The Saturday miscellany: Hitchcock blondes; Kanye West; Chester's Midsummer Watch; Vermeer at the National Gallery

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Culture Clash: Hitchcock blondes

Tippi Hedren vs Grace Kelly

By Holly Williams

"Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints." So claimed Alfred Hitchcock. He made Tippi Hedren - spotted her in an advert, cast her in The Birds and psycho-sexual thriller Marnie – but he also broke her, in famously difficult shoots. His methods may have been mean, but Hedren gave fine performances in two of his greatest films.

Hitch's much-loved platinum princess Grace Kelly starred in Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief; his camera loved her too, lingering on her beauty, her graceful walk, her romantic smooches. Then she only went and left him, and her career, for the Prince of Monaco… a final regal role for the original Ice(-blonde) Queen.

The winner: Grace Kelly

The deleted emails of...Kanye West (as read by John Walsh)

From: yeezus@Iam
Sent: 11 June 2013
Subject: need to rectify something I misspoke

OK listen up my man, this interview wit me in today's paper, I liked it fine, Ima let you go on living (joke) I think I come across as a regular guy, confident in my awesomeness, credible, influential, relevant, a kinda hybrid of Gandhi, Marx, Steve Jobs, De Vinci, J Caesar, J Christ, Wagner and Richard Pryor, you know what I'm sayin'? Only thing I gotta issue wit here is that I'm quoted twice saying "the fact that I can't sing that well" or some shit like that. That can't be right. The sumbitch tape machine musta bin faulty. But it's all right. Because I want you to take them words off the online version and then recall the whole paper edition, wherever they gone, and pulp 'em all. And then we'll do the thing again, only wit'out that bit. You got me?

Let me know when it's done. Peace upon you. KW

Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. What music is it OK to play in a convertible in traffic?

A. Your choice must express contrition for the hubris of owning a convertible in Britain. I suggest "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" by BJ Thomas segueing gently into "Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles.



By Liam O'Brien


Chester's Midsummer Watch, featuring a parade of giant dragons and elephant puppets, is a local tradition dating back to 1498. Today and tomorrow, city centre,


Vermeer's music paintings are going on display at the National Gallery. There will be live performances to bring them to life. 26 June – 8 September,


This delightful hippo footstool (see gallery) has a sturdy steel frame and a hand-stained leather exterior. They're made by Omersa in Lincolnshire. £360,

Indy Index

By Liam O'Brien

- The Vue cinema chain has been sold to Canadian investors for £935m, two years after a private equity firm bought it for £450m

- Last year, Cineworld acquired Picturehouse Cinemas for £47m, vowing not to change its art-house programming

-172.5 million cinema tickets were sold in the UK in 2012, with a total value of £1.1 billion

- In 1946, 1.64 billion cinema tickets were sold in the UK

- Until it closed in 2008, Britain’s smallest cinema was La Charrette in Gorseinon, Wales. It had 23 seats, housed in a disused railway carriage

- The BFI Imax in London has the UK’s biggest screen. It’s 26 metres wide and 20 metres high

- Just 3.4% of all film viewing is done at the cinema

- The Duke of York in Brighton is our oldest cinema – it opened on September 22 1910

- The average ticket price to go and see a film is £6.37, up from £4.40 in 2000

- A peak hours ticket at the Leicester Square Odeon for a 3D film costs up to £24

- Saturday is the busiest day at the cinemas, but if you want quiet go on a Tuesday – only 9% of the weekly box office comes from Tuesday sales


- Second big payday for Vue cinema chain founder after £935m deal, The Independent

- Cineworld acquires Picturehouse for £47.3m, Screen Daily

- The UK box office in 2012, BFI and European Audivisual Observatory

- UK cinema - annual admissions 1935-2012, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association

- Gower Heritage Centre

- Odeon

- Statistical Yearbook 2012, BFI

- UK cinema - average ticket prices 2000-2012, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association

- Odeon

- UK cinema - audience by weekday, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association