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Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win 'A Beautiful Collection - The Best Of' By
Carole King

Win 'A Beautiful Collection - The Best Of' By Carole King

Released on CD on March 2nd
by Sony Music

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Sony Music to offer five lucky readers the chance to win 'A Beautiful Collection - The Best Of' by Carole King.

The album is released on 2nd March by Sony Music and features a stunning collection of classic songs: ‘Beautiful’; ‘I Feel The Earth Move’; ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Some Kind Of Wonderful/Up On The Roof’ with Carole King and James Taylor; ‘It’s Too Late’ and ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ – to name a few.

‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’, is one of the top-selling titles on Broadway and winner of two Tony Awards in 2014. The show opened in London on February 24th at the Aldwych Theatre. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 'won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. The album debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Top Broadway Chart.

Carole King

‘Beautiful’, tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her former husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles. Now 73 and still full of life, Carole King is without question the most successful and revered female songwriter in pop music history.

Tracklisting – ‘A Beautiful Collection –The Best Of’ by Carole King

1. Beautiful
2. I Feel the Earth Move
3. Child Of Mine
4. Sweet Seasons
5. It's Too Late
6. Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Some Kind Of Wonderful/Up On The Roof (Live)
7. Carry Your Load
8. Only Love Is Real
9. So Far Away
10. Jazzman
11. Believe In Humanity
12. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
13. Been To Canaan
14. You've Got a Friend
15. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

In addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King, who has lived on an Idaho ranch since the early ’80s, is actively involved with environmental organisations in support of forest wilderness preservation.

 ‘A Beautiful Collection – The Best Of’ by Carole King is available from Amazon from 2nd March to order click on  

For more information about Carole King click on
 For Your Chance to Win

Tell us which famous singer is also featured on 'A Beautiful Collection - The Best of' with Carole King?

 a) James Last
 b) James Blunt
 c) James Taylor
 d) James Morrison

  To Enter the Competition

Tell us which famous singer is also featured on 'A Beautiful Collection - The Best Of' with Carole King? Then send in your answer together with your name, address and telephone number by clicking on the Sixtyplusurfers link below:

* Please label your entry
Carole King Competition

* This competition is open to our
UK visitors only


The People’s Strictly for
Comic Relief

Janette Manrara with Phillip Barnett

           Watch it on BBC ONE

Janette Manrara with Phillip Barnett

Strictly Come Dancing is throwing open the sparkly doors of its ballroom to the Great British public for the first time ever, in The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief.

The programme follows six lucky people, chosen from thousands of nominees to take part in their very own Strictly experience. Each of the six contributors was chosen for the tireless and selfless part they played in helping change others' lives for the better.

Over the next few weeks, they will be completely immersed in all things Strictly. They’ll go behind the scenes of the famous show and will get their first taste of the sequins and sparkle at their very own makeover day.

Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One, says: "BBC One is the TV home of ballroom dancing, so where better to see deserving, real-life heroes and heroines experience the sparkling joy of Strictly and all for such a great cause in Comic Relief."

The contestants have each been paired with professional dancer from the Strictly Come Dancing family and are currently training hard as they perform to the nation. They will become the new stars of the show.

The pairings are:

Phil Barnett and Janette Manrara - dancing the foxtrot
Trishna Bharadia and Aljaz Skorjanez - dancing the jive
Anna Kennedy and Robin Windsor - dancing the charleston
Cassidy Little and Natalie Lowe - dancing the paso doble
Heather Parsons and Ian Waite - dancing the viennese waltz Michael Pattie
Aliona Vilani - dancing the tango

The series will consist of four pre-recorded programmes presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman. The first two, heart-warming episodes introduce the contestants as they get the surprise of their lives and discover that they are about to embark on an incredible Strictly journey.

The third episode will continue to follow their training and preparation as they get ready for their ballroom debut in front of the nation.

Episode four will see all six contestants compete on the famous Strictly Come Dancing ballroom, as they vie for the judges’ scores and viewers’ votes. The judges’ scores will be for guidance only, and the public will have the deciding vote.

Michael Pattie and Aliona Vilani

    Michael Pattie and Aliona Vilani

The series will also follow Darcey Bussell as she visits a number of Comic Relief funded projects in Kenya, to show how the money raised this Red Nose Day could help change lives.

Voting lines will open once all couples have danced and the winner of the public vote will then be crowned The People’s Strictly champion as part of the live Red Nose Day night of TV on BBC One on Friday 13th March. The money raised from the show will be spent helping to change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and across Africa.

Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive, Comic Relief, says, "The people have always been at the heart of Red Nose Day and The People's Strictly on BBC One takes this one step further.

"Having watched well-known faces go through the heart-warming journey on Strictly I can’t wait to see members of the public having this amazing opportunity. It mixes fun and fundraising in equal measure.”



Aidan Turner in Poldark

        Watch it in March on BBC ONE

Aidan Turner (The Hobbit Trilogy, Being Human, Desperate Romantics) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes to Pemberley, The White Queen, Jack The Giant Slayer) star as Ross Poldark and Demelza in Debbie Horsfield’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s acclaimed sweeping saga set in 18th century Cornwall.

Britain is in the grip of a turbulent crisis... falling wages, rising prices, civil unrest - only the bankers are smiling. It's 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins.

This is an eight-part adaptation of the first two novels in Winston Graham's Poldark series.

Also starring are Heida Reed (Silent Witness) as Ross' first love Elizabeth, Jack Farthing (The Riot Club) as ambitious banker George Warleggan, Kyle Soller (The Hollow Crown) as Ross' cousin Francis Poldark, Ruby Bentall (The Paradise) as Ross' cousin Verity, Warren Clarke (Red Riding) as Ross' uncle Charles Poldark, Phil Davis (Whitechapel) as Ross' lazy manservant Jud and Beatie Edney (Poirot) as Jud's wife Prudie, Alexander Arnold (Skins) as Ross' farm hand Jim Carter, Robert Daws (Holby) as Dr Choake and Richard Harrington (Hinterland) as Captain Andrew Blamey.

Winston Graham wrote 12 Poldark novels starting with Ross Poldark in 1945 and ending with Bella Poldark in 2002. The internationally bestselling novels are set in Cornwall where Graham spent much of his life.

Robin Ellis, who played Ross in the first television adaptation of the Poldark novels in the 1970s, will be joining the cast for two episodes to play Reverend Halse.

Writer Debbie Horsfield explains, "Ross Poldark is one of literature's great heroes: a gentleman who is also a rebel, who has a keen sense of morality and social justice but without any priggishness or moralising. He's also a great romantic figure - caught between two women from two completely different backgrounds. A gentleman who marries his kitchen maid. A man who doesn't stand on ceremony, who doesn't play by the rules and often falls foul of authority. He has elements of Darcy, Heathcliffe, Rochester, Rhett Butler and Robin Hood - quite a combination!"

Aidan Turner is Ross Poldark

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Aidan Turner was amazed by the breadth of the role of Ross Poldark in the new adaptation of Winston Graham's novels.

"It's fantastic as an actor to have the chance to play such a wide range in one series. Every step of the way there is something new. When I first read Debbie Horsfield's script I knew there was a huge scope there with Ross."

Aidan recalls, "I had never heard of Poldark but when I told my parents I was going to play Ross they nearly had a fit! The previous 1970s series was popular in Ireland, I guess because people could relate to it - the farming, the scenery, the is continually surprising meeting people who are so excited to hear we are making a new adaptation.

"Debbie's scripts are brilliant and she creates such a vivid and coherent Cornish world, just as Winston Graham does. The dynamic between the characters is ever changing which feels very exciting for an actor – all the different roles are so very distinctive; each of us has a different energy and agenda going on."

So what kind of a man is Ross Poldark?

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

"When we first meet Ross he is in turmoil. He went away to war a young, cocky, confident character with a carefree attitude, who was running away from a lot of things. In America he was faced with death on a daily basis and then when he returns to England he doesn't really know who he is anymore.

"When he arrives back in Cornwall everything’s changed for him: his father has died, his land is barren, the local tin mines are going through a hard time and laying off workers, leaving the region on its knees, and he's lost Elizabeth, his childhood sweetheart who he expected to marry on his return.

"Ross knows he needs to pick himself up and try and find who he is and where he lies in this new world. He’s strong – that’s what I love about him – he’s someone who can get on with things; he doesn’t wallow in self-pity or despair. He sees a situation for what it is and drags himself through it. He admires hard working people and treats people with respect if they earn it - no matter what their position in life. He is an original class warrior!"

So what changes do we see in Ross throughout the series?

"Ross is 23 when he comes home and you can see changes quite fast. When he realises that Elizabeth is out of the picture, he changes his frame of mind and concentrates more on getting his land back together, looking after his tenants, and resolves to revive the ruined mine on his estate."

And soon after Ross meets a woman who will change the course of his life, an urchin who he first takes to be a young boy. She is Demelza Carne.

"Taking on Demelza as his kitchen maid and understanding how that whole relationship develops is a huge moment for Ross. He doesn’t care what people think, but he’s taken a huge punt bringing her into the house and having her as a kitchen maid. Eventually he takes charge, doesn’t quite know what he’s got himself in for but very quickly he realises he’s got to do something about it. Ross just grabs everything by the horns and runs with it!

"He is continually facing something new; his changing relationship with his cousin Francis, his Uncle Charles who he has looked up to all his life and who is a rock for him, even though he might not admit it, the feud with George Warleggan."

Did Aidan delve into the history of the time in Cornwall?

"You can always learn more about what is going on at the time, whether it is pertinent to the story or not. The research is the fun part that helps you play the character– to polish up on historical facts and understand what it was like living there at the time. Life was a lot harder, you have no idea until you start researching and see how difficult things were. Even small chores like washing clothes and getting fresh water was so hard.

"The differences between Cornwall and London, the population, what people were living on, what the industries were. Even little things like travel time – nowadays London to Cornwall isn’t a big feat but in those days it would take you over a week to travel there so people just didn’t do it. It was a Duchy, like its own country with its own legislation. I didn’t know much about Cornwall at all before, I had never been, hadn’t heard much about it so to find out so much about it was great."

And Aidan relished his time filming in Cornwall.

"It was simply stunning, we had the best weather there over the Summer. We filmed at so many gorgeous locations but the weather really made it work. People know Poldark so well down there and are proud of it so we were welcomed all the time. It was surprising getting fans turning up to set and people travel to show their support and see what was going on. It reminded me of home in Ireland, and it was great to be able to film there so much."

So what were the hardest scenes for Aidan to film?

"Even if you thought something was scary, the great thing about playing Ross is that you can never chicken out of doing anything!

"I was going to the gym a lot the first couple of months as I had a couple of topless scenes. One of the things I did find out is that they didn’t actually wear underwear at the time so it made it quite difficult to shoot some of the stuff we did. They would just wear the shirt and then tuck it in and around."

And the highlight for Aidan?

"Has to be Seamus the horse. You can’t do bad acting on a horse, you look too cool. There’s an energy when you deliver dialogue on a horse, its empowering especially for Ross, he thrives on these kinds of situations, so anytime I could get on the horse I would do it.

"Seamus is quite skittish, but he’s a real actor’s horse as you can rehearse something once and he knows where he’s at, the direction he’s going in, when he has to stop and reset. We had to change words as he would just set off when we shouted ‘Action’. He was so sharp and was always moving and on the go. Him and Ross are well suited!

"Luckily I did a lot of riding in New Zealand when we were there filming The Hobbit. I trained a lot and thought I'd leave a pretty good rider - thank god I did as there was a lot of riding in Poldark. It’s very much a part of who Ross is so it’s immediately getting you into character."

And while Aidan wasn't allowed to do all his own riding stunts, he did do as much as possible.

"They wouldn't let me gallop along the cliff top, for obvious reasons, but I did as much as possible. There were some great moment when Eleanor (Tomlinson - Demelza) and I ride double together on Seamus. It can be tricky, it all depends who is on the back as it’s always a rocky ride for them! Eleanor was great because she’s such a good rider herself. She’s confident so if the horse did anything strange she wouldn't freak out. There’s something really romantic about it and it’s a lovely image to watch. We’d always whisper stuff and crack each other up which was fun.

"Eleanor and I work very well together. I don’t think you can create that chemistry – you either have it or you don’t. It was just right from the very beginning, and even off screen that energy was still there. We had the same respect for each other as the characters did. Sometimes you just click; that’s the joy of good casting. We knew we had something quite special together and didn’t need to work on that, we just trusted Debbie’s writing. We could read each other, and guide each other through a scene and we never panicked."

Aidan Turner in Poldark

But did Aidan feel any pressure tackling such a beloved role?

"Not really. I don’t want to let people down, especially fans of the character , but I don’t think it’s productive to think about how you can disappoint people. We took our inspiration from the original novels by Winston Graham and Debbie Horsfield's scripts.

"The fan base of the 1970s adaptation of Poldark is very supportive, they have been very generous and kind and genuinely excited to see what we have done with this. It’s like breathing new life into it. But we need to remember that a lot of people haven’t seen the previous adaptation as it was 40 years ago, and there’s a lot of people that won’t have heard of it either!

"Having scenes with Robin Ellis, who played Ross in the seventies series, was brilliant. He is such a lovely guy and still receives fan mail! You can only imagine what it was like – that show was just absolutely huge."

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Tickets to See
Desert Island Discs: Classical Favourites

Desert Island Discs

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Raymond Gubbay to offer five lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to see Desert Island Discs:  Classical Favourites at the Albert Hall.


The concert is being held on Friday 24th April 2015 and starts at 7.30pm.

Acclaimed TV presenter and Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young introduces a wonderful concert of popular classical music choices from the world famous BBC Radio 4 programme, performed live and featuring castaway clips from the archive.

Kirsty Young hosts Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young hosts Desert Island Discs

The Concert includes:

RAVEL Bolero
VERDI Grand March from Aida
VIVALDI Winter (First Movement) from The Four Seasons
BARBER Adagio for Strings
MASSENET Meditation from Thais
MOZART Lacrimosa from Requiem
Symphony No. 5 (First Movement)
FAURE In Paradisum from Requiem
HANDEL Hallelujah Chorus
ELGAR Nimrod from Enigma Variations
COATES By the Sleepy Lagoon
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue

Martin James Bartlett piano
BBC Young Musician of the Year (winner) 2014

Jennifer Pike violin
BBC Young Musician of the Year (winner) 2002

Anthony Inglis conductor
Royal Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

About Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley. It was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 29th January 1942.

Now broadcast on BBC Radio 4, each week a distinguished guest is asked to choose eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island, whilst discussing  their lives and the reasons for their choices.

For more information about
Desert Island Discs:  Classical Favourites at the Albert Hall click on

  For Your Chance to Win

 Tell us the name of the
   current presenter of
    Desert Island Discs?

 a) Fiona Bruce
 b) Kirsty Young
 c) Angela Rippon
 d) Natasha Kaplinsky

   To Enter the Competition

    Tell us the name of the current
   presenter of Desert Island Discs?
  Then send in your answer together
your full name, address and
     telephone number to the special
     blue email address below:

    * Please label your entry Desert
           Island Discs Competition

 Competition Terms & Conditions

The prize is for five readers to win a pair of tickets to see Desert Island Discs: Classical Favourites at the Albert Hall.

2. The concert is being held on Friday 24th April 2015 and starts at 7.30pm.

3. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive further correspondence from Raymond Gubbay.

4. All entrants must be aged 18 or over.

5. We do not accept automated entries.

Closing date for entries is 1st April 2015.

Arthur and George

Martin Clunes and Arsher Ali in Arthur and George

Watch it in March on ITV1

Martin Clunes plays the celebrated novelist and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel, Arthur & George, for ITV. Written by Ed Whitmore, the drama is based on true events in the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who famously created the detective Sherlock Holmes, in which he pursues a
notorious miscarriage of justice.

Set in 1906 in Staffordshire, Hampshire and London the drama follows Sir Arthur and his trusted secretary, Alfred ‘Woodie’ Wood as they investigate the case of George Edalji, ayoung Anglo-Indian solicitor who was imprisoned for allegedly mutilating animals and writing obscene letters.

Martin is joined by a prestigious cast including Arsher Ali (Four Lions, Complicit, The Guilty, The Missing) as George Edalji, Art Malik (The Jewel in the Crown, True Lies, Upstairs Downstairs, Holby City) as his father, the Reverend Shapurji Edalji, Emma Fielding (Silk, DCI Banks, Kidnap and Ransom) as his mother Charlotte Edalji, Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, Trying Again, A Young Doctor’s Notebook) as Alfred ‘Woodie’ Wood, Hattie Morahan (The Bletchley Circle, Outnumbered, Eternal Law, Sense and Sensibility) as Jean Leckie and Sandra Voe (Breaking the Waves, Vera Drake, The Winter Guest, Holby City) as Mam.

George Edalji, the son of Hampshire vicar, Reverend Shapurji Edalji and his wife Charlotte, was convicted in 1903 of offences which became known as the Great Wyrley Rippings. On his release from Pentonville Prison after serving three years, George was desperate to clear his name so he could return to his career. The difficulty in overturning the conviction of George Edalji was cited as showing that a better mechanism for reviewing unsafe verdicts was needed. His case and the associated campaign were factors in the creation of England's Court of Criminal Appeal in 1907.

The three part drama begins after the tragic death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s wife Louisa. He is overwhelmed with grief, and unable to even find refuge in his writing. It is only when his faithful secretary Woodie, presents him with an apparent real-life miscarriage of justice to try and solve, that he can be roused to action; to use his own skills of detection to rival those of his fictional creation.

On learning of George Edalji’s plight and reading the headlines concerning the Great Wyrley Rippings, Conan Doyle urges Woodie to arrange a meeting with George. Arthur believes in George’s innocence, and suspects that he was, in fact, a victim of racial discrimination and police corruption. However, as the twists and turns of the case unfold,
Arthur is made to question every word that George has said to him. With Woodie by his side, Arthur discovers that the mysterious true identity of the Wyrley Ripper is yet to be unmasked.

By getting involved in the case, Arthur has unleashed an old fury that is not yet sated. It is only by finding the true culprit, that Arthur can finally put the case, and his grief, to rest; whilst simultaneously becoming part of a case that proved singularly significant in English judicial history.

Arthur & George also features Conan Doyle’s relationship with Jean Leckie, a much younger woman, with whom he enjoyed a long, platonic, relationship whilst his wife was alive. Jean eventually became his second wife.

Martin Clunes plays Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Arthur and George

Martin Clunes plays Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Arthur and George

Martin Clunes admits he was daunted by the idea of playing one of Britain’s most celebrated authors. “I was quite terrified by the thought of playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but my wife, Philippa, had spent a great deal of time optioning the book and doing deals with agents, writers and ITV,” Martin says.

“Arthur and George is a hugely successful book, and Julian Barnes didn’t need us to make a television programme of it. Philippa very patiently and persistently pursued the idea. She swears there was no pressure, but there was pressure!” Martin jokes.

“I am sure if somebody else had said: ‘why don’t you do this’ I would have said: ‘I’m a bit scared’. It is quite outside my comfort zone in a way. My comfort zone has been Doc Martin or documentaries about animals. That has been my life for so long, with little bits of acting along the way but never in the title role.

“This is quite big. Conan Doyle is a very famous Scotsman, so I had to speak with an authentic Scottish accent as well."

Martin is full of admiration for the character he plays. “I like his application. I like his sense of empowerment, his confidence and the fact he wasn’t born to enormous wealth. They weren’t terribly poor, but he wasn’t born to wealth.

“In all the photographs of him he is quite a dandy. Les Lansdowne, the costume designer noticed that other gentleman of the age would have just one watch chain, but Sir Arthur had two and so did the King.”

Martin had read Julian Barnes book, and prepared for his leading role in the drama by researching Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the internet.

“I know the true story from Julian Barnes’ book, but you can never just televise a book, everything has to be translated. That is why Ed Whitmore, who has written the adaptation, has done so brilliantly because he writes contemporary crime thrillers. He has given that sort of spin to it.”