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By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2020 09:51AM


A Midlands-born star of the Silent Screen will be brought back into focus in the February edition of online magazine Birmingham Now.

Charlie Hall, born in Erdington in 1899, was regularly paired with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, but also worked with other such Hollywood luminaries as Ray Milland, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

Hall's biographer, John Ullah, is "chief sheik" of the Birmingham branch of the Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society and successfully campaigned for his local Wetherspoons pub in Erdington to be named after the comedian, who died in 1959.

Both Ullah and the pub's manager, Claire Brickland, were interviewed by Steve Green of Solihull-based Vamporama Films. This is their third such contribution to the show; previous packages focused upon movie producer Patrick Carney and the organisers of the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.

February's episode will go live on 27 January. Previous instalments, as well as extended edits of selected features, are available on the Birmingham Now YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ

Find out more about Vamporama Films at films.vamporama.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2019 11:54AM

Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith
Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith

Midlands Spotlight - New online show focuses on Midlands filmmakers

Midlands filmmakers will find themselves in front of the camera when local telly legends Des Tong and Gary James launch their new online show Birmingham Now on Monday 25th November.

Birmingham Now is a new monthly YouTube series will feature interviews with personalities from the world of movies, music, theatre and art, as well as profiles of business and sports figures.

Des Tong is a Birmingham-based musician, presenter and video director, best known for his work with Sad Cafe and singer Cissy Stone. Gary James is a Birmingham-based sports journalist, presenter and branding consultant with wide experience in corporate entertainment.

Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong
Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong

And Steve Green and Chrissie Harper run Solihull-based Vamporama Films, producing news packages for regional television and documentary material for a variety of online and media platforms.

In the first edition, co-producer Steve Green will be talking to actor Alan Birch and writer Al Smith about their collaborations on film and stage, as well as the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.

Running in Kinver in January 2020, the Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival includes judges include Adam Nevill, whose novel The Ritual was adapted for the screen in 2017.

There's also the first of Des Tong's "featured artist" profiles in which he chats with Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter Rebecca Downes.

The show is a co-production between Des & Gary and Solihull-based Vamporama Films.

Previews and free subscriptions are available now via the show’s website http://brum-now.uk

YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ

Festival link: https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk

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