Wednesday 30 April 2014

The Great Detectives

A silhouette is all you need - the first image is of course Sherlock Holmes - that intellectual champion of justice.

The second image is Granny Smith - that pipe smoking, rock music loving, amateur sleuth with a difference.

It's Miss Marple on steroids!

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder's never been so much fun.

There are three Granny Smith eBooks currently available and in September 2014 print versions will be made available by a new independent publisher.

                        Find details of how to order the eBooks HERE


Gary Dobbs is a writer and actor who has appeared in such iconic British shows as Doctor Who and Torchwood. Gary can currently be seen getting his balls hacked off in The Reverend from Burn Hand Films. Using the pen name Jack Martin he is responsible for a string of bestselling westerns published by Robert Hale LTD and using his given name, Gary Dobbs he writes crime and thriller fiction.

Gary is also the author of the popular Granny Smith Mystery series - Granny Smith Investigates and a second adventure, Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs are both available now. Granny Smith third adventure, The Welsh Connection was published in 2013.

Gary lives,dreams and smokes his pipe in South Wales.


British actor Bob Hoskins, who was best known for roles in The Long Good Friday and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has died of pneumonia at the age of 71. The Long Good Friday is one of the finest British gangster films ever made - it's up there with Get Carter in my opinion. Always outspoken Hopkins, a life long socialist, famously stated that he hated Tony Blair and felt he had done as much damage to the country as Margaret Thatcher.

Hoskins died in hospital yesterday morning. His last acting role was in 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire 1 by George R. R. Martin

Book 1

I've just finished reading the Game of Thrones for the second time - I started reading the series back last year and got through the first two books but life got far too hectic for awhile there and I couldn't get into book three.

The recent start of season four of the TV version, which I love, enticed me to pick back up on the series, but rather than pick up where I left off I decided to go back and start again.

Despite the fact that I've always read a lot of fiction, I've not read that much in the fantasy genre. I've done Lord of the Rings of course, a fair few of the Conan stories, most of the Discworld books, a smattering of Michael Moorcock and a few other authors but precious little else. I guess you could call me a casual fantasy reader rather than a committed fan.

 I'm not sure why this is since I do quite enjoy the genre, but too often I've been put off by the thought of elves, goblins and dragons - they're just not my sort of thing.  And quite often I don't get the books that fantasy fans seem to love. Stephen Kings's highly regarded Dark Tower series for instance bored me into closing the covers somewhere around the third book, and that series is hailed by many as King's masterwork.

However Game of Thrones, although a high fantasy, reads more like an historical adventure story than a fantasy. Yeah there are dragons, well in the last few pages at least and there is magic of sorts but the fictional world within these pages comes across as a slightly skewed version of medieval England. If you love fantasy then you'll obviously adore Game of Thrones, but I think that those not into dragons, goblins and wizards will be able to enjoy this book. It's wonderfully written with a great command of the language and some wonderful visual passages. I read the book on my Kindle and found myself highlighting similes that struck me as particularly effective, or passages that I thought were either technically beautiful or wonderful in the effect created.

His shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lanister stood tall as a king.

Like a man who carried all of the sadness of the world upon his shoulders.

Arrows had sown a terrible new crop and watered it with blood.

What is surprising is how faithful the HBO TV series is to the books. I saw the series before reading this book and I can't think of many differences between the two. The way Ned Stark injures his leg towards the end was a minor difference, and there seems to be a bit more sex in the TV version,  but most of it was as I remember from the TV series. Another surprising thing about the book is how quick it moves, given that it's a little more than 800 pages in length. The author tells the story from many viewpoints, and each chapter comes from the viewpoint of one of the various characters who play the game of thrones. This works well and gives the story a thickness of texture that brings the fantastic world to vivid life.

I did find the way that Ned comes to realize Joffrey is not the true son of his beloved king, Robert as slightly weak, and not at all scientifically accurate. This all hinges on hair colour - Joffrey has blond hair when the King's bastard children all have dark hair, but then the King is married to Cersai Lannister, and the blond hair is a trait of Lannister blood, so I don't think hair colour would be enough to either prove of disprove the boy's paternal heritage. I'll have to consult my Jeremy Kyle guide to proving parentage to see if hair colour is sufficient proof of where an horrid little git like Joffrey comes from. The seed is strong, the book tells us. Still that's a minor quibble and it doesn't seem to have bothered anyone else but I did find the part of the plot to be a bit daft. The seed is strong, the book tells us but Ned Stark could have been wrong. The hair could does not  conclusively rule out that Joffrey could indeed have been Robert's true son - mind you we know Cersai was having loads of sex with her own brother, Jamie and that he is likely the father of all of her children. OK I'll go with the hair colour thing as being proof that Joffrey is the bastard incestuous spawn of bonkers Cersai and the actually quite cool Jamie, because that's the only thing in the book that bothered me.

I'm going to immediately read the second book, and then I'll hopefully continue the series further than the third book. These really are addictive books, wonderfully written by a talent that fills me with awe. I found myself marveling at the way Mr Martin weaves his complicated  and multi-layered story. The reader inside me was thoroughly entertained but the author side of me was seething with jealousy - how the fuck did you do that? Man, I wish I'd thought of that phrase, used that metaphor. And Martin's grasp of character is the truly magical element in this book. Each and every person comes to vivid life in the reader's mind, and the suspense created keeps the pages turning.

Monday 28 April 2014

Vintage Paperbacks

I'm pleased with my latest haul from Cardiff's Troutmark Books - I'm especially pleased with the Executioner paperbacks as all of these are early entries in the series, and actually written by Don Pendleton himself. The author wrote 37 of the books in the long running series which as of Jan 2014 numbered 423 titles.

The Executioner books were everywhere when I was a kid, and I read one or two of the titles but I always leaned more towards the western paperbacks which, like the Executioner books, were aimed at a male adult readership.

 The titles are Nightmare in New York (book 7), Assualt on Soho (book 6) and Boston Blitz (book12). Of course all of the books are standalone novels and I'm looking forward to catching up on these classics of a bygone period in publishing, and all are in pretty good condition and make nice additions to my collection of classic paperbacks.

Company K by William March I'd never heard of but picked it up because of the World War 1 setting. According to the WIKI, March had a lot of critical respect but was never attained popular status with the reading public. Apparantly Company K was based on his own wartime experiences and I'm looking forward to reading this. This edition was published Corgi Books in 1968 with a cover price of 3s 6d and apparently the novel is still in print today. I've moved this to the top of my TBR pile and it'll likely be the next book I read.

I rounded off my haul with two westerns - the second book in the Hawk series by William S. Brady and the fifth book in the short lived but excellent Gunslinger series.

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 21 Apr - 27 Apr 2014


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits12911611012379113110780111
First Time Visits1241119611576109107738105
Returning Visits55148343426

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Jack London Dead

While researching for my book Cardiff in the Great War (publication news very soon) I came across this cutting in the South Wales Echo that announces the death of famed author, Jack London.

Thought Archive readers may find this interesting.

Vintage Comics - The Savage Sword of Conan

Published in May 1980 this is issue 31 of Marvel UK's monthly title, The Savage Sword of Conan. This particular issue features the first part of the story, A Witch Shall be Born as well as a short standalone story,  Dragonseed.

I picked up this issue today in the excellent Troutmark Books, which resides in a magical corner of Cardiff's Castle Arcade. I also found the subsequent issue, No 32, which completes the storyline from this issue. They cost me £1.25 each which is a steal. Okay they may have cost just over three times their original cover price but then it ain't 1980 anymore.

The Savage Sword of Conan was aimed at the more mature comic reader, hence the price - at a time when most British comics were around 12p,  then 40p was a hefty price indeed.  It only contained two stories, and the supporting story was told over a mere nine pages it meant that the main storyline, the Conan story, boasted just shy of forty pages, which meant that the story could remain incredibly faithful to the Robert E. Howard story while not skimping on the eye popping action.

The artwork on the main story is by John Buscema and it's amazingly detailed, though in black and white given that this is a UK reprint of American material. Still the monochrome images suit the style and somehow  make the blood seem all the more red. The storyline is by the legendary Roy Thomas and these two issues are the only ones I've got of this title, but I'll certainly be looking out for more.

One thing I always look for in old comics is the letters page - a lively letters page can be fascinating and this magazine boasts a double page spread of lively letters.

Click on any of the images here to see a larger version.

Readers Anonymous - are you an addict?

Do your palms sweat at the thought of a new Stephen King hitting the shelves? Do you neglect your friends in order to curl up between the pages? Do you have to charge your Kindle more than twice a month?  Are there books in every room of your house?

 If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you may be addicted to reading.

This addiction is widespread and the side effects are a stronger vocabulary, an imaginative mind and a better understanding of what makes things tick.

Check out this article HERE by Tara Block which lists fifty signs that you may be afflicted with a reading addiction. If so you may be able to get help....but would you want it?

Monday 21 April 2014

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 14 Apr - 20 Apr 2014


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits142131121119164137128942135
First Time Visits130115110115146131121868124
Returning Visits121611418677411

Friday 18 April 2014

The Sad Death of Sue Townsend Aged 68 and a bit

Sue Townsend the creator of the mega successful Adrian Mole series died last week - I first  read the The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and Three Quarters when I wasn't much older than that myself. And I've  stuck with the books all these years, reading each and every one as they came out and aging with the character.

. Adrian Mole was a self obsessed teenager who took himself far too seriously and his diaries were comedy gold. The first book made Townsend a household name and propelled her to the top of the bestseller lists. The last Adrian Mole book was 2009's The Prostrate Years and it has been confirmed that Sue Townsend was actually working on another Adrian Mole book when she sadly died.

"We can confirm that Sue was in the middle of writing the book. Her editor had seen what she describes as 'a few wonderful pages'. It was supposed to be out this autumn and we are very sad that we won't be able to show it to the world."Publisher, Michael Joseph

Though given the way modern publishing works it is unlikely that the author's death will see the end of the series and expect to see the unfinished novel completed by another hand in the fullness of time.

RIP Sue Townsend

"One of the warmest, funniest and wisest people I ever met." Stephen Mangan who played Adrian Mole in the 2001 BBC TV series, The Cappuccino Years

Related Article - Sue Townsend and the Welfare State

Bond 24 new plot details revealed - The names Bond, James Bond, Guv

I must admit to being disappointed when it was recently announced the Sam Mendes will not direct the next Bond movie - after all Skyfall was a damn fine Bond movie, even if I'm still not totally sold on Daniel Craig in the role of 007. Still Skyfall displayed an understanding of the franchise and was a better Bond movie than either of Craig's other two efforts. Yeah, I know many people think Daniel Craig's first stab at the role in Casino Royale was a triumph but I am not one of those. Still the latest unconfirmed rumours are even more of a worry, and Guy Ritchie is being touted as the director of the next Bond movie. Daniel Craig's Bond is already too blokey and Ritchie's already given us a blokey Sherlock Holmes, both of which have been successful which fucking baffles me. Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is nothing like Sherlock Holmes and Daniel Craig's Bond is already too Bondlite so the combination of Craig and Ritchie is not something I'd savour.
Yes Guy Ritchie can direct action but he's not so hot with character development, and the latter was a high point of Skyfall.

The news is that the next Bond will be called Brown Bread Forever, Brown Bread being  cockney rhyming slang for dead, and that Bond will face a deadly criminal organization. The Archive can reveal that Leslie Grantham has been approached to play the lead baddie who manages the Five Finger Shuffle nightclub, which is in reality a front for the criminal empire that stretches from Walford  to the Isle of Dogs. The film will be made at various exotic locations including Brighton, the Costa Del Crime and a Scrapyard in London's East End.

Never mind here's a pic from a time when James Bond was still suave and sophisticated rather than rough and ready....and we still have the older, far superior, Bond movies to fall back on.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

9 Books on Writing and Reading

I came across this article HERE which will be of interest to Archive readers.

Hardly anything does one’s mental, spiritual, and creative health more good than resolving to read more and write better. Today’s reading list addresses these parallel aspirations. And since the number of books written about reading and writing likely far exceeds the reading capacity of a single human lifetime, this omnibus couldn’t be — shouldn’t be — an exhaustive list. It is, instead, a collection of timeless texts bound to radically improve your relationship with the written word, from whichever side of the equation you approach it.

Fine the full article and list of books HERE

The Godfather Saga

Over the last few evenings I revisited the Godfather saga and watched all three films. This is only the second time I've seen the much maligned third installment, and to be honest it's a far better film than I remember. I recall hating it when I first saw it, but perhaps I was expecting a more straightforward mobster movie as delivered in parts 1 and 2, but I've come to the conclusion that whilst part three is not as good as one or two, it is still a great film and a fitting end to the trilogy.

Of course the movies are all superb and Marlon Brando's performance in Part 1 is nothing short of excellent, as is that of his son Michael, played of course by Al Pacino, who reluctantly takes over the family business and becomes  more of a monster than his father ever was. The second part shows Michael building up the empire, settling old scores and facing a senate committee into organized crime. Alongside this Robert De'Niro becomes a younger Marlon Brando for the flashback storyline which sees the original Godfather rising to power. The third is then set some years later and tells of Michael's attempts to legitamise the family business while his nephew Vincent played by Andy Garcia takes over the family business.

Many years ago I remember seeing the Godfather edited into a TV mini-series , and it was recut into chronological order so we started off with the young Vito (De'Niro) and then went onwards to old Vito (Brando) and onto Michael becoming the new head of the family. Watching the movies like this showed how seamlessly De'Niro had stepped into the boots of Marlon Brando. The third movie hadn't been made when this cut was made but I recall that this TV edit was unbelievably even better than the movie versions. Now I love these movies and wouldn't be without my movie cuts but I do wish the edited version of parts 1 and 2 were available on DVD. I believe the edited version was called The Godfather Saga but can find scant information online about the edit. The  WIKI states it was made for NBC Television but doesn't state of the edited -film ever had a DVD release.

Monday 14 April 2014

Savage Blood by James Reasoner

Savage Blood
Author: James Reasoner

This book's been sitting on my Kindle for a few months, but until now I'd not got around to reading it . I was at a loss for something to read and fancying a short western I decided to give this book a try.

It' a short book. I don't like to call it a novella -I don't really like that term - and it's too long to call it a short story. So I'm going to stick with the good old fashioned term and call the book a novel.  Fitting really given that Savage Blood is a good old fashioned, action packed western.

Brodie is a one armed veteran of the Civil War. As well as his arm the war took his beloved Eva from him - well she actually fell into the two arms of another man but only after believing Brodie dead. However when Brodie receives a summons for help from Eva who is being driven out of her business by a ruthless town boss called Flannery, he has every right to ignore her. That's not the way it goes though and Brodie soon finds himself teamed up with the ex-wife's current man,Martin Caney and together they are heading for a showdown with Flannery.

At the root of this excellent story is a standard western plot of big business pushing around the common man, a plot I've used myself, but Reasoner's cast of three dimensional characters give the story a gravitas common to all of the best western fiction. The conflict between Caney and Brodie is handled well and never seems anything less than fully believable. You can imagine that this is how men in such a situation would interact, and this plot strand is used to create tension throughout the book.

An excellent western, skilfully told with an appealing lead character. The reader is immediately rootING for him. He's a cripple in a cruel world, where no allowances will be made for his handicap but even one armed Brodie is a match for most men.

Highly recommended and available at a low price for Kindle and other eReaders.

Tainted stats

Weekly Stats Report: 7 Apr - 13 Apr 2014


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits100113138110114127105807115
First Time Visits95105124102112125101764109
Returning Visits58148224436

Sunday 13 April 2014

John Wayne For President

In the late 1960's 'John Wayne for President' bumper stickers starting appearing on cars across America. This of course never happened, ( Ronnie Raygun was the screen cowboy who made his home in the White House) and one can only wonder what President John Wayne's America would have looked like. Of course the thought will horrify left wingers who take great delight in knocking Wayne's politics but fuck them, for no matter what Wayne thought politically there is no taking away the fact that he remains a bonifide screen legend, arguably the biggest screen legend of them all. When Wayne was told he had the Big C (interestingly this was a term that Wayne himself coined) he  was quoted as saying, 'I sat there trying to be John Wayne.'

I know what he meant by that statement, for John Wayne was tough and virtually immortal and cancer or the Big C was no match for the man who had  won the West. John Wayne, the man behind the screen persona may be long dead, but John Wayne, the screen icon, lives on and the Big C can just go and take a running jump.

Simon and Schuster have just published an interesting book about Wayne - John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman promises to shed new light on the legend. I've not read the book yet but there was a great article in the Times yesterday that looked at the book. From the article I learned that Wayne, at a stage when his screen persona was stamped in the mind of the world, was asked by Mel Brooks to star in his spoof western, Blazing Saddles.

'Not on your life,' Wayne told Brooks but did promise to be first in line to see the movie.

Wayne never claimed to be anything but a journeyman actor, merely playing himself over and over but even that assessment is flawed and Wayne displayed real acting chops in several movies - The Searchers, Red River and The Shootist to name but three. And in his book Eyman argues that Wayne's lasting achievement was injecting an authenticity into an art form which is, in essence, totally phony.

Wayne cultivated a macho image that his detractors take great delight in shooting down by stating that Wayne was actually a draft dodger. Whilst it is true that Wayne avoided serving in the Second World War, the official reason given was a ear problem, the reason for this was intense lobbying from the studio bosses who didn't want to see their top star sent off to fight overseas.

By modern standards Wayne may have been a bigot, but his attitudes were of his times and he shouldn't be criticized for that. He once commented about gay actor Rock Hudson - 'What a waste of a face on a queer. You know what I could have done with that face.'

Wayne was a hard living man - he would order six eggs for breakfast, he smoked six packs of cigarettes a day, even after beating his first bout of cancer, and drank tequila by the bottle. He was a man's man and there are precious few of them in today's inane Hollywood. Wayne was of the old school and although his politics may often seem to have been to the right of the extreme right, he was certainly far more complex than most people believe.

 Wayne for instance was extremely cultured - he played Chess to tournament level, was a lover of Tolkein's Middle Earth stories, knew most of Shakespeare's works inside out  and could quote Milton off the cuff.

As Wayne once told an interviewer, 'I could say isn't as well as ain't.'

Wayne's most complex role, that of the racist, misanthropic and violent Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, arguably the greatest western ever made and one of the greatest movies in any genre, took the Wayne image apart and anyone who says, 'Wayne always played himself,' should be made to watch this movie and then punched in the jaw for uttering such an inane cliche.

John Wayne you were loved and continue to be loved by a great many of us - God bless you, sir.

John Wayne  the Life and Legend by Scott Eyman is available now
Simon and Schuster print and eBook

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Buffalo Bill dead

I've been going through old newspaper articles recently collecting material for a forthcoming book that looks at Cardiff during the Great War of 1914 - 1918, and I came across this article from a January 1917 issue of the South Wales Echo that reports on the death of Buffalo Bill AKA William Cody.

Cody died of liver failure on Jan 10th 1917, just a few months before his beloved America would enter the First World War.

As a writer of western novels I found the article particularly interesting and I know many readers of this blog are also interested in the western in both fact and fiction. And so I've scanned the image and posted it here - click on the image for a larger and easier to read article.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Major Easy: Heart of Stone (Titan Books hardcover collection of strips from Battle Picture Weekly)

Titan Books are doing the classic strips from Battle Picture Weekly proud with their handsome hardcover editions of collected strips. Heart of Stone bundles together the first run of strips featuring Major Easy, a character created by writer Alan Hebden and artist, Carlos Ezquerra. The character became a popular addition to Battle and was soon a reader favorite - So populart,and so fondly remembered in fact, that the character has been updated and reinvented for modern day 2000AD as Cursed Earth Koburn.

Back when I was a kid Easy was one of my favorite characters but reading these strips as an adult I realize that the strip doesn't contain as much nuance as say Charley's War or H.M.S. Knightshade both of which can be put up against the very best war novels,  but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. The Easy strips were standalone tales with only the slimmest of continuity between strips, and Easy is in reality a cartoon character - he is able to survive any attack and his bullets never miss their target. and the enemies he faces are cartoon versions of the stereotypes that served British war comics well for a great many years. The Germans are all vile Nazis, the Italians are cowards and the Americans are loud mouth and foolish, but none of that matters since it always comes down to Major Easy, the hard-arsed Brit who can defeat any enemy and always find time for forty winks amongst the chaos and carnage of total war.

Production wise the book is every bit as good as Titan's Charley's War collection. The strips are printed on high quality paper and bound between rigid boards. The books are a must for any serious collector of British comics as well as those wanting a trip down memory lane.

The Hobbit: The slimming of the waist

After being bored rigid by Peter Jackson's first Hobbit movie, I decided to give the second movie a miss on its original cinema run. I wasn't going to sit there again for almost three hours, wondering why I hadn't gone to see the indie movie showing on the other screen. Likely it would have been far more entertaining and made for less than the weekly wage of the average premiership footballer.

And so I didn't catch up with the second movie, The Desolation of Smaug until the DVD release. Once again I wish I hadn't bothered - I'll be selling my Hobbit DVD's and Peter Jackson can stick the third movie where the sun doesn't shine.

Yes the second installment is better than the first but it's still an overlong, often boring slice of self indulgent cinema - what's happened to Peter Jackson? Is it ego that provoked him into stretching out such a slim book into a torturous three movie marathon? Or was it the incentive to get three times the money out of fans? A bit of both I expect and it is obvious that some sequences in the movie, the barrel chase down the river for instance, were designed with the video game in mind. This film is vapid, it's like the celluloid equivalent of a
The original genius Peter Jackson
soulless mega-store - everything under one roof but nothing of any real substance. Watching this movie in the cinema the viewer may come to the conclusion that there is more substance, more nuance and less fat in the popcorn they are eating than what they are seeing on the screen.

Yes the special effects are stunning, the eye candy amazing but then with the money thrown into the movie that  is pretty much a given. What this film, and its immediate predecessor lacks is compelling storytelling which is strange given that its source material is so rich.

The new slim Peter Jackson may have stuffed all those pounds he lost into these bloody movies, which makes them far too much to digest. Jackson looks superb these days but  his creative muse must be missing all those calories - for the sake of movie making Peter Jackson needs to be force fed a few dozen donuts, a brace of burgers and several icky milk shakes on a daily basis. Maybe then we will see a return to the classic movies Jackson churned out on both small and big budgets. And it's not just the length of the movies - I've watched the extended versions of each of the original Lord of the Rings movies and not once did that seem like a hardship, and yet after only twenty minutes with The Hobbit I found myself scratching my ass and daydreaming. The original movies had a storyline that defined the scope of the movies, but the Hobbit, or at least Jackson's Hobbit has as much depth as the X Factor.

The new Peter 'George Lucus' Jackson
Jackson's original Middle Earth trilogy was a lovingly crafted masterpiece but his decision to stretch the Hobbit out to three films has been a creative disaster. Still the movies are bringing in money which is all that really matters in these shallow times. The plot is meandering, the dialogue often cheese flavored and there's a lot of shit to wade through to reach the good bits.

Martin Freeman though is excellent as Bilbo though he really did deserve a better movie than either of the two we've been presented with so far. Some have called Jackson's latter day Middle Earth films bad fan fiction, and I think I'd agree with that assessment - Peter Jackson has become the new George Lucus so prepare to be increasingly disappointed from this point in.

Monday 7 April 2014

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 31 Mar - 6 Apr 2014


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits121131969799122121787112
First Time Visits114126919397115116752107
Returning Visits7554275355


There aren't many genuine Hollywood legends left and we've just lost another one with the passing of Mickey Rooney at the age of 93. Among the many reports on the TV and Radio this morning I heard an interview with Rooney in which the actor said that Walt Disney had named Mickey Mouse after him. Apparently the pair had been at dinner and Disney had told Rooney that he was naming his new cartoon creation after the diminutive actor. An Internet search comes up with many websites that debunk the Rooney/Mickey story as an urban myth and yet the BBC today played an interview in which Rooney made the claim himself. The actor said that  Disney told him he was naming the mouse after him when they were having lunch one afternoon and Rooney claimed to have replied, - 'That's great but I'm just going to get a cheese sandwich.'

Truth or myth invented by Rooney it doesn't really matter, because the actor's legendary status is not formed on his possible link to the cartoon mouse but on a film career that lasted more than 80 years. The actor made his first film appearance before he was 10 years old and never really retired.

Rooney had ten children, five sons and five daughters and leaves behind a massive celluloid legacy.


 The UK's new tax on vaping which will come into force in 2026 is not only immoral but patently insane, and will hit those reformed smok...