Maureen Lipman

Richard O'Brien WILL return to The Crystal Maze

It’s the news all you Crystal Maze purists out there have been dreaming of.

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The show’s original presenter Richard O’Brien WILL be making an appearance when the show returns this month after all! Fans of the show were a teeny bit disappointed when the 74-year-old star was overlooked in favour of comedian Stephen Merchant for the upcoming celebrity reboot – and Channel 4 bosses were clearly listening to their moans.

Richard, who presented the show for four series before Ed Tudor-Pole took over, will pop up at the beginning of the show via a video link.

Rumour has it he can’t resist a jibe at his replacement, either – telling Merchant that “that bloke off Doctor Who” would’ve been a far better choice.

In case you hadn’t heard, David Tennant was widely tipped to present the show before The Office writer finally got the nod.

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Channel 4
Still not enough Richard? Well, if the promo shots are anything to go by, Crystal Maze bosses have insisted in trussing up Stephen Merchant in a lurid waistcoat, long shiny coat, cravat and pair of oversized glasses in a bid to give him the quintessential O’Brien look. Oh, and they’ve also shaved his hair off. Squint hard enough and it could be 1990.

Veteran actress Maureen Lipman will also crop up on the show as fortune teller Mumsey, presenting comedian Josh Widdecombe with a series of clues while flirting outrageously. The character was played by Carry On actress Sandra Caron in the ’90s original.

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Channel 4
Celebrity contestants on the show, which has been commissioned to raise money for the Stand Up To Cancer charity, are Michelle Keegan, Jonnie Peacock, Sara Cox and team captain Rio Ferdinand. You can see it at 9pm on October 16 on Channel 4. We can’t wait!

CBeebies Grown-Ups

More photos about CBeebies Bedtime Story >>>>> 1 | 2

Tom Hardy reads New Year CBeebies Bedtime Story

Tom Hardy is to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story to little ones across the country this New Year’s Eve.

He tells the tale of a boy going to a party as he reads You Must Bring a Hat, by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley.

Little ones, and the grown-ups, can see more of Tom later in the new year when he reads more CBeebies Bedtime Stories. Tom was joined by his dog Woodstock for the filming.

Tom joins the list of celebrities who have presented a CBeebies Bedtime Story, including Emilia Fox, Damian Lewis, David Tennant, Tim Peake, Nadiya Hussain, Warwick Davis, Derek Jacobi, Maxine Peake, James McAvoy and David Hasselhoff.

Other CBeebies Bedtime Stories over Christmas and the New Year will be read by Isla Fisher, Maureen Lipman, Justin Fletcher, Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories is on CBeebies every day at 6.50pm.

@bbcpress “Tom Hardy to read @CBeebiesHQ bedtime story on New Year’s Eve”

@CBeebiesHQ “Tom Hardy.Bedtime Story. New Year’s Eve
You’re welcome.”

@brookebutty “#cbeebies #bedtimestories #Tomhardy tune in New years eve at 1850”


Oklahoma! | Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’
Hugh Jackman, with Maureen Lipman, in the 1999 Royal National Theatre production

Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics & Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

If Thou Must Love Me
Sonnet 14
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
Read by Maureen Lipman

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
“I love her for her smile — her look — her way
Of speaking gently, — for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day” —
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee — and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry, —
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou may'st love on, through love’s eternity.

Track 20
Maureen Lipman

 Missing You By Penelope Shuttle

(verses 1, 2 and 21)

read by Maureen Lipman


This year no-one will ask how you voted,

or if you know the way to town

No-one will call you as an eye-witness

or teach you how to train a bird of prey

No-one will bring you your New Scientist,

try to sell you double-glazing

or tell you their secrets

People will write to you

but you won’t answer their letters

The high sheriff of mistletoe

will never catch your eye again

No-one will peel apples for you,

or love you more than you can bear

No-one will forget you


I wept in Tesco,


and in Boots

where they gave me

medicine for grief

But I wept in Asda,

in Woolworths

and in the library

where they gave me

books on grief

I wept in Clarks

looking in vain for shoes

that would stop me weeping

I wept on the peace march

and all through the war

I wept in Superdrug

where they gave me

a free box of tissues

I wept in the churches,

the empty empty churches,

and in the House of Commons –

they voted me out of office


I’ve lived with your death for a year,

that despot death, that realist,


as if I’ve just given birth to a foal,

or made an enemy of the rain

All at once

you had more important things to do

than to live

Death is the feather in your cap,

the source of your fame,

my darkest lesson

This dropout year closes,

I begin my second year without you,

just me and the paper-thin world