Friday, 27 May 2016
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
As the faboo Television Heaven site put it:
For 25 years Stanley Baxter produced the type of television spectacular that Morecambe and Wise could only afford to put on as part of their Christmas specials. Those legendary song and dance routines that Eric and Ernie performed in their shows may well be the stuff of television legend, but for Stanley Baxter, spectacular musical-comedy specials, reminiscent of Hollywood's best extravaganzas, were part of every series. And they were so flamboyant, and proved to be so costly, that Baxter was sacked not from just one, but two TV channels, who simply couldn't afford to keep him...With his background in variety theatre, the Combined Entertainment Unit of the army in the post-War National Service years (alongside Kenneth Williams, John Schlesinger, Gordon Jackson and Peter Nichols) and - of course - panto, he was almost destined for a career in the fledging world of television (starting out in the 1950s), where his comedic talents and in particular his talent for mimicry (and drag) became a staple of Britain's "light entertainment" genre.
He is one of the true creative geniuses in British television light entertainment, and as far as comedy goes... Stanley Baxter is the true King of Scotland.
Very much a product of his time - his ITV "spectaculars" won the BAFTA Best Light Entertainment Programme Award two years running in 1973 and 1974 - much of Mr Baxter's fondly remembered output would nowadays be considered extremely non-PC, so repeats (were there ever to be any anyway) would needless to say be heavily edited; hence the reason why he is largely forgotten. However, to mark this milestone birthday, here are just three of Stanley's memorable sketches (that still remain out there in the interwebs)...
Towering Quake '75:
The Fast Food Follies:
The Duchess of Brendagh:
Happy 90th birthday, Mr Stanley Baxter (born 24th May 1926)
Monday, 23 May 2016
"As the last woman standing of the 80s superstar triumvirate born in the US Midwest in the summer of 1958 (the other, of course, being Michael Jackson), perhaps Madonna really was Prince’s only true peer." - Alex Needham, The Guardian.
"Most of all, thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson, for all that you have given us." - Our Patron Saint Madonna.
Friday, 20 May 2016
"Do you think I would have lasted 48 years if I really gave a flying fuck what people think? I pull up my big girl g-string, follow my path, and move on."
"I’ve always taken risks and never worried what the world might really think of me."
"The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing - and then marry him."
"I wouldn’t give myself any advice, because advice is kinda bullshit. Take a deep breath and don’t take any of it too seriously."
"A girl can wait for the right man to come along, but in the meantime, that still doesn’t mean she can’t have a wonderful time with all the wrong ones."
"If you really want something, you can figure out how to make it happen."
"Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great."
Wise words from the Goddess of Kitsch, one of our most glittering Patron Saints - Cher, whose seventieth birthday it is today!
We are not worthy...
Cherilyn Sarkisian (born 20th May 1946)
Monday, 16 May 2016
You want colour? He uses lots. Patterns? Several in one garment. Accessories? More, more, more..!
M Lacroix, the idol of the catwalks (and of Edina Monsoon) is 65 years old.
Many happy returns, Christian Marie Marc Lacroix (born 16th May 1951)
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Friday, 6 May 2016
Sunday, 1 May 2016
She's seventy years old, you know...
"I find it a great antidote... lipstick and mirrors and hairspray."
"You only have one go at life, which is thrilling. Only you can make yourself into who you want to be. Don't blame anybody else. You are entitled to free fresh air, and that's it. Do the rest yourself."
"I've never felt the constraints of social acceptability."
"If you haven't got taste, money doesn't matter: You'll always look ghastly."
"Getting older isn’t a sin. If you’re alive, you’ll get old. There is no point denying it. Fuck it, if you’ve done how much I’ve done, you are just jumping for joy when you hit my age!"
Joanna Lamond Lumley, OBE FRGS (born 1st May 1946)
Friday, 29 April 2016
And so, farewell Mr Barry Howard - most famous for his portrayal of the waspish Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in BAFTA-award-winning 80s telly series Hi-De-Hi.
His was a long career in entertainment, mainly on the stage. For it was his panto partnership with another legendary TV camp character actor John Inman (in the days before Are You Being Served? was ever a twinkle in the eyes of Messrs Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft) that brought the two queens their first taste of success. Renowned for their fabulous costumes and wigs - created by “Modreno”, nowadays Wig Art - the pair were the most sought-after “Ugly Sisters” of their day, as well as having solo spots as various "Dames".
Barry made his West End debut as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, toured in Salad Days and Oliver. He portrayed "Emory" in a stage version of Boys In The Band, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Arthur Askey’s silly son in What A Racket, Hylda Baker’s boyfriend in Nearest and Dearest, "The Narrator" in The Rocky Horror Show, and more recently was "Marley's Ghost" in in Scrooge with Tommy Steele. On TV he appeared in The Two Ronnies, The Good Old Days, Terry and June, two Seaside Specials with John Inman, and even Doctor Who.
As the Telegraph's Ben Lawrence said:
"However, it was as the imperious ballroom dancer Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in Hi-de-Hi! that Howard came into his own. He excelled at showing what we would now call status anxiety as he and dance partner Yvonne (played by [the late] Diane Holland) foxtrotted round the ballroom of an Essex holiday camp, quietly despairing at the thought that they had reached the acme of their professional careers.
"Barry's snootiness was a perfect contrast to Paul Shane's coarse Northern comic Ted Bovis, with Howard often stealing the show with a displeased sideways glance or the flare of a nostril that hinted at an unpleasant smell in the vicinity."
The last word goes to Mr Howard himself: "[It was] a lovely way of earning the pennies".
RIP Barry Frederick Howard (9th July 1937 – 28th April 2016)