November 26, 2023
Toy Hospital can be next Repair Shop - thanks to our Nancy Birtwhistle
Treasured toys that have seen better days can expect some expert care and attention from North Lincs star Nancy Birtwhistle. The presenter, who won the BBC’s Great British Bake Off crown in 2014 and has since written several cookery and eco-lifestyle books, has now become “ward manager Nancy” in Channel 5’s new show, Toy Hospital. The first of six episodes aired last night (Friday, November 24), the series being devised by the same company behind the BBC hit show The Repair Shop, hosted by Jay Blades. It is Nancy’s role, as Toy Hospital’s answer to Jay, to man the reception of hospital – it is actually filmed in a real hospital building near Clitheroe, in Lancashire, that closed two years ago – to take calls from and reassure toy owners, ferry toy patients to “surgery” and tuck them in at night, cracking a few jokes along the way. READ MORE: I'm A Celebrity has improved our opinion of bugs, study says Gemma Collins dyes her iconic blonde hair pink Nancy, who lives in Barton-upon-Humber, said: “It was lovely to do. I think it’s a smashing show to have on in the run-up to Christmas. There are some great toys coming up over the weeks, I think the programme will strike a chord with lots of people. They will watch it and say, ‘we had one of those’. “They do a BMX bike and I remember buying one for my son. They have taken toys from different decades, from old pot dolls to a more modern Cabbage Patch doll; there is a real variety that will interest everybody." A bus stop in Hull has been advertising Channel 5's new season of programmes, including Toy Hospital featuring Nancy Birtwhistle as ward manager (Image: Katie Pugh) She added: “I think one of the things that appealed to me most was seeing what the experts can do. Apparently there used to be a few toy hospitals around the country but now there are only two, there’s one at Liverpool and one at Leith in Scotland.” Nancy worked in NHS management for many years, in hospitals and then in general practice, so she “knows the jargon” and believes this is one of the reasons she was chosen to host the programme. She could be seen in one part of last night’s show urging a toy elephant to “try to hold your head still or you’ll hurt yourself even more” and calling, “can we have a neck brace in here, please?” She also phoned for an update on “a stuffed frog in bed three”, explaining: “It’s just that I’ve got his partner here in reception and she’s being really, really difficult.” The camera panned onto Miss Piggy in the waiting area. She said: “It did seem a bit strange talking to all these toys, but I got into it – everybody did.” Nancy also said how cold it was, filming in a disused hospital in March when it was “snowing like hell”. “It was freezing when we did the first filming, which was for one pilot. Then it moved to May-June and we were in a heatwave, but I had to keep the same thick jumper I had on underneath the uniform for continuity.” Followers of Nancy on Instagram were full of praise for the show, with one fan saying: “Fantastic Actress as well? Nancy you are full of surprises.” Another person said: “Love Nancy, she’s a real treasure. And is natural for TV.” Nancy said: “Toy Hospital is apparently going to be on Gogglebox. It will be interesting to see what they make of it, especially Jenny and Lee from Hull.” Like The Repair Shop, viewers get to hear the poignant stories behind the beloved playthings and watch the skilled experts as they work to make each treasured toy as good as new. The first restorations of the series included a cuddled-until-bald panda, a tangled puppet that had lost its head and a TARDIS no longer able to perform its magic trick of making a toy version of Doctor Who’s Tom Baker disappear. With Sue Johnston providing the narration, viewers saw teddy expert Dr Jax breathe new life into the hugely sentimental soft-toy panda, known as Teddy, for owner Norma. It had belonged to her late son, Alan, from being a tot and he died cuddling the bear following a stroke at school at the age of 16. Meanwhile Tim wanted his collectable Pelham puppet, Giant, restringing and its head put back on, by restorer Dr Shuan, for granddaughter Lizzie, ten, to be able to put on puppet shows again. Mark’s TARDIS was in the hands of doll and mechanical expert Dr Charlotte – and it was later able to do its disappearing act once more, much to the owner’s delight. More episodes of Toy Hospital are due to air on Fridays at 8pm on Channel 5.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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