Friday, 27 May 2011

Janet Brown: 1923 - 2011 (R.I.P.)

Janet Brown

Janet Brown, who has died aged 87, wrote an autobiography in 1986 titled Prime Mimicker, and it is for her take offs of Margaret Thatcher that the impressionist will be best remembered. She was quick to add the Iron Lady to her repertoire when Thatcher became Conservative party leader in 1975, during Brown's run in the quickfire-impressions television show Who Do You Do? (1972-75) and its sequel, Now Who Do You Do? (1976).

As a result, she was hired to impersonate Thatcher alongside the small screen's top male impressionist of the time, Mike Yarwood, in Mike Yarwood in Persons (1977-81) and Look – Mike Yarwood (1971-76).

With Thatcher's ascent to the office of prime minister in 1979, Brown's own fame spiralled. As well as appearances on many entertainment shows, she was given her own programme, Janet and Company (1980-82). There seemed some irony in the fact that the final two episodes were postponed because of the Falklands war, which helped the real-life Thatcher to turn around her poor popularity ratings.

Brown was also a regular on BBC radio's The News Huddlines and played the role of prime minister, a clearly undisguised Thatcher, in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

She even met and corresponded with Thatcher. "I was at Wembley in 1986 for a Conservative party conference," Brown recalled. "Afterwards, she came up to me and said, 'I know you could have delivered my speech better than I did, but was it all right?' She was always very sweet to me and she needn't have been. But, then, I used to be quite selective about the scripts I'd do. I was prepared to send her up, but not maliciously."

Born in the South Lanarkshire town of Rutherglen, outside Glasgow, Brown started doing impersonations as a teenager. She attended Rutherglen academy and, after second world war service with the ATS, went into variety.

In 1946, while taking part in rehearsals for a Jack Hylton revue, she met the actor Peter Butterworth, who was later to appear in the Carry On films. They married the same year, and she credited him with sharpening her sense of humour.

She was later cast in the writer James Bridie's West End stage play Mr Gillie (Garrick theatre, 1950) as the doctor's daughter Nelly Watson, who falls for the Scottish schoolmaster of the title, played by Alastair Sim – a production screened by BBC television. In the same year, she was seen doing impressions of the show-business figures Marie Lloyd, Kathleen Harrison, Jessie Matthews and Gracie Fields in the television variety show A Ray of Sunshine, presented by the comedian Ted Ray.

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Brown made her film debut in the Glasgow shipyard drama Floodtide (1949) and followed it by appearing alongside Sim again in the comedy, Folly to be Wise (1952), produced by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat. She also performed in episodes of the television sketch shows The Eric Barker Half-Hour and How Do You View?, starring Terry-Thomas (both 1952).

After further stage work and the role of the production secretary Janet in the radio show The TV Lark (1963) – a sequel to The Navy Lark, with the ship's crew running a television station – she had a straight role in Z Cars (1965) before regular appearances in The Dick Emery Show (1967-68) and the role of Joyce in the sitcom Mr Digby Darling (1969), with Sheila Hancock and Peter Jones.

Then, Brown's impressions found a showcase on television. As well as Thatcher, she was particularly remembered for impersonating Joan Rivers, Pam Ayres, Nana Mouskouri, Barbara Woodhouse and, in character, Dallas's Sue Ellen Ewing. This even brought Brown fame abroad, including Australia, where she performed cabaret and spoke at the Sydney Opera House – as Thatcher – during the country's bicentennial celebrations in 1988.

Her popularity inevitably waned with the demise of both television variety shows and Thatcher. Most of her later television appearances were in dramatic roles, in series such as Doctors (2003), Midsomer Murders (2004), Casualty (2005) and Hotel Babylon (2009).

Brown's final stage role was as Old Lady Squeamish in a West End production of The Country Wife (Theatre Royal, Haymarket, 2007).

Her husband died in 1979. Brown and Butterworth had two children, Emma, who died in 1996, and the actor Tyler, who survives her.

Australia's TV Guide - TV Week (1984)

Check out this fab magazine cover from way back in 1984. The mag is called, TV Week and published down under in Sydney. The cover features Bad boy Wayne Hamilton from the classic Aussie Soap Opera, "Sons and Daughters."

Doris Day - Hooray for Hollywood

DORIS DAY - Hooray For Hollywood Volume Two was a 1958 UK 12-track mono LP and Doris' second volume of fantastic show tunes that came in a fully laminated flipback picture sleeve.

Doris Day,Hooray For Hollywood Volume Two,UK,Deleted,LP RECORD,534849


It Might As Well Be Spring
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Three Coins In The Fountain
Let's Face The Music And Dance
Pennies From Heaven
Oh, But I Do
Over The Rainbow
Love Is Here To Stay
In The Still Of The Night
Night And Day

Easy To Love
I Had The Craziest Dream

Dad's Army - The Original Recording

In 1975, Dad's Army transferred to the stage as a revue, with songs and familiar scenes from the show. The stage show was recorded at The Forum Theatre, Billingham during the productions initial run. This recording was released on vinyl in 1975, it is the only commercially available representation of the stage show, but has long since been deleted.
Dad's Army,Original Cast Recording,UK,CD ALBUM,466063

The Radio Times: 5 - 11th November 1939

Hey, check out this classic Radio Times cover from way back in 1939.

Radio Times Cover - Nov 5th 1939

The Carry On Legacy - Carry on Cabby: 1963

Carry On Cabby is the seventh Carry On Film. Released in 1963, it was the first one written by series mainstay Talbot Rothwell (although the first screenplay "Tolly" submitted to Peter Rogers was developed as Carry On Jack) from a story by Sid Green and Dick Hills (later to be script writers for Morecambe and Wise). This was the first film in the series to feature Carry On regular Jim Dale, though it is notable for not including Kenneth Williams. Regulars Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey are all present and correct. Liz Fraser makes her third appearance (although she'd have to wait 13 years for her next Carry On) and Esma Cannon makes her fourth and final appearance. The previous film in the series, Carry On Cruising, was filmed in technicolour, but this movie marked the series' return to a black and white format. Carry On Cabby was originally planned as a non-Carry On film, called Call Me A Cab (after a stage play) but midway through it became part of the Carry On series.

Charlie Hawkins (Sid James), is the workaholic owner of Speedee Taxis, but his wife Peggy (Hattie Jacques) feels neglected by him. When Charlie misses their fifteenth wedding anniversary, because he's out cabbing, she decides to punish him. Telling Charlie that she's going to 'get a job', she establishes a rival company, GlamCabs. The cars are brand new Ford Cortina Mk1's and driven by attractive girls in provocative uniforms. Flo, the girlfriend of one of Charlie's drivers, similarly neglected, gets the post of office manager.

Charlie continues to coach his mainly inept (and largely ex-army) drivers, including accident-prone Terry "Pintpot" Tankard, whilst Peggy refuses to tell Charlie what her new 'job' is. Charlie feigns a lack of interest, but he's dying to know. As Charlie unsuccessfully struggles to cope with his wife's absences, and realises just what she had to endure, Peggy's company becomes a thriving success due to the large number of male taxi passengers preferring to ogle her sexy drivers during journeys. Speedee rapidly starts losing money and faces bankruptcy. Peggy feels terrible for what she has done. Charlie and his drivers attempt to sabotage the rival company, but they are chased off.

In desperation, Charlie suggests a merger with his rivals, but is furious to discover who the real owner is and storms off.

A month later, Peggy is living at the office and Charlie has turned to drink, allowing his company to collapse around him. Peggy and Flo are hijacked by bank robbers. Peggy manages to use the taxi radio to subtly reveal their situation and location. Charlie intercepts the broadcast and rallies the other Speedee drivers in pursuit. The robbers are cornered and captured.

Peggy and Charlie are reconciled, especially over the fact that she is expecting a baby.

America's finest - Judge Judy!

JudgeJudyshow sign.png

Since premiering on September 16, 1996, Judge Judy has been the ratings leader in courtroom-themed reality-based shows. As of 2010, the Judge Judy program has been nominated 13 times for Daytime Emmy Awards. In January 2008, Judge Judy was extended through the 2012-13 season (the show's 17th). It was annouced on May 2, 2011 that once again the show has been extended with Judy renewing her contract until 2015 which will be the show's 19th Season.
Judge Judy's Court Show featuring former Family Court judge Judith Sheindlin arbitrating over small claims cases. The series is in first-run syndication and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, the successor company to its previous distributors Worldvision Enterprises, Paramount Domestic Television, and CBS Paramount Domestic Television.

The show's creation stemmed from Judith Sheindlin's reputation as one of the most outspoken family court judges in the country, becoming the topic of a Los Angeles Times article in February 1993. The piece caught the attention of 60 Minutes, leading to a segment about Sheindlin on the show, which brought her national recognition. This led to her being approached by television producers, who asked her to preside over her own courtroom reality show. The title of her show was originally going to be "Hot Bench" or "Her Honor". Unhappy with that title, however, Sheindlin convinced her television producer, Big Ticket, to change it. Although Judge Judy is the title of the show, it has also become a nickname for Judith Sheindlin. Judy Sheindlin became the first television judge whose name was included in the title of the show. The creator and original executive producer of the show, Peter Brennan (creator of the original A Current Affair with Maury Povich ) subsequently created Judge Joe Brown and more recently Cristina's Court with Cristina Perez. Randy Douthit and Timothy Regler are currently the show's Executive Producers.

At the beginning of court proceeding, off-camera announcer Jerry Bishop introduces proceedings. Sheindlin then questions the parties about dates, times, locations, and other facts central to the lawsuit. Judge Sheindlin demands decorum in her court. She will sometimes chastise participants, even audience members, for showing up in inappropriate clothing, and silence audience outbursts, even if they are in response to quips she herself made. Order is maintained by her bailiff, officer Petri Hawkins-Byrd. After this process, Sheindlin renders the judgment, either by finding for the plaintiff (typically by saying "judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of ... dollars, that's all") or by dismissing the case (the award is not displayed on an on-screen graphic, which is rare among shows in the genre). When a counterclaim has been filed, it will be handled during the same show segment. However, if a case is dismissed without prejudice due to a factor such as Sheindlin's being unable to rule due to other circumstances (such as something that cannot be ruled on within the binding arbitration structure of the series), the litigants are invited to come back and resume the case later in another episode if the outside issues are resolved.

In the first two commercial breaks, a preview of the upcoming case is shown. When the show returns from the first two commercial breaks, it airs the voice-over, "Real cases! Real people! Judge Judy!" (recorded by announcer Jerry Bishop), followed by a recap of the current case. After the third commercial break, the voice-over is heard again, providing the show's telephone number and the website to submit cases. Generally each show presents two cases, but infrequently an episode will present a single long case, three shorter ones, or four even-shorter ones. At the end of a case, the plaintiff and the defendant express their feelings about the case, although sometimes this part of the program is omitted, especially after cases involving contentious or removed litigants.

Three days every other week (two weeks a month), Sheindlin and her producers tape the court show. They usually produce ten to twelve cases for each day they tape the show. A week's worth of episodes consists of approximately ten cases. Anywhere from thirty to thirty-six cases are filmed over the three days they tape per week. However, Sheindlin and her producers sometimes only tape five cases per day and two days per week. The show has fifty-two taping days a year. For each season, some 650 claims are brought to the set to be presided over by Judge Judy. This means approximately 8,450 claims have been brought to Judith Sheindlin's Hollywood set as of the end of its thirteenth season (2008–09).

For the most part, cases are taped all throughout the year except for two breaks Sheindlin and all of the members of her show have for the year. One of the two breaks includes an extra week off in December, as the show is only taped one week out of that month because of the holidays. The other break is from mid-July (only taping one week in July) and all through August. According to members of the show, the reason for this break is because people are more interested in taking vacations than in filing lawsuits around that time.

Altogether, there are 260 new episodes per season of Judge Judy. There is at least one new episode for every weekday, with the exception of a few hiatuses during most of the summer and a couple of holidays. The cases are all pre-recorded for editing purposes and will usually air one to three months after being taped. The cases are mixed up and not shown in order of when they were recorded. While the cases taped in March end the seasons, the cases taped throughout April, May, June, and July start out each season in September and last through the beginning of November. Throughout the very beginning of each season, two new Judge Judy episodes air per day. After two weeks, this is reduced to one new airing a day, followed by a repeat. There are also various other moments throughout the year where two new episodes are shown for a few weeks. This usually includes January, when the show returns from its winter hiatus. Two new episodes are also shown daily during the "sweeps" months of November, February, and May. Unlike most television shows, Judge Judy does not air its season finale in April or May. Rather, it will air its last few new episodes sporadically over the summer months, with many repeats in between, and its season finale will take place some time in June, July, or August.

Judge Judy was born on October 21, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish and German parents Murray and Ethel Blum. Sheindlin described her father, a dentist, as "the greatest thing since sliced bread" and her mother as "a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal."

Judy has gained a reputation as a judge in both family court and on television for her overly straightforward manner of speaking with litigants as well as her frequent bluntness and no-nonsense attitude. Combining those qualities with her swift handling of many of the matters brought up throughout the course of each proceeding, Judge Judy is touted as, "A show where justice is dispensed at the speed of light."

Disbelieving many of the questionable affirmations of the parties that appear before her, lying is the main problem that the incredulous Judith Sheindlin has with both litigants and their witnesses. In fact, one of her most popular catchphrases is "Baloney!", and she is also convinced that "If something doesn't make sense, it's usually not true." If a plaintiff files an unreasonable complaint, Judge Judy may tell him or her to "get over it." Judge Judy also tends to be highly irascible generally towards both parties that appear before her, mostly in her startling explosions at litigants who speak out of turn, try to argue with her, or ramble. Sheindlin often makes such remarks as "I'm speaking!", "Liar, liar, pants on fire", "Listen to me: You are an outrageous person.", "Sir, you want to say something to me? You sure you want to say something to me?", and "You mess around with me young lady, I'll wipe the floor with you. We follow each other?" or "I being in your position would never humiliate myself in front of 10 million people" In fact, the show's tagline is Justice with an Attitude. She has explicitly stated that she sometimes sets out to cause embarrassment "in front of ten million people" to someone who has acted badly, as a way of punishing them. Though Sheindlin has a sense of humor as well, it is normally presented in combination with her gruff disposition. In fact, even for reactions to her own humor she will often say something along the lines of "Hey!" to an audience member who is being too noisy and has occasionally had particularly disruptive audience members removed.

Sheindlin has many catchphrases which are referred to as "Judyisms". Many of these Judyisms are intended to provide a lesson, such as "Beauty fades, dumb is forever." Judge Judy has stated that the main message she wants viewers to take from her show is that people must take responsibility for their actions.

Ken Barlow left for dead? Oh, for the days of Stan & Hilda!

Ken Barlow is set to be attacked and left for dead by his own grandson in a shocking new Coronation Street plot.

The Weatherfield stalwart has only recently got to know James, who's the offspring of Leonard, a son Ken fathered in the 1960s. According to The Sun, James will forge Ken's signature and take out a huge loan against the home he shares with his granddad, Deirdre, Tracy and Amy.

Ken Barlow (William Roache) is set for a shocking new storyline

When Ken finds out he's devastated, but while trying to call the police, James attacks him, then flees in panic, believing he may have killed him.

The scenes involving the attack will have had a slightly surreal flavour for actors William Roache and James Roache, who are father and son in real life.

A source told the newspaper: "It'll be weird for James watching himself punching his dad, but they're gripping scenes." I'm going to sound really boring here folks but, oh, how I long for the good old days of Bernard Youens & Jean Alexander aka Stan & Hilda Ogden!

Queen - Rock Fun: Volume 4

Queen,Rock Fun Volume 4 - Photo Gallery,Japan,Deleted,BOOK,537908

Queen - Rock Fun: Volume 4 was a rare Japanese Photo Gallery book printed back in 1977. This was a stunning book that featured beautifully taken photography including a stunning collection of Black & White photographs, individual portraits, press releases, casual band shots and on-stage pictures.