Jacques Cousteau

The late great pioneering French naval oficer, explorer conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born 11 June 1910. He studied the sea and aquatic life And co-developed the Aqua-Lung. He was also a member of the Académie Français and studied at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. In 1930, he entered the École Navale and graduated as a gunnery officer. After a car accident cut short his career in naval aviation, Cousteau indulged his interest in the sea.In Toulon, where he was serving on the Condorcet, Cousteau carried out his first underwater experiments, thanks to his friend Philippe Tailliez who in 1936 lent him some Fernez underwater goggles. Cousteau also worked for the information service of the French Navy, and was sent on missions to Shanghai and Japan (1935–1938) and in the USSR in 1939.

After the armistice of 1940, his family took refuge in Megève, where he became a friend of the Ichac family who also lived there. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Marcel Ichac shared the same desire to reveal to the general public unknown and inaccessible places — for Cousteau the underwater world and for Ichac the high mountains. The to neighbors took the first ex-aequo prize of the Congress of Documentary Film in 1943, for the first French underwater film: Par dix-huit mètres de fond (18 meters deep), made without breathing apparatus the previous year in the Embiez islands with Philippe Tailliez and Frédéric Dumas, using a depth-pressure-proof camera case developed by mechanical engineer Léon Vèche (engineer of Arts and Métiers and the Naval College). In 1943, they made the film Épaves (Shipwrecks), in which they used two of the very first Aqua-Lung prototypes. These prototypes were made in Boulogne-Billancourt by the Air Liquide company, following instructions from Cousteau and Émile. Having kept bonds with the English speakers (he spent part of his childhood in the United States and usually spoke English) and with French soldiers in North Africa ( Jacques-Yves Cousteau , helped the French Navy to join again with the Allies and assembled a commando operation against the Italian espionage services in France, for which he received several military decorations for his deeds. At that time, he kept his distance from his brother Pierre-Antoine Cousteau, a “pen anti-semite” who wrote the collaborationist newspaper Je suis partout (I am everywhere) and who received the death sentence in 1946. However, this was later commuted to a life sentence, and Pierre-Antoine was released in 1954.

During the 1940s, Cousteau worked on the aqua-lung design the forerunner of open-circuit scuba technology used today. Cousteau started diving with Fernez goggles in 1936, and in 1939 used the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus invented in 1926 by Commander Yves le Prieur but dissatisfied with its performance so he improved it to extend underwater duration by adding a demand regulator, invented in 1942 by Émile Gagnan. In 1943 Cousteau tried out the first prototype aqua-lung which made extended underwater exploration possible. In 1946, Cousteau and Tailliez showed the film “Épaves”and set up the Groupement de Recherches Sous-marines (GRS) (Underwater Research Group) of the French Navy in Toulon. A little later it became the GERS (Groupe d’Études et de Recherches Sous-Marines, = Underwater Studies and Research Group), then the COMISMER (“COMmandement des Interventions Sous la MER”, = “Undersea Interventions Command”), and finally more recently the CEPHISMER. In 1947, Chief Petty Officer Maurice Fargues became the first diver to die using an aqualung while attempting a new depth record with the GERS near Toulon.

In 1948, between missions of mine clearance, underwater exploration and technological and physiological tests, Cousteau undertook a first campaign in the Mediterranean on board the sloop Élie Monnier, with Philippe Tailliez, Frédéric Dumas, Jean Alinat and the scenario writer Marcel Ichac. The small team also undertook the exploration of the Roman wreck of Mahdia (Tunisia). It was the first underwater archaeology operation using autonomous diving, opening the way for scientific underwater archaeology. Cousteau and Marcel Ichac brought back from there the Carnets diving film (presented and preceded with the Cannes Film Festival 1951).Cousteau and the Élie Monnier then took part in the rescue of Professor Jacques Piccard’s bathyscaphe, the FNRS-2, during the 1949 expedition to Dakar. Thanks to this rescue, the French Navy was able to reuse the sphere of the bathyscaphe to construct the FNRS-3.The adventures of this period are told in the two books The Silent World (1953, by Cousteau and Dumas) and Plongées sans câble(1954, by Philippe Tailliez)

.In 1949, Cousteau left the French Navy.In 1950, he founded the French Oceanographic Campaigns (FOC), and leased a ship called Calypso from Thomas Loel Guinness for a symbolic one franc a year. Cousteau refitted the Calypso as a mobile laboratory for field research and as his principal vessel for diving and filming. He also carried out underwater archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, in particular at Grand-Congloué (1952).With the publication of his first book in 1953, The Silent World, he correctly predicted the existence of the echolocation abilities ofporpoises. He reported that his research vessel, the Élie Monier, was heading to the Straits of Gibraltar and noticed a group of porpoises following them. Cousteau changed course a few degrees off the optimal course to the center of the strait, and the porpoises followed for a few minutes, then diverged toward mid-channel again. It was evident that they knew where the optimal course lay, even if the humans did not. Cousteau concluded that the cetaceans had something like sonar, which was a relatively new feature on submarines.

Cousteau won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956 for The Silent World co-produced with Louis Malle. With the assistance of Jean Mollard, he made a “diving saucer” SP-350, an experimental underwater vehicle which could reach a depth of 350 meters. The successful experiment was quickly repeated in 1965 with two vehicles which reached 500 meters.In 1957, he was elected as director of the Oceanographical Museum of Monaco. He directed Précontinent, about the experiments of diving in saturation (long-duration immersion, houses under the sea), and was admitted to the United States National Academy of Sciences.He was involved in the creation of Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques and served as its inaugural president from 1959 to 1973. In October 1960, a large amount of radioactive waste was going to be discarded in the Mediterranean Sea by the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA). The CEA argued that the dumps were experimental in nature, and that French oceanographers such asVsevelod Romanovsky had recommended it. Romanovsky and other French scientists, including Louis Fage and Jacques Cousteau, repudiated the claim, saying that Romanovsky had in mind a much smaller amount. The CEA claimed that there was little circulation (and hence little need for concern) at the dump site between Nice and Corsica, but French public opinion sided with the oceanographers rather than with the CEA atomic energy scientists. The CEA chief, Francis Perrin, decided to postpone the dump. Cousteau organized a publicity campaign which in less than two weeks gained wide popular support. The train carrying the waste was stopped by women and children sitting on the railway tracks, and it was sent back to its origin.

A meeting with American television companies (ABC, Métromédia, NBC) created the series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, with the character of the commander in the red bonnet inherited from standard diving dress) intended to give the films a “personalized adventure” style. This documentary television series ran for ten years from 1966 to 1976. A second documentary series, The Cousteau Odyssey, ran from 1977 to 1982, among others.In 1970, he wrote the book The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea with Philippe, his son. In this book, Costeau described the oceanic whitetip shark as “the most dangerous of all sharks”.In 1973, along with his two sons and Frederick Hyman, he created the Cousteau Society for the Protection of Ocean Life, Frederick Hyman being its first President; it now has more than 300,000 members.On December 1975, two years after the volcano’s last eruption, The Cousteau Society was filming Voyage au bout du monde on Deception Island, Antarctica, when Michel Laval, Calypso’s second in command, was struck and killed by a propeller of the helicopter that was ferrying between Calypso and the island.

in 1976, Cousteau uncovered the wreck of HMHS Britannic. He also found the wreck of the French 17th-century ship-of-the-line La Therese in coastal waters of Crete. In 1977 he received the UN International Environment prize together with Peter Scott. On 28 June 1979, while the Calypso was on an expedition to Portugal, his second son, Philippe, his preferred and designated successor and with whom he had co-produced all his films since 1969, died in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash in the Tagus river near Lisbon. Cousteau was deeply affected. He called his then eldest son, the architect Jean-Michel Cousteau, to his side. This collaboration lasted 14 years. During 1975 John Denver released the tribute song “Calypso” on his album “Windsong”, and on the B-side of his hit song “I’m Sorry”. “Calypso” became a hit on its own and was later considered the new A-side, reaching #2 on the charts.

Between 1980 and 1981, he was a regular on the animal reality show Those Amazing Animals, along with Burgess Meredith, Priscilla Presley, and Jim Stafford. In 1980, Cousteau traveled to Canada to make two films on the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, Cries from the Deep and St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea. In 1985, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan.On 24 November 1988, he was elected to the Académie française, chair 17, succeeding Jean Delay. His official reception under the Cupola took place on 22 June 1989, the response to his speech of reception being given by Bertrand Poirot-Delpech. After his death, he was replaced under the Cupola by Érik Orsenna on 28 May 1998.In June 1990, the composer Jean Michel Jarre paid homage to the commander by entitling his new album Waiting for Cousteau. He also composed the music for Cousteau’s documentary “Palawan, the last refuge. On 2 December 1990, his wife Simone Cousteau died of cancer .

In June 1991, Jacques-Yves Cousteau remarried, to Francine Triplet, with whom he had (before this marriage) two children, Diane and Pierre-Yves. Francine Cousteau currently continues her husband’s work as the head of the Cousteau Foundation and Cousteau Society. From that point, the relations between Jacques-Yves and his elder son worsened. In November 1991, Cousteau gave an interview to the UNESCO Courier, in which he stated that he was in favour of human population control and population decrease and in 1992, he was invited to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations’ International Conference on Environment and Development, and then he became a regular consultant for the UN and the World Bank. In 1996, he sued his son who wished to open a holiday centre named “Cousteau” in the Fiji Islands. On 11 January 1996, Calypso was rammed and sunk in Singapore Harbour by a barge. The Calypso was refloated and towed home to France. Jacques-Yves Cousteau sadly passed away after a heart attack on 25 June 1997 in Paris, aged 87, and was buried in a Roman Catholic Christian funeral in the family vault at Saint-André-de-f in France. A street was renamed “rue du Commandant Cousteau”, in his honour and a commemorative plaque was affixed to his house.

BAFTA 2021

Stacey Dooley and Vick Hope are presenting the 2021 British Academy of film and television (BAFTA) awards in London on 6 June 2021. here are the nominations.

DRAMA SERIES

GANGS OF LONDON

I HATE SUZIE

SAVE ME TOO 

THE CROWN

LEADING ACTOR

JOHN BOYEGA – Small Axe

JOSH O’CONNOR – The Crown

PAAPA ESSIEDU – I May Destroy You

PAUL MESCAL – Normal People

SHAUN PARKES – Small Axe

WALEED ZUAITER – Baghdad Central

LEADING ACTRESS

BILLIE PIPER – I Hate Suzie

DAISY EDGAR-JONES – Normal People 

HAYLEY SQUIRES – Adult Material 

JODIE COMER – Killing Eve

LETITIA WRIGHT – Small Axe

MICHAELA COEL – I May Destroy You

SUPPORTING ACTOR

KUNAL NAYYAR – Criminal: UK

MALACHI KIRBY – Small Axe 

MICHAEL SHEEN – Quiz

MICHEAL WARD – Small Axe 

RUPERT EVERETT – Adult Material

TOBIAS MENZIES – The Crown

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

HELENA BONHAM CARTER – The Crown

LEILA FARZAD – I Hate Suzie 

RAKIE AYOLA – Anthony 

SIENA KELLY – Adult Material

SOPHIE OKONEDO – Criminal: UK 

WERUCHE OPIA – I May Destroy You

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

CHARLIE BROOKER’S ANTIVIRAL WIPE 

ROB & ROMESH VS Jack Shillaker

THE BIG NARSTIE SHOW

THE RANGANATION

FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

AIMEE LOU WOOD – Sex Education

DAISY HAGGARD – Breeders

DAISY MAY COOPER – This Country

EMMA MACKEY – Sex Education 

GBEMISOLA IKUMELO – Famalam

MAE MARTIN – Feel Good

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAMME

CHARLIE COOPER – This Country

GUZ KHAN – Man Like Mobeen

JOSEPH GILGUN – Brassic

NCUTI GATWA – Sex Education

PAUL RITTER – Friday Night Dinner

REECE SHEARSMITH – Inside No.9

MINI-SERIES

ADULT MATERIAL

I MAY DESTROY YOU 

NORMAL PEOPLE 

SMALL AXE

CURRENT AFFAIRS

AMERICA’S WAR ON ABORTION (EXPOSURE) 

ITALY’S FRONTLINE: A DOCTOR’S DIARY

THE BATTLE FOR HONG KONG (DISPATCHES)

THE CYPRUS PAPERS UNDERCOVER (AL JAZEERA INVESTIGATIONS)

DAYTIME

JIMMY MCGOVERN’S MOVING ON 

RICHARD OSMAN’S HOUSE OF GAMES

THE CHASE 

THE GREAT HOUSE GIVEAWAY  

ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE

ADAM HILLS – The Last Leg

BRADLEY WALSH – Beat the Chasers

CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN – Strictly Come Dancing

DAVID MITCHELL – Would I Lie to You? At Christmas 

GRAHAM NORTON – The Graham Norton Show 

ROMESH RANGANATHAN – The Ranganation 

ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY 

LIFE & RHYMES

STRICTLY COME DANCING 

THE MASKED SINGER

FACTUAL SERIES

CRIME & PUNISHMENT

HOSPITAL

LOSING IT: OUR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN IRAQ

FEATURES

BIG ZUU’S BIG EATS

LONG LOST FAMILY: BORN WITHOUT TRACE

MORTIMER AND WHITEHOUSE: GONE FISHING 

THE REPAIR SHOP  

NEWS COVERAGE

BBC NEWS AT TEN: PRIME MINISTER ADMITTED TO INTENSIVE CARE 

CHANNEL 4 NEWS: DETERRING DEMOCRACY 

NEWSNIGHT: COVID CARE CRISIS 

SKY NEWS: INSIDE IDLIB 

REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL

MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS 

RACE ACROSS THE WORLD 

THE SCHOOL THAT TRIED TO END RACISM 

THE WRITE OFFS 

SINGLE DRAMA

ANTHONY

BBW (ON THE EDGE)

SITTING IN LIMBO 

THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN

SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA

CASUALTY

CORONATION STREET

EASTENDERS

HOLLYOAKS  

INTERNATIONAL

LITTLE AMERICA 

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY

UNORTHODOX

WELCOME TO CHECHNYA: THE GAY PURGE (STORYVILLE)

LIVE EVENT

LIFE DRAWING LIVE! 

SPRINGWATCH

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE

THE THIRD DAY: AUTUMN Production Team 

SCRIPTED COMEDY

GHOSTS 

INSIDE NO. 9 

MAN LIKE MOBEEN

THIS COUNTRY

SHORT FORM PROGRAMME

CRIPTALES 

DISABLED NOT DEFEATED: THE ROCK BANS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES – DELTA 7 

THE MAIN PART 

THEY SAW THE SUN FIRST

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY

AMERICAN MURDER: THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR 

ANTON FERDINAND: FOOTBALL, RACISM & ME

LOCKED IN: BREAKING THE SILENCE (STORYVILLE) 

SURVIVING COVID 

VIRGIN MEDIA’S MUST-SEE MOMENT (voted for by the public)

BRIDGERTON – Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown 

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT – Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020

EASTENDERS – Gray kills Chantelle  

GOGGLEBOX – Reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference

NIGELLA’S COOK, EAT, REPEAT – Mee-cro-wah-vay

THE MANDALORIAN – Luke Skywalker arrives

Paul Darrow (Blakes seven, Doctor Who)

Best known as Kerr Avon in the 1970s BBC science fiction television series Blake’s 7, the English actor Paul Darrow tragically died on 3 June 2019 following a decline in health and an aortic aneurysm. He was born Paul Valentine Birkby in Chessington in the county of Surrey on 2 May 1941. He received his formal education at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. While at RADA he lived in a flat-share with fellow actors John Hurt and Ian McShane

Darrow worked extensively in theatre and television. His TV appearances include: Emergency – Ward 10, The Saint, Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Within These Walls, as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1975 BBC series The Legend of Robin Hood, as Mr. Tallboy in the 1973 TV adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Murder Must Advertise, as Thomas Doughty in the TV film Drake’s Venture, Dombey and Son, he portrayed Captain Hawkins in the serial Doctor Who and the Silurians in 1970 and Maylin Tekker in Timelash in 1985. He also appeared in Maelstrom, Making News, Pie in the Sky, Hollyoaks, Toast of London, Little Britain and provided the voiceover for Biblical quotations in Richard Dawkins’s The Root of All Evil?.

He appeared in all but the first episode of Blake’s 7, as Avon. Darrow acted as the show’s most prolific spokesman, both in the UK and during the late 80s, in the U.S. In the mid to late 90s, he purchased the rights to Blake’s 7 and attempted to produce a big-budget follow-up mini-series, Blake’s 7: A Rebellion Reborn beginning 25 years after the ending of the original series. He was also the presenter of the 2004 BBC3 reality TV series Hercule. His film credits are few, but include roles as doctors in The Raging Moon (1971) and the Bond movie Die Another Day (2002), which he filmed but was deleted before the film went on release to cinemas. Darrow had a one-off appearance in the 1990 series of Cluedo.

Darrow recorded voice-overs and straplines for UK JACKfm station in Oxfordshire. He also provided the voice of the character Grand Moff Tarkin in the computer game Star Wars: Empire at War. He also voiced the character of Zarok in the PlayStation game MediEvil. Darrow appeared in Emmerdale from 13 July 2009, playing Eddy Fox, Alan Turner’s friend; . He also played the character of Kaston Iago in the Kaldor City audio releases. Darrow also provided the voice of a main character in the PC game Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising. The actress Glynis Barber, who played Soolin on Blake’s 7, provided the voice for the main female character. The game was narrated by Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame. Darrow also played the role of Sam Vimes in the 1998/99 touring production of the play based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel Guards! Guards!

In 2004, Darrow was the subject of the fourth volume of MJTV’s “The Actor Speaks” audio CDs, featuring frank interviews and dramatic pieces, alongside guest Peter Miles. in 2008 Darrow narrated the audio book of Terry Nation’s classic children’s story Rebecca’s World: Journey to the Forbidden Planet. In 2011, Darrow voiced the character of Overseer Tremel in the Bioware MMORPG release Star Wars: The Old Republic. In 2012, Darrow portrayed Kerr Avon in Big Finish Productions’ Blake’s 7: The Liberator Chronicles, which takes place during Series One before the death of Olag Gan. Darrow starred in The Turing Test and The Magnificent Four. In 2015, Darrow starred as Paul Rand, the enigmatic business man in charge of the business institute Atlas in the interactive video game Contradiction: Spot the Liar! Between 1981-84 Darrow was also Patron of the University of York Astronomy Society (AstroSoc) and An extinct species of crocodile from the Miocene of Australia, Baru darrowi, is also named after Paul Darrow. In 2018, Darrow appeared on a celebrity sci-fi edition of the quiz show Pointless, along with fellow Blake’s 7 star Michael Keating.

Matt Stone

Best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Trey Parker, the American actor, voice artist,animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, Matthew Richard “Matt” Stone was born May 26, 1972 in Houston, Texas, he attended Heritage High School and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder,becoming their first student to double major in film and mathematics. Matt Stone and and his friend Trey Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short entitled Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning “Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour” and “Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour”

In 1992, Stone and Parker created the short film Jesus vs. Frosty, which included four boys, two resembling Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski, one called Kenny who looked likeCartman, and a fourth unnamed boy who looked like Kenny. Both Jesus and Cannibal! The Musical were made while they were students at the University of Colorado film school, studying under both Stan Brakhage and Jerry Aronson. After the duo released Cannibal! The Musical, they were asked to make another animated short. They came down to two ideas: one a sequel to Jesus vs. Frosty, and one about a character that would later be recurring in South Park, Mr. Hankey. They chose to write about the four boys, and Stone and Parker produced 13 episodes for season 1. The video landed in the hands of Comedy Central who thought it was hilarious and South Park is currently still under contract.

In 1999, Stone and Parker made South Park bigger, longer and uncut and the film’s music was nominated for an Academy Award. As of 2007, Parker is credited with directing and writing the vast majority of South Park episodes, and voicing most of the regular and guest characters, leading fans to question Stone’s involvement in the creative process. On September 25, 2013, South Park’s seventeenth season will premiere. In 1997, they also released Orgazmo and In 1998, they starred in (but did not write or direct) BASEketball, another feature film, while being renewed for a second season of South Park. In 2001, the duo announced they would do 39 shorts between the lengths of 2 and 5 minutes. Although originally thought to be South Park related, they decided they would do something different. The result was the shorts Princess. The content was so extreme that it was cancelled after two shows aired. In 2001, they also created That’s My Bush!, another television series, which was cancelled after one season. In 2004, they made a parody film, entitled Team America: World Police.

Stone is also a member of the band DVDA with Parker, for which he plays bass and drums. DVDA’s songs have appeared in many of the duo’s productions, including Orgazmo, BASEketball, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and Team America: World Police. On January 14, 2013, Stone and Parker announced that they would be starting a film production company called Important Studios. Inspired by the production work of Lucasfilm and DreamWorks

Sir Ian McKellen CH CBE

English actor Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE was born 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan. They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. McKellen’s father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, and was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen’s grandfathers were preachers, and his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a “strict, evangelical Protestant minister” in Ballymena, County Antrim. His home environment was strongly Christian, but non-orthodox. When he was 12, his mother died of breast cancer; his father died when he was 24. His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the ultimately successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a “grandfather of the modern weekend. McKellen attended Bolton School (Boys’ Division), and his acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron.

An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three. When he was nine, his main Christmas present was a wood and bakelite, fold-away Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet. His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan’s Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen. In 1958, McKellen won a scholarship to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he read English literature.While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. At that young age he was already giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi, Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus.

McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons. After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers. In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, which led to roles at the Chichester Festival. With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II at the Edinburgh festival in 1969. During the 1970s and 1980s McKellen performed frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, portraying several leading Shakespearean characters including Macbeth and Iago in Othello. In 2007 he appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company, productions of King Lear and The Seagull. In 2009 he appeared in Waiting for Godot at London’s Haymarket Theatre, opposite Patrick Stewart. He is Patron of English Touring Theatre and also President and Patron of the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain, an association of amateur theatre organisations throughout the UK. In late August 2012, he took part in the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, portraying Prospero from The Tempest.

McKellen’s career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction and He started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. In 1965 McKellen made his first West End appearance. In 1969 he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II, firmly establishing himself as one of the country’s foremost classical actors. In the 1970s McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Over the years he has gained fame for many notable film roles, which include Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films, both of which introduced McKellen to a new generation. He has been the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Awards. He has also received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nomination. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours. He has been openly gay since 1988, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in October 2014.

Towel day

Towel Day takes place annually on 25 May. The purpos of Towel Day is to celebrate the life and works of English author Douglas Adams, who is most famous for writing the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency and a couple of Doctor Who episodes starring Tom Baker. On this day, fans carry a towel with them, to demonstrate their appreciation of the books and the Author. The importance of Towels is described in chapter three of Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy thus:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (this mind-bogglingly stupid animal, assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy. The emphasis on towels is a reference to Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Europe by Ken Welsh, which inspired Adams’ fictional guidebook and also stresses the importance of towels.

The first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams was published 12th October 1979. Originally a radio comedy broadcast, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a “trilogy” of five books, a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer, a 1981 TV series, a computer game, and three series of three-part comic book adaptations of the first three novels published by DC Comics between 1993 and 1996. A film version, produced and filmed in the UK, was released in April 2005, and radio adaptations of the third, fourth, and fifth novels were broadcast from 2004 to 2005. All versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, Ford Prefect, who named himself after the Ford Prefect car to blend in with what was assumed to be the dominant life form, automobiles, and is an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and a researcher for the eponymous guidebook; Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford’s semi-cousin and the Galactic President; the depressed robot Marvin the Paranoid Android; and Trillian, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party in Islington and the only other human survivor of Earth’s destruction.

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Earth is destroyed by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a Hyperspace bypass, so the characters visit the legendary planet Magrathea, home to the now-collapsed planet-building industry, and meet Slartibartfast, a planetary coastline designer who was responsible for the fjords of Norway. Through archival recordings, he relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought explained that the answer was incomprehensible because the beings didn’t know what they were asking. It went on to predict that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made to calculate the question for the answer. (Later on, referencing this, Adams would create the 42 Puzzle, a puzzle which could be approached in multiple ways, all yielding the answer 42.) The computer, was the Earth, and was destroyed by Vogons five minutes before the conclusion of its 10-million-year program. Two of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned the Earth in the first place, disguised themselves as Trillian’s mice, and want to dissect Arthur’s brain to help reconstruct the question, since he was part of the Earth’s matrix moments before it was destroyed, and so he is likely to have part of the question buried in his brain.

In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe , Zaphod gets separated from the others and finds he is part of a conspiracy to uncover who really runs the Universe. He then meets Zarniwoop, editor for The Guide, who knows where to find the secret ruler and is briefly reunited with the others for a trip to Milliways, the titular restaurant. Zaphod and Ford decide to steal a ship from there, however this turns out to be a stunt ship pre-programmed to plunge into a star as a special effect in a stage show and they are unable to change it’s course. Meanwhile Ford and Arthur, end up on a spacecraft full of the outcasts of the Golgafrinchan civilisation, which crashes on prehistoric Earth; leaving Ford and Arthur stranded, and it becomes clear that the inept Golgafrinchans are the ancestors of modern humans, having displaced the Earth’s indigenous hominids. Adams himself considered Restaurant to be his best novel of the five. In Life, the Universe and Everything , Slartibartfast, enlists the aid of Ford, Arthur, Marvin, Zaphod and Trillian who travel to the planet Krikkit to prevent the people there from escaping and starting a destructive galactic war, which could wipe out all life in the Universe.

In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur returns home to Earth, where He meets and falls in love with a girl named Fenchurch, and discovers this Earth is a replacement provided by the dolphins in their Save the Humans campaign. Eventually he rejoins Ford, who claims to have saved the Universe in order to hitch-hike one last time and see God’s Final Message to His Creation. Along the way, they are also joined by Marvin, the Paranoid Android, who, although 37 times older than the universe itself (what with time travel and all), has just enough power left in his failing body to read the message and feel better about it all before expiring.

Finally, in Mostly Harmless, Vogons take over The Hitchhiker’s Guide (under the name of InfiniDim Enterprises), to finish the task of obliterating the Earth. Arthur loses Fenchurch and travels around the galaxy despondently, before crashing his spaceship on the planet Lamuella, where he settles in happily as the official sandwich-maker for a small village of simple, peaceful people. Meanwhile, Ford Prefect breaks into The Guide’s offices, gets himself an infinite expense account from the computer system, and then meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Mark II, an artificially intelligent, multi-dimensional guide with vast power and a hidden purpose. Trillian leaves her daughter, Random Frequent Flyer Dent with Arthur, but she then steals The Guide Mark II and uses it to get to Earth. Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and Tricia McMillan (Trillian in this alternate universe) give chase & follow her to a crowded club, where an anguished Random becomes startled by a noise and inadvertently fires her gun at Arthur. Soon afterwards, The Guide Mark II removes all possible Earths from probability, which is bad news for all the main characters, apart from Zaphod, who were all on Earth at the time.

Author Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) wrote a sixth instalment entitled And Another Thing, which sees the characters awoken from virtual reality as death rays bear down on Earth before being picked up by Zaphod and joined by Bowerick Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged. Zaphod then travels to Asgard to get Thor’s help, to deal with the Vogons, who are heading to the planet Nano in order to destroy a colony of people who also escaped Earth’s destruction. So Arthur, Wowbagger, Trillian and Random head to Nano during the journey Wowbagger and Trillian fall in love, then Zaphod arrives with Thor, who becomes the planet’s God. Wowbagger then marries Trillian and Thor manages to stop the first Vogon attack. Then Arthur get flung across alternate universes during a hyperspace jump but ends up exactly where he’d want to be, unfortunately the Vogons turn up again….

The popularity of the radio series gave rise to a six-episode television series, which first aired on BBC 2 in 1981. It employed many of the actors from the radio series and was based mainly on the radio versions of Fits the First through Sixth. A second series was also planned, although it was never made. On 21 June 2004, BBC Radio announced that a new series of Hitchhiker’s based on the third novel would be broadcast followed by a further series based on the fourth and fifth novels. A movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was also released in 2005 starring Martin Freeman as Arthur, Mos Def as Ford, Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, with Alan Rickman providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android (and Warwick Davis acting in Marvin’s costume), and Stephen Fry as the voice of the Guide/Narrator. The plot of the film adaptation of Hitchhiker’s Guide differs widely from that of the radio show, book and television series and visits to Vogsphere, the homeworld of the Vogons (which, in the books, was already abandoned), and Viltvodle VI are inserted. The film covers events in the first four radio episodes, and ends with the characters en route to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, leaving the opportunity for a sequel open.

The Daemons

The first part of The Doctor who story The daemons was broadcast 23 May 1971. It begins when The Doctor and Jo land In the village of Devil’s End where an archaeological dig is excavating the infamous Devil’s Hump, a Bronze Age burial mound. A local white witch, Olive Hawthorne arrives and issues a dire warning of the coming of the Evil horned beast and the end of the world. Then Miss Hawthorne goes to see the new local vicar, Rev. Magister to express her fears, however He reassures her that her fears are unfounded. Unbeknownst to Olive Hawthorn Reverend Magister is not who he seems to be and is indeed intent on causing trouble by conducting ceremonies in the cavern below the Church to summon up an evil horned entity called Azal. 

Captain Mike Yates and Sergeant Benton of UNIT arrive at the village the following morning, however the Brigadier, is prevented from entering the village. Meanwhile the Doctor finds something and comes to a startling conclusion. Reverend Magister summons Azal again and tries to bargain with him. Meanwhile The Doctor is captured by a mob of terrified and superstitious villagers who plan to Sacrifice the Doctor to Azal to try and appease Him, luckily with the help of Miss Hawthorne and Benton he manages to escape. Elsewhere In the Church cavern Jo and Yates are also taken prisoner, Luckily though the Brigadier and The Doctor manage to get through and try to confront Reverend Magister and Azal…

Eurovision song contest 2021

The Eurovision song contest 2021 took place in Rotterdam on Saturday 22 May here are the grand finalists . Italy eventually won the event with Måneskin singing the heavy metal song Zitti E Buoni. Meanwhile At the other end of the scale the United Kingdom entrant James Newman singing the forgettable ballad “Embers” scored nul points. The Cyprus entrant El Diablo sung by Elena Tsagrinou attracted criticism from many releigious groups, meanwhile France’s entrant Voila sung by Barbara Pravi had some serious Edith Piaf vibes. Going From the sublime to the ridculous Jendrik’s song I don’t feel hate sounded like Children’s Television and Swiss entrant Gjon’s tears – Tout L’univers sounded like he was in serious pain.

  1. 🇨🇾Cyprus / Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo
  2. 🇦🇱 Albania / Anxhela Peristeri – Karma
  3. 🇮🇱Israel / Eden Alene – Set Me Free
  4. 🇧🇪Belgium / Hooverphonic – The Wrong Place
  5. 🇷🇺 Russia / Manizha – Russian Woman
  6. 🇲🇹 Malta / Destiny – Je Me Casse
  7. 🇵🇹 Portugal / The Black Mamba – Love Is On My Side
  8. 🇷🇸 Serbia / Hurricane – Loco Loco
  9. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom / James Newman – Embers
  10. 🇬🇷 Greece / Stefania – Last Dance
  11. 🇨🇭 Switzerland / Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’Univers
  12. 🇮🇸 Iceland / Da∂i Freyr og Gagnamagni∂ – 10 Years
  13. 🇪🇸 Spain/ Blas Cantó – Voy A Querdarme
  14. 🇲🇩 Moldova / Natalia Gordienko – SUGAR
  15. 🇩🇪GermanyJendrik – I Don’t Feel Hate (I feel nauseous)
  16. 🇫🇮 Finland / Blind Channel – Dark Side
  17. 🇧🇬 Bulgaria / Victoria – Growing Up is Getting Old
  18. 🇱🇹Lithuania / The Roop – Discoteque
  19. 🇺🇦Ukraine / Go_A – Shum
  20. 🇫🇷 France / Barbara Pravi – Voilà
  21. 🇦🇿Azerbaijan / Efendi – Mata Hari
  22. 🇳🇴 Norway / TIX – Fallen Angel
  23. 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (Hosts)Jeangu Macrooy – Birth of a New Age
  24. 🇮🇹 Italy / Måneskin – Zitti E Buoni
  25. 🇸🇪 Sweden / Tusse – Voices
  26. 🇸🇲San Marino / Senhit – Adrenalina

Jon Pertwee

Best known for portraying the Third Doctor in the science-fiction series Doctor Who between 1970 and 1974, and starring as Worzel Gummidge, the English actor, entertainer and cabaret performer John Pertwee sadly died in his sleep from a heart attack in Connecticut on 20 May 1996, at the age of 76. He was born 7 July 1919. Pertwee was educated at Frensham Heights School, an independent school in Rowledge, near Farnham in Surrey, at Sherborne School in Sherborne in Dorset, and at some other schools from which he was expelled. After school, he went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), from which he was also expelled after he refused to play a Greek “wind” during one of the lessons, feeling it was a waste of both his time and his father’s money. He was also accused of writing graffiti about the tutors on the lavatory walls.

During the Second World War, Pertwee spent six years in the Royal Navy. He was a crew member of HMS Hood and was transferred off the ship for officer training shortly before she was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck, losing all but three men in May 1941. Later, he was attached to the highly-secretive Naval Intelligence Division, working alongside future James Bond author Ian Fleming, and reporting directly to Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and Deputy Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. Teaching commandos how to use escapology equipment, compasses in brass buttons, secret maps in white cotton handkerchiefs, pipes you could smoke that also fired a .22 bullet.

After the war, he made a name for himself as a comedy actor on radio in Waterlogged Spa, alongside Eric Barker, and Puffney Post Office in which he played a hapless old postman with the catch-phrase “It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you tears them up.” On 15 November 1948, at the Wood Green Empire, he was billed as ‘The Most Versatile Voice in Radio. He also appeared in the Radio Shows “Merry-go-Round” and “Up the Pole”‘. From 1959 to 1977, he had a long-running role as the conniving Chief Petty Officer Pertwee in The Navy Lark on BBC Radio. He was known as a Danny Kaye look-alike, Whom he impersonated in the film Murder at the Windmill (1949).In 1953, he played Charlie Sterling in Will Any Gentleman…?. Alongside Future Doctor Who actor William Hartnell as Inspector Martin.

On stage, he played the part of Lycus in the 1963 London production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Frankie Howerd and appeared in the smaller role of Crassus in the 1966 film version. He appeared as Sidney Tait in the comedy film Ladies Who Do (1963). In 1966, Pertwee starred alongside Donald Sinden in the West End production of There’s a Girl in My Soup and also appeared in four Carry On films: Carry On Cleo (1964, as the soothsayer), Carry On Cowboy (1965, as Sheriff Earp), Carry On Screaming! (1966, as Dr. Fettle), and Carry On Columbus (1992, as the Duke of Costa Brava). In 1967 Pertwee had been producer David Croft’s choice for the role of Captain George Mainwaring in Dad’s Army.

His television career had started off with small parts in children’s shows featuring Richard Hearne’s Mr Pastry character. Later he made an appearance in The Avengers episode ‘From Venus With Love’ (1967) as Brigadier Whitehead, and in the 1970s, he guest-starred as a vicar in The Goodies’ episode “Wacky Wales”. In 1969, Pertwee was selected by outgoing producer Peter Bryant and the series’ next producer Derrick Sherwin to take over as the Doctor from Patrick Troughton in the television series Doctor Who. Pertwee had asked his agent to apply for the role for him and was surprised to find he was already on the shortlist. In a departure from the Doctor’s first two incarnations, Pertwee played the character as an active crusader with a penchant for action and fancy clothes, even while the character was exiled on Earth and serving with UNIT. He played the Doctor for five seasons from early 1970 to mid-1974, a longer stint than either of his predecessors in the role, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, although the Pertwee era of Doctor Who ‘only’ had 128 episodes compared to the Hartnell era having had 134 episodes, as the BBC relaxed its shooting schedule from 39–45 episodes per season to 25–26 episodes per season at the start of Pertwee’s tenure as Doctor Who. He stayed until 1974, When he retired as the Doctor to resume his stage career in The Bedwinner.

The main reason for his departure was the death of his good friend and co-star Roger Delgado (The Master) and the departures of co-star Katy Manning and producer Barry Letts. His last full-time appearance in the series was in the story Planet of the Spiders in June 1974, which finished with Tom Baker replacing him in the role. He also starred in The House That Dripped Blood (1971) as an arrogant horror film star named Paul Henderson, who meets his doom thanks to a genuine vampire cloak. In 1973, Pertwee endorsed the Co-op’s Baking Your Cake and Eating it, a recipe book written by Sarah Charles. Pertwee later reprised his role as The Doctor in the 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors and the Children in Need story Dimensions in Time, in two radio adventures and on stage in Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure. On 14 April 1971, Pertwee was the subject of Thames Television’s This Is Your Life.between 1974 and 1978 Pertwee was the host of the murder-mystery game show Whodunnit?,

Pertwee then took the starring role in Worzel Gummidge, based on the books written by Barbara Euphan Todd. First aired in 1979 on ITV, the series saw Pertwee as a scarecrow, and continued until 1981. In 1987 Worzel Gummidge Down Under aired until 1989 and was screened in the UK on Channel 4. In 1995, Pertwee played the role one last time in a one-off special for ITV, which celebrated 40 years of the channel. Pertwee played the title character in Worzel Gummidge, the musical, book and lyrics by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, music by Denis King, which opened at London’s Cambridge Theatre in December 1981, co-starring Una Stubbs and Geoffrey Bayldon. Pertwee also recorded an album, Worzel Gummidge Sings, as well as a Christmas single. In 1976, Pertwee voiced and appeared in the television advertisement which promoted the Green Cross Code and also starred with Australian actress Julie Anthony in a West End production of the musical IRENE playing the camp fashion-designer “Madame Lucy”. Pertwee also features on the cast recording album. He also voiced the character of “Spotty” in the 1980s cartoon series SuperTed and in 1985 he starred in Do You Know The Milkyway? Portraying Dr. Neuross and another nine characters. In 1995 Pertwee also had the key voice of Death and other voice characterisations in the PC and PlayStation renditions of “Discworld”. And also played General Von Kramer in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode “Attack of the Hawkmen”. In 1975 he portrayed The Colonel’ in “One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing .

He returned to the role of the Doctor in the 1983 20th anniversary television special The Five Doctors and in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time for Children in Need. He also portrayed the Doctor in the stage play Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure. He made a guest appearance in the “Lords and Ladies” episode of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Harry Hill’s Fruit Corner, playing a Time Lord and also spoofed the role in the Radio 4 comedy The Skivers. He also presented the Doctor Who video releases The Troughton Years. In 1993, Pertwee was featured in the unofficial 30th anniversary release of Doctor Who entitled 30 Years of Time Travel and Beyond. Pertwee portrayed the Third Doctor in two further audio productions for BBC Radio, The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space. In April 1995, he appeared in Devious, an amateur video drama set between the second Doctor’s trial at the end of The War Games and before the start of Spearhead From Space. Pertwee’s final film role was in a short film entitled Cloud Cuckoo and also appeared on Cilla’s Surprise, Surprise, in 1996..

He was survived by his wife Ingeborg Rhoesa, and two children who had followed him into the acting profession, Sean Pertwee and Dariel Pertwee. Many Doctor Who actors payed tribute including Tom Baker and Colin Baker His body was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium with a toy Worzel Gummidge affixed to the coffin, following the instructions in his will. His death came six days after the American broadcast of the Doctor Who television film, which used a logo based on the one from his era of the television series and featured a dedication to Pertwee at its end. Pertwee’s voice was used in the 40th Anniversary Doctor Who audio drama, Zagreus, as the TARDIS helps a corrupted Eighth Doctor (voiced by Paul McGann). Pertwee also wrote two autobiographies: Moon Boots and Dinner Suits and the posthumously published Doctor Who: I Am the Doctor – Jon Pertwee’s Final Memoir. In 2000, Jon Pertwee: The Biography by Bernard Bale (was published by André Deutsch, and included a few chapters by Pertwee’s widow Ingeborg.

Archival footage of Pertwee has been used several times in the revived Doctor Who. Including “The Next Doctor” when the Tenth Doctor shows Jackson Lake an infostamp about himself, “The Eleventh Hour” when the Eleventh Doctor rhetorically asks the Atraxi how previous alien invasion attempts were stopped, “The Name of the Doctor” and “The Day of the Doctor” which shows the Third Doctor assisting his other incarnations in sending Gallifrey to an alternate universe to protect it from the Daleks.

Catherine Tate

English actress, writer and comedienne Catherine Tate was born 12th May in 1968. Tate began her television acting career with roles in serial dramas such as The Bill, and London’s Burning, and started stand-up comedy in 1996, she also appeared in comedy series such as The Harry Hill Show, Barking and That Peter Kay Thing and a role in Men Behaving Badly. She played the part of Kate in the unaired pilot episode of sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack and Tim Vine. In 1998 she wrote and starred in Barking, a late night sketch show broadcast on Channel 4 and featuring a host of stars such as David Walliams, Peter Kay and Mackenzie Crook. She then became involved with Lee Mack’s Perrier Comedy Award-nominated New Bits show at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000. In 2001, she returned to the festival with her own sell-out one-woman show, which was followed by roles in Big Train, Attention Scum and TVGoHome. After being spotted at Edinburgh, she was given the role of Angela in the comedy, Wild West, with Dawn French, who commented “Catherine Tate is far too talented and she must be destroyed.” Tate has also performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and at the National Theatre.She played Smeraldina in a 2000 RSC production of A Servant to Two Masters, and had a role in The Way of the World at the National Theatre. Tate was approached at a post-show party at the Edinburgh Festival by the BBC controller of comedy , who encouraged Tate to develop her character ideas, especially to push the boundaries with teenager Lauren Cooper, after following this advice, Tate found the audience walking out of the show repeating the character’s catchphrase Am I bovvered?

Tate was given her own programme on BBC Two in 2004, which she co-wrote and starred in with Derren Litten, entitled The Catherine Tate Show, which ran for three series. Two of the show’s well-known characters are teenager Lauren Cooper and Joannie “Nan” Taylor, the cockney grandmother.Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show, and with the first series becoming a success, in March 2005, Tate made a guest appearance during the BBC’s Comic Relief as the character of Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show. In November 2005, Tate appeared in another charity sketch as part of the BBC’s annual Children in Need telethon. The segment was a crossover between EastEnders and The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Eastenders characters Peggy Mitchell, Little Mo Mitchell and Stacey Slater, whilst Tate appeared as Lauren. , she was also a guest star at the 77th Royal Variety Performance and appeared again in the guise of Lauren Cooper. During the sketch, Tate looked up at the Royal Box and asked The Queen, “Is one bovvered? Is one’s face bovvered?”. Tate later won a British Comedy Award for Best British Comedy Actress for her work in the second series of The Catherine Tate Show. At the end of 2005, she appeared in the BBC television adaptation of Bleak House. The third series of The Catherine Tate Show aired in 2006, going on to win the National Television Award for most popular comedy as voted for by the public.

Following the success of The Catherine Tate Show, Tate played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who and later reprised her role, becoming the Doctor’s companion for the fourth series in 2008 after suddenly appearing in the TARDIS at the end of the episode “Doomsday”. The following episode, the Christmas special entitled “The Runaway Bride”, saw Tate’s character in a major role, and she became the Doctor’s companion until she met the Oood and decided she’d had enough.

Tate has also appeared in may other programs including three film roles including, Starter for 10, Sixty Six, and Scenes of a Sexual Nature, as well as the films Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, and Love and Other Disasters. she played the lead role and co-starred with Anne Reid In the 2007 television adaptation of the novel, The Bad Mother’s Handbook, and On 16 March 2007, Tate appeared for a second time on Comic Relief as some of her well-known characters from The Catherine Tate Show. She has also acted in sketches with David Tennant, Daniel Craig, Lenny Henry and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and also appeared as Joannie “Nan” Taylor in an episode of Deal or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. In 2011, she began a recurring role as Nellie Bertram on The Office. Tate has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and seven BAFTA Awards. She is a Patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain.