New John Lennon film

 

What would have happened if John Lennon had left the Beatles in 1962? This is the intriguing premise of a new Sky Arts drama, Snodgrass, which (subject to schedule changes) will be broadcast on April 25th. It stars the successful Liverpool actor Ian Hart, who’s played Lennon twice before, notably in the film Backbeat. In the TV play, Lennon is an embittered 50 year old and on the dole, while the Beatles, led by Paul McCartney, are a naff oldies band. The play, scripted by David Quantick, is adapted from a short story by science fiction writer Ian R. MacLeod. Click here to access Ian’s website, where there’s more on the film, including photos taken at the shoot. And don’t forget that on this website you can also read our interview with Tony Barrow (the Beatles press officer during their Sixties heyday), and our feature The Beatles: 50 Fabulous Facts, which looks closely at 1962, a pivotal year in the history of the group.

Slave trade insights

Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday newspaper had an interesting article about the financial compensation given to 19th century British slave owners/traders after the British government abolished slavery. Many of these would have been from Liverpool – Gladstone’s father received £106,769, equivalent to £83 million today! Click here to read it.

Snowdrop watch in Liverpool

The weather’s been freezing, but at least the snowdrops are out – one of the best places in Liverpool to see them is St James Gardens at the Anglican cathedral. A good spot for a lunchtime walk – interesting graves and monuments, and Liverpool’s only surviving natural spring (supposedly with healing properties!).

Richard Briers

Plenty in the media about Richard Briers and The Good Life, but wasn’t Ever Decreasing Circles as good, if not better? Also interesting to note that like many fine actors he learned the ropes in Liverpool: he was at the Playhouse 1956-57 and met his wife while he was there.

Scouse with a twist!

‘I’ve started watching the horse racing on Channel 4 – my doctor’s told me I need to watch what I eat!’ Click here for an unusual but highly tasty MEAT FREE Scouse recipe, which originally appeared in Issue One of the magazine. There’s also a recipe for Spanish Scouse!

Blue Banker

BLUE BANKER Canadian Mark Carney, the new Bank of England Governor from July, is an Everton fan! Given his £874,000 salary package, which includes £5,000 a week ‘housing allowance’ – Mervyn King has to struggle by on £305,000 – perhaps he’ll make a donation to the club’s transfer budget.

Being Eileen

Nice to spot Ozzie Yue in a small part as a taxi driver towards the end of last night’s Being Eileen on the BBC. In the Sixties he was a member of Merseybeat group the Hideaways with Radio Merseyside’s Frankie Connor! In the current issue of The Merseysider magazine we’ve got a photo of the Hideaways accompanying our interview with Frankie Connor about It All Came Tumbling Down, a book about Liverpool’s lost streets and buildings featuring some great photographs by his brother Freddy.

Yet more HS2

Despite press reports saying the opposite, apparently the new high speed trains to London will start at Lime St, so there’ll be no need to change. But they’ll go slower between Liverpool and Crewe. Apologies for the mistake. Don’t hold your breath though – a lot can happen in 20 years!