Brian Cant, Play School presenter, dies at 83

Brian Cant, Play School presenter, dies at 83

Children’s presenter Brian Cant has died at the age of 83. He was best known for presenting BBC’s Play School for 21 years from 1964, and Play Away from 1971 to 1984. His agent said he had been living with Parkinson’s disease and died at Denville Hall, a retirement home often used by those in the entertainment industry. A statement from the family said: “He lived courageously with Parkinson’s disease for a long time.” Cant…

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Cardiff Singer of the World winner crowned

Cardiff Singer of the World winner crowned

Mezzo soprano Catriona Morison has been crowned the winner of this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. The 31-year-old from Scotland was the judge’s wildcard and one of five finalists who performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. The week-long competition featured 20 young classical singers. They were selected from an original list of 400 entrants before auditions. Ms Morison was presented with the Cardiff Trophy and…

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Master of None: Music supervisor Zach Cowie shares his soundtrack secrets

Master of None: Music supervisor Zach Cowie shares his soundtrack secrets

How does a hit song end up in a TV show? It’s not as simple as it seems. Every musical moment has to be tested, approved and licensed before it appears on a soundtrack; and that process can take months upon months upon months. It’s all the responsibility of a music supervisor, who plays a critical role in establishing the atmosphere and tone of a series, hand-picking tracks to accompany the action, and getting them…

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John Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of Rocky, dies aged 81

John Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of Rocky, dies aged 81

John G. Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid, has died at the age of 81. Avildsen’s son Anthony told US media the filmmaker had died of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Rocky – starring Sylvester Stallone as a rags-to-riches boxer – became the highest grossing film of 1976, despite having a relatively low budget. It won an Oscar for best picture, as well one for Avildsen as…

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9 stars who turned down great film roles

9 stars who turned down great film roles

John Lithgow as The Joker? It’s not as crackpot as it appears, as the star of The Crown was once in the frame to play the comic book supervillain. Correction: The lanky 71-year-old was actually tapped to play Batman’s cackling nemesis TWICE – first in a Joe Dante movie that never got made, and again in Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster. “My worst audition was for Tim Burton for Batman,” Lithgow revealed ahead of this year’s…

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Yoko Ono added to Imagine writing credits

Yoko Ono added to Imagine writing credits

More than 40 years after the song’s release, Yoko Ono is receiving a songwriting credit on John Lennon’s classic Imagine. The surprise announcement was made at an annual meeting of the National Music Publishers Association in New York on Wednesday. They explained the move by playing a clip of Lennon saying Imagine “should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song”. “A lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko,” he said….

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Shaun Ryder voices trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day

Shaun Ryder voices trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day

Media playback is unsupported on your device Step On! Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder is voicing announcements on MetroLink trams in Manchester for BBC Music Day. The singer riffs on some of his biggest hits, including the Gorillaz’ single DARE, telling commuters: “It’s coming up, it’s coming up, it’s… Anchorage!” “I enjoyed doing it,” he told 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins, “but I’ll never listen to it. I hate hearing my own voice.” Ozzy Osbourne, Alfie…

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