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Wednesday 10 March 2010
Friday 05 March 2010
With wounded soldiers shipped in to Covent Garden by the egregious Joanna Lumley, and the idiocies of ‘Popstar to Operastar’ giving way to Kiri Te Kanawa’s X-Factor search for talent on Radio 2, one might think that the campaign to widen opera’s audience has been terminally hijacked by showbiz.
Thursday 18 February 2010
In recent years Joanna Lumley has been more often found in the corridors of Westminster than on the boards of the West End. However, this summer she will return to the London stage for the first time in 15 years to star in a revival of the historical comedy, La Bête.
Thursday 28 January 2010
The nation's favourite poem, if BBC viewers are to be believed, is Jenny Joseph's charming vision of the feisty, older lady: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me." And, indeed, this hymn to the mature woman is very much of the zeitgeist. Females over 50 are supposedly hot right now, and as a result the BBC claims to be seeking women newsreaders past the first flush of youth. Obviously, they won't be allowed on TV wearing red hats or being embarrassing, and presumably they will be more Joanna Lumley than Thora Hird, but it's a start.
Friday 22 January 2010
Outlook Oh dear. As if a string of poisonous court battles – all of which the Government lost, by the way – were not enough to upset thousands of savers whose occupational pensions were almost lost, ministers now seem determined to add insult to injury by mis-stating what compensation these mistreated folk will actually get.
Thursday 12 November 2009
Lord Mandelson was dubbed the "undisputed alpha male of the Westminster village" today after scooping one of the top accolades at a Westminster awards ceremony.
Saturday 31 October 2009
"Tit and fang" is how the poet Philip Larkin summed up Hammer Films' output and, give or take the odd ill-fated deviation from the formula, he wasn't wrong. Cobwebs, coffins, crucifixes, bats, bubbling test tubes, buckets of blood, crumbling castles, barely restrained cleavages: these were the emblems of Hammer horror and, against the odds, they scared the bejesus out of movie-goers in the late Fifties and Sixties.
Tuesday 20 October 2009
Saturday 22 August 2009
Thursday 20 August 2009
Joanna Lumley's campaigning on behalf of the Gurkhas transfixed the nation and forced a reluctant government to grant the Nepalese soldiers the right to settle in the UK.
Tuesday 28 July 2009
Joanna Lumley's de facto state visit to Nepal continued yesterday as the star of Absolutely Fabulous had tea with the President, gave the Prime Minister a scarf and greeted yet more thankful Gurkhas with their traditional war cry "Ayo Gurkhali!" ("The Gurkhas are coming")
Sunday 26 July 2009
For months they have followed her every move with rapt attention from the other side of the world, but today the Gurkhas of Nepal finally got to meet a woman that many of them have come to regard as a goddess.
Saturday 18 July 2009
Among the Gurkha villages scattered across the foothills of the Himalayas they call her the "daughter of Nepal".
Sunday 05 July 2009
The Kent International Sitting Volleyball Tournament is taking place in Canterbury this weekend. So what? Hardly ball-grabbing compared to Wimbledon, you may say, but the event could have a significant impact on London 2012. For among those taking part are a number of Gurkhas, some who have lost limbs fighting with British Forces in Afghanistan. Sitting volleyball is a Paralympic sport and, it transpires, one which, like the able-bodied version, is popular among the Gurkha community. There are hopes that several of them will be good enough to create history by representing Britain in the Paralympics. Coach Rob Wood, of MKA Partnership, one of the organisers, says: "Ghurkas show the same sort of military ethos on the sports field as they do on the battlefield. The way they train and commit themselves makes excellent athletes." These, of course, are the people the Government didn't want to stay here until Joanna Lumley shamed them in to a U-turn. Now they could be medal-winners for Team GB in 2012.
Thursday 28 May 2009
It is the celebrity endorsement that all the major political parties would have loved to receive. But Joanna Lumley, who shamed ministers into granting immigration rights to Gurkha veterans, has given her backing in next week's European elections to the Greens.
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