Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Further Adventures Pt.10 - No.1258


A FluffTail
Tom Markstahler
© 2012
Continued from post No.1256


The temperatures outside in Kehl Germany had plummeted to freezing the night of New Year and poor Ozziebear didn’t realise that he had caught a very very bad cold. Ozzie got medical advice straight away. He went to the source of all things medical – Google!
At first, his host Tom Markstahler recommended he dose up with vitamins which he did. They tasted rather nice, kind of like orange flavoured lollies. In fact Tom had to take the container away from Ozzie because he kept helping himself a little too much...
A day later though and Ozzie was feeling crook. He was worried he might not be able to complete his journey to Australia if he got any worse. So Hamish Hamster, Lady Retriever and his bestest buddy Barkston T. Mouse came to his rescue. Out came the chest rubs, the pills and a lot of round-the-clock TLC.
By day three the cold had become man flu. No, bear flu! Ozzie’s temperature had gone past 40c which was a dangerous position to be in when you are coated with thick fur. Ozziebear was so miserable and his body ached. Tom put Ozzie in a cold shower and tried to get his temperature down but it was a slow process. Lady, Hamish and Barkston were there every step of the way. Strangely, Ozzie was not that happy though each time his temperature had to be taken. He wondered why they kept inserting it rectally when it was an ear thermometer… !!!
By day four things had gotten worse so Tom took Ozzie to the local clinic run by Dr. N. Fluff. Luckily, Miss Fluff knew what he needed…anti-bear-otics! Phew! By day five Ozzie was definitely showing signs of improvement ...Hurrah!

To be continued…

Above: Russell Tovey from an issue of Zoo Magazine Autumn Edition 2011.

Below: Click image to enlarge.

Russell Tovey talks about:
Sherlock, Being Human, Grabbers, Pirates, Mike the Knight, Him and Her and Tower Block

Russell Tovey, the voice of Mike the Knight

Actor Russell Tovey has built a TV career around programmes aimed at adults. There’s Him And Her, the BBC3 sitcom in which his character Steve shares a flat – not to mention intimate secrets – with his girlfriend. And there is Being Human, another BBC Three show, this one featuring vampires, ghosts, werewolves and occasional outbreaks of gore and violence, quite a lot of it involving Russell’s character, junior werewolf George Sands.
His next project is a deliberate change of genre and direction, an opportunity to make a programme that will appeal to his brother’s two sons, Nathan and Mackenzie, who are six and four respectively. “I thought it was about time I made something for them,” grins Russell, chatting in the central London office of one of the production companies behind new CBeebies animated series Mike The Knight. “Nathan and Mackenzie are too young to watch a lot of the stuff I do but Mike The Knight is definitely aimed at their age group and the chance to make something that they could watch was an important reason why I said yes to it. That and the fact that I think it is very funny and exciting.
“I genuinely think my nephews will love the show, actually, as will a lot of young children. I’m going back to Nathan and Mackenzie’s home in Essex, shortly, to show them the first episode and I’m also taking with me souvenirs from the show, some Mike the Knight Oyster Card holders which are designed for people to hold their Oyster Cards in when they travel on The London Underground.
“They are probably not quite right for them at the moment. The Underground hasn’t quite stretched to their part of Essex yet and they are only six and four! But I hope they appreciate the gesture…
“As things stand, my nephews are proud of me for being in Doctor Who and Nathan has a picture of me, as Midshipman Frame, which he takes into school to remind the teachers that his uncle was in one of the coolest shows on TV!
“Although I reckon Mike the Knight could trump Doctor Who in terms of giving me credibility and kudos with my nephews. I could see it becoming quite a hit in the playground, with Nathan, Mackenzie and their mates talking about the programme and play-acting as knights.”
Russell voices Squirt in Mike The Knight, a dragon who provides support, friendship and loyalty to the show’s hero, the titular Mike, as he and his friends – including Squirt’s fellow dragon Sparkie – encounter magic, mystery and excitement in the medieval kingdom of Glendragon. There are also Vikings and trolls to further spice up the action and delight the young audience.
The tales are simple enough for under-fives to understand but don’t imagine for a moment that the process by which they have arrived on our TV screens is at all simple. Mike the Knight has been a long time in the making and Russell’s vocal contributions to the 52-part series stretched out over a full 12 months. Nor was the voice he gives to Squirt just dreamed up by him when he arrived in the recording booth to bring the character to life.
“I wanted to put across his energy, kindness, faithfulness, loyalty, sweetness and lovability,” he explains. “I also wanted to make Squirt an innocent character because the audience is primarily going to be young children.
“So I had to have a long think about how to bring all those characteristics and traits to the voice. I didn’t model Squirt on anyone I know, certainly nobody from TV, although the director pulled me up a couple of times when I was doing the voice. I was making Squirty sound a bit too stupid when what I was really trying to do was make him sound innocent, not daft.
“So I had to quickly get him back him into Squirt territory!” The effort and commitment which Russell – who turns 30 on November 14 – brings to the characters he plays are probably prime reasons why he is currently one of the most sought-after actors in Britain. Ask him what he has coming up and he reels off a list of projects that would keep several thespians happy, never mind one single guy from Essex.
“I’ve got a new series of Him And Her, which is airing November, and another series of Being Human, which will go out in the New Year. There’s a movie I’ve done called Grabbers, in which I play a guy who has worked out that the best way to ward off aliens is to have alcohol in your body, a small-budget British film called Tower Block and a rather bigger-budget animation movie with Hugh Grant called The Pirates, in which I play an albino pirate. There‘s also an episode of the BBC series Sherlock that I have filmed.” Phew! Does he ever get time to sleep?
source: telegraph.co.uk Oct 2011

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