painting a dream

As many of you will still be munching on your turkey leftovers (I’ll be living off mine for at least another week as my mother bought a turkey to feed 18-20 people. We have a family of 4.) and sitting down on your comfortable sofas to watch the festive programmes on telly, I thought I would make a suggestion for your evening viewing pleasure. On BBC Two at 9.00pm on Wednesday the 29th, Rolf Harris will make yet another appearance to continue his 57 year-long career in the entertainment business. This time, however, it is to paint his own dream: Titania, Shakespeare’s fairy queen.

BBC Arena helped Harris to realise his long-term dream by inviting several famous faces, from Lily Cole to Lizzy Jagger, to pose semi-naked as the queen of the fairies, and the documentary will take us through more than fifty years of his life as an artist, singer, musician and favourite face of millions. He is even more favoured than Picasso himself, as was discovered in a poll of 1000 people at an exhibition in 1992: he was named by 38% as the world’s most famous artist.

I hope you will join me with your glass of mulled wine and a mince pie to watch the wonder that is Rolf Harris on Wednesday evening. For now, here are some facts about the man that you probably didn’t know (and that I didn’t know until I found them on the BBC website).


1. On 30th March 2010 Rolf celebrated his 80th birthday.

2. Both Rolf’s parents are Welsh, as is his wife, Alwen.

3. Rolf has always had a dream to paint the scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream where Titania wakes and falls in love with an ass.

4. Rolf’s original paintings now sell for tens of thousands of pounds.

5. In 1946 Rolf was the Australian junior backstroke champion.

6. Rolf left Australia in 1952 to study art in London and met his wife, Alwen, at London’s Royal Academy of Art where they were both exhibiting.

7. In 1963 Rolf and the Beatles sang ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport’ with specially adapted lyrics.

8. Rolf made his first appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in 1994 following his success with a cover version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

9. Rolf offered his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to the National Portrait Gallery but it was refused.

10. Sun Arise was produced by Sir George Martin and Rolf was the best man at George’s 1966 wedding.

(facts taken from


Merry Christmas, and happy viewing.

Rosie x

Razz Arts Co-ordinator


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