I’M GLAD YOU ASKED ME THAT

Those organisers and PR types who think they are being awfully clever arranging for planted question at their events should know that they are very easy for an intelligent audience to spot and that they are really nothing new.

One former orator and advocate of the deception once boasted “At all our meetings I had party members in the audience with orders to interrupt, along carefully prepared lines, to give the impression of a spontaneous expression of public opinion. These interruptions strengthened the force of my argument”.

The clever orator who orchestrated his own heckling? Adolf Hitler, in 1921.

A TITANIC EXPERIENCE

Fine dining for up to 50 people with views over the Liverpool waterfront will be offered from next month on a new balcony at the 7th floor Carpathia restaurant at the 30, James Street hotel. The building was originally the offices of the White Star Line, owners of the tragic Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank in 1914, killing more than 1,500 passengers in the freezing seas; 1,352 men, half of which were crew, 109 women and 53 children.

On a happier note the restaurant menu offers such starters as pan-fried sea-bream with salt baked beetroot, lemon balm and olive oil (£9.50), and confit duck leg terrine with orange gel, baby onions, beetroot puree and sourdough (£7.50). Main courses are such as fillet of red mullet with a citrus and peanut crust, chilli and garlic greens and minted pea puree (£17.50) and 8 oz fillet steak, short beef rib and potato lattice with white onion puree, baby vegetables and roasting jus (£28.50). Desserts include sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, and almond brittle and baked rhubarb and custard cheesecake with set rhubarb jelly and stem ginger, both at £6.50.

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EVENT SHOWS TO DOCKLANDS

International Confex, the Event Production Show and the PA Show are all moving from Olympia in 2020 and relocating at Excel in Docklands.

The events have been at Olympia since 2013 but the organisers, Mash Media, now feel that Excel is a better venue in which to grow the shows, which will take place Tuesday February 25 and Wednesday February 26, 2020.

Now all they have to do is to get the visitors out there.

ONE FOR COVENTRY

A new 88-bedroom boutique hotel is to be created by 2021 in Coventry city centre, in the former offices of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. (The Business Desk)

There will be a 1950’s theme to the unit, which will be operated by Bespoke Hotels, and there will be conference rooms, a restaurant, a roof-top bar and a range of loft-style two-storey bedrooms in the former print room.

Behind the hotel, and part of the deal agreed, there will be student accommodation with 833 rooms opening as phase one in September 2020.

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

Charles Laughton, 1999-1962, was the brilliant, bisexual and tortured actor who appeared in more than 50 films, most from 1933, after giving up a career as a manager at his parent’s Scarborough hotel, the Pavilion, now demolished.

Laughton graced a number of memorable roles as a monster or misfit which included Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty, Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Doctor Moreau in The Island of Lost Souls and Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII. Another memorable role was as crusty and eccentric lawyer, Sir Wilfrid Robarts in Witness For The Prosecution, based on an Agatha Christie play and directed by Billy Wilder in 1957.

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ART HISTORY COURSE

A four-session course The Pre-Raphaelite Revolution is being offered by the Leighton House Museum in Kensington.

The four two-hour sessions take place on Tuesday Feb 26, Tuesday March 5, Tuesday March 12 and Tuesday March 26, 10.30am to 12.30 pm and the price of £125 includes light refreshments. The course covers the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) and includes the contributions of such as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, and some of their models, muses, mistresses, mates and fellow -artists.

It is led by curator and lecturer Jo Banham, whose specialist areas of knowledge are Victorian art and design, and the history of wallpapers.

Those interested in this important sphere of art might also enjoy the 5hour, 29 minute DVD of the BBC TV programme about the PRB, Desperate Romantics, and the 418-page book by Franny Moyle of the same name on which it is based.

Event Organisers Update January 2019 ISSUE 170

PICK YOUR COMEDIAN One useful and enjoyable annual event put on for organisers is the Speaker Drinks evening staged at the Institute of Directors venue …

SEE YOU, JIMMY Tourism chiefs at VisitScotland used a picture of a Glencoe cottage once owned as a holiday home by disgraced BBC celebrity and sex offender Jimmy …

ART HISTORY COURSE A four-session course The Pre-Raphaelite Revolution is being offered by the Leighton House Museum in Kensington…

NEXT BIG THING? Plans are being considered for The Entertainment Resort, a world-class theme park with supporting hotels containing conference space, as well …

SOME ITALIAN WINE A recent tasting of nearly 100 wines from Italy, organised on behalf of Italian wine expert Daniele Cermilli (who styles himself Doctor Wine) …

NEW FOR MANCHESTER The 187 bedroom Hotel Indigo has opened close to Victoria Station in Manchester and claims to bring its brand of “contemporary …

THE HAPPY PRINCE This is the ironic title of the latest, and arguably the best of the bios of the famous and infamous author, playwright and bon viveur Oscar Wilde …

PICK YOUR COMEDIAN

One useful and enjoyable annual event put on for organisers is the Speaker Drinks evening staged at the Institute of Directors venue on Pall Mall by speaker agency Performing Artistes.

This showcases stand-up comedians and their acts and allows plenty of time for delegates to network with, and perhaps book their chosen performer(s) The latest event presented five, four who made us laugh and one who made us laugh and think. Andy Parsons, well-known from his appearances on topical news show Mock the Week, told jokes about topical issues, including the current bad joke Brexit, (he is an activist for a second public vote on the issue) and introduced the other four stand-up specialists, including Markus Birdman, Naomi Cooper and George Lewis, all of whom went down well with the mostly female audience.

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SEE YOU, JIMMY

Tourism chiefs at VisitScotland used a picture of a Glencoe cottage once owned as a holiday home by disgraced BBC celebrity and sex offender Jimmy Savile, to promote tourism in the Highlands.

Savile is thought to have sexually abused more than 450 people over a 60-year period, over 300 of them under 18 and some as young as eight. He owned the cottage for 13 years, from 1998 to 2011 when he died without ever being caught or charged aged 84. It was featured in a highly regarded Louis Theroux documentary in 2000, When Lous met….Jimmy. In a van on the way back from Glencoe Theroux asks why Savile had claimed to the media that he hated children and Savile told him “It’s to put a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt”. As the couple said goodbye Theroux claimed that he had “a new-found respect for Jimmy” though he felt he, like most other people, had never got close in the week he had lived with him for the documentary.

At Savile’s death the leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield described Savile as “Leeds born and bred, and he remained a Leeds lad all his life”.

VisitScotland have now removed the shot of Savile’s cottage from their website, “in case it caused any offence”.