A suitably festive offering from our very own Christmas Crackers – Ray Burmiston & Paul Rider, who worked on this seasonal campaign for the publicity of Sky1’s autobiographical comic shorts from Britain’s best-loved stars for this Christmas’ schedule. Over the space of 3 months they photographed a multitude of British comedy geniuses such as Stephen Fry, Kathy Burke, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand & Catherine Tate. The results of which are coming now to a billboard near you.
Rebecca Miller photographed Natalie and Elliot Bergman, the duo at the heart of American rockers Wild Belle, for The Untitled Magazine. They were celebrating the release of their second album for Columbia, ‘Dreamland’. Brother and sister, they are definite about the importance of their relationship to the music. ‘Nothing gets between blood. We’re unbreakable. We have a bond that you can’t fuck up.’ said Natalie.
Here’s some of what The Untitled Magazine said about the band. ‘Growing up in a musical household in Chicago, a city known for its Bluesy roots, it was only natural for siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman to form a band together. Known as Wild Belle, the duo’s signature style combines Elliot’s penchant for reggae rhythms and tropical sounds with Natalie’s raw vocals and rockstar swagger. Both musicians play instruments and collaborate on songwriting but it was Natalie’s life that provided the basis for their second full-length album, Dreamland. Reeling from the end of a romantic relationship, she packed up her bags and drove across country, settling in Venice, California. There she penned most of the album which proves to be a slightly darker follow-up to the band’s catchy debut, Isles.’
Styling: Tiffany Briseno @ Wilhelmina Artists
Hair by Deborah Brider using Shu Uemura Art of Hair
Make up by Tadayoshi Honda
Shot on location at The Carlton Hotel and The Millesime restaurant, NYC
The nation’s second most famous nonagenarian – she’s the same age as the Queen – is publicising Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in which she revives her TV role as the smart and sceptical mother of the perpetually adolescent and permanently drunk fashion diva Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders).
In the Ab Fab interview she shows an appropriately detachment to modern show biz and its stars and celebrities, some of whom have cameos in the film: Kate Moss is seen quaffing champagne and smoking a fag; Kim Kardashian turns up, as do Harry Styles and Rebel Wilson. Did June get to meet any of them?
‘I haven’t heard of Rebel. I know Kim is a model. I don’t want to name anyone else as they’re supposed to be a surprise.’
What about Vogue cover star Alexa Chung, who is also rumoured to appear?
‘Alexa who?’ she says.
Absolutely extreme styling by Natalie Read.
Ab Fab: The Movie is out on 1st July.
As we said in a previous post, the shoot took place in the Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, which with its gold and mural encrusted walls provided a suitably opulent background. A dozen presenters, including Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry, and around one hundred of extras were all clad in period costume featuring fabulous frocks, powdered wigs and acres of brocade.
It was major feat for the costume and hair make up departments to create so many different looks. Though some of them may not have been completely based on history. ‘Have you seen the lady the pink and blue wig? She looks like a lollipop,” asked head make-up designer Wakana Yoshihara. “That was my inspiration!’
The BBC launched their coverage of the Euros 2016, which start on June 10th, with an extravaganza of a ‘marketing trail’ – an ad to you and me – starring their TV presenters robed in 18th Century finery, and Ray Burmiston was commissioned to capture the moment.
The shoot took place in the Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, which with its gold and mural encrusted walls provided a suitably opulent background. The presenters, including Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry, and a host of extras were all clad in period costume featuring fabulous frocks, powdered wigs and acres of brocade.
Some of the pundits enjoyed it more than others. Alan Shearer made it clear he wasn’t keen to repeat the experience but Gary Lineker took it in his stride. “I’ve spent 20 years dressing up for Walkers commercials, so I’m kind of used to this strangeness,” he said. While, by general consensus, Rio Ferdinand turned most heads in his outfit, “he can carry anything off,” said Lineker.
In the clip the cast march forth led by the real Euros 2016 trophy unleashing their slogan ‘Liberté, Egalité, Footé!’
Euros 2016, the ‘marketing trail’, and Ray’s pictures will be on your screens throughout June and into July.
Allez les rosbifs!
To see how far artificial intelligence has progressed, the paper set up a series of tests where human experts were pitted against AI in the fields of translation, writing, painting and cooking to see if it could match human creativity.
In the cooking contest, Yotam Ottolenghi was faced with IBM’s chef Watson, a robot, (though we don’t think he’s the one in the pictures) and they were challenged to produce a dish from a random set on ingredients including chicken livers and tequila.
Writer Leo Benedictus gave his verdict on the results.
‘Well, I will say it isn’t horrible. Humans have served me worse. Although in truth the name that IBM’s Chef Watson gives this dish (“Chicken Liver Savoury Sauce”)is about as appetising as it deserves.
To be fair to Chef Watson, and to Guardian Weekend’s own chef-columnist Yotam Ottolenghi, I had set them quite a task. I asked for a dish based on four ingredients that seemed to belong nowhere near each other: chicken livers, Greek yoghurt, wasabi and tequila. They could add whatever else they liked, but those four had to be in the finished dish, which I would cook and eat.
Chef Watson didn’t hesitate, instantly giving me two pasta sauces. Ottolenghi was more circumspect. “When I got the challenge I thought, ‘This is not going to work,’” he tells me. I thought the same. Or at least I thought I would end up eating two dishes that managed to be OK despite their ingredients, rather than because of them. In fact – and you’ll think me a creep, but so what – Ottolenghi’s recipe was a revelation: liver and onion and a tequila reduction, served with an apple, radish, beetroot and chicory slaw, with a wasabi and yoghurt dressing. The dish may make little sense on paper, but I devoured a plateful feeling that every element belonged. (And vinaigrette thickened with yoghurt and wasabi instead of mustard: seriously, give it a try.) Ottolenghi tells me the recipe is just a whisker short of publishable.
The thing is, that dish took him and his team three days to perfect. They were able to taste and discuss flavours, textures, colours, temperatures, in a way that Watson can’t – although there have been“discussions” about adding a feedback mechanism in future, Chef Watson’s lead engineer, Florian Pinel, tells me. “A recipe is such a complex thing it’s difficult for me even to understand how a computer would approach it.”
Verdict: Watson hides the weirdness of the ingredients, but Ottolenghi makes them sing.’