The Saturday briefing
IS THERE anything you are desperately yearning to know? Are there any pressing factual disputes you would like us to help resolve? This is the page where we shall do our best to answer any questions you throw at us, whatever the subject.
WHO is the man who tap-dances his way up roofs in a TV commercial for NFU Mutual? Does he do his own stunts?
Julia Perren, Isle of Wight HIS name is Grant Neal and he is not a real insurance salesman. He is a graduate of the London Academy of Performing Arts and as well as tap-dancing does ballet and contemporary dance and has a good baritone or tenor voice. He has appeared in a number of musicals in London and elsewhere.
And yes, I am reliably informed that Grant does indeed do all his own stunts.
WE are seeing an increasing number of hurricanes forming and causing large amounts of damage. Could they not be broken up by dropping a bomb or some form of explosive and detonating it in the centre of the hurricane to reduce or destroy it?
D Ames, Worthing, Sussex IT’S a nice idea but it wouldn’t work. The energy of a hurricane is phenomenal. The heat generated by a hurricane is roughly equal to exploding a 10 megaton nuclear weapon every 20 minutes.
The hurricane starts as water evaporating from the ocean, which then condenses into raindrops; the condensation process releases more energy as heat, which causes more water to evaporate, which releases more energy… and so on until the hurricane reaches land when it begins to run out of water to continue the process. The massive winds are only about one per cent of its total energy.
All this means that even a huge nuclear bomb would have little effect and would run the horrible risk of radioactive fallout being carried by the winds. HAVING seen the “We love… autumn fragrances” feature in the Daily Express on Thursday, ranging in price from £27-£175, what makes perfumes so expensive? Sue Bailey, Skipton, North Yorkshire THE price comes down mainly to four things: the ingredients, the marketing, the packaging and the skill of the perfumer. The second and third of those are essentially up to the company making the perfumes. The last is the wages of the expert who concocts the fragrances. But by far the greatest expense in the creation of the more expensive perfumes is the first.
Ingredients may be rare, such as the ambergris from whales’ intestines. But even if flowers are used, costs can rack up. To make a kilo of jasmine essential oil takes 1,653lb of jasmine flowers, which must be picked by hand during the few hours of the day the petals are open. As with most things, prices are a reflection of what people are willing to pay. IN 1936, Edward VIII had to abdicate in order to marry Wallis Simpson, who was a divorced lady. Prince Charles is also married to a divorced lady, yet there seems no objection to his succeeding the Queen. What is the difference between the two situations? Kenneth Plews, Middlesbrough,
North Yorkshire QUITE apart from the animosity towards Wallis Simpson in government circles, the constitutional problem in 1936 was essentially that the monarch was also head of the Church of England which did not sanction the remarriage of divorcees. Since then the attitude has changed.
In 1981 the Church’s synod resolved that certain people “may be married in church during the lifetime of a former spouse” and in 2002 the synod ruled that divorcees may remarry in church with official approval. Patriotic primate mug, £10. 020 7942 5494/ nhmshop.co.uk This fun mug from the Natural History Museum will bring a smile to your face as you sip a well-deserved brew. Made of fine china, the kids are bound to love it. by WAS Handel’s Messiah first published in English or is the version we are used to an English translation of the original German? Graham Roe, Penzance, Cornwall DESPITE Handel being German, his Messiah was written to an English libretto by Charles Jennens and was first performed in 1742 in Dublin where “gentlemen were requested to remove their swords, and ladies were asked not to wear hoops” to make room for as big an audience as possible. A German translation was made in 1775 and performed in Vienna in 1789.
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CRAZY COFFEE CUPS
Ritzenhoff Amore Mio cappuccino cup and saucer, £24.95. 0843 504 7194/amazon.co.uk This design by the American artist Lucio Pozzi is gloriously abstract and imaginative.
With bold and bright colours, it comes in a matching gift box and would make a great present for any art lovers in your life. inaccurate please go to www.express.co.uk/contactus where you will find an easy to use form. Alternatively you can write to Readers Editor, Daily Express, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. We will do our best to correct it as soon as possible.
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HIGH LIFE: Tap-dancer Grant Neal performs the stunts in the NFU Mutual TV ad, helped by some camera tricks
Pin Up Lady cup, £2.50. 0800 9520101/ george.com A truly fantastic price for this vintage-style cup made from porcelain featuring an image of a 1930s woman with a pretty flower pattern and cute slogans.
Set of four Polka coffee cups and saucers, £39.95. 0345 548 0210/ annabeljames.co.uk These porcelain cups are hand-painted in four vintage-inspired pastel colours and have platinum rims and handles.