sat 13/04/2024

tv

theartsdesk Q&A: Comedian Ben Elton

Jasper Rees

Ten years ago Ben Elton (b 1959) would have needed no introduction. When still very young he became the mouth of a bolshy new generation of alternative comedians, as they were then known. Saturday Live - later Friday Night Live - was consciously modelled on the American template, and seemed very cutting edge. In fact all its alumni soon migrated to the mainstream: Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, freshly down from Cambridge, played Jeeves and Wooster.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Michael Sheen

Jasper Rees

Either it’s a bizarre accident. Or there’s something in the water. Port Talbot, the unlovely steel town in Wales where smoke stacks belch fumes into the cloudy coastal sky, has been sending its sons to work in Hollywood for decades now. Richard Burton was the first to put his glowering blue eyes and golden larynx at the service of Tinseltown. Anthony Hopkins, for all his American passport, has never shed the native tinge from his accent. And in recent years there has been Michael Sheen (b....

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Simon Russell Beale

Jasper Rees

The career of Simon Russell Beale (b. 1961) needs little introduction.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Opera Singer Rolando Villazón

Jasper Rees

In the next few weeks the wider public will be introduced to the charms of Rolando Villazón (b. 1972). Anointed as a star of opera houses around the world in the last decade, the Mexican tenor is about to participate in ITV1's Popstar to Opera Star. As singing celebs from the world of pop music take on the big arias, Villazón has been cast as mentor, panellist and figleaf. It is all a very long way from Covent Garden.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Author-actor Michael Palin

Sheila Johnston

Michael Palin (b 1943) has had - is having - an amazing multi-pronged career. One of the original members of the Monty Python team, he has subsequently reinvented himself as a prolific author, a film and television actor and, more recently, a hugely popular and successful travel show presenter and writer. Palin has a lot to celebrate these next few weeks with the publication of the second volume of his diaries, ...

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