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Quotations from P G Wodehouse are copyright of, and reprinted by permission of, the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate © 2015 The P G Wodehouse Society (UK)

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These are interesting cuttings from recent press articles or comments on the same, plus other items of interest from television, the arts or the media in general

The world of Henry Blofeld, cricket broadcaster

The Telegraph Magazine in the Daily Telegraph, on Saturday 16th July 2011, contained a two-page article on Henry Blofeld OBE, who is a Patron of this Society. It covered many areas of his life and personal interests such as journalism, eating, wine, Norfolk family background, music tastes and so on, along with a number of photographs.

There was also a small section on Henry's favourite author, PG Wodehouse. He says; "I've loved PG Wodehouse all my life - my father introduced me to him when I was very young. I think he's the greatest English writer. I did have all the first editions but I sold them when I lost some money; the last one of that collection I sold last month at Christie's, but I still have his books, including this one, on my shelves." There was a colour picture of an old edition of A Pelican at Blandings in a rather nice dustcover, in the background could be seen an edition of Wisden!

Written in Stone - English Heritage's PGW Blue Plaque

As many of you may know there is an English Heritage blue paque, in Dunraven Street, Mayfair, labelling a house "P.G.Wodehouse, 1881 - 1975, Writer, lived here". In the Weekend section of the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 18th June 2011, the lead article entitled "Written in Stone", by Christopher Middleton, looked at how a house with history can add value to the property. He cited a number of properties where this was the case, including Bleak House in Broadstairs, where Dickens often stayed and where he wrote much of David Copperfield.

He also quoted Melanie Backe-Hanson, a house historian, as saying "On another occasion, I was researching a house that used to belong to P G Wodehouse [in Dunraven Street, Mayfair] and found reports of a most un-Jeeves-and-Wooster-like murder that had taken place nearby, where a butler had cut his master's throat. One neighbour reported seeing the butler walking around the house holding a candlestick, completely naked, so as not to get blood on his clothes."

I've never seen Star Wars on BBC Radio 4, week of 17th April 2011

The humorous radio programme, so named because the presenter Marcus Brigstocke has never seen Star Wars, this week featured as his guest the comedian Sanjeev Baskar. In it Sanjeev was invited to try five things he's never done before, including reading PG Wodehouse. Sanjeev makes a number of interesting and funny observations on Wodehouse's style of writing. It even features the two of them playing Jeeves and Wooster by reading from Carry on Jeeves. It is well worth listening to this programme; the Wodehouse section is between minutes 19 and 24; simply click here and then click on "Listen now".

Important Signed Photo of Wodehouse up for Auction

Bonhams of London have just contacted us with news of an important signed photograph of Plum coming up for auction soon. Here are the details:

Bonhams’ upcoming auction Papers and Portraits (The Roy Davids Collection Part II) contains a portrait of P G Wodehouse by Florence Mason, thought to be the earliest surviving signed photograph of Wodehouse. It is lot 255 in the sale. For more details click here.

The sale will take place in Bonhams, New Bond Street, London on Tuesday 29th March 2011, all lots will be on public view on Friday 25th (9 am to 4:30 pm), Sunday 27th (11 am to 3 pm) and Monday 28th (9 am to 4:30 pm).

If you have any queries please feel free to contact Tessa Milne of Bonhams on +44 (0)20 7468 8340 or to view the online catalogue click here.

PGW 1 is apparently for sale!

Rumour has it that the number plate PGW 1 is for sale in the UK - it was spotted in a recent edition of the Sunday Times ...!

Voco talking clocks has changed its website address

The talking clock company, Voco, which had the Jeeves-in-a-box idea by using Stephen Fry's voice, has changed its website address to www.voco.tv .This is where the world's favourite valet can, for example, awake you with a message in Fry's voice beginning "Good morning madam ...".

Wodehouse in Hollywood on BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 14th Dec 2010

On Tuesday 14th December 2010 BBC Radio 4 will broadcast in it's Afternoon Play programme Wodehouse in Hollywood. This will be from 2:15 pm until 3:00 pm. Apparently this is an excellent production and well worth listening to.

Review section of the Daily Telegraph 25th September 2010

The lead article in this section by Robert Gore-Langton, entitled 'What a piece of work is this prince of roles' discusses why would an actor wish to play Hamlet, given that the play is full of overfamiliar lines. Even so he notes that there are a number of productions on at the moment. He then goes on to say:

"If you think we are currently somewhat Hamlet heavy, then back in 1905 three versions opened in the West End simultaneously, prompting PG Wodehouse to complain:

It's 'Hamlet' here and 'Hamlet' there

and 'Hamlet' on next week.

An actor not in 'Hamlet' is regarded

as a freak."

Martin Jarvis: Voice of the Nation

An article appeared in the Independent recently entitled 'Martin Jarvis: Voice of the Nation'. Martin Jarvis is widely known for his audiobooks, not least of which his audiobooks for Wodehouse. In this article the Independent celebrates the work of Martin in this area. It is well worth reading and you can do this by clicking here.

"Milady's Boudoir" on Breakfast television

The Breakfast show on BBC1 on Tuesday 12th January 2010 featured the editor, Rachel Johnson, of The Lady magazine, whose brother is Boris Johnson. She was talking about a recent revamp and new look to the magazine, which has been published since 1885. She also mentioned various previous contributors such as Nancy Mitford and Stella Gibbons (who wrote Cold Comfort Farm) and went on to say that in The Code of the Woosters the magazine Milady's Boudoir was based upon The Lady magazine.

Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit is on Radio 4 at 3:30 pm on 29th December

School Of Saatchi visits Blandings

The BBC 2 programme School Of Saatchi visited Sudeley Castle in the episode shown on Tuesday 8th December 2009. In the programme six contestants have to prepare pieces of modern art which are judged by a panel of experts and then Charles Saatchi himself. The series winner will receive sponsorship from Saatchi.

Sudeley Castle is becoming well known for it's modern art installations and is of course the inspiration for P G Wodehouse's beloved Blandings Castle. Also, the grounds of Blandings are based upon Weston Park in Shropshire, although Sudeley does have Yew Walks essential for moonlit trysts. No doubt Constance would baulk at modern art appearing at the Castle, although it has to be said that Clarence would probably only be vaguely aware of their existence.

Heavy Weather, starring Peter O'Toole as Emsworth and Richard Briers (our Society President) as Gally, was filmed at Sudeley. Also, Norman Murphy has written a book called In Search Of Blandings which describes the many Wodehousean connections.

Does Warren Buffett read P G Wodehouse?

... well, who knows? In the BBC 2 programme about Warren Buffet, called The World's Greatest Money Maker aired on 26th October 2009, Warren's business partner Charlie Munger stated at the end of the programme "... if we liked chorus girls we wouldn't have such a good investment record".

Britain's Top 50 Unsung Heroes

To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of The National Lottery on Thursday 21st November 2009, a list of Britain's Top 50 Unsung Heroes has been drawn up. Jeeves appears on the list:

"42. Jeeves – Fictional valet character in the short stories and novels of PG Wodehouse, in which Jeeves gets his clueless boss Bertie Wooster out of various predicaments."

For the full list please click here.

Art Deco Icons, BBC 4 - David Heathcote

BBC 4 has run an excellent four-part series called Art Deco Icons during October/November 2009, written and presented by the design historian David Heathcote. Art Deco of course was a primary design style for architecture, decoration, furniture, the arts and many other aspects of life in the 1920s and 30s when so many of Wodehouse's novels are set. The series featured in episodes two to four the headquarters building of the London Underground, a west country house and The Orient Express.

The first episode, however, was devoted to Claridges, the opulent hotel facing Brook Street and Grosvenor Square in London, very much the beating ground of many of Wodehouse's characters. David Heathcote was shown holding an Everyman edition of Ring For Jeeves, whilst pointing out two buttons which clientele could push to ring for a maid or a valet.

P G Wodehouse: The Unknown Years, by Reinhild von Bodenhausen

Times Online, 26th October 2009

An interesting review of Reinhild von Bodenhausen's recently published book, P G Wodehouse: The Unknown Years,  has appeared in both The Times and Times Online. Reinhild was a child when Wodehouse came to stay with her family after being released from internment. In her book she describes how  Wodehouse's innocuous radio broadcasts to the US were used by Goebbels for propaganda purposes, the torment and anguish this caused Wodehouse and the dismay experienced by her family as a result. For the full review please click here. P G Wodehouse: The Unknown Years by Reinhild von Bodenhausen is published by Stamford Lake in Sri Lanka (website click here); $15 plus postage.

Wooster was not a Mensa member!

Nigel Farndale writes of Mensa in the Sunday Telegraph ”Seven” supplement of 25th October 2009, suggesting it tends to keep quiet about its activities, and members are reluctant to shout about their involvement. He believes having an IQ amongst the top 2% of the population “does seem to be a mixed blessing, especially in this country where intelligence is regarded as an affliction …

“Which other country would instinctively side with Wooster, he of the low frontal lobe wattage, over his Spinoza-reading valet Jeeves, he of the bulging forehead and appetite for fish?”