Martha of the Vandellas praises Obama: Harrogate Advertiser's Quotes of 2105

Part 2: July-December 2015 - Back in the Harrogate Advertiser Series's very early days of the 19th century, it would print a weekly list of visitors to the area. At that time, it was a magnet for aristocrats and royalty. But the modern equivalent - celebrities - seem to be drawn here just as much, if the interviews printed in this paper and online in 2015 are anything to go by.

Thursday, 31st December 2015, 9:34 am
Praising President Obama - Martha Reeves of Vandellas fame.

Singer Martha Reeves of the Vandellas on President Obama singing Amazing Grace at the funeral after the Charleston church massacre: “I’m sure President Obama enjoyed it and the congregation joined in his singing, which says something.

“We need as a country to be more unified. Everyone needs god’s grace and mercy.”

(July 9)

Singer Jimmy Osmond: “It’s not about being a star. The Osmonds have always liked doing new things. My career is ‘eclectic’ because I’m easily bored.

“I’ve always said to myself that one of these days I will figures out what I want to do when I grow up.”

(August 6)

Adventurer and TV presenter Steve Backshall: “Ranulph Fiennes says to be a proper explorer you need to have a bad memory.

“You don’t remember the bad parts afterwards, you only remember the high points. And, in my case, it’s true.”

(August 20)

Theatre director Conrad Nelson of Northern Broadsides: “I didn’t discover Lenny Henry as a Shakespearian actor. No one discovered him apart from New Faces.

“I played Iago on stage opposite Lenny who was playing Othello. He was keen to learn and worked hard. He really got stuck in.”

(September 3)

Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist Nils Lofgren: “When I heard the Rolling Stones were audtioning for a guitarist I was excited but the first thing that popped into my head was that my friend Ron Wood was the perfect man for the job.”

(September 24)

Comedian Gavin Ramsey (BBC TV’s Hebburn show): “My old headmaster came to my Harrogate gig during my last tour but didn’t tell me in advance.

“When I spotted him sitting in one of the boxes in the theatre, I took the mickey out of him for having just been made a ‘sir’ in the honours list.”

(October 8)

Author and TV presenter Melvyn Bragg: “My new book has had wonderful reviews except from historian Juliet Barker.

“If people don’t like something, it’s their right to say so but she made several factual errors. She doesn’t know much about historical fiction.”

(October 15)

Comedian Tim Brooke Taylor on the enduring influence of late I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue presenter Humphrey Lyttleton: "Jack Dee is fantastic but we can still hear Humph’s voice uttering filthy lines. Actually, I’d better say uttering ‘double entendres’. Humph was irreplaceable - until we replaced him. Some people said ‘you can’t carry on without Humph’ but, eventually, we said ‘why not try?’”

(October 15)

BBC TV’s The Apprentice candidate Ruth Whiteley: “It’s one thing watching The Apprentice and another thing being in it.

“Being on the show is a repetitive cycle of tension and hard work. It’s like being flayed but enjoying it.”

(November 5)

Musician Rod Argent of The Zombies: “We haven’t got back together to make a buck. We’ve got a great band and wanted to do things the old-fashioned way.

“To get such a response from modern audiences, to feel their energy, it’s like being 18 again.”

(November 26)

Comedian Josh Widdicombe talks about the success of his new, aponymously-named sitcome, Josh: “I'm delighted the show has gone down well with people. The key thing is to surround yourself with talented people then take all the credit.”

(December 3)