Michael Palin’s From North Korea Into Iraq tour show heading for Grand Opera House

From North Korea Into Iraq: Yorkshireman Michael Palin’s journey for his TV series, tour show and book

MONTY Python comedy legend and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin will give a first-hand account of his extraordinary journeys through two countries on the dark side of history on his new solo tour this autumn, From North Korea Into Iraq.

The Yorkshireman’s only Yorkshire destination on his nine-date itinerary will be the Grand Opera House, York, on October 6.

Using photos and film shot at the time, Palin, 79, will recall his challenging adventures in the tightly controlled time bomb of the People’s Republic of North Korea and the bruised land of Iraq, once the home of civilisation, torn apart over the past 30 years by brutal war and bloodshed.

Both named by President George Bush as being part of the Axis of Evil, these two countries are often portrayed as international pariahs, two of the last places you would want to visit, but for Sheffield-born Palin the best part of travelling is looking behind the headlines and discovering what life is really like for the people who live there.

“We shouldn’t forget that we share a common humanity with the people of North Korea and Iraq,” says globe-trotting Michael Palin

“We shouldn’t forget that we share a common humanity with the people of North Korea and Iraq, and in both these tough and difficult countries we found, as you will see, humour and hope, ambition, expectation, warmth, hospitality and extraordinary resilience,” he says.

“These journeys were for me a total eye-opener. From North Korea Into Iraq may take you out of your comfort zone but I hope, like me, that once we’ve travelled together, your feelings about these two countries, and the wider world we share, will never be quite the same again.”

Palin’s theatre tour will follow the autumn launch of his new Channel 5 series, Michael Palin: Into Iraq, produced by ITN Productions.  

Palin’s accompanying new book, Into Iraq, will be published by Hutchinson Heinemann on September 15.

York tickets are on sale on 0844 871 7615 or at atgtickets.com/York.

The poster for Michael Palin’s From North Korea Into Iraq tour

Yorkshire Vet and author Julian Norton to present ‘An Evening With’ in Pocklington

Julian Norton: Vet, author, TV star and now host of An Evening With…

HAPPY49th birthday today to Julian Norton, star of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet, who has a booking in the diary for January 18 2022 at Pocklington Arts Centre.

In An Evening With…show at 7.30pm, the Castleford-born author and veterinary surgeon will share amusing anecdotes from his work with animals in North Yorkshire, true stories that bring to life all the drama and humour in the daily routine of a rural vet.

Following in the footsteps of James Herriot author Alf Wight, Norton spent most of his working life at the Skeldale practice in Thirsk, before working in Boroughbridge and opening an independent vet practice in Wetherby.

This spring, he has returned to the North Yorkshire market town to open the Thirsk Veterinary Practice with his wife, fellow vet Anne, as a sister practice to Wetherby.

Pocklington Arts Centre director Janet Farmer says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Julian Norton to PAC for what will be a fun and fascinating evening for fans of the hit TV series The Yorkshire Vet, animal lovers looking to be inspired, or simply those who want to share in Julian’s passion and commitment to his work.

“An Evening With Julian Norton follows two previous, highly popular shows at PAC by Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, so we know ticket are likely to sell fast.”

Norton has featured prominently in The Yorkshire Vet on Channel 5, now in its 12th series of recording the day-to-day work of vets in rural North Yorkshire. 

Norton has written six books about his life as a vet. His latest, All Creatures: Heart-warming Tales From A Yorkshire Vet, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in March.

Tickets for An Evening With Julian Norton go on sale at £18.50 tomorrow (4/6/2021) at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Anita Bowerman’s print of The Yorkshire Shepherdess is a hit…and so is the mug!

The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, holding Anita Bowerman’s artwork The Hay Meadows In Summer At Ravenseat at Anita’s Dove Tree studio in Harrogate

HARROGATE artist Anita Bowerman has created a new painting of The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, the hill farmer and mother of nine from ITV’s The Dales and Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm.

Painted in watercolour and gouache, The Hay Meadows In Summer At Ravenseat is available in a limited-edition print run of 450 and as a mug.

Each giclee print is signed by both Anita, who runs Dove Tree Art Gallery & Studio at Back Granville Road in Harrogate, and Amanda, who has featured previously in Anita’s fund-raising Christmas cards for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The idyllic scene captures Amanda in her shepherdess’s smock coat in the Yorkshire summertime in the ancient Hay Meadows with her nine children, animals, wildlife, insects and flowers and husband Clive on his tractor in the distance at their Ravenseat Farm in Swaledale.

The Yorkshire Shepherdess: The Hay Meadows In Summer At Ravenseat, watercolour and gouache, by Anita Bowerman, available as a giclee print…and a mug

“It took me a long time to create this scene using watercolour and gouache, a thick watercolour,” says Anita. “I love adding detail and telling a story in a picture. Amanda and her sheepdog Kate look adoringly at each other, the children play happily, picking flowers, chatting to each other and racing through the fields.

“There are some sheep, Tony the Pony with three girls surrounding him, a curlew, mole, hares, butterflies and lots more besides.”

Amanda enthuses: “Anita has illustrated a beautiful design featuring my family and animals at home in the hay meadows. She manages to capture all the details so intricately, from my favourite smock coat to the backdrop, animals, flowers and even my children.”

Anita then designed a fine bone china mug showing the same foreground scene, made for her by Duchess China in Stoke-on-Trent. “Amanda has served tea out of some of the mugs and sold them directly to walkers who visit her Ravenseat farm,” she says.

Artist Anita Bowerman and The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, on a visit to the Duchess China factory in Stoke-on-Trent

“Then, during one episode of Our Yorkshire Farm, the camera honed in on Raven, Amanda’s eldest child, who had just gone to university. She was holding one of the mugs as the interviewer asked her if she was missing home and her eyes welled up with tears.

“The camera held the pose for a while…. and Amanda started to get requests flooding in from viewers to buy the mug. Another order from Duchess was needed.”

Amanda, who has visited Duchess China with Anita, loves the mugs! “They are very special, they make a pretty gift and are not only collectors’ pieces but being fine bone china, they also make a jolly decent cup of tea,” says The Yorkshire Shepherdess, author, photographer and  public speaker.  

Although Anita’s studio and gallery in a refurbished 19th century former coach house in the French Atelier style has been closed for much of the time since the first lockdown last March, she has continued to paint throughout the pandemic.

Elephant Family decorations, in stainless steel, by Anita Bowerman

Not only her Yorkshire Shepherdess prints and mug have been proving popular, so too have Anita’s elephants and boxing hares, all being posted out during lockdown.

The Elephant Family decorations, in hand-polished stainless steel, are inspired by the Painted Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India.

“They’ve become a symbol of families struggling to get together during the pandemic,” says Anita, who has been donating ten per cent of the proceeds to the Elephant Family Charity to protect Asian wildlife and its habitat.

Anita’s signed limited-edition giclee print of Boxing Hares at RHS Garden Harlow Carr was inspired by this enchanted Harrogate garden, depicting the willow boxing hares at the moonlit Glow event held there.

All’s welly that starts welly: Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman launching her Give Cancer The Boot installation at Castle Howard last July

First making her name with her papercuts, Anita was the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire and latterly an artist in residence at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.

Last July, her commissioned Tree Of Life art installation of 191 stainless steel wellies on a Lime Walk tree at Castle Howard raised funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Give Cancer The Boot appeal.

Looking ahead, Anita is planning to paint cherry blossom over the exterior of her studio in late-April to coincide with the Harrogate Stray’s cherry blossoms. “It’s an idea that seems to be catching on,” she says. “Damien Hirst is focusing on cherry blossom at the moment too!”

For more information or to acquire a print or mug, go to: anitabowerman.co.uk.

“Not only are they collectors’ pieces but being fine bone china, they also make a jolly decent cup of tea,” says Amanda Owen of Anita Bowerman’s mug depicting The Yorkshire Shepherdess