Category Archives: Obituary

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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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.

R.I.P Sir Jimmy Young

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The news broke late last night that the nation lost yet another veteran broadcaster in 2016.

Sir Jimmy Young has died peacefully at home aged 95.

He was one of the original Radio 1 DJs at its launch in 1967.  He then cross channels to Radio 2 in 1973 and filled the early afternoon slot until he retired in December 2002, spending 3 decades at channel 2.

Jimmy was one of the reasons why I loved radio so much.  He had wit, knowledge and timing which took him to the top of broadcasting. I still remember being in a car driven by my father listening to Jimmy – and although I didn’t always understand the content – it was the voice and the style that I was interested in.

Here is a clip of two radio greats – no longer with us – the late Sir Terry Wogan in conversation with the late Sir Jimmy Young in 1978.

Remembered: DJ DaveCash 1942 – 2016

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Dave Cash was one of Radio 1 and Capital Radio’s original DJs who later reinvented himself as a bestselling novelist. Although he originally intended to apply to Radio Caroline, fate intervened and he began working for Caroline’s biggest rival Radio London.

It was during his early days on Radio London that Cash struck up an on-air partnership with a then 19-year-old trainee DJ called Maurice Cole, who became better known to millions as Kenny Everett. After the Government outlawed pirate radio stations Cash joined Radio Luxembourg, then in 1967 he became one of the founding DJs on BBC Radio 1 alongside the likes of Tony Blackburn, Pete Murray and Alan “Fluff” Freeman.

In the late 1960s Cash hosted episodes of Top of the Pops on BBC Television. He supplied the voice-over in The Who’s cult film hit Quadrophenia in 1979 and took a cameo role alongside Dennis Hopper in the sci-fi comedy The American Way (1986). By then he had become programme controller of Radio West, the commercial station based in Bristol, when it was launched in 1981.

In 1999 Cash returned to the BBC, working in local radio across the south of England, broadcasting weekend shows of rock classics and country and western tracks on Radios Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Solent, Berkshire and Oxford. His recollections of life aboard a pirate radio ship, He Sounds Much Taller, appeared as an audio book in 2012.

Jason McCrossan spoke to radio commentator and former colleague Paul Chantler.

Martin Meredith: Mandela A Biography

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Today is Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day).  An annual international day celebrated each year on 18 July, which was Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.

Jason McCrossan spoke to one of his biographer Martin Meredith about a biography which was published in 2010. Also broadcast on http://www.sfmradio.com 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne.

 

 

 

 

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo , Transkei, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni 1 .

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin, Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile “Thembi” and Makgatho, and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. He and his wife divorced in 1958.

Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949.

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Nelson Mandela on the roof of Kholvad House in 1953. Image courtesy of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

DEAD: Media Mogal Behind Prisoner Cell Block H & Neighbours

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Australian media mogul Reg Grundy has passed away on his Bermuda estate at the age of 92.

Reg developed a string of TV hits which defined a decade of Australian TV in the UK including Neighbours,  Prisoner: Cell Block H and Sons And Daughters.

Anyone born in the 70s and brought up in the 80s will remember his programmes vividly and made foreign english accents and phrases – part of our lexicon.

It’s funny how memories can be tied to not only watching programmes but the everyday situations that surrounded them.  I cannot see the name of Sons And Daughters without remembering the old woman that I used to visit with a friend on the way home from primary school aged 11 or 12 years.  She used to always wave at us with her big beefy hands from the living room window as we’d walk past, with our little brown school bags slung over our shoulders.  Then one day, after many months of waving, we decided to knock on her door and say hello.  Subsequently, it became a ritual of going in after primary school in Kirkcudbright and saying hello to her and her little budgy.  She was a big Sons And Daughters fan and we used to sit and watch it with her – although to be fair, I thought it was a really naff programme (which is maybe why I remember it so much).

Here are some memories – in video form.

Neighbours episode – 1988

 

Prisoner Cell Block H – 1979 (1984 UK) – I think…

 

2016 – the death of celebrity

2016 seems to be a rotten year for anyone who grew up loving the 80s.  It all kicked off with the shock news that David Bowie had died.  I have to say that I had a Princess Diana moment when I heard the news, in that….I thought they’d got it wrong.  His album had literally just been released and so I thought it might be some kind of weird stunt.  Plus, I remember the outpouring of grief when people thought Cher was dead #now that cher is dead- which was actually about the death of Margret Thatcher, tragic or not depending upon your location.

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Confusion: Fans of Cher, left, misinterpreted the hashtag, reading it as ‘Now that Cher is dead’ rather than ‘Now Thatcher is dead’

But no, it was true David had indeed died. I remember musing at the time to an overly shocked friend how he’d had a great life and rather than mourn the loss we should celebrate the fact he’d had a stonking life and left us with some stonking songs.  Then Alan Rickman died.  I always remember that scene in the film Leon where Alan plays a bent cop who pops pills and then cranks his neck – the sound still makes me wince – until I remembered that this was actually Gary Oldman.  Rickman was in Die Hard…stupid!!!!

Then a stream of celebrities seemed to die off – first came Sir Terry Wogan – now, that was a real shock.  I like so many others, felt compelled to watch his last BBC Radio 2 show and then spent the next 10 or so hours Youtubing loads of Wogan stuff. He was dead.  All of which seemed so sad as we’d only got over Cilla Black dying and the Oxo lady. It was a shame, especially as the bad celeb’s (apart from hell fire eating Jimmy Saville) were still alive in kicking – admitted from behind the bars of their cell or living in some dodgy halfway house after being kicked out by their wives – now wishing they were dead.  But they weren’t.  They were still alive.  The ones we liked…were dying.


And then like a game of celebrity squares which had just fallen over – the rest tumbled too – we had the guy who played father Jack in Father Ted; the guy who wrote Coronation Street – who I learned was gay (probably doesn’t mean much if you straight – but when you’re gay, these little footnotes are handy for Christmas time conversations when you can drop it in when stuck with your family for 48 hours and want to rough things up a bit),  then Paul Daniels and then wee Ronnie Corbett and then my agony aunt Denise Robertson (she’d never met or communicated with me in anyway – but that doesn’t matter – she was mine and it’s how I feel about her that counts); David Guest (didn’t surprise me all that much), Victoria Wood (a real shock) – I loved Vic – she was a great British comedian – a bit like Rick Mayall, who I also thought died last year – but upon having a quick look actually died in June 2014!!! Where the hell is time going???

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So, anyway, Victoria Wood was someone a really thought was special a) because she proved that given half the chance women can be as funny as men and  d) I loved her dyslexic man joke “My boyfriend had a sex manual but he was dyslexic. I was lying there and he was looking for my vinegar”!!

Victoria now joins a very small queue of woman that I currently have which is ‘women who I think are really funny and died way too soon’.  The only other woman on the list so far is Linda Smith. I’m sure there are more…I just can’t think.

And then came the news that Prince had died.  I’m not sure if I’m starting to become immune to celebrity deaths or what – I was sad, but coming the day after Victoria Wood – I couldn’t quite splice away enough from my sadness blob for him – to adequately represent the fact that I was sad about his passing and also how impressive his career was.  But, had he died in a couple of months – assuming another celeb didn’t get in there first – I’d of been really mournful.

As it is, today I have watched loads of Victoria Wood stuff – just because, well, I’m sad.  There was a big outpouring of sadness on the news about her – a lot of people saying how wonderful they were…if she did manage to get back here some how, i think she’d be within her rights to say…”so where were all you lot when i was trying to flog bloody tickets to my theatre production???  Weren’t so keen then”.  And, I would have to bow my head because I was one of those who wanted to go and see it…but never did.  Shame on me.

Here are 20 supposed things you probably didn’t know about her  from the Torygraph

One thing that I watched of Victoria Wood’s that I hadn’t watched before but really liked was her series called Victoria Wood…