The Daily: Downton
Wednesday, 01 May 2013

The Daily: May 1

Written by Sandra Smith
New Ground for Downton
New characters, new twists. Such is the promise of Downton Abbey which returns later this year and includes its first black actor, Gary Carr, as a charming and charismatic jazz singer. The new cast also lists Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. This will be the fourth eight-part series for the Golden Globe award winning drama and a Christmas full length feature episode is also lined up. The last series was the most watched television drama in 2012, averaging 11.9m viewers. Fans should be assured that stalwarts Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter will also be returning.

Royal Yoga
Glossy hair, glowing skin and slimline figure: the Duchess of Cornwall cut an impressive figure at the inauguration ceremony of The Netherlands' King Willem Alexander. Camilla, who is approaching her 66th birthday, includes regular sessions of Pilates and yoga in her hectic schedule. The 'Heaven' bee venom facial she had beforehand is also said to rejuvenate skin. On her ice blue Bruce Oldfield dress the Duchess wore her Family Order, regalia worn only by female members of the Royal Family and a practice started by George IV. At the gala dinner Camilla's honey coloured highlights complemented the late Queen Mother's Boucheron tiara.

$2000 for The Great Gatsby
With the opening of the latest film version of The Great Gatsby less than two weeks away, it has been revealed that the author initially earned less than $2000 for the iconic book. A digital version of F Scott Fitzgerald's handwritten ledger has been made available courtesy of researchers from the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. The accounts detail his various literary works along with where they were printed and the income generated. Short stories provided a living income though the sale of film rights and earnings from theatre runs of Gatsby later added to his remuneration.

Reconsidering Amanda Knox
After spending four years in an Italian prison Amanda Knox wants the world to reconsider her. Ms Knox's book, Waiting to be heard, details the experience and she is keen tell the world her side of the tragedy in which Meredith Kercher died. A retrial has been ordered by the Italian High Court though Ms Knox currently has no plans to return to Europe. The 25 year old now lives in Seattle where she is attempting to come to terms with her treatment by the courts and press. She is reported to have earned a $3.8m advance for her memoir.

No Scaredy Cat
Despite cats being notoriously scared of water, 16 year old Coco has been enjoying weekly hydrotherapy sessions for the last six months. Colette Inman, who has owned Coco since she was a kitten, takes her pet to the Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Coventry. There, Coco is attached to a harness and walks on a treadmill in water. The treatment has improved the feline's arthritic limbs to the extent that her limp has all but disappeared and the feline has also rekindled her love of chasing butterflies. Hydrotherapy, in which water provides buoyancy, is well known to improve flexibility in joints.

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