Friday, 30 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
geography...) A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an
ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state." A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going
over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to
California and then take the train to Hawaii?" I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to
explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she
interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid but
Capetown is in Massachusetts." Without trying to make her look like
the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts,
Capetown is in Africa." Her response... click. A secretary called in looking for hotel in Los Angeles. She gave me various names off a list, none of which I could find I finally had her fax me the list. To my surprise, it was a list of hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana. She thought the LA stood for Los Angeles, and that
New Orleans was a suburb of LA Worst of all, when I called her back,
she was not even embarrassed. I got a call from a man who asked, "is it possible to see England from
Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map." Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I
pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a one-hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time." A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that! A woman called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description
on your bag so they know who's luggage belongs to who?" I said, "No,
why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?" After putting her on hold for a minute while I "looked into it" (I was actually laughing), I came back
and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage. I just got off the phone with a man who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them." A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a
commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever." A business man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports,
I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked, and
sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
Freshly leaked from Sony to day (source withheld), here’s the tracklist for Glee: The Music, Volume 3 – Showstoppers (and Deluxe Edition). Since the Madonna songs were all released on the separate The Power Of Madonna EP, none of them will be featured on this volume. Due for release on May 18th 2010 worldwide. 1. Hello Goodbye (Deluxe Edition tracks are listed in bold.) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Glee#Track_listing
2. Gives You Hell
3. Hello (featuring Jonathan Groff)
4. A House Is Not A Home
5. One Less Bell To Answer / A House Is Not A Home (featuring Kristin Chenoweth)
7. Home (featuring Kristin Chenoweth)
8. Physical (featuring Olivia Newton-John)
9. Total Eclipse Of The Heart (featuring Jonathan Groff)
10. Lady Is A Tramp
12. Rose’s Turn
13. Dream On (featuring Neil Patrick Harris)
14. Safety Dance
15. I Dreamed A Dream (featuring Idina Menzel)
17. Give Up The Funk
19. Poker Face (featuring Idina Menzel)
20. Bad Romance
for full info on Music from Glee, including listings and release dates
Freshly leaked from Sony to day (source withheld), here’s the tracklist for Glee: The Music, Volume 3 – Showstoppers (and Deluxe Edition). Since the Madonna songs were all released on the separate The Power Of Madonna EP, none of them will be featured on this volume. Due for release on May 18th 2010 worldwide.
1. Hello Goodbye
(Deluxe Edition tracks are listed in bold.)
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again." Eric grinned; "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?" "No," I replied. "Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out." So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T I used to like Eric, the little bastard.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
WRONG ROOMS: Critique by Andrew Hodges: An 'Intelligent' Review of the Wrong Rooms Microfiction (screengrabs)
Then a text message from Facebook:
Then an email from Facebook!
Finally, a brief exchange of text messages between Andrew & I:
There's a lot more I could post...* * * PS. In *less than* 24 hours, around 900 people *chose* to read my first short story, and with around 100 new readers every day, I'm eternally grateful to them all. It might not be that good, but a lot of people are enjoying it.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
Instead of the usual Sunday Story update of Wrong Rooms, I've published what's happened so far already - a Friday treat for you. Here's the link:
Always follow @wrongrooms on Twitter for the story as it unfolds, usually several times a day.
The Sunday Story is what's happened so far, published on my blog, the the correct order.
To follow the author of Wrong Rooms, visit www.twitter.com/uselessdesires or follow @uselessdesires on twitter.
~ Visit www.uselessdesires.co.uk/wrong-rooms ~ Always get it first on Twitter NB ~ This is not the final release, and is very much a daily work-in-progress project. As I write the each installment, you get to read it first, raw and unedited. As such, this free-style of writing in 140 characters of less may give rise to the odd typo, mistake or something! Please let me know of any errors by leaving a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for the main weekly update, usually every Sunday.
~ Visit www.uselessdesires.co.uk/wrong-rooms
~ Always get it first on Twitter
NB ~ This is not the final release, and is very much a daily work-in-progress project. As I write the each installment, you get to read it first, raw and unedited. As such, this free-style of writing in 140 characters of less may give rise to the odd typo, mistake or something! Please let me know of any errors by leaving a comment below or email email@example.com
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Legacy Recordings is proud to announce the release of Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks, the career-spanning collection of chart- topping hits, classic tracks and personal favorites selected by America's top-selling female group, available everywhere Tuesday, June 1.The latest installment in Legacy's acclaimed Playlist Series of artist- assembled "Very Best Of" career-overviews, Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks includes key tracks and essential selections from all four of the Dixie Chicks chart-topping studio albums, remastered for this CD release for a state-of-the-art listening experience. Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks provides access to an exclusive Dixie Chicks pdf including an essay, photos and other bonus features once the CD is inserted in a computer drive. Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks- tracklisting: Wide Open Spaces (#1 Country Single from Wide Open Spaces)
You Were Mine (#1 Country Single from Wide Open Spaces)
Sin Wagon (from Fly)
Cowboy Take Me Away (#1 Country Single from Fly)
Let Him Fly (from Fly)
Long Time Gone (#2 Country Single, #7 Pop Single from Home)
Landslide (#2 Country Single, #7 Pop Single from Home)
Truth No. 2 (from Home)
The Long Way Around (from Taking The Long Way)
Easy Silence (from Taking The Long Way)
Not Ready To Make Nice (#4 Pop Single from Taking The Long Way)
Lubbock Or Leave It (from Taking The Long Way) With more than 32 million albums sold, and $100 million in concert tickets sold, the Dixie Chicks are one of the most popular live attractions in the world. The group will perform songs from Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks during their stadium tour with the Eagles running from April 16 through June 24. On May 4, Columbia Records will release the debut album from Court Yard Hounds, a country duo featuring Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. Court Yard Hounds will appear on this year's Lilith Fair dates. Visit www.dixiechicks.com for more information.
Monday, 12 April 2010
But soft! What tweet through yonder iPhone breaks? It is the east, and @julietcap16 is the sun.
Actually, Juliet Capulet is probably offline at the moment: being only 16, she has to go to school even on her birthday, where to her indignation Twitter is banned. She'll be back. And there's a big party planned tonight that could change all their lives: does any of this sound at all familiar?
The Royal Shakespeare Company today joined with the cross-platform production firm Mudlark and Channel 4's digital investment fund, 4iP, to launch Such Tweet Sorrow, a drama in real time and 4,000 tweets, very roughly based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
The Bard of Avon's 1597 tragedy of flirty, street-fighting teenagers disastrously caught up in the double trauma of real love and their parents' murderous small-town rivalries is already one of the most adapted of his works. It has been continuously reinvented as an opera, a ballet, a musical, a lesbian love story, a geriatric love story and even an ice show.
This time, Juliet is the daughter of a successful property developer. Her mother died in a car driven by the artist Montague; her father will no longer tolerate any of his works in the house, much less his son. Her brother Tybalt is well on his way to being expelled from his latest boarding school, and their older sister Jess, nicknamed Nurse, keeps well out of the way of their new stepmother.
Juliet ‑ "Totally haven't introduced myself yet! My name is Juliet. I'm 15 and SO proud to be a Capulet!" was how the actor Charlotte Wakefield announced herself yesterday ‑ spends quite a lot of her time in her room, and has helpfully posted a video of it on YouTube, lingering on a photograph of her late mother.
Such Tweet Sorrow is being improvised by a cast of six RSC actors from a story grid, taking in audience responses and real events, with author Tim Wright helping out Shakespeare. At this morning's launch he said he would have to find a way of working the election into the narrative.
The show will run for the next five weeks. The director, Roxana Silbert, described the production as "not very reverential". Or as Tybalt put it: "Couldn't give a crap!"
I've sat and wished my life away
I know the greyness comes and goes
But the sun don't shine
And the snow don't snow There's Suzy-Ann with her tits and curls
Where mediocrity excels
For those vicious boys and their boring girls
You know it makes me sick but it's a bozo's world Then there's always the cash
Selling yourself for some trash
Smiling at people that you cannot stand
You're in demand
Your fifteen minutes start now City banker looks are in
The heartless heart, the chinless chin
And you'd spill your beans for just a pint of gin
How you got so holy
And became so thin In Sunday papers every week
The silly words you love to speak
The tacky photos and the phoney smiles
Well it's a bozo's world
And you're a bozo's child Then there's always the cash
Selling yourself for some trash
Smiling at people that you cannot stand
You're in demand
Your fifteen minutes start now Then there's always the fame!
Autographs now and again
People who saw you on Blankety Blank
Or in the bank Cmin
Your fifteen minutes start now
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
It is the unlikeliest of Grand National stories.But when the tape rises on Dream Alliance and the 39 other starters at Aintree on Saturday, thousands of punters will be hoping that the nine- year-old gelding will rip up the form book once again to provide the fairtale ending the script requires. The horse, which won the Welsh National at Chepstow in December after recovering from a career-threatening leg injury, has already attracted the attention of a Los Angeles production company, and at 33-1, the bookies clearly see him as having a reasonable chance. Dream Alliance will be cheered on in Liverpool by a syndicate of twenty-three friends who have spent £10 a week each to bring him to the point where he can compete with racehorses owned by some of the sport's richest patrons. The syndicate is led by Brian Vokes and his wife Jan, who clearly has the Midas touch when it comes to breeding animals. A regular winner of 'best in show' with her whippets, she moved on to pigeons – a sport, she admits, she went for because she liked their cooing - breeding a winner of the prestigious Welsh South Road national at her first attempt. But she had never thought about racehorses until she overheard a conversation in a working men's club in the small town of Blackwood, Gwent. Local tax adviser Howard Davies was reminiscing about the horse he had owned 20 years previously and Mrs Vokes thought she 'wouldn't mind a bit of that'. "'Brian,' I said, 'go and buy me a thoroughbred mare. We're going to breed a racehorse."
He replied: "Don't be fecking stupid." But the journey had begun. Through word of mouth, Mr Vokes found a young man in Llanelli willing to sell a mare called Rewbell for £1000.
Mr Vokes knocked him down to £300 before Mrs Vokes, feeling sorry for him, gave the the seller an extra £50 in 'luck money.' With Mr Davies recruited as 'racing manager', and a copy of a turf directory, the trio narrowed the selection of stallions down to three within budget, wrote their names on the back of a beer mat and turned up their mats in order of preference. Bien Bien, untried in his first season at stud, was selected as first choice. The foal that resulted was named Dream Alliance. Born at a local vet's, the horse spent his first formative winters on a tenth of an acre mud patch with his mother and chickens and ducks for neighbours. The view from his 'stable' was the rear of a terrace of old, grey council houses and keeping him in were various types of chain link fence, an occasional rail and six-foot high steel mesh more commonly used to keep people out of building sites.
His summer turn-out was an acre of grass next to some playing fields. They knew they needed a trainer. They had a short-list of three and after visiting the stables of Philip Hobbs, near Minehead, they plumped for him. "When we went down there Brian had his leg in plaster and was weighing about 20 stone," recalls Mrs Vokes.
"The place was lovely. Philip took Dream Alliance as a three-year-old during the yard's quiet time in May and said he thought he had promise." Despite the win in the Welsh Grand National, Mrs Vokes is nervous about Aintree.
"Dream Alliance can run a fantastic race one day and then the next time he doesn't want to know," she said. "I don't know what goes on in his mind. "He's capable of winning but is he going to win? So many things can go wrong, he could get brought down at the first. I'm excited, it's hard to explain, I want to be there but at the same time I don't." A patriotic Welshman, Mr Davies is more relaxed. "Aintree is easier to contemplate now that he's already won the Welsh National. "That was the big one in our eyes because 17 of us are Welsh. Whatever happens at Aintree he's done far more than we ever expected." Outside the Square Café in Blackwood, the meeting place for syndicate members which includes café owner Rob Rossi, Mr and Mrs Vokes were posing for photographs on Thursday. A passing car slowed down, the occupant leaned out of the window and asked Brian, distinctive in that visible tattoos outnumber his teeth, if he was 'Dream Alliance'.
"Yes" he replied.
"Oh good," said the woman shaking his hand and wishing him luck. "I've never met anyone famous before."
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Leicester Tigers Stadium #2
Sunset Through the Office Blocks
Breaking Free from the City
Its All Very Pedestreian Looking Down
Ironic Park Sign in front of HMP Leicester Prison
Fire Tree near Avenue House
Railway Bridge #1
Robert Hall, Who Are You?
Railway Bridge #2
The latest installment ~Wrong Rooms (@wrongrooms)
I leap from his side, snatching the receiver from it's cradle. Hysterical & quite the drama-queen, I yell "WHAT?" into the green plastic.~ catch the ongoing drama only at
(new installments published most days) ~ also updated weekly on Sundays at
www.uselessdesires.co.uk/wrong-rooms~ ask the author about the musical, literary and personal influences behind the theme; firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below...
Monday, 5 April 2010
"Jacob!" I shout.
But it may be the pills at work. He gazes right through me.
I start running towards him. It's a blue, bright blue Saturday. I'm running down this pastel blue ward. It's still shining. But he doesn't get any closer. He just gazes. He doesn't smile; a blank face. My backless hospital gown billows pastal blue behind me as I run. Why can't I reach him?
"Jacob! Please!" Tears cascade down my crimson cheeks. Panic rips through my body. My heart wants to crash through my chest. Every part of my soul vibrates. Then, I trip and fall to the highly-polished floor of the ward. My head is a dead-weight. I struggle to lift it. Blood seeps from my nose. I can feel a frothy salty taste filling the back of my throat. I want to vomit. I drag my head from the cold floor and look up... At first, I just see his trainers. He always wore those damn trainers. They were comfortable, like he was to me. I struggle to lift my head As my eyes fall upon each part of his body, my eyes like virtual feet on an imaginary ladder, I crane my neck until I see his face. His head slowly drops forward to look down at me. His glassy eyes start to weep tears, which drop onto my bloodied face.
"Jacob?" I cry. Slowly and with purpose, his mouth opens. His lips pursed to form a word and speak. But with no warning I start to choke. I cough violently. As I open my eyes from coughing, I'm no longer on that pastel blue ward. There's no shining light. And I'm not at Jacob's feet anymore. *** I'm lying face down on the floor. But not on the highly-polished floor of a hospital ward, but on the grubby beige carpet of my bedroom. I start retching. Blood splatters the carpet. In another Valium- induced hallucination, I've fallen off my bed. Too many pills. Body aches. I haul my bruised body onto the bed and collapse on my back, staring up at the ceiling. I'm so disorientated. So very tired. So sick. I rub my eyes, trying to shake off the grogginess of my dream or hallucination or whatever it was. I try to make sense of it all. I'm alive I listen. Birdsong drifts through the window, a dog barks, a door slams, keys jangle. A child giggles. Traffic hums along. Life goes on. I'm warming up to cold reality again. I stretch my arm out to the other side of the bed to feel for Jacob, for comfort. He isn't there. Opening my eyes, I notice his pillow still has a soft dent from where his sleeping head rested hours before. The cold sheets lay crumpled. I remember he's at work. Which is where I should be. He'll start to realise if he hasn't already. I'll tell him tonight at 7, after dinner. *** I start to drift off to sleep again, sinking down in hot sleep and white sheets, with the traffic of mad men and maniacs invading my mind. It won't be long now... The sound of the telephone wakes me. I feel confused. I don't answer it. The coarse ringing tears through my fragile head. It's still light. It's seven minutes past three. I let my mind wander after taking my pills. More pills. Mostly medicinal. I start to think of Jacob. I smile. We met at Uni. He was beautiful. Four years younger than I, with olive skin and a dazzling smile that would make the hardest of hearts melt. He was studying history, I was studying pharmacology. He was in his first year, I was in my second. We met in an awkward, crowded canteen. A clichè maybe, but it was love at first sight. There was only one table free. Fate made sure we sat at it. We started making small talk. I have no idea what we spoke about. All I remember was how shy we both were. He kept looking down, smiling. I kept apologising. But I remember every little practical detail. How he walked. His mannerisms. What he was wearing. Those damn lovely comfortable trainers. I smiled, remembering those first moments. It's hard to believe it was over 7 years ago. 7 years 7 months to be exact. I felt a glow inside. I needed a shower. I needed to change the sheets. Blood over my face and the bed wasn't something I wanted him to see. I need more pills. Again I hauled my aching body from the bed, and clutching my side, I hobbled to the bathroom, bottle of wine, corkscrew and glass in hand. Jacob would be home in twenty-seven minutes, like clockwork. Predictable. Constant. I drank, showered and made the bed. It was almost 7pm. ***
7 days since the last time this happened. 7 days since the time before that. Almost like sadistic clockwork. How am I going to tell him?
His body ached from the latest beating. Bruises splattered his body like drunken art. His ribs creaked with the age of old oak floorboards.
But despite the physical pain, the emotional agony of keeping this secret any longer was becoming unbearable. I will tell him. I will
In 7 days time, it would happen again. But I won't let it. The beatings, this weekly physical onslaught was consented to. I agreed to it.
Besides, I still needed to tell him. There's only so much I can physically hide. The next chemical assault would have to wait. I love him.
I love him. Too much sometimes. And sometimes, I love him badly. In a bad way. A cruel, selfish way. But I have to keep him. He can't leave.
Without him I might as well be dead anyway. But if I tell him, he might leave. But he might stay. I'm sure he loves me just as much?
The poison coursing my veins also clouds my judgement. My thoughts are completely disordered. This poison is supposed to fight the disease.
But for what? Months of agony and the prospect of a life alone? If I'm to survive this as half a man, alone and lonely, life can fuck off.
I take another handful of pills. And the pain starts to slip away. I'm on a pastel coloured ward, and it's shining. How did I get here?
Around me, smiling angels drift down the length of the ward, wearing nurses uniforms. I'm in a blue pastel gown. On a blue pastel ward.
I feel so light. Free from pain. Free from disease. Floating the length of the ward, gazing into wrong rooms full of familiar faces...
Solitude replaces lonliness. I feel at peace. I actually feel the light around me. It's almost devine. Then something unexpected happens.
Sunday, 4 April 2010
It's a blue, bright blue Saturday, hey hey
And the pain has started to slip away, hey hey
I'm in a backless dress on a pastel ward, it's shining
Think I want you still, but it may be pills at work
Do you really wanna know how I was dancing on the floor?
I was trying to phone you when I'm crawling out that door
I'm amazed at you, the things you say that you don't do
Why don't you ring?
I was feeling lonely, feeling blue
Feeling like I needed you
Like I'd woken up surrounded by me
It's a blue, bright blue Saturday, hey hey
And the pain has started to slip away, hey hey
I'm in a backless dress on a pastel ward, 'The Shining'
Think I want you still, but it may be pills at work
How did I get to accident emergency?
All I wanted was you to take me out
I was feeling lonely, feeling blue
Feeling like I needed you
Like I hoped you'd call, I hoped you'd see me
The grande dame of British women stand-ups, Wood has featured character comedy, jokes, sketches and songs and draws heavily on her Lancashire roots and keen observations of ordinary women's experiences. Though she is best known for her television work and has won Baftas for writing and straight acting, Wood also won the best live stand-up category at the British Comedy Awards in 1991 and 2001. Her best-loved song is "The Ballad of Barry and Freda", a hymn to middle-aged sexual frustration that features the unforgettable line: "Beat me on the bottom with a Woman's Weekly."
Silverman, 39, has forged a career out of upending political correctness and challenging complacent Eeast coast liberalism. "I don't care if you think I'm racist," she once said, in response to a high-profile complaint about her comedy. "It's more important that you think I'm thin." Silverman's satire is scalpel-sharp, often drawing on her Jewish heritage in her stage persona to ridicule bigotry. In 2008, she won an Emmy for her song "I'm Fucking Matt Damon", performed as a duet with Damon as a spoof confession to her then-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! Her autobiography The Bedwetter (Faber) is out now.
Whatever you think of Joan Rivers' comedy, you have to admire the durability of her career. Born in 1933, from the mid-1950s she spent a decade braving Greenwich Village clubs in an entertainment world dominated by men, before her first television break on The Johnny Carson Show in 1965. "I was insanely persistent," she says. Rivers rightly regards herself as a pioneer, her brassy persona creating a brand of self-deprecating humour that opened the way for women after her to talk on stage about subjects once regarded as unsuitable for women or comedy.
Iranian-born Khorsandi moved to London with her family when her father, satirist Hadi Khorsandi, was deemed an "enemy of the revolution" for his writing. Much of her early comedy drew on her childhood experiences of the culture clash and of the death threats against her father, but she also focuses on more everyday observations of life and relationships, giving audiences the impression that they're chatting with an old friend who can be charming and waspish in the same breath. Khorsandi has lent her support to various free-expression campaigns and has twice appeared on Question Time.
Diminutive Porter has been a regular on the stand-up circuit for almost a decade and her Edinburgh shows have delighted audiences for almost as long. Her breezy delivery and fondness for interacting with the audience (she usually gives away sweets during her shows) is often a means of slipping more serious ideas under the radar; previous shows have seen her attempting to grapple with economics, morality and love. She also writes for a variety of television comedy shows and appears regularly on panel shows such as Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You.
Long, 27, represents a new, lo-fi kind of female performer. Diffident, proudly nerdy and offbeat, with her often childlike air of wonderment, she has won over a fanbase tired of cynical, wilfully offensive comedy. Long began stand-up at the age of 14 and won the BBC new comedy award at 17. After graduating from Oxford, she performed at experimental comedy clubs and toured with Stewart Lee as his warm-up act in 2005 before winning the if.comedy (formerly the Perrier) newcomer award in 2006 with her first Edinburgh show. She is also hugely popular in Australia, where she is a regular at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
Solon made headlines in 2005 when she became only the second woman to win the Perrier comedy award, at the age of 26. She'd begun performing with the Oxford Revue while an undergraduate, where she had decided that character comedy suited her better than straight stand-up. Her shows feature an array of surreal characters and have been praised for their originality. After the Perrier win, Solon was quickly signed up by the BBC to develop comedy projects and has written and performed three series of her Radio 4 show, Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking, as well as appearing with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse in their television shows.
Yashere turned to comedy after working as a lift engineer, completed her first tour in 2000 and has toured successfully ever since. In 2002, she was voted best female act at the Black Comedy awards and nominated best female stand-up at the Chortle awards. Her big break came in 2007 when she became one of the 10 finalists in the NBC reality show, Last Comic Standing, which brought her to a US audience and in 2008 she was the first British comic to appear on the influential black comedy show, Def Comedy Jam. She has since branched out into acting and has recently recorded a comedy special for US channel Showtime.
Newcastle-born Millican started performing comedy at the age of 29 and her early sets were largely based around the experience of her recent divorce. Her combination of a warm delivery with eye-wateringly explicit material about sex and relationships proved hugely appealing, and she accumulated many award nominations as she worked the club circuit before taking her solo show to the Edinburgh fringe in 2008, where she won the if.comedy best newcomer award. Her first Radio 4 series, Sarah Millican's Support Group, aired earlier this year and she has appeared on numerous television panel shows.
Most recently seen in her own BBC2 sitcom, Miranda, and taking part in the million-pound bike ride for Sport Relief, Hart is an accomplished actress and comic whose one-woman shows have been a highlight of the Edinburgh fringe for the past 10 years. She first took what she describes as "a terrible show" to Edinburgh in 1994 and decided that if it got one OK review and one night with more than 20 people, she would try comedy for a living. When one audience reached 21, she was committed. Her material is largely character- and sketch-based and often draws on her physical attributes – she is 6ft 1inch tall.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Health workers are going online to encourage people to quit smoking.Viewers to YouTube will be able to see an introduction from members of NHS Leicester City's Stop! team.They have helped to create a series of videos aimed at getting people aged from 16 to 24 talking about the issues.Louise Ross, manager of the service, said: "We feel the personal touch and support we give our quitters is key to their success and we want to try to engage with them on an even deeper level."The videos can be seen at:
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