The Friday Irregular
Issue #510 - 18th January 2019

Edited by and copyright ©2019 Simon Lamont

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Unless otherwise indicated dollar values are in US dollars. Currency conversions are at current rates at time of writing.



  adj. Drunk, especially from beer or ale. [Archaic]


Friday 18th January   -   King Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, 1486. Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, born, 1540. Politician Jan van Riebeeck, founder of Cape Town, South Africa, died, 1677. The First Fleet began to arrive at Botany Bay, Australia, 1788. Writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton died, 1873. Writer A.A. Milne born, 1882. Scientists identified the bacterium that causes Legionnaire's Disease, 1977. Actor & screenwriter Jason Segel born, 1980. Artist & TV presenter Tony Hart died, 2009.
Saturday 19th January   -   Frankish king Dagobert I died, 639. Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England in the Hundred Years' War, 1419. Playwright William Congreve died, 1729. Engineer James Watt born, 1736. Verdi's Il trovatore premiered in Rome, 1853. Artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp born, 1889. Brain, the first IBM PC computer virus, was released, 1986. Tennis player Petra Martić born, 1991. Actress, mathematician & inventor Hedy Lamarr died, 2000. The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, commemorated by the Poe Toaster.
Sunday 20th January   -   Chinese emperor Shi Zong died, 1189. The first English parliament to include representatives of major towns as well as lords convened in the Palace of Westminster, 1265. Cartographer & cosmologer Sebastian Münster born, 1488. Architect John Soane died, 1837. British forces occupied Hong Kong Island, 1841. Musician & songwriter Lead Belly born, 1888. Senior officials of Nazi Germany met in Wannsee to discuss the "Final Solution to the Jewish question", 1942. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, born, 1965. Singer-songwriter Etta James died, 2012.
Monday 21st January   -   King Charles I of France born, 1338. Explorer Juan de Grijalva killed, 1527. Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Stockholm, 1720. King Louis XVI of France executed, 1793. Artist Harriet Backer born, 1845. The first Monte Carlo Rally took place, 1911. Tenor Plácido Domingo born, 1941. Writer George Orwell died, 1950. Concorde began its commercial service, 1976.
Tuesday 22nd January   -   Danelaw Vikings defeated a West Saxon army under Æthelred I at the Battle of Basing, 871. Explorer, courtier & poet Sir Walter Raleigh born, 1552. Composer Christofano Malvezzi died, 1599. An army of 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors attacked a garrison of around 150 British and Colonial troops at Rorke's Drift; the attack would be repelled by the end of the next day, 1879. Filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein born, 1898. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom died, 1901. Actress Diane Lane born, 1965. Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer with an iconic television commercial during Super Bowl XVIII, 1984. Writer Ursula K. Le Guin died, 2018.
Wednesday 23rd January   -   Roman Emperor Theodosius I declared his 8-year-old son Honorius co-emperor, 393. Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, died, 1002. Mogolian emperor Biligtü Khan Ayushiridara born, 1349. The Royal Exchange in London opened, 1571. John Hancock, 1st governor of Massachusetts & notable signer of the Declaration of Independence, born, 1737. Brewer Arthur Guinness died, 1803. Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded her M.D. in New York, becoming the first female doctor in the U.S., 1849. Actress Jeanne Moreau born, 1928. Artist Salvador Dalí died, 1989.
Thursday 24th January   -   Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated by the Praetorian Guards, who declared Claudius as Emperor, 41. Joanna of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, born, 1547. King Charles II of England dissolved the Cavalier Parliament, 1679. Writer Edith Wharton born, 1862. Lawyer & politician Lord Randolph Churchill died, 1895. Robert Baden-Powell organised the first Boy scout troop, 1908. Actor Ernest Borgnine born, 1917. Artist Amedeo Modigliani died, 1920.


This week, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the opening sentence of Paul Clifford:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.


A selection of quotations from films with a common actor or actress. Answers next issue or from the regular address. Last issue's quotations were from films starring Rose Byrne:


Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

IN BRIEF: Namibian artist Max Siedentopf sets up sound installation in Namib Desert to play Toto's "Africa" on loop. ● Astronomers believe they may finally have seen a dying star transforming into a black hole - some 200 million years ago. ● Plymouth City Council apologises for playground display of planets that has Uranus in the wrong position after it was pointed out to them - 10 years after installation. ● Picture of an egg becomes most-liked on Instagram with over 29 million likes after campaign to beat previous record holder Kylie Jenner's baby announcement picture (18 million likes); Jenner responds with good humour by posting video of her smashing an egg. ● Market Harborough, Leicestershire, bridge closed after being hit by too-tall lorry; repaired and reopens, then is hit by another lorry within hours. ● Nike launches self-lacing trainers controlled by phone app. ● Oxford police trying to recapture loose emu "causing a few road issues". ● Planned sculpture of Satan for Segovia, Spain, aqueduct - to mark local legend about the devil being tricked into building the bridge - panned for appearing "too friendly". ● Stowaway mynah bird discovered on Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to London 12 hours into trip; eventually caught safely. ● Utah police urge people not to attempt stunts while blindfolded in the manner of hit Netflix film Bird Box after teenager with her hat pulled over her eyes crashed her car into oncoming traffic. ● Oklahoma woman bragged to stranger on dating app about illegally killing a buck after the end of hunting season; the man she was communicating with was a game warden, who managed to get enough information about her identity to have her charged and fined $2,400 (£1,885) - she avoided jail because she pleaded guilty and accepted the fine.


CBS All Access confirms development of Star Trek: Discovery series fronted by Michelle Yeoh. ● Aquaman becomes first DC superhero film to pass $1bn (£0.78bn) box office takings since The Dark Knight. ● Martin Scorsese to direct Bob Dylan tour documentary for Netflix. ● Louise Redknapp pulls out of 9 to 5 stage musical after fracturing wrist. ● Liesl Tommy to direct Aretha Franklin biopic Respect starring Jennifer Hudson. ● Fox holding off on greenlighting Avatar 4 and 5 pending seeing takings for 2 and 3. ● Filming underway on Will Smith, Martin Lawrence film Bad Boys 3, 15 years after Bad Boys 2. ● Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld says Disney-Fox merger has killed off proposed X-Force film. ● Dwayne Johnson accuses The Daily Star newspaper of fabricating interview and anti-millenial quotations. ● Saw writers Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan writing Final Destination reboot. ● Teaser trailer for final season of Game of Thrones released. ● New Ghostbusters sequel, set in present-day original universe to be directed by Jason Reitman (son of 1984 original director Ivan), not yet known whether surviving original cast will be involved; 2020 release planned. ● American Mythology Comics due to launch Laurel and Hardy series. ● Plans to rework West End production of Les Miserables as touring show slammed by fans for diluting show's power. ● The Who to record first album since 2006's Endless Wire. ● Kanye West reportedly pulls out of Coachella because they will not build him his own stage. ● Missy Elliott becomes first female rapper to be inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. ● Bros to follow success of documentary with Brixton Academy gig. ● Playstation 4 games console nearing 100 million sales worldwide. ● African American Film Critics Association to honour Quincey Jones, Jason Blum with Special Achievement awards. ● OOOH ARRR Productions to refund all customers who paid to see sold out pantomime at Neeld Community and Arts Centre, Chippenham, advertised as boasting a "sparkling set and glittering costumes", described by one audience member as "there were only three people, no scenery, they couldn't sing or dance." ● The Rolling Stones to headline 50th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. ● "Amicable" ending reached in lawsuit against Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brought by the Satanic Temple over inclusion of copyrighted, 'appropriated', Baphomet statue; terms not disclosed. ● Family Guy writers to tone down LGBT jokes. ● Paramount cancels Star Trek 4 'indefinitely', director S.J. Clarkson to work on Game of Thrones prequel pilot instead. ● Disney renews Star Wars Resistance for second season. ● Stellan Skarsgård joins Dune cast. ● The Cranberries releasing final album including Dolores O'Riordan to mark anniversary of her death. ● The Greatest Showman soundtrack retakes #1 spot on UK album chart, has now topped chart for record 26 non-consecutive weeks. ● Alicia Keys to host Grammys. ● Aaron Sorkin hints at sequel to The Social Network. ● Tidal streaming service under investigation in Norway for inflating listening figures for albums including ones by Kanye West & Beyonce. ● Classical music UK sales rose by 10% last year making it the fastest-growing genre. ● Captain Marvel co-writer Jac Schaeffer attached to The Vision and Scarlet Witch Marvel Cinematic Universe TV spin-off. ● Steven Spielberg casts 17-year-old Colombian-American high school student Rachel Zegler as Maria in West Side Story remake.

Costa Book Awards: First Novel: Stuart Turton, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle; Novel: Sally Rooney, Normal People; Biography: Bart van Es, The Cut Out Girl; Poetry: J.O. Morgan, Assurances; Children's Book: Hilary McKay, The Skylarks' War.

Specsavers National Book Awards: Overall Winner: Adam Kay, This is Going to Hurt; Popular Fiction: Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; Crime and Thriller: Belinda Bauer, Snap; Autobiography: Dolly Alderton, Everything I Know About Love; U.K. Author: Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust; International Author: Sally Rooney, Normal People; L.B.C. Audiobook: Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time; Young Adult: Scarlett Curtis, Feminist Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies; Children's: Ben Brooks, Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different; Food and Drink: Yotam Ottolenghi, Simple.


Broadcaster & weather presenter Dianne Oxberry (The 8:15 From Manchester, Inside Out North West, North West Tonight, 51), musician Willie Murphy (Running, Jumping, Standing Still, 75), mathematician Professor Sir Michael Atiyah (Fields Medal, former Royal Society president, the Atiyah-Singer index theorem, 89), voice actor Bradley Bolke (Underdog, The Year Without a Santa Claus, The New Caspar Cartoon Show, 93), Navajo code talker Alfred K. Newman (94), actress Carol Channing (Hello Dolly, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 97).


Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:
3, 21, 25, 33, 51, 58
[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at


    Little Jennifer's parents were taking her out for their weekly fast food night. "Where would you like to go, Little Jennifer?" her mother asked.
    "McDonald's please, Mummy," Little Jennifer said.
    Her father looked at his daughter. "I tell you what, Little Jennifer, we'll go to McDonald's if you can spell it correctly."
    Little Jennifer thought for a moment and smiled at her parents as only Little Jennifer could. "Can we go to KFC instead?"

^ ...end of line