Sunday, 14 July 2019

'Cause it's worth it

The genius that is Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys was 65 years old this week.

I reserve
the right to live
my life this way
and I don't give
a damn when I
hear people say
I'll pay the price
that others pay

'cause it's worth it
Yes it's worth living for
'cause it's worth it
Yes it's worth living for

All hail.

Neil Francis Tennant (born 10th July 1954).

More Pet Shop Boys over at my other blog Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!

"Somehow I seem to have been gently bypassed as a serious actor."

"In all my years as an actor, I had never been me - I had always hidden behind my glasses, moustaches and funny voices."

In all the hoo-ha and partying that accompanied our faboo Gay Pride weekend, we missed marking an important centenary in the annals of campery - the ebullient "Third Doctor" in Doctor Who, Mr Jon Pertwee!

Just about every child in the UK has grown up with one or other of the "Doctors", and from his debut in 1970 to his departure in '74, Jon Pertwee was mine. In hindsight, all his swishing of capes, velvet suits and enormous frilly collars, his penchant for vintage cars (his was "Bessie") and fine living, as well as for fighting monsters using the latest space technology (the "sonic screwdriver" and "the Whomobile" were every bit as exciting as the control room of the TARDIS) and "Venusian aikido" were probably great formative influences on little gay moi...

Outside his most famous role, Mr Pertwee was a well-respected actor and comedian. Prior to Who he was a Music Hall artiste, became a fixture on BBC radio including in The Navy Lark, and appeared in four Carry On films; and after his on-screen demise at the hands of the Planet of the Spiders, he became a beloved figure for a new generation of children as Worzel Gummidge, and cemented his louche on-screen persona as the host of the gameshow Whodunnit. He never quite shook off the mantle of "The Doctor" however, reappearing in The Three Doctors and many other Who-related shows, productions and conventions.

I still associate him with the role, almost half a century later.

John Devon Roland “Jon” Pertwee (7th July 1919 – 20th May 1996)

Friday, 5 July 2019

I'm not willing just to be tolerated

“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”

“Living is a horizontal fall.”

“What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.”

“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?”

“A little too much is just enough for me.”

“I'm not willing just to be tolerated. That wounds my love of love and of liberty.”

“I am a lie that always speaks the truth.”

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5th July 1889 – 11th October 1963)

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Monday, 1 July 2019

All I want is a photo in my wallet, a small remembrance of something more solid

[Photos from the great lady's photoshoot with Andy Warhol in 1980]

It's our Patron Saint of Pouting's 74th birthday today! How did that happen?

Not resting on her laurels one iota, Miss Debbie Harry (for it is of course she) has written her autobiography - titled Face It - which is due out in October. Of it, she said in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year: "I realised I have led a very full life and couldn’t possibly cover everything... It’s such a long period of time, and there’s so much to tell, that I couldn’t really isolate a lot of little stories and events... [it's about] the way we got through and maintained and continued and carried on through all that time from my sort of warped little perspective.”

Well, that's my birthday present sorted...

Many happy returns, Deborah Ann Harry (born Angela Trimble, 1st July 1945)

Friday, 21 June 2019

Dance our ringlets to the whistling wind

"...since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind."

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight."

- extracts from A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
It's Midsummer's Day, the Summer Solstice.

Nights start drawing in from this point on, dear reader.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Mavis is 90!

Thelma Barlow (née Pigott, born 19th June 1929) aka "Mavis Riley" in Coronation Street, aka "Dolly" in Dinnerladies, aka "Lady Thaw" in Doctor Who (!), is 90 years old!

All hail.

Monday, 17 June 2019

I have been a bit of a girl

Remarkably, today marks the centenary of the birth of one of Britain's most beloved comedienne-actresses (and Patron Saint here at Dolores Delargo Towers), Miss Beryl Reid!

From the BFI website:
Producers, like critics, are strange people: once they have pigeonholed an artist, nothing they do later can alter their status. Thus, Beryl Reid is categorised as a merry, apple-cheeked comedienne, despite the fact that her non-comic performances displayed an uneven, yet indisputable, talent for powerful characterisation.
From variety shows and stage revues, to the early days of radio, to television, to award-winning actress, Miss Reid covered the full gamut. Although revered as the "funny lady", full of instantly-quotable characters (such as "Marlene" and "Monica") and always in demand for guest appearances on light entertainment shows, she proved her true mettle by tackling the ground-breaking role of the troubled lesbian actress in The Killing of Sister George, and followed it soon after with another lead role in a camp black comedy (and another house fave), that of "Kath" in Entertaining Mr Sloane. She jumped from sitcom to Shakespeare to Sheridan to Smiley's People, and won awards for all of them, culminating in an OBE in the New Year's Honours list in 1985 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy at the 1991 British Comedy Awards.

She also liked to be a bit mischievous, apparently...

From her obituary in the Herald Scotland:
She thought nothing of shocking people with her remarks on sex. She admitted to numerous affairs. She also claimed to wear specially made perfume called Easy Virtue...

On one occasion when friends called unexpectedly at her home and she did not feel like being sociable, she sent them quickly on their way by telling them: "Oh, I'm terribly sorry I can't ask you in because I'm in bed with someone I don't know terribly well."

..."I have been a bit of a girl," she liked to say.

Reid believed life was for living and loved to quaff champagne, which she called "Toff's Lemonade".

Her passion in life was making people laugh, a profession she described as "the longest apprenticeship in the world".
We adored her.

Here is the great lady herself, talking about her life:

Beryl Elizabeth Reid, OBE (17th June 1919 – 13th October 1996)

More Beryl here and here.