Are my eyes deceiving me or has Spring finally sprung?!
We can all nurse ourselves back to health and let our bodies reach out, like plants towards the natural vitamin D – a.k.a The Sun. I know, I know, you had all forgotten what that crazy ball of yellow in the sky looked like, but rest assured, times.....they are a-changing. YIPEE!
Keeping on the theme of the sun who was it that coined this famous phrase:
“When the sun comes up I have morals again”
I will give you some clues – Eight marriages, 50 movies, two Oscars, 100 operations, a fortune of £360m – The one and only Elizabeth the Great!
We couldn't let the moment of Elizabeth Taylor’s sad departure from this world pass us by. Love her or hate her she was a last living piece of the Golden Hollywood era and bygone age.
A child star who managed to make the transition to adult roles, she won two Oscars – for Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? However, her 50-strong list of film credits tends to be overshadowed by her list of seven husbands, most notably Richard Burton, whom she married and divorced twice.
In 1963 Taylor filmed Cleopatra, a historical epic so long-drawn-out and horrendously expensive that it would come near to bankrupting its producers. She was paid a then record-breaking $1m for her role, and who can blame her for accepting? In her own words:
“If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down”
In 2000, she was thrilled to become Dame Elizabeth Taylor in recognition of her services to film.
She once described herself as a 'living example of what people can go through and survive'.
And survive she did - She had both hips replaced and beat skin cancer, a brain tumour, diabetes, seizures and a stroke. She endured an estimated 70 illnesses and had 100 operations, 20 of them major surgery.
Our own Trevor Nichols has his own Liz Taylor story.
Trevor’s wife Maggie is a nurse and spent one assignment looking after Richard Burton whilst he was with Liz in their hotel suite.
Richard Burton was renowned for his alcoholism and foul temper and Maggie was subjected to both. Burton didn't understand why he needed a nurse maid and took all his aggression and bad behaviour out on poor old Maggie.
However, Maggie wasn't going to stand for Burton's childish antics and after one a particularly aggressive outburst Maggie staunchly replied:
"What do you expect for £10 a night....Raquel Welch!?"
Liz fully approved of Maggie's gun ho attitude and the fact that Burton didn't scare her one little bit. Bravo Maggie....Bravo!
According to Maggie, Dame Liz was a lovely person and very down to earth for all her fame and fortune.
“When people say ‘she’s got everything’ I've got one answer – I haven’t had tomorrow”
So the woman with everything now has no tomorrows left, though wherever she has gone on to I am sure you can hear her, and I’ll bet she’s hooked up with that Burton fella again.
So from one siren to another this time in the guise of Joanna Lumley.
Flick was bowled over that on being introduced, Joanna knew that the name Felicity means ‘Happiness’ which couldn't have made Felicity....well......happier!
I have a fantastic Aunt called Felicity, or Listy for short, and she makes me happy so I guess it must be true!
After her session I presented Joanna with a gift that had been left at the studio earlier that day. It was a batch of war veteran poetry books and a framed picture of her Radio Times cover!
Rather than just grabbing it from us and leaving without so much as a ‘how’s ya father’ she looked to myself, Chris and Flick and said almost conspiratorially “Shall we see what it is?”
So there we all are huddled around a Liberties bag with Joanna Lumley! Every day has a different twist at Vox Towers I tell ye.
Next week we have funny woman Miranda Hart coming into the studio who has now officially been labelled the Queen of Comedy. Does this mean no eye contact, only speak to her when spoken to and back out of the room once you have seated her in the voice booth? We will find out next week.
Well guys it has been a while so I thought I would treat you to more namby pamby Soho food delights.
Just this week a new branch of LEON opened on our very own Old Compton Street.
Leon is an award winning fast food outlet selling natural, good food, from spicy lamb wraps to mezze. The food is of a high standard and is served with the same efficiency as the big fast food chains. They also have an eat-in section at the back, and are open for lunch and dinner.
There's always a buzz at their restaurants, and it only goes to show how popular they have become with a varying group of people, from businessmen to students to anyone who wants a simple but delicious meal.
Breakfast favourites could include the hot sausage in a wholemeal bap or organic porridge spiked with Valrhona chocolate. Choose from main dishes such as a Thai style chicken curry, Moroccan meatballs or chilli chicken with garlic and yoghurt sauce served with rice. Don't miss their intense chocolate brownie for dessert. YUMMY!
Mr Mark Straker gave me a call last week and said that though pigs weren’t falling from the sky, they were handing out free food from Leons (prioir to it opening).
Wee taster sessions wouldn’t you know.
I made a mad dash down there to eat for free in Soho – a modern miracle. Typically for me just as I got there they closed the door in my face. Hence, I cannot give you a bone fide critique of the food itself so just listen to one reviewer who visited the Carnaby Street branch – over to you Dave:
Dave (15 June 2010)
It was a Friday in June - pole-vaulting season. The weather was disappointing yet warm. A colleague and I had just ordered our second meal of the week from Leon. After silently ploughing our way through an eclectic cacophony of fresh peas, free range chicken, broccoli and mackerel all smothered together in lashings of deliciously concocted dressing we had to embrace each other and cry. That’s when we realised we would never eat in another restaurant again. The End.
So until next week folks – keep it successful, just like the late, great, Liz Taylor, and maybe you too will come up smelling of roses, for in the words of the lady herself:
“Success is a great deodorant. It takes away all your past smells” Nice!