Thursday, 27 May 2004

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Rah! Today is Christopher Lee's birthday, and he is eighty-two! Impressive stuff for a man with three movies either just finished or about to start production on his IMDb page.

So this is my public wish for many happy returns to him (and lots more excellent films, please!). I also intend to mark the day by watching The Wicker Man tonight on DVD.

Here are some fun facts about him with which to impress your friends:
  • He appears in the Guinness Book of Records as the actor with the most ever screen credits to his name.
  • He has also performed the most ever on-screen sword-fights
  • His mother was an Italian countess, from the Carandini family (his full name, in fact, is Christopher Frank Carandini Lee).
  • Ian Fleming was his step-cousin, and apparently Lee was Fleming's first choice to play 'Dr. No' in the first Bond film. (Joseph Wiseman was eventually chosen instead, but Christopher Lee still got his 'shot' at Bond villain fame when he played Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun.)
  • Spookily, he shares his birthday with Vincent Price, while Peter Cushing was born on May 26th!
  • He used to live next door to Boris Karloff.

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Lord Tebbit this morning on the Today programme, on the subject of gay marriage (a topic which he had crow-barred into a discussion actually meant to be on obesity):

"We've got a huge problem with AIDS, and the government is doing all it can to promote buggery"

I don't quite know what happened after he said this, because I was too busy gawping and saying 'Oh my god, I can't believe he just said that!' (the effect of my incredulity being enhanced by the fact that he had obviously come on the programme determined to slip this 'gem' in, whether it was relevant to the discussion or not). So if anyone knows how John Humphries handled it, or how Boris Johnson (the other interviewee) responded, I would love to know!

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