He says of himself: "I'm just a story teller." But this weekend Danny Boyle found himself a national hero. His Olympic opening ceremony was themed "for everyone" and, a few extremists aside, it was. The BBC said on Saturday the ceremony had been watched by 27 million people in the UK. Boyle had produced almost exactly what he first envisaged in the summer of 2011, when he showed his storyboards. He delivered everything, scene for scene. Until the last minute there were doubts about whether it would hang together. One insider described it as a "high wire act" and said it could have gone either way. Creative tensions erupted over camera positions. Dreadful weather dogged rehearsals. Olympics chief Sebastian Coe recalled seeing volunteers wringing out their hoodies and the heavy rain made it difficult to do the ambitious scene changes. Thousands of plastic ponchos were procured to keep costumes and volunteers dry. The poncho manufacturer was only one of the 737 suppliers, 96% of whom were … [Read more...] about London 2012: Danny Boyle thrills audiences with inventive Olympics opening ceremony
Bbc sports results
A West Indies cricketer has sparked a sexism row after asking a TV reporter for a date live on air. But what does this reveal about the challenges facing female sports journalists? Chris Gayle has faced a barrage of criticism after his comments to Mel McLaughlin during a Big Bash League match in Australia. "To see your eyes for the first time is nice," he said, in response to a question about his innings. "Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don't blush baby."His behaviour has provoked strong reactions online. Some have supported him, saying that his comments were clearly a joke. Others have condemned him as a sexist. Gayle has apologised since the incident with McLaughlin but also said that he thought the backlash had been "out of proportion".Others argue that his attitude is just another example of the types of problems faced by female sports reporters on a daily basis. They say that in the male-dominated world of sport, difficult interviews with players are common. "They're … [Read more...] about What does the Chris Gayle row reveal?
About seven years ago, I started losing my sight. Not that I realised. I was a 50-year-old mum living in Sussex with three teenage children, and I didn’t have time to think about it. When my world started to look foggy, I just assumed I was getting more short-sighted, or long-sighted, wore grease-smeared glasses, had the wrong prescription or a dirty windscreen. I’d watch my children’s school sports matches and mistakenly cheer for the wrong team, think our side had lost the game and brace myself to tackle their disappointment. Then they’d come over, flushed with victory, and demand: ‘Did you see my catch/rounder/dribbling? Wasn’t it amazing?’ No I hadn’t seen it, even though I’d been paying close attention. Susannah Constantine (pictured) details having eye surgery, after being unexpectedly diagnosed with cataracts aged 55 But I’d say: ‘Yes, darling. Magnificent!’ Lies. At the opticians I felt rage and resentment … [Read more...] about My panic as I realised I was going BLIND at 50: SUSANNAH CONSTANTINE shares the terrifying drama as she fought to save her sight
Generations of actors have donned prosthetic proboscises to play Cyrano de Bergerac. James McAvoy tells BBC News why his portrayal does without one.The first thing you notice when James McAvoy takes to the stage in the latest London staging of Cyrano de Bergerac is that his nose is distinctly his own.Because of the Oscar-winning Gerard Depardieu film, Steve Martin's re-working Roxanne and countless other versions, one automatically expects Edmond Rostand's flamboyant poet hero to sport an outsized nasal appendage.This Cyrano, though, swims against the tide. Not only does Jamie Lloyd's production use contemporary modern dress, but it also leaves the legendary hooter to the viewer's imagination."Rostand wrote a play about the power of words and the power of the imagination," explains McAvoy after Friday's press night performance."[So we thought], let's really test how powerful his words and imagination are and see if they can truly engage the audience."If we're good enough, focused … [Read more...] about James McAvoy on why his Cyrano de Bergerac has a normal-sized nose
Joseph McCann was convicted of a horrific campaign of kidnappings, rapes and sex attacks Serial sex attacker Joseph McCann has today been jailed for a minimum of 30 years for attacking 11 women and children in a two-week rampage after being freed from prison by mistake. Convicted burglar McCann, 34, released after a probation service error, was handed 33 life sentences. He abducted, raped and assaulted victims aged between 11 and 71 in Watford, London and the North West. He snatched some victims off the street, forcing them into his car at knifepoint in a 15 day cocaine and vodka fuelled rampage, just two months after he was freed. He allegedly used a 'support network' across the country to evade police, despite being identified as a suspect on the day of his first attack. McCann, who had addresses in Aylesbury and Harrow, refused to attend his Old Bailey trial and hid under a prison blanket rather than give evidence. It was claimed on his behalf that the women he … [Read more...] about Serial rapist Joseph McCann is jailed for at least 30 years for attacking 11 victims during two-week rampage after being freed from prison in error