Sunday, April 30, 2017
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Arts & Entertainment

When Bradford was named the world’s first City of Film in the summer of 2009, it is fair to say a few eyebrows were raised. Overcoming competition from Los Angeles, Cannes and Venice to win the UN honour, Bradford was officially recognised as UNESCO City of Film.

photo 1-5At the time of this prestigious honour in 2009, Bradford played host to the Bradford Film Festival, Bite the Mango International Film Festival and the Bradford Animation Film Festival. Three major film festivals that were serious players in the international annual film calendar. The Bradford Film Festival, hosted and organised by the then named National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, was one of Bradford’s jewels in the crown. In its two decade history, the festival attracting global film stars such as Jean Simmons, Oscar winner Michael (The Deer Hunter) Deeley, John Hurt, Terry Gilliam, Claire Bloom, Richard Attenborough and Kenneth Branagh. Organised by the NMPFT’s Head of Film Bill Lawrence and Festival Director Tony Earnshaw, The Bradford Film Festival “brought a touch of the red carpet, a tangible sense of glamour, the presence of living, breathing film heavyweights and the notion that the north could do it as well as the south. Some said even better” stated Tony Earnshaw at the time.

The Bite the Mango Film Festival was billed as a ‘celebration of world cinema’ and since its inception in 1995 by Carey Sawney who passed on the baton to me in 1998, the festival became one of, if not the leading film festival of its kind in the UK. Between 1998 – 2008, both BIFF and BTM put Bradford on the global map as a city where independent and commercial cinema would be celebrated. Regular world premieres, screen talks, workshops and seminars became common at the NMPFT and the emphasis of film BiFF_logo_new_blkwas very much at the forefront of the Museum’s attraction peaking at almost one million annual visitors. A contribution to the attraction of visitors was the global film personalities that visited the museum. BTM attracted global stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar Pooja Bhatt, the late Om Puri (twice), Mahesh Bhatt, Shabana Azmi, Amit Khan, Anil Kapoor, Samina Peerzada, Meera, Subhash Ghai, Shatrughan Sinha and James McAvoy. With these stars, Bradford and the festival were highlighted in the New York Times, Mumbai Mirror, Screen Daily and other international journals.

Even before the film festivals were born, Bradford has always had a rich history as a city of locations for filmmakers. Famous films such as The Railway Children, L.A. Without a Map, Billy Liar, and The Dresser used locations around the city such as Keighley, Little Germany, Undercliffe and the Alhambra Theatre.

Let us now fast forward to 2017. The NMPFT has changed its name to the National Science and Media Museum (no emphasis on film) and was on the verge of closing in 2013 due to a lack of funding. Bradford now has NO film festival. Bite the Mango was axed in 2010 as it was struggling to “attract the harder to reach communities” according to the Head of Marketing at the time of cancelling. The Fantastic Films Weekend followed in the same vain in 2013 and the Bradford Film Festival was finally put to the sword in 2016 after being ‘temporary cancelled’ a year earlier pending a review. As I said at the time, reviews only mean one thing. Now we know what it meant.

Today, Bradford has very little film activity even though we do have a team at the Bradford City of Film office. Sporadic fringe events do not justify the status of City of Film. The museum, it seems, will now take a direction towards science and as one walks around the struggling venue today, there is no displayed archive of the movie greats that once stood foot in the venue. It is though the museum has eradicated any possible memory of the film festivals that once took place.

Bradford does not deserve the status of City of Film. It’s as plain and simple as that. Doing the odd sporadic event is simply not enough. Unless it once again plays host to a major film festival or the bosses in charge of film activity in the city up their game, the status will remain embarrassing.

by Irfan Ajeeb


The Broadway Shopping Centre in Bradford  will be hosting auditions for the 2017 season of X Factor on April 15th.

On the search for the next Olly Murs or Little Mix, the producers of the iconic TV show will be holding open auditions in the centre from 10.30am until 5.30pm.

The auditions will be held on a first come, first served basis so candidates are advised to arrive early, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a valid ID with them.  Hopefuls may be asked to sing acapella, but may also be allowed to use their own backing track CD or music of their own.

The X Factor has been essential viewing on UK television screens for 13 years, with one of the biggest success stories, Zayn Malik, hailing from Bradford.  These initial auditions will decide which potential superstars have what it takes to go forward and prove themselves in front of the celebrity judges this summer.

General manager of The Broadway Shopping Centre, Ian Ward, is excited to see what talent the auditions reveal: ‘The X Factor has been a huge part of Saturday night television for the last 13 years,. We’re hoping to uncover the city’s next Zayn right here at The Broadway; someone we can all support and be proud of as they take on the X Factor challenge.

‘This audition process could be the first step in an amazing career for any talented Bradfordians who have maybe been hesitant to audition before now.  If you think you can wow Simon Cowell and people all over the UK on live TV, come down to The Broadway on Saturday 15th April and show the producers of X Factor what you’ve got – I know you’ll have the whole of Bradford behind you.’

The X Factor team will be watching auditions from 10.30am until 5.30pm on Saturday April 15th, and you must be over 16 from the 1st July 2017 in order to audition.  Keep an eye on the official X Factor social media channels, as well as The Broadway Facebook page for any updates.

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor
From their name ‘Nervous ‘Orse’, to the sweeping moors that feature as a backdrop to their video for the song ‘Dead Is The New Alive’, the Bradford based four piece are undeniably influenced by their Yorkshire roots; and with their unique blend of individual musical influences and genres Nervous ‘Orse have created an original and exciting sound that has seen them gain a loyal and growing following, and become firm favourites on the local live circuit.

Keen to find out more about the ‘Orse I met up with them ahead of the forthcoming release of two new singles, and discovered a group of musicians whose personalities are as diverse as their sound, but whose talent and passion unites them in their mission to make good music – and get it heard.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

The band formed in 2014, originally as a three piece and having since added a fourth leg the four ‘Orse-men are: Dave McKinley (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), Luke Carter (Vocals/Electric Guitar), Jacob Riley (Vocals/Drums) and Danny Sapko (Vocals/Bass)

Their sound is built on the solid songwriting skills of Dave, described by his bandmates as “a kind man who writes thought provoking lyrics”, and Jake who in Dave’s words is “an enigma, probably the most talented musician I’ve ever worked with – and doesn’t write a poor song!”

On top of this steadfast songwriting foundation Luke brings his versatility and perfectionism as a guitarist, and bassist Danny, who, being heavily influenced by Motown and Soul, is jokingly cited by the rest of the band as “playing too many notes!”

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

Add to this the harmonies, melodies and swapping of lead vocals that altogether create a unique and original sound, so unique in fact that it has led to the band often being described as ‘genreless’. However, this is not so much because it’s impossible to ascribe their sound to any specific musical genres, but because the band are driven by the desire to make good music, without genre constraints, as their two new singles, ‘Libertine’ and ‘Here’s To You’ which differ hugely in style, serve to demonstrate.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

As the winners of ‘Outstanding Band 2016’ at the Grassroots Awards through the Yorkshire Gig Guide the band have clearly created a sound, style and audience experience that has put them in a field all of their own. Unanimous in agreement that winning the award is one of their proudest achievements so far it is by no means the only one of note. 2015 saw them being approached by a new local independent label Wide Mouth Records, and asked to sign, becoming the label’s inaugural band, followed by the release of their debut album ‘Where This Now Finds Us…’ later that year. They have also played at Bingley Music Live, Bradford Festival and on the main stage at Saltaire Festival. 2017 is already gaining pace for the ‘Orse as they eagerly look forward to the release of their two new singles, and a second album.

Not only are Nervous ‘Orse a band of talented, passionate musicians, they are also thoroughly good guys with boundless enthusiasm, integrity and heart. I’ll attest that when I heard ‘Here’s To You’ I found it emotionally impactful, and I felt the same when I learned that in 2015 the band released their single ‘Calling Orson’ which was written in memory of the late Robin Williams, as a ‘name your price’ or free download in support of #WorldMentalHealthDay (10th October) donating the proceeds from the track download to mental health charities.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

To find out more about the band, upcoming releases and gig dates LIKE, LISTEN and FOLLOW here:

Or catch them live on the following dates:

24th March at The Exchange, Russell Street, Keighley with Waiting For Wednesday and John Boxall – £5 OTD
7th April at ‘360 Club’ at Lending Room – The Leeds Library – Tickets £5
14th April at Al’s Dime Bar, North Parade, Bradford – Free entry
3rd July at Groovy Happening – £3 entry (no ticket needed) Monthly live music event and social gathering that is a fundraising initiative for Manorlands, Sue Ryder, held at Parkside Social Club, Haworth

Bradford’s North Parade is welcoming a new live music venue to the many popular bars and cafes that have proved such a hotspot in recent years thanks to the City Growth Zone fund.

Wireless Bar is a new venture set up by long standing friends Lee Fergus and Richard Emsley which will promote the great local talent that exists in the area.

As well as enjoying the sounds of bands and solo artists, customers can enjoy an excellent choice of real ales and craft beers from local breweries.

The bar, which has benefited from Bradford Council’s City Growth Zone funding, will be opening shortly, creating 4 new jobs.

Creating jobs is an essential criteria to be granted either a capital grant or business rates relief under the City Centre Growth Zone fund.

Sunbridge Wells tunnels was the latest project to benefit from this incentive, which has proved extremely popular, with customers flocking from right across the region to visit this highly unusual and unique destination.

The tunnels, offering shops and bars in this underground complex, have proved a great boost to the city.

Many other cafes and bars have made great additions to Bradford’s leisure economy. In various parts of the city, over 30 different leisure and hospitality venues in the city centre have received funding.

They include Cafe Jinnah in the Gatehaus in Leeds Road; the Guzelian cafe in Church Bank; the award-winning Brew Haus in Windsor Baths, Morley Street, and Rakkaposhi in Ebenezer Street.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “It’s really good to see the night-life booming in Bradford, and also to see cafes popping up and catering for a wide variety of tastes all over the city centre.”

In all over 200 businesses have received funding from the Scheme since its launch in 2012.

For more information about the City Centre Growth zone, please contact Jacqueline Ramdeen, Development Officer, on 01274 433957.


The Broadway is on the hunt for a team of secret elves to test toys and let shoppers know which gifts will be ‘must haves’ for Bradford children this Christmas.

This Saturday, 22nd October, a Secret Test Workshop will appear at The Broadway for one day only, and visitors from the North Pole will recruit children to help them carry out tests on the hottest toys available this Christmas. Parents and guardians are also invited to see which toys are met with the best reactions.

Any child can take part in the event, and their opinions will be polled to help The Broadway to compile an essential list of Bradford children’s favourite toys. The workshop opens at 11am, and the first children to share their expertise will be specially invited guests from Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity, The Broadway’s chosen charity partner. From 11.30, the workshop will be open to the public.

Ian Ward, General Manager of The Broadway, said: “We’ve worked with our retailers and a top team from the North Pole to gather the best toys set to hit the shelves this Christmas, but we are too old to know what to do with them. We’re calling on all kids in the area to come along to The Broadway, play with all of the latest gadgets, gizmos and thingamebobs, and tell us what they think of them.

“We are so lucky that these mysterious visitors from the icy north have chosen The Broadway to carry out their testing this year, and can’t wait to welcome them into the shopping centre. We think our findings will also be really useful for parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and any other oldies who struggle to work out which toys will bring the biggest smiles on Christmas Day. We’ll be announcing the top ten toys as voted for by the children of Bradford next week.”

Secret Agent Saturday is part of a series of Super Saturdays running at The Broadway throughout October. The final event, Spooky Saturday, will take place on 29th October, followed by The Broadway’s first birthday party and Christmas light switch-on on 5th November.



There’s a gathering of ghosts, ghouls and other grisly spirits descending on Eureka! The National Children’s Museum this Halloween from 22 to 31 October 2016, but don’t be too scared to visit as there will be a Ghostbuster on hand too!

Eureka! is also trying something new from Monday 24 to Friday 28 October Eureka! with 9am opening to help local visitors avoid the longer queues that start to build from 11am.

mhvbhkoyhoiuhIf you ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost, strap your proton pack on and join the Eureka! Ghostbuster on a ghastly tour of the museum to track down (and hopefully capture) some ghouls. Visit the haunted mansion to explore your spookier side and listen to scary(ish) stories and get your grisly groove on with some truly terrifying dancing every single day this half term.

All blood-curdling activities are included in the price of admission and free to Eureka! Annual Pass holders.

Situated in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Eureka! has over 400 interactive, hands-on exhibits designed to inspire enquiring minds to find out about themselves and the world around them. Visit to discover, imagine, experiment and above all have fun! The Museum has six unique zones to discover, each with a different theme to explore. Each zone is packed with equipment to explore, activities to do, and buttons to press. From science experiments to interactive shows, it’s a different Eureka! experience every time.

For visitor information call 01422 330069, visit, become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Eureka! is open 10am–5pm at weekends, during half-terms and holidays. Term-time Eureka! is open 10am –4pm Tuesday – Friday, and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on term-time Mondays and between 24-26 December.

Staff from Bradford Council’s in-house catering service (Facilities Management) will be swinging into action in support of the World Curry Festival, which is taking place in locations in Bradford and Leeds from 15 – 29 September.

The service’s headquarters at Laisterdyke feature a large central production unit, where FM Staff produce thousands of meals per day for school children across the district.

But this week, it is the internationally renowned Grand Master Chef Hemant Oberoi and his specialist support team that will be using the facilities to produce the festival’s opening gala dinner. The gala dinner is a black tie event taking place at Bradford Cathedral on Thursday 15 September, with a banquet themed around the “Great British Curry” to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

FM staff will provide the logistical support to get the banquet to the venue and other additional support to chef Oberoi’s team.

There will be an exciting array of dishes available to buy from the many food vendors lining Broadway on the opening weekend of the festival. Among them will be delicious examples from a new Street Food range that has been specifically designed by FM for the secondary schools market, which will be served up by more volunteers from FM catering on these days.

And it doesn’t end there, as FM staff will be supporting the cookery classes for children taking place at Kala Sangam Arts Centre as part of the Festival’s opening weekend over the 17-18 September. They have also organised a “Create A Curry” competition for schools, where the winning dish could appear on schools menus across the district.

In recognition of the valuable input from the FM catering service, Chef and TV celebrity Amir Iqbal from Karachi in Pakistan will be delivering Masterclass training sessions specifically for the benefit of FM catering staff from both schools and from the Laisterdyke CPU itself.

Commenting on this activity, Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, said: “I know how hard our school catering staff work to provide local school children with high-quality, healthy meals. So I’d like to thank them for the enthusiasm they have shown in supporting the World Curry Festival, and helping to ensure that it is a great success, as befits such an event being hosted in the city that has been crowned the curry capital of Britain for a record five times in a row.

The World Curry Festival is a vibrant, fun and fresh event that brings people together in celebration of their love of food, culture and entertainment. Traditionally held over a long weekend, the event has attracted a huge following since it was first established in Leeds in 2010. The festival now takes place in Yorkshire and Malaysia each year.

A full programme of events is available online at



Following two triumphant tours, spectacular show The Glenn Miller Story extends into the autumn and arrives at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October. This extraordinary tale of America’s most famous big band leader stars music legend Tommy Steele.

gmIt’s been seventy years since Glenn Miller vanished over the English Channel as he flew to Paris to entertain the troops during the Second World War. Did he crash? Was he shot down? Will the mystery ever be solved? Featuring a 16 piece orchestra, a full supporting company of performers and dazzling choreography, the story of one of the most iconic musical figures of the 20th century will be told as never before.

Over the past 15 years Bill Kenwright and Tommy Steele regularly get together to talk about the past, present and future. One evening, Bill discovered that his all-encompassing love for Elvis was equal only to Tommy’s adoration for Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. Bill learned that Tommy is a true devotee; travelling all over the world to hear what remains of the original Orchestral Sounds, and is steeped in the knowledge and the glory of what Glenn Miller did for popular music. Tommy enthused that Glenn changed the face of music from 1939 – 1943 when he was the most popular recording artist in the world.

Three years later at a dinner party celebrating Tommy’s award as the Most Popular Entertainer of All Time at the London Palladium, they came up with The Glenn Miller Story!

Tommy Steele was Britain’s first rock ‘n’ roll star. Dubbed the UK’s answer to Elvis Presley, he landed his first UK No.1 with Singing the Blues in January 1957, reaching the top spot before Elvis, who didn’t land his until the June that year. The big screen soon beckoned for Tommy, and that same year he filmed The Tommy Steele Story, one of Britain’s great rock ‘n’ roll movies. A soundtrack was released to coincide with the film’s opening and became the first album to reach No.1.

His legendary career includes over twenty hit singles, twelve hit movies and countless award winning stage musicals such as Half a Sixpence, Hans Andersen and Singin’ in the Rain. In recent years, Steele has starred as Christmas miser Scrooge in Bill Kenwright’s spectacular production of the festive musical, which enjoyed two successful runs at the world-famous London Palladium. It was a role that also made Steele the theatre’s all-time record breaking performer, having headlined more performances than any other star in the history of the Palladium.

Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright team up again to direct the show, having been at the helm of several award-winning musicals including Blood Brothers, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Choreography is by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer (Top Hat, Evita, Save The Last Dance For Me).

The Glenn Miller Story promises to transport audiences young and old back to the days of the big band, and have them up on their feet jiving.

Please call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit for more information.


Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is celebrating a funding boost for its Access All Areas project thanks to a generous grant from the Morrisons Foundation. Access All Areas offers free support and activities for disabled children and their families, opening opportunities for a playful day out to families who otherwise might struggle.

hsdbchjThe Morrisons Foundation grant of £15,545 will enable Eureka! to run their regular, free clubs for disabled children and their families for a whole year. The free Super Sunday and Holiday clubs enable groups of families to enjoy a creative play session specifically tailored to the needs of the disabled child, followed by a supported visit around the galleries of the award-winning children’s museum. All club attendees will also receive a free Eureka! annual pass, giving them unlimited visits for a further twelve months.

Eureka!’s Access All Areas project is now in its fifth year, having received both national and international recognition including a VisitEngland Gold Award in 2015 and being chosen as the recipients of a 2016 Charity Award, in part due to their innovative work with disabled children.

The Morrisons Foundation awards grants for charity projects which make a positive difference to people’s lives. Since launching in 2015 the Morrisons Foundation has funded a wide range of projects, supporting charities in local communities across England, Scotland and Wales. Charities are encouraged to visit to find out how to apply for a grant.

Trizia Wells, Eureka! Inclusion Manager said

“We’d like to thank The Morrison’s Foundation for this generous grant which means we’ll be able to continue to run our free clubs for a whole year. Our clubs aren’t just about having fun – though that is a big factor – they also give families a much needed opportunity to meet and talk with other families who’ve shared some of their experiences. Our clubs are also a great way for the family as a whole to enjoy a bit of downtime, safe in the knowledge that there is trained support and inclusive facilities close by if needed.”

David Scott, Trustee of the Morrisons Foundation, said

“We’re delighted to have awarded this grant to support Eureka!’s Access All Areas project, which provides an enjoyable, creative environment in which children with disabilities can really flourish.”


Britain’s Got Talent stars ‘Boogie Storm’ are once again set to don their iconic Stormtrooper outfits and strut their stuff on a popular city square later this week ahead of two special screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

500_boogiestorm1The dance group will be hoping that the force is strong with them on Friday 29 July when they perform before both the matinee and evening screenings of the blockbuster, which is offering the audience a unique outdoor cinema experience in a specially constructed fully seated auditorium with a large state of the art LED screen installed on the main stage in Millennium Square.

With guests at both showings also getting the chance to come dressed up and have their picture taken with characters from the iconic films, this promises to be an event not to be missed for anyone who loves Star Wars.

Gates for the matinee open at 1pm, with the film starting at 2pm. Tickets are priced at £6 for adults, £5 for children (12 and under) and concessions. For the evening showing, gates open at 6.30pm, with the film beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 concessions.

The screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is just one of four iconic movies to be shown on Millennium Square from Wednesday 27 July as part of ‘The Film House on the Square’ programme, put together by Leeds City Council, Leeds Film and Sneaky Experience. Also on offer will be legendary musical ‘Grease’, Superhero spectacular ‘Avengers Assemble’ and the James Bond classic, ‘SkyFall’.

Kicking off the festivities will be Grease on July 27, where visitors will have a chance to travel back to Rydell High and sing along with Danny and Sandy.

As well as grabbing an American style burger from ‘Betsy’ a converted big Yellow high school bus, guests can also have a photo taken in the photo booth and have a go on a couple of traditional old fairground attractions.

Gates for the event open at 6.30pm, with the film starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £8 concessions.

Next to be given the full outdoor cinematic experience is superhero spectacular Avengers Assemble, which will hit the big screen on July 28. Don’t miss out on chance to interact with some of the costumer characters before watching Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye in action.

Movie-lovers are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite characters, with prizes for the best costume.

Gates open at 1pm, with the film starting at 2pm.

Tickets cost £6 for adults and £5 for children (12 and under) and concessions.

James Bond fans can also join the gentleman spy that evening for a showing of Skyfall, which also including cocktails, a mobile casino and an appearance by an iconic Aston Martin, is sure to leave guests both shaken and stirred.

Gates for Skyfall open at 6.30pm, with the film starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £8 concessions.