Inside the real Frank Sidebottom’s head

Image copyright Rick Sarko Image caption According to brother Martin, Chris Sievey was “obsessive about everything he did” With his absurd, anarchic humour and childlike innocence, Sidebottom was a hit with Saturday morning TV audiences and late-night pub crowds alike. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Freshies (with Chris Sievey singing, centre) on stage in 1979 Before pulling on the giant head, Sievey tried to make it as a musician in his own right. He and his brother once recorded a session for Apple Records and he formed a band called The Freshies. Their biggest hit, I’m in Love with the Girl on the Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk, reached number 54. The documentary suggests it could have been …

More schools drop LGBT rights classes

Media playback is unsupported on your device   Media captionLGBT classes protester: I am not homophobic Four more schools in Birmingham have stopped teaching about LGBT rights following complaints by parents. Leigh Trust said it was suspending the No Outsiders programme until an agreement with parents was reached. Earlier this month the city’s Parkfield Community School suspended the lessons after protests were held. Campaigner Amir Ahmed said some Muslims felt “victimised” but an LGBT group leader said No Outsiders helped pupils understand it is OK to be different. In a letter seen by the BBC, Leigh Trust said it was halting the lessons until after Ramadan in May.   The schools involved are Leigh Primary School, Alston Primary School, Marlborough …

Simon Mayo on the ‘gap in the radio market’

“It’s fair to say I’m a lot calmer today than I was last Monday,” he laughs. “It’s fairly tough starting a new show, but when you’re starting a new show on a new station, that was something else. So last Monday was a scary place. “Even though I’ve been doing this for a while, that inner voice is always nagging saying, ‘What if you mess up the first link? What if there’s no-one listening?’” The presenter, who has launched his new programme three months after his departure from Radio 2, need not have worried. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jo Whiley, pictured at last month’s Brit Awards, joined Mayo as a co-host at Radio 2 “There was genuine pressure …

What to expect from the Four Weddings charity sequel

Image caption What will have become of the characters a quarter of a century on? Curtis has revealed some details of the sequel’s plot. Two Oscar nominations and a hit song (and THAT dress) Why did we fall in love with Four Weddings? Clarisse Loughrey, culture reporter for The Independent, says its very Britishness was one of the keys to its success. “There’s a touch of national pride to it, I think,” she says. “The rom-com genre is otherwise completely dominated by Hollywood, but Four Weddings and a Funeral is a film that feels British to its very core – all the way from Hugh Grant’s floppy hair to the delightfully profusive swearing.” Sarah O’Connell, film critic and host of …

What links fairies and free school meals?

Image caption Scotch barley broth was spooned out at Green Lane Primary by head teacher Jonathan Priestley, father of Bradford writer JB Priestley Bradford is believed to have been the first UK city to offer its poor children free school meals. The first meal, of scotch barley broth and fruit tart, was served to pupils at Green Lane Primary School in Manningham on 28 October 1907. Image caption Prof David Sharpe demonstrating the Bradford sling with BBC Countryfile’s John Craven Prof David Sharpe was a newly-qualified plastic surgeon when a fire broke out at Bradford City’s Valley Parade ground on 11 May 1985, killing 56 people. He treated many of the injured in the immediate aftermath and went on to …

Woman buried in garden ‘was strangled’

A film-maker whose body was found buried in a shallow grave had been strangled, police have said. Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was found in her garden in Darell Road in Kew, west London, on Wednesday, after she went missing on Monday. A post-mortem examination on Saturday gave the cause of death as “consistent with compression of the neck”, the Metropolitan Police said. A murder investigation is ongoing and there have been no arrests. Ms Garcia-Bertaux, a French national who had been living in the UK for many years, was reported missing after failing to turn up for work at public relations firm Golin. Image copyright PA Image caption Police said toxicology test results were pending A forensic crime scene remains in …

Bestival drugs death boyfriend to appeal

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Michie shouted “evil, evil” and “not even sorry” at Broughton during an angry exchange at court during the trial His defence team urged jurors to consider the evidence of medical expert Prof Charles Deakin who said he could not “beyond reasonable doubt” confirm whether medical intervention would have saved Ms Fletcher-Michie’s life but on the “balance of probability” it was likely “while she was still breathing”. Broughton was found guilty of manslaughter and supplying the Class A drug 2CP by unanimous verdict last Thursday. Boyfriend jailed for Bestival drugs death Bestival death accused ‘delayed’ helping He had already pleaded guilty to supplying 2CP to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury Festival in …

Mayo debuts on new classical station

Skip Twitter post by @ScalaRadio AND WE ARE LIVE! #ScalaRadio #BreakingTheMould pic.twitter.com/Gvz8ZcnaNZ — Scala Radio (@ScalaRadio) March 4, 2019 Image caption Jo Whiley agreed with one tweet describing Mayo as “a class act” Listeners have tweeted appreciatively about Mayo’s debut on the station, which is owned by Bauer Media. “So glad to have you back,” tweeted one, while another said it was “lovely to hear [his] voice on the radio again”. Some also praised Mayo’s “shout-out” to Whiley, with one listener saying it showed he was “a class act”. “That he is,” Whiley wrote in a response to Jack Blackburn’s tweet. Related Topics Jo Whiley Classical music Radio Simon Mayo Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & …

The woman who can’t recognise faces

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionScientists hope to be able to train people like Boo to recognise people better A stranger once waved at Boo James on a bus. She did not think any more of it – until it later emerged it was her mother. She has a relatively rare condition called face blindness, which means she cannot recognise the faces of her family, friends, or even herself. Scientists have now launched a study they hope could help train people like Boo to recognise people better. Boo said for many years she thought she was “from another planet”. “It is immensely stressful and very emotionally upsetting to sit and dwell upon so I try not to …

The Prodigy’s Keith Flint dies aged 49

Media playback is unsupported on your device   Media captionProdigy singer Keith Flint was best known for his vocals on Firestarter The Prodigy singer Keith Flint has died aged 49. Instantly recognisable by his fluorescent spiked hair and known for high-octane performances, Flint sang lead vocals on both the band’s number one singles, Breathe and Firestarter. He was found dead at his home in Dunmow, Essex, on Monday morning. The band, who were due to tour the US in May, confirmed his death in a statement, remembering Flint as a “true pioneer, innovator and legend”. In a post on The Prodigy’s official Instagram account, bandmate Liam Howlett added: “I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his …

Boyfriend guilty of Bestival drugs death

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIn footage shown to jurors by the defence, Louella Fletcher-Michie was filmed playing with fairy lights in a tent at the festival A man who gave his girlfriend drugs at a festival and filmed her as she died has been found guilty of manslaughter. Louella Fletcher-Michie was found dead in woodland near the Bestival site in Dorset after taking the drug 2CP. Ceon Broughton did little to help his girlfriend – the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie – for six hours as he feared breaching a suspended jail term. He filmed Ms Fletcher-Michie, 24, and branded her a “drama queen” as she lay dying on 11 September 2017. Broughton, 30, …

Olivia Colman and Green Book win Oscars

Glenn Close had been the firm favourite for her role in The Wife – and now has the unenviable record of seven nominations without a win. Holding back tears on stage, Colman said: “It’s genuinely quite stressful. This is hilarious. I’ve got an Oscar!” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLady Gaga, Olivia Colman and all the Hollywood stars on the red carpet for the 2019 Oscars The first British woman to win the prize since Kate Winslet in 2009, she added: “Any little girl who’s practising their speech on the telly – you never know!” And she endeared herself further to the audience by responding to a signal to end her speech by blowing a raspberry. Olivia …

The inspiring story behind new WW2 film

The family story was recorded by Kim’s son, Rhidian Brook, in a novel The Aftermath, published in 2013. It has now been released as a film, with actress Keira Knightley starring as Rachel, a character loosely inspired by Kim’s late mother, Anthea. Image copyright Kim Brook Image caption Sgt Walter Brook, Egypt, 1915 and as Home Guard adjutant in the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, 1940 During World War Two, Walter was then tasked with contributing to the rebuilding of government in Germany once the war was over. Kim said: “I remember he sent home lots of letters and photos. “I also saw pictures in weekly magazines of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, so I knew a bit of what to expect.” …

‘Why I recreate famous movie scenes online’

“The idea’s always been in my head,” he explained to the BBC. “I just love exploring places and linking that with my passion for film. It was my first time in Wales. I’d heard it was beautiful and it really was. I took the coastal bus. “I always want to visit the scenes that mean the most to me. I can visit the places that I’ve only seen on screen.” Love Actually (2003) Image copyright @SteppingThroughFilm Image caption Old Royal Naval College, London “I really wanted to capture a scene from Les Miserables. This scene is so powerful with the iconic song. It builds and builds… until the cast slowly trickle out the words ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ …

Funding call for stalking victim support

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption‘My stalker’s threats were like a horror movie’ Police and crime commissioners must fund help for stalking victims, charity the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has said. Currently there is no specialised support available in Wales. It is estimated one in five women and one in 10 men will experience stalking during their lifetime. The CPS said improvements have led to a 68% increase in prosecutions nationally, while police commissioners pointed to the help that is already available for victims. Stalking is an aggravated form of harassment, defined as persistent and unwanted attention. ‘If it’s frightening you…take it seriously’ Sara Manchipp, 29, is a former Miss Wales and has just completed her post-graduate studies …