People

Rosemary Friedman writes a humorous play about grief

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Heartache can be humorous, according to North London writer Rosemary Friedman. The 79-year-old’s latest play, An Eligible Man, is a comedy of grief. It opened at Hampstead’s New End Theatre last week for an exclusive six-week run. The play features a widowed circuit judge, left lonely and totally unprepared to cope after his wife dies, before being pursued by three different women — each one representing an attribute of his late wife.

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Jacques Azagury is smelling success with his new perfume

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Victoria Beckham, Madonna and Ronan Keating have done it, and now evening-wear designer Jacques Azagury is getting in on the act. The Casablanca-born fashionista has created his own perfume. He launched the signature scent, Azagury, at a party he hosted at Selfridges London store last month.


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Martyn Dias is building a king-sized career as Elvis Shmelvis

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Martyn Dias has spent much of his professional career trying to be someone else. The 46-year-old is a professional Elvis Presley impersonator.

Known as Elvis Shmelvis, Mr Dias scooped £500 in a European Elvis-impersonating competition, held at the Rendezvous Casino in Brighton last month.

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Jeff Peters has found a charitable way to stir the British towards better cooking

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

Gordon RamsAy and Jamie Oliver are not the only ones trying to do something about the state of British cooking. Former Michelin-star chef Jeff Peters, who has worked with Mr Ramsay, has some strong concerns — and plans — of his own.

Mr Peters, 38, believes people no longer know how to cook, unlike previous generations. “We are living in an age of convenience,” says Mr Peters, who spent the 1990s as a chef in Claridge’s and The Square. “It is worrying, because we will lose the art of cooking, for instance if children see their parents getting takeaways.”

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Nicole Davis is having a pop at the UK music charts

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

American-born Nicole Davis is hoping to make her mark on the UK music scene. Miss Davis, known as Nicol, is about to release her debut single Everybody Knows.

Her music, which has been compared with Sheryl Crow’s, has been commissioned by Sony for a show called Sofia’s Diary, currently broadcasting on AOL’s recent acquisition, Bebo.com.

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Deborah Pearlman fears for the future of children’s television

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Children are missing out on crucial learning opportunities as companies make cuts in television programme production, warns former script editor Deborah Pearlman, who worked on the award-winning Tracy Beaker series.

Miss Pearlman, 35, has specialised in children’s television drama for the past five years and supervised scripts for the BBC’s Grange Hill, EastEnders and Byker Grove.

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Martin Baum decides that Shakespeare would read better as: ‘To be or not to be, innit’

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Satirist Martin Baum is concerned that schoolchildren are daunted by William Shakespeare’s works. So — gadzooks! — he has re-written the playwright’s collection entirely in “yoof-speak”, in the hope that the slang will appeal to a younger audience.

Mr Baum’s book, To Be or Not To Be, Innit, includes Macbeff and Two Geezas of Verona, among 15 abridged versions of Shakespeare’s work. It is an Amazon bestseller, and chat-show hosts Graham Norton and Paul O’Grady have requested copies of the book for their shows.

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Elliot Cohen and Philip Geller take their clothes-recycling business into the premier league with an award from the Queen

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

When the late Israel Cohen and his son Gerald started a used clothing company in Manchester in 1959, they did not envisage a royal accolade and congratulations from the Prime Minister 49 years on.

But I & G Cohen, still a family business and now collecting clothes, shoes and textiles in Britain for foreign export, has now received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, endorsed by Gordon Brown.

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Ellie Levenson fights to make the morning-after pill more readily available

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Women are being patronised by not being given the opportunity to buy emergency contraception in advance of needing it, according to journalist Ellie Levenson, 29.

Last week, Ms Levenson launched the Women Are Not Stupid campaign — together with an e-petition — to urge the government to make the morning-after pill available from pharmacists on demand, in advance. At the moment, it is at the discretion of each pharmacy.

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Professor Joan Freeman has advice for parents of child geniuses: for their benefit, let them grow up in their own time

By Candice Krieger, April 25, 2008

Children who are accelerated beyond their year group at school are likely to experience social problems later on in life, according to the psychologist Joan Freeman.

Professor Freeman has spent more than 30 years researching gifted children, and Channel 4 has just been highlighting her work. She was also recently given a lifetime achievement award by the British Psychological Society.

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