Cilla Black Legend and Icon Gone at 72

Cilla Black dead at 72
Cilla Black, the legend and entertainment icon has died. The singer and television host died in Spain at the age of 72. Cilla’s agent confirmed the news of her death to the BBC. Spanish police have also verified that Black, real name Pricilla White, died of apparently natural causes in Estepona on the Costa del Sol.

Paul O’Grady who was Cilla’s best friend has talked of the mischief that he and Black got up to whenever they were together. Grady, who started his career as Lily Savage, met Cilla on Michael “Parky” Parkinson’s talk show and as he told the Daily Record, the two just “clicked.”

In 2014 ITV produced a mini series on the life and career of Cilla and she was played by Lincolnshire actress Sheridan Smith. When Smith heard about Cilla she immediately expressed her condolences to the family and her dismay at the news.

Cilla Black worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and carved out a career as a singer before becoming a fixture on English television. She presented Surprise Surprise! a popular program that ran for 15 seasons. The show first aired in 1984 and Cilla had presented 137 episodes by the time the show ended in 2001. She also presented the contestant dating show Blind Date which ran from 1985 to 2003. Ms. Black always held out hope that one of the couples who dated on the show would get married so she could go to the wedding. In 1993, one couple finally tied the knot and Cilla did indeed attend.

As well as hosting and presenting these two long running programs on British television, Cilla appeared on many other programs like game shows, variety programs and her own television show Cilla that ran from 1968 to 1976. Between 2004 and 2009 she appeared on her old pal Paul O’Grady’s show no less than six times and guest hosted one episode. She was also a regular fixture on Loose Women, doing 17 episodes in all.

Cilla was awarded the OBE in 1997 and was the holder of many industry awards. She was more than just a legendary performer and an English television icon, Cilla Black was an institution. She was adored by millions and as news of her death became known, her many professional friends rushed to pay tribute to a dear friend and talented entertainer.

Ms. Black was well known for her “down to earth” sensibility and being game for a laugh. O’Grady loves to tell of holding his best friend by her ankles as they entered a window to her home after she had locked herself out. Paul tells the story and adds that she was shouting “Surprise, Surprise” as people walked past.

It is fitting that on YouTube one can find a clip of an unbelievably young Cilla singing Anyone Who had a Heart live. It is also fitting that listening to her sing the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song that became a number one hit for the young Scouse entertainer still gives one goosebumps. That marvelous voice will be missed as will the marvelous personality that was Cilla Black, gone at 72, 2 August 2015. RIP Chuck.

Playstation 4 Phishing Scams Target PSN Already

Playstation 4 Phishing Scams Target PSN Already

On the day that reports are showing Playstation 4 doing well against the new Xbox One it has been reported that the new generation console has phishing scams that target PSN users already. Thus far the console wars have really been a “two horse race” between Sony and Microsoft, with Nintendo settling on tweaking software and emphasising game playability/popularity.

 

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem had a baby girl on the same day as the royal couple!

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem had a baby girl on the same day as the royal couple!

Where the Hell Did All These People Come From?

London 2012 banner at The Monument.
London 2012 banner at The Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it’s the first day of the 2012 Olympics. Folks are flying small or large national flags in front of their houses to show their patriotic support. London is theoretically packed with Olympian fans from countries around the globe and amazingly the weathermen accurately predicted that it would rain on the evening of the opening Olympic ceremonies.

I will readily admit that I’m more impressed by the accurate weather forecast than anything else that might be happening in London or anyplace else for that matter. I know that the press has been predicting that traffic down to (or up to, or across to depending where you live in the country) will be horrendously congested as folks flock to the games.

Well, I don’t know but I think a whole group of them have gotten lost and wound up in my neck of the woods.

I just went down to pick up a prescription that I then had to drop off to the pharmacy of my local Tesco Metro. For those of you who don’t live in England, the Tesco Metro is a mini version of the Tesco supermarket. And despite the friendly folks who work there, is a giant pain in the ass. It is conveniently located so that older (aka retired) folks can get the essentials for their homes. It is also almost always crowded. There seem to be an awful lot of old people where I live.

Today it was worse than ever. Because today it wasn’t just the old folks shopping, it was every bugger and his dog shopping. The queue to the tobacco kiosk, with it’s very popular lottery till and scratch-n-win tickets, was so long I thought maybe the kiosk was giving money or cigarettes away for free.

Amazingly, I dropped off my prescription, paid for it in advance, did some shopping, and walked to the local library (only to find it is closed on a Friday) and came back to collect my ‘drugs’ and the queue was sill ridiculously long. On top of that the Metro itself was suddenly ass-deep in people.

I felt like a linebacker trying to make a touchdown against a team that had ten times more players than the side I was on. Now I know it’s a Friday, the day that is traditionally a pay day. But surely in this day and age of monthly pay-checks and electronic banking and shopping not everyone is going to flock down to the nearest store.

I mean it’s summer people! You should be on holiday with your over-weight sunburned children, in-laws and grandparents. You should be at the seaside or at the English home-away-from-home, Spain (specifically Majorca) or at the very least Bognor Regis and complaining about the English weather. Not at the Metro around the corner from my house.

I think somebody put up a detour sign that funnelled all the Olympic traffic heading to London to the Metro. That’s the only explanation. It has to be, if that isn’t the reason, where the hell did all these people come from?

Hey! Maybe they are giving away money and cigarettes! I’d write some more on the subject, but I just remembered some things I forgot to get from the Metro.

First self service Tesco, St Albans, England Р...
First self service Tesco, St Albans, England Русский: Первый магазин самообслуживания Tesco, открытый в 1948 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Knew There Was Something Going On

The BBC News Magazine put this on their page today – A “super breed” of slugs has arrived from Spain, but are they a threat to the UK’s native slugs?

I knew there was something going on here. I’ve noticed that our back garden has been covered in slugs over the last few days. I am not talking about five or ten, I’m talking an amount of slugs that is reaching Biblical proportions.

I mentioned this to my daughter. “You always exaggerate.” This was said while she edited her latest video.  “The amount of slugs and snails goes up when it rains. You know that.” All this was said in a very calm “voice of reason” tone.

“Not like these.” I said. I was standing at my French doors looking into a garden covered with the slimy things. I stopped counting after twenty. And these puppies were huge.

The BBC article said they grew up to ten centimetres. I had to convert this via the net as I grew up in an inches and feet generation. So in real terms of measurement that is about four inches long!

So according to the article these monster Spanish slugs are a threat to the UK slug. My first reaction, well besides the I knew part, was good. Anything that gets rid of any slugs is a good thing surely.

But further reading, combined with my personal sightings of the disgusting creatures, gave me cause for concern. These Spanish ‘stealth’ slugs can out breed the English slug by a lot. The stealth slug reproduce “aggressively” pumping out about four hundred eggs per cycle.

Slugs, the article helpfully informs us, are cannibals. So the rapidly reproducing stealth slug is also introducing diseases and bacteria that is lethal the the UK slug. So not only are the Spanish slugs killing our slugs, but they are feeding on them as well. No wonder their numbers are growing.

The article also helpfully points out that as slugs are cannibalistic as their numbers increase they can cause road traffic accidents. How? Well so many of them cross the road that the surface gets slimy and cars lose traction.

Supposedly Norway has had a similar problem with the Spanish slug as well.

I’ve been looking out at my back garden this morning and checking to see if any more slugs have appeared. They seem to hide when the sun comes out, so it is difficult to see if the population has increased.

I working on a plan of action. I seem to remember my Grandmother telling me that salt gets rid of slugs. I might just give that a go. But I’m a little worried.

The Spanish slugs are so big, I’m afraid they might just be able to defend themselves. Hell, they could even attack when threatened.

If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know they got me.