Monty Python’s Flying Circus

The first episode of British sketch comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC One on the 5th October 1969. created by the comedy group Monty Python ( Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Michael Palin and Graham Chapman

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (known during the final series as just Monty Python) is a British sketch comedy series created by the comedy group Monty Python and Broadcast by the BBC. with 45 episodes airing over four series from 1969 to 1974, The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines which often targeted the idiosyncrasies of British life, especially that of professionals. It is at times politically charged, and also featured Terry Gilliam’s wonderful and imaginatively bizarre animations, often sequenced or merged with live action. Over the years many of the sketches have attained classic status including The Lumberjack Song, Ministry of Silly Walks, Upper class twit of the Year,Spam song, The Dead Parrot Sketch and Bicycle Repair Man.

The members of Monty Python were all highly educated. Terry Jones and Michael Palin are Oxford University graduates; Eric Idle, John Cleese, and Graham Chapman attended Cambridge University; and American-born member Terry Gilliam is an Occidental College graduate. Their comedy is often pointedly intellectual, with numerous erudite references to philosophers and literary figures. The series followed and elaborated upon the style used by Spike Milligan in his ground breaking series Q5, rather than the traditional sketch show format. The team intended their humour to be impossible to categorise, and succeeded (although, by their perspective, failed) so completely that the adjective “Pythonesque” was invented to define it and, later, similar material. They also did a few movies including Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life

The Pythons play the majority of the series characters themselves, including the majority of the female characters, but occasionally they cast an extra actor. Regular supporting cast members include Carol Cleveland (referred to by the team as the unofficial “Seventh Python”), Connie Booth (Cleese’s first wife), series producer Ian MacNaughton, Ian Davidson, Neil Innes (in the fourth series), and Fred Tomlinson and the Fred Tomlinson Singers (for musical numbers). The theme music is the Band of the Grenadier Guards’ rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell” which was first published in 1893. Under the Berne Convention’s “country of origin” concept, the composition was subject to United States copyright law which states that any works first published prior to 1923 was in the public domain due to copyright expiration. This enabled Gilliam to co-opt the march for the series without having to make any royalty payments.

Monty Python split in 1974 however  In 1974, the PBS telvision station KERA in Dallas, United States began broadcastinG episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and is often credited with introducing the programme to American audiences. When several episodes were broadcast by ABC in their Wide World of Entertainment showcase in 1975, the episodes were re-edited, thus losing the continuity and flow intended in the originals. When ABC refused to stop treating the series in this way, the Pythons took them to court. Initially the court ruled that their artistic rights had indeed been violated, but it refused to stop the ABC broadcasts. However, on appeal the team gained control over all subsequent US broadcasts of its programmes. The case also led to their gaining the rights from the BBC, once their original contracts ended at the end of 1980. The show also aired on MTV during the network’s infancy; Monty Python was part of a two-hour comedy block on Sunday nights that also included another BBC series, The Young Ones. Monty Python and Fawlty have also been rerun multiple times on Television and the Internet film service Netflix also has Life of Brian and Holy Grail.

In April 2006, Monty Python’s Flying Circus returned to non-cable American television on PBS. In connection with this, PBS commissioned Monty Python’s Personal Best, a six-episode series featuring each Python’s favourite sketches, plus a tribute to Chapman, who died in 1989. BBC America has aired the series on a sporadic basis since the mid-2000s, in an extended 40-minute time slot in order to include commercials. Independent Film Channel acquired the rights to the show in 2009, though not exclusive, as BBC America still airs occasional episodes of the show. IFC also presented a six-part documentary Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers Cut), produced by Terry Jones’ son Bill.

The various members Monty Python have also starred in a number movies individually John Cleese and Michael Palin starred inFish Called Wanda, Clockwise, Time Bandits, and the television programs Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, Pole to Pole, Around the World in Eighty Days, Michael Palin’s Eastern Europe, Doctor Who and Ripping Yarns. Eric Idle appeared in National Lampoons European Vacation and Terry Gilliam has gone on to be a successful director, directing many great Science fiction films such as Brazil and 12 Monkeys.

World Teachers Day

World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is held annually on October 5. The aim of World Teachers’ Day is to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching. It was Established in 1994, and commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world. This recommendation outlines standards relating to education personnel policy, recruitment, and initial training as well as the continuing education of teachers, their employment, and working conditions.

A teacher (educator) is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family (homeschooling), rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching (e.g. youth worker, pastor). In most countries, formal teaching of students is usually carried out by paid professional teachers. This article focuses on those who are employed, as their main role, to teach others in a formal education context, such as at a school or other place of initial formal education or training. A teacher’s role may vary among cultures.

Teachers may provide instruction in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts, religion, civics, community roles, or life skills. Formal teaching tasks include preparing lessons according to agreed curricula, giving lessons, and assessing pupil progress. A teacher’s professional duties may extend beyond formal teaching. Outside of the classroom teachers may accompany students on field trips, supervise study halls, help with the organization of school functions, and serve as supervisors for extracurricular activities. In some education systems, teachers may have responsibility for student discipline.

To celebrate World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO and Education International (EI) mounts a campaign each year to help give the world better understanding of teachers and the role they play in the development of students and society. They partner with the private sector such as media organizations to achieve this purpose. The campaign focus on different themes for every year. For instance, “Empowering Teachers” is the theme for 2017. This was the year World Teachers’ Day commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, bringing the sometimes-neglected area of teaching personnel at Higher Education institutions into the conversation about the status of teachers.

For 2018, the UNESCO adopted the theme: “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.” It commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and serves as a reminder that the right to education cannot be realized without trained and qualified teachers. The UNESCO cites that everyone can help by celebrating the profession, by generating awareness about teacher issues and by ensuring that teacher respect is part of the natural order of things. Schools and students, for instance, prepare an occasion for teachers during this day. More than 100 countries commemorate World Teachers’ Day and each holds its own celebrations such as the case of India, which has been commemorating Teachers’ Day every 5th of September.

Henning Mankell

Swedish crime writer, children’s author, and dramatist Henning Georg Mankell sadly died 5 October 2015. He was born 3 February 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden. His father Ivar was a lawyer who divorced his mother when Mankell was one year old. He and an older sister lived with his father for most of their childhood. Mankell’s grandfather, also named Henning Mankell, lived from 1868 to 1930 and was a composer. The family first lived in Sveg, Härjedalen in northern Sweden, where Mankell’s father was a district judge. In the biography on Mankell’s website, he describes this time when they lived in a flat above the court as one of the happiest in his life and a museum was built In Sveg, in his honour during his lifetime.

Later, when Mankell was thirteen, the family moved to Borås, Västergötland on the Swedish west coast near Gothenburg. After three years he dropped out of school and went to Paris when he was 16. Shortly afterwards he joined the merchant marine, working on a cargo ship and he “loved the ship’s decent hard-working community”. In 1966, he returned to Paris to become a writer. In his youth Mankell was a left-wing political activist and participated in the Protests of 1968 in Sweden, protesting against, among other things, the Vietnam War, the Portuguese Colonial War, and the apartheid regime in South Africa. He took part in the student uprising of 1968. he also got involved with Folket i Bild/Kulturfront which focused on cultural policy studies. In the 1970s, Mankell moved from Sweden to Norway and lived with a Norwegian woman who was a member of the Maoist Workers’ Communist Party. In 2010, Mankell was on board one of the ships in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was boarded by Israeli military forces.

He later returned to work as a stagehand in Stockholm. At the age of 20, he had already started as author at Riksteatern in Stockholm. In the following years he collaborated with several theatres in Sweden. His first play, The Amusement Park dealt with Swedish colonialism in South America. In 1973, he published The Stone Blaster, a novel about the Swedish labour movement. He used the proceeds from the novel to travel to Guinea-Bissau. Africa would later become a second home to him, and he spent a big part of his life there. When his success as a writer made it possible, he founded and ran a theatre in Mozambique. After living in Zambia and other African countries, Mankell was invited from 1986 onward to become the artistic director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique. He subsequently spent extended periods in Maputo working with the theatre and as a writer. He built his own publishing house, Leopard Förlag, in order to support young talented writers from Africa and Sweden.His novel Chronicler of the Winds, published in Sweden as Comédie infantil in 1995, reflects African problems and is based on African storytelling. His books and plays constantly highlighted social inequality issues and injustices in Sweden and abroad

He is also known for a series of mystery novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander and also wrote a number of other plays and screenplays for television. Around 2008, Mankell developed two original stories for the German police series Tatort. Actor Axel Milberg, who portrays Inspector Klaus Borowski, had asked Mankell to contribute to the show when they were promoting The Man from Beijing audiobook, a project that Milberg had worked on. The episodes were scheduled to broadcast in Germany in 2010. In 2010, Mankell was set to work on a screenplay for Sveriges Television about his father-in-law, movie and theatre director Ingmar Bergman, on a series produced in four one-hour episodes. Mankell pitched the project to Sveriges Television and production was planned for 2011.

He made considerable donations to African charity organizations. In2008, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of St Andrews in Scotland “in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience”. In 2002, Mankell gave financial support by buying stocks for 50,000 NOK in the Norwegian left-wing newspaper Klassekampen. In 2009, Mankell was a guest at the Palestine Festival of Literature. He said he had seen “repetition of the despicable apartheid system that once treated Africans and coloured as second-class citizens in their own country”. He found a resemblance between the Israeli West Bank barrier and the Berlin Wall. In 2010, Henning Mankell was on board the MS Sofia, one of the boats which took part in the flotilla which tried to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza strip. Following the Israel Defense Forces’ boarding of the flotilla on the morning of 31 May 2010, Mankell was deported to Sweden. He subsequently called for global sanctions against Israel.

In January 2014, Mankell announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and throat cancer. In May 2014, he reported that treatments had worked well and he was getting better. He wrote a series of articles inspired by his wife Eva, describing his situation, how it felt to be diagnosed, how it felt to be supported, how it felt to wait, and after his first chemotherapy at Sahlgrenska University Hospital about the importance of cancer research. Three weeks before his death he wrote about what happens to people’s identity when they are stricken by a serious illness. Mankell tragically died almost two years after having been diagnosed. At the time of his death, Mankell had written over 40 novels that had sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Lee Thompson (Madness)

English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and composer Lee Jay Thompson was born 5 October 1957. Thompson came to prominence in the late 1970s as the founder and saxophonist for the English ska band Madness. Prior to forming Madness, Thompson and future Madness keyboardist Mike Barson gained some notoriety as graffiti artists in the mid-1970s. After reading about the emerging New York graffiti scene, they spray-painted their nicknames (“Kix” and “Mr B”) along with two friends’ names “Cat” and “Columbo” around North London. They managed to spray their nicknames on George Melly’s garage door, prompting Melly to write a newspaper article declaring: “If I ever catch that Mr B, Kix and Columbo, I’m going to kick their arses”

Thompson founded Madness with Mike Barson and Chris Foreman in 1976, and wrote the group’s debut single, “The Prince”. Among the other songs, he wrote or co-wrote the singles “Embarrassment”, “House of Fun”, and “Uncle Sam”. His experiences of being a petty criminal and serving time in borstal in his youth inspired his lyrics for “Land of Hope and Glory” and “One’s Second Thoughtlessness”, the latter an unusual diversion into synthpop for the group. Thompson performed lead vocals for both tracks. He also sang the vocals on his own composition, “Razor Blade Alley”, which was a regular inclusion in early Madness shows. Thompson reunited with all seven original Madness members in 1992.

After Madness disbanded in 1986, Thompson formed a new band The Madness with Foreman, Suggs and Chas Smash, but they broke up after releasing one album in 1988. Thompson then joined forces with Foreman, and the pair began to write songs. They soon recorded an album at Liquidator Studios with Thompson on vocals and saxophone and Foreman playing the other instruments. This album included the song “Magic Carpet”, which was co-written with Suggs and originally intended to be included on a Madness album. When it came to promoting their debut album, they found they needed to form a group and also decide on a name. Due to an error at the printers, the band name and album title were accidentally switched, and they started off as The Nutty Boys The album was re-released in 2002, and the mistake was rectified, with the group now known as Crunch!

Thompson founded The Dance Brigade with Keith Finch in 2007, and they were joined by Jennie Matthias of The Belle Stars. The other musicians came from projects that they had all been involved in. He also fronted and played saxophone with a covers band called The Camden Cowboys. Thompson was featured floating while playing a red, white, and blue-colored saxophone in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2011, Thompson began performing with The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra who released the album The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius in 2013. They released the single “Fu Man Chu” featuring Bitty McLean from this album and, in February 2014, released the follow up single “Bangarang” featuring Dawn Penn and Sharon Shannon

Fast Eddie Clarke

Fastway and Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke was born 5 October 1950. Clarke began playing guitar and by the time he was aged fifteen had been through many local bands, one of which was called The Bitter End. He continued playing local gigs until 1973, when he turned professional by joining Curtis Knight’s blues prog rock band, Zeus, as lead guitarist. In 1974, the band recorded an album called The Second Coming at Olympic Studios. Clarke wrote the music to Knight’s lyrics, on a track entitled “The Confession”. Clarke also recorded the album Sea of Time with Zeus. Later with guitarist friend Allan Callan, keyboard player Nicky Hogarth, and drummer Chris Perry, Clarke attended a recorded jam session at Command Studios in Piccadilly. As a result of the tracks from this session, the quartet secured a deal with Anchor Records, and called the band Blue Goose. With a recording contract secured, Clarke, Hogarth and Perry left Zeus to focus on their own project with Callan.

An argument soon erupted between Clarke and Callan, concerning amplifiers. Clarke had allowed him to share his during rehearsals, but Clarke then found he could not hear his solos because Callan was drowning him out. The argument ended with Clarke being sacked. Still short of amps, the band asked him to re-join a few days later. Clarke refused, feeling that they were doing Anchor Records an injustice because they had been paid an advance to record an album, but had done nothing productive towards making it. Blue Goose finally released their eponymous album through Anchor in 1974, crediting an instrumental track, entitled “Over The Top”, to Clarke-Hogarth-Perry. Clarke soon formed another band with Be-Bop Deluxe bassist, Charlie Tumahai, vocalist Ann McCluskie and Jim Thompson on drums. Called Continuous Performance, this line up lasted until early 1975, when their demo tracks failed to secure them a record deal and then band split up. Still out to secure a record deal, Clarke then formed a group with Nicky Hogarth from Blue Goose, bass player Tony Cussons and drummer Terry Slater. Their efforts to get a deal were also unsuccessful, and Clarke temporarily gave up the music industry.

Clarke was working on re-fitting a houseboat, when he met drummer Phil Taylor. Taylor had recently joined Motörhead and introduced Clarke to Lemmy; it was not long before he was playing with them. In the early days Eddie rehearsed with Motörhead at Snobs Rehearsal Studios, part of a converted brewery on the corner of Kings Road and Lots Road, Chelsea, known as the “Furniture Cave” before going on the road. Motörhead became more popular and produced more and more UK chart successes. The threesome (Lemmy, Clarke, Taylor) are considered the classic Motörhead line-up and have the Motörhead, Overkill, Ace of Spades, Bomber, No Sleep ’til Hammersmith and Iron Fist albums plus a string of hit singles to their credit. He performed a lead vocal on five Motörhead songs: “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” (on which he traded vocals with Lemmy), “I’m Your Witchdoctor” (on which he duets vocals with Lemmy), “Step Down” and an alternative version of “Stone Dead Forever” (which later appeared on the Bomber Deluxe Edition), and “Emergency” one of the B-side tracks on The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP, upon which they performed “Please Don’t Touch”, with Girlschool, under the combined band names of HeadGirl.

Clarke left Motörhead in 1982, whilst on tour of the United States. Becoming unhappy at the results of the Iron Fist album, the recording sessions with the Plasmatics were the final straw. For the B-side of the Stand By Your Man EP the bands took turns in covering each other’s songs, Clarke felt that this compromised the band’s principles and resigned, Clarke was replaced by former Thin Lizzy and Wild Horses lead guitarist Brian Robertson after Anvil frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow turned down the offer to play with Motörhead. Clarke’s last gig with Motörhead took place at the New York Palladium on 14 May 1982. Another cameo from Clarke on a later Motörhead album was on 2000s Live at Brixton Academy, released in 2003, on which the band featured many guest appearances from other guitarists, of which he was one, playing on the songs “No Class”, “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch” and “Overkill”.

Hearing that UFO bassist Pete Way was keen to leave that band, the two met and decided their new band’s name would be an amalgamation of their own two names, resulting in Fastway. They advertised in the music press for a drummer and a vocalist. Meanwhile, a rehearsal was organised for which The Clash drummer, Topper Headon, filled in on drums. Headon was doing this as a favour so that Clarke and Way could rehearse. The ads began showing positive results, cassettes from potential band members arrived; one of these was from a young, Dublin-based singer by the name of Dave King. Clarke was impressed with his voice and financed a trip to London for King and, after an audition together, he became the Fastway vocalist. Ex-Humble Pie member, Jerry Shirley, became the drummer.

The band sent out demo tapes and were approached by CBS Records for a recording deal. However Way departed and Touring proved strenuous for the band so upon returning to Britain, they split. Clarke stayed in London and soon received a call from King about giving Fastway another go. Clarke agreed and moved to Ireland. With another album for CBS in view, they rehearsed with three of King’s friends, guitarist and keyboard player Shane Carroll, drummer Alan Connor and Paul Reid on bass. The record label was happy with the sound and had them record at London’s Abbey Road Studios, releasing Waiting for the Roar in 1986. Clarke toured America with Fastway, supporting AC/DC, followed by a lengthy European tour, which produced 1992’s Say What You Will – Live album. Fastway were also engaged to provide music for the Trick Or Treat film soundtrack, for which they composed the title track and performed “Heft” and “If You Could See” from their albums.

After the band split up again, Clarke moved back to London and met up with Lea Hart, a solo artist in the Far East. Clarke’s record deals had now expired, so the pair took a demo tape to Douglas Smith (Clarke’s former Motörhead manager) at GWR Records, who willingly signed a deal. Still using the name Fastway, they recorded the On Target album. It featured Don Airey and Paul Airey on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass, plus Bram Tchaikovsky of The Motors and Christine Byford as backing vocalists.

Clarke’s group now consisted of Riff Raff on drums, keyboards and bass, plus assorted friends including; Biff Byford and Nigel Glockler of Saxon, Don Airey, and Kim McAuliffe and Cris Bonacci of Girlschool. After two albums, Clarke and Hart split up. Sadly the excesses he had indulged in with Motörhead had taken their toll, and led to Clarke being admitted to hospital, having recovered, Clarke released a solo album, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, which blends Motörhead and Fastway styles. Lemmy also helped out on the album by writing and singing the track “Laugh at the Devil”. Clarke released The double CD release, Fast Eddie Clarke Anthology, which featured a collection of Clarke’s music spanning his career before and after Motörhead. It also marked a return to live performances with a re-formed Fastway, including an appearance at the UK’s Download Festival in summer 2007. In 2014, Clark Released a blues album entitled Make My Day – Back To Blues’ which a collaboration between Clarke and the keyboardist from Shakatak, Bill Sharpe Clarke reunited with Lemmy on 6 November 2014 at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham to play Motörhead classic “Ace of Spades”. Sadly Clarke tragically died 10 January 2018.

Brian Johnson (AC/DC)

Brian Johnson, the Lead singer with AC/DC was born 5th October 1947. Formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who have remained the sole constant members. AC/DC are Commonly classified as hard rock and are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply “rock and roll”. To date they are one of the highest grossing bands of all time. AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975.Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but Scott’s parents urged them to continue and hire a new vocalist.

Ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their highest selling album, and ultimately the third highest-selling album by any artist, Back in Black. The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razors Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade, who was with the band from 1989–1994, was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics, and the band’s latest studio album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008. It was their biggest hit on the charts since For Those About to Rock, reaching No.1 on all the charts eventually. Sadly Brian Johnson had to releinquish his post as lead singer for AC/DC on medical grounds and was replaced by W.Axel Rose which divided the fans somewhat, however he still presents theTV program Cars that Rock.

As of 2010, AC/DC sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States alone. Back in Black has sold an estimated 49 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, and the second highest-selling album by any band, behind Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The album has sold 22 million units in the U.S. alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album of all-time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC were ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2010, AC/DC were ranked number 23 in the VH1 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.