Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Frankie Sells …

In a matter of a few days (December 13th to be precise), Bristol auctioneers Dreweatt Neate, are flogging off a selection of personal items belonging to comedy icon Frankie Howerd. Among the lots include a portrait of the Up Pompeii! star by artist June Mendoza. Once adorning the walls of ’chez Francis’, it is expected to fetch up to £3,000 (€4,400). Other items include an Omega Seamaster watch which Howerd wore up to his death and a leather doctor's bag in which he used to store jokes.

The portrait, which depicts a thoughtful Howerd dressed in a smart grey suit, used to hang over the mantelpiece. "It is a very nice portrait and we have many other interesting pieces," said Nick Ewing of Dreweatt Neate. They include a pair of brass goblets used as props in Up Pompeii!, in which Howerd played the wily Roman slave Lurchio. Earlier this year the late comedian's OBE was raffled to raise money for various charities.

Sayonara Pat …

Actor Pat Morita, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Ralph Macchio's mentor Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid, has died. The 73-year-old died last week at his home in Las Vegas.

Born in California to immigrant fruit pickers, he was among the thousands of Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps during World War II. Morita, who began his career as a comic, rose to fame in TV's Happy Days.

Butt Naked …

Police in El Salvador exposed a planned bank heist after finding two naked would-be robbers digging a tunnel towards the vault. The two men, covered in nothing but dust, were caught after part of the tunnel collapsed, leaving a gaping hole in the street near the bank.

They had apparently stripped off because of the heat inside the tunnel. The area, in the capital San Salvador, had been under police surveillance after reports of mysterious noises. "We have stopped a big-scale robbery," said the city's police commissioner, Wilfredo Avelenda. He said the tunnel, which led to an abandoned house, had been worked on for several days and was nearing completion.
When part of the tunnel collapsed, near to the bank, the two men ran out in to the street to escape, but were arrested by a police patrol. Police spokesman Carlos Rugamas said the tunnel stretched for 75m (246ft). Investigators exploring the tunnel afterwards said the heat inside was unbearable within just a few seconds, after weeks of particularly hot weather.



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