Carry On star Kenneth Williams has been commemorated with a special blue plaque in London to mark what would have been his 88th birthday. The British funnyman, who died of a drugs overdose in 1988, would have celebrated the milestone on Saturday (22Feb14), and his family and friends gathered together to celebrate the unveiling of the blue plaque, which are placed by officials from The Heritage Foundation at significant historical sites across the U.K.
The plaque was placed on an apartment block in Farley Court in central London, where Williams lived for a number of years in the 1960s, and his former Carry On co-star Barbara Windsor was on hand to unveil the dedication to her late friend.
She said, "Kenny was a one-off, a true original... I am absolutely chuffed (thrilled) that English Heritage is celebrating him with a blue plaque."
In one of Williams' diaries, he wrote about how much he loved his apartment in Farley Court, noting, "My bedroom looks out over Regent's Park. The trees are turning now and the sight is beautiful... I can see all the traffic twinkling down the Marylebone Road - It's all so marvellous, I could cry."
Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes and veteran British actress Barbara Windsor are backing a new breast cancer awareness campaign aimed at women over 70. The stars have thrown their support behind the Be Clear on Cancer initiative, which aims to inspire older women to maintain regular cancer checks.
Margolyes, 72, says, "I have always had big boobs and I want to hang on to them. My advice - be vigilant and get checked out if you're concerned - it could save your breasts and your life."
Windsor, 76, whose character in U.K. soap opera EastEnders was diagnosed with the disease in 1999, adds, "I met a lot of women affected by breast cancer then, which made me realise how important an early diagnosis is. You get to a certain age and think you're too old for some things, but breast cancer isn't one of them."
Stars including pop singer Pixie Lott and supermodel Jerry Hall turned out to support a fundraiser in honour of Amy Winehouse in London on Wednesday night (20Nov13). The late singer's parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse, hosted the Amy Winehouse Foundation's third annual benefit, which raises funds for the charitable organisation set up in the star's memory following her death in July, 2011.
The Winehouse family was joined by celebrities including Lott, Hall, actress Barbara Windsor and JLS star Oritse Williams, who all had kind words to say about the tragic Back To Black hitmaker.
Williams said, "Amy was one of my biggest musical inspirations. I studied her albums when I was a kid so I had to be here."
Hall added, "She was so talented. What a loss," while Lott said, "I love anyone who's got a soulful, amazing voice and she definitely had that. My favourite song was Love is a Losing Game because of the amount of soul that's in it."
Veteran British actress Barbara Windsor has thrown her support behind a campaign to honour theatre great Joan Littlewood with a statue in London. The Carry On star is backing a drive which asks fans to help fund a bronze sculpture of the late theatre director, which will be placed outside the Theatre Royal Stratford East in Stratford, London.
Theatre bosses have commissioned artist Philip Jackson to create the piece, but need donations from the public.
Artistic director Kerry Michael says, "Joan Littlewood... was an inspiration to many and it's important that we recognise the significance of her work and build upon her success to inspire future generations.
"We're delighted to have raised more than 50 per cent of the funds required to commemorate her with a statue and urge the public to get behind this important campaign."
Windsor worked with Littlewood in the Broadway production of Oh, What a Lovely War! in 1964. The director died in 2002 aged 87.
British royals Prince William and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge shunned the use of luxury transport to take a ride across London in a vintage double-decker bus on Thursday (07Nov13). The couple joined veteran actress Barbara Windsor and members of military charity the Royal British Legion for the trip across the city in a 1960s-style Routemaster bus ahead of Remembrance Day this weekend (10Nov13), which commemorates soldiers who have died in battle.
The royals were also photographed at London's High Street Kensington Underground Station, speaking with military personnel and buskers who were fundraising for the cause.
Poppy Appeal volunteer Tim Connolly, who spoke to the couple while collecting funds at the station, tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "It was a surprise. We were told we would be having VIPs here today but not who. It was a shock, very much so. William picked up the tin and saw it was full and said 'Well done'."
Monty Python star Michael Palin is to become the latest famous face to play God in the comedy troupe's West End musical Spamalot. The guest appearances in the show are raising money for charity and other stars to take part include Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and Carry On star Barbara Windsor.
Rupert Everett, Hugh Grant and Lily Cole were among the stars who took to the stage in London on Saturday (13Jul13) to read aloud at a literacy festival. Actors Warwick Davis and David Harewood, as well as British actress Barbara Windsor, also thrilled the crowd in the U.K. capital's Trafalgar Square during the London Evening Standard's Get Reading festival.
Grant recited a passage from CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, while Everett read an extract from Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince - and he was thrilled to be part of the event.
Everett tells Britain's Independent newspaper, "There's something about the written word that is absolutely magical for the development of the human brain. If reading is phased out completely, we're going to become blobs, if we aren't already. Looking back on my own life, the more I read, the more textured and thorough I felt as a person. So to start off reading early is an amazing thing."
Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and Carry On star Barbara Windsor are among an eclectic group of celebrities who will take on the role of God in West End show Spamalot to raise money for charity. Bonneville and Windsor, who will be the first woman to tackle the role, will appear in the Monty Python musical via pre-recorded video segments, which usually feature Eric Idle, for one week at a time as part of the Summer of Charity Gods scheme.
Simon Callow, Larry Lamb, Christopher Biggins and Bradley Walsh will also be among stars playing God for good causes.
They will all donate their fee to a number of charities including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Great Ormond Street children's hospital.
Bonneville, 49, who will be the first to appear in the show when his run starts on Monday (15Jul13), is joining the scheme in support of a London-based charity for young people, while he also has a personal connection to Spamalot as one of his relatives appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the 1975 comedy film on which the show is based.
He says, "I wanted to play God in Spamalot in order to support Scene & Heard, a north London charity, which (helps young people)... I'm also delighted to be involved with the show because an ancestor on my mother's side was in fact one of the knights who say 'Ni'."
Windsor adds, "I wanted to play God in Spamalot because having been four foot 10 and a half inches tall all my life, this would be the first and only time people would look up to me."
Hollywood star Hugh Grant, model/actress Lily Cole and veteran actress Barbara Windsor have joined the line-up for London Evening Standard's Get Reading festival, which will take place in the capital's Trafalgar Square on 13 July (13). Homeland's David Harewood and actor Rupert Everett are also among the stars who will give readings during the literacy festival.
The Alice in Wonderland star recorded a message in aid of the City of London Poppy Day, a drive to boost donations to the Royal British Legion, which helps war veterans and their families.
She declared, "Hello everybody, it's Barbara Windsor here and I, together with Transport for London, am supporting London Poppy Day on the 1st of November. Please, please give generously."
Windsor has previously stated, "I'm thrilled to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those who serve and (to be) helping to raise awareness of London Poppy Day. It's an absolute honour to be the voice of the Tube on the day."