The Birmingham Hippodrome is a theatre situated on Hurst Street in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, England. Although best known as the home stage of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, it hosts a wide variety of other performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring West End shows and drama; the Hippodrome is the venue for West End touring theatrical shows, such as Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and We Will Rock You. The theatre's Christmas pantomimes are produced by Qdos Entertainment, over recent years attracting stars such as Brian Conley, Don Maclean, Julian Clary, Joe Pasquale, John Barrowman, Joan Collins, Nigel Havers, Keith Harris, Lynda Bellingham, Lesley Joseph, Gary Wilmot, Paul Zerdin, Gok Wan, John Partridge, Jane McDonald, Marti Pellow, Lee Mead, The Krankies, Steve McFadden, Jodie Prenger and Andrew Ryan. Comedian Matt Slack has appeared since 2013. With a regular annual attendance of over 600,000, the Hippodrome is the busiest single theatre in the United Kingdom, the busiest venue for dance outside London.
The first venue built on the Hippodrome site was a building of assembly rooms in 1895. In 1899 the venue was redesigned by local architect F. W. Lloyd, a stage and circus ring was added together with a Moorish tower and the enterprise named the "Tower of Varieties". After failing, this was soon rebuilt as a normal variety theatre, reopened as the "Tivoli" in 1900 becoming "The Hippodrome" under the ownership of impresario Thomas Barrasford in October 1903; the current neo-classical auditorium seats 1,900 and was designed by Burdwood and Mitchell in 1924. Following the construction of the nearby Smallbrook Queensway, the entrance building and tower were demolished in 1963, a new modern entrance constructed. At the same time, the theatre was renamed'Birmingham Theatre' for a time; this plain facade was refaced in the 1980s with a mock-Victorian plasterwork, whilst the stagehouse was demolished and rebuilt to accommodate larger shows. The decade saw the theatre host the Central Television revival of the ITV talent show New Faces, hosted by Marti Caine.
The exterior of the theatre was rebuilt by Associated Architects and Law and Dunbar-Nasmith in 2001, with a new glass facade and accommodation for the Birmingham Royal Ballet and additional performance space. In July 2015, comedian and actor Brian Conley was celebrated at the end of a performance of Barnum, having performed at the Hippodrome for 600 performances, appearing in six pantomimes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver! and hosting the 1999 Royal Variety Performance at the theatre. Pevsner Architectural Guides - Birmingham, Andy Foster, 2005, ISBN 0-300-10731-5 Official website Birmingham Hippodrome in the Theatres Trust database
Sir Michael Terence Wogan, better known as Terry Wogan, was an Irish radio and television broadcaster who worked for the BBC in the UK for most of his career. Before he retired in 2009, his BBC Radio 2 weekday breakfast programme Wake Up to Wogan drew an estimated eight million listeners, he was believed to be the most listened-to radio broadcaster in Europe. Wogan was a leading media personality in Britain and Ireland from the late 1960s and was referred to as a "national treasure". In addition to his weekday radio show, he was known for his work on television, including the BBC One chat show Wogan, presenting Children in Need, the game show Blankety Blank and Come Dancing, he was the BBC's commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest from 1971 to 2008 and its host in 1998. From 2010 to 2015 he presented Weekend Wogan, a two-hour Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 2. In 2005, Wogan acquired British citizenship in addition to his Irish nationality and was thus entitled to use the title "Sir" in front of his name when he was awarded a knighthood in the same year.
He died from cancer at his home in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, on 31 January 2016, aged 77. Wogan, the son of the manager of Leverett & Frye, a high class grocery store in Limerick, was educated at Crescent College, a Jesuit school, from the age of eight, he experienced a religious upbringing commenting that he had been brainwashed into believing by the threat of going to hell. Despite this, he expressed his fondness for the city of his birth, commenting on one occasion that "Limerick never left me, whatever it is, my identity is Limerick."At the age of 15, after his father was promoted to general manager, Wogan moved to Dublin with his family. While living there, he attended Belvedere College, he discovered a love of rock and roll. After leaving Belvedere in 1956, Wogan had a brief career in the banking profession, joining the Royal Bank of Ireland. While in his twenties, he joined the national broadcaster of Ireland, RTÉ, as a newsreader and announcer after seeing a newspaper advertisement inviting applicants.
Wogan conducted interviews and presented documentary features during his first two years at Raidió Teilifís Éireann, before moving to the light entertainment department as a disc jockey and host of TV quiz and variety shows such as Jackpot, a top rated quiz show on RTÉ in the 1960s. When the show was dropped by RTÉ TV in 1967, Wogan approached the BBC for extra work. David Attenborough rebuffed Wogan's job application to be a BBC presenter as "to have two Irishmen presenting on BBC Two would have looked ridiculous", he began working for BBC Radio, initially'down the line' from Dublin, first broadcasting on the Light Programme on 27 September 1966. He presented the Tuesday edition of Late Night Extra for two years on BBC Radio 1, commuting weekly from Dublin to London. After standing-in for Jimmy Young's mid-morning show, whilst he took a holiday throughout July 1969, he was offered a weekday afternoon slot between 3pm and 5pm. In April 1972, he took over the breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, swapping places with John Dunn, who hosted the afternoon show.
Wogan achieved record estimated audiences of up to 7.9 million. His ubiquitous presence across the media meant that he became the butt of jokes by comedians of the time, among them The Goodies and The Barron Knights, he released a parody vocal version of the song "The Floral Dance" in 1978, by popular request from listeners who enjoyed hearing him sing over the instrumental hit by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. His version reached number 21 in the UK Singles Chart. In December 1984, Wogan left his breakfast show to pursue a full-time career in television and was replaced by Ken Bruce, his first chat show, Wogan's World, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from 6 June 1974 to 21 September 1975. In January 1993, he returned to BBC Radio 2, replacing Brian Hayes to present the breakfast show called Wake Up to Wogan, his tendency to go off on rambling, esoteric tangents including banter with his producer, Paul Walters, became popular with both younger and older listeners. Much of the entertainment came from letters and emails sent in by listeners, many of whom adopted punning pseudonyms.
One occasion involved Wogan reading out an email from someone using the name "Tess Tickles", without realising what the name was referring to, prompting Paul Walters' standard reply in such situations – "I only print'em!"Through his show Wogan was widely credited with launching the career of singer Katie Melua, after he played her début single, "The Closest Thing to Crazy", in late 2003. When she performed on Children in Need in 2005, Wogan joked, he gave credit for her discovery to Walters. Walters put music by Eva Cassidy, an American singer who had died in relative obscurity, on Wogan's playlist; as his radio show was considered to attract older listeners, Wogan jokingly referred to his fans as "TOGs", standing for "Terry's Old Geezers" or "Terry's Old Gals", whilst "TYGs" were "Terry's Young Geezers/Gals", who he joked were forced to listen to him because of their parents' choice of radio station. Wogan was referred to as "The Togmeister" on his own programme by himself and members of his production team, he referred to the podcast of his show as a'togcast'.
Auntie Gloria was a regular contributor to WUTW who wrote many poems and items under assumed names such as Wilfred Weeny, Gertrude Grimley, Herman Hunchtrouser & Sidney Snide to name but a few. In addition he wrote several serial pastiches su
Mickie Most was an English record producer, with a string of hit singles with acts such as the Animals, Herman's Hermits, the Nashville Teens, Lulu, Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate, Arrows and the Jeff Beck Group issued on his own RAK Records label. Most was born as Michael Peter Hayes in Hampshire; the son of a regimental sergeant-major, he moved with his parents to Harrow in 1951. He was influenced by skiffle and early roll in his youth. Leaving school at 15, he worked as a singing waiter at London's The 2i's Coffee Bar where he made friends with future business partner Peter Grant, formed a singing duo with Alex Wharton who billed themselves as the Most Brothers, they recorded the single "Takes A Whole Lotta Loving to Keep My Baby Happy" with Decca Records before disbanding. Wharton went on to produce the Moody Blues single "Go Now". After changing his name to Mickie Most in 1959, he travelled to South Africa with his wife Christina, formed a pop group, Mickie Most and the Playboys; the band scored 11 consecutive No. 1 singles there with cover versions of Ray Peterson, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran songs.
Returning to London in 1962, Most appeared on package tours as well as recording "Mister Porter", a No. 45 hit in the UK Singles Chart in July 1963 and had moderate success with'The Feminine Look' in 1963, this latter featuring Jimmy Page on lead guitar and heralding early British heavy rock. Becoming tired of touring clubs, Most decided to concentrate on other aspects of the music industry, his first job was selling records in stores and displaying them on racks before finding a niche with production for Columbia Records. After spotting The Animals at Newcastle's Club A-Go-Go, he offered to produce their first single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home", which reached No. 21 in the UK Singles Chart. Their follow-up 1964 single, "The House of the Rising Sun", became an international hit. Most had success with Herman's Hermits after being approached by their manager Harvey Lisberg at Derek Everett's suggestion, their first Most production, "I'm into Something Good", went to No. 1 in 1964, beginning a run of single and album sales, the group for a time challenging The Beatles in popularity in the United States.
His down-to-earth handling of the band, his business acumen and knack for selecting hit singles established Most as one of the most successful producers in Britain and kept him in demand throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In July 1964, Most scored another top 10 hit with the Nashville Teens' cover of the John D. Loudermilk song "Tobacco Road". In September 1964, with Most at the control board, Brenda Lee recorded "Is It True" and "What'd I Say". "Is It True" was released in England and in the US, it became a hit and a gold record. "What'd I Say" became another hit throughout Europe but was never released in the US. Most had equal success with other artists for whom he produced chart-topping albums and singles between 1964 and 1969, notably Donovan with "Sunshine Superman", "Mellow Yellow", "Jennifer Juniper", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", Lulu's hits "To Sir, with Love", "The Boat That I Row", "Boom Bang-a-Bang", "Me the Peaceful Heart", "I'm a Tiger". Most produced the final studio single of the 1960s by The Seekers, "Days of My Life", in 1968, Nancy Sinatra's "The Highway Song" in 1969.
Additionally in the 1960s, Most signed and produced artists such as singer-guitarist Terry Reid, all-girl rock band The She Trinity. Most's productions were backed by London-based session musicians including Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass guitar and arrangements, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Bobby Graham on drums, he produced Jeff Beck's hits "Love is Blue" and "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and the Jeff Beck Group albums Truth and Beck-Ola. He teamed the Beck group with Donovan for the single "Barabajagal". By 1967, after commercial and critical failure of The Yardbirds album Little Games, he decided to steer clear of rock groups; the Yardbirds objected to his insistence that every song be cut to three minutes and that albums were an afterthought following the singles. His focused approach led to a split with Donovan in late 1969. Most and Donovan reunited in 1973 for the album Cosmic Wheels on which Most was credited under his real name, Michael Peter Hayes. Despite these setbacks, Most set up his own production office at 155 Oxford Street, sharing it with his business partner Peter Grant.
It was through Most's association. In 1968, Most and Grant set up RAK Management, but Grant's involvement with The Yardbirds, which soon evolved into Led Zeppelin, meant Most had control in late 1969. RAK Records and RAK Music Publishing were launched in 1969. RAK Music Publishing has the copyright of such classic popular songs as "You Sexy Thing" composed by Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown and a half interest in the song "I Love Rock'n' Roll" written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the band Arrows. Both acts were produced by Most. With RAK Records, Most's success continued with folk singer Julie Felix's hit "El Condor Pasa". Felix was the first artist signed to the label. Most produced Mary Hopkin’s 1970 hit "Temma Harbour" for Apple Records, followed by her Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Knock, Knock Who's There?". In 1970, Most approached Suzi Quatro for a recording contract after seeing her on stage at a Detroit dance hall with the band Cradle, while on a production assignment in Chicago.
Quatro was among a growing roster of artists signed to RAK Records
Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
Arthur Bowden Askey, CBE was an English comedian and actor. Askey's humour owed much to the playfulness of the characters he portrayed, his improvisation, his use of catchphrases, which included "Hello playmates!", "I thank you", "Before your eyes". Askey was born at 29 Moses Street, Liverpool, the eldest child and only son of Samuel Askey, company secretary of Sugar Products of Liverpool, his wife, Betsy Bowden, of Knutsford, Cheshire. Six months after his birth the family moved to Liverpool, it was here that a sister, Irene Dorothy, was born in 1908. Askey was educated at the Liverpool Institute for Boys, he was small in stature at 5' 2", with a breezy, smiling personality, wore distinctive horn-rimmed glasses. Askey performed in army entertainments. After working as a clerk for Liverpool Corporation, Education Department, he was in a touring concert party and the music halls, but he rose to stardom in 1938 through his role in the first regular radio comedy series, Band Waggon on the BBC. Band Waggon began as a variety show, but had been unsuccessful until Askey and his partner, Richard Murdoch, took on a larger role in the writing.
During the broadcasting of Band Waggon they attempted to advertise a scouring powder with the chant of "Askeytoff will take it off" with the result that an announcer came on and shut the show down as advertising was prohibited on the BBC. During the Second World War Askey starred in several Gainsborough Pictures comedy films, including Band Waggon, based on the radio show, his last film was Rosie Dixon - starring Debbie Ash. In the early 1930s Askey appeared on an early form of BBC television—the spinning disc invented by John Logie Baird that scanned vertically and had only thirty lines. Askey had to be made up for his face to be recognisable at such low resolution; when television became electronic, with 405 horizontal lines, Askey was a regular performer in variety shows. When television returned after World War II, his first TV series was Before Your Very Eyes!, named after his catchphrase. On 3 May 1956 Askey presented Meet The People, a launch night programme for Granada Television. In 1957 writers Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell revived the Band Waggon format for Living It Up, a series that reunited Askey and Murdoch after 18 years.
He continued to appear on television in the 1970s, such as being a panellist on the ITV talent show New Faces, where his sympathetic comments would offset the harsher judgments of fellow judges Tony Hatch and Mickie Most. He appeared on the comedy panel game Jokers Wild, he made many TV appearances including BBC TV's long running show, The Good Old Days. During the 1950s and 60s, he appeared in many sitcoms, including Love and Kisses, Arthur's Treasured Volumes and The Arthur Askey Show, he was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, in December 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews, in December 1974, when Andrews, dressed as Humpty Dumpty, surprised him on a television show while discussing the art of pantomime. Askey appeared in the West End musical Follow the Girls, he made many stage appearances as a pantomime dame. Askey's recording career included "The Bee Song", an integral part of his stage and television act for many years, "The Thing-Ummy Bob" and his theme tune, "Big-Hearted Arthur".
In 1941 a song he intended to record, "It's Really Nice to See You Mr Hess", was banned by the War Office. A collection of Askey's wartime recordings appear on the CD album Band Waggon/Big Hearted Arthur Goes To War. Private Eye magazine in the 1970s made the comment that he and the Queen Mother had "never been seen in the same room together", referring to the fact that they were about the same age and height and suggesting that the Queen Mother was Askey in drag. Askey was awarded the OBE in 1969 and the CBE in 1981. Askey was married to Elizabeth May Swash in 1925 until her death in 1974. Askey carried on working on his comedy career until just before he was hospitalised in July 1982 due to poor circulation which resulted in gangrene and the amputation of both legs, he is buried in Putney Vale Cemetery. Radio comedy Cinema of the United Kingdom List of British actors and actresses Arthur Askey. Before Your Very Eyes ISBN 0-7130-0134-8 Kurt Ganzl; the Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre pp. 75 ISBN 0-02-864970-2 Murphy, Robert..
British Cinema and the Second World War. A&C Black Arthur Askey Britmovie British movie community Arthur Askey BFI The Radio Academy – Hall of Fame: Arthur Askey Arthur Askey's appearance on This Is Your Life TV Greats: Arthur Askey Star Archive: Arthur Askey Arthur Askey on IMDb Askey and Band Waggon audiobook CD at CD41
Muriel Young was an English television continuity announcer and producer. She was born in 1923 in Bishop Middleham near County Durham; as a child, she lived with her family in the gatehouse of Elmwood, County Durham near Stockton-on-Tees. Her father, Wilfrid Young, was batman and chauffeur to Col. Kitching, who lived at Elmwood for many years after retiring from the army in 1939. Young worked as a librarian on leaving school and attended art college, before deciding to embark on a career as an actress, she joined a repertory theatre in Henley-on-Thames. She subsequently performed at the Gateway Theatre and the Theatre Royal in Chatham. Trying to get into the film industry, she did modelling for advertising agencies, including promoting products such as toothpaste, which paid her enough money until she became an actress, she studied to be a dental nurse and used her artistic talents to paint glassware. Starting out as an actress, she starred with Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall in The Constant Husband and was in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, acting in a segment featuring The Mikado.
In 1955, as the first ITV company Associated-Rediffusion was gearing up to launch, she intended to attend an actors' audition at the company, but mistakenly went to an announcers' audition instead. Young was hired and announced for Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955, the opening night of commercial television in the UK. Young worked as a presenter and interviewer for regional programmes on Granada Television and Southern Television, as a disc jockey on Radio Luxembourg, she was cast, alongside Peter Sellers in the movie I'm All Right Jack as an announcer, without the director knowing that it was in fact her real-life job. However, her career could have taken a different route. Just before joining ITV, she had been on stage touring with Eamonn Andrews, in a game show called Double or Drop. Shortly after signing her ITV contract, he told her that he had sold the idea to the BBC, it was used as part of the children's show Crackerjack!. She was a presenter of children's programmes for Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion London between 1959 and 1968, working alongside Wally Whyton and Bert Weedon and featuring the puppet characters Pussy Cat Willum, Ollie Beak and Fred Barker.
The popular format thus created lasted for many years, under various titles including Lucky Dip, Tuesday Rendezvous, Five O'Clock Club and Fred's Five O'Clock Club and Five O'Clock Funfair. In the late 1960s and'70s, Young became a staff producer of pop programmes for Granada Television, with such shows as Lift Off with Ayshea, Get It Together, the Bay City Rollers series Shang-a-Lang, The Arrows Show and Marc, starring Marc Bolan, she devised Clapperboard, presented by Granada's film magazine show for children. Young was an occasional panellist on the ATV talent show New Faces. Changing direction again in the mid-1980s, Young made two series of Ladybirds, a Channel 4 programme from Mike Mansfield's independent company. In 1986, Young left her successful career in television and moved back to County Durham, where she lived in part of Stanhope Castle with her husband Cyril Coke, a television drama director, whom she had married in 1954. Coke was the novelist Phyllis Austin; the couple met when he was casting director for The Story of Sullivan.
Coke died in 1993. Although most references gave her year of birth as 1928, she was born in 1923, she died in Stanhope, County Durham on 24 March 2001 aged 77. Muriel Young on IMDb