Sir Terry Wogan

Veteran Radio broadcaster and television presenter Sir Michael Terence “Terry” Wogan, KBE DL  was Born in Limerick. Ireland on 3 August 1938. Wogan moved to Dublin with his family at the age of 15, after his father was promoted to general manager. While living in Dublin, he attended Crescent College’s sister school, Belvedere College. He participated in amateur dramatics and discovered a love of rock and roll. After leaving Belvedere in 1956, Wogan had a brief career in the banking profession, joining the Royal Bank of Ireland. While in his twenties, he joined the national broadcaster of Ireland, RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) as a newsreader and announcer, after seeing a newspaper advertisement inviting applicants.

Wogan conducted interviews and presented documentary features during his first two years at Raidió Teilifís Éireann, before moving to the light entertainment department as a disc jockey and host of TV quiz and variety shows such as Jackpot, a top rated quiz show on RTÉ in the 1960s. It was here that he developed his signature catchphrase, based on his name: “Wo’gwan.”[10] When the show was dropped by RTÉ TV in 1967, Wogan approached the BBC for extra work. He began working for BBC Radio, initially ‘down the line’ from London, first broadcasting on the Light Programme on Tuesday 27 September 1966. He presented the Tuesday edition of Late Night Extra for two years on BBC Radio 1, commuting weekly from Dublin to London. After covering Jimmy Young’s mid-morning show throughout July 1969, he was offered a regular afternoon slot between 3 and 5.

In April 1972, he took over the breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, swapping places with John Dunn, who briefly hosted the afternoon show. Wogan enjoyed unprecedented popularity, achieving audiences of up to 7.9 million. His seemingly ubiquitous presence across the media meant that he frequently became the butt of jokes by comedians of the time, among them The Goodies and The Barron Knights. He was capable of self-parody too, releasing a vocal version of the song “The Floral Dance” in 1978, by popular request from listeners who enjoyed hearing him sing over the instrumental hit by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. His version reached number 21 in the UK Singles Chart. A follow-up single, entitled “Me and the Elephant”, and an eponymous album were also released, but did not chart. In December 1984, Wogan left his breakfast show to pursue a full-time career in television and was replaced by Ken Bruce. His first chat show Wogan’s World, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from 6 June 1974 to 21 September 1975.

In January 1993, he returned to BBC Radio 2 to present the breakfast show, then called Wake Up to Wogan. Which included rambling, esoteric banter and was highly interactive with much of the entertainment coming from letters and emails sent in by listeners (many of whom adopt punning pseudonyms, such as Edina Cloud, Lucy Lastic, Sly Stunnion, Roland Butter, Lucy Quipment, Anne Kersaway, Peregrine Trousers, Alf Hartigan, Mick Sturbs, Hellen Bach and “Tess Tickles”. Wogan is also widely credited with launching the career of singer Katie Melua after he repeatedly played her debut single, “The Closest Thing to Crazy”, in late 2003 Which she performed on Children in Need in 2005.

He worked for the BBC in Great Britain for most of his career. Before he retired from his BBC Radio 2 weekday breakfast programme Wake Up to Wogan in 2009, it had eight million regular listeners, making him the most listened-to radio broadcaster in Europe. Wogan began his career on the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann where he presented shows such as Jackpot in the 1960s and became a leading media personality in the UK from the late 1960s often being referred to as a “national treasure”.In addition to his weekday radio show, he was known in the United Kingdom for his work for television, including the BBC One chat show Wogan, presenting Children in Need, the game show Blankety Blank and Come Dancing and as the BBC’s commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest from 1971 to 2008.

Wogan’s radio show included running jokes involving Wogan’s newsreader colleagues Alan Dedicoat (nicknamed ‘Deadly’ after the spoonerism ‘Deadly Alancoat’), Fran Godfrey and John Marsh (nicknamed ‘Boggy’). He also narrated a series of spoof “Janet and John” stories during the breakfast show. Which were a pastiche of children’s learn-to-read stories but are littered with humorous sexual double-entendres.Wogan’s radio show also included exchanges with “the Totty from Splotty “ – Lynn Bowles, the Welsh traffic reporter from Splott, Cardiff – which often involved reading limericks from listeners cut short after 1 or 2 lines due to risqué innuendo. On 2009, Wogan left the breakfast show with Chris Evans taking over. However Wogan returned to Radio 2 from 14 February 2010 to host Weekend Wogan, a live weekly two-hour Sunday show on Radio 2, hosted in front of a live studio audience andfeaturing live musical performance and guests, between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm and continued to host the show until November 2015 when, due to ill health, he was replaced by Richard Madeley

Part Two

From 1980 Wogan presented The BBC Televised Charity appeal Children in Need alongside Esther Rantzen and Sue Lawley. Raising money for various children’s charities and good causes and also appeared on the comedy quiz show QI in 2008 In 2008, Wogan and singer Aled Jones released a single “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” which got to number three in the UK music charts. The money raised went to BBC Children in Need. The two recorded a second Christmas single “Silver Bells” in 2009 which was also in aid of BBC Children in Need. Wogan was the main regular presenter of Children in Need for more than thirty years, his last such appearance being in 2014. In November 2015, Wogan was unable to participate in the televised Children in Need appeal for the first time in its 35-year history due to poor health and was replaced by Dermot O’Leary.

In 1971, and from 1974, until 1977, Wogan provided the BBC’s radio commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest and From 1980 until 2008, he provided the BBC’s television commentary and became known for his sardonic acerbic wit and highly cynical comments. In 1998 He co-hosted the contest with Ulrika Jonsson in Birmingham when Dana International of Israel won the contest. He also hosted Eurovision in 1973, 1975 and 1977 until 1996, 1998, and from 2003 until 2008. As well as the companion show Making Your Mind Up, in which the British public voted to decide their Eurovision entry. In recent years, the Contest has become notorious for what is widely seen as an increase in political voting, the UK’s entry has in recent years often come last despite being of better quality in favor of some really ridiculous songs.In 2008, Wogan gave up presenting Eurovision after 35 years when United Kingdom once again finished last, stating it had become predictable and was no longer a music contest (I’m not sure it ever was, it’s more of a freak show sometimes) and was replaced by Graham Norton.

Wogan’s was also famous for TV chat shows including What’s on Wogan? And Saturday Live in 1981. Wogan was then given his own chat show, Wogan, which after a trial run on a midweek evening, was recommissioned for broadcast on Saturday nights from 1982 to 1984. Between 1985 and 1992, the show became thrice-weekly on early weekday evenings. Memorable incidents in the series included the interviews with a drunk George Best and Oliver Reed, a silent Chevy Chase, a nervous Anne Bancroft who was so petrified she gave monosyllabic answers and counted to ten before descending the entrance steps to the studio, Ronnie Barker announcing his retirement on the show, and David Icke claiming to be the “Son of God”. Despite it”s success, in 1992 his talk show was replaced by the ill-fated soap Eldorado and he briefly hosted a new weekly chat strand Terry Wogan’s Friday Night in 1993. In 2006 Wogan presented Wogan Now and Then where he interviewed guests from his old chat show as well as new guests. In 2015 BBC Two launched a new compilation series, Wogan: the Best Of, featuring selected interview segments and music performances from Wogan’s past chat series, linked by new introductions from Wogan.

In 1981 Wogan set the world record for the longest successful golf putt ever televised at 33 yards at the Gleneagles golf course in a pro-celebrity TV programme on the BBC and also narrated the BBC television series Stoppit and Tidyup which was broadcast in 1987.Wogan appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross four times, between 2004 and 2009 and during Top Gear, Wogan managed to become the second-slowest guest to go around the test track as the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car”, a Suzuki Liana.In 2010, Wogan made a cameo appearance in the second series of Being Human, and also guest-hosted Never Mind the Buzzcocks and hosted Wogan on Wodehouse for BBC Two. In 2013, Wogan appeared as a panellist on ITV game show Through the Keyhole and participated in a celebrity edition of the BBC One game show Pointless, with celebrities including Bobby Ball and Esther Rantzen, in aid of Children in Need. In 2014, Wogan appeared as a guest reporter on Bang Goes the Theory, on which he discussed old-age dementia. He also appeared on the Channel 4 game show Draw It! And guest hosted an episode of The One Show with Alex Jones.

During his long and distinguished career Wogan has received many honours. He was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and elevated to an Honorary Knight Commander of the same order (KBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2005. His knighthood was made substantive on 11 October 2005, allowing him to use the style “Sir and in 2007, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. In 2007, Wogan’s home City of Limerick honoured him with the Freedom of the City. In 2004, he received an Honorary D.Litt. degree from the University of Limerick as well as a special lifetime achievement award from his native city and also received an Honorary LL.D. degree from Leicester University in 2010. Wogan was also the subject of This Is Your Life in 1978.Wogan was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame at a gala dinner held in his honour in 2009 and was announced as the Ultimate Icon of Radio 2, commemorating the station’s 40th birthday, alongside fellow nominees, The Beatles, Diana, Princess of Wales and Nelson Mandela and chose Stardust” by Nat King Cole as his iconic song of the last 40 years and Favourite song on Desert Island Discs.

Tony Bennett

American singer and Actor Tony Bennett (Anthony Benedetto) was born August 3, 1926 in Astoria. Queens, New York. He began singing at an early age and grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti. His Uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business,and his Uncle Frank was the Queens borough library commissioner. By age 10 he was already singing, and performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge. Drawing was another early passion of his; he became known as the class caricaturist at P.S. 141 and anticipated a career in commercial art. He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens. He attended New York’s School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music. He also worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press in Manhattan. However Bennett began a professional singing career, performing at the Paramus, a New Jersey, nightclub.

He was drafted into the United States Army in November 1944, during the final stages of World War II. He did basic training at Fort Dix and Fort Robinson as part of becoming an infantry rifleman. in January 1945, he was assigned as a replacement infantryman to the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, a unit filling in for the heavy losses suffered in the Battle of the Bulge which he described as a “front-row seat in hell” and he narrowly escaped death several times.The experience made him a pacifist. He was involved in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg, where some American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division had also been held.Benedetto stayed in Germany as part of the occupying force, but was assigned to an informal Special Services band unit that would entertain nearby American forces.However he was demoted and reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties. He then sang with the 314th Army Special Services Band under the stage name Joe Baria name he had started using before the war, chosen after the city and province in Italy and as a partial anagram of his family origins in Calabria).He played with many musicians who would have post-war careers.

Upon his discharge from the Army and return to the States in 1946, He studied at the American Theatre Wing on the GI Bill. He was taught the bel canto singing discipline,which would keep his voice in good shape for his entire career. He continued to perform wherever he could, including while waiting tables. In 1949, he was asked to open for Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village. She had invited Bob Hope to the show. Hope decided to take Benedetto on the road with him, and simplified his name to Tony Bennett and In 1950, Bennett cut a demo of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. In 1951 he had his first number-one popular song with “Because of You”. Several top hits such as “Rags to Riches” followed in the early 1950s. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing.

Bennett began his career as a crooner of commercial pop tunes. His first big hit was “Because of You”, a ballad produced by Miller with a lush orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. This was followed by a rendition of Hank Williams’s “Cold, Cold Heart”. Bennett then recorded “Blue Velvet” then On February 12, 1952, Bennett married Ohio art student and jazz fan Patricia Beech. The couple had two sons, D’Andrea (Danny, born 1954) and Daegal (Dae, born 1955). He had A third number-one in 1953 with “Rags to Riches” and then recorded “Stranger in Paradise” for the Broadway musical Kismet which started Bennett’s career as an international artist. In 1956, Bennett hosted a NBC Saturday night television variety show, The Tony Bennett Show, as a summer replacement for The Perry Como Show. Patti Page and Julius La Rosa had previously hosted the show, and they all shared the same singers, dancers, and orchestra. Then In 1959 Bennett filled in for The Perry Como Show, this time alongside Teresa Brewer and Jaye P. Morgan as co-hosts of the summer-long Perry Presents.

In 1955 Bennett released the album Cloud 7. His next album “The Beat of My Heart” featured well-known jazz musicians such as Herbie Mann and Nat Adderley, with a strong emphasis on percussion from the likes of Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Latin star Candido Camero, and Chico Hamilton. Bennett then worked with the Count Basie Orchestra, becoming the first male pop vocalist to sing with Basie’s band resulting inThe albums Basie Swings, Bennett Sings (1958) and In Person! (1959) which featured the song “Chicago”. Then In June 1962, Bennett staged a highly promoted concert performance at Carnegie Hall, alongside Al Cohn, Kenny Burrell, and Candido, as well as the Ralph Sharon Trio, it featured 44 songs, including “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “The Best Is Yet To Come”. He also sang on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and rereleased “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance. Bennett’s following album, I Wanna Be Around… (1963), featured “I wanna be Around” and “The Good Life”.In 1965 Bennett had minor hits including “If I Ruled the World” from Pickwick. Sadly his popularity declined so he appeared in the 1966 film The Oscar.

Bennett is a firm believer in the American Civil Rights movement, and also participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and refused to perform in apartheid South Africa. There was also great pressure on Tony Bennett to record “contemporary” rock songs, which Bennett was extremely reluctant to do and his misgivings were proved correct on the album “Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today!” Which featured misguided attempts at Beatles and other current songs and a ludicrous psychedelic art cover. In 1972 he relocated to London and hosted a television show from the Talk of the Town nightclub. In 1971, he divorced his wife Patricia and became involved with aspiring actress Sandra Grant while filming The Oscar in 1965; the couple lived together for several years, and quietly married in New York in 1971 They had two daughters, Joanna (born 1970) and Antonia (born 1974), and moved to Los Angeles. Then Bennett started his own record company, Improv and released songs such as “What is This Thing Called Love?”, and made two well-regarded albums with jazz pianist Bill Evans, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (1975) and Together Again. Sadly Bennett and his wife separated in 1979, and divorced in 2007 and he developed a drug addiction, he was also living beyond his means, and had the Internal Revenue Service trying to seize his Los Angeles home..

————— PART TWO – RESURGANCE IN POPULARITY ————-

Things came to a head in 1979 when After a near-fatal cocaine overdose Bennett called his sons Danny and Dae for help. Danny Bennett, an aspiring musician himself, realised his musical abilities were limited but he did have a head for business. His father, on the other hand, had tremendous musical talent but not much business sense, so Danny signed on as his father’s manager. Danny got his father’s expenses under control, moved him back to New York, and booked him in colleges and small theaters to get him away from a “Vegas” image and kindle a new fan-base. Bennett also repaid the IRS reunited with Pianist and Musical Director Ralph Sharon until finally In 1986 Bennett released the album The Art of Excellence. Danny Bennett felt that younger audiences who were unfamiliar with Tony Bennett would respond to his music if given a chance. No changes to Tony’s formal appearance, singing style, musical accompaniment (The Ralph Sharon Trio or an orchestra), or song choice (generally the Great American Songbook) were necessary or desirable. Bennett subsequently appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Simpsons, Muppets Tonight, and various MTV programs. Then In 1993, Bennett played a series of benefit concerts organized by alternative rock radio stations around the country.

Bennett released the album “look-back Astoria: Portrait of the Artist” plus the Sinatra homage “Perfectly Frank” (1992) and the Fred Astaire tribute “Steppin’ Out” (1993) Both winning Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance (Bennett’s first Grammys since 1962). Bennett was seen at MTV Video Music Awards shows side-by-side with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flavor Flav, and as his “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” video received MTV airplay. Then in 1994 Bennett appeared on MTV Unplugged alongside rock and country stars Elvis Costello and k.d. Lang. The resulting MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett album went platinum and, took the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Grammy award for the third straight year, and the top Grammy prize of Album of the Year and Since his comeback, Bennett has prospered and had no intention of retiring. Bennett continued to record and tour steadily, doing a hundred shows a year by the end of the 1990s.In concert Bennett often makes a point of singing one song (usually “Fly Me to the Moon”) without any microphone or amplification, demonstrating his skills at vocal projection. One show, Tony Bennett’s Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco, was made into a PBS special. Bennett also created the idea behind, and starred in the first episode of, the A&E Network’s popular Live by Request series, for which he won an Emmy Award. Bennett has had cameo appearances as himself in films such as The Scout, Analyze This, and Bruce Almighty.

In 1998 Bennett appeared at the Glastonbury Music Festival and also published The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett in 1998. He released a series of albums, based on themes (such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, blues, or duets). Bennett also won eight more Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance or Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammys in the subsequent years, most recently for the year 2011. In 2005 Bennett was honoured by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush alongside actress Julie Harris, actor Robert Redford, singer Tina Turner, ballet dancer Suzanne Farrell. Tony Bennett was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street and inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997. Bennett was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2002. He was also in Q Magazine’s list of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”and also received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2005.A theatrical musical revue of his songs, called I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett featured songs like I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, “Because of You”, and “Wonderful” and he was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Bennett frequently donates his time to charitable causes, to the extent that he is sometimes nicknamed “Tony Benefit”. In 2002 he joined Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and former President Bill Clinton in a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at New York’s Apollo Theater.

Bennett met Susan Crow, a former New York City schoolteacher, 33 years his junior. They founded Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization dedicated to creating, promoting, and supporting arts education. They also founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, a public high school dedicated to teaching the performing arts. Bennett married Crow in 2007 in a private civil ceremony in New York that was witnessed by former Governor Mario Cuomo. Danny Bennett continues to be Tony’s manager while Dae Bennett is a recording engineer who has worked on a number of Tony’s projects and opened Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey. Tony’s younger daughter Antonia is an aspiring jazz singer. In 2007 Bennett released the album. Duets: An American Classic, Winning two Grammy Awards. He also performed for New York radio station WLTW-FM with Christina Aguilera. Alec Baldwin also impersonated Bennett on Saturday Night Live. A television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic on NBC, also won multiple Emmy Awards and the Billboard Century Award. Bennett also guest-mentored on American Idol season 6 and performed during the finale. He received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Humanitarian Award and was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2006.

In 2008 Bennett appeared on “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel at the final concerts given at Shea Stadium. He also released the album A Swingin’ Christmas with The Count Basie Big Band. In 2009, Bennett performed at the Macworld Conference & Expo for Apple Inc., singing the “The Best Is Yet to Come” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” and appeared at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. In February 2010, Bennett sang on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”, a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He also performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “God Bless America” at AT&T Park during the 2010 World Series and sang “America the Beautiful” at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Bennett caused controversy on The Howard Stern Show by naming American military actions in the Middle East as the root cause of the September 11 attacks. Bennett also claimed that former President George W. Bush told him that he felt he had made a mistake invading Iraq. Bennett later clarified his position, writing: “There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country. My life experiences, ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King, made me a life-long humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior.”

Bennett also released Duets II, to celebrate his 85th birthday. He sings duets with seventeen prominent singers of varying techniques, including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and Queen Latifah. Bennett appears on the season 2 premiere of Blue Bloods performing “It Had To Be You” with Carrie Underwood and duetted with Amy Winehouse on “Body and Soul” which reached number One making Bennett the oldest living artist to have a Number One Song as well as the artist with the greatest span of appearances. In 2011, Tony Bennett – The Complete Collection, a 73-CD plus 3-DVD set, was released and Bennett also appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in Salford in the presence of HRH Princess Anne. Following the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston, Bennett caused controversy by calling for the legalization of drugs in 2012 and also released Viva Duets, an album of Latin American music duets, featuring Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, and Vicentico among others, he also performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in front of more than 100,000 fans at a City Hall ceremony commemorating the 2012 World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants and published another memoir, Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett, and a documentary film produced by his son Danny titled The Zen of Bennett. Bennett also performed for the first time in Israel, with his jazz quartet at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, and made a surprise cameo appearance on stage with Lady Gaga at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, he also released the Grammy-winning album, Cheek to Cheek, at the age of 88 and went on tour with Lady Gaga.

International Beer Day

IMG_6532International Beer Day (IBD) takes place on the first Friday of every August. The event was founded in 2007 in Santa Cruz, California by Jesse Avshalomov. The purpose of international Beer Day is To gather with friends and enjoy the taste of beer. To celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer. To unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.

Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewed from cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wheat, maize (corn), and rice are also used. During the brewing process, fermentation of the starch sugars in the wort produces ethanol and carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavours and act as a natural preservative and stabilizing agent. Other flavouring agents such as gruit, herbs, or fruits may be included or used instead of hops. In commercial brewing, the natural carbonation effect is often removed during processing and replaced with forced carbonation.

Some of humanity’s earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and “The Hymn to Ninkasi”, a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. Beer is distributed in bottles and cans and is also commonly available on draught, particularly in pubs and bars. The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. The strength of modern beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% ABV and above.

Participants of International Beer Day are encouraged to give one another the ‘gift of beer’ by buying each other drinks, and to express gratitude to brewers, bartenders, and other beer technicians. In the international spirit of the holiday, it is also suggested that participants step out of their domestic/locally brewed comfort zone and sample a beer from another culture. International Beer Day began as a celebration at the founders’ local bar, but has since expanded to become a worldwide event. Celebrations are planned throughout the United States as well as in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, England, France, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.

Beer forms part of the culture of many nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games. International Beer Day Events include: Tapping of new or rare beers, all-day happy hours, beer flights, trivia nights, binge drinking and other games (such as beer pong), beer/food pairings and beer gear giveaways. From 2007 through 2012, International Beer Day was celebrated on August 5. After International Beer Day 2012, the founders took a poll of fans and chose to move the holiday to the first Friday in August. Since its inception, International Beer Day has grown from a small localized event in the western United States into a worldwide celebration spanning 207 cities, 80 countries and 6 continents.

P. D. James OBE FRSA FRSL

English crime writer. P.D. James (Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park), OBE, FRSA, FRSL was born 3 August 1920 in Oxford, the daughter of Sidney James, a tax inspector, and educated at the British School in Ludlow and Cambridge High School for Girls. She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family did not have much money. She worked in a tax office for three years and later found a job as an assistant stage manager for a theatre group. In 1941, she married Ernest Connor Bantry White, an army doctor. They had two daughters, Clare and Jane.

When White returned from the Second World War, he was experiencing mental illness, and James was forced to provide for the whole family until her husband’s death in 1964. With her husband in a psychiatric institution and their daughters being mostly cared for by his parents, James studied hospital administration and from 1949 to 1968 worked for a hospital board in London. She began writing in the mid-1950s. Her first novel, Cover Her Face, featuring the investigator and poet Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, named after a teacher at Cambridge High School, was published in 1962. Many of James’s mystery novels take place against the backdrop of UK bureaucracies, such as the criminal justice system and the National Health Service, in which she worked for decades starting in the 1940s. Two years after the publication of Cover Her Face, James’s husband died, and she took a position as a civil servant within the criminal section of the Home Office. She worked in government service until her retirement in 1979.

In 1991, James was created a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. She was an Anglican and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society. Her 2001 work, Death in Holy Orders, displays her familiarity with the inner workings of church hierarchy. Her later novels were often set in a community closed in some way, such as a publishing house or barristers’ chambers, a theological college, an island or a private clinic. Talking About Detective Fiction was published in 2009. Over her writing career, James also wrote many essays and short stories for periodicals and anthologies, which have yet to be collected. She revealed in 2011 that The Private Patient was the final Dalgliesh novel.

As guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in December 2009, James conducted an interview with the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson. In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards. In August 2014, James was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence. James died at her home in Oxford on 27 November 2014, aged 94. She is survived by her two daughters, Clare and Jane, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Clare had previously been signatory to a campaign for women to be able to inherit noble titles, instead of these being restricted to the male line.

During the 1980s, many of James’s mystery novels were adapted for television by Anglia Television for the ITV network in the UK. These productions have been broadcast in other countries, including the US on the PBS network. They featured Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgliesh. According to James in conversation with Bill Link on 3 May 2001 at the Writer’s Guild Theatre, Los Angeles, Marsden “is not my idea of Dalgliesh, but I would be very surprised if he were.” The BBC adapted Death in Holy Orders in 2003, and The Murder Room in 2004, both as one-off dramas starring Martin Shaw as Dalgliesh. Her novel The Children of Men was also the basis for the feature film Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. Despite substantial changes from the book, James was reportedly pleased with the adaptation and proud to be associated with the film.