British actor Sir Tony Robinson is set to return to the stage for the first time in 16 years after signing up to star in a new London production of The Wind In The Willows. The Blackadder star will portray narrator Kenneth Grahame in the Royal Opera House musical, which is based on the author's classic 1908 novel, alongside dancer Will Kemp as Ratty.
The show will take place at the Duchess Theatre and will run for eight weeks over the Christmas (13) period.
Robinson, 67, last appeared onstage in Britain in 1997, when he featured in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On. He has also previously starred in London's West End and taken part in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
A collection of rare first editions of books by literary greats including Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot have raised $350,000 (£226,000) at an auction in the U.K. Late teacher Bruce Ritchie owned the impressive collection of some of history's greatest tomes, including first editions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, and 1908's The Wind In The Willows.
The books went under the hammer in Edinburgh earlier this week (begs13May13) and raised $350,000, with a copy of The Great Gatsby from 1925 selling for $2,906 (£1,875) alone.
Other lots included Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited ($2,480/£1,600) and Prufrock by T.S. Eliot ($5,580/£3,600).
Veteran actor David Jason will hand animator Cosgrove the Special Award in recognition of his work on shows for youngsters, which have included classic series The Wind In The Willows and Danger Mouse.
Speaking of his pride at landing the prize, Cosgrove says, "After 40 years of making children's programmes, it is an honour and a privilege to be receiving this Special Award... On hearing I would receive the Award I was thrilled! I've been lucky in many ways, particularly that I've spent my whole career doing what I would have chosen to do as a hobby."
Cosgrove will receive the honour at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) prizegiving in London on Sunday (25Nov12).
The producer passed away at home in Kent, England on Sunday (16Sep12) following a battle with cancer.
Starting his career in film as a distributor in Asia, he went on to become one of the most respected figures in animation after working on the Fab Four's psychedelic hit in the late 1960s.
He worked with bosses at Britain's Channel 4 on The Snowman, which became a Christmas favourite and was nominated for an Animated Short Film Academy Award in 1983.
Coates also oversaw the production of an animated film version of classic children's tale The Wind in the Willows for U.K. TV and brought Beatrix Potter's animal characters to life for a small screen series.
At the time of his death, he had been working on an updated version of The Snowman to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The new film will air in Britain this festive season (Dec12-Jan13).
Fellowes is teaming up with composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe for the new West End project.
He says, "The Wind in the Willows is one of our greatest classics and as true and entertaining now as it has ever been. I am delighted and tremendously flattered to have been asked to write the book (narrative) for the new musical.
"In fact, I suspect this is something I've been wanting to do subconsciously for many years."
It is not yet known when or where the musical will debut.
Glee is always ambitious with its guest casting, but this new endeavor takes it to the next level: the Fox series is reaching for rapper Pitbull (yep) to play the brother of Santana Lopez, who has been a heavy focus of this season. Episodes of late have invested a lot of time in Santana's coming to terms with her sexuality, and introducing her family will be part of that. We recently learned that music artist Gloria Estefan is in talks to play Santana's mom, and now the show is looking to Pitbull to join her in an early 2012 episode on Fox. -EW
For the past twelve years, Marg Helgenberger has starred as Catherine Willows on CSI, and she and the CBS series are finally parting ways. Helgenberger's performance as the character has been celebrated with nominations from awards organizations like the Emmys and the Golden Globes, and victories at the People's Choice Awards. Helgenberger feels as though it is simply time to move on, and she appreciates the experiences and relationships the show has given her. Elisabeth Shue will be taking Helgenberger's place on CSI after the latter's final episode, "Willows in the Wind," which will air on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. -AOLTV
Modern Family will treat us both to the reappearance of a series favorite, as well as a new guest castmember. The former will be, of course, Fizbo, Cam's clown alter ego. In an upcoming episode, we'll learn a bit about Fizbo's past: he had a partner, who will find his way back into Cam's life in the form of Bobby Cannavale. We can imagine this being either a happy reunion for the passionate Cam or an explosive conflict, thanks to Mr. Tucker's dramatic tendencies. Either way, we can be sure that Mitchell probably won't be too keen on any instigation for Fizbo to reveal himself. Cannavale's Modern Family episode will air in early 2012, after the series returns to ABC from winter hiatus. -TVLine
Fox's animated comedy Bob's Burgers returns after the new year, and it will be bringing with it some small town government officials. Sounds kind of boring, maybe...but these specific government officials come from the very unboring small town of Pawnee, Indiana—the setting of the NBC masterpiece Parks and Recreation. Three of the series' hardest hitting comedy players will be lending their voices to Bob's Burgers: Aziz Ansari (who plays Tom Haverford on Parks) will be playing a nerdy teenager who forms a bond with Bob. On another episode, Parks star Nick Offerman (the powerful Ron Swanson) and recurring guest star Megan Mullally (the frightening Tammy "2" Swanson) will play a hippie married couple—quite a stretch from their respectively conservative and evil Parks characters—who hire Bob's children as "weed pickers." Bob's Burgers returns to Fox on Mar. 11. -EW
Hall was surrounded by family when he passed away in the early hours of Friday (18Nov11) at his home in Manchester, England.
He launched the animation studio Cosgrove Hall Films with his production partner Brian Cosgrove and the pair went on to enjoy worldwide success with cartoons including Danger Mouse, its spin-off Count Duckula and The Wind in the Willows.
Cosgrove Hall director Adrian Wilkins has paid tribute to Hall's "lifetime of achievement" in the world of animation, adding, "He is one of life's gentlemen."
The star passed away at a home for retired actors in London on Tuesday (02Aug11), just hours after his birthday (01Aug11).
Pearson made his film debut at the age of 32 in the 1950 movie The Girl is Mine, and went on to appear in three Roman Polanski movies, Macbeth, Tess, and Pirates.
The actor was best known in his native Britain for voicing Mole in 1983 TV movie The Wind in the Willows and its subsequent small screen series of the same name.
His last film appearance came in 2002, when he starred in Men In Black II, alongside Will Smith.
Pearson's son Patrick says, "He did a rather good line in rather priggish, pompous characters."
British comedian RICKY GERVAIS is going underground for his next film role - he's voicing the character Mole in a new live action adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic tale THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Pre-production is expected to begin in New Zealand in the autumn (11).
The treasured book included a handwritten dedication from author Kenneth Grahame to fellow scribe Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's daughter, Foy, who is believed to have been the inspiration for the character Ratty. The inscription was dated October 1908, the same year the story was first published.
The novel proved to be a big attraction at the Bonhams auction in London on Tuesday (23Mar10), with bids far exceeding its minimum estimated price of $4,800 (£3,000).
Since being published in 1908, the tales of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad have captivated families worldwide, giving readers a glimpse into daily life on the Riverbank. As the seasons change, viewers are taken on a whimsical journey through Spring picnics among the brightly colored flowers, lazy Summer days filled with tea-parties, the fruitfulness of the Autumn harvest and cozy fireside chats in the Winter. When Spring arrives, the harmoney of life on the River is interrupted as Toad suddenly develops a passion for motor-cars. Badger decides that something needs to be done about Toad's madcap adventures, so he and his friends imprison Toad in his bedroom until he promises to reform. Toad escapes and steals another car. Careening along, he crashes, is arrested and thrown in the dungeon. What happens next as Toad tries to escape, is a series of hilarious adventures and narrow escapes.