From John Player Tops in Waterford, as part of the dancers assembled by Ger Liam Molumby, to appearing in four dance sequences of the X-Factor with Cher, Wagner, Paige and One Direction. That’s the achievement for Majella Louise Fitzgerald who graduated from Leicester College of Performing Arts and will dance in the West End later this year in Aladdin. Majella is a cousin of County Waterford fashion designer Yvonne Bonzie Crotty who is also going stellar places. Majella went to a local stage school in Clonmel, initially – On Your Toes with the Molumbys.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s because of the type of technology used to make TV on a taped system, many programmes were wiped so the tapes could be reused. Archive wasn’t seen as a big priority and anyway who decided what would be priceless? Who would have thought that Seán Connery in a French play Colombe by Jean Anouilh would be worth even a repeat broadcast? Or who would have known Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey in a Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing in 1967 would be of any interest. She looked amazing, stunning even, back then.
Well, during a stock-take at the Washington Library of Congress over 65 plays were discovered and have been returned to the British Film Institute. There’s a Michael Gambon as Fourth Watchman in a Romeo and Juliet as Mike Gambon.
So, watch out, there’s an edited load of black and white Before They Were Famous on its way to us for the winter.
Oh, shock horror! Flash the lights, as it emerges that Endemol are in financial difficulty. Despite the success of Big Brother, Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and operating at least 80 companies in 26 countries with rights to at least 2000 formats and can and does produce about 40,000 hours of content a year for more than 400 TV networks, they have debts of £2 billion.
Apparently, they diversified too quickly into sport and drama areas as well as online gaming. So did success go to its head? Sound familiar?
Oh no, another zombie series, who would expect that this undead or zapped out genre would be so popular and now FX is showing The Walking Dead with British actor, Andrew Lincoln as a Georgia policeman trying to survive a zombie holocaust and find his wife (unfaithful wife and son). Yes, there are flashbacks and a bloodfest of gore and splattered guts and an army of zombies. Great make-up and prosthetic effects but why bother? This is well-worn territory and cannot see this running and running. Is that why it’s on FX where Dexter lives?
Nationwide on RTE1 did a fine feature on popular fiction writer Sheila O’Flanagan and Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins whose book Hurting God was reviewed in this paper recently. Both profiles were interesting and well-made, with the cameras visiting their home places and focussing on their environment and inspiration.
The singing sensation, Susan Boyle, who had instant You Tube success with I Dreamed A Dream on Britain’s Got Talent was on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and she came across as a nice woman, still trying to adjust to fame and media intrusion. The candid inserts about her troubled isolated family life were touching but it is the rags to riches story that we admire. It is not easy for her to talk about being called a – retard – by unknowing, uncaring people, yet she did talk about it. But imagine when unscrupulous people these things on comedy shows and she still doesn’t know the impact she has as she sets out to promote her Christmas CD.
There were more than tears in Coronation Street as Jack Duckworth said goodbye to a show he graced for more than three decades. Ken Barlow nodded a silent toast and Jack took one last look around as Vera led him to the heavenly pub as the Matt Munro hit, Softly As I Leave You, became at hit again. Spare your tears and stock up on tissues as we have a farewell and a funeral to look forward to. Apparently he featured in over 2,000 episodes. Bringing back Vera one last time was a ghostly triumph and what a script that said – despite a run of bad luck that lasted 40 flippin’ years, we cared about each other. Couldn’t say fairer than that.