Paul Welsh

The Grim Reaper of showbiz

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

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

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.

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

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 man who was the voice of Captain Scarlett

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?

Posted on 10:28am Friday 20th June 2014

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

The truth about red carpet film premieres

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?

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'

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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