I’m old enough to have caught the tail-end of Liberace’s long and very successful career as pianist to ladies of a certain age. Despite being the most outrageous old queen in the business and the rampant tittle-tattle about his bawdy private life, Liberace got away it by suing the arse off anyone who told tales out of school and playing the I-just-haven’t-found-the-right-girl tune to his myopic fans. Back in the day, it was easier to maintain the lie. If he was still alive and tinkling, the Twitter generation and the red tops would have a field day, particularly as Walt loved to play fast and loose with his reputation by buggering the boys in back rooms. So, with a sparkling set of reviews, we anticipated the Liberace biopic ‘Behind the Candelabra‘ with some relish. Was the film worth the hype? Well, yes and no. Michael Douglas as the rhinestone peacock was superb. He deserves an Oscar but won’t get one as the film was made-for-TV by HBO in the States (though he will qualify for a BAFTA here in old Blighty). Matt Damon as the young lover sported a suitably rabbit-in-headlights look and Rob Lowe almost stole the show as a deliciously wicked pill-pushing plastic surgeon who’d been under the knife once too often himself. The film caught the gas-guzzling Seventies’ mood brilliantly and there were some good lines. By the end of the performance though, too many things were left unsaid. When Liberace’s elderly mother died (an unrecognisable Debbie Reynolds) his response was, “Now I am free.” Why? We’re not told. I found myself getting a little bored as the glitter-sprinkled film camped along to its inevitable conclusion and became irritated when the Middle England audience giggled in embarrassment at some of the mildly raunchy scenes and ripe language. Ladies, it wasn’t that graphic. You really need to get out more.
Jack Scott Imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, married, middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. I chronicled our exploits with the mad, the sad, the bad and the glad in a blog for the whole world to ignore. Then came the book which became a critically acclaimed best seller. Its success opened out a whole new career for me, firstly as an author, and now as a publisher. Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me. In June 2012, we ended our Anatolian affair and paddled back to Britain on the evening tide, washing up in Norwich, a surprising city in eastern England. I’m sometimes nostalgic for our encounters with the hopeless, the hapless and, yes, the happy go lucky. They gave me an unexpected tale to tell and for this I thank them. Act Two, Turkey Street, is out now in print and digital editions.