The cast of Frasier have reunited for an hour-long YouTube video for the Stars in the House channel to raise money for The Actors Fund during the coronavirus pandemic.Kelsey Grammer, who played the elitist psychiatrist Frasier Crane in the beloved sitcom, attended the reunion via video link, along with co-stars David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Dan Butler and Bebe Neuwirth.
Right now, it feels as though the world becomes a worse place to be with every passing day. But there are plenty of other ways to make yourself feel better that don't involve spooning ice-cream out of the tub while rewatching Gossip Girl for the ninth time.From war to heartbreak, poetry has helped people endure all manner of painful experiences. So why not read our selection of uplifting poems below? Then you can go back to Gossip Girl.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down entire industries mid-March, it didn’t spare publishing. In a matter of days, authors who had been working on new releases for months – and sometimes years – weren’t sure what would happen to the fruit of their labour.Those whose books had already come out weren’t sure how to promote them as bookstores closed and major literary events found themselves derailed. Just last week, all “Big Five” publishers announced they would not attend BookExpo, the largest book trade fair in the US, planned for July in New York City’s Javits Center – which has been turned into a temporary hospital due to the pandemic.
Carole P Roman didn’t expect The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids, one of the 50+ children’s books she has authored, to become Amazon’s top bestseller any time soon. The book came out in August 2019. Sales began to climb around Christmas, until – as Roman recalls on a phone interview conducted from her home in Long Island, where she’s confined – the stock ran out. New books couldn’t be printed fast enough to meet demand, and The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids lost its edge.“It was really disappointing,” says Roman. “I was really kind of sad. I didn’t think it was going to get another opportunity.”
My new novel, The End of October, which comes out next month, is a work of imagination. The book is not prophecy, but its appearance in the middle of the worst pandemic in living memory is not entirely coincidental, either. It began with a simple question from filmmaker Ridley Scott, who had read Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 post-apocalyptic novel The Road, and asked me: “What happened?” How could human civilisation become so broken? How could we fail to preserve the institutions and social order that define us when we are confronted with something unexpected – a catastrophe that in retrospect seems all but inevitable?This is not the outcome I anticipate for the current Covid-19 pandemic. In writing my book, however, I’ve come to appreciate that we would be naive and prideful to believe we have escaped the snares of disease that nature is constantly devising.
Right now, the arts are in trouble and in need of assistance. Film releases have been delayed, cinemas closed. music and literature festivals cancelled, tours canned and filming for television series put on indefinite hiatus. When the storm passes and a version of normal life resumes, many of the institutions and individuals who cater to our cultural needs will be unable to recover. Imagine going to your local theatre, bookshop or music venue only to discover it has been permanently boarded up – because, without intervention, this is what we are facing.There will be those who view the arts as a luxury and an inevitable casualty at a time of extreme crisis. With lives at stake, there’s no disputing that the cancellations and closures are entirely necessary. But to dismiss the value of culture at such a time is to overlook that which brings colour to our existence and makes life worth living – not to mention its huge contribution to the economy.
Books, books, books. They will increase your lifespan, lower your stress and boost your intelligence. They will give you fuller, thicker hair.Whatever the breathless claims about reading, one thing is certain: losing yourself in a great novel is one of life’s most enduring and dependable joys. Job satisfaction comes and goes, partners enrapture and abscond, but you can always fall back on the timeless ability of literature to transport you to a different world. From Jane Austen’s mannered drawing rooms to the airless tower blocks of 1984, novels do something unique. They simultaneously speak to the heart and mind. They teach you about the history of our world, the possibilities of our future and the fabric of our souls.
Google is celebrating the savoury and satisfying Vietnamese street-food sandwich known as bánh mì, with a doodle showing all it’s delicious preparation in motion.In the doodle, a traditional bánh mì is put together, consisting of a baguette-like bread packed with meat, vegetables and herbs alongside a spread of mayonnaise or margarine and savoury soy sauce, topped fiery with chilli sauce or peppers.
Amazon Prime Video has made a selection of its family friendly content free to stream after schools were closed to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.Among the shows on offer is children’s favourite Peppa Pig, plus Fireman Sam and In the Night Garden.
We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.Disney+, a new streaming service to rival Netflix and NowTV, has launched in the UK after its US launch in November last year. You can find the UK site here.
Sales of a book from the Little Princess series, in which the popular children’s character learns to wash her hands, have surged by 2,000 per cent amid the coronavirus outbreak.According to The Guardian, publisher Anderson Press has seen “unprecedented” demand for I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!, with sales prompting an “immediate hasty reprint of the title”.
What’s it like having a novel published in the middle of a global pandemic?“Oh, the book feels completely inconsequential,” says Evie Wyld whose much-anticipated third book, The Bass Rock, is out next week. “I’ve just done my first bit of stockpiling; it’s mainly Twiglets and whisky.”
Here are a small collection of singular lines, stanzas, and notions possessing the power to spring the most moving of thoughts and feelings into the humming imagination of the reader.Such poets as TS Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Wilfred Owen are all included.
Actor Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus, saying in a Twitter video that he currently has no symptoms but is isolated.The actor shared the update on Monday, telling fans in a video: “So look – this morning I got some test results back for coronavirus and it came back positive. Yeah, and it sucks.
During the pandemic outbreak, many are staying home and socially distancing – meaning they are also yearning for company.Some might especially miss being able to gather with their friends, partners and loved ones to watch their favourite movies and TV shows.
Barely five minutes have passed and David Lammy is already making fun of our prime minister. The Labour MP and I are discussing imposter syndrome, which we agree is something most people experience. Not Boris Johnson. “He just exudes entitlement,” Lammy says, letting out an almighty cackle. “All we hear about him as a young person is that he had a phenomenal sense of his place in the world. I can’t imagine him ever thinking, ‘Do I belong here?’ No. ‘Of course I belong here,’ he said when he arrived at Eton. ‘This place was made for me!’” But Johnson’s confidence is coveted in politics, Lammy adds. He’s stopped laughing now. “It makes people feel safe, particularly in turbulent times.”If there’s supposedly something comforting about Johnson’s confidence, then there’s certainly something galvanising about Lammy’s. Elected in 2000 at the age of 27, the Tottenham MP is one of the most well-known figures in parliament – quite a feat, considering he has been on the backbench since 2010. Adored by his constituency – he often gets stopped on the street for selfies – Lammy has been hailed as a voice for the vulnerable, campaigning relentlessly on behalf of victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire and famously eviscerating the government over its treatment of the Windrush generation in 2018. He’s an ardent Remainer, too, and has been unrelenting towards hardline Brexiteers, at one point likening them to Nazis, only to later state that the comparison “wasn’t strong enough”.
Two summers ago, I was in the middle of a tricky draft for a children’s book. My heroine was a ghost, but that was all I knew. Doubt crept in. What, exactly, was I writing? Then Serena Williams had a bad day on the tennis court and everything changed.You probably saw the images. When Williams lost her temper in the 2018 US Open final, every second of outrage – pointing her finger at the umpire, breaking her tennis racket – was captured by a lens. While furious male tennis players rarely make it beyond the sports section, a female athlete’s anger was singular enough to be splashed on front pages around the world. An Australian newspaper depicted Williams as a grotesque giant baby in an infamous cartoon. Later that year, the TimesUp and MeToo movements gained momentum, fuelled by the fury of women refusing to be silenced any more. In an interview with Vogue that autumn, languid priestess of cool Phoebe Waller-Bridge talked about women’s anger as if it was an art form. “I’ve always found female rage very appealing,” she said.
In 1972, David Bowie released his groundbreaking album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars.With it landed Bowie’s Stardust alter ego: a glitter-clad, mascara-eyed, sexually ambiguous persona who kicked down the boundaries between male and female, straight and gay, fact and fiction into one shifting and sparkling phenomenon of Seventies self-expression.
Stephen Shore had a swift and glittering introduction to photography. Born in 1947, the New York native was developing his first pictures as a six-year-old and sold his first works to the Museum of Modern Art at 14.By 1965, the 16-year-old was photographing the stars at Andy Warhol’s hotspot The Factory. At 23, he was the first living photographer to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The world is full of books by terrible people. The Marquis de Sade was a serial rapist who enjoyed a successful literary career. William Burroughs, the Naked Lunch author and totem of the Beat Generation, shot his wife. Saddam Hussein published a romance novel in the early 2000s, and liked the experience so much he wrote three more, thus expanding the rarefied if not feted genre known as “dictator lit” (other authors include Castro, Gaddafi, Mussolini and Hitler).While I couldn’t tell you about the literary merits of the film director Woody Allen’s memoir Apropos of Nothing, I do know I have no desire to read it. This is because I’m not keen on being in the company of a man who slept with, and later married, his partner’s adopted daughter (“the heart wants what it wants” he said, by way of justification), and whose films went off the boil a quarter of a century ago. Anyway, even the so-called classics such as Husbands and Wives and Manhattan, with their flagrant ogling of young girls, don’t look so jolly now.
During last year’s Super Bowl, 100 million US viewers were treated to a most unexpected sight in one of the commercial breaks. It was Andy Warhol doing nothing more than taking bites out of a Burger King Whopper – and adding the occasional bit of ketchup – for 45 seconds.There was no music, no punchline, just a little, light rustling of the burger’s wrapper – in a slowly unfolding scene that culminated with the hashtag EatLikeAndy. It was about as far removed as one could imagine from the big-budget ads traditionally shown during the Super Bowl.
The moment I realised that I needed to think more bohemian was meeting Molly Parkin, the bejewelled, beturbanned grand dame of Soho’s sticky-floored arts clubs. During her 88 years, she has been a fashion editor, an erotic novelist, a stand-up comedian and an artist, and has spent many an evening getting sloshed with Francis Bacon and bedding famous bluesmen. We’d been in touch before, via email – hers always in gloriously shouty CAPSLOCK, as if I might not be able to hear her – when I asked her if I could read some of her poetry (filthy and funny, all of it) at an event. She agreed, and then almost a decade later we arrived at her tiny, kaleidoscopic bedsit on the World’s End estate in Chelsea, sometimes in 2018, with two radio mics and a recorder, to make a podcast.I started the audio series The Last Bohemians to profile maverick women in the arts and culture like Molly. When we turned up on her doorstep, though, we had no idea that a story about her morning routine would turn into a meditation on the joys of painting, poetry and… pleasuring herself. Parkin might not be having any of her famous liaisons anymore (Bo Diddley and Louis Armstrong among them) but desire doesn’t go away, she said, just because you’ve got a bus pass. Nor does imagination. In series two, we speak to fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who tells us that “creativity doesn’t retire”, and folk octogenarian Judy Collins, who reels off how she keeps her mind fit, from surrounding herself with fabulous women to reading the Tao.
Pixar’s new animation Onward has been banned in a number of cinemas in the Middle East because of its representation of homosexuality, according to Deadline.The report states the film has been forbidden from cinemas in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as a result of one of the film’s characters openly referencing their lesbian relationship.
The end of the First World War may have brought peace to London, but by the late 1920s the children of the elite were on a mission to stir up the rigid conventions preserved by their Victorian parents.They threw wild parties, pranks, treasure hunts and pageants, and broke taboos with their cross-dressing and revealing outfits.
Mention Fats Waller or Louis Armstrong to any member of a juvenile jazz band,” wrote the late social photographer Tish Murtha, “and the reaction you are likely to get is one of blank ignorance.” Children’s marching troupes humming the National Anthem through a kazoo were as much a feature of working-class mining towns in the seventies as high-rise flats and dole offices, and they are often remembered today in rosy retrospection. But Murtha felt little fondness for them.The photographer travelled with the juvenile jazz bands to capture their performances at parades and carnivals in the west end of Newcastle at a time of deep economic and social deprivation. Murtha discovered what she believed to be a militaristic charade that crushed the children’s spirits. “To be accepted into, and remain in the juvenile ‘jazz’ band a child must put aside all ‘normal’ behaviour, and become the plaything of the failed soldier, the ex-armed forces members, and their ilk; any spark of individuality is crushed by the military training imposed, until the child’s actions resemble those of a mechanical tin soldier, acting out the confused fantasies of an older generation,” she wrote in a scathing 1979 essay to accompany her photographs.