5 4 3 2 1 – Thunderbirds Hotel is GO!

5 4 3 2 1 – Thunderbirds Hotel is GO!

Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

Paul Thomas talks to Thunderbirds heroine Dee Anderson about Slough’s new Marriott-owned Moxy Hotel, which celebrates the legacy of the popular puppet-based programme.

Thunderbirds heroine Dee Anderson – the latest voice of TV puppet icon Lady Penelope – has welcomed a new hotel being built just a mile from where the series was produced, saying it is a “fitting tribute and legacy” to  her parents, Sylvia and Gerry Anderson, who created the show.

Dee – who has recently voiced Lady P for a range of Halifax Building Society commercials, taking over from her mum, Sylvia, the original vocal talent in the famous 1960s show – said she was “proud” of the new venture. The new 152-room hotel in Slough will be adorned with images of the characters, space-age transportation and slogans.

Jazz singer Dee, whose Silver Screen Ball in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital takes place on Saturday 7 December at Pinewood Studios, says: “It’s fab. Thunderbirds Hotel is go!

“My mother had aspirations of Hollywood and she said she had brought Hollywood to Slough Trading Estate [where the show was filmed], her mini-Hollywood. Lady Penelope drove her pink Rolls-Royce, Mum drove a pink Sunbeam Alpine, and she took her pink nail varnish to the car sprayers so it would match.

“Mum was the creative part of the partnership, the best of which was Lady Penelope, and as she was so successful Mum took the shade to get the character’s Rolls done.

“Lady P’s face was based on Mum’s face, but her eyes, Mum told me, were taken from mine.”

When it opens in early 2021, Slough’s stylish new Marriott-owned Moxy Hotel is set to inspire guests with the town’s long-standing connections to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s shows.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which airs Thunderbirds, agreed the deal with Marriott International franchise partner Cycas Hospitality for the use of Thunderbirds graphics throughout their new Moxy Slough property, so guests can relive the pop culture of the 1960s through the eyes of the original International Rescue team.

There will be themed floor- level signage according to the numbered Thunderbirds vehicles, pop art wall graphics of Lady Penelope and more motifs from the series in its public areas.

Thunderbirds ran on TV from 1964-1966 and used a technique of puppetry the Anderson’s called ‘Supermarionation’.

Its famous 5-4-3-2-1 intro and march music were household sounds to millions of children and parents, and the two series about the Tracy family and their International Rescue exploits were re-run time and again, with merchandise spin-offs lasting up until today, plus the shows were remade with modern techniques for new generations of youngsters.

The hotel, developed and owned by Slough Borough Council, is being built through Slough Urban Renewal (SUR),
a joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments, as part of a major redevelopment project to transform the former library site in the heart of Slough into a hotel, retail and residential hub. The site enjoys a landmark position in the town centre.

Planning consent was secured to deliver the Moxy Slough Hotel alongside a Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel, in addition to 64 apartments and 4,100 sq ft of restaurant and retail space.

Andy Howell, General Manager at SUR, said: “The Thunderbirds series is a treasured part of Slough’s history and we’re excited to see the new Moxy Slough Hotel bring this back to life through playful design references.”

John Wagner, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, who will be managing the double-decker hotel, explained: “From Crossrail to regeneration schemes, there’s no doubt that Slough’s ongoing transformation is putting the town on the map. We’re therefore delighted to be incorporating subtle nods to this iconic TV classic into the design of our upcoming Moxy Hotel and look forward to paying homage to one of Slough’s most-loved contributions to popular culture.”

Dee, who will performing at The Pheasantry in London’s King’s Road early next year, says: “Mum would have loved to have been at the opening night and I am just so pleased that people, not just from England, but from around the world, will come to Slough and enjoy this hotel.” Sylvia, who lived in Bray, died in 2016 just shy of her 89th birthday. Gerry died in 2012 aged 83.

“So many fans, especially from Japan, come to Comic Cons and other events to celebrate Thunderbirds and with this hotel being so near to Windsor, I’m sure those who love the programme’s legacy will enjoy staying there. They came to see my mother, now they can come to the hotel with all its nods to her creations.”

Dee’s Silver Screen Ball will be enjoying its second year raising money for GOSH through ticket sales and an auction, plus it plays host to the Sylvia Anderson Awards for Emerging Talent in Film and TV for women.

The full guest list has yet to be announced, but Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones, Thomas Brodie-Sangster from Love Actually and Oliver! movie icon Mark Lester are confirmed as well as comedy legend Barry Crier OBE.

GOSH has cared for Dee’s granddaughter, Summer, eight, after she was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just four. Dee said: “Without places like GOSH there would be nowhere else for children like Summer. It is ground-breaking in what it does, not only for the children who are suffering, but for the families who are trying to cope. Summer has been in remission for a year now.”

The ball also recognises her mother’s influence on TV and for Sylvia spearheading women’s talent in the business.
For availability of tickets for the Silver Screen Ball contact dee@glotime.tv
For availability of ticets to see Dee performing at the Pheasantry see https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on/

Many thanks to Paul Thomas
Berkshire Life – https://www.berksandbuckslife.co.uk/home
Archant – https://www.archant.co.uk/

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Christmas is Tops – Let’s Celebrate and Contribute

Christmas is Tops – Let’s Celebrate and Contribute

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The image of the Christmas jumper always conjures up the first Bridget Jones film when Colin Firth famously wore the unstylish sweater gifted to him by his Mum.   So forgive me if I take a breath before recommending you to do the same.

But this year Save the Children have www.christmasjumperday.org on 13 December where you can sign up for just £2 or £1 if at school, and make a difference worldwide for children in need.

If you also want to get really involved in the Christmas spirit with a festive jumper, and want to retain some sort of style, you can still do this without becoming a complete laughing stock.

John Lewis Baby Dog jumper – £16

https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-baby-dog-scene-christmas-jumper-blue/p4781334

Next – Lipsy Christmas Santa Baby Bardot Jumper £30

https://www.next.co.uk/style/esr03554

Womens Pink Eyelash Knit Sequin Tree Christmas Jumper – £16 Asda

https://direct.asda.com/george/women/jumpers-cardigans/pink-eyelash-knit-sequin-tree-christmas-jumper/

Monsoon Reign Unicorn Jumper Ivory – £25.00

https://www.jdwilliams.co.uk/shop/monsoon-reign-unicorn-jumper/

Gucci Embroidered Intarsia Wool Sweater – Red Reindeer – £890 – for the extra minted Christmas minded.

https://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/cat/gucci-deer-intarsia-wool-jumper_296-3006058-579950XKAWE/

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Cosy up for Christmas with these spectacular DVD releases the perfect xmas gift

Cosy up for Christmas with these spectacular DVD releases the perfect xmas gift

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

With the cold winter nights now upon us, we have picked three of our favorite DVD warmers
These DVD’s will make the perfect Christmas gifts for a friends, family a loved one or just for you.

Starting with the delightful ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ based of course on the life of Freddie Mercury & the band Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the band Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers ever.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Next up a double bill of British action comedies starring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (2015) follows Harry Hart (Firth), a top member of a secret spy agency in London, as he notices the potential in young street kid Eggsy (Egerton). Harry devotes his time to proving to his colleagues that the wayward youth has what it takes to be a Kingsman. With decades of experience and tricks of the trade to pass on to his protégé, has Harry got the stamina to teach the former petty criminal how to be a super spy?
In the sequel, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ (2017), after the Kingsman headquarters in London are destroyed in an explosion, they discover that the organisation behind the attack is the notorious Golden Circle, led by criminal mastermind Poppy (Julianne Moore). As they prepare to travel to America to confront and take down Poppy and her crew, the Kingsmen contact their American counterparts, Statesman, who agree to help them in their quest. Although they have the same agenda – save the world – the Kingsmen and the Statesmen have very different methods and values but they must put these aside and work together if they stand any chance of bringing down the Golden Circle.

Kingsman 2 Movie Collection

Finally, Hugh Jackman leads an all-star cast in this bold and original musical filled with infectious showstopping performances that will bring you to your feet time and time again. Inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and celebrating the birth of show business, the film follows the visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle. This inspirational film also stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.

The Greatest Showman

Thanks to our friends at ‘Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’ we have available a set of the above movies
for you to win.

Bohemiam Rhapsody on DVD
Kingsman 2 Movie Set on DVD
The Greatest Showman on Blu-Ray

To enter just enter your details below

 

 

View Giveaway

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAMOUS – DOES FAME REALLY EASE THE PAIN?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAMOUS – DOES FAME REALLY EASE THE PAIN?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Fame was once bestowed only upon the revered members of the Nation like Kings or Queens, successful Scientists and gifted writers or performers.  People who had actually achieved something, or of course who were born into Royalty.

In recent years though we have seen a rise in reality TV, from Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to Any Way is Essex, pulp viewing but hugely popular nonetheless, and producing huge reality ‘stars’ who endorse products, open high profile events and even switch on the Christmas lights due to their popularity.

X Factor and The Voice has also lead to huge exposure for thousands of budding singers and performers, who even if they win are not guaranteed a career, but certainly achieve their 15 minutes of fame that everyone seems to be seeking.

So what happens when you achieve that fame or notoriety?  Does that mean your problems are solved and you live happily ever after?

Well let’s take a look at that belief a little more closely.  The best way to start is to take a look at movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams who both took their lives as their fame was just not enough to block out the pain of their suffering.

Princess Diana was another good example of being the most famous and revered woman on the Planet but was one of the unhappiest as she couldn’t live with her own demons and the fact that her husband actually did not love her.

When speaking with a well know analyst recently whose patients are mainly the rich and famous, she told me that the majority of her clients can’t cope with the fact that fame does not ease the pain.

She couldn’t share her confidentiality, but told me that anxiety and depression with several of her well known clients had actually increased as a result of them becoming famous.

I am not talking to you from a great height.  In fact, I too have known many struggling actors and performers and been one myself, with huge talent but have never ‘made it’, whatever that means.  It does seem unfair that ‘fame’ is sometimes just the ‘click of the switch’ that happens to random people for no particular reason, whereas true talent is often ignored and left behind.

So what is the solution if the stars are aligned and we are transported in the World of celebrity and fame without even trying.  It has happened to a small section of the Nation and is well deserved if as a result of a special achievement or accolade.   This seems to have a more favourable outcome with people like Marie Curie who discovered a ground breaking cure for cancer.

But what about the wannabes who just want to get into Love Island without very much substance to back it up?  Take a look at the majority of the contestants of these types of shows, who have already disappeared into insignificance or one or two that have taken their own lives.

What value is fame, and how does it serve us.  Only you can answer that, but it is food for thought, and I would love to hear your own take on fame as I am still searching for the answer, not for fame itself but why it is so important to so many people.

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A DOG IS YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS – WAGGY TALES GALORE

A DOG IS YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS – WAGGY TALES GALORE

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

‘How much is that doggie in the Window, the one with the waggly tail’ goes the old song, which is rarely played these days. In fact you will never see a doggie in any shop window in the UK nowadays, as we have thankfully tightened up the rules where window shopping and impulse buying of such a precious animal is concerned.

If you are preparing to buy or rescue a dog for the family for Christmas, how prepared are you? Have you thought it through, as it is a bit like making the changes to your home and lifestyle of having a new baby.

Firstly, depending on the size and breed of the dog, it is advisable to buy loose covers or throws for all of the furniture as you will want to wash them frequently if you are allowing the animal to sleep on the settee or even the bed. If not, then invest in a dog basket or sheep skin for the pet to sleep on.

If you are at work all day then you should think through how often your new pet needs to be taken for a walk, and it is possible to train dogs to stay in a crate for several hours, but this is not advisable until they know you will be coming back.   So arduous work with leaving them from ten minutes at a time over a week or so and then building up to the time you will be out of the house, which should not be more than two or three hours at a time. So it may be wise for you to employ a doggie walker who will come to your house a couple of times a day. This does not come cheap, anything from £7 to £10 a walk for an experienced person who you can trust.

There are also some excellent doggie day care centres now, and will almost certainly be one in your area where you can take your dog when out for long hours. Again these range between £10 and £20 per day, costing more for an overnight stay.

Owning a dog does not come cheap, with their vaccinations, food, day care, deworming and flea treatments it can add up to a hefty £3-£7k per year. Look around for the best health insurance and veterinary surgery. But take out full cover because vets are expensive and you will still need to pay to get your dog neutered and vaccinated.

It is still advisable to go into the animal’s background if you have kids to make sure he or she is safe to have in the home, but the good news is, they are the most therapeutic animals in the World, and have been known to be a healing companion to the elderly or a younger person with a disability.

You should decide the breed of dog you want or if you would like to acquire a dog from your local rescue home. Size is quite irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in terms of care, as all dogs need walking and attention and the same rules apply. Smaller dogs are just easier to carry around, but there are the same restrictions in most restaurants, supermarkets or retail outlets so check out your local dog friendly ones.

Going on holiday is another thing to consider, and you may decide to go to a log cabin in the country where they have fabulous walks or dog friendly hotels or even abroad – and then you will need a doggie passport.

If you are going further afield check out your best kennel, as some are better than others, and most will give you a guided tour, and you can decide for yourself. If you choose one where they receive one to one attention, they will also have a brilliant holiday and some love it so much they won’t want to come home at first. So don’t fret about leaving them in kennels for a couple of weeks if you go away.

 

If after all of this information you still have your heart set on a dog, then you are embarking on a wonderful adventure, and one that will change your life for the better.   But take heed, as they have been known to steal the hardiest of hearts, and they are also famous for never returning it to the owner.

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