No. 137 – Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon image ©BBC 1976

Unnamed BBC newsreader drawn by Jesús Blasco (1919–1995) from prog 1’s (1977) Invasion! written by Pat Mills v former BBC newsreader Angela Rippon

Angela May Rippon CBE[1] became a regular BBC news presenter in 1975, and was the first female journalist to permanently present the BBC national television news.

Notes:

  1. British chivalric order: Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

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No. 124 – I, Caligula

I, Claudius image ©BBC

Chief Judge “Cal” Caligula[1] by Brian Bolland from the Judge Dredd epic The Day the Law Died (progs 86108 (1978-79)), written by John Wagner v Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, aka Caligula (AD 12–41), Roman emperor (AD 37–41), specifically as he is portrayed by John Hurt (1940–2017) in the 1976 BBC television drama I, Claudius.[2]

Although the validity of the accounts is debatable (only two sketchy sources of Caligula’s life remain; and also the Roman custom was to equate bad government with sexual perversity), Caligula is reported to have turned his palace into a brothel, committed incest with and prostituted his three sisters, and planned or promised to make his favourite horse, Incitatus, a consul and actually appointed it a priest.

“Caligula”, meaning “Little Boots”, was a childhood nickname that stuck, and which he hated, and indeed in later life had put to death anyone foolish enough to be overheard using it. Unhappily, he wasn’t too fond of his given name of Gaius either.

Notes:

  1. Judge Caligula Book One (Titan Books, 1983)
  2. Ref: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Cal

No. 112 – You Might Very Well Think That…

Sir Giles from prog 2041’s Greysuit drawn by John Higgins vs. Francis Ewan Urquhart (played by Ian Richardson (1934–2007)) from BBC’s House of Cards (1990)

The BBC miniseries has since been adapted into a popular American political drama of the same name by Netflix, starring Kevin Spacey as the ruthless Francis J. Underwood, with Michael Dobbs (author of the novels upon which the shows are based) as an executive producer.

BBC’s House of Cards was the first of a trilogy which continued with To Play the King (1993) and The Final Cut (1995). The drama introduced and popularised the phrase, “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.” The phrase doesn’t work quite as well in an American accent and was used only once by Francis Underwood in the US adaptation, in the final episode of season one.

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