3 items from 2012
The Queen can keep her jubilee, my week is all about the transit of Venus
My parents got me up for the moon landing. Plonked me in front of the telly, just so I could bore my grandchildren about it one day. (My grandchildren who'll probably be living on the moon.) I don't remember anything about it. But I'm glad they got me up.
I thought I'd give my own son something momentous not to remember. Took him down to the Thames on Sunday, so he could tell his grandchildren (who'll probably live on Venus) that he saw the diamond jubilee of Elizabeth II, back in the day when there was a monarchy, before the revolution ...
Pah! What a bloody waste of time that was. We stood in a miserable crowd several streets away from the river, in the rain, being turned back by policemen and security guards wherever we tried to go. »
- Sam Wollaston
With her new TV series about the lives of ordinary Romans, Professor Mary Beard wants to tackle history differently. The nation's new favourite classicist talks to Stuart Jeffries
"I'm trending on Twitter," says the professor of classics at Cambridge as we walk to the departure lounge at Heathrow's terminal five. But it's not all good news. One reason Mary Beard's trending is that some viewers have been unpleasant about what she looks like on Meet the Romans, her three-part BBC2 TV series that started on Tuesday.
"I've been getting tweets like 'Can't she brush her hair?', 'Shouldn't she be sexing herself up a bit?', 'Did she try to look so haggard?' Lucky I've got a thick skin. Sometimes you think they're writing this after half a bottle of wine, and I feel like writing back after more than half a bottle: 'Actually, that's what a 57-year-old woman looks like. »
- Stuart Jeffries
White Heat (BBC2) | iPlayer
Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey (BBC2) | iPlayer
Qpr: The Four Year Plan (BBC2) | iPlayer
Grief, bereavement, anguish: these are emotions on which Juliet Stevenson, with her resilient mouth and watery eyes, could apply for dramatic copyright. She wouldn't, though, because you just know that she's too selfless to corner any market, even one in suffering.
Still, if the part calls for a middle-aged woman stoically grappling with heartbreak, who else is a casting director going to call? In White Heat Stevenson played Charlotte, a woman about 10 years older than the actress's own age, who returns to the student house she lived in five decades before. The occupant (whose identity has yet to be revealed) had died and Charlotte was plunged into mournful reflection.
That's not much of a plunge for Stevenson, »
- Andrew Anthony
3 items from 2012
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