two
THE LAST LEG Production Team – Open Mike Productions/Channel 4
TASKMASTER Alex Horne, Andy Cartwright, Andy Devonshire – Avalon/Dave

BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAMME
INSIDE OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE Norma Percy, Brian Lapping, Paul Mitchell, Sarah Wallis – Brook Lapping/BBC Two
TEENAGE PRISON ABUSE EXPOSED (PANORAMA) Production Team – BBC Productions/BBC One
THREE DAYS OF TERROR: THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKS (THIS WORLD) Dan Reed, Mark Towns, Luc Hermann – AMOS Pictures/BBC Two
UNARMED BLACK MALE (THIS WORLD) James Jones, Sarah Foudy, Sarah Waldron, Sam Bagnall – BBC Current Affairs/BBC Two

BEST DRAMA SERIES
THE CROWN Production Team – Left Bank Pictures/Netflix
THE DURRELLS Production Team – Sid Gentle Films Ltd/Masterpiece/ITV
HAPPY VALLEY Sally Wainwright, Juliet Charlesworth, Nicola Shindler, Neasa Hardiman – Red Production Company/BBC One
WAR & PEACE Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC Wales/Lookout Point/TWC/BBC One

BEST ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE
ADAM HILLS The Last Leg – Open Mike Productions/Channel 4
CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN Strictly Come Dancing – BBC Studios/BBC One
GRAHAM NORTON The Graham Norton Show – So Television/BBC One
MICHAEL MCINTYRE Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – Hungry McBear/BBC One

BEST ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME
ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY Production Team – ITV Studios/Mitre Television/ITV
BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT Richard Holloway, Amelia Brown, Lee McNicholas, Clair Breen – Thames/Syco/ITV
MICHAEL MCINTYRE’S BIG SHOW Christian Fletcher, Dan Baldwin, Claire Horton, Chris Howe – Hungry McBear/BBC One
STRICTLY COME DANCING Prodcution Team – BBC Studios/BBC One

BEST FACTUAL SERIES
24 HOURS IN POLICE CUSTODY Production Team – The Garden Productions Ltd/Channel 4
EXODUS: OUR JOURNEY TO EUROPE Production Team – KEO Films/The Open University/BBC Two
KIDS ON THE EDGE Production Team – Century Films/Channel 4
THE PROSECUTORS: REAL CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Production Team – Gold Star Productions/BBC Four

BEST FEATURES
THE DOCTOR WHO GAVE UP DRUGS Dominique Walker, Emeka Onono, Lizzie Bolton, Jack Rampling – Raw TV/BBC One
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF Production Team – Love Productions/BBC One
TRAVEL MAN: 48 HOURS IN… Chris Richards, Nicola Silk, Leo McCrea, Richard Ayoade – North One Television/Channel 4
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Colette Flight, Sarah Feltes, Anna Kirkwood, Helen Nixon – Wall to Wall Media/BBC One

FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
DIANE MORGAN Cunk on Shakespeare – House of Tomorrow/BBC Two
LESLEY MANVILLE Mum – Big Talk Productions/BBC Two
OLIVIA COLMAN Fleabag – Two Brothers Pictures/BBC Three
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE Fleabag – Two Brothers Pictures/BBC Three

INTERNATIONAL
THE NIGHT OF Production Team – HBO/Sky Atlantic
THE PEOPLE V OJ SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson – Fox 21 Television Studios/FX Productions/BBC Two
STRANGER THINGS Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen – 21 Laps Entertainment/Netflix
TRANSPARENT Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu, Bridget Bedard – Amazon Studios/Amazon Prime Video

LEADING ACTOR
ADEEL AKHTAR Murdered by My Father – BBC Studios/BBC Three
BABOU CEESAY Damilola, Our Loved Boy – Minnow Films/BBC One
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses – Neal Street Productions/Carnival Films/NBC Universal/Thirteen/BBC Two
ROBBIE COLTRANE National Treasure – The Forge/Channel 4

LEADING ACTRESS
CLAIRE FOY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures/Netflix
JODIE COMER Thirteen – BBC Studios/BBC America/BBC Three
NIKKI AMUKA-BIRD NW – Mammoth Screen/BBC Two
SARAH LANCASHIRE Happy Valley – Red Production Company/BBC One

LIVE EVENT
THE CENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME: THIEPVAL Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One
SHAKESPEARE LIVE! FROM THE RSC Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC Two
STAND UP TO CANCER Production Team – Princess Productions/Channel 4
THE QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Production Team – ITV Studios/Spun Gold Television/ITV

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME
ASIM CHAUDHRY People Just Do Nothing – Roughcut TV/BBC Three
DAVID MITCHELL Upstart Crow – BBC Studios/BBC Two
HARRY ENFIELD The Windsors – Noho Film and Television/Channel 4
STEVE COOGAN Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle – Baby Cow Productions/Sky Atlantic

MINI-SERIES
THE HOLLOW CROWN: THE WARS OF THE ROSES Dominic Cooke, Rupert Ryle-Hodges, Pippa Harris, Sam Mendes – Neal Street Productions/Carnival Films/NBC Universal/Thirteen/BBC Two
NATIONAL TREASURE George Ormond, Marc Munden, Jack Thorne, John Chapman – The Forge/Channel 4
THE SECRET Mark Redhead, Nick Murphy, Jonathan Curling, Stuart Urban – Hat Trick Productions/ITV
THE WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION Production Team – Mammoth Screen/Agatha Christie Productions Limited/BBC One

NEWS COVERAGE
CHANNEL 4 NEWS: BREXIT – DAY ONE Production Team – ITN/Channel 4
BBC NORTH WEST TONIGHT: HILLSBOROUGH INQUESTS Production Team – BBC North West/BBC One
SKY NEWS TONIGHT – ALEPPO: DEATH OF A CITY Production Team – Sky News/Sky News
VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE Victoria Derbyshire, Louisa Compton, Jo Adnitt – BBC News/BBC Two

REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL
FIRST DATES Production Team – Twenty Twenty/Channel 4
MUSLIMS LIKE US Production Team – Love Productions/BBC Two
THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL Production Team – Twofour /BBC Two
THE SECRET LIFE OF 5 YEAR OLDS Production Team – RDF Television/Channel 4

SCRIPTED COMEDY
CAMPING Julia Davis, Ted Dowd – Baby Cow Productions/Sky Atlantic
FLEABAG Production Team – Two Brothers Pictures/BBC Three
FLOWERS Will Sharpe, Naomi de Pear, Diederick Santer, Jane Featherstone – Kudos/Seeso/Channel 4
PEOPLE JUST DO NOTHING Production Team – Roughcut TV/BBC Three

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS Production Team Anna Hall, Erica Gornall, Paddy Garrick, Brian Woods – True Vision Aire/BBC One
HILLSBOROUGH Production Team – Very Much So Productions/Passion Pictures/BBC Two
HOW TO DIE: SIMON’S CHOICE Production Team – Minnow Films/The Open University/BBC Two
HYPERNORMALISATION Adam Curtis, Sandra Gorel, Victoria Jaye – BBC iPlayer/BBC iPlayer

SINGLE DRAMA
ABERFAN: THE GREEN HOLLOW Pip Broughton, Bethan Jones, Jenna Robbins, Owen Sheers – BBC Studios/BBC Cymru Wales/Vox Pictures/ BBC One Wales
DAMILOLA, OUR LOVED BOY Levi David Addai, Euros Lyn, Susan Horth, Colin Barr – Minnow Films/BBC One
MURDERED BY MY FATHER Bruce Goodison, Toby Welch, Vinay Patel, Aysha Rafaele – BBC Studios/BBC Three
NW Production Team – Mammoth Screen /BBC Two

SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA
CASUALTY Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One
EASTENDERS Production Team – BBC Studios/BBC One
EMMERDALE Production Team – ITV Studios/ITV
HOLLYOAKS Bryan Kirkwood, Emily Gascoyne, Vikki Tennant – Lime Pictures/Channel 4

SPECIALIST FACTUAL
ALAN BENNETT’S DIARIES Adam Low, Martin Rosenbaum, David Sabel – Lone Star Productions/BBC Two
ATTENBOROUGH’S LIFE THAT GLOWS Martin Dohrn, Joe Loncraine, Paul Reddish, Fraser Purdie – Terra Mater Factual Studios/Ammonite Films/CuriosityStream/BBC Two
GRAYSON PERRY: ALL MAN Grayson Perry, Neil Crombie, Joe Evans, Arthur Cary – Swan Films/Channel 4
PLANET EARTH II Michael Gunton, Tom Hugh-Jones, Elizabeth White, David Attenborough – BBC Studios/BBC Natural History Unit/BBC America/ZDF/France Television/BBC One

SPORT
THE OPEN Production Team – Sky Sports/European Tour Productions/Sky Sports 1
RIO 2016 OLYMPICS Ron Chakraborty, Jonathan Bramley, Richard Morgan – BBC Sport/BBC One
RIO 2016 PARALYMPICS Production Team – Sunset+Vine/Channel 4
SIX NATIONS – ENGLAND V WALES Paul McNamara, Phil Heslop, David Francis, Mark Demuth – ITV Sport/ITV

SUPPORTING ACTOR
DANIEL MAYS Line of Duty – World Productions/BBC Two
JARED HARRIS The Crown – Left Bank Pictures/Netflix
JOHN LITHGOW The Crown – Left Bank Pictures/Netflix
TOM HOLLANDER The Night Manager – The Ink Factory/Demarest/Character Seven/BBC One

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
NICOLA WALKER Last Tango in Halifax – Red Production Company/BBC One
SIOBHAN FINNERAN Happy Valley – Red Production Company/BBC One
VANESSA KIRBY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures/Netflix
WUNMI MOSAKU Damilola, Our Loved Boy – Minnow Films/BBC One

VIRGIN TV’S MUST SEE MOMENT
GAME OF THRONES: Battle of the Bastards
THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN: Carpool Karaoke with Michelle Obama
LINE OF DUTY: Urgent Exit Required
PLANET EARTH II: Snakes vs Iguana Chase
STRICTLY COME DANCING: Ed Balls’ Gangnam Style
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?: Danny Dyer’s Origins