February 9, 2009
February 9, 2009
An Abba tribute band says it has performed a private concert for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Bjorn Again says it was paid £20,000 to play the gig 200 miles (320km) north of Moscow on 22 January.
Bjorn Again’s manager Rod Stephen and other band members said Mr Putin danced to Abba hits and shouted “Bravo!”
The PM’s spokesman denied the claim. Mr Putin – a former KGB spy who has a black belt in judo – is known in Russia and the West for his macho image.
- BBC News
February 8, 2009
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said he is sorry for calling Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.
He said: “In the heat of the moment I made a remark about the Prime Minister’s personal appearance for which, upon reflection, I apologise.”
The broadcaster made the comments to journalists in Sydney when he was speaking about the economic crisis.
The Royal National Institute for the Blind said it had offered to meet Mr Clarkson to discuss his comments.
The BBC said it noted Clarkson’s apology for the comments and would be taking no further action.
- BBC News
February 4, 2009
Campaigners have secured the £50m they need to buy a 16th Century painting by Titian for the nation.
The painting – Diana and Actaeon – was offered for sale by its owner, the Duke of Sutherland, last summer.
The National Galleries of Scotland and London’s National Gallery were jointly trying to raise the money.
The Scottish Government has pledged £12.5m, £7.4m has come from public donations and £12.5m has come from National Galleries in London….
The painting has been on public display at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh and London for more than 200 years.
Its owner, the Duke Of Sutherland, decided in the summer of 2007 to sell the painting and a public campaign was launched by the galleries last August in a bid to raise the money.
Now the galleries have secured funds to buy Diana and Actaeon, a second Titian painting – Diana and Callisto – will be offered for sale in four years.
The two Titians were created as part of a cycle of works for King Philip II of Spain from 1556 to 1559 and form part of the Bridgewater collection, which has been on loan to the National Galleries of Scotland since 1945.
- BBC News
But then I noticed this in an earlier story…
Should the two galleries manage to raise the necessary funds, the entire Bridgewater collection will remain on long-term loan to the Scottish gallery.
Hang on… as in “buy these two paintings for £100 million or we’ll withdraw the entire collection”? No wonder a Glasgow MP has called the £17.5 million Scottish Government contribution ‘obscene’…
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Davidson, the member for Glasgow South West, said: “It is difficult to argue that this is part of Britain’s cultural heritage when it’s a picture by a long dead Venetian – it’s not as if it’s Jock McTitian.
December 24, 2008
December 22, 2008
December 17, 2008
Advertising watchdogs have rapped a Hollywood studio for putting up movie posters at Stockwell Tube station with the slogan: “There’s nothing wrong with a little shooting, as long as the right people get shot.”
The posters, advertising the Robert De Niro and Al Pacino flick Righteous Kill, were put up during an inquest into the death of Jean Charles De Menezes – the unarmed Brazilian who was shot to death by police marksmen who mistook him for a terrorist at the station.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints about the posters – saying they “had the potential to cause serious offence in that location”.
December 2, 2008
Not something you hear on the news every night…
“[As] the Royal Shakespeare Company remove the human skull from tomorrow’s first-night of Hamlet.
We talk exclusively to the skull’s agent.”
- John Snow, CHANNEL 4 NEWS
As Hamlet moves to the West End, Stephanie West learns that Andre Tchaikowsky’s skull is to be dropped from the production.
The dying wish of the Polish pianist was to leave his skull to the RSC and for them to use it on stage in Shakespeare’s famous play.
After a quarter of a century Tchaikowsky finally appeared posthumously as Yorick, held aloft by David Tennant, in the production of Hamlet at Stratford.
I do love Channel 4 news… video here.