tue 27/02/2024

tv

Leslie Phillips: 'I can be recognised by my voice alone'

Jasper Rees

Leslie Phillips would have known for half a century that at his death, which was announced yesterday, the obituaries would lead with one thing only. However much serious work he did in the theatre and on screen, he is forever handcuffed to the skirt-chaser he gave us in sundry Carry Ons and Doctor films and London bus movies.

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'The first thing I do when I wake up is write.' Hilary Mantel, 1952-2022

Jasper Rees

Hilary Mantel, who has died at the age of 70, was a maker of literary history. Wolf Hall, an action-packed 650-page brick of a book about the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Three years later its successor, Bring Up the Bodies, became the first sequel ever to win the prize in its 44-year history.

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theartsdesk Q&A: writer and comedian Tom Davis

Adam Sweeting

After leaving school at 14, Tom Davis spent 10 years working as a scaffolder on building sites, while always harbouring what he thought was the impossible dream of getting into comedy. Hailing from Sutton in south London, he had a go at standup and for a time found himself in drag, singing Disney songs.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Isabella Pappas on how 'Finding Alice' is a blueprint for bereavement

Laura De Lisle

Isabella Pappas was nominated for an Olivier Award seven years ago – before she’d even started secondary school. The 18-year-old now stars in ITV’s new comedy-drama about grief, Finding Alice, opposite Keeley Hawes, Joanna Lumley, and Nigel Havers.

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theartsdesk Q&A: actor Polly Walker on 'Bridgerton' and the new breed of period drama

Laura De Lisle

Polly Walker's character in Netflix's sumptuous new Regency romance, Bridgerton, could've easily been little more than a villainous Mrs Bennet.

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theartsdesk Q&A: actor Gemma Whelan

Adam Sweeting

She's not quite a household name yet, but Leeds-born Gemma Whelan is heading speedily in that direction. Having started out as a standup comedian, winning the Funny Women Variety Award in 2010, Whelan began notching up film and TV roles, en route to making a significant breakthrough by being cast as Yara Greyjoy in HBO's Game of Thrones.

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Screenwriter Adam Price on 'Ride Upon the Storm' - 'If we discuss faith, we will possibly not kill each other'

Adam Sweeting

Apparently in Denmark they pronounce screenwriter Adam Price’s surname as “Preece”, but its English-looking spelling stems from the fact that his ancestors moved from London to Denmark in the 18th century.

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John Mahoney: 'I wanted to be like everybody else'

Jasper Rees

In 11 seasons of Frasier, John Mahoney played Marty Crane, a cussed blue-collar ex-cop who couldn’t quite understand how his loins came to produce two prissily cultured psychiatrists. His ally in straight-talking was his physiotherapist Daphne, whose fish-out-of-water flat-cap vowels were apparently the result of a gap in the scriptwriters’ field of knowledge.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Steven Knight and Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders

Ralph Moore

Like a lot of people, I came late to Peaky Blinders, bingeing on the first two brutal, but undeniably brilliant, series like the proverbial box-set sensation it quickly became.

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Douglas Henshall: 'You can get stuck when you’ve been in the business for 30 years' - interview

Jasper Rees

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” In 1976 American anger about the state of the nation was channelled into Network, in which cinema satirised its kid sibling television as vapid and opportunistic. Paddy Chayefsky’s script, directed by Sidney Lumet, starred Peter Finch as Howard Beale, a news anchor who has a nervous breakdown on screen in which he starts preaching and becomes the news.

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