Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hump Day Hottie - Laurence Fox

I'm a Johnny come lately to the PBS Mystery series INSPECTOR LEWIS, having just started watching it in the third series, but I recently caught up with the first series on DVD, and I have to admit that I am quite smitten with Laurence Fox who plays James Hathaway, Lewis's partner.  He's a tall drink of water he is, incredibly fair and rangy but there's something compelling about both the character and the actor.

Laurence Fox comes from British theatrical royalty like the Redgraves.  His great grandfather was the playwright Frederick Lonsdale, his father is actor James Fox, his uncle the actor Edward Fox and his other uncle Robert Fox is a producer.  His cousin Emilia (daughter of Edward) is also a well known actress who played the second Mrs. DeWinter in the PBS series Rebecca (the same role played by her mother Joanna David).  So acting is in his genes.

He went to the posh public school Harrow (the same school Winston Churchill attended) where he felt like an outcast because most of the boys came from posh aristocratic backgrounds.  He says now that it has helped him play toffs on screen. Rebellious and lonely, he spent more time chasing girls than studying. He was actually expelled before taking his A-levels. Although he was eventually allowed to take them, he was unable to get a place at University (unlike his Cambridge educated character).  After two years kicking around doing odd jobs, he finally went to RADA.  However, he got into trouble there because he kept taking jobs which was against school policy.

Since graduating in 2001, he has done film, TV and theatre.  He met his wife Billie Piper (Rose in Dr. Who and Belle in THE SECRET DIARIES OF A CALL GIRL) while doing a play together. They got married in 2007 and welcomed son Winston in 2008.  The character he plays on INSPECTOR LEWIS has so many layers its like peeling an onion. Despite going to a posh public school and having a Cambridge education, Hathaway doesn't come from a posh background.  He plays world music on guitar and is trying to quit smoking.  The relationship between Lewis and Hathaway is fascinating since Lewis now finds himself in the same position that his former partner Morse was in. Lewis is old school while Hathaway is fully conversant with modern techniques as well as social media. It's fun to watch the two of them come together as well as clash as they solve cases.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No More Princess in Waiting

Today it was announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged. A sigh of relief as well as heartbreak was heard around the world at the news.  The Prince proposed in Kenya while they were on holiday in October, and like a true gentleman, he asked his beloved's father's permission. The couple plan to be married either in the Spring or Summer. If they wait until summer, it will be almost exactly 30 years since Prince Willilam's parents were married. People have been placing bets as to whether or not the wedding would take place before the Queen's 60th anniversary on the throne and the Olympics. Now we know for sure. No more 'Waity Katie' for Kate Middleton.

Looking at their engagement photo, I can't help but be reminded of when Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana became engaged. Kate's even wearing almost the same blue color that Diana did. Prince William proposed with his mother's engagement ring, which is romantic and shows just how much his mother meant to him. But I can't help thinking, the marriage between his parents was so unhappy, why would you propose with the same ring? Particularly given that famous interview, where Prince Charles said that he was in love 'whatever in love means?"

But I don't want to rain on the happy couple's parade. Unlike Princess Diana, or as she was then the Lady Diana Spencer, Kate has had eight years to adjust to being in the spotlight, to get using to spending time with the Queen, and the rest of the Royals. Although I'm sure that there will be adjustments after she becomes HRH Princess William of Wales, the Palace will take great pains that things will be different for Kate then they were for either Diana or Fergie.  From the moment that the two met, Prince William was smitten, but they were friends first before things changed between them.

Kate is not the first girl from a non aristocratic background to marry into the Royal family. Sophie, Countess of Wessex wasn't aristocratic either. However, much has been made about the fact that Kate's father was a pilot and her mother a stewardess before they opened their own mail order business. What that means that Kate seems comfortable with people from all walks of life, just like the late Princess. She also will have years before she probably takes on a huge load of royal engagements. They will probably start her off small with just a few charities to be patron of.  As time goes by, she will probably do more.

My first trip to England ever was the summer that Charles and Diana were married.  In fact, I was in London on that fateful day. So I'm looking forward to all the royal hoopla leading up to the day. Already mugs are being sold on Ebay, biographies are being written, tea towels and other souvenirs being produced.  Now we have social media to be able to keep up with all the planning. I mean the Queen has a Facebook page and they're on Twitter.!

Excuse me while I toss back a glass of champers to honor the happy couple!