the time of the movie’s release, the world buzzed with stories
of unusual occurrences during the actual filming of the movie on
that sacred and majestic rock. The stories of stopped watches
on set and a feeling of an unknown presence watching everything
that occurred were commonplace, but the story I like best is the
one Anne Lambert (who portrayed Miranda) told me personally. As
far as I am aware, only a small select group of people have ever
heard of this tale … until now.
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Tom Baker was
the 4th actor to portray the eccentric and totally lovable Dr Who
in the BBC series of the same name.
His characterisation of the famous Time-Lord was bigger than
life and made him one of the most popular Dr Whos of all time. ...
As Dr Who, Tom is seen as a hero by many generations, but perhaps
not so well known is his quiet generosity in real life, as illustrated in
a delightful story told by Robert Llewellyn (Kyrton in Red Dwarf).
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It was a Saturday afternoon in the 1960’s and the Merchant of Venice was playing in the Brisbane City Town Hall to a packed audience of high school students and their teachers. The actors were all from the
Petrie Terrace amateur theatrical group. I had brought my nine year old sister along to watch the play whilst I was working in the wings controlling the stage lights.
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The late Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister of Britain
from 1957 to 1953. His
grandson tells this fascinating anecdote of problems behind the public
“As a young man, I had the privilege of watching some of the great
post-war politicians from close quarters when they visited my late
Grandfather at his residence in Sussex. One of these was the late General
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Lord Nuffield was born William Richard Morris in 1877 and
is chiefly remembered as the founder of the highly successful British car
company Morris Motors, which once manufactured half the cars sold in the UK. William
Morris was therefore an extremely wealthy man. He was also a
and generous man who gave more than thirty
million pounds away to charity.
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I Know You?
Iraq, a scholar and wise man by the name of Wahab bin Amr
turned himself into a
wise fool, knowing that his insanity would protect him from
persecution. He became known as Bahlool, the idiot and hero
of folklore, forever revealing the underlying truth in various
social situations. A very pertinent anecdote featuring Bahlool and his feelings
on the subject of war goes something like this ...
A cruel and foolish king wished to amuse himself by watching
Bahlool in combat, even though it was well known that Bahlool was
a hopeless fighter. Bahlool
pleaded for his life but soon realised that there was no escape
from his ruler’s desire for amusement, so Bahlool asked for a
last meal that was both scrumptious and plentiful.
Read More ...
Michael Caine was
sharing dinner with fellow actor, Terence Stamp, at a fashionable private
show-business hangout called “Pickwick” when he received word that the
film producer Harry Saltzman was also there and would appreciate the actor
stopping by his table.
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witch was wonderfully evil, delighting in her depravity with a
gloriously ugly cackle for a laugh.
The children in the audience should have been terrified of
her … but for some reason, children actually wanted to walk up
on the stage and hold the actress’s hand or give her a hug.
Read More ...
in the end ...
very last songs ever recorded by The Beatles were the medley on
Side B of Abbey Road.
“The songs are Golden Slumbers”, “Carry That
Weight” and “The End”.
If you have listened to the album, you will know that after
“The End’, there is a significant pause then the whimsical
ditty “Her Majesty’s a Pretty Nice Girl” starts playing.
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I Write That?
Barker and Ronnie Corbett were “The Two Ronnies” on the extremely
popular BBC comedy show, which ran from 1971 to 1987.
They had started working together on “The Frost Report” in
1966, and discovered they shared a very similar sense of humour.
Pan Doesn't Do That!
In the stage version of Peter Pan, the lead character is
usually portrayed by a female actress.
The original Peter was Maude Adams, a dear friend of the writer,
James Barrie. Another
Chase, played a small part in the original production, then understudied
the lead role, which had been taken over by Cissie Loftus, when
the successful show went touring.
is a Mayor, a Mare?
The Baroness Trumpington of Sandwich, in the County of
Kent, England, is Jean Alys Barker who was also the Minister of State in
the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1989 to 1992. She was sixty-nine at the time, which gives her the record
for being the eldest female minister in British Parliament.
The Baroness displays a delightful sense of humour, as she recounts
this experience from her past …
Buster Keaton, silent-movie star and comic genius, was once
extremely popular and extremely rich.
He owned a beautiful mansion in Hollywood, filled with secret
tunnels and secret treasures.
Read more ...
Andrews and The Helicopter
During the filming of “Sound of Music”, when the title
song was being filmed, Julie Andrews was taken by helicopter and stranded,
on her own, on top the beautiful mountain we all remember.
The helicopter then proceeded to fly towards, and over, Julie as she sang
“The Sound of Music”, with a cameraman filming her as she walked
across the beautiful grass-soaked mountaintop. The scenery is spectacular, Julie looks great, everything
went exceedingly well … except for one small thing.
regularly dreamt of an old stone and thatched roof house, set in a
beautiful, green valley. In
his dream, Jim would open the front door and walk into his dream
house, searching through every room and always ending in the
study, never finding what he was looking for.
He always awoke feeling lost and lonely, and wondering
about the meaning of his dream.
Neverland is a fine film starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin
Hoffman and Julie Christie. It
is based upon true-life events in the life of J. M. Barrie and his
creation of “Peter Pan”. However,
dramatic license was taken in several areas.
poet Dante Alighieri wrote his Divine Comedy in the
the last 13 cantos of this tale of heaven and hell where retrieved
after Dante’s death because of a visit to Dante’s son by the
ghost of his father.
could use that!
and writers share many commonalities, not the least of them being
a consistent awareness of experiences as potentially useful for
their creative endeavours.
1846, the three Bronte sisters published a volume of their poems.
The following year, Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre and Anne’s
“Agnes Grey” were published, and Emily’s “Wuthering
Heights” was accepted and awaiting publication.
Dahl was a 26 year old veteran of World War 2 when he was
invalided home, then sent to Washington DC, as an Assistant Air
Attaché. Roald found
himself with a lot of spare time, and equal amount of boredom,
when he met C. S. Forester, author of the Horatio Hornblower
having a drink,” said Frank, “because it’s ‘tini time.”
Mr Sinatra,” protested the assistant director, “we are behind
schedule and we need to make up time.”
far behind are we?” asked Frank.
weeks,” answered the assistant director.
Larson is the creator of the hilarious cartoon series “The Far
Side”, but he was not always celebrated and successful.
He once worked in a job he despised, only dreaming of
“what could be”.
Eventually Gary’s desire for a more fulfilling life
overcame his concerns for security.
the Ferris Wheel
Came Running was written by James Jones, who also authored From
Here to Eternity. Both
From Here to Eternity and Some Came Running were
turned into successful films, starring Frank Sinatra. From Here to Eternity was directed by Fred Zinnermann,
who Frank Sinatra admired. Some
Came Running was directed by Vincente Minnelli, who Frank did
the creator of the cartoon series “The Far Side”, was only
earning $3 a cartoon when he first entered his chosen field.
He felt very lucky when he was given a regular stint with
the Seattle Times, earning $15 a cartoon.
Keats, Joseph Severn and Death
Keats spent the final days of his short life in Rome with his
friend, Joseph Severn. It
had been hoped that the sunny weather of Italy might have a
beneficial affect upon Keats's health. Keats,
however, was destined to die in the same way as his mother and
brother – with consumption.
Keats and Fanny Brawne
John Keats, the poet, died of tuberculosis in
1821, in Rome. He had left the passion of his life, Fanny Brawne, and his
closest friends behind in England.
Fanny was particularly devastated by her fiancé’s loss at
such a distance and wrote this moving letter to John Keats sister,
who was also called Fanny ...
and Queen Washington
is just as well George and Martha Washington were humble, good
people, otherwise America would now be a royalist country, hailing
the King or Queen directly descended from The Washington genetic
V had hoped his elder brother, Albert, would be king, and let him
live a quieter, saner life, but the fates decreed otherwise.
Albert died in 1892, making George the heir apparent.
Upon the death of his father, Edward V11, in 1910, George
became King of England.
to Freedom's Joy
is the time of year when many of us have the chance to listen to
our local city choir singing “Ode to Joy”. It is an inspiring and uplifting piece, which is perhaps made
even more inspirational by knowing that the original title and words
were “Ode to Freedom”.
Have Slept Through That Bit!!
Harks was the director of the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
movie, “The Big
Sleep”. He liked
the script except for one small concern - Howard couldn’t figure
out who had killed a certain character in the film.
famous story of Ghandi’s wisdom is set in 1947. A fellow countryman, who was seeking solace and redemption,
approached Ghandi. The
man had killed a child!
the Great's Dreams
were once taken very seriously, with many people believing in their
prophetic possibilities. Alexander
the Great certainly believed in his dreams, and with good reason.
Tell the Time
is a well known personality on English television. He tells
this delightful anecdote about an interview he conducted, when he
was a young TV reporter, with a farmer
on the wilder uplands of Wensleydale.
George V1 and a Special Occasion
George V1 of England toured Canada before the Second World War.
At one of the stops along the way, he noticed the local mayor was
not wearing a mayoral chain.
Mason and Clarissa Kaye
Mason was in Australia, filming Age of Consent, when he met
his wife-to-be, Clarissa Kaye.
Lamb was a successful writer and critic, who wrote an extremely
unsuccessful stage play.
wondered where and how the phrase "stealing my thunder"
Kelly & Adventure
Grace Kelly was already a star
but she was still new to movies, and great adventures. ...
Kelly &The Lion
... Clark Gable returned
from filming one day, to discover Grace Kelly had wandered away from the
Marx & The Bedtime Story
Harpo and his wife, Susan,
adopted four children ...
Harpo Marx &
Harpo and Susan Marx were dining with their good
friends, Gracie Allen and George Burns. ...
T. Roosevelt, Jr
... Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
answered, "It's a matter of rank ...