Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, dies

Patrick Macnee

It was announced that the actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died on 25th June in California at the age of 93.

Born in London, he grew up in Berkshire and was educated at Eton.

At the age of 11, he acted in Henry V opposite a young Sir Christopher Lee. He first appeared in the West End while still in his teens.  He also played a number of minor roles – including one in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of Hamlet – before rising to fame in the original Avengers series between 1961 and 1969.

The Avengers

The series developed a cult following around the world, with Macnee portraying the quintessentially English and mysterious super-spy John Steed.

Here is an interview which was recorded in 1985 with Marjorie Bilbow in which Patrick recalls his early film roles, his time in The Avengers and working with Roger Moore.

And of course who could forget

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POEM: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Taylor

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On 106.9 SFM every Saturday morning – Jason McCrossan presents Tranquil Time – where he plays poetry on the radio.

Today’s poem is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star written by Jane Taylor and read by Gill Fraser Lee. Jane Taylor was an English poet and novelist. She wrote the words for the song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.

The poem is now known worldwide, but its authorship is generally forgotten. It was first published under the title “The Star” in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Taylor and her older sister Ann (later Mrs. Gilbert).

Jane Taylor Poet

The sisters, and their authorship of various works, have often been confused, in part because their early works were published together.

council tax band scam

gov.uk website

Swale borough council ran a warning today about a lady who paid £60 to check and possibly appeal against her tax banding. It just goes to show that some companies will try anything to get your money into their greasy pockets.

The local resident who was cold-called persuaded her to pay £60 to appeal her council tax banding with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), in the belief that she would see her council tax bill lowered.

REMEMBER: there is no need to pay anyone to check your banding – or appeal it if you think it is wrong – you can do it yourself for free.

Whilst some people may successfully appeal, most properties are in the correct band. Paying someone to check and appeal can be a waste of money, when you can do it yourself with no charge.

Information on checking and appealing your council tax band is available from the VOA at

https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-appeals/challenge-your-band.

Sir Nigel Hawthorne Remembered

Nigel Hawthorne

Nigel Hawthorne is an actor whom I always adored as the sharp minded, yet petulant & slippery Permanent Secretary  Sir Humphrey Appleby in the Yes Minister/Prime Minister series.

nigel hawthorne, paul eddington

Very sadly, he died on Boxing Day 2001 at the age of 72. He had just completed his exceptional autobiography about a life which had by no means taken a straight path. His ambitions to be an actor when a young man in South Africa were strongly discouraged by his father. He came to England alone and struggled for many years to make his name – eventually joining the Royal Court, starring in the West End, and finally having his great TV break in Yes, Minister.

He also struggled with his sexuality and it was not until meeting production manager Trevor Bentham in l977 that he finally found his life partner. A naturally private man, his media ‘outing’ in the run-up to the Oscar Ceremony for The Madness of King George was the source of much pain, although ultimately it became a liberation.

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At the peak of his career he was struck by cancer and his battle with illness forms a moving final section of the book. Speaking of his death, his partner Trevor Bentham, still in the raw grip of mourning for the actor said ”The cancer that had plagued his pancreas for 18 months had recently moved to his lungs and finished the job quickly and with the greatest dignity,” Bentham recalls. ”No trace of pain, a quiet end in a shaft of winter sunlight.” At 9.30 on that Boxing Day morning Hawthorne had collapsed in a chair and ”simply ceased to live”.

“Party Games” is the twenty-second and final episode of the BBC comedy series Yes Minister. A one-hour Christmas special that was first broadcast 17 December 1984, its events lead into the sequel, Yes, Prime Minister. The episode was shown again at Christmas 1990, shortly after the fall of Margaret Thatcher. Hacker’s denials of interest in the party leadership were similar to those made by Michael Heseltine some six years later.

Westend Bake Off Special with Christopher Biggins

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Christopher Biggins & Barbara Windsor were the judges at the first ever West End Bake Off held on 23rd May at St Anne’s Church Courtyard, London.

Baker-partakers included, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Les Misérables, Wicked, Beautiful –The Carole King Musical, Billy Elliot The Musical, The Book Of Mormon, Mamma Mia!, The Mousetrap, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Railway Children and War Horse.

All funds raised at the Bake Off, which is supported by The Mackintosh Foundation, will go towards Acting For Others, the umbrella organisation representing 15 UK theatrical charities that offer emotional and financial support to members of the entertainment industry who have fallen on hard times.

Monday Matters are big flans of bake off’s and felt the knead to send along their rising reporter Bonnie Britain to see how much dough had been raised and get a slice of the action.

radio show on 8 june 2015 sittingbourne kent Bonnie Tyler

Westend Bake Off

On the show tonight: Our reporter Bonnie Britain returns to the airwaves once again. Last month she was in London’s Westend for a charity event WESTEND BAKE OFF – where the stars of London theatre flashed their fairy cakes, showed us their buns and touted their Eccles cakes all – in aid of charity. She also chats to judge Christopher Biggins.

In our Night-Time Report – Prime Minister David Cameron has said he was “misinterpreted” over comments that implied Government ministers who did not back a “yes” vote on the EU referendum should resign. We have a full news update after 8.

Our featured artist tonight is Bonnie Tyler – it’s her birthday today – she’s 64. Welsh singer who had a worldwide smash with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. ALSO tonight – if you were a fan of the Willo the Wisp stories in the 80s – acted by Kenneth Williams – for the first time tonight we will play an episode called The Bride-Groom.

106.9 SFM Breakfast Show sittingbourne 6 june 2015

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Saturday Breakfast with Jason McCrossan is broadcast on Kent radio station 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne & Swale (www.sfmradio.com). On the show today – Kyra keeps us up-to-date with the audience interaction; and the latest travel & Jan has the news.

Also on the show – we play our morning quiz “Whose The Voice” and play Countdown on the radio – to varying success!!