EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Will Harry get advice from Meghan on voicing an audiobook?

EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Will Harry get advice from Meghan on voicing an audiobook?

Clearing his throat to record the audio tape of his Spare book, how will Harry handle changing his voice so listeners know he’s quoting Charles, William, Camilla and the late Queen?

Actor Tim Bentinck, David Archer on Radio 4’s The Archers and an audiobook veteran, says doing the accents is the hardest part.

Fortuitously, Harry, who will benefit from vocal coaching, is married to a former actress who should be able to give him expert lessons.

Judging by Harry’s 2017 stint as guest editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, it could be an uphill battle to get it right. Presenter Sarah Montague, struggling to get him to say anything insightful, asked him to sum up his message to the nation. “Uh, I don’t know,” he muttered. And then, fortunately, the rescue glitches sounded.

The reduction in size of his coronation by King Charles will be welcomed by his doctor. He suffers from back pain, which would have been greatly aggravated if he wore the solid gold 5-pound St Edward’s Crown for the ceremony. While monarchs from Queen Anne in 1702 to Edward VII in 1902 chose to be adorned with a lighter crown, Charles’ mother wore it. The king is determined to follow his example. But with a shorter service and reduced ceremony, it won’t be too long.

An Oscar nomination awaits Padraic, dairy farmer and Colin Farrell’s donkey lover in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees Of Inisherin.

New York film critic Anthony Lane notes that Colin, pictured, co-stars Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and the rest of the cast of the film set on the poor island off Galway in 1923 are “ decked out in item after item of suspiciously beautiful knitwear”.

Surely an Academy Award for the wardrobe?

Hugh Bonneville asked Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to write the pet labrador Isis, named after an Egyptian goddess, out of the script when he was deemed too old. “Then the specter of Isis, the terrorist group, began to arise,” he recalls. “I said, ‘I know what’s going to happen’ and two newspapers wrote, ‘Downton kills dog because of Isis. It was useless to try to explain.

Royal biographer AN Wilson recalls the public outrage he suffered when he revealed the Queen Mother’s revelation that her daughter Elizabeth had ‘roared’ with laughter at the mournful TS Eliot reciting The Waste Land in time of war in Windsor. The late Queen told the story herself, he insists, adding: “Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, when she spent the night at Windsor Castle, was entertained by her Sovereign who recounted the ‘story.”

Radio 4 Today presenter Amol Rajan asked West Midlands Labor MP Jess Phillips and broadcaster Adrian Chiles to discuss ‘accent bias’ yesterday, just weeks after he accused the BBC of chief executive Tim Davie of to be “too chic”. Unfortunately, his well-spoken colleague Justin Webb — known to be unimpressed with Amol’s accent crusade — was on leave…or “orf” as Justin might put it.


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