ONTHISDAY…Salvador Dali

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Told by his parents when he was only five years of age that he was the reincarnation of his deceased older brother, he would believe this for the rest of his life.  In 1934 he married the Russian-born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, also known as Gala. She was the muse for and subject of his sculpture, Gala in the Window, from 1933.

He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.   His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

He died on this day 1989.

 

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Brexit: Wife Swap Special Returns to C4

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Channel 4 is set to bring back its multi-award winning format Wife Swap for a one-off Brexit special. The show that allowed families to experience different lifestyles and perspectives on the world, returns for an intimate look at the nation’s biggest talking point – Brexit.

The 60-minute episode, due to air later this year, will be the first since the show ended nearly eight years ago.will see couples from either side of the Brexit debate swap households for one week and live with a family with very different views.

Emily Jones, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4 said:” Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones. Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household. What better time to bring back this much loved format to explore Brexit and hear firsthand the conversations happening in every home”.

Wife Swap first arrived on Channel 4 screens in 2003 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The final series aired in the UK in 2009.

 

Will Snowden be Trumps ‘Bin Landen’ scalp?

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We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.

I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now.  There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come.  And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?

Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now.  The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.

If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.

Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.

In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.

 

BBC Spy In The Wild

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Spy in the Wild (BBC ONE, January 12, at 8pm)

In one of the most innovative natural history series ever presented, a new nature series produced by the BBC deploys over 30 ultra-realistic animatronic Spy Creatures to go undercover in the animal world to capture unique animal behaviour closer than ever before.

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Using special “spy cameras” invented by film maker John Downer’s team, the viewer is plunged into the very heart of the extraordinary lives of over thirty fascinating animals across the world, including langurs, orang-utans, meerkats and crocodiles, revealing behaviour that is remarkably like our own. To expose some of the most astonishing animal behaviour ever seen, the team of Spy Creatures go undercover.

These robotic look-alikes make all the right moves to not only be accepted by animals but also interact with them, providing revelatory insights into their world.

Each episode in this four part series is packed with a menagerie of animatronic Spy Creatures exploring the different aspects of animal behaviour: Love, Intelligence, Friendships and Mischief.

Director  John Downer said that the aim of the programme was to “capture these elusive moments where animals do something so extraordinary that makes us consider our own connection with the natural world. Inevitably those moments are rare but by deploying a menagerie of life-like Spy Creatures and other remote cameras over a long period of time and filming thousands of hours of footage it was possible to capture many never-seen-before moments”.

Spy in the Wild is broadcast on BBC 1, on January 12th at 8pm

Peter Tatchell remembers George Michael

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Jason McCrossan’s guest on 106.9 SFM Saturday Breakfast penned an article for his PeterTatchell foundation website and also the Pink Paper in which he states “Anyone who remembers George Michael solely for his music is missing the real importance of him” – he is human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who shared his memories of George and a chance encounter before he was famous in a gay bar in London.