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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britainís less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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George Cole

George Coleís early life was worthy of a film script, and would have been better than plenty of the 60 or so in which he acted Ė though among the duds are some absolute gems like the St Trinianís series and Too Many Crooks. Adopted after his 16-year-old mother abandoned him, at a crisis in his family life when he was 14 he ran away to Blackpool and got an acting job. Actor-director Alistair Sim soon afterwards effectively adopted him and his mother, coaching the boy and appearing with him in several movies. His range was far wider than many may realise, from Shakespeare to musicals via horror films, radio comedies and even a star turn as Sir Giles in Blott on the Landscape, when he carried off a nude scene with aplomb. But weíll remember him as the shifty Flash Harry of St Trinianís, and the shiftier Arthur Daley of Minder fame, brilliant characters created by brilliant character acting.

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It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously. - Peter Ustinov
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On this day:
The Hundred Years War begins - 1337, Ashmolean Museum Opens - 1683, Westminster Bridge Opens - 1862
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