BBC BLOGS - Anne Diamond's Blog

Archives for September 2011

Just thought I'd pop up another photo from my little houseparty in Bray...

Anne Diamond | 13:38 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Donna from Henley rang in this morning to say how much it reminded her of her upbringing in Bray.

Her family used to live in the house Laurie Holloway first moved into when he first stumbled upon Bray at the end of the M4 years ago!

Tomorrow should be great.

I'm being joined by Greg White, who swam the Thames with David Walliams, and Fiona, Lady Carnarvon.

A great day out in Bray

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Anne Diamond | 14:03 UK time, Monday, 26 September 2011

The House Party

Wonderful morning in Bray with an amazing cast of characters in the conservatory of Laurie Holloway's house.

It was a line-up worthy of a classic Parky show - with Rolf Harris, Kenny Lynch, Sir Michael Parkinson, Home Secretary Theresa May, Wendy Craig, the mayor and even the vicar of Bray!

Hope you enjoyed it - I certainly did! You can hear it again here.

Yes, I've got a laundry room!

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Anne Diamond | 14:30 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

laundry basket

Today my lovely colleagues at BBC Radio Berkshire were mocking me for having a laundry room, because I'd mentioned it while we were talking spiders. (There was a huge one in my laundry room this morning. One of my sons managed to get the better of it after a long battle, with a shoe. Now I've got to go home and hoover up the body from the hallway and a single leg from the kitchen floor...Ugh.)


So yes, I do indeed have a laundry room. You have to when you have four sons and they all wear shirts and socks (and other pieces of clothing too) and you spend your life gathering up from the floor, piling into laundry baskets, shovelling into washing machine, in and out of the drier, off and on the hanging rail, out and under from the iron or press, and then onto the backs of children who wear it for a day and then throw it back onto the floor to become a hiding place for a - spider!

I hate to wish time away but I'll quietly give thanks when September is over and the really big arachnids wobble off their horrid spindly legs and die.

Meanwhile, I'm off on The Wright Stuff next week.

But when I come back - I'll be presenting a fantastic "Anne Diamond's House Party From The Bright Lights of Bray" from inside one of the homes of the rich and famous in that leafy green part of Berkshire, and playing host to other glitterati neighbours. Think Michael Parkinson, Rolf Harris etc Should be really great. Bet they all have laundry rooms. And staff to take care of the spiders.

Anne goes behind the scenes at the movies

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Anne Diamond's Blog Administrator | 13:58 UK time, Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Today, Anne's show came live from a small patch of land near Slough, which has been the home of British film for over 75 years. Here she is, with the Pinewood studio complex in the background. If you missed it, you can listen to the full programme here.

Anne at Pinewood

Two hands that shook Bette Davis' hand shook each other's today!

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Anne Diamond | 15:33 UK time, Monday, 12 September 2011

The most famous hand I have ever shaken (nervously) was Bette Davis's.


Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Kirk Douglas and Princess Diana come a close second - but Bette Davis was a screen legend like no other, and I grew up with her movies playing on TV every wet summer Saturday afternoon. My mum would say, "There's no such thing as a bad Bette Davis movie" and she was right.


Today I met another who has shaken the great (thin and bony) Bette Davis hand. He is Alec Mills, who was a cameraman on "Death On The Nile".

He said they all lined up to meet her first time, rather like a royal line-up at a movie premiere. The director said simply, "Welcome, Bet!" She brought him up sharp. "My name is Bette Davis, or Miss Davis, thank you."

More stories like that, I hope, on Wednesday when I'm presenting my BBC Radio Berkshire show live from Pinewood studios. Looking forward to it.

The Walliams effect!

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Anne Diamond | 15:17 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011

David Walliams in the Thames

I remember when my dad (who flew Spitfires ) first flew in a helicopter. He was beaming all over his face because, he said, it was an entirely different experience from flying in a plane. He said it was like watching a map unfold beneath you.


That's exactly the feeling I've had this morning, while doing my radio show, and following the amazing David Walliams swim of the Thames. At the moment, he's swimming through Berkshire and, as he's passed through villages, locks and pub gardens, I've been chatting to people who've turned out to see him - from Caversham bridge earlier on, through Shiplake, and onto Henley. It has given me a real sense of the whole geography of our area - just like seeing a satellite map in your head!

Well done, Walliams - keep going! He'll soon be crawling past some very posh people's back gardens - from Rolf Harris (who called in this morning to ask when he should put on the kettle to make David a cuppa) to Parky, and Paul Daniels.

It's thirty years ago today....

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Anne Diamond | 15:00 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

greenham common women in 1983

..that the peace campaigners first arrived at Greenham Common and became one of the biggest events of the time, and the Cold War era.


Today I spoke to Kim Hope, who was one of the early protesters and said that the atmosphere was incredible, slightly scary at times, exciting and, now she looks back, she is proud to have been part of it.

I was explaing to my youngsters the other day what it was all about, and it was like describing a part of history they could barely grasp - what it was like living under the constant threat of a nuclear age.

Thirty years ago. Seems like yesterday!

I meet the man who designed the Batmobile!

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Anne Diamond | 15:00 UK time, Friday, 2 September 2011

Terry and Anne with a model of the Batmobile

He was the man entrusted by film director Tim Burton to design an "organic and sinister" car for the new Batman to drive in the 1989 Michael Keaton film. He's Terry Ackland-Snow who has been an Art Director at Pinewood and in the international movie industry since he started as a print boy and junior draughtsman in 1960.


His coolest movies include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Superman 2, Bond, Aliens, Batman and The Deep. Now he's started a film school teaching young people about the art department's work within the movie industry. "After having had such a fantastic and exciting career myself, I feel I want to put something back into the business" he says.

Terry joined me as part of my Berkshire film season, which continues over the next couple of weeks between 10 and 1 on BBC Radio Berkshire. And on the 14th September I will be live on set at Pinewood Film Studios.

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