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Blogs

Alexandra Wood

Studios with star stories to tell

Posted on 10:29am Friday 28th August 2015

Hello again everyone and I hope you are all well. Once again my sincere thanks to the members of the public who tell me they enjoy my articles. I enjoy sharing your company as we walk down film nostalgia lane.

Paul Welsh

Looking back to a golden era

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:30am Friday 21st August 2015

Today I am looking back at one particular Borehamwood-made movie shot in 1963. I am prompted by the fact that two of its stars passed away within a few weeks of each other without much media attention as both were of yesteryear.

Paul Welsh

Another sad week for showbiz

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:17am Friday 14th August 2015

Hi everyone and this week once again I am saddened by the death of several showbiz stars. Several old Hollywood and British names have passed away in the last few weeks but I will refrain from mentioning most of them to avoid giving the Grim Reaper credit for his recent work.

Paul Welsh

Film stars never really die

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:54pm Friday 19th June 2015

Well, it has been another bad week for losing famous names from the silver screen, but thankfully they both enjoyed very long and productive lives and have left behind some great film performances.

Paul Welsh

'One day you are starring opposite Charlton Heston, blink and you are having a stake driven through your heart in Borehamwood

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:14pm Friday 12th June 2015

Very sad to hear that we have lost yet another old star, this time veteran actor Richard Johnson, who enjoyed a long and successful stage career and starred in a number of movies over several decades.

Paul Welsh

Jack Nicholson under-par, not frightening, annoying female lead... is The Shining a bore?

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:54pm Friday 5th June 2015

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 35th anniversary reunion of some of the cast and crew of The Shining, which was made at Elstree Studios and released in 1980.

Paul Welsh

Operation Crossbow - the most star-studded war film you've never heard of

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:34pm Friday 5th June 2015

I must start by saying that I was very sad to read in the press that veteran star Omar Sharif is now suffering from dementia, which looks like it will overtake cancer as the most common and feared disease in the Western world.

Paul Welsh

Showbiz: politics for beautiful people

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:19am Friday 22nd May 2015

Thankfully all the politics and voting is now over and we can once again concentrate on the other side of showbiz that we call motion pictures.

Paul Welsh

The stars who Carried On

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:09pm Friday 15th May 2015

I have just read a biography of that lovely Carry On star Joan Sims and it was a surprise to learn of her struggle with alcohol and her sad end.

Paul Welsh

Fitting tribute to iconic Avengers screenwriter

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:46am Monday 16th February 2015

This week, I have a pot pourri of items for you that come into my mind. It was nice to hear from that lovely lady Hayley Mills the other day.

Antonia Okwu

Barnet Year 10's ... "Speak Out"

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:48pm Sunday 8th February 2015

Last Thursday evening I had the great pleasure of sitting on the judging panel of the Barnet Regional Final of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge. I found the experience to be mesmerising, inspirational and a timely reminder as to why we should nurture and value our youth as the ambassadors of the ”Better Tomorrow” that we all so frequently advocate and dream about.

Paul Welsh

Diamond anniversary of the Dam Busters

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:54am Friday 6th February 2015

I find it hard to believe but in a couple of months it will be time to mark the 60th anniversary of the release of The Dam Busters — the most iconic of Elstree Studios’ 1950s films.

Paul Welsh

Standing in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:46am Friday 6th February 2015

I have visited historic murder scenes in London several times, prompted by a film about to be made or because I had interviewed a star who had worked on one.

Paul Welsh

Legends of the silver screen - and a Professional who provided the words

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:13am Friday 23rd January 2015

I must start by mourning the passing of some well-known film names.

He did it his way - but did he come to Borehamwood?

Posted on 9:00am Friday 9th January 2015

Hello again readers, after two weeks away during which I partied with Simon Cowell in Bermuda or spent the time indoors in Borehamwood, I cannot remember which.

Paul Welsh

The price - and value - of an Oscar

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:24pm Friday 19th December 2014

Well, loyal readers, this is my last column for 2014 and where has the year gone?

Paul Welsh

Better late than never - the stars who should have been honoured earlier

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:04pm Friday 12th December 2014

I read with interest that veteran actress Joan Collins is likely to be made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours List.

Paul Welsh

The rise and fall of MGM in Borehamwood

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:56am Friday 5th December 2014

My favourite of the ‘lost’ studios of Borehamwood is without doubt the old MGM British Studios that once occupied nearly 120 acres of land off Elstree Way.

Paul Welsh

Riding in Brucie's car

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:17am Friday 21st November 2014

Where has that week gone since we were last together? This week, I have been dragged out into the limelight once again from my peaceful retirement — in this case by the BBC.

Paul Welsh

When Warren met Vivien

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:03am Friday 21st November 2014

This week, we turn the clock back 53 years to filming at Elstree Studios and one film that brought together a rapidly rising star and the penultimate screen appearance of a former Hollywood great.

Paul Welsh

'We never made the money you read about with Hollywood stars'

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:07pm Friday 7th November 2014

This week, we look back at the career of a stalwart Elstree star who in his latter years I was lucky enough to call a friend.

Paul Welsh

It's Garson Court, not Garston, and here's why...

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:24pm Friday 31st October 2014

I noticed recently that the bus stop at the bottom of Studio Way is named Garston Court stop, but of course no such name exists.

Paul Welsh

From chopping up a piano to burning cinema history

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:05pm Friday 17th October 2014

The other day, a young man called Brandon travelled from Los Angeles to help mount an auction in London of film props and costumes from the 1970s onwards.

Antonia Okwu

Simple Positive Reflections!

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:25pm Wednesday 15th October 2014

Positive Reflections

Antonia Okwu

How To Be The Very Best Version Of ....... YOU!

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:00am Tuesday 14th October 2014

After many years of deep soul searching and various life experiences, I finally discovered a pathway to becoming the very best version of myself. It is now my  pleasure to share some of these very simple tips with you in the hope that they will help you to establish for yourself a pathway to becoming the very best version of YOU!

Paul Welsh

Getting a word in with Michael Winner

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:16am Friday 10th October 2014

Well, last week put me back into my showbiz harness despite my attempts to become a semi-recluse.

Paul Welsh

Nobody does it better

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:12pm Friday 26th September 2014

This week, Elstree Screen Heritage allowed Channel Four to shoot some scenes at Elstree Studios for a new series about restoring famous cars.

Remembering Sir Donald

Posted on 11:50am Friday 19th September 2014

I must start this week by paying my personal tribute to the late great Sir Donald Sinden, who lost his long fight against cancer, albeit at the grand age of 90, which is a good innings.

Paul Welsh

Filming Big Brother in Moby Dick's tank

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:14am Friday 12th September 2014

Last week I looked at all the cars and vans coming in and out of Elstree Studios.

Paul Welsh

To Have and Have Not

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:02pm Friday 22nd August 2014

Well it has not been a happy few days in showbiz since we last shared the ramblings of this column together.

Paul Welsh

Wallpaper TV, hangings and celebrity undertakers

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:50am Friday 22nd August 2014

It is great to hear that one day last week Elstree Studios hosted audiences totalling 3,000 people. The spin-off effect is those people buy things in the town, which is all good news.

Paul Welsh

Once upon a time in Borehamwood?

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:35am Friday 22nd August 2014

The studios of our town have produced thrillers, horrors, comedies and musicals, from X-rated features to well-known children’s films. But the one genre Borehamwood has never tackled is the Western.

Paul Welsh

Elstree Confidential: how the studios kept stars' affairs hush hush

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:57am Friday 1st August 2014

This week we look back at the lives of two of the greatest stars of Tinseltown’s golden era. During their careers they both filmed at the old MGM British Studios in Borehamwood.

Paul Welsh

The Grim Reaper of showbiz

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:08am Friday 25th July 2014

I must start by saying farewell to Hollywood star James Garner. He is best remembered for the two television series Maverick and The Rockford Files, but he was also a leading man of cinema in the 1950s and 1960s.

Paul Welsh

It wasn't just studios: a century of films and where we watched them

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:53am Friday 18th July 2014

I love old British films of the 1940s to the 1960s, which are often in black and white, as they allow you to wallow in times gone by.

Paul Welsh

Great names who have been part of Elstree's screen heritage

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:55am Friday 11th July 2014

This year we are celebrating 100 years of film production in Borehamwood at several studios past and present.

Paul Welsh

The Man from U.N.C.L.E and the men in a bubble

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:47am Friday 4th July 2014

I was sad to read that veteran star Eli Wallach has died just a few years short of his 100th birthday.

Paul Welsh

The voice of Captain Scarlett

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:24am Friday 4th July 2014

This week it is a bit of a pot pourri column as thoughts enter my mind after a few drinks and several hours enjoying the sun in my garden.

Paul Welsh

Where else could you see stormtroopers and Routemasters in the carnival parade?

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:28am Friday 20th June 2014

Well, the centenary celebrations of film production in Borehamwood are now beginning to take off.

Paul Welsh

The truth about red carpet film premieres

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:11am Friday 20th June 2014

I suspect some readers assume I live a life of attending showbiz parties, visiting film sets and going to film premieres, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul Welsh

What would Psycho be without music?

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:33am Friday 6th June 2014

One aspect of film and television is often overlooked — the importance of music to create an atmosphere.

Paul Welsh

'I told George Lucas science fiction was dead'

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 6:21pm Wednesday 28th May 2014

I hear the new Star Wars film has gone into production on location and at Pinewood Studios, though the original home of the franchise was, of course, Elstree Studios.

Paul Welsh

Peter Cushing: talented actor and true gentleman

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:46am Friday 16th May 2014

I have just noticed it is now 20 years since the death of talented actor and true gentleman Peter Cushing.

Paul Welsh

Chatting with my old pal Darth Vader

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:38am Friday 9th May 2014

I seem to have hit a busy few months with the centenary of film production in Borehamwood — but it is all worthwhile.

Paul Welsh

Jamaica Inn: It's a bit rich for highly paid executives to blame the actors

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:50am Friday 9th May 2014

I am going to start today by having a bit of a moan.

Paul Welsh

How fame - like soap - can melt away

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:21pm Friday 25th April 2014

I recently had a most enjoyable day filming with veteran actress Barbara Windsor for a documentary about the centenary of film production in Borehamwood.

Paul Welsh

Being part of film heritage - Mickey Rooney earned his laughter lines

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:11pm Friday 25th April 2014

I have been enjoying myself filming interviews with people connected with Borehamwood’s fascinating film heritage as part of the Elstree Project.

Paul Welsh

Earning your stripes in the fame game

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:24am Friday 11th April 2014

I am sad to hear that Brucie has retired from Strictly Come Dancing, which is shot at Elstree Studios, albeit for reasons I fully understand for a man of his age with the pressures of live television.

Paul Welsh

Errol Flynn - the great swashbuckler who crossed the pond

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:06pm Friday 4th April 2014

I was extremely pleased to see that my colleagues at Borehamwood Museum were given special awards at the Hertsmere Mayor’s civic dinner.

Paul Welsh

Always know when it is time to leave the stage (and don't tweet while you're on it)

Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:21pm Friday 28th March 2014

I have just watched the first live episode of The Voice as it is now being recorded at Elstree Studios. It is great to have such hit shows being televised from Borehamwood, although I wish they would acknowledge that on the credits.

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