BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.
The series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on the channel this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.
The BBC has also announced the hit travel documentary series will move to BBC 1 when it returns to screens in early 2017.
The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair; actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson; and actor Paul Nicholas.
Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.
In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman, who I’m not interesting in naming, walked into the gay night club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida and started shooting at a group of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people – who were doing nothing but being who they were and enjoying themselves.
This was a direct attack on gay people, freedom, humans, love and a different way of life. As a gay man in love with another man you are always aware that there are people who would hurt, damage or kill people like me – just because of who they love. Attitudes to gay people have fundamentally changed in the UK since I was born in the late 1970s. Hostility was very present in the 80s when gay bars started to spring up in cities, albeit usually in discrete and concealed places – until the 90s and 2000s when the gay movement stopped hiding and people like me felt comfortable being open about our sexuality at work and so rather than being some distant object of derision – we become up close and personal with our straight colleagues – who realised – we were just like them.
But we are still not in a world, or country where being gay is still acceptable across the board. When a bakery can refuse service to customers who wanted a gay themed cake because it is ‘against their belief’ – backed up by Christian groups and media elements. It demonstrates to gay people that although we have journeyed far – the route back to the dark ages of the 1950s when we were illegal, arrested and in-prisoned – isn’t as far away as we might like to believe.
On my Monday Matters radio show I spoke to gay radio presenter DJ Justice, who presents his show in Orlando and often visited Pulse and lost people that he knew in the atrocity.
American Space Agency NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has announced they will soon begin recruiting new Astronauts for their anticipated mission to Mars. NASA announced it will begin accepting applications from people in December. With more US human spacecraft in development today than at any other time in history, future astronauts will launch once again from the Space Coast of Florida and carry out deep-space exploration missions that will advance NASA’s ambition to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said “This next group of space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realise the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet. Those selected for this service will fly on U.S. made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space.”
Applications will be accepted from the 14 December 2015 until mid-February 2016 and it is expected announcements of which candidates have been selected will be done in mid-2017. To apply to be part of the NASA Astronaut programme and possibly be the first humans to fly to Mars all you need to do is apply here – and hope to be one of the lucky few new world adventurers to be chosen!
The Apollo Program With limited computer resources onboard Apollo and a lack of available computer memory onboard, a new set of data needed to be entered via the DSKY during each mission phase. The astronauts had with them a set of spiral bound notebooks that held pages and pages of step-by-step procedures for them to follow for each operation. These included pages devoted to each unique set of keystroke entries.