Thursday 30 May 2019

Remembering A Very British Country House, Channel 4 / VIDEO:TRAILER | A Very British Country House | Sunday 9pm

A Very British Country House, Channel 4, review: a fun peep behind the five-star curtain
Channel 4's latest fly-on-the-wall doc shows that life behind the scenes at a posh hotel is as frantic as a kebab shop on Friday night

Jeff Robson
Sunday November 25th 2018

A Very British Country House
Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm

If you’ve ever stayed at a posh hotel and felt that the staff didn’t think you were quite good enough to be sullying the opulent surroundings, The Great British Country House, Channel 4’s latest fly-on-the-wall documentary series should reassure you that they’re only human too – and that behind the scenes it’s as frantic as a kebab shop at Friday night closing time.

The Buckinghamshire hotel Cliveden House hit the headlines when Meghan Markle chose to stay there the night before her wedding. And for royal-watchers the first episode had the build-up to her arrival in the opening scenes. But you’ll be unsurprised to hear there was only a fleeting glimpse as she strode up the red carpet, and no revelations about blocked toilet emergencies or minibar vodkas topped up with tap water.

Instead the main focus was one the day-to-day running of the place – if there can be anything day-to-day about maintaining a three-hundred-year old ex-stately home and maintaining the standards of an establishment which has seen the likes of Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin arrive for a night’s kip and a full English and now caters to everyone from the aristocracy to Russian oligarchs.

Critical Eye
The royal accolade turned out to be something of a double-edged sword as the publicity resulted in a rush of bookings, but an even more critical eye cast on the service from guests who noticed everything from a touch of limescale in a kettle to a lack of crisps (only olives, I’m afraid) with the terrace Champagne.

 General manager Kevin told the quarterly staff meeting that the TripAdvisor average, that great democratic leveller, was down from 4.5 to 4. So it was even more important to keep pulling out all the stops. This meant giving blogger couple Katie and Ben the full VIP treatment, including a £27 menu for Pepe their Pomeranian.

TV naturals
Dogs generally were one of the few things that head butler Michael didn’t take completely in his stride (“anything below knee level’s fine… but I had a bad experience with an Airedale once”). Otherwise he was as unflappable as you’d expect a 25-year veteran to be, the benevolent sergeant-major of the staff.

There were several other TV naturals among them, principally wedding organiser Lydia, who’d wanted to work at Cliveden since seeing it as a seven-year-old bridesmaid and now had her dream job,despite some demanding requests (“someone asked for a road to be built through the garden for her horse and carriage”)  and conference/banqueting head Lyndsey (“I could trip over air growing up; when I told mum I was going to be a silver service waitress…”) .

Utterly down to earth and scarily efficient, they ensured that the nuptials of TV executive Andy and his boyfriend Garfield (“when I was growing up this was against the law… I wanted to make the day special for everyone”) were as much a feelgood treat for viewers as the royal do down the road. Altogether, a very good example of the genre. Though after watching it you may never again be satisfied with an off-peak deal at a local Travelodge…

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Downton Abbey The Movie The film is scheduled for a UK release on 13 September 2019, with the US following one week later on 20 September 2019. / ABBEY The Movie Official Trailer (2019) Drama Movie HD

Downton Abbey (film)
Directed by        Michael Engler
Produced by     
Julian Fellowes
Gareth Neame
Liz Trubridge
Screenplay by    Julian Fellowes
Based on             Downton Abbey
by Julian Fellowes
Hugh Bonneville
Jim Carter
Michelle Dockery
Elizabeth McGovern
Maggie Smith
Imelda Staunton
Penelope Wilton
Music by             John Lunn
Cinematography              Ben Smithard
Edited by            Mark Day
Carnival Films
Distributed by   Focus Features
Release date
13 September 2019 (United Kingdom)
Downton Abbey is a British historical period drama film, written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Michael Engler. It is a continuation of the television series of the same name, created by Fellowes, that ran on ITV from 2010 to 2015.

The film is set in 1927, and features a visit to Downton Abbey by King George V and Queen Mary. It was scheduled to open in theatres on 13 September 2019 in the UK and on 20 September 2019 in North America.

Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham
Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham
Jim Carter as Charles Carson
Raquel Cassidy as Phyllis Baxter
Brendan Coyle as John Bates
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot
Kevin Doyle as Joseph Molesley
Michael C. Fox as Andrew "Andy" Parker
Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates
Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot
Harry Hadden-Paton as Herbert Pelham, 7th Marquess of Hexham
Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow
Allen Leech as Tom Branson
Phyllis Logan as Elsie Hughes
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason
Lesley Nicol as Beryl Patmore
Douglas Reith as Richard Grey, Baron Merton
Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Penelope Wilton as Isobel Grey, Baroness Merton
New cast members
Max Brown
David Haig as The Royal Butler
Geraldine James as Queen Mary
Simon Jones as King George V
Tuppence Middleton as Lucy
Stephen Campbell Moore
Kate Phillips as Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
Imelda Staunton as Lady Bagshaw

The film is a follow-up to the television series of the same name, which ended its original run in December 2015 after 52 episodes,  and is set around 18 months after the TV finale. [4] In April 2016, it was revealed that a film adaptation was being considered,  with Julian Fellowes working on an outline plot. A script was distributed to original cast members early in 2017.

On 13 July 2018, the producers confirmed that a feature-length film would be made, with production[9] commencing mid-2018. The script was written by Fellowes, with direction expected to be by Brian Percival; producers include Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. The film will be distributed by Focus Features and Universal Pictures International.

In late August 2018, it was reported that Percival had stepped down as director and Michael Engler took on this job. Percival, in addition to Nigel Marchant, would be an executive producer.

Original cast members including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Maggie Smith, were confirmed to return as their characters from the series, with Joanne Froggatt confirming her involvement in a separate announcement. Actress Lily James, who played Lady Rose MacClare, stated she would not be reprising her role for the film, as did Ed Speleers who played footman James Kent.

An August announcement indicated that newcomers Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James, Tuppence Middleton, Simon Jones, David Haig, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore would be among the cast of the film. James is rumoured to be playing Queen Mary. Matthew Goode, who played Lady Mary's husband Henry Talbot in the final series, will appear only briefly due to other commitments. Then, in September Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Harry Hadden-Paton, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol and Penelope Wilton were confirmed to be reprising their respective roles, with Max Brown joining in a new, undisclosed role.

Principal photography started in London in late August 2018. By 20 September, some filming was under way at Highclere Castle, Hampshire, which had been the main location for the television series. Also in September, filming was under way in Lacock, Wiltshire, with Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery as well as two new cast members, Imelda Staunton (wife of Jim Carter) and Geraldine James; scenes shot in Lacock included a celebration with horses from the Royal Artillery. Filming concluded in November 2018.

As of 21 May 2019, little had been released as to the story line but the official trailer indicated that the estate had cut its operating budget and was getting by with less staff. Due to the impending visit of the king and queen, former head butler Carson returns to help manage the operation. There is a hint in the trailer that a romance may be developing between Branson (played by Allen Leech) and Bagshaw's maid Lucy (played by Tuppence Middleton). Joanne Froggatt who plays Anna had told a reporter a bit about her character's situation: "She and Mr Bates have a [son]. She is passionate about helping Lady Mary with the running of Downton, about keeping the legacy going."

The film is scheduled for a UK release on 13 September 2019, with the US following one week later on 20 September 2019.

How to make a Savile Row Suit (Part 1) – with Anderson & Sheppard | FASH...

Follow the making of a bespoke three-piece suit in the style of Savile Row at the helm of one of the best British tailors, Anderson & Sheppard. – Behind a drawn curtain, a master cutter takes an initial series of 27 measurements: 20 for the jacket, 7 for the trousers. From these measurements, the cutter fashions a pattern in heavy brown paper. At the cutter’s table, the cloth is cut in using heavy shears, and the many pieces of fabric are rolled for each garment into tiny packages, which await the tailors.  

How to make a Savile Row Suit (Part 2) – with Anderson

Follow the making of a bespoke three-piece suit in the style of Savile Row at the helm of one of the best British tailors, Anderson & Sheppard. – Three tailors receive their bundles of fabric and set about deciphering the cutter’s notes. Three weeks after a client’s measurements have been taken, his suit will be reading for a first fitting. The jacket will have been put together with a minimal number of seams using cotton ‘basting’ thread, and will be prime for a next round of adjustments.

FASHION AS DESIGN is a new course by MoMA that explores  a selection of garments from around the world—ranging from Kente cloth to jeans to 3D-printed dresses. Each week will begin with a conversation between the course instructors—Paola Antonelli, Michelle Fisher, and Stephanie Kramer—that introduces the themes, items, and questions that we will explore. Sign-up:

Saturday 25 May 2019

Revisiting "Royal Flush" a very special from "Only Fools and Horses"

Only Fools and Horses is a BAFTA winning British television sitcom, created and written by John Sullivan, and made and broadcast by the BBC. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom between 1981 and 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003. Episodes are regularly repeated on GOLD.

Set in Peckham in south London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney, and Lennard Pearce as their ageing grandfather (later replaced by Buster Merryfield as their Uncle Albert). Backed by a strong supporting cast, the series chronicles their highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich.

A Royal Flush
Transmitted: 25.12.1986
Duration: 75 minutes
Viewing Figures: 18.8 million

Rodney meets Vicky, a seemingly impoverished artist who it transpires is the daughter of the Duke of Maylebury.

Having obtained a pair of tickets to the sold-out production of Carmen, Rodders seems to have deeply impressed Vicky. She is less taken by the presence of Del and his peroxide blonde dolly bird. Especially when they open the crisps.

Vicky then invites Rodney to a party at the Duke’s country home, and it seems romance may be on the cards. Then Del Boy turns up, hits the vino-plonko and ruins everything for his little brother.

"Del Boy"is trying to make a "hit" sale at the market using his known Cockney rhetoric's ...

In the meanwhile his brother Rodney is on the watch ... for the police ...

Bored ... suddenly he sees a nice looking girl on the other side of the market ...

She smiles back ... and Rodney is very suprised ...

Rodney approaches her ... and they start talking

Immediately we realise that she uses an "U" speech ...or URP pronunciation
This brings them to colourful adventures ...
I let you with the images ... Try to "decode" what happens ...
As Del Boy sells cutlery to the local market crowd, Rodney spots an attractive woman, and abandons his lookout position to talk to her. At Sid's cafe, she introduces herself as Vicky. Upon further reading, Rodney discovers that she is Lady Victoria Marsham Hales of Covington House, Berkshire, the daughter of the Duke of Maylebury, a second cousin of the Queen and explains that her mother died in a skiing accident. Sensing a chance to make the Trotter family millionaires, Del decides to assist Rodney's blossoming friendship with Lady Victoria, such as by acquiring tickets for the opera Carmen.

On the night of the opera, Rodney and Victoria arrive, only to see that Del has also shown up, along with June Snell (last seen in "Happy Returns"), a former girlfriend of Del and mother of one of Rodney's ex-girlfriends. Del and June ruin the night by noisily eating snacks, talking during the performance, and arguing with other members of the audience. Nonetheless, Victoria invites Rodney to stay at Covington House for the weekend. Wanting Rodney to make a good impression, Del insists that he dresses as a country gentleman in a tweed suit. Already nervous during the weekend in Berkshire, Rodney is horrified when Del arrives with a reluctant Albert in the Reliant Regal, claiming to have turned up to deliver Rodney's evening suit that he "forgot" (although Rodney knows that he packed it and Del removed it so he had an excuse to turn up). As Rodney seethes with anger, Del introduces himself to Victoria's father Henry and invites himself to that evening's dinner having coincidentally brought his own evening suit. Del takes part in their clay pigeon shoot using a pump-action shotgun borrowed from Iggy Iggins, a local bank robber, and quickly begins to irritate Henry.

At dinner, Del gets drunk and boorish and starts insulting the guests with lewd comments, touting a marriage between Rodney and Victoria, not shutting up about the artist Leonardo Da Vinci and embarrassing Rodney by revealing his conviction for possession of cannabis. Del finally pushes the Duke over the edge by telling a skiing joke (despite knowing that's how Victoria's mother died). In a fury, the Duke demands Del meets him outside. As the two leave, Victoria asks Rodney if he's still staying overnight. He regretfully declines and decides to go home, which Victoria allows. Outside the Duke orders that Del, Rodney and Albert are to leave his premises immediately. Del tells the Duke that Rodney may need to be paid off to leave Victoria alone.

Back at the flat, a furious Rodney relates to a very hung over Del how he has always ruined his opportunities to make a success of his life by interfering, and injures his hand punching a vent cover out of anger. After Rodney reveals that he refused the offer of a £1000 pay-off from the Duke to stop seeing Vicky (angering Del, who had arranged the offer), Del says that had Rodney refused to stop seeing Victoria, he would probably have been assassinated by the Special Branch because of his conviction for marijuana use. Del ostensibly apologises to Rodney and asks him to shake his hand, but this turns out to be a ploy for Del to inflict punishment on Rodney for refusing the £1000 by squeezing his bad hand.