As bizarre as it sounds, a “satirical” musical about the life and times of Prince Andrew is set to air our on TV screens later this year.
We may not have asked for it, and we definitely didn’t see it coming, but as part of what is being called “an impressive roster” of shows commissioned to celebrate 40 years of Channel 4 – which has prided itself on “diverse, experimental, and challenging programming” since 1982 – a musical comedy about Prince Andrew has actually become a reality.
The simply-named, Prince Andrew: The Musical, is written by and starring Kieran Hodgson as Prince Andrew himself, with original music co-written by Freddie Tapner.
According to an overview of the one-hour comedy special, a cast of upcoming comics will perform a “satirical send-up of the life and times of Prince Andrew” set to a musical score – with a story centring on the key events, relationships, and controversies of his life.
Crucially, as many will be expecting, the musical is to include a reimagining of the former-HRH’s bombshell interview with Emily Maitlis.
The comedy special is promising to make “the man behind the headlines face the music”.
Announcing its 40th anniversary lineup of programming, Channel 4 said: “It has forever been our a mission to make mischief and noise that dares to tell the truth about modern Britain and how we live [so] to mark this important milestone, an impressive roster of programming has been commissioned that speaks to our radical, irreverent, and iconoclastic roots.
“Each of these new shows are set to do what Channel 4 was created for – to give voice to the unheard, say the unsayable and show the unseen.
“Each connect with the Channel’s 4 core values, and vividly reflect its purpose in 2022.”
A provocative exploration of cancel culture in art, a revival of Friday Night Live, a revealing documentary on the role of Britain in shaping much about our modern world during the 80s, and a documentary following the experiences of the hidden minority of men who have extra-large penises, are also to air on Channel 4 to mark its 40 years on air.
Channel 4’s programme boss, Ian Katz, said the new commissions were “a collection of irreverent, thought-provoking and hugely entertaining shows that no other broadcaster would air”.
“If we must age, we plan to do it disgracefully,” he concluded.
Featured Image – BBC
These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.
The Range has bought Wilko’s website and intellectual property, so shoppers can expect to see Wilko own-brand items appear in The Range stores nationwide very soon.
Featured Image – Poundland
Iconic Sycamore Gap tree renamed ‘Sycamore Stump’ after heartbreaking vandalism
Someone has already changed the name of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree to ‘Sycamore Stump’ after it was felled in what’s believed to be an act of vandalism.
The famous tree was believed to be about 300 years old and was made famous when it appeared in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in the world (Rockefeller’s Christmas tree might just edge that one) and has stood on Hadrian’s Wall for centuries.
But overnight on Wednesday, this world-famous tree was felled, leaving just a small stump behind.
Someone has already changed its name on Google Maps from Sycamore Gap to Sycamore Stump, echoing the public outcry over the tree’s disappearance.
The National Trust said on Thursday: “We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism.
“We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.
“We are working with our partners to understand what has happened and what can be done. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
Police have now confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Supt Kevin Waring of Northumbria police said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our inquiries.
“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.”