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Admin2

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Reply with quote  #76 
Nice one Frankie

Ricky Tomlinson: Royle Rebel
Ricky Tomlinson: Premier-class performer
To millions of television viewers, Ricky Tomlinson, in the guise of Jim Royle, is the Sultan of Sloth. But, as Andrew Walker of the BBC's News Profiles Unit writes, behind the extraordinary success of the star of The Royle Family, lies a story of poverty, prison and banjo-playing.

The glitterati who attended the recent West End première of Ricky Tomlinson's new film, Mike Bassett: England Manager, were distinctly top-drawer. Mick Jagger, Sir Richard Branson and Mick Hucknall all graced the Odeon Leicester Square with their presence.

But the real star of the show, in every sense, was the raucous scouser himself. Cheered to the rafters on his arrival by a delighted crowd, he waved a red, white and blue football scarf over his head.

Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle
Nation's favourite: Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle

Thirty years ago, though, the story was somewhat different. Instead of hobnobbing with the rich and famous, Ricky Tomlinson was languishing in a prison cell in solitary confinement, a radical and uncompromising trade unionist imprisoned for his political beliefs.

The story of Ricky Tomlinson is really the story of two men. One, a natural performer with a talent to amuse: teller of corny jokes, seasoned actor and banjo virtuoso.

Radical

The other, an unrepentant working-class warrior, a radical Socialist who has staunchly refused to compromise his old-fashioned ideology.

Ricky Tomlinson was born in Liverpool in 1939, during the first month of the Second World War. His childhood was hard: "I'm not getting the violin out," he told a recent interviewer, "but there were six of us in a two-bedroom house."

The son of a baker, early hopes of a career as a footballer (he was offered, but turned down, a trial for Scunthorpe United) took second place to playing banjo in Liverpool's pubs and clubs.

Ricky Tomlinson playing the banjo
Banjo virtuoso

He worked as a plasterer before his involvement in the 1972 builders' strike during which he organised flying pickets and refused to testify in court against his fellow strikers.

This earned him a two-year prison sentence for conspiracy which he has recently said he will challenge in court.

Ricky Tomlinson served his time in 14 prisons, mostly in solitary confinement because, as he puts it: "I wouldn't wear any clothes."

He developed a passion for classical music and, through one prison governor, who was an ex-bricklayer, discovered socialist theory.

"He gave me a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist," says Tomlinson, "which I have read and sent copies of all over the world."

Backed Scargill

The support which the National Union of Mineworkers gave to the striking builders also impressed him and he staunchly supported Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party during the recent general election.

He appeared in a party election broadcast and campaigned on Scargill's behalf when he later stood, unsuccessfully, against Peter Mandelson who Tomlinson calls "a political careerist on a bloody great ego trip", in Hartlepool.

Arthur Scargill
Tomlinson supports Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party

On his release from prison in 1975, Ricky Tomlinson found himself blacklisted from the building trade so he set himself up as an entertainer, theatrical agent and pub landlord, to varied success.

But his life was transformed in 1980 when the director Alan Bleasdale, who had seen Tomlinson's stage routine a year earlier, cast him in a minor role in the acclaimed series Boys From The Blackstuff.

The Thatcher years and the "gritty" theatrical response which they provoked, were meat and drink to Ricky Tomlinson.

With his grizzled face and world-wise manner, he was a natural for parts in Jim Allen's United Kingdom, Ken Loach's bleak Riff Raff and, most notably, as the bolshie trade unionist Bobby Grant in Brookside.

Grumpy

His transformation to national superstar, though, came in 1998 when, reunited with his Brookside screen wife Sue Johnston, he starred as the grumpy paterfamilias in The Royle Family.

The role, which Tomlinson happily admits is "about 99% me", has brought him fame and wealth. But he refuses to play up to his star billing, taking cans of his favourite mild to awards ceremonies and continuing to live in Liverpool.

Ricky Tomlinson with his two-time screen wife Sue Johnston
With his two-time screen wife Sue Johnston

Ricky Tomlinson is currently at the top of his game. His current film, with cameo appearances by Pelé and Ronaldo, is just one of a series of projects either in production or in the pipeline.

With a behind-the-scenes documentary of The Royle Family scheduled for Christmas, the British public's love affair with this most unlikely superstar shows no sign of cooling.


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oldbill

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Reply with quote  #77 
This Monday on CSI:
 
SMG wins commission for Murder Capital pilot

The Crime and Investigation Network has commissioned SMG Productions to make a pilot episode of Murder Capital – an investigation of the dark underworld of Western Europe’s most lethal city – Glasgow.

In this pilot, Taggart’s John Michie looks back at two of the worst crimes committed in Glasgow, uncovering the real story behind these past crimes and delving deep into the minds of the murderers.

The pilot episode will investigate the death of six members of the Doyle family in an arson attack during the infamous Ice-Cream wars; and the murder of Arthur Thompson Jnr and subsequent trial of gangland figure, Paul Ferris.

The Murder Capital team will talk to all those involved and find out the real motives behind the crimes, using news footage, dramatic reconstructions and interviews with criminologists and psychologists.

SMG Productions will deliver the pilot of Murder Capital before the end of the year, due for tx in 2007. 

Elizabeth Partyka, MD of SMG Productions said: “SMG has a strong track record in crime drama and factual programming, so we have the combined journalistic and programme making talent to ensure that this will be a hit.  We’re thrilled to be working with the Crime and Investigation Network and very much hope that this will develop into what we think would be a fascinating, dark and revealing series.”

Richard Melman at Crime and Investigation Network said: “We are delighted to be working with John and SMG who pitched us a strong and powerful series that goes behind the headlines and takes a compelling look at the crimes and the reasons behind them.”

Executive Producer is Jim Manson; Producer and Director is Michael McAvoy.

Contact:
Kirstin Elsby (SMG Television) on 0141 300 3670 or 07803 970 106
Joanna Mitchell (BSkyB) on 020 7941 5199 email
Joanna.mitchell@bskyb.com

About The Crime and Investigation Network
The Crime & Investigation Network targets all adults 30+ with an interest in crime programmes. Programmes are predominantly British and American and programme topics will range from infamous and unknown criminals and their crimes to unsolved cases and criminal psychology.

About SMG Productions
SMG Productions is one of the top 10 production companies in the UK, making programmes for numerous established broadcasters including Sky1, BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4.   One of the UK’s most accomplished production houses, SMG has a reputation for quality and flexibility across all genres of programming.  It has an impressive track record in delivering high-end quality drama, factual and children’s programming.  Recent work includes Taggart, Rebus, Nazi Hate Rock and Dispatches.


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Reply with quote  #78 

As much as i look forward to watching, i'm wonderin how could they possibly 'find out' the 'real' motives when they haven't found the 'real' killers who hold that info. Of course they can gather as much from every route n put they're own assumptions, just a bit strong a term in my oppinion.

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Reply with quote  #79 

Interesting point there Ma


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Reply with quote  #80 

Murder Capital Crime & Investigation Network (Sky Channel 531) 9pm, Monday, April 9...


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Reply with quote  #81 
Great watch, good on T.C.Campbell, J.Steele and Mr Ferris standin up n giving their story, and a showin up to ALL the liars! and also to Reg, that's some man in himself ain't he!

p.s....jk did u clock the size o reg's hawns!!........nae wunner he's always smilin!!!  ...oops...slap on the wrist again Ma!


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Reply with quote  #82 

too slow ma spotted that a while ago



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Reply with quote  #83 

course ye did!  well u saw in person i didni...yit! next time........i'll be there ..........move over jk



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Reply with quote  #84 

nope ma i was hiding way way up the back



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Reply with quote  #85 

why wis that....well i'd say but ul fall oot wi me , so i won't



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Reply with quote  #86 

go for it



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Reply with quote  #87 

well u promise no to fall oot wi me....i noticed the stage wis a bit close tae the front seats fir comfort!



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Reply with quote  #88 

Nope was outside for a cig so late in would still have sat up the back cause if i hadnt i would have made faces or somethin or annoyed bilks and cj by the button if they are that big why do you want that size??? 



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Reply with quote  #89 

hey...even a C wud be nice! ...as fir yer other bit...well i wont comment on the annoyin c....achoo...j bit (rubs hands)...and gonni pass the oot fir a fag part by again?



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Reply with quote  #90 

ok me an frankie were oan the roof remember

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