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April 01 2012

New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover

Amy Winehouse, JK Rowling, Noel Gallagher, Mick Jagger and the Monty Python foot to feature in update of 1967 original

British pop artist Sir Peter Blake has taken inspiration from his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures he most admires as he marks his 80th birthday.

Twiggy, Amy Winehouse, Grayson Perry, JK Rowling and even Monty Python's emblematic foot all feature in a reworked version of the 1967 cover created for his birthday celebrations.

Blake, often called the godfather of the British pop art scene, said: "I've chosen people I admire, great people and some who are dear friends.

"I had a very long list of people who I wanted to go in but couldn't fit everyone in – I think that shows how strong British culture and its legacy of the last six decades is."

Singer Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis, was "chuffed" to be included. "To be on there with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Mick Jagger and Paul Weller, just those three people alone, is amazing for me as I wouldn't put myself up with any of those," he said.

Rowling said: "Given that I've devoted quite a lot of time to gazing at the original Sgt Pepper album cover, you can perhaps imagine what it means to me to be featured."

Playwright Tom Stoppard said his inclusion was "an honour that outdoes delirium" while singer Elvis Costello said: "I always dreamed that I might one day stand in the boots of [Liverpool footballer] Albert Stubbins."

The original 1967 artwork also featured James Dean, Bob Dylan, Karl Marx and Marilyn Monroe.

The new version has been created for a special birthday celebration of Blake's life at Wayne Hemingway's Vintage festival at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, in July.

Hemingway, co-founder of the Red or Dead fashion brand, said: "The new artwork is a tribute to Britain's standing as the world's leading creative nation."

It was "an incredible honour" for Blake to "reimagine such an iconic work of art", he said, adding: "We are proud to be dedicating the Sunday at Vintage this year to celebrate his 80th birthday and creative and cultural legacy."

Terry Jones, the actor, director and original Python, said: "Monty Python is flattered to have had his foot selected, but there are better parts of his body available at very little cost."

The foot itself was borrowed by Terry Gilliam from Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, a work by 16th century Florentine painter Bronzino.

His Python co-star, Michael Palin, added: "It's a great tribute to a fine foot – just don't tell Bronzino or he'll want royalties."


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August 16 2011

TV highlights 17/08/2011

Village SOS | Natural World: Heligan – Secrets Of The Lost Garden | Who Do You Think You Are? | Frank Lloyd Wright | Timothy Spall: Back At Sea | Pendle Witch Child

Village SOS
8pm, BBC1

What could be better than taking ownership of your village pub and trying to make it the hub of the community that so many rural villages now lack? Such is the situation in Honeystreet, Wiltshire, as residents start running ailing hostelry The Barge Inn, hoping to relaunch it with a music festival. This second episode of the Sarah Beeny-fronted Village SOS, in which struggling communities attempt to regenerate with the help of the functionally entitled Big Lottery Fund, sees rows and tears before last orders. Ben Arnold

Natural World: Heligan – Secrets Of The Lost Garden
8pm, BBC2

The historically restored gardens of Heligan in Cornwall are home to myriad animal wildlife. Cameraman Charlie Hamilton James has been taking a look at what goes on behind the scenes throughout the year, revealing a family of badgers that tour the grounds foraging for food; barn owls that are kept busy feeding their chicks; a somewhat lost green heron (it should be in America) and a newborn fox cub exploring its habitat for the first time. There's also a look at the insects attracted by the plants, including bumblebees and a red admiral feeding on flowers. Martin Skegg

Who Do You Think You Are?
9pm, BBC1

Jo Rowling never got to tell her late mother about Harry Potter. Now the author goes in search of her French ancestors on her mother's side. And so begins her fascination with her great-grandfather Louis. He came to England from France at the start of the 20th century to work in the hotel trade and was soon supporting an English wife and child. She gets to see incredible documents, and on one branch of the family tree hangs the possibility of heritage from another country altogether. Julia Raeside

Frank Lloyd Wright
8pm, Sky Arts 1

As part of the Sky Arts architecture season, this two-part documentary delves into the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright who, by his own reckoning, was the greatest architect ever. Wright was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, loosening up the designs of homes and buildings with his "organic" architecture, which culminated in the magnificence of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. But his life story is fascinating, if troubled: he scandalised society by running away with his mistress, who, upon their return, was butchered at Wright's self-designed home by an employee. MS

Timothy Spall: Back At Sea
8.30pm, BBC4

Second instalment of Timothy Spall's barge-borne circumnavigation of Britain. Tonight, Spall and his wife, Shane, leave Wales to creep along the coast of England's north-west. The footage shot at sea is quite engaging, as Spall struggles grumpily with the boat, the sea and the bureaucracy of ports. Unfortunately, a lot of the episode is based on land, where the narrative drifts into the cut-and-pasted potted histories of the locations that disfigure many travel programmes. Andrew Mueller

Pendle Witch Child
9pm, BBC4

The 1612 trial of Alizon Device in Lancashire is considered one of the most controversial in British legal history. Device was accused of being a witch, and was ultimately damned by the testimony of her nine-year-old sister, Jennet. Forensically analysing the socio-political context of the trial, poet and playwright Simon Armitage presents a portrait of a pre-modern Britain struggling to balance reason and superstition. Armitage's skilful reading of events makes this another welcome addition to an excellent summer season of documentaries from BBC4. Gwilym Mumford


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February 14 2011

Baftas 2011: style lessons we learned

Who shone and who didn't quite get the look right on Baftas night? Simon Chilvers gives his fashion verdict

See pictures from the night here

It helps to be best friends with a designer

If the ceremony ever got boring, which it did, then game of the night was surely what are Julianne Moore and Tom Ford gossiping about? Naturally, Moore was wearing a Ford – she was in his catwalk show and his film A Single Man, after all – and it was the night's fashion triumph. Midnight velvet could sound a bit stately-home curtains, but with Moore's red hair, bright lips and restrained jewels, this was the epitome of class.

Men in bow ties do look dapper. And modern


Tom Ford is on a winning bow-tie streak. The designer was naturally dashing in a large one while he also dressed both best actor winner Colin Firth and Nicholas Hoult in smaller versions.

If you're young, wear something fashion-forward


Star of True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld, may have looked older than her 14 years but Miu Miu was an inspired choice. Cool yet demure with the on-trend midi-length differentiating her from the floor-length brigade.

It's all about the right hair


Emma Watson's Valentino couture dress was gorgeous but now that the edginess has grown out of her pixie crop, the combination was a trifle ageing. Meanwhile, Helena Bonham Carter went signature bird-nest bun with a hint of dreadlocks and heaven knows what happened to Tracey Emin – her hair was so big it outshone her gold Vivienne Westwood. Imagine.

Colour can trump bland


A red carpet can easily turn into a sea of beige (see last year) so it was a relief to see stars embracing this spring's colour trend. Sam Taylor-Wood's tomato Celine dress and Emma Stone's one-shouldered Lanvin gown with split-pleat skirt were both hits. Note: both had belts to break up the colour. Meanwhile, Gemma Arterton proved you can do safe black but with a twist of bright: her simple yet striking velvet Yves Saint Laurent number was razzed up with an electric blue bow belt.

Surprises can be good


Wild trademark hair aside, Helena Bonham Carter decided to take the barking-bag-lady look down a notch from the mismatched-shoe debacle of the Golden Globes. Strangely demure, in a restrained black Vivienne Westwood.

Eveningwear: really the time to experiment with python?


In theory the idea of a snake-print Lanvin dress sounds quite fabulous but unfortunately, as JK Rowling found out, it's a pattern that can overwhelm.

Ditch one-shouldered for sleeves


There was talk at the Golden Globes about a resurgence of dresses with sleeves but this didn't really happen on Sunday night. It's a shame really, because, as proved by Livia Firth's gorgeous dress by ethical designer Nina Skarra, sleeves can add a real sense of elegance.

You can have too much of a gold thing


A jewel-encrusted Givenchy couture dress should be a total knockout. Unfortunately, the translation on to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress Noomi Rapace didn't add up. For gold tips though, look to Christopher Lee's brilliant wife Birgit who chose to razz up her plain black dress with one massive neck piece and a pair of wondrous specs.

Women can wear trousers at night


Yes, yes, yes, we know Tilda Swinton is a red-carpet wild card – she's super androgynous and has severe hair – but in a fashion season of trousers, her choice of wide-leg trousersuit and tux blazer by Colombian designer Haider Ackermann was smart. Heroic.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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