NEW YORK—Desperate fans of the recently concluded television series Lost are speculating that the program is continuing on in a parallel dimension somewhere, and that alternate versions of showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are currently writing new episodes of the series. “It’s very possible that a sideways world running concurrent to our own exists, and that a facsimile of myself is happy, fulfilled, and already gearing up for the season seven premiere of Lost,” said 36-year-old Kevin Molinaro, who, along with more than 20 million other hopeless fans, has recently booked multiple roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Australia in hopes of traveling through a vortex in the space-time continuum. “I just have to find a way to get there. We all do.” According to data from Google analytics, searches for “How to build/detonate/use a hydrogen bomb to open up a multidimensional wormhole” have increased 10 millionfold since the episode aired.
At 122 seconds, it is one of the longest adverts ever shown.
Advertising the little brown Hovis loaf, which was first sold 122 years ago, it follows a 13-year-old boy through 12 decades of British history and will be shown for the first time on Friday, in the middle of ITV’s Coronation Street.
This scene is one stop on the boy’s extraordinary journey and vividly brings a bustling Victorian street back to life.
Here, historians Nigel Jones and Lawrence James explain the detail behind the opening street scene.
Top hats – known as ‘stovepipes’ – first appeared in the 18th century and were an upper middle-class status symbol.
Their most famous populariser was diminutive Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who wore specially tall ones to compensate for his lack of height.
The best and most expensive hats were made from the pelts of Canadian beavers.
Bowlers were originally the headgear of lowly Victorian clerks and foremen.
Mass-produced, they were cheaper than top hats but more upmarket than cloth caps.
Cloth caps, made from off-cuts, meanwhile-were the typical badge of the working class.
When Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party, entered Parliament in 1892, he wore one (actually a Sherlock Holmes-style deer stalker) – as a defiant sign that the working man had finally arrived.
Women’s fashions in the Victorian era with whalebone corsets tied so tight they led to fainting fits, reflected the female role as submissive wife and mother.
But Victoria’s death in 1901 led to the freeing of fashions – and the rise of women’s rights.
2 GAS LAMPS
When Victoria became Queen in 1837, street lighting was in its infancy and only middle-class urban areas had methane gas lamps, lit every day at dusk by a lamplighter using a long pole with a wick at the end.
Lighting spread only slowly, however, and by 1888 when Jack the Ripper committed his serial sex murders in the streets of Whitechapel, his crimes were conveniently cloaked in the gloom that still covered working-class slums.
After the murders, Victoria herself suggested lighting up the East End, but by the end of her reign in 1901, street lighting was still patchy and even Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes said he always carried a revolver when east of London’s Aldgate after dark.
3 DRAY HORSES
Horses were the only practical means of transport in cities.
Drays stood six feet at the shoulder and were specially bred to supply the thousands of urban pubs with beer barrels.
Coal, bread and milk churns were also delivered daily by horse and cart.
The drayman who worked the horse and cart was an unskilled labourer who could expect to be paid up to £1 per day, plus regular rations of beer as an extra perk.
The horses, when they retired, were less fortunate. They were sent to the knacker’s yard and boiled down to make glue.
The first cars appeared on Britain’s streets in 1895, but were still very rare at the turn of the century, while the first motorised taxis began to appear in 1900, replacing London’s 7,000 ‘hansom cabs’ – named after designer Joseph Hansom, who patented it in 1834 – which were drawn by a single horse.
4 THE STREET
Victorian thoroughfares, which were mostly cobbled, were filthy and strewn with dung from horses and the rotting produce that had fallen off the countless delivery carts.
In fact, people were officially encouraged to collect the dung to manure their gardens, and street urchins would often do so, selling it on for a small fee.
There were also plenty of unofficial street cleaners and if a lady passed by, gangs of children would offer to sweep a clean path across a road for a halfpenny.
Leather tanneries, breweries and factories all contributed to the vile smell.
In 1858, London suffered the Great Stink, when the pong became overwhelming.
Parliament was forced to adjourn because of the overpowering stench from the nearby Thames, which served as London’s main sewer.
Four years earlier, in 1854, a cholera epidemic in Soho killed 616 people within a few days.
Joseph Bazalgette, chief engineer to London’s Board of Works, subsequently persuaded Parliament to stump up the cash to build a network of sewers under the capital. This network of sewers is still operating today.
Nearly all working-class homes relied on candles for light.
There were candlemakers – or ironmongers, where candles were also sold – on every high street. A pack of 12 cost 1d.
Candles were made not from the perfumed beeswax of today, but from tallow – animal fat – the evil aroma of which contributed to the smell of Victorian slum tenements.
6 SADDLERY AND BOOTMAKERS
In the age when the horse was all important, saddlers did a roaring trade.
Not only making saddles, bridles and reins, but repairing wornout equipment, too.
Bootmakers sometimes doubled as saddlers, selling new shoes as well as cobbling and repairing old ones.
Both got their leather, which was generally cow hide, from the numerous urban tanneries and contributed to the stink.
Unscrupulous butchers would often paint meat with red lead (a dye) to make it look fresher and shiny. Unfortunately, the appetising effect would have soon worn off, leaving those who consumed it feeling sick – and possibly badly poisoned.
Pork was not the only food to be contaminated with chemicals to make it look better.
In 1855, a Sanitary Commission report found red lead and ochre contaminating cayenne pepper, and copper and chlorate of lead in sweets and preserved fruits.
Milk and beer were often diluted with water.
The average weekly wage for an unskilled labourer was about 80 shillings, or £4 (about £7 in modern money – although you got much more for your cash then).
In 1899, Quaker philanthropist Seebohm Rowntree, calculated that a poor working man could afford only to spend 3 shillings a week on meat.
With a pig costing 10 shillings, pork was expensive and most customers would buy only the occasional slice of bacon, sold as ‘butcher’s bits’ and chopped up on a dirty and often flyblown wooden block outside the shop.
Game, such as the pheasants and rabbits in this picture, was cheaper and more readily available. A rabbit cost just 3d and a pheasant 2 shillings.
The 1882 Game Law insisted that every butcher that sold game had a licence and bought meat from a legitimate farmer.
Poaching was still rife, however, although the penalties were harsh. A poacher could expect six months in jail if caught.
Geese, meanwhile, were pricey and were generally bought for special occasions, such as Christmas.
Because it was so hard to keep food fresh, and meat generally had to be eaten immediately, people often shopped on a daily basis.
Urban Victorians ate a huge amount of meat but little fruit and vegetables.
Predominantly, as suggested by this picture, they ate potatoes and some cabbage.
The words are unclear in this photo but this sign actually offers a bounty of two guineas to those volunteering for service in the Royal Navy.
Such notices would have been a common sight – the Services were always short of men in the Victorian era.
The Press Gang – the brutal practice of using gangs of seamen to kidnap able-bodied men for forced service at sea had been abolished after the Napoleonic wars ended in 1815.
Two guineas – around £2.10 – would have been an incentive at the time but was often spent on alcohol – it would have bought about eight bottles of whisky.
As an extra inducement, sailors at sea were entitled to a daily dram of ‘grog’ – watered down rum.
Soldiers who survived the imperial campaigns and retired were paid a pension of a ha’penny a day – 4p a day in today’s money.
Tasteless … tacky bathroom with David model and swan taps
Yep, love it or loathe it, the endless TV marathon/drivel (delete where applicable) that is Big Brother returns to our screens on June 5.
And a first glimpse at the new set proves that all that glitters definitely isn’t gold.
The garish, bling-ridden bathroom looks like the place Liberace went to die.
Festooned with gilded swan taps, flowers, champagne bottles and a bronze cast of Michaelangelo’s David, the entire room is done up with a marble effect last seen in Dorian’s Chigwell home in Birds Of A Feather.
Golden swan tap
What I can say? HORRIBLE!!!
Eyes-spy … new entrance for BB9
House arrest … cell-like rooms
The housemates will get another shock when they see the shared bedroom, which looks more like an Eastern Bloc jail cell.
It has “locker” walls and eight beds shared between 12 housemates, each kitted out with scratchy wool blankets.
With any luck the grime-glitz contrast will drive inmates mad within days.
In another twist, show bosses have built the bathroom next to the lounge.
A source tells us: “There’s a huge window between the bathroom and the lounge, so you’ll be able to see everyone. It’s going to be highly pervy.”
The finalists were picked late last week.
Dip-sticks … pool in the garden
Fun in the sun … garden
Bleak bedroom … ’locker’ walls and scratchy blankets
Dinner’s red-dy … cooking area
GruBB’s up … dining table
In pictures: Big Brother 9 contestants enter the house
In pictures: Meet the Big Brother 9 housemates
BIG BROTHER 9 start date confirmed: 5th June
UK Big Brother 9 mad House Unveiled
Who’ll be sitting in this BB9 Diary Room chair?
Meet the UK’s new TV Gladiators!!!
Sky One I Gladiators Ready, Exclusive pre-view
Sky One | Gladiators Ready! New UK Series (May 2008)
Watch Video Here: Meet the UK’s new TV Gladiators!!!
The 12 new bicep-bulging Gladiators wearing their uniform Lycra have been unveiled ahead of their appearance in the revamped TV series.
Battleaxe, Destroyer, Inferno, and Predator are among the fighting machines who will make their show debut next month.
At its peak, Gladiators, broadcast from 1992 to 2000, drew audiences of 14 million to its Saturday evening ITV slot with characters such as Trojan, Jet, Nightshade and Hunter becoming household names.
Richard Woolfe, Sky One director of programming, said: “The games are bigger, the contenders are stronger and the Gladiators are even more unbelievable.
“We’ve found extraordinary characters. It’s a colossus of a programme and it’s going to blow people’s socks off.”
Presenters Ian Wright and Kirsty Gallacher are the new John Fashanu and Ulrika Jonsson, while original referee John Anderson returns.
Producers have whittled down 20,000 hopefuls to 32 contenders who will take on the Gladiators in challenges such as Duel, Powerball, Hang Tough and The Eliminator for the £50,000 prize.
The new presenters are Kirsty Gallacher and Ian Wright while original referee John Anderson (centre) returns
The Gladiators are:
1: OBLIVION – Nicholas Aldis, 21, Norwich – “Leaves nothing in his path – extinguishes his opposition.”
2: BATTLEAXE – Shirley Webb, 26, Edinburgh – “A weapon of war, domineering, aggressive and indomitable. Battleaxe is a warrior queen.”
3: ATLAS – Sam Bond, 24, Bournemouth – “As strong as He-Man, fights hard and with dignity.”
4: ENIGMA – Jenny Pacey, 25, Borehamwood – “Mysterious and beautiful, contradictory and unpredictable, impossible to capture.”
5: PANTHER – Kara Nwidobie, 26, Morecambe – “Beautiful, sleek, aggressive and powerful. Panther is the strongest and fiercest of the wild cats.”
6: TEMPEST – Lucy Boggis, 19, Quintin, Wiltshire – “Naturally beautiful, a force of nature bringing furious agitation and commotion.”
7: TORNADO – David McIntosh, 22, Altrincham – “Violently destructive windstorm full of unstoppable energy – leaves you in a spin.”
8: ICE – Caroline Pearce, 27, Cambridge – “Cold, steely, frosty and beautiful.”
9: PREDATOR – Du’aine Ladejo, 36, Newark – “Volatile, quick and poisonous, hunts down prey and takes no prisoners.
10: INFERNO – Jemma Palmer, 24, Tamworth – “Hot, fiery, dangerous and destructive.”
11: SPARTAN – Roderick Bradley, 24, Grantham -“Handsome, disciplined and brave. Will take on any army – the perfect warrior.”
12: DESTROYER Damar Martin, 38, Croydon – “Determined and strong, angry and unstoppable – nothing gets in his way.”
So what do you think of the new Gladiators? And how do they stack up against the original British gladiators, such as Rhino, Wolf, Jet, Hunter and Shadow?
And more importantly: if you were a gladiator, what would you be called?
Watch Video Here: Meet the UK’s new TV Gladiators!!!
1.30pm – Sky One put on a very impressive, and expensive, press launch for the show in east London this morning on a mini Gladiators arena.
Sky One controller Richard Woolfe, ever the showman, appeared out of a mist of dry ice to a raging cry of “Woolfe ready!” Unfortunately, he was not wearing spandex, although he was carrying a large pugil stick.
Each gladiator was then introduced to banging music, pyrotechnics and bursts of very hot fire which nearly took out the guy who does those videos on Holy Moly!
As each gladiator came on, they tried to look as fierce as possible and then did their special “move”.
Here are some of my notes:
Destroyer – “Can barely walk because of huge thighs.”
Atlas – “Extremely big. Shaved chest.”
Spartan – “Comes on to extremely camp music.”
Battleaxe – “A look of fear in her eyes.”
I think I slightly upset Battleaxe when I asked her how she felt about picking the short straw when it came to names. “It is growing on me,” she said, putting a brave face on things.
Atlas is definitely lining up to be the big head of the group (which is ironic, given that his head looks pretty small compared to his huge body). The Hunter look-a-like told us: “Every man trembles in my wake. I will be following on from Hunter in my performance. Hunter was the best. I hope to perform as well as him.”
Tornado is in the Royal Marines and has been given six months off to do the show. He admits it will be good publicity for the military and is planning to return to the forces after the show.
More random stuff – the gladiators were only allowed to tell their nearest and dearest today that they were going to be on the show after being sworn to secrecy; they didn’t choose their names themselves but were told what they would be called; they were each randomly drug tested before being chosen for the show and will be given surprise tests throughout the series (so if one suddenly disappears we will know why).
Some of the gladiators are so huge that my whole body could fit into one of their thighs – and I’m thinking of Destroyer here who, despite being the oldest (and he wasn’t too happy about me asking about that), is also the biggest.
Watch Video Here: Meet the UK’s new TV Gladiators!!!
Elave skin care products are being promoted by Irish company Ovelle Pharmaceuticals in a risque viral campaign featuring nude actors. A blonde woman, without clothes, tells the viewer about the safe quality of Elave skin care products, developed with the most reactive skin conditions in mind; eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Lab technicians , male and female, in the background wander around totally naked, apparently without any sense of self-consciousness.
The video, featuring nude women and men, is online at www.nothing-to-hide.co.uk. The Elave web site states, “We stand behind our skin care products, so much so that we are prepared to go naked to prove it.” Viewers are asked to indicate that they are 18 or over. No doubt versions used in television broadcasting will be censored in some way – which would make it difficult to say ‘nothing to hide’.
Responses to the Elave campaign are just starting to filter on to the internet. Some say that this is gratuitous nudity, an unnecessary attempt to get the attention of online viewers. Others tip their hats to the courage and nerve of the company to take the risk. There is certainly a link between the sensitive skin angle and the exposure of breasts and genitals – the body parts most sensitive. The actors in the ad do not exhibit any ’sexual behaviour’ towards one another, though it could be argued that the woman with the test tube is playing with innuendo.
The Elave Nothing To Hide campaign was developed by Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand. Filming (in New Zealand) was directed by Brendan Donovan via Prodigy, New Zealand. Post production was done at Images Post. Film crew also went nude to put the cast at ease.
Joanna Gardener, of Ovelle Pharmaceuticals, appears in the advertisement, behind a laptop.
“As a mother of three children, I didn’t think I was the right choice for the front of the advert so we went for someone a bit easier on the eye,” Ms Gardener told The Daily Mail on Saturday.
Ovelle has seen a 500 per cent rise in sales, both online and in the High Street, since the campaign was launched on May 5.