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The ultimate anthology of theatrical anecdotes, edited by lifelong theatre-lover Gyles Brandreth in the Oxford tradition, and providing a wonderfully entertaining and revealing portrait of the world of the theatre across four hundred years.
One good thing about a recession is that we need to go back to making our own fun. Games are in the Brandreths' blood, they have spent thousands of weekends and rainy holidays playing them and now Gyles, Saethryd and eight-year-old Rory want to share the very best with you. THE LOST ART OF HAVING FUN picks out over 250 games, guaranteed to make even the grumpiest child or adult laugh, and then with all kinds of interesting stories and lovely illustrations, it shows you clearly (and very entertainingly) how to play them. There are classic parlour games alongside all kinds of interesting ones you might not have come across yet. Nine chapters cover pretty much every eventuality: Rainy Day Games, Car Journey, Analogue Fun in a Digital World, Music and Drama, Word Games and Brainteasers, Racing Games, Party Games (split between children's birthday parties and dinner parties), Country House Weekend and last but not least Seasonal Games: Christmas, New Year and Easter. Forget consoles and board games, this beautiful book is all you need. And Queen Victoria (whose favourite games are here too) would be amused. Very amused.
Case Closed is Arthur Conan Doyle's account of the events of 1894, the year of the return of Jack the Ripper. Based on Oscar Wilde's real-life friendship with Conan Doyle and the extraordinary but little-known fact that in 1894 the detective in charge of the Jack the Ripper investigations was Oscar Wilde's neighbour in Tite Street, Chelsea.
In OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL, the sixth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, Reading Gaol's most famous prisoner is pitted against a ruthless and fiendishly clever serial killer. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith It is 1897, Dieppe. Oscar Wilde, poet, playwright, novelist, raconteur and ex-convict, has fled the country after his release from Reading Gaol. Tonight he is sharing a drink and the story of his cruel imprisonment with a mysterious stranger. He has endured a harsh regime: the treadmill, solitary confinement, censored letters, no writing materials. Yet even in the midst of such deprivation, Oscar's astonishing detective powers remain undiminished - and when first a brutal warder and then the prison chaplain are found murdered, who else should the governor turn to for help other than Reading Gaol's most celebrated inmate?In this, the latest novel in his acclaimed Oscar Wilde murder mystery series, Gyles Brandreth takes us deep into the dark heart of Wilde's cruel incarceration.
In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle, exhausted by his creation Sherlock Holmes, retires to the spa at Bad Homburg. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and when the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries amongst the portmanteau of fan mail Conan Doyle has brought to answer - a severed finger, a lock of hair and finally an entire severed hand - the game is once more afoot. The trail leads to Rome, to the very heart of the Eternal City, the Vatican itself. Pope Pius IX has just died. These are uncertain times. To uncover the mystery and why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Oscar and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church - seven men who have a very great deal to lose.
In OSCAR WILDE AND THE NEST OF VIPERS, the fourth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, the Prince of Wales asks Oscar to investigate a scandalous crime at the very heart of Victorian high society. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith The story opens in the spring of 1890 at a glamorous reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. All London's haut monde is there, including the Prince of Wales, who counts the Albemarles as close friends. Although it is the first time Oscar and Bertie have met, Oscar seems far more interested in Rex LaSalle, a young actor, who disarmingly claims to be a vampire.However, what begins as a diverting evening ends in tragedy. As the guests are leaving, the Duchess is found murdered, two tiny puncture marks in her throat. No one has entered the house; no one has left. Desperate to avoid another scandal, the Prince of Wales asks Oscar to investigate the crime. What he discovers threatens to destroy the very heart of the Royal Family.
This is a diary packed with famous names and extraordinary stories. It is also rich in incidental detail and wonderful observation, providing both a compelling record of five remarkable decades and a revealing, often hilarious and sometimes moving account of Gyles Brandreth's unusual life -- as a child living in London in the 'swinging' sixties, as a jumper-wearing TV presenter, as an MP and government whip, and as a royal biographer who has enjoyed unique access to the Queen and her family. Something Sensational to Read on the Train takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride from the era of Dixon of Dock Green to the age of The X Factor, from the end of the farthing to the arrival of the euro, from the Britain of Harold Macmillan and the Notting Hill race riots to the world of Barack Obama and Lewis Hamilton. With a cast list that runs from Richard Nixon and Richard Branson to Gordon Brown and David Cameron -- and includes princes, presidents and pop stars, as well as three archbishops and any number of actresses -- this is a book for anyone interested in contemporary history, politics and entertainment, royalty, gossip and life itself.
The latest in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle. Paris, 1883. Oscar Wilde, aged twenty-seven, has come to the city of decadence to discover its charms, to rekindle his friendship with the divine Sarah Bernhardt and to collaborate with France's most celebrated actor-manager, Edmond La Grange. Oscar discovers dark secrets lying at the heart of the La Grange company, and is confronted by murders both foul and bizarre. To solve the crimes, to unravel the mystery, Oscar risks his life -- and his reputation -- embarking on a dangerous adventure that takes him from bohemian night clubs to an asylum for the insane, from a duel in the Buttes de Chaumont to the gates of Reading Gaol.
'I see murder in this unhappy hand...' When Mrs Robinson, palmist to the Prince of Wales, reads Oscar Wilde's palm she cannot know what she has predicted. Nor can Oscar know what he has set in motion when, that same evening, he proposes a game of 'Murder' in which each of his Sunday Supper Club guests must write down those whom they would like to kill. For the fourteen 'victims' begin to die mysteriously, one by one, and in the order in which their names were drawn from the bag...With growing horror, Wilde and his confidantes Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle, realise that one of their guests that evening must be the murderer. In a race against time, Wilde will need all his powers of deduction and knowledge of human behaviour before he himself -- the thirteenth name on the list -- becomes the killer's next victim.
London, 1889. Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age. All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark, stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder. With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime -- but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms and the bohemian demi-monde to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in their investigation of what turns out to be a series of brutal killings. The Oscar Wilde Murders is a gripping detective story of corruption and intrigue, of Wilde's growing success, of the breakdown of his marriage, and of his fatal friendship with Aidan Fraser, Inspector at Scotland Yard...Set against the exotic background of fin-de-siecle London, Paris, Oxford and Edinburgh, Gyles Brandreth recreates Oscar Wilde's trademark sardonic wit with huge flair, intertwining all the intrigue of the classic English murder mystery with a compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.
'No matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor but honest.' Only words can do that. Words are magic. Words are fun.Join Gyles Brandreth - wit and word-meister, Just A Minute regular, One Show reporter, denizen of Countdown's Dictionary Corner, founder of the National Scrabble Championships, patron of The Queen's English Society, QI, Room 101, Have I Got News For You and Pointless survivor - on an uproarious and unexpected magic carpet ride around the awesome world of words and wordplay.Puns, palindromes, pangrams, Malaprops, euphemisms, mnemonics, acronyms, anagrams, alphabeticals, Tweets, verbiage, verbarrhea - if you can name it, you should find it here, along with the longest, shortest, wittiest, wildest, oldest, latest, oddest, most interesting and most memorable words in the English language - the richest, most remarkable language ever known.
"e;Brandreth is the true Samuel Pepys of our day."e; Andrew Neil, BBC Radio Five Live "e;Brandreth, for my money, offers about the most honest, and the most amusing, account of the demented, beery futility of the Tory-ruled Commons in the 1990s."e; Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph "e;Hilariously acute ... Irresistible."e; Matthew d'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph "e;Extremely touching ... Brandreth emerges as a decent, amusing, talented and charming man."e; Simon Heffer, Daily Mail "e;As a witty and insightful chronicler ... Brandreth is unsurpassed."e; Michael Simmons, The Spectator Gyles Brandreth's revealing journal paints an extraordinary portrait of Whitehall and Westminster in our time - warts and all. Brandreth - MP for Chester and government whip - enjoyed a ringside seat at the great political events of the 1990s, from the fall of Margaret Thatcher to the election of Tony Blair. With candid descriptions of the key figures of the era, from the leading players to the ministers who fell from grace, and a cast that includes the Queen, Bill Clinton and Joanna Lumley, these widely acclaimed diaries provide a fascinating insight into both the reality of modern government and the bizarre life of a parliamentary candidate and new MP. Controversially, Breaking the Code also contains the first ever insider's account of the hitherto secret world that is the Government Whips' Office. This new, complete edition features material previously excised for legal reasons, as well as additional diaries that take the story on another ten years to the departure of Tony Blair and the arrival as Tory leader of David Cameron - a bright young hopeful when Brandreth first meets him in 1993.
Gyles Brandreth, acclaimed biographer of the Queen and Prince Philip, presents a unique portrait of their son, Charles, Prince of Wales, and of the one 'non-negotiable' love of his life, Camilla Shand, now Duchess of Cornwall. What are Charles and Camilla really like?
Become a dazzling wit or enjoy a good laugh with this entertaining collection of humorous quotations, carefully handpicked and edited by writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. From Art to Bores, Tennis to Wine, this little dictionary contains over 2,700 of the best quotations, from witty one-liners and funny phrases to pithy comments and unintended humour. If you live to be one hundred you've got it made. Very few people die past that age. - George BurnsI thought coq au vin was love in a lorry. - Victoria WoodChampagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie-detector. - Graham GreeneThe trouble with a book is that you never know what's in it until it's too late. - Jeanette Winterson
This is the ultimate anthology of theatrical anecdotes, edited by lifelong theatre-lover Gyles Brandreth in the Oxford tradition, and covering every kind of theatrical story and experience from the age of Shakespeare and Marlowe to the age of Stoppard and Mamet, from Richard Burbage to Richard Briers, from Nell Gwynn to Daniel Day-Lewis, from Sarah Bernhardt to Judi Dench. Players, playwrights, prompters, producers-they all feature. The Oxford Book of Theatrical Anecdotes provides a comprehensive, revealing, and hugely entertaining portrait of the world of theatre across four hundred years. Many of the anecdotes are humorous: all have something pertinent and illuminating to say about an aspect of theatrical life-whether it is the art of playwriting, the craft of covering up missed cues, the drama of the First Night, the nightmare of touring, or the secret ingredients of star quality. Edmund Kean, Henry Irving, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Ellen Terry, Edith Evans, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren-the great 'names' are all here, of course, but there are tales of the unexpected, too-and the unknown. This is a book-presented in five acts, with a suitably anecdotal and personal prologue from Gyles Brandreth-where, once in a while, the understudy takes centre-stage and Gyles Brandreth treats triumph and disaster just the same, including stories from the tattiest touringcompanies as well as from Broadway, the West End and theatres, large and small, in Australia, India, and across Europe.
All six episodes of the BBC radio comedy about two chalk-and-cheese flatmatesNick Reynolds is a lefty alternative comedian-turned-holistic therapist. Living on the floor below him is Gyles Brandon, an ex-Tory MP turned media darling. Poles apart, they'd never choose each other as friends, but when Nick accidentally floods Gyles' apartment, they become reluctant flat-sharers.Joined by Gyles' goddaughter Sophie Okuyu, the spoilt daughter of a corrupt African politician, the housemates get into various scrapes, including plotting to seek revenge on Gyles' ex-wife, trying to curry favour (and make some money) at a swanky Mayfair art gallery, and going on a celebratory night out which swiftly turns to disaster...Written by and starring Gyles Brandreth as Gyles and Nick Revell as Nick, this Odd Couple story was inspired by a chance meeting between the pair at the Edinburgh Festival, where they hit it off despite being political opposites. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Black Mirror) plays Sophie, and guest stars include Prunella Scales, Timothy West, Martin Jarvis and Neil Pearson.CastGyles Brandon - Gyles BrandrethNick Reynolds - Nick RevellSophie Okuyu - Gugu Mbatha-RawGeorge Carstairs - Martin JarvisTaxi driver/Goon - Nathan CatonMr Longstaff/ Richard Dowdeswell/Piers/Brian/Barry - Martin HyderShop assistant - Alys TorranceMrs Woodman - Prunella ScalesMr Woodman - Timothy WestCharles Danbury - Nickolas GraceJana - Maria McErlaneImmigration officer/Asif - Dan MershOlga - Barunka O'ShaughnessyRick - Neil PearsonWritten by Nick Revell and Gyles BrandrethProduced by Ed MorrishBA: Pamela NorrisStudio Managers: Alick Hale-Monro & Gary NewmanArchive BA: Kevin GordonTheme music composed and performed by Ben Walker
Gyles Brandreth hat das definitive Buch uber Charles und Camilla geschrieben, uber die ungewohnlichste Liebesgeschichte unserer Zeit. Brandreth, Intimus des britischen Konigshauses, entwirft das authentische Portrat der Beziehung zwischen dem Prince of Wales und der Frau seines Lebens. Alle Welt glaubt sie zu kennen, aber wie sind Charles und Camilla wirklich? Welches Erbe hat sie gepragt? Und wie wurden sie zu denen, die sie heute sind?Eine Familiengeschichte, die ihresgleichen sucht - erzhlt mit einzigartigem Insider-Wissen und typisch britischem Humor von dem Mann, der die Schlsselfiguren in dem Drama allesamt selbst treffen durfte: Charles, Camilla, Diana, ihre Kinder, Familien und Freunde. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine frhere Ausgabe.)
Paris, 1883. Oscar Wilde, aged twenty-seven, has come to the city of decadence to discover its charms, to rekindle his friendship with the divine Sarah Bernhardt, and to collaborate with France's most celebrated actor-manager, Edmond La Grange. Oscar discovers dark secrets lying at the heart of the La Grange company, and is confronted by murders both foul and bizarre. To solve the crimes, to unravel the mystery, Oscar risks his life-and his reputation-embarking on a dangerous adventure that takes him from bohemian night clubs to an asylum for the insane, from a duel in the Buttes de Chaumont to the gates of Reading Gaol.
In this complete collection of episodes from series 82 of Just a Minute, Nicholas Parsons invites guests to try to speak for 60 seconds on a variety of subjects such as George V, favourite breakfast eateries, canals, bad apples and pasta.With panellists including Paul Merton, Sheila Hancock, Jan Ravens, Tony Hawkes, Gyles Brandreth and Zoe Lyons, this series shows just why Just a Minute has been entertaining generations of listeners since its first series in 1967. Who can talk for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation from the subject? Find out as we play Just a Minute!(C) 2019 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd; (P) 2019 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
London, 1889. Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright, and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age. All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder. With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime-but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in the investigation of what turns out to be a series of brutal killings. Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance is a classic murder mystery in the tradition of Dorothy L. Sayers and Arthur Conan Doyle.