Britain's bravest, David Bowie and a political big beast

Every Monday we take a look at who and what is likely to be making the headlines over the next seven days. Chris Bond reports.
True blue: Ken Clarke is appearing in Ilkley at the weekend to discuss his life and career. (PA).True blue: Ken Clarke is appearing in Ilkley at the weekend to discuss his life and career. (PA).
True blue: Ken Clarke is appearing in Ilkley at the weekend to discuss his life and career. (PA).

Best of British

The Pride of Britain Awards return with the Prince of Wales due to present a special award to mark the 40th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust.

The awards, which have been televised since 1999, have become a welcome fixture on our TV calendar honouring as they do people from all walks of life who through acts of bravery or selflessness have shown themselves to be extraordinary. It’s a moment in the spotlight for all those unsung heroes.


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There’s a press preview of David Bowie’s private art collection ahead of it being sold by Sotheby’s in London.

Among the collection, which is expected to fetch more than £10m, are works by a number of famous artists including Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Frank Auerbach.

Bowie fans will also be interested to know that Driffield-born Woody Woodmansey’s book My Life with Bowie is published on Thursday. Woody was the drummer in Bowie’s legendary Spiders From Mars band and brings this story to life.

Happy birthday

On November 2, 1936, the BBC stepped into a brave new world of television launching its regular transmissions from Alexandra Palace. Eighty years on and telly has come a long way since those first crackly programmes.

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To mark the occasion BBC Four is to recreate the opening night of British television. Given the fact there are no surviving recordings this sounds like a tall order. But it will no doubt spark a debate about the state of TV today and what the future holds. Will television sets even exist in another 80 years?

Pharmacy cuts

The Government’s decision to cut the local pharmacies budget by more than £200m has, not surprisingly, been greeted by howls of protest. Barnsley MP Michael Dugher has been a prominent vocal critic of this and has pushed for a House of Commons debate on Wednesday.

The big question is can Labour and the SNP join forces with Tory rebels to overturn the proposed pharmacy cuts, or will the Government offer sufficient concessions to appease waverers? It’s likely to be a stern test of Theresa May’s fragile majority.

TV Crown

It’s cost £100m and this week viewers will be able to judge for themselves whether this was money well spent by Netflix when The Crown gets underway.

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The new lavish royal family drama starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith charts the story of the Queen - from the early years of her reign through to the present day.

The success of Downton Abbey across the Pond proved that American audiences can’t get enough British period drama. Which helps to explain why Netflix, the US video-on-demand service, was so keen to splash the cash on this.

Big beast

In an era when many of our politicians are seen as bland or nondescript, Ken Clarke is anything but, bringing a splash of colour to Parliament. He’s appearing at Ilkley Literature Festival at the weekend to talk about his life and career.

A former grammar school boy, he became an MP way back in 1970 and was a junior minister when Mrs Thatcher entered Downing Street nine years later. Since then he’s held a number of cabinet positions and also ran and failed to become Tory leader three times.

Ardently pro-European, he’s famed for his love of cigars, bird-watching, football, cricket, jazz and classic cars. If only there were more politicians like him.