The recruitment drive for the Friary School sixth form performing arts department received a boost this weekend from the BBC’s most overpaid talent Graham Norton.
The former “Father Ted” bit part actor was in conversation with former Hollywood star Glenn Close on his Saturday morning Radio 2 show discussing the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum.
After Ms Close generously name checked fellow performer and former Friary School pupil Siobhan Dillon, Graham asked:
‘Haven’t I met Siobhan? Wasn’t she on one of my programmes? “Nancy” wasn’t it? They’re nodding behind the screen..”
Friary School headteacher David Listless said:
‘Many congratulations to Siobhan. To be half-remembered by a failed Irish comedian for a performance in a programme in which she didn’t appear is a ringing endorsement of the Friary School’s influence in the world of the performing arts.’
Former failed contestant in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC TV series “ How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” Ms Dillon said:
‘Graham Norton? Isn’t he Terry Wogan now?
‘But could I just say what a privilege it is to be on stage alongside the Hollywood great that is Ms Meryl Streep.
‘And to headteacher Mr Listless, we’ve never met but the restraining order remains in place and please remove my photos from the school foyer and from your bedroom wall.’
The hit musical Sunset Boulevard comes to the London Coliseum from 1 April , with Glenn Close reprising her Tony Award-winning role as Norma Desmond and Lichfield’s own Siobhan Dillon playing budding writer Betty Shaefer in the production.
Check out BBC Radio 2 iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071xkxg at 02:18:00 in
Lichfield District Council should have included more gingers in the Cabinet, according to chairman of the Beacon Street Shadow Council in exile, BSTARD.
The controlling Conservative group added two new posts to the Cabinet at the first meeting of the local authority since the elections.
The new additions saw Councillor Helen Fisher take on responsibility for booking family holidays and with Councillor Doug Pullen looking after community he is the only openly ginger member of the eight person cabinet.
Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council claimed the additions would enable a more folically diverse type of councillor to emerge.
‘We have to recognise that in our insular community, where dogs will bark at the unexpected sight of a visiting gypsy at Bower, many gingers can find themselves discriminated against.
‘As a result we are creating two new cabinet positions to enable gingers to put themselves in a position to be considered for a senior role.
‘Doug Pullen is startlingly ginger and Helen Fisher has clearly had bit of ginger in her in the past. Helen’s daughter, newly-
elected former musical theatre star Councillor Connie Fisher, is a natural ginger.’
But BSTARD chairman Sidney Sprite, 86, said he would like to see even more ginger diversity. From a dank and mouldy corner of his Beacon Street residence, the bitter and twisted, sunlight averse Newcastle United fan hater commented:
‘Mrs Sprite was a beautiful ginger in her day, but she was never able to come to terms with her colouration. “I’m not ginger Sidney,” she’d plead, “I’m auburn, maybe strawberry blonde in a certain light?”
‘That was before before her hair turned grey, she was only 28. I knew that deep down she blamed me for that; sticking my nose into other people’s business, quoting meaningless statistics, commenting on local issues from a self-constructed ivory tower build on sand but never daring to stand for office myself.
‘”You’re draining the very colour from my life,” she’d say. That was her little joke; she was always joking – a common defensive trait of a ginger. She died shortly afterwards, just to get away from me she’d have said. Jokingly, in her typically defensive ginger way. I miss her. Bitch.’
Councillor Pullen has welcomed his appointment to Cabinet. He said:
‘I welcome my appointment to Cabinet, the whole family is delighted.’
Doug’s wife is none other than fellow councillor Natasha Inez Pullen. The Spanish former lingerie model commented:
‘Clearly it’s different over here,’ she sighed.
No stranger to punching above his weight, Doug Pullen said:
‘As a cabinet member with responsibility for “community” I am determined to make a difference. Dog mess is a priority and I will be on the streets supporting Cllr Greatrix with as many black bags as he needs.’
Any ginger who has been disturbed by this article is advised to contact the Very Reverend Philip John @lichfieldLive
Having cast out District Council Labour Group leader, Butcher of Burntwood Steve Norman into the political wilderness, the electorate of Lichfield and Burntwood look forward to feasting on the fresh meat of the new cadre of young Tory councillors.
Ben Rayner, Olivia Shepherd and Beth Fisher were all elected to Lichfield District Council as the Tories secured 41 of the 47 available seats in Lichfield and Burntwood.
‘I spend most of my time riding my bike around the village and sometimes popping into the Post Office for sweets on the way home. At weekends in the summer you’ll find me at Alrewas Cricket Club wasting literally days of my life playing the world’s most boring sport.
‘I had felt that something was missing from my life until I met up with our local Member and former circus performer Michael Fabricant. He suggested that I stand for the District Council where he told me I’d be able to waste many more hours than I am doing at the moment.’
Ben’s dad is a former police superintendent and his mum is a nurse. Mum Claire Rayner said:
‘We love him to bits but really do wish he’d get a proper job.’
Olivia Shepherd won the seat in Fazeley. Olivia is co-principal of Tamworth stage school Enact Academy. She has been treading the boards since a young age, and has been involved in many areas of performing arts for most of her life. Olivia is also an award winning script writer and actress, gaining recognition for her comedy character Philomena Cunk who makes regular appearances in Charlie Brooker’s TV Wipe.
Recently married Olivia said:
‘I love dressing up and telling fairy stories to groups of children, so I thought that would make me an ideal Conservative councillor. I really hope to become involved in the fairytale Friarsgate project as soon as possible.’
Beth Fisher, a 19-year-old trainee car mechanic was elected as councillor for Chasetown. She is the daughter of Conservative councillor Helen Fisher. Helen said:
‘Go away I’m not talking to you. In all this time you showed no interest in me and now my young daughter comes on the scene you’re suddenly interested in my opinions. We you can do one.
Beth apologied say that her mum had have a stressful day at the family business Karl Fisher Autos in Cannock. Beth side:
‘A customer complained that I hadn’t tightened his nuts properly or something and mum just lost it. I think she may have got the wrong end of the stick.’
Before deciding to retrain Beth had a short run of success starring in West End musicals after winning the TV talent contest ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?’. Work dried up shortly afterwards. Beth explained:
‘I became disillusioned with the celebrity lifestyle so decided to come back and work in the family garage. No more of the bright lights for me, apart from headlights of course but I dont get onto them until later in the course.’
Asked how she thought she will cope with the high profile life as a district councillor Beth said;
‘I expect to do really well, I know how to deal with all sorts of old wrecks and the occasional car crash.’