News The CCTV headquarters in Beijing

Worldwide arm set to co-operate on at least two major natural history projects with CCTV9's documentary arm

Letter: Testing English at seven is too early

YOUR correspondents last week who wrote about spoken Standard English fail to address the problem that faces teachers. The present 1989 English curriculum, for which my Working Group was responsible, states clearly that 'all pupils should learn, and if necessary be explicitly taught, Standard English'.

THEATRE / Things that make you go oooh] bah] ugh] and pish]: The sounds actors make when they're not talking can say far more than words. Georgina Brown reports

KENNETH WILLIAMS did it with swooning and swooping oooohhs; Frankie Howerd with a lugubrious, constipated ooooooooogghh emanating from somewhere deep in his trousers; Fenella Fielding does it with a strangulated oooooooooooh as if she's being pinched and loving it; Sir Michael Hordern has been knighted for his services to groaning - his doddery dirges and strange upward inflexions that vanish in a dying fall becoming a language in their own right. Inimitable, barely transcribable even by a phonetician with the dedication of Professor Higgins, this wordless play is the supreme skill of an actor.

TELEVISION / Big, beautiful and they live for ever

IN 1968, I was raiding my grandmother's cupboard for dressing- up clothes when I found a red sateen book. Picked out on the cover in gold letters was the title, Hollywood Album. Inside, a craggy khaki sahib called Stewart Granger reclined on a zebra rug with his wife Jean Simmons in their charming Bel Air home. Jennifer Jones tossed her blue- black curls away from her amazing cheekbones, only to afford a better view of her sensational throat. A nymph by the name of Diana Dors posed among classical statues, defying you to distinguish one marble goddess from another. The photographs had a molten sheen, as if bathing in a shallow lake of mercury. Their subjects had big heads and small white teeth; all appeared to be lit from within. On one picture of an older man with merry, scrunched eyes, I recognised my aunt's faded handwriting: 'The King, RIP.' It was eerie. Who was Clark Gable, and why had a grown-up bothered to record his death? I didn't give it much thought, I was busy making plans. I would grow up to be Jennifer Jones, I would marry the one called Gary Cooper, we would live in a canyon, whatever that was, and recline graciously on a variety of endangered species. We would be famous.
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