The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most recognisable and trusted broadcasting outlets in the world. Since it was founded in 1922, the BBC has maintained its responsibility to provide impartial public service broadcasting.
As a consequence of its committal to quality, the BBC’s films, documentaries, plays, concerts and serials are shown throughout the world.
The thrust of BBC operations have always occurred in London. Its headquarters are in the Broadcasting House in Portland Place which underwent a lengthy renovation project emerging as state-of-the-art building earlier this year.
This summer the Queen officially opened the rebuilt Broadcasting House, which is home to approximately 6,000 London-based staff. The Queen visited the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, the Today Studio and the newsroom where she appeared behind newsreaders on air.
If you want to follow in the Queen’s footsteps, BBC tours are held in Broadcasting House seven days a week. Visitors can watch a camera’s eye view of the big screen as live news broadcasts are beamed out to the nation.
Do you love the look, touch and exquisiteness of precious pearls? If so, you’ll be in for a treat if you take a trip to the Victoria & Albert Museum between now and January 19, 2014.
Pearls are the subject of a new exhibition at the V&A. From common cultured pearls to genuine rare natural ones, which are far more valuable, there will be a myriad of beautiful and lustrous pearls on display at this rather unique exhibition.
You may be a fan of pearls but do you actually know where they come from? Precious pearls are found inside certain shellfish and vary considerably in their delicacy, from regular to extremely exquisite. Pearls are made up inside the molluscs by many layers of calcium carbonate deposits in microscopic crystalline form.
The word ‘Pearl’ has become somewhat of a metaphor for something fine, rare, precious or admirable. These beautiful gemstones have been sought after and coveted for thousands of years. They are not easy to get, which inevitably adds to their appeal, and people have even lost their lives diving for these precious stones. So sought-after are they that pearls often end up in the collections of kings and queens and the fifthly rich.
For centuries natural pearls were the only pearls in existence until man inevitably had to interfere. By placing a small seed inside the mollusc shell, which promotes pearl growth, plastic and cultured pearls are produced. Natural pearl collectors in both fresh water and salt water have to open and kill many molluscs before they eventually find a pearl and even then the gem might not be that spectacular.
This particularly dazzling exhibition at the V&A includes the actual pearl earring that King Charles I was wearing when he had his head lopped off by Oliver Cromwell.
If you were anywhere close to being young in the 1970s the chances are that you have heard of Mott the Hoople. If you haven’t heard of them well let us enlighten you. Mott the Hoople was a much-loved British rock n roll band in the early to mid-1970s. The band was best known for their song “All the Young Dudes,” which was written for them by David Bowie.
This English rock n roll group with strong R&B roots released three albums but due to their third album diving were on the point of splitting up shortly after its release. David Bowie had long been a fan of Mott the Hoople and hearing of the band’s imminent split the Glam Rock megastar offered them his song “All the Young Dudes”. Mott the Hoople recorded and released the iconic track to great acclaim and success.
Following tours of America the popular band did eventually split in the mid-seventies when lead singer, Ian Hunter, decided to go solo, working alongside Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson for a while. Bowie, Ronson and Hunter played together on stage at the Queen Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992 and did a superb rendition of “All the Young Dudes”. Sadly Ian Ronson had been plainly ill during the tour with Bowie and Ronson and died the following year.
Mott the Hoople finally reunited in 2009 and played the Hammersmith Apollo in London as a celebratory back together gig. Demand for tickets to see this legendary band was so great that all five nights at the Hammersmith Apollo sold out – a feat that most modern bands would be hard pushed to achieve.
For anyone who is not familiar with the Horse Hospital in London, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a kind of veterinary service specifically for horses. You couldn’t be further from the truth as the intriguingly named Horse Hospital is actually an ultra-cool venue dedicated to exhibiting underground and avant-garde media. Situated in Bloomsbury, WC1, the Horse Hospital was established in 1993 as a three tiered event centre for the underground art genres.
Each year the London Underground Film Festival takes place at the Horse Hospital and this year will be held on 13 -17 November. While the location is not unusual for this underground event which is focused on experimental cinema, what is different is the festival’s collaboration with the Portuguese city of Porto. At the end of November Porto will hold a similar “sister” event.
The London & Porto Underground Film Festivals will celebrate outsider works of cinema with an emphasis on creativity and originality.
Forty years ago Bryan Ferry formed Roxy music and has been a glittering musical success ever since. His solo career takes on a much more distinguished form than the early Roxy one of shimmer and makeup. Nowadays Brian Ferry pops up with unexpected cover versions such as ‘Back to Black’ by Amy Winehouse. Ferry’s backing band play almost like a band at a Jewish wedding ceremony as they lazily jazz their way through Amy’s song.
It is true to say that Bryan Ferry has been one of our most enduring singers. You need to be able to keep your nerve to stay in the limelight for so long. Master of chic and style, Mr Ferry oozes class and blows competition away. This well-groomed and impeccably dressed artist can sing with romance and feeling and if the song needs rocking up, the American star will rock it up.
If you are a Bryan Ferry fan you’ll be pleased to hear that him and his band are playing at the Royal Albert Hall on November 4, 2013. The legendary Roxy music founder will only play at this prestigious London venue for one night as he kicks off his first British tour for five years.