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North Korea: ‘Lord! Help


World News

North Korea: ‘Lord! Help!’
Hannah Cho* tells her story of faith in God despite horrendous persecution.
World Watch Monitor

photo: iStock
After the Korean war, public religion was discouraged. The local church was turned into a school and Hannah remembers that her Christian mother prayed at home while the family kept watch for informants.
The cough signal
‘If anyone came close, we’d cough and she’d stop praying,’ Hannah said. ‘Sometimes my father was annoyed with her and didn’t want her praying in the living room, so she went outside, even when it was snowing.
Hannah wanted to understand her mother’s faith, but she spoke so fast when she prayed that it was difficult to understand. ‘All we could make out was “Hananim, Hananim!’ [Lord! Lord!], Help!’ she said.
‘We had no idea who this ‘Hananim’ was. My daughter even asked her one day why she wouldn’t simply visit this guy if he was that important to her. My mother replied: ‘One day I will.’
‘Because of my mum’s prayers, I was never as indoctrinated by the Juche [self-reliance] ideology as others,’ Hannah said. Hannah’s mother said nothing to her about her Christian faith until her marriage aged 23.
Leaving for China
After Hannah’s mother died, she and her family decided to leave North Korea for China. ‘My eldest daughters were first to flee, but they were betrayed by the broker. When we didn’t hear from them, my husband went to China to try to find them. Meanwhile, I took care of my two youngest children at home. My husband didn’t come back; a year later, I went to look for them all in China. At first, I couldn’t locate my husband. I prayed with the only words I knew: ‘Hananim, Hananim!’ Finally, I found my husband’s relative and he connected me with my husband, but my daughters were still missing.’
All converted
When the family were reunited after searching in China, they started to attend the church of a relative, where they all converted to the Christian faith.
‘We had seen my mother’s faith, but now we understood it,’ Hannah said. ‘We felt peace in our hearts and unexplainable joy. It was so refreshing, as if the specks in my eyes had been washed away and I could finally see God. Now I could follow him like my mother had. Our faith grew very quickly because we had been prepared all our lives for this moment.’
Arrested and sent back
‘But soon we were discovered by Chinese secret agents and arrested,’ Hannah recalled. ‘We were sent back to North Korea. We witnessed terrible things. A woman in prison was pregnant by a Chinese man. Race is very important in North Korea. When she gave birth the guard ordered her to kill her baby, but she couldn’t. The guard threatened another woman, telling her he would let her live if she killed the baby. He put his gun to her head and the inmate had no other choice but to strangle the baby until he died. And we had to watch.’
‘My husband told the guards he’d become a Christian. After he saw what they did with the baby and the guards threatened to kill his family, he had to tell them the truth. After his confession, all four of us were locked up in solitary confinement – a small cage. We didn’t receive any food or water and couldn’t sleep.
‘Prisoners in solitary confinement were badly beaten. The more they tortured my husband, the harder he defended his faith. He yelled: “If believing in God is a sin, I’d rather die! Just kill me! It’s my mission to live according to God’s will!”
‘Each time he spoke out, they beat him up as if he was an animal. His flesh was torn and ripped. When he lost consciousness, they woke him and started again.
‘I was dehydrated and beaten until I was unconscious too. When I woke up, I was dragged back to a regular cell with my daughter and other inmates. Then they beat me in front of them. All my daughter could do was cry silently, which she did day and night.
Praying in prison
‘We prayed throughout our time in prison. When we were granted an amnesty and released, we didn’t recognise each other due to the torture. My husband couldn’t stand up due to his injuries. When we walked out of the prison that night and were finally free and alone, we quietly sang a hymn.’
The family have not been able to reunite though, and Hannah’s husband died soon after leaving prison.
‘My mother only taught me one prayer. But I still pray it every day, for my family and for my country: “Hananim, Hananim! – Lord, Lord, please help!”
* Name changed for security reasons

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October 6, 2017 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, Film, Food, fraud, Health, Homeless, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Kelly Brook confirms split from Thom Evans but claims it has nothing to do with ex-boyfriend Danny Cipriani


 

‘It was a mutual decision’: Kelly Brook confirms split from Thom Evans… but says it has nothing to do with ex Danny Cipriani

 

Kelly Brook has confirmed that she has split with boyfriend Thom Evans via her Twitter account, but has denied that it had anything to do with her meetings with ex-boyfriend Danny Cipriani.

Former rugby star Thom is said to have questioned the stunning brunette repeatedly about her frequent outings with her ex – who she was seen meeting alongside her best friend Preeya Kalidas in London on Saturday night.

But Kelly has claimed that ending the two-year relationship was mutual, writing: ‘Thom and I mutually agreed to go our separate ways some time ago. It had absolutely nothing to do with a third party.’

'Mutual' split: Kelly Brook has confirmed her split with Thom Evans, denying that it had anything to do with her recent meetings with Danny Cipriani

‘Mutual’ split: Kelly Brook has confirmed her split with Thom Evans, denying that it had anything to do with her recent meetings with Danny Cipriani

According to The Sun, Thom, 27, decided to end his two-year relationship with Kelly, 33, last week because he was growing increasingly unhappy about her friendship with Cipriani, also a rugby player.

A source said: ‘Even though there was nothing going on while she and Thom were together, Thom hated the fact she was seeing him and Kelly refused to end their meetings.

‘After one row too many the pair decided to end things. She’s been leaning on Danny since the break-up and, while she’s devastated, she knows it’s for the best.’

Kelly is said to have been unwilling to stop meeting up with her 25-year-old ex, with the source adding that she ‘never stopped loving Danny’.

Happy landings: Kelly landed in Miami, Florida on Thursday following the reports of the split

Happy landings: Kelly landed in Miami, Florida on Thursday following the reports of the split

Old acquaintances: Kelly and Danny Cipriani were pictured leaving the Rose club last week after partying together

Old acquaintances: Kelly and Danny Cipriani were pictured leaving the Rose club last week after partying together

Old acquaintances: Kelly and Danny Cipriani were pictured leaving the Rose club last week after partying together

One-time Scottish international player Thom has reportedly already moved out of the home he and Kelly shared and is planning a short-term move to Los Angeles to focus on his acting career.

The source added to the Sun: ‘Thom told Kelly that he’s always wanted to live in LA but never made the leap because she was so against it.’

Following the news of the split breaking, Kelly has flown to Miami, Florida, for some winter sunshine.

Happier times: One of the last times Kelly and Thom were pictured together, during a night out on 4th January

Happier times: One of the last times Kelly and Thom were pictured together, during a night out on 4th January

She tweeted: ‘Arrived in Miami!! Lovely to be back! X’.

Kelly and Thom first met in a nightclub and began dating in December 2010. In March 2011 she announced via Twitter that she and Evans were expecting a baby girl, but she later tragically suffered a miscarriage.

The Kent-born beauty has been less than successful in her relationship history.

Love lost: Danny and Kelly, pictured in 2009, dated briefly but split up before she met Thom

Love lost: Danny and Kelly, pictured in 2009, dated briefly but split up before she met Thom

Unlucky in love: Kelly has also had long-term relationships with Jason Statham and Billy Zane

Unlucky in love: Kelly has also had long-term relationships with Jason Statham and Billy Zane

Unlucky in love: Kelly has also had long-term relationships with Jason Statham and Billy Zane

Kelly was formerly engaged to Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Jason Statham, who she dated for eight years before the pair split in 2004.

She was also engaged Titanic actor Billy Zane, but the pair ended the relationship in 2008.

Since then, Kelly has also been romantically linked to stars including Glee actor Matthew Morrison.

New beginnings: Kelly has reportedly never stopped loving Danny and was unwilling to stop seeing the 25-year-old Sale Sharks player

New beginnings: Kelly has reportedly never stopped loving Danny and was unwilling to stop seeing the 25-year-old Sale Sharks player

Is that Danny on the phone? Kelly looked cute for the trip to Miami in a checked skirt, black tights and fringed boots

Is that Danny on the phone? Kelly looked cute for the trip to Miami in a checked skirt, black tights and fringed boots

Is that Danny on the phone? Kelly looked cute for the trip to Miami in a checked skirt, black tights and fringed boots

Kelly Brook confirms split from Thom Evans but claims it has nothing to do with ex-boyfriend Danny Cipriani | Mail Online

February 1, 2013 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Film, Internet, nature, People, Star | | 1 Comment

Derek’s death clinches it for BBC – Yahoo! TV UK


 

Derek’s death clinches it for BBC

 

The death of Derek Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, helped to propel EastEnders to the top of the festive viewing list

The death of Derek Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, helped to propel EastEnders …

Evil Derek Branning’s last gasp helped EastEnders retain its traditional spot at the top of the Christmas Day ratings as the BBC dominated festive viewing once again.

The main channels’ period ratings hits Call The Midwife and Downton Abbey tied with an average audience of 7.3 million viewers, although ITV1’s Downton was 1.3 million down on the previous year.

Overnight figures show EastEnders pulled in an average 9.4 million viewers for the climactic episode last night in which fearsome Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, keeled over and died from a heart attack. ITV’s Coronation Street was runner-up with 8.8 million.

Many had expected the period blockbusters – which have performed well on Sunday evenings – to lead the field, but soaps were still the strongest force. However viewing figures were down for many shows, with EastEnders slipping half a million on 2011 and the show’s ratings were thought to be the lowest for Christmas Day for a decade.

Call The Midwife drew its smallest audience since launching earlier this year, and Doctor Who, on 7.6 million viewers, also had an average audience 1.3 million fewer than in 2011.

However the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was up 300,000 year on year to 7.8 million viewers.

The Queen’s Christmas message was seen by 36,000 people in 3D on the BBC’s HD channel – the first time it has been broadcast in that format – although 6.3 million saw it on BBC1 and 2.2 million saw it on ITV1.

BBC1 had seven of the top ten programmes, while ITV1 (which includes viewers for its +1 catch-up channel) accounted for the other three. And BBC1 took 31.7% of the audience from 6pm to 10.30pm – when many of the biggest shows are broadcast – with ITV1 landing 26.9%.

However when "consolidated" figures are totted up – taking account of time-shift viewing – they often tell a very different story. Last year Downton drew 8.6 million on the day but including catch-up viewing, the figures shot up.

Derek’s death clinches it for BBC – Yahoo! TV UK

December 26, 2012 Posted by | Awards, Blog, CELEBRITY, Computers, Entertainement, Film, Funny, Holiday, Internet, nature, People, Sport | | Leave a comment

10 tips to make your phone’s battery last longer.


 

10 tips to make your phone’s battery last longer

Even hi-tech smartphones can last for days – as long as you follow a few basic procedures to keep the battery at full.

Making your phone last all day is simple - you just have to know how to use it (Image: Fotolia)

  • Making your phone last all day is simple – you just have to know how to use it

As smartphones have become more capable -  for playing gaming, watching movies and shooting video -  battery performance has worsened and now most modern smartphones won’t last a full a day before you need to reach for a charger.
Phone manufacturers are working hard to improve battery performance – Motorola in particular with their RAZR i and RAZR MAXX – but if you buy most other smartphones, be ready to charge every evening.
Here are some tips to help conserve your mobile phones battery life:
                

Power-saving mode
Modern Android and Windows Phone smartphones include power or battery saving modes typically located in the Settings menu. It is activated once the battery reaches a certain level, forcing battery intensive features – including push email, screen brightness and Facebook updates – to switch off. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t include any such power or battery saving features on its smartphones, although free apps like Battery Life Pro help monitor performance and shut down applications.
Screen brightness.

The biggest drain on a mobile phone battery is the screen and unfortunately the bigger and brighter the screen, the more battery life it uses. Save battery power by selecting ‘Automatic brightness’ and the screen will adjust the brightness automatically depending on the lighting conditions.

 
Alternatively, if the battery indicator is reaching precarious levels turn the brightness down as low as is comfortable to conserve as much power as possible.
Make sure auto lock is activated, so when your phone isn’t being used the screen shuts down saving power. 
If you’ve got a phone with an AMOLED screen (such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 or S2) using a dark wallpaper may also help save battery.

Don’t vibrate
In a working environment where loud ringtones are frowned upon, instead of popping your mobile phone in vibrate mode, which uses your battery, use silent mode instead.
Stop email sync
Your phone probably checks for emails every few minutes or if you’ve got a smartphone that supports push email, constantly. Every time your phone syncs or an email is ‘pushed’ though, it uses battery power. To change the rate of email syncing or to switch it off, go into the Settings menu of your smartphone and increase the interval your phone checks email, it varies from phone to phone, but we would suggest setting it to check every half hour, or to switch off sync completely. You can therefore manually check your email as and when you choose and save a sizable chunk of battery life in the process.

Reduce social networking updates
Getting Facebook and Twitter notifications delivered to your phone automatically (like push email) uses your battery, so turn notifications off. Most phones allow you to switch off all syncing with a simple toggle.
Turn connections off
WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth are found on most modern phones. Forget to turn your WiFi off when you leave the house and it will continually look for a WiFi connection, using the battery. So make sure you turn any connections off when you are not using them.
Shut down apps
Even if you are not using an application it may still be running in the background using the battery, so close any apps you aren’t using.  Do this on an iPhone by double tapping the menu button, pressing the program icon and click the minus button.
On older Android smartphones, you may need a task manager to do this, however newer handsets running Android 4.0+ allow you to pull up a task manager by simply long pressing the home button. You can then thumb through your open apps and swipe them off screen to close them. You can even see what apps use the most battery in the settings of your Android smartphone.

Don’t download pictures
Downloading pictures when browsing or using email is something most of us do without thinking, but every time you download a photo it uses both data and power. So if you can live without pictures, turn them off in the internet browser’s settings menu.
Flash off
When taking photographs using your smartphone, be conservative with your flash use. In digital cameras the flash is a huge battery drain and the same applies to phones, so instead of leaving it in automatic mode, turn the flash off when taking photographs, only turning it on when necessary.

Night time = downtime
Night time is the time most people charge their smartphones, but if you don’t have a charger to hand make sure you turn your phone off at night.
Aeroplane mode
Smartphones are always trying to connect to a network, be it a cellular network, a wireless network or a data network. The harder they try and connect, the more battery they use. A
great way to save your battery is to switch on aeroplane mode when reception is poor or you’re underground. This stops your phone searching for signal when there’s none to be found and makes the best use of whatever battery you have left.

Accessorise
If you’ve followed the above tips and your phone battery still doesn’t last very long, it’s time to consider a charging accessory. The Mophie JuicePack Air (£40) fits over your smartphone, doubling the battery life, alternatively if you don’t fancy changing the look of your phone consider a portable battery charger like Proporta TurboCharger 7000 (£54).

 

Yahoo! News

10 tips to make your phone’s battery last longer – Yahoo! News UK

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Computers, Entertainement, Film, Health, Holiday, Internet, nature, People, Si-Fi | | Leave a comment

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing – Yahoo! Lifestyle UK


Be Yourself why does everyone want to be perfect…love yourself the way you are..jboy2244

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing

Another Victoria’s Secret model has become a victim of overzealous airbrushing

When it comes to Photoshop blunders Victoria’s Secret are well known for making errors.

This time, a photo on the Victoria’s Secret website that promoted a lace flyaway babydoll has stirred up an airbrushing debate online.

Has this Victoria’s Secret model lost an arm? © Victoria’s Secret

In the image it appears a model’s left arm has been totally cut out, so all she is left with is her hand that floats midair beside her body. But if you take a closer look from another angle, her arm is there just hidden in the shadow.

We can’t decide whether this is another VS Photoshop fail or just terrible case of airbrushing?

Now the image has been removed from the website and replaced with a suitable photo of a model showing two arms.

This isn’t the first model to fall victim to amputation by the Victoria’s Secret art team. Back in 2011 Marissa Miller lost an arm in an ad for the lingerie brand’s spring/summer collection and unlike this recent error it wasn’t hard to spot – it was obvious. 

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing – Yahoo! Lifestyle UK

Yahoo Lifestyle

By Bianca Ffolkes

October 2, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Film, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, scams, Star | | Leave a comment

Sir Paul McCartney paid £1 for Olympic opening ceremony | London Spy – Yahoo! Eurosport UK


 

Sir Paul McCartney paid £1 for Olympic opening ceremony

By Eurosport

 

Bono passed Paul McCartney as the world’s wealthiest rock star this year, thanks to having a 2.3 percent share of Facebook. That’s a cool £1 billion for the U2 frontman, leaving the former lead singer of Wings in second place with a fortune estimated at slightly over $1 billion.

So Paul McCartney needs the money, obviously. Yet his biggest gig of the year — the featured performer at the London Olympic Opening Ceremony — earned him … £1.

From The Guardian:

Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sande are also among the stars who are thought to have been paid the token figure. The big names had originally agreed to play the show in the Olympic Stadium for free, but the inclusion of the £1 figure was to make the contract binding. It means the star names were paid less than 1/20th of the cost of the cheapest ticket for the ceremony. Seats ranged up to £2,012 for the best available.

A spokesman for the Games organizer Locog confirmed the £1 fee, which had been necessary for contractual purposes, although the acts had been happy to perform without any payment.

McCartney was originally offered a payment of "your lovin’" but informed LOCOG that it "don’t pay my bills," opting for money, which is what he wants. Oh yeah, that’s what he wants…

Many of the thousands of other performers in the ceremony were given a professional wage for their work, including the stuntman who impersonated the Queen parachuting out of a helicopter. But the headliners agreed to work for nothing.

Fourth-Place Medal

Sir Paul McCartney paid £1 for Olympic opening ceremony | London Spy – Yahoo! Eurosport UK

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Entertainement, Film, Internet, Money, nature, People, Politics, Star | | Leave a comment

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque?


Come on English Heritage wake up….She was a Star someone to look up to….pity we do not have more people like her today….she was a star for a long period of time not like people today who think they are famous,have no talent and are paid vast amounts of money which they squander very quickly….where are the true stars of today? we live in a society of the 5 minute star…how sad….let us not forget people like Thora Hird true stars of stage and screen…jboy2244

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque?

Thora Hird was more than just a national treasure — she was one of the British crown jewels, a walloping great diamond on a firmly knotted headscarf.

When she died in 2003, aged 91, one obituary summed her up perfectly as a cross between the Queen Mum and a Donald McGill saucy seaside postcard.

But she was also a superb character actress and, for many, as host of Praise Be!, the real face of Sunday worship.

Treasure: Thora Hird's 90-year career was not enough for English Heritage

Treasure: Thora Hird’s 90-year career was not enough for English Heritage

So a decision by English Heritage to deny her the honour of a blue plaque isn’t just stuffy and pompous — it’s downright incomprehensible.

When the advisory panel, which includes Stephen Fry, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion and former Arts Council chairman Sir Christopher Frayling, ruled that Dame Thora’s contribution to theatre might be forgotten in 20 years or less, they betrayed their total ignorance of a career that stretched across an incredible nine decades.

She was eight weeks old when she made her first stage appearance in her mother’s arms. ‘It was the first and only job I ever got through influence,’ she said. (Her father James ran the Royalty Theatre in Morecambe.)

At the other end of her life, she played a centenarian in a Talking Heads play by Alan Bennett, called Waiting For The Telegram. Talk about a lifetime devoted to theatre: Dame Thora packed enough into her career for two whole lifetimes.

It is baffling that English Heritage can’t see this. It’s not, after all, as if accolades weren’t forthcoming during her lifetime. Thora was made a dame in 1993, back when the honour was reserved for theatre heavyweights such as Edith Evans and Sybil Thorndike.

Staying power: Thora Hird and actor Freddie Frinton at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia in 1965

Staying power: Thora Hird and actor Freddie Frinton at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia in 1965

It helped, of course, that she played the Queen’s favourite character in the Royal Family’s favourite TV show, Last Of The Summer Wine.

Thora was Edie Pegden, the hectoring, house-proud president of the local ladies’ coffee morning. Thora’s artful performance delighted in Edie’s snobbish side — when there was company, her voice would lose its coarse edge and turn quite snooty.

Hugely amused, writer Roy Clarke was inspired to base a whole sitcom on the trait — and Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances was born.

Edie’s character was inspired by the socially anxious, lower-middle-class women whom Thora had observed during her early years working behind the till at the  Co-op in Morecambe.

She spent ten years as a cashier, working by day, acting in the evening and learning lines deep into the night.

Potential: This publicity picture of 'actress Miss Thora Hird' was issued in November 1953

Potential: This publicity picture of ‘actress Miss Thora Hird’ was issued in November 1953

She never lost her sense of those humble roots. ‘I scrubbed my mother’s doorstep when I was a young woman,’ she liked to tell reporters. ‘Now go and fetch me mink!’

She married James Scott, a drummer in the theatre orchestra, in 1937, after a four-year courtship, and their only child, a daughter called Janette, was born a year later.

Thora always claimed that, because there were no forceps handy, the midwife used a pair of fish knives.

In later life, her son-in-law was the crooner Mel Torme, and she visited her daughter’s family in Beverly Hills at least two dozen times. She was never tempted to make a home in California, though.

‘There’s no corner shop, love,’ she would say.

Surely the English Heritage committee cannot be prejudiced against her Lancashire accent and working-class humour?

Legends: Thora Hird in June 1970 with comedian Tommy Cooper who collapsed on stage during a live televised show in 1984 and soon after died

Legends: Thora Hird in June 1970 with comedian Tommy Cooper who collapsed on stage during a live televised show in 1984 and soon after died

It’s true that Thora was salt-of-the-earth, while recent blue plaques have been awarded to the sprinkling-of-chopped-tarragon- and-a grated-truffle type: Sir Terence Rattigan, playwright of the drawing room, for example, or the aristocratic Indian poet Rabindrinath Tagore.

Her rejection has provoked outrage among fans. Maureen Lipman, herself a sitcom actress with strong claims for national treasuredom, called the decision ‘imbecilic snobbery’. Tory MP David Morris immediately announced he would table an Early Day Motion in the Commons to force the committee to reconsider.

But it seems unlikely to succeed: there’s a rule applications cannot be reviewed for at least ten years.

The most puzzling aspect is that Dame Thora’s case met the criteria of English Hidebound (sorry, Heritage). The rules state that to be considered blue-plaque-worthy, a person has to have been dead for 20 years or the centenary of their birth has been passed.

The centenary of her birth was reached last year, on May 28: she would be 101 this month.

She had lived and worked in London, moving there when the musical hall star George Formby asked her to audition for a film with him at Ealing Studios, during the Blitz in 1941.

She didn’t get the part, but the test led to a 1942 film called The Black Sheep Of Whitehall, opposite comedian Will Hay. Incidentally, Hay has got a blue plaque, so has the film’s producer, Michael Balcon. And she died at Brinsworth House, a retirement home for actors in South-West London.

Hird is so much a part of her adopted city that she is one of the few actors to have inspired a piece of Cockney rhyming slang.

Popular: Thora Hird pictured in 1987 when she was starring in long running British sitcome Last of the Summer Wine which went for 31 series

Popular: Thora Hird pictured in 1987 when she was starring in long running British sitcome Last of the Summer Wine which went for 31 series

University students who scrape through their exams are said to get a Thora Hird — or third, as in third-class degree.

If that seems disrespectful, you should hear the stories Thora liked to tell about herself.

Alan Bennett noted one of her favourites in his diary — she claimed that when she was a girl growing up next-door to the theatre in Morecambe, an alley ran along the back where the seaside town’s only lady of the night, Miss Nellie Hodge, would take her clients.

One night, Thora heard a man’s complaining voice: ‘Ee Nellie, I wish you’d stop nodding your head.’

‘I can’t help it,’ Nellie replied. ‘You’ve gone and got tangled in me scarf.’

It’s not the sort of tale Thora would have told on Praise Be! — the Sunday evening collection of viewers’ favourite hymns she hosted, which ran for 17 years on BBC1 in the teatime ‘God slot’. Like former Goon Show entertainer Harry Secombe who presented Songs Of Praise, she became an unofficial symbol of the Church of England.

Varied: Thora Hird also appeared in the TV show In Loving Memory, set in an undertakers business, which ran from 1979 until 1986

Varied: Thora Hird also appeared in the TV show In Loving Memory, set in an undertakers business, which ran from 1979 until 1986

It was no stretch to imagine Thora reading her Bible at home and being comforted by familiar verses, or being moved to tears by the plain poetry of well-loved hymns.

Each week, five million people tuned in. She had a wisdom in her voice that was rooted in common sense, something that audiences could recognise and cherish.

It was that quality which Bennett captured in his 1988 short play, A Cream Cracker Under The Settee,  written for Thora.

She played an elderly widow who had suffered a fall. Gradually, in a monologue that becomes mumbled as her life slips away, Thora revealed her fall was the consequence of climbing up on to the furniture, trying to do the dusting.

It was a portrait of abandonment and loss, depicted with such heart-rending pathos that Thora’s postbag was bulging for days after the broadcast with letters from people begging her to come and live with them.

How can English Heritage fail to see how beloved this woman was? And why would they think she might be less warmly remembered in a couple of decades?

A look at recently approved names on plaques provides a clue: they are largely male. So, too, is the committee: seven of the ten, including the chairman, historian Professor Sir David Cannadine, are men.

Glamour: This picture taken in 1966 shows Thora Hird enjoying a night at the fashionable Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane

Glamour: This picture taken in 1966 shows Thora Hird enjoying a night at the fashionable Dorchester Hotel in London’s Park Lane

Plenty of plaques have been granted to actors in the past few years. Alastair Sim, a star of Ealing comedies, was honoured with a blue plate at his Hampstead home.

Sim was a lovely, lugubrious comic, but he is hardly a household name — never the star of TV’s longest-running sitcom, for instance.

To test the theory that there’s a sexist bias at English Heritage, I suggested a couple of candidates — both actresses. One was Hattie Jacques, the matron of the Carry On movies. The other was Diana Dors, the only bona fide sex-bomb of British cinema’s golden era.

Both were younger than Thora. Both have been dead for more than 20 years. Both lived and worked in London. In other words, they meet  the criteria.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage admitted last night that neither Hattie nor Diana had ever been considered.

That’s a disgrace. But for a committee that is incompetent enough to deny an honour to the Queen’s favourite actress, it’s probably not surprising.

Or as Dame Thora might have said: ‘Them’s too numb to know they are numb!’

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS compiled The Masters Of Sitcom: From Hancock To Steptoe (Michael O’Mara Books).

Friends: Thora Hird arriving at the memorial service for entertainer Sir Harry Secombe at Westminster Catherdral in October, 2001

Friends: Thora Hird arriving at the memorial service for entertainer Sir Harry Secombe at Westminster Catherdral in October, 2001

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque? | Mail Online

By Christopher Stevens

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Entertainement, Film, Funny, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, Star | | Leave a comment

American Reunion Irish premiere: Jedward’s brother Kevin accompanies twins and Tara Reid | Mail Online


 

Meet Kevin… Jedward’s older brother! Rarely-seen sibling accompanies the twins (and Tara Reid) to American Reunion Irish premiere

By Sarah Bull

His brothers are arguably the one of the world’s most famous set of twins – with their wacky behaviour and trademarked quiffs setting them apart from their peers.

And while he doesn’t have the same blonde hair as his siblings, Jedward’s older brother Kevin decided to follow in their dubious style footsteps last night as he joined the pair on the red carpet at the Irish premiere of the latest American Pie offering – American Reunion.

The similarity between Kevin and his brothers was clear to see, with the redhead even sporting the same slicked down hairstyle as his siblings.

Family affair: Jedward's older brother Kevin accompanied the twins on the red carpet at the Irish premiere of American Reunion in Dublin last night

Family affair: Jedward’s older brother Kevin accompanied the twins on the red carpet at the Irish premiere of American Reunion in Dublin last night

Heading home: Kevin was seen following along as Edward and Tara left the afterparty

Heading home: Kevin was seen following along as Edward and Tara left the afterparty

Law student Kevin, 21, also wore the same black suit, skinny maroon tie and black patent shoes as his brothers as the trio posed up with one of the film’s stars Tara Reid on the red carpet.

And while the ensemble may have been slightly different from his usual student attire, Kevin should perhaps be grateful that his younger brothers had decided to leave their usual garish outfits at home for the evening.

Understated: John and Edward ditched their quiffs for the occasion as they posed up with Tara on the red carpet

Understated: John and Edward ditched their quiffs for the occasion as they posed up with Tara on the red carpet

Here today, gone tomorrow: Jedward sported quiffs at the LA premiere last month

Here today, gone tomorrow: Jedward sported quiffs at the LA premiere last month

The 20-year-olds are more notorious for their ridiculous styling – which has seen them in red satin suit for their Eurovision performance and trainers with angel wings – even opted for ties this evening.

The brothers were clearly excited about the Tinseltown starts descending on their home turf, tweeting: ‘Everyone we are so excited about coming to the savoy cinema in Dublin with @TaraReid it will be awesOme can’t wait to see everyone =:)’

Centre of attention: Even Jedward's hair couldn't detract from Jennifer Coolidge's bust

Centre of attention: Even Jedward’s hair couldn’t detract from Jennifer Coolidge’s bust

The gang: Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy take a trip from Hollywood to the Savoy Cinema in Dublin

The gang: Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy take a trip from Hollywood to the Savoy Cinema in Dublin

Meanwhile, Tara – who struck up a friendship with the duo on Celebrity Big Brother UK – wrote: ‘So excited to see @planetjedward at @AmericanPie #AmericanReunion premiere tonight in dublin!’

Tara, 36, looked striking by opting for a simple yet elegant floor-length gown which oozed glamour.

However, as ever, Jennifer Coolidge – aka Stifler’s mum – threatened to steal the show once again.

Say hello to mummy: Seann plays Jennifer's son in the comedy franchise

My Car? hunk still looked undeniably handsome despite his grey beard.

Say hello to mummy: Seann plays Jennifer’s son in the comedy franchise

The 48-year-old squeezed her voluptuous silhouette into a curve-hugging black cocktail dress with lace detail on the sleeves, with her ample bosom trying to break free.

On-screen son Seann William Scott put in an appearance too, looking a little older than his 35 years.

Demure: Tara looked striking in simply yet elegant Hollywood glamour

Demure: Tara looked striking in simply yet elegant Hollywood glamour

Protagonist Jason Biggs was notably absent, enjoying a European leg of promotion with Chris Klein.

The actor, famed for his role of Jim Levenstein in the comedy series, was seen dining alfresco with Chris, co-star Mena Suvari and celebrity stylist David Stanwell while they were sent to Rome.

The castmates have been split up over the last few weeks of world touring to cover more locations.

European break: Jason Biggs and Chris Klein missed the premiere as they were in Rome

European break: Jason Biggs and Chris Klein missed the premiere as they were in Rome

European break: Jason Biggs and Chris Klein missed the premiere as they were in Rome

When in Rome... Jason can be seen with Chris, Mena Suvari and celebrity stylist David Stanwell

When in Rome… Jason can be seen with Chris, Mena Suvari and celebrity stylist David Stanwell

American Reunion Irish premiere: Jedward’s brother Kevin accompanies twins and Tara Reid | Mail Online

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Entertainement, Film, Funny, Health, Money, nature, People, Sport, Weird | | 1 Comment

Play time for young and old! Polar bears from Canada to Norway caught mucking about in the snow | Mail Online


 

Play time for young and old! Polar bears caught mucking about in the snow after a long hibernation

By Lyle Brennan

Playfully clambering over their doting mother these polar bear cubs spring into action for the most sociable time of the year.

Across the polar regions from Norway to Canada these images show the intimate relationship between polar bear mothers and their young as they emerge from their winter hibernation.

Each winter females dig dens, where they give birth to their cubs – usually two, but sometimes as many as four.

All aboard: A female polar bear and her cubs play in the snow in Canada after a long winter's rest

All aboard: A female polar bear and her cubs play in the snow in Canada after a long winter’s rest in the den

Peekaboo: A cub takes shelter under an adult polar bear as it ventures out in Churchill, Canada

Peek-a-boo: A cub takes shelter as it ventures out in Churchill, Canada

Making its own entertainment: Grappling with a birch tree in Canada

Making its own entertainment: Grappling with a birch tree in Canada

The timing of the birth is sometime during early winter, between December and January.

The snow den, the mother’s body heat and her milk, which is high in fat content, enable the cubs to keep warm and grow rapidly before leaving the den in March or April.

Short trips are made to and from the den for several days as the cubs get used to the outside temperatures. Then the family leaves and makes its way to the sea ice, where the mother teaches, hunts for and protects her cubs.

Gone fishing: Meanwhile in Norway a polar bear takes the plunge into icy waters in the hope of finding a bite to eat

Gone fishing: Meanwhile in Norway a polar bear takes the plunge into icy waters in the hope of finding a bite to eat

After two years together, the family disperses and the cycle begins again.

But not before a bit of light play in the snow.

Photographers have spent hundreds of hours in the Arctic regions, photographing the amazing interactions from lounging around in the snow to diving head first into the icy waters looking for food.

Taking the weight off its paws: A polar bear stretches out on the snow in Churchill, Canada

Taking the weight off its paws: A polar bear stretches out on the snow in Churchill, Canada

‘The polar bear’s presence is entirely transitory, with photography dependent on accurate timing, the right weather and exceptional luck,’ said Steve.

‘Imagine a world without polar bears.
‘It seems unthinkable, yet as climate change gathers pace, the Arctic ice floes upon which the polar bear depends are beginning to break up.

Come here, you: Two polar bears nuzzle with each other in Churchill, Canada

Come here, you: Two polar bears nuzzle with each other in Churchill, Canada

‘In the years ahead, this could be catastrophic for this truly charismatic bear which, when it stands up, is taller than the largest elephant.

‘The irony is that the polar bear represents one of conservation’s greatest successes: thanks to an international convention controlling the hunting of the species.’

Little attention-seeker: A bear and her cub in a snow-covered forest in Canada

Little attention-seeker: A bear and her cub in a snow-covered forest in Canada

Bear hug: Affectionate scenes in Churchill, Canada

Bear hug: A show of affection in Churchill, Canada

Play time for young and old! Polar bears from Canada to Norway caught mucking about in the snow | Mail Online

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Animals, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Film, Food, Funny, Health, Internet, nature, Star | | 8 Comments

BBC News – Belfast’s book of condolence for Frank Carson


Through all our troubles in Northern Ireland he made us laugh both at ourselves and the World…he will be missed by a lot of people…….jboy2244

Belfast’s book of condolence for Frank Carson

The Belfast-born comic rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times

Belfast City Council has opened a book of condolence in memory of Frank Carson.

The Belfast-born comic died on Wednesday after battling poor health for some time. He was 85.

Friends, family and the world of show business have been paying tribute to him.

Famous for his sayings "it’s a cracker" and "it’s the way I tell ’em", Carson came to prominence in the 1960s after winning Opportunity Knocks.

He leaves a wife, Ruth, daughter Majella and sons Tony and Aidan, as well as 10 grandchildren.

Tony told BBC Radio Ulster that he was a father first and a celebrity second.

"He was a pain in the butt, in the nicest way," he said.

"He was non-stop."

"Dad was kind and generous, he had great affection for us all, especially his grandchildren as he got older and had more time on his hands.

"He had such a positive outlook on life, on everything. There was definitely a child within that wanted to have fun and give fun.

"Laughter is the best exercise for the heart and he got plenty of exercise for his."

The Carson family plan to bring Frank back to Belfast for burial on Saturday 3 March.

The first and deputy first ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said the comedian would be remembered with "special fondness".

"A bit of colour has dropped out of everyone’s life following the death of Frank Carson, but his laughter will echo around his native Belfast, and farther afield, for years to come," they said.

"He was a warm, funny and generous-hearted man who dispensed sunshine to everyone he met and was a great ambassador for his homeland."

The former bishop of Londonderry, Edward Daly, booked the comedian to perform to sell out crowds at St Columb’s Hall in the city nearly a 100 times in the 1960s.

He said he spoke to him by telephone last Sunday.

"Frank was a good man – he certainly made my life a whole lot more enjoyable," he said.

"He helped me and I think I helped him too."

Tributes

As the news of his death broke on Wednesday night many stars took to the social networking site Twitter to share their memories.

BBC News – Belfast’s book of condolence for Frank Carson

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Computers, Entertainement, Film, Funny, Health, Internet, People, Politics, religion, Star | | 1 Comment