RIP Richard Griffiths

Vernon DursleyI am very sad to say that on the 28th of March, 2013, British actor Richard Griffiths passed away.

He died aged 65 after heart surgery complications.

He was known to me, and to many other naïve teenagers, simply due to his role as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter film series however I had also seen him in The History Boys and Private Peaceful. However, as I have gained from the dozen or so obituaries that are already spilling onto the internet, Richard Griffiths was both an acting and comedy legend who starred in numerous TV shows, Films and Stage Plays.

I remember one of his jokes being used by Ed Morrish, the producer of Cabin Pressure, to make people turn off their mobile phones. “Turn off that phone now, or I will come and sit on your head”. He was quite a large man.

He will be very much missed and will join those great Harry Potter actors who died before him. Richard Harris, Robert Knox, Timothy Baterson and others.

Richard Griffiths

Can a G-Wiz fit in a van?

At my explorers and before that scouts, a lot of our time was spent teasing our Scout leader about his frankly microscopic car. It’s one of those G-Wiz cars, the sort that has “Yes It’s Electric!” printed on the back.

However last week something different happened. Our leader who seemed to be a bit bored with a group of teenagers who seemed to be content to sit around and play scrabble wondered whether he could fit his G-Wiz into his van.

This into this

Most of the time was spent emptying the van (maybe that was his intention) however soon the car was driven up some rampy-thing and into the back of the van. So if you ever want to know whether something the size of an overinflated beach-ball can fit in the back of a van, the answer is yes it can.

It fits!

Dyeing my hair Black

Black hairDo you ever get weird urges? You know the sort, when you really want to do something quite foolish but seriously fun.

Well I experienced one of these recently, last weekend to be precise. That urge was in fact to dye my hair black. Maybe it was because some of my friends have done it, maybe it was because I was in a weird sort of mood or maybe it’s just because people with black hair look really cool, I did get that urge, and urge which I have now carried out.

Well that was nice.

The Hobitit

Hobitit - Gollum‘Hobitit’ is a Finnish TV Series, being one of the only live-action representations of the Lord of The Rings.

In a total of nine episodes this series shows the finding of the one ring by Bilbo Baggins and then goes on to account Books 1,2,4 and 6 of the Lord of the Rings, as narrated by an older Samwise.

I have many criticisms for this series, not least the fact that it is not in English so I can only watch it with subtitles. My main concern is that by limiting themselves to 9 episodes, they featured far more heavily on some aspects of the story and skating over many others with large sections of the story cut out completely. For example a whole episode focussed on Bilbo finding the ring, another on Bilbo’s 111th birthday and another almost complete episode on the hobbit’s journey through the dark forest. However the entire journey of the fellowship only lasted one episode and the scene in the mines of Moria less than two minutes. It also begins to show the scouring of the shire, however this cuts out halfway through for some reason.

The Hobitit

However the series does have to be admired. The representation of Gollum was simple and yet superb and the series was also one of the few adaptations to feature Tom Bombadil.

I also saw quite a few similarities in this series and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. These include the scene where Saruman imprisons Gandalf in Isengard and the death of Boromir.

All in all a very good series, if I could understand it.

Newsjack Recording – Series 8 Episode 5

156083_612439188771609_1176274895_nA few days ago I went to, yes, another radio recording. This time it was for Series 8, Episode 5 of BBC Radio 4 Extra program, Newsjack.

However there was one significant difference to this recording than the others I have been too, for it took place at the BBC Broadcasting House rather than the usual RADA Studios.

CIMG9009However it was a nice change for the Broadcasting house is many things that RADA sadly isn’t. Those are big, clean, bright and well-staffed.

There are floors upon floors of offices with people updating the weather or editing the news footage. The place was nicly furbished (having had a multi-million pound 296507_612439325438262_1306766627_nrefurbishment a few years ago). It also has life-size models of both the TARDIS and a dalek, which were quite fun to pose for pictures in front of.

However being big a new, the broadcasting house had a slightly artificial tone and was definitely not as friendly as RADA. The women on reception’s forehead reflected the light above and she spoke with an American ac164396_612439332104928_776312710_ncent! You have no idea how much I hate American accents.

The show itself was excellent however two famialiar faces were missing; Host Justin Edwards and actress Pippa Evans. Some great jokes were cracked including the workings of the new Pope’s mind and a ‘Mind the Gap’ CD.

Me, and some friends, and a TARDIS

The Hobbit! – 1966 Film

hobbit‘The Hobbit!’ is a 1966 adaptation of JRR Tolkein’s legendary novel. It is famous, not only for being the first adaptation of the Hobbit but also for doing the inconceivable and condensing the whole story into just 12minuetes. Perhaps Jackson could have got some ideas from there.

I would like this ‘film’ as it were, if there were not so many drastic changes to the storyline. Instead of 13 dwarves there are just two men (Thorin Oakenshield) and a women, or princess to be precise, who falls in love with Bilbo. Bilbo is also portrayed as a mighty, destined warrior whos destiny is the kill Smaug (or Slag as he is renamed). This film also cuts out the entire trip to Rivendell as well as the eagles, Beron and the battle of the Five Armies. It also portrays Gandalf more like Saruman, as a wise magician who sits in a tower and foretells the future.

So if the story was told as it actually happened, I think it would be a great way to tell the story. The animation is excellent and even the voices (all done by one man) were great.

The-Hobbit-Animation-From-1966

Turning into a Chav

A chav can be identified by the following traits:

  • Their clothes
  • Their language
  • Their company (the other chvas they hang around with)
  • Their taste in films
  • Their taste in Video Games
  • Having WATCHED but not READ Harry Potter
  • Their music.

I have long held the belief, and nobody can argue with this, that I am not a chav. However recently something very scary has started happening to me.

You see the bottom of that list; ‘Their taste in music’ ? Well I have recently fallen in love with what I am told is a ‘chav’ song! What does this mean? Am I becoming one of them? Will I start smoking and swearing and wearing my trousers around my knees? I sincerely hope not.

I will just have to sincerly hope that this is not the start of a transformation, just me opening up to different cultures of music. In this case ‘chav’.

The song in question is ‘Scream and Shout’ by will.i.am, which can be listened to below. I’m sure you will agree that it is an epic song!