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Earning your stripes in the fame game

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

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)

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.

Paul Welsh »

The day Peter Cushing offered to lie down in front of the bulldozers

Posted on 12:47pm Friday 21st March 2014

I was interviewed on BBC radio about Elstree studios' centenary celebrations and they asked me who of all the stars I have met was my favourite.

Paul Welsh »

Celebrate the centenary in style

Posted on 2:02pm Friday 14th March 2014

We are celebrating a very special anniversary this year – 100 years of motion picture production in Borehamwood, or, as they would have spelt it back in 1914, Boreham Wood.

Paul Welsh »

The Double Man, the Elstree 'bomb' and why the truth may never come to light

Posted on 12:16pm Friday 7th March 2014

Are you growing weary of these celebrity trials or, as some call them, witch hunts?

Paul Welsh »

Death of a pathologist

Posted on 3:52pm Friday 13th December 2013

Another week gone and Christmas is fast approaching. Everybody says it, but the years seem to be passing a bit too quick.

Paul Welsh »

The day Doctor Who came to town

Posted on 4:47pm Friday 29th November 2013

Well readers, I survived the ceremony at St Albans Cathedral to bestow upon me an honorary master of arts degree.

Paul Welsh »

What Michael Caine didn't say in Zulu

Posted on 3:03pm Friday 1st November 2013

Hello again to all my fellow wanderers down memory lane. As promised, I will tell you about my latest showbiz adventures.

Paul Welsh »

Confessions of a film nostalgia writer

Posted on 1:43pm Friday 18th October 2013

Well, I am glad you have all survived another week to join me in our weekly walk down nostalgia lane. I wonder, did any of you ever frequent those seedy looking cinemas in Windmill Street in the West End during the 1970s?

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The lost treasures of Elstree - and what they'll fetch on eBay

Posted on 4:17pm Friday 11th October 2013

Well, I have stumbled through another week and it is good to meet you again. This time it is a pot pourri of items that come to mind as I wait for one of my pals Nick Cole to come and cut my hedge.

Paul Welsh »

The real X Factor - giving up your time for others

Posted on 4:27pm Friday 11th October 2013

Well, another week has gone and I am just back from a walkabout with some fans of the old MGM Studios in Borehamwood.

Paul Welsh »

Heartache of the stars of the golden age of cinema

Posted on 10:20am Monday 23rd September 2013

This week I thought we should go back in time and look at five love affairs among movie stars that were destined to end in tragedy for one or both partners, proving that fame and fortune does not always equal happiness.

Paul Welsh »

The day I told Tom Jones where the toilets were

Posted on 1:11pm Friday 13th September 2013

Over the past few decades I have met hundreds of actors, usually because I have been visiting a film set, conducting an interview or hosting an event.

Paul Welsh »

Honouring the stars in our town

Posted on 4:55pm Thursday 5th September 2013

PAUL WELSH recalls some of the star names who have had plaques dedicated to their film careers unveiled across Elstree and Borehamwood

Paul Welsh »

Oh Brother! It must be the money

Posted on 4:53pm Thursday 5th September 2013

PAUL WELSH reflects on the life of Star Wars cinematographer Gil Taylor and the cost of fame as Celebrity Big Brother returns to our screens

Paul Welsh »

Spotting when the stars come to town

Posted on 4:51pm Thursday 5th September 2013

PAUL WELSH recalls a time when you were likely to bump into the biggest names in Hollywood and appeals for your studio memories from yesteryear

Paul Welsh »

The people you meet in the pub

Posted on 12:32pm Friday 16th August 2013

With the number of pubs closing it is obvious that the “pub culture” of yesteryear is on the wane and many of the survivors are really licensed restaurants nowadays.

Paul Welsh »

Alas, Smith and Jones... and Frankie Howerd

Posted on 2:30pm Friday 2nd August 2013

I was sad to hear that Mel Smith, the comedy actor, died after suffering ill health for several years.

Paul Welsh »

Why moving abroad cost Richard Burton a knighthood

Posted on 12:57pm Friday 26th July 2013

I had the pleasure to visit Pinewood Studios last week to meet a couple of friends and it was very pleasant sitting on the terrace enjoying the sun.

Paul Welsh »

You could almost feel the ghost of Clark Gable

Posted on 12:14pm Friday 19th July 2013

It was a pleasure to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations at Maxwell Park Community Centre and to see so many people enjoying themselves on Sunday.

Paul Welsh »

Fight to save Elstree Studios was worthwhile

Posted on 9:10am Monday 15th July 2013

On the 18th of this month I hit the big 60, so another unwelcome milestone reached.

Paul Welsh »

A send-off fit for a star

Posted on 5:44pm Monday 8th July 2013

I have just been watching a 1980s movie entitled The Sea Wolves and it was packed with names of yesteryear that I had the pleasure to meet over the years such as David Niven, Gregory Peck, Trevor Howard, Roger Moore and character actors Martin Benson, Graham Stark, Patrick Macnee and Patrick Allen.

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The house where Tom Cruise lived, and the manhole that Olive fell into in On The Buses

Posted on 11:21am Monday 8th July 2013

Well, last weekend proved to be quite hectic but good fun and, thankfully, we enjoyed great weather.

Paul Welsh »

'The Prince must not be photographed with Darth Vader'

Posted on 4:51pm Friday 14th June 2013

Well, Britain’s Got Talent is over for another year and was a big ratings success although some critics commented “Britain’s Got Foreign Talent” might have been a better title.

Paul Welsh »

Britain's Got Talent judges are money for old rope

Posted on 11:50am Friday 7th June 2013

While watching Britain's Got Talent recently, I wondered why television companies paid these “celebrity” judges a reported £1million plus.

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Return to the Village of the Damned

Posted on 12:33pm Friday 31st May 2013

Back in 2003 I attended a reunion of the Village of the Damned cast at Letchmore Heath as a sort of adviser to the BBC, which was making a radio programme about the film. It is sad no  video was made of it as the director Wolf Rilla, who was present, died a couple of years later.

Paul Welsh »

The night I met the Dam Busters

Posted on 1:50pm Friday 24th May 2013

I cannot let this month slip by without mentioning the 70th anniversary of the Dam Busters raid that took place in May 1943.

Paul Welsh »

Looking back to One Million Years BC

Posted on 12:18pm Friday 17th May 2013

It has been a sad few days with the death of two former special guests from the annual Elstree film evenings I used to organise and host from 1984 until 2008.

Paul Welsh »

The wages of sin? £6,000 a time for a Hammer Horror flick and £1,000 for commanding the Death Star

Posted on 3:31pm Friday 10th May 2013

I cannot think of a particular theme this week as I sit typing by candlelight in my attic so here is a pot pourri of thoughts.

Paul Welsh »

From Borehamwood to Hollywood

Posted on 5:08pm Friday 3rd May 2013

This week we look back at a lovely actress I had the pleasure to know and who was the only film star I can recall who actually grew up in Borehamwood.

Paul Welsh »

Before they were famous

Posted on 4:33pm Friday 26th April 2013

I see the new owners of Lucasfilm, the legendary Disney company, have announced they are planning a new Star Wars film every year.

Paul Welsh »

Staying one step ahead of the obituary writers

Posted on 3:35pm Friday 19th April 2013

You may not know this but the reason newspapers can print rapid obituaries when the great and the good pass on is that they keep obituaries on file, with just the need to put on a header and perhaps a final few paragraphs.

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Roast beef, the Clitheroe Kid, pea soupers - and only two television channels?

Posted on 2:27pm Friday 12th April 2013

This column is really about nostalgia and it was very nice last Sunday that a couple of strangers came up to me while I was enjoying a pint at the Mops and Brooms and said they thoroughly enjoyed these trips down memory lane.

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Remembering Richard Griffiths, The Devil Rides Out and the days of 'straight to video' films

Posted on 11:37am Friday 5th April 2013

I was sad to read about the death of Richard Griffiths, whom most readers will remember as the heavily-built actor from the Harry Potter films and the hugely successful stage play The History Boys.

Paul Welsh »

No need for big budgets - all you need is a good story

Posted on 11:47am Friday 22nd March 2013

It is good to hear the popular BBC television programme Pointless has relocated to Elstree Studios and will no doubt be the first of many programmes to use the revamped and modernised stages 8 and 9.

Paul Welsh »

The day I proved James Bond wrong - you can beat big business

Posted on 9:39am Friday 15th March 2013

I cannot believe this year marks the 25th anniversary of the launching of the “Save Our Studios” campaign, when Elstree Studios was under a definite threat of closure.

Paul Welsh »

Why a street in Elstree bears the name of a Hollywood great

Posted on 12:26pm Friday 8th March 2013

One of the things I have enjoyed doing since the late 1970s is to suggest to Hertsmere Borough Council the names to be adopted for the roads and courts on the old MGM site or, as it is known today, the Studio Estate

Paul Welsh »

Looking back on a Good Life - and forward to a hopeful future

Posted on 10:27am Friday 1st March 2013

It was very sad to hear of the death of veteran actor Richard Briers, who is best remembered for The Good Life television series.

Paul Welsh »

The village that hasn't changed a bit since it was The Village of the Damned

Posted on 12:10pm Friday 22nd February 2013

As I write this on a Sunday evening, I have just finished a long weekend that revolved around films and television.

Paul Welsh »

The Dirty Dozen - a Second World War film made when memories were still fresh

Posted on 10:04am Friday 15th February 2013

Films set in the Second World War have grown thin on the ground but used to be a staple diet of cinema along with westerns, science fiction and, up until the 1960s, musicals.

Paul Welsh »

The town where dreams are made

Posted on 5:53pm Friday 8th February 2013

I cannot believe it but 25 years have now passed since my first visit to Hollywood, the land of make-believe.

Paul Welsh »

I would have been a tough judge

Posted on 12:12pm Friday 1st February 2013

Paul Welsh recalls some of the stars of British police dramas and describes the day he passed rough justice on a Metropolitan Police instructor.

Paul Welsh »

I never meant to write a book

Posted on 10:12am Friday 25th January 2013

In the summer of 2011, the Borehamwood Museum threw down the gauntlet and persuaded me to write down my memories of the studios in Borehamwood and the stars who visited them.

Paul Welsh »

Liz Taylor on street where you live

Posted on 12:14pm Friday 21st September 2012

PAUL WELSH goes on a detective hunt as he explores places that were once part of the former MGM studio in Borehamwood

Paul Welsh »

Star-studded memories to cherish

Posted on 9:52am Friday 14th September 2012

Paul Welsh remembers meeting comic legend Bob Hope, who once visited Borehamwood to guest star on The Muppet Show

Paul Welsh »

Keeping it in the family

Posted on 11:07am Monday 10th September 2012

I am walking more these days and regularly notch up 20 miles a week, which must mean I will live until at least 100 and get a telegram from King William.

Paul Welsh »

Do you know of the great actors?

Posted on 9:23am Friday 15th June 2012

PAUL WELSH laments the fickle finger of fate, that dictates some actors are remembered for years after their death, while others are quickly forgotten.

Paul Welsh »

Nostalgia: a big part of our lives

Posted on 9:23am Friday 8th June 2012

PAUL WELSH thinks television commissioning editors should offer fewer reality shows or programmes with ‘celebrities’ and more trips down memory lane.

Paul Welsh »

The launch pad of great careers

Posted on 9:39am Friday 25th May 2012

PAUL WELSH looks back at two notable names who started out at Elstree and found fame in Hollywood. Only one of them is still remembered today.

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