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Club News - 2012


This is the Fanfare news of 2012, newer to older.
Note: Offsite links may no longer be valid.
Please click here to go to the current Club News

 

Michael's 2012 Christmas presents

Michael receives his 2012 Christmas presents

25 December, 2012Thanks to donations from generous fans, we were able to give Michael Christmas presents which we feel he will enjoy fully. 

The first gift is an adventure holiday allowing this airplane pilot the chance to fly a helicopter for half an hour.  Years ago, Michael got his pilot's license.  He hasn't had much chance to fly recently, but during the run of 'The Sound of Music' he eagerly took the co-pilot seat when the cast was flown to a special publicity shoot. Michael has flown in a helicopter, but it was back in the days when he was terrified of flying.  This experience should give him better memories.  He will need to wait until his present contract with 'High Society' is over before he fulfills the voucher due to contract restrictions.

The second gift is actually three.  To our favorite "Mac Boy", we've given three £50 iTunes gift vouchers good for lots of music and apps.  We know you will find good use for them, Michael!

A list was kept of those who donated and names were sent along with the gifts.

 

Donate to Michael's Christmas present this year!

Michael's 2012 Christmas present

2 December, 2012 -  As we've been doing in recent years, we are collecting donations from fans for Michael's Christmas present.  This is a good way to get something special for Michael that we might not be able to get on our own. We are inviting you to donate what you feel comfortable contributing for his gift.  Since Michael may read this, we don't want to give this away, but if you attend Fanfare chat, you will probably hear what we plan to get Michael for his Christmas present!  If you miss chat, just email Celeste at one of the email addresses below and ask. (No Michael, not you!)

We'd like to get the money collected in time to give it to Michael for Christmas, so we are setting a deadline of Friday, 15 December.  This should give us time to order the present and get it to him.

Records will be kept so we have the names of contributors to give to Michael.  Please join us!

Michael's 2012 Christmas present

No longer accepting donations

 

High Society

Michael in 'High Society' tour

4 October 2012 -  A new touring production of the Cole Porter musical 'High Society' will launch in 2013. The production stars Michael Praed as Dexter Haven, Sophie Bould as Tracy Lord, Daniel Boys as Mike Connor, Keiron Crook as George Kittredge, Carolyn Pickles as Margaret Lord and Alex Young as Liz Imbrie.

Wealthy socialite Tracy Lord is in the midst of planning a lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband Dexter Haven turns up to disrupt the proceedings in an attempt to try and win her back. A further twist arrives in the forming of charming reporter Mike Connor who falls instantly for Tracy, and she for him. As the day of the wedding draws closer we’re left guessing which groom the bride will choose.

The opening performance will take place in Wales, at Llandudno's Venue Cymru on 24 January 2013. 'High Society' will then travel to Dublin, Plymouth, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Canterbury, Newcastle, Bradford, Northampton, Cheltehham, Southampton, Birmingham, Southend, Belfast, Nottingham, Sheffield, High Wycombe and Guildford, where the tour will conclude on 13 July 2013.

'High Society' is produced by John Stalker for Music & Lyrics Ltd, who presented the successful 2012 tour of 'The King and I' with Josefina Gabrielle.

For further details including tour dates and to book tickets, visit www.highsocietymusical.com.

 

Michael on a motorcycle in a photo by Brian Aris.  
Michael poses on a motorcycle in this photo by Brian Aris
in the early 1990s.

Bizarre rumor

29 September 2012 -  Apparently someone with a malicious sense of humor left a post on IMDb stating that Michael Praed had been killed in a motorcycle accident, sending frantic fans scrambling for verification.  This is NOT TRUE and the post was later removed. 

At one point, Michael had a motorcycle, a fact which lent credence to the claim.  He doesn't own a one anymore, having become increasingly aware of the dangers through the years. In his first chat in the Fanfare chatroom on 28 October 2007 he told us "Me and Impending Death (his motorcycle) parted company some moons ago, now. I enjoyed it while it lasted. But after? I came to realise just how close it was I had come to spectacular disaster on more than one occasion!"

Michael would do well to quote Mark Twain: "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

 

Ben Kane audiobook narrated by Michael Praed

Second Spartacus audiobook released

16 August 2012'Spartacus: Rebellion', the finale of Ben Kane's 'Spartacus' series was released by Random House audiobooks on 16 August 2012.  As one might suspect with such a title, it traces the rebellion lead by Spartacus in 71 BC.

'Spartacus' follows the career of the legendary leader of a famous gladiator revolt against the might of Rome.  An experienced soldier, Spartacus is betrayed into slavery to fight in the arena for the amusement of his former foes. Much to the horror of his masters, Spartacus rebels, leading a triumphant army of slaves out of Rome.  On the brink of glory, he must make a crucial decision - to go forward over the Alps to freedom, or back to face the might of Rome and try to break its stranglehold on power forever.

'Spartacus the Gladiator' is the first part of the story, released on 19 January, 2012.

You should be able to find it on various audio download sources. Click here for a link to our Merchandise page for assistance.

Update: Although Amazon US lists these audiobooks, they aren't available outside the UK due to licensing restrictions.

 

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Happy Birthday, Michael!

1 April, 2012 -  It is Michael Praed's birthday today!  Because we know Michael enjoys Indian food (he's a curry fan in particular) we decided to treat him to a couple of London's award winning restaurants. Both specialize in modern Indian cuisine, The Cinnamon Kitchen and The Cinnamon Club.  We sent two £50 gift vouchers, one for each restaurant. Since Michael enjoys experimenting in the kitchen himself, we dispatched a well-known Indian cookbook as well; 'Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking'. The cookbook reached his agent Tuesday. The rest was scheduled to arrive later in the week.

Many thanks to those who contributed. You know who you are -- and so does Michael!  Your names are on the cards we sent.

Happy Birthday, Michael! 

 

Birthday donations for Michael

18 March 2012 Wow!  That crept up on us quickly!  It is time to collect money from fans for Michael's birthday present and we are inviting you to donate what you feel comfortable contributing for his gift.  As always, I wont be telling you here what it is.  Since Michael may read this, we don't want to give it away.  Just email Celeste at one of the email addresses below and ask what it is we are giving him.

We'd like to get the money collected in time to give it to Michael for his birthday, but we don't have much time.  We are setting a deadline of Sunday, 25 March.  It should make it to his agent by his birthday on 1 April..

Records will be kept so we have the names of contributors to give to Michael.  Please join us.

Michael's birthday present

No longer accepting donations

 

In memory of Richard (Kip) Carpenter  
In memory of Richard (Kip) Carpenter,
creator of 'Robin of Sherwood',
14 August 1929 - 26 February 2012

Richard (Kip) Carpenter passes away

15 March 2012 -  Richard (Kip) Carpenter, the creator of  Michael Praed's best known role in 'Robin of Sherwood' passed away suddenly of a heart attack on Sunday, 26 February, 2012.  Kip died in the English countryside he loved while walking his dog.

As Simon Farquhar of The Independent said, Kip "was charming and twinkle-eyed, a born storyteller with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of a grandfather." He leaves behind his wife Annabelle Lee (who played Mad Mab in the RoS episode 'Rutterkin'), their children Tom and Harriet, and two grandchildren.

Kip was much loved as a writer of children's television drama.  Along with BAFTA winning 'Robin of Sherwood', Carpenter wrote scripts for 'Catweazle', 'The Boy From Space', 'The Ghosts of Motley Hall', 'The Adventures of Black Beauty', 'The Famous Five', 'Doctor Snuggles', 'Smuggler', 'Dick Turpin', 'Adventurer', 'The Winjin Pom', 'Stanley's Dragon' and 'Out of Sight'.  He also created notable adaptations including 'The Borrowers', 'The Return of the Borrowers', 'True Tilda', 'The Scarlet Pimpernel', and Philip Pullman's  'I Was a Rat'.  His productions won Writer's Guild Awards, BAFTA Awards, Banff Television Festival award, and awards from PACT and The Royal Television Society.  He was nominated for an International Emmy Award for 'The Borrowers', At the 2000 Children's Award for his substantial contribution to children's television drama through the years.

The funeral took place today, at 3.30pm at Harwood Park Crematorium in Stevenage.  Attending the funeral were family and friends which included Michael Praed, Judi Trott, Nickolas Grace, Ray Winstone, Clive Mantle, RoS producer Paul Knight, RoS producer and casting director Esta Charkham, and director Robert Young.  Mark Ryan sent his regrets.

 

Thanks from Michael

Michael thanks you!

29 February 2012 -   As you know, for Christmas Michael received a number of presents from Fanfare including a book entitled 'Montreal, then and now', a mulled wine gift box, an iTunes gift certificate for £50, an iTunes Apps gift certificate for £25, and an iBooks gift certificate for £50.  Michael sent me a note to express his appreciation.  What follows are the relevant excerpts from his message.


I treasure these gifts. I really do. And I assure you, hand on heart, I can't wait to begin using them. And not only that, I have a multitude of books, movies and apps I am dying to acquire!   I owe a great - a tremendous - debt of gratitude to the many folk who have contributed to my birthdays and Christmases that is well overdue. And I really want to redress that.

I am, frankly, astonished - and here I really do mean that word 'astonished' - at the fabulous and sometimes heartbreakingly mindful gifts I have been fortunate to receive. I have many people to thank.

It is true I can be accused, and rightly so, as being someone who likes to 'stay in the background'. I suppose another way of putting it is: A man who 'likes to be private'. I'm not saying this is is a virtue. In some ways it is a fault. Because by not saying much, my lack of correspondence can be construed as indifference. But nothing, nothing, could be further from the truth. What is absolutely true, and what has also gone so many times unsaid, is how often that man has been humbled by an affection shown, so often, by so many.

As ever,

Michael
 


 

Ben Kane audiobooks narrated by Michael Praed

More Ben Kane narrations offered

29 January 2012 -  The continuing saga of Ben Kane's 'The Forgotten Legion' has been completed in audio format and released.  Like the first novel in the series, Michael Praed narrated the final two titles 'The Silver Eagle' and 'The Road to Rome'. They were released 3 November 2011 and 1 December 2011, respectively.

The lives of four characters are bound and interwoven in a story  in which Romulus, Brennus, and Tarquinius find themselves press-ganged into fighting for Rome's enemies. Taquinius' twin sister Fabiola, a slave in a notorious Roman brothel, escapes to find her lover Brutus in Egypt.  All roads lead back to Rome, however.  A conspiracy to murder Julius Caesar is afoot and loyalties amongst the surviving characters are tested.

'Spartacus the Gladiator' follows the rise of the legendary leader of a famous gladiator revolt against the might of Rome.  An experienced soldier, Spartacus is betrayed into slavery to fight in the arena for the amusement of his former foes. This is the first part of the story, released on 19 January, 2012.

You should be able to find it on various audio download sources. Click here for a link to our Merchandise page for assistance.

Update: Although Amazon US lists these audiobooks, they aren't available outside the UK due to licensing restrictions.

Thanks goes to Michael Praed fan Tabitha Clark for bringing our attention to this news.

 

Happy New Year from Michael Praed's Fanfare!

Happy New Year!

1 January 2012 -  I'd like to take this time to wish all of you the brightest, happiest new year.  May you find joy, contentment and success in 2012.  Bright blessings to all of you.

~~~

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