Page 1

EST. 1936

Redbrick Friday 9th March 2012 | Volume 76 | Issue 1410 |

The Thick of It star and Birmingham alumnus Chris Addison talks to Redbrick See TV page 18

Campus campaign signs removed for being too 'offensive' James Phillips Deputy Editor

One of the amended signs

James Phillips

Guild election candidates' signs vandalised during Sports Night Emily Duffy Reporter

Several Guild officer candidates had their election materials destroyed last week as students attended Sports Night at the Guild. Candidates arrived on campus last Thursday morning to find many of their posters and banners had been torn apart, vandalised and some thrown into the river. It is thought that the incidents occurred from around 11.30pm on Wednesday night, as students

made their way to the Guild from Selly Oak. Jess Bethom, running for Vice President (Welfare), and also Social Secretary for taekwondo, said, ‘We were coming up to the Guild from the Grange Road entrance when we saw a group of about 10 boys destroying posters and banners.’ She continues, ‘they were extremely drunk and violently ripping banners from trees and throwing them in the river, they told me that the posters made the campus look like sh*t and that they were exercising their right to

protest.’ Alex Lane, a Presidential candidate, comments ‘walking through campus on Thursday morning, I noticed a large number of signs on the floor, or not in their original place. At first I thought it was the wind, but as I got nearer the Guild the signs looked as if they had been thrown about, ripped or intentionally damaged’. It is not believed that any individual candidates were targeted by this episode. However, it has caused an extra amount of stress for all the candidates, during an

already intense period. Lane states, ‘It has meant that I'm constantly having to check on my signs and banners,’ adding ‘it’s very demoralising to see your work face down in a puddle.’ There has also been concern about the effects of the paint on the wildlife in the river in which some of the posters were thrown. The incident comes at a time of intense campaigning, as voting closes today meaning candidates have placed large amounts of banners around campus in an attempt catch students’ attention.

A candidate for the non-sabbatical Guild position of Women’s Officer was initially forced to withdraw her campaign signs which featured official NUS statistics relating to sexual offences, before she successfully appealed and was allowed to put them back in place. At a cross-liberation group meeting on Friday 2nd March, Vice President (Democracy and Resources) Hugo Sumner informed Lauren O’Sullivan, the candidate in question, of the Guild Elections Committee’s decision that the signs needed to be removed, although she could still use the statistics in other parts of her campaign. This was due to complaints from multiple students who found the statistics offensive. Sumner said, ‘It had made some people feel uncomfortable and in some cases triggered memories. Some said the facts could be misleading’. After some deliberation, O’Sullivan, a second year Sociology student, along with Kelly Rogers, the current incumbent of the Women’s Officer position, decided to appeal to the returning officer Emily Cannon who works for the NUS. The decision to appeal was made following advice from Sumner and Vice President (Welfare) Luke Reynolds, and on Tuesday 6th March it was successful and the signs were allowed to be restored to campus with the condition that they had to be qualified, referenced and made clear that they were in a national context. The signs had previously been taken down immediately on the Friday evening. The statistics in question have been taken from the NUS Hidden Marks report which is available on the official NUS website ( See page 3 for the rest of this article.


News feed

Redbrick Editorial Editor Glen Moutrie Deputy Editors Victoria Bull James Phillips Online Editor Chris Hutchinson Art Director Beth Richardson Multimedia Editors Rian Lennon Owen Earwicker Photography Editors Freddie Herzog Millie Guy Anna Kirk News Editors Kerrina Gray Rhiannon DoyleMaw Patrick McGhee Freddie Herzog (Online) news@ redbrickonline. C&F Editors Oscar French Elisha Owen Owen Earwicker (Online) Arts Editors Lexie Wilson Alexander Blanchard Anna Lumsden (Online) Music Editors Will Franklin Tamara Roper Jonathon Milnes Josh Holder (Online) Television Editors Charlotte Lytton James Moore Russell Webb Charlotte Goodwin Abigail Salter (Online) Film Editors Genevieve Taylor Isidore Sanders Natasha Lavender Aisha Bushby Matthew Clemens (Online) film@ redbrickonline.


9nd March 2012

News Shorts compiled by Ryan Jones

Food Editors James Morrison Izzy Gibbin Sophie Attwood Josh Oxley (Online)


Romney leads field Brazilian economy after Super Tuesday overtakes Britain

VPE appears on BBC radio show

Life&Style Editors Sophie Cowling Lucy Whife Megan Jones (Online)

US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won five key primary election victories on Super Tuesday, putting him in the lead among the candidates hoping to challenge President Obama in the presidential election later this year.

The Brazilian economy is now the sixth-biggest in the world, meaning that it has ‘overtaken’ the UK. Last year, the Brazilian economy grew by 2.7%, compared to 0.8% in the UK. It is estimated that the Brazilian economy is worth £1.6 trillion.

VPE Edd Bauer appeared on BBC WM radio to explain his experience in prison last year. He described the prison as ‘drastically overcrowded and underfunded’, adding that he feels students are at the sharp end of political policing.




BMA member attacks government

UK soldiers killed in explosion

Putin declares election victory

The chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee Dr Mark Porter has said that the government's NHS reform plans are distracting from issues surrounding improvements to patient care.

The Taliban are thought to be responsible for the deaths of six UK soldiers from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, after their vehicle was hit by an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

Vladimir Putin has declared victory in the Russian presidential elections, with results showing he received approximately 60% of the vote. There is widespread concern amongst opposition groups that elections were corrupt.





U-turn driver given 8-year sentence

Lady Gaga gathers 20 million followers

Meteor sighting across UK

Train collision leaves 16 dead

The driver who drove the wrong way down the A30 dual carriageway in Cornwall has been sentenced to 8 years in prison. David Rushbrook caused a fatal crash when he decided to do a U-turn in order to return to a garage.

Lady Gaga has set a record on Twitter this week after becoming the first user to reach 20 million followers. Lady Gaga now heads Justin Bieber with 18 million followers and Katy Perry with 15.7 million followers on the site.

On Saturday night there were reports from across the UK that a ‘huge fireball’ could be seen blazing across the night sky. It was later confirmed that the object was a meteor, with its final destination currently unknown.

Two trains collided on the Warsaw-Krakow mainline in Poland on Saturday evening, leaving 16 passengers dead and 58 injured. It is believed that one of the express trains was on the wrong track, resulting in a head-on collision.




Petrol prices break previous records

Apple announces new iPad

Humperdinck for Eurovision

Unleaded petrol set a record high on Monday, after government figures showed that the average price had reached 137.3p per litre. This surpassed the previous record set in May last year, when prices reached 137.05p per litre.

Apple has announced a new iPad tablet device with a definition screen that it is describing as the 'retina display'. The company's chief executive Tim Cook has said, 'We are redefining the category that Apple created.'

Engelbert Humperdinck will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Humperdinck is best known for his 1967 hit ‘Release Me’. He now awaits the contest, which will be held on the 26th May in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Travel Editors Emily Booth Louise Spratt Chloe Osborne Will Spence (Online) Technology Editors Ruth Bradley Sam Atkins Andrew Spencer Dan Lesser (Online) Sport Editors Sam Price Raphael Sheridan Joel Lamy (Online) Crossword Editor John Rizkallah Senior Editorial Assistant Kate Selvaratnam Editorial Assistants Ellie Jarvis Isabel Mason Sarah Musgrove Ravina Khela Ellie Smallwood Online Editorial Assistants Rosie Pearce Josh Taylor Eimear Luddy Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Sophie Rogers Akhil Kothari Proofreaders Jenna Kirby Amy Saull Lucy Haffenden Faye Simpson Catherine Holding Hannah Ennis Community Manager Sophie MurrayMorris

Designed and typeset by Redbrick. Copyright (C) Redbrick 2012 The views expressed in Redbrick do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Guild or the publishers. If you find an error of fact in our pages, please write to the Editor. Our policy is to correct mistakes promptly in print and to apologise where appropriate. We reserve the right to edit any article, letter or email submitted for publication. Redbrick Guild of Students Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2TU 0121 251 2462 Redbrick is printed through 300667.



More graduates tak- Villas-Boas sacked ing low-paying jobs as Chelsea manager 08451

Advertising: Contact Lakhvinder Sira in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed that over a third of recent university graduates were employed in low skilled jobs by the end of 2011. This figure has increased from around a quarter in 2001.

Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked as Chelsea manager, after the club said that its recent performances had ‘not been good enough’. Villas-Boas was sacked after only nine months in charge, following a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.




London Sundance films revealed A number of films to be shown at the Sundance London film festival have been announced. The festival will include screenings of Julie Delpy's new film 2 Days in New York and the drug-related documentary The House I Live In.

News 3

9th March 2012


Elections round up Campaigners hit Sabb 'n' Fresh Those running in the Guild Elections attended Fab last weekend to campaign to students attending the night. Student staff members wore tops to promote the elections and encourage students to remember to vote.

Postgraduate Hustings The hustings for postgraduate students took place on Wednesday. The event provided the opportunity to meet with the candidates and see what they are going to do for postgraduates, mature, and international students if they win.

Voting closes today at 4pm After two weeks of campaigning and a week of voting, the elections will be closing at 4pm today. The results will be revealed tomorrow at the Guild Election Results Night which will take place in the Debating Hall in the Guild of Students.

Overheard on... the campaign trail

Election in Numbers

'Hold on a second, I thought all the sabbs lived in the Guild' 'Sorry, I've given up cheese for lent so I just can't listen to your campaign speech' 'Who would want to be a sabb anyway?' 'The elections make campus look so ugly!' 'Lucky I didn't bring my Gran here this week, all these colours would give her a heart attack!'

Social Media improves campaigns A poll on the Redbrick website asked: 'Do you think candidates' ability to utilise social media platforms (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) improves their chances of winning your vote?' We received 63 responses to this poll.

Two sides to every story

Candidate sign Removal Continued from front The document is 'the first ever nationwide report into women students' experience of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault' and consisted of information gained from surveying over 2,000 female students in Universities in England and Wales. Some of the statistics revealed included that 12 percent of respondents had been subject to stalking, over one in ten had been a victim of serious physical violence and seven percent have been subject to serious sexual assault. Rogers explained that '[Lauren] isn't insensitive, and when she put the signs back she wanted to make it clear that these were official statistics.' 'I thought it was ridiculous' Rogers continued, 'This is a big issue and the Guild of Students shouldn't stop candidates raising these points, just as they shouldn't stop officers raising these points. There was an incident of sexual assault on Alton Road recently and I've been told about many different personal experiences'. VPW Reynolds said 'I can see it is frustrating because the facts come from an NUS report. I think

the University wasn't aware where they came from, and as some people were slightly distressed, that is why the initial decision was made'. He continued, '[the Guild] do awareness campaigns, but they are not meant to offend anyone. They are meant to make people realise. I think it is the right decision to restore the signs but it is a shame that it upset some people.' Redbrick asked several female students on campus for their opinion and the response was in favour of the signs being allowed. Third year Geography and Economics student Antonia Round said, 'I think it is worth people knowing the facts. If it's part of her campaign she should definitely be allowed.' A second year Chemistry student who didn't wish to be named said, 'In a democracy, she should be allowed freedom of speech. It shouldn't be offensive if it is factual.' Clare Eames, a Masters student studying Directing was in agreement, 'I don't think they're offensive. If it is publicly available information anyway it should be okay. As she is campaigning for the Women's Officer position it is valid information.' O'Sullivan herself was unavailable for comment on the incident.

Sports night vandalism Continued from front Claire Lister, also running for VP (Welfare), comments, 'People are annoyed by campus effectively being a designated rubbish tip for two weeks, and by day three were already annoyed by the elections.' She adds, 'next year, there needs to be stronger election rules on cardboard around campus, so hopefully people won't feel the need to behave like this'. Hugo Sumner, the current Vice President (Democracy and

Resources), comments, 'Candidates were warned that if any of their publicity was of high value that they should not leave it unattended at night.' He continues, 'it is regrettable that a minority of students chose to disrespect and devalue the hard work of candidates who put a lot of effort into their campaigning material.' Despite the destruction, candidates were able to quickly repair and replace most of their signs by the following Monday.

Guild Election Tweet Feed


Victoria Bull

Deputy Editor If you haven't yet come across The Guardian's fantastic 'Three Little Pigs' advert on the concept of open news, then you absolutely must check it out. The two-minute long commercial is far more than a superb illustration of the new and exciting ways in which journalists, and indeed people from all other walks of life, source and report news stories. Even for those who don't read The Guardian or aren't interested in journalism, the movie-style 'alternative ending' to the familiar childhood fable of the 'Three Little Pigs' demonstrates perfectly how there are always two sides to every story, and things aren't always the way they first appear. Open journalism, unsurprisingly, has its downfalls. It is a fledgling concept and is therefore far behind on the sorts of laws, governances and restrictions that institutionalised print publications are bound by. Redbrick is one of these publications, and whether or not it may at first seem that agents of censorship are at work in the content we publish, we can assure our wide print and online readership that we always do our absolute best to represent their interests and concerns, within the confines of media law. However, when it comes to informal arenas such as social media platforms, legal practices and codes of conduct are less rigid, sometimes allowing incorrect and damaging statements to be made. This has been the case a number of times in the use of Facebook as the chosen environment for Better Guild forums, Sabbatical officer conversations and commentary on important Guild issues such as protests on campus and the Guild Elections. I would urge anyone who reads, contributes or bases decisions on the content of these and similar forums to think about 'The Three Little Pigs' whenever they do so. Whatever is posted will, I'm sure, be said with the best of intentions, but may not always have a full verification procedure behind it. It would be a huge shame for casual remarks and statements to become rumours, or even start being accepted as fact. This is illustrated on Twitter almost every week, as celebrities are forced to validate statements made, retweeted and retweeted again until people can no longer distinguish between truth and erroneous gossip. The fact that we have such accessible, free and wide-reaching opportunities to air our opinions is undoubtedly a great thing. What the 'Three Little Pigs' advert shows, though, is that public opinion and fact are separate concepts, and whilst they do sometimes equal the same conclusion to a story, very often, they do not. Perhaps, as children listening to our bedtime stories, we were too quick to believe that those cute, scared little pigs, with their innovative and impressive building skills, were innocent victims of the big, bad wolf with exceptional lung capacity. Look a little closer, think a little deeper and don't be swayed by opinion alone – that way you'll get much closer to the real story. According to The Guardian, it's an asthmatic wolf in the middle of a smear campaign conducted by three greedy, fraudulent swines. Now, no-one expected that, did they?

4 News

9th March 2012


Do you recognise this year's sabbatical officers or our Vice Chancellor? Redbrick asked 100 people if they recognised each of the seven sabbatical officers and Vice Chancellor David Eastwood using the photos shown. These charts reveal the results.

Mark Harrop – President

Man found guilty of murder in Selly Oak Zahra Damji Reporter

Last Thursday at Birmingham Crown Court, 40-year-old Stephen Newman was found guilty of the murder and assault of two homeless men, Job Wilding and Craig Coterill. The attack on the two men, using a gas cylinder to set them alight, happened in July last year at a lock-up garage off Gristhorpe Road in Selly Oak. As a result of the attack, Mr Wilding died of his injuries and Mr Coterill suffered severe injuries, even after emergency services

were summoned when a neighbour saw smoke rising from the garage. It is thought that the two men were asleep during the attack, which was described by the Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Buck Rogers as a 'truly horrific attack on two defenceless men'. Detective Rogers also expressed his gratitude towards the fire brigade and independent experts for helping the CPS to show the court what had happened. It is unclear why Mr Newman committed the acts. and sentencing has been postponed for around six weeks in anticipation of a psychiatric report.

Gristhorpe Road where the murder took place

Michael Drury

Hugo Sumner – VPDR

Edd Bauer – VPE

Selly Oak electrical fire causes chaos to rush-hour traffic Judith Hawkins Reporter

A fire broke out in a flat above the Woodstock Café on Bristol Road yesterday, bringing rush-hour traffic in Selly Oak to a standstill. The fire in the flat next to Urban Village began as a result of overloaded power sockets, according to Selly Oak police. The male occupant, who had already evacuated the building when fire fighters arrived at the scene, suffered four per cent burns to his hands and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment and further assessment. West Midlands Fire Service said in a statement: 'On Thursday 1st March we mobilised to a flat fire at 3.36pm on the Bristol Road, Selly Oak. We mobilised two fire engines, one from Woodgate Valley and one from Bournbrook. The incident involved a severe fire in the first floor bedroom of a three story building above a shop. Four breathing apparatus, two hosereels and one covering jet were in use. One male had burns to hands and suffered smoke inhalation, and was conveyed to the hospital by ambulance crew.' While fire fighters worked to clear the scene, police closed the Bristol Road from the Tesco

The fire above Woodstock Café in Selly Oak petrol station to the traffic lights outside Frankie and Benny's, causing disruption for rush hour commuters. Traffic was diverted onto the new Aston Webb Boulevard, but remained slow or at a standstill. There was also congestion on Bournbrook Road and Raddlebarn Road. A spokesperson for West Midlands Police reported that, 'We went to the area at around quarter to four, but the fire service informed us that the fire had been caused by an electrical fault and the circumstances were not suspicious. We diverted traffic out of the

Owen Earwicker

area for a short time.' However, students trying to get home expressed their frustration, with @jaldmn writing on Twitter, 'A38 closed westbound through selly oak. Havoc doesn't do it justice!' University of Birmingham student Bethan Davies, who lives in a flat opposite Urban Village, said, 'It looked horrible and the place is ruined. Before it was boarded up I could see into the room and it was all black, and the firemen were throwing out a lot of the person's burnt things. It's so sad, but I'm pleased to hear he's alright.'

UK medical students turn to prostitution due to debt Simran Bhogal Reporter

According to reports, medical students are resorting to selling themselves to pay for their hefty course and living fees. Medical students face higher costs in comparison to many of their peers due to studying for longer, yet, as prices are set to drastically increase this year, there are fears that prostitution amongst young women will too. Writing in the Student British Medical Journal, University of Birmingham student Jodi Dixon found one in ten trainee medical students has a friend who sells sex to cope with the expensive living costs and rising tuition fees. Comparably, the result was around 4 per cent ten years ago. In her report, Dixon said, 'With escalating debts, students in the United Kingdom may view prostitution as an easy way to get rich quick. This view could be fuelled by recent coverage of prostitution in the media—for example, the UK television dramatisation of the popular book Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper.' Dixon went on to argue that the programme misrepresented prostitution, saying that it 'makes prostitution seem alluring, because Belle seems to enjoy her job. Dan-

ger is never an issue and she oozes glamour and sophistication.' Although medical schools have said they do not believe the problem is widespread, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) also report a rise in the number of calls they receive from students consid-

ering entering the sex industry. An ECP spokesperson stated, 'Ever since grants were done away with and loans were introduced, we have been contacted by increasing numbers of students considering or involved in prostitution.'

Redbrick asked 'Do you think you feel more financial pressure due to the nature of your course? I don't necessarily think so, I think it's just student life in general. I don't feel like being a medic gives me more books to buy than someone doing another course because the library here is pretty decent. The only side of it that I suppose costs is travelling to placement every week/every other week but train prices and taxis are pretty decently priced so I don't think that's a massive stress. Matthew Blake, 2nd year Medic Not as a result of my specific course, but definitely as a result of being at university and living independently, without anyone being around to manage my money for me. It's a skill that you have to develop over time, so making mistakes in the first year is natural. Sunchit Madan, 1st year Medic I would say there was financial pressure as there isn't time to have a part time job. Also many people in my year have rich parents, for example lots of people's parents are doctors themselves, and that definitely adds extra pressure to the rest of us! Lydia Baldwin, 2nd year Medic

Birmingham's students could be affected

Adam Smith

It's hard to know what I'm comparing myself to. On the one hand, my course is five years long and so means I'll accumulate more debt. There is a gross shortage of textbooks in the medic school so I've had to buy a few of my own. Also travel to hospitals in years three to five is expensive and is only partially reimbursed by the medical school. Jonny Graff, 3rd year Medic

News 5

9th March 2012


Zuki Majukwana – VPHC

Tim Smith – VPS

Fliss Cross – VPAD

Luke Reynolds – VPW

David Eastwood – VC

£2,445 charity pancake flipping event flops RAs spent a total of £3051 on frying pans for an event which attempted to break the world record for the largest gathering of people simultaneously flipping pancakes in thirty seconds. The total spent on the event was £4734, however the RAs are hoping to return 675 of the 900 pans bought in order to make back £2288.25. This will bring the total cost of the event down to £2445. An estimated amount of £819.20 was raised for charity, however this figure needs to be confirmed. The money raised is going to Acorns Children's Hos-

pice Trust. The event failed to meet the 895 participants required to break the world record with only 366 students registering for the event in total. Overall, £625 was spent on marketing the event. The attempt was filmed by GTV and participants also tried to break other world records, such as the most people hopping and tossing pancakes and the most people sitting down and tossing pancakes. To comply with Guinness World Records, the event was officiated by someone with experience in the field of cooking, a chef from the local pub The Goose. Dodgeball and Tricksoc sent one commit-

Pancake flipping on the Vale

Kerrina Gray News Editor


tee member each to time the event. The RAs paid £540 in their application to Guiness for information on a pancake world record. Murray Schofield, the dodgeball official said, 'I was told by an RA that 900 pans had been bought at a cost of over £3000 and everyone was allowed to take their pans home. This would be fine if the donations at least paid for the pans, but when the donation had to be between one and three pounds and the pans cost at least three pounds each, money was lost. Essentially while money was made for charity, more money was lost from the RA budget.' He also spoke about the organisation of the event, 'When I arrived at the event, it was clear from the outset no record was going to be broken as 900 people were required and there were only around 200 present. The event had no clear organisation. We thought that if 900 people actually had showed up there is no way that that volume of people could have been organised effectively.' Another student onlooker said, 'I'm sure the charity received all the money raised from the event, and any loss came from the RA budget. What I find hard to believe is the fact that people were allowed to walk away with a brand new pan courtesy of the RA budget.' Vice President Housing and Community Zuki Majuqwana stated 'Residents' Associations have been encouraged in recent years to produce events that are unique

The stewards attempting the record and allow students to engage in something they would never otherwise have the opportunity to do and Saturday's event did just that. While it unfortunately didn't result in a new record, it was still a flippin' amazing event that raised money and awareness for a brilliant local charity. I have to say that having taken part and supported the organisers in the build up, I am very proud of what they have achieved and the boundaries they dared to push.' Dave Charles, the Maple Bank Volunteering Officer and an organiser of the event stated, 'Overall the event was highly successful in reaching our primary aim of raising awareness for all the great work that local charity Acorns Children's Hospice does on a day to day basis. We gave students,


from all halls, an opportunity to take part in a unique event by attempting various pancake related world records. We raised a significant amount of money for the cause and still have donations coming in and adding to the grand total. The event ran smoothly and the RAs from each hall pulled together to create this great event for our residents.' The Charity Acorns stated, 'Our sincere thanks to everyone at the Vale Village, Birmingham University for supporting Acorns Children's Hospice by holding a World Record Pancake Tossing Challenge. It was wonderful to watch the students attempt the record whilst also raising funds for their local children's hospice. We hope for your continued support.'

32 per cent of students miss out on chosen halls Rhiannon Doyle-Maw News Editor

A poll on the Redbrick Facebook page has shown a high number of students getting either their first choice of accommodation or none of their choices. Approximately 47 per cent of students who took part in the poll indicated they were placed in their first choice of accommodation, with around 32 per cent not being placed in any of their options, and the remaining 21 per cent being placed in one of their options, from two to six. The University of Birmingham accommodation department has stated that last year they successfully accommodated 95 per cent of the residents in their preferred choice of accommodation, with only approximately 5 per cent of students applying for transfer. However, the poll on the Redbrick Facebook page, showing the results of 463 people, highlighted that 223 had received their first choice of accommodation. The second highest total was that of students receiving none of their choices of accommodation with 153 votes, although it is important to note that this does not show

whether University of Birmingham was their first choice of university or not. The discrepancy between the amount of people placed in their first choice of halls and those receiving accommodation in one of their other five choices has called into question how accommodation is allocated. The University guarantees a room in halls or at nominated bed spaces on third party accommodation to first-year undergraduate students with the provisions that they have applied to the University though UCAS, have firmly accepted the offer for the University and have submitted their application by the deadline which falls within May for Home / EU students and July for International students. However, Bethany Burns, a second year studying Biological Sciences (Genetics) at the University of Birmingham, who applied before the deadline told Redbrick, 'I applied for accommodation as soon as I could, after looking into the options quite considerably. When I received the letter notifying me that I had a room reserved in Victoria Halls I was completely devastated; I had never heard of it and had wanted to be on the Vale,

as this had been emphasized on the open days as the hub of student activity. In hindsight I did love my experience of halls and would never have met the people I did had I not been placed there. However I did apply to a wide range of halls so I couldn't understand why I didn't

The Vale Charlotte Wilson

get any of them! I don't feel as though any of my preferences had been considered at all if I am honest. That's why I campaigned to become an RA for Victoria Halls, so that I could provide some support and reassurance for perspective students in the same situation I had been in.' According to the accommodation department, 'All accommodation is offered on the basis of the date of application with some students applying as early as October in the previous year. Some accommodation is inevitably more popular than others, therefore first choice accommodation cannot always be guaranteed.' However, the poll has indicated that 7 per cent received their second choice; 21 per cent overall ending up in one of their other six options. Emma Duggan, a second year Psychology student at the University, was placed in her first choice halls of residence. 'I had a really smooth experience of getting into accommodation at the University,' she said. 'I applied in January and ended up living in my first choice! I had an unconditional offer from the university so I knew I was going to be coming here.' Ruth Parkes, second year

nursing student said, 'I think Redbrick's poll shows there is a major flaw in the accommodation allocation system. I waited until after the accommodation open day to apply so that I had a better idea of the options open to me and I could make an informed decision about where I wanted to live. However, this meant that I didn't end up getting any of my choices because I had left it too late. Surely the accommodation open day should be earlier in the year or even prior to accommodation applications opening?' A University spokesperson said, 'We do try hard to match applicants to their first choice but unfortunately this is not always possible. Some locations or types of accommodation are heavily oversubscribed with four or more applicants to every available bedspace in some residences. Where we are unable to meet the first preference we will try to meet the next choice and in most cases we succeed and students have a very positive experience of living in university accommodation. This is backed up the fact that only 5 per cent went on the transfer list last year (200 students out of over 4000).'


9th March 2012

Comment & Features Feature


This Week, Redbrick's Comment & Features Editor Elisha Owen speaks to freelance journalist and Guardian contributor Janet Murray and Journo-apprentice Rhian Jones about the scheme set to revolutionise the industry

Janet Murray Freelance Journalist Journalism is a career that consistently features in surveys of the jobs graduates most aspire to. It is no secret, however, that this industry has become increasingly difficult to enter. As all the passionate writers at Redbrick know, with a plethora of journalism degrees available, both undergraduate and postgraduate, it is not enough anymore to simply study the subject. You have to set yourself apart from the competition. There are many problems that start to arise, in this regard; for example, when students aren't protected and continue to be exploited in internships and placements. Yet for years there has been no viable alternative.

Rhian is she's following a business administration framework.' Interestingly entering the trade in this way used to be the normality. 'Journalism used to be a job where you trained on the job and you went through the ranks. It seems mad that there isn't journalism apprenticeships any longer.' Murray is optimistic that this development will spark further progress. 'There is one (journalism apprenticeship) in development at the moment. I've always really believed that it would be nice to see that door opening, giving people that alternative route.'

'At the moment, there are no actual apprenticeship frameworks for journalism' As I discovered recently, however, this may be about to change. Freelance journalist, and contributor to the Guardian, Janet Murray realised last year that she needed a personal assistant. Murray tells me she thought, however, 'why not give somebody a job and help them get into the profession?' Advertising in the Guardian, she offered potential candidates the chance to be trained on-the-job as a paid apprentice. After a gruelling two-day assessment Janet Murray chose Rhian Jones, from an initial field of 50, to partake in this invaluable opportunity. Apprenticeships have been greatly stigmatised in recent years as Murray confirms. But as tuition fees rise there is no doubt that young people are having to think hard about the worth of making an investment in Higher Education. 'The whole landscape is kind of changing,' Murray tells me. 'Five years ago, it was, I don't know what to do so I'll just go to university but actually I think people are giving it a lot more thought and are starting to give apprenticeships a lot more thought as well.' This apprenticeship could become an alternative to the recognised routes into journalism. 'At the moment there are no actual apprenticeship frameworks for journalism, so what we had to do with

One of the most obvious benefits of this scheme is the close training. 'I think what Rhian would say she's got the most out of is the oneto-one tuition, on her writing in particular.' This is a stark comparison to the post-graduate diploma Murray studied at what is now the London College of Communications, where she had 'three pieces of work looked over the course of 13 weeks.' Whilst education can provide a good platform for a career in journalism, Janet Murray is adamant it was Rhian's attitude that made her stand out, 'she was quite resourceful and confident... I think it was because she had more determination and tenacity'. This scheme does conjure questions about the future of journalism in general. 'All journalists should know how to freelance. Lots of newspapers and magazines are laying people off and trying to manage on shorter staff. You get some people when they get laid off that don't know where to start with freelancing.' The entrepreneurial element is crucial; 'it is actually a skill.' The need for versatility cannot be ignored. When you aren't reliant on an office job the limits can be boundless. Murray says, 'as long as I'm well and healthy I can find work. You have to be really creative

about finding work and making contacts. But that's part of the fun of it really.' Social media and journalism have formed a solid partnership. Murray definitely agrees it has assisted her career, 'it's been amazing. I've got something like 4,000 followers on Twitter and it puts you in touch with so many different people. If something catches your eye it's brilliant for that, but also for connecting you with people. I've been asked to speak at lots of events.' As with any innovation there is a downside, 'you might write something and people might not like it and you.' However in the grand scheme of things Murray is certain that 'the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives'. Whilst social media is not incredibly hard to grasp, I asked Murray whether aspiring journalists should become more aware of computer software and coding. She gives me an indisputable yes. 'It's having a massive influence on how the news is made. The Guardian, during the summer riots, were able to use Twitter to map out where people were. You can't sit on a story these days, you have to get it out there because otherwise it'll get broken on Twitter or whatever, and it has made things more immediate and more 24/7.' This has undoubtedly called into question the future prospects of print journalism. When asked whether she thinks print is dead, she laughs, 'I don't think it's dead yet'. 'Making the news isn't about being either a print journalist or


broadcast journalist but now it's just about making the news in a variety of different ways.' The definition of journalism has broadened tremendously. 'Not only are you expected to be able to do online journalism, you have to put your own stories up, edit your own stories and might also be required to make your own pod-casts or videos.' This time of change and transition can feel intimidating but it should not deter students from journalistic pursuits. Murray tells me she'd 'like to get another apprentice next year' and see the scheme spread more widely. With it potentially spreading to publishing houses, newspapers and magazines this is groundbreaking indeed. In closing Murray advises students to 'try and get any experience that you can and by that I mean get yourself in a newspaper office.' She commends student journalism; the process of writing regularly is really important and in the end if you remain determined and pro-active it is definitely achievable.

So you want to be a journalist? April 25 City University, London Price: £40 (Discounts available for group bookings) Time: 10.00–17.00

Contact: Janet Murray Website: Twitter: @jan_murray Rhian Jones Website: Twitter:@journapprentice Blog: rhianjournojones.

9th March 2012

Redbrick Rhian Jones was the candidate selected in September 2011 to be Janet Murray's first journalist apprentice. At 21 and with a bit of life experience under her belt already, Rhian told me she 'felt like she was ready to start her career and couldn't imagine staying at University for the next two years'. Surviving the interview process that stretched over two days was no mean feat. 'After each task we'd all be assessed and then we'd be divided into two rooms and then one room would all get sent home.' Tasks included writing stories as well as several tests. 'We had to take a news quiz, which I'm sure I completely failed,' she jokes. Jones tells me she was ecstatic when she discovered the hard work was worth it, 'we found out on the last day of interviewing. It was great.' There was no easing into the job, 'The first week we went to World Skills in London at the Excel Centre. Janet was doing a live blog from it for the Guardian and she was sitting in the press room with her laptop and she said to me right just go out and just talk to people and see what's happening. That was amazing, for two days I got to run around this huge exhibition and just talked to everyone and found loads of stories.' I ask Rhian if journalism felt like a closed door to an outsider and she doesn't hesitate, 'definitely'. 'I'd read Piers Morgan's secret diaries', she laughs, 'and thought I know I want to do that but I knew I didn't want to do a journali s m

degree.' Rhian writes a regular blog giving tips to aspiring journalists. I ask her if her experiences have spurred her to help others. 'The massive lesson that I've learnt from this whole experience, is how important it is to teach others.' Many that strive to be a journalist often feel that they should not talk to anyone due to the hundreds of applicants that apply for each job. Rhian Jones believes this is the wrong stance to take, 'we've got a whole new generation of journalists coming and we need to help each other.' She tells me this can be highly beneficial, 'when you help each other, you've got contacts and relationships'. There is no doubt that this apprenticeship has taught her an incredible amount. 'Since October I think I've learnt the most I've ever learnt in my entire life'. Including the need to be thick-skinned she stresses, 'People don't like journalists at all and they're actually quite rude and angry'. Her tip for dealing with this is, 'Just take nothing to heart. Nothing is ever a personal attack against you and I know a lot of freelance writers that get emails, comments and phone calls, literally trailing abuse at them because they've written an article'. The exploitative nature of internships has been a prevalent issue in recent times. This makes the idea of an apprenticeship that much more alluring. Rhian earns a fair wage of over

£6 an hour and as opposed to a company you intern with, there is a framework given by a skill set and the awarding body. 'You're definitely going to be learning on the job and doing things within the company and you have to get the qualifications.' Jones stresses, 'don't ever let anyone intimidate you. If you act professional and like you've got something to give to that company and if you believe in your skills, then the company will believe it surely.' The idea of personal branding is something Jones places special emphasis on. 'You need to be your own marketing person and PR person and social media is just the perfect way of doing that.' Indeed Social media is extremely important. 'The profession has completely changed and you need to be a journalist as well as 5 other things.' When applying for a job this can be a major asset. 'If you're going for a job and you've got loads of followers on twitter and you've got a blog which loads of people read then you're bringing publicity to that company. So when you're writing stories for that company and you're tweeting stories, that company has boosted their marketing profile by employing one new person.' What Rhian Jones undoubtedly shows is the value of determination, 'I just don't want to stop. I've learnt so much and I've got so much more to learn.' In closing she advises, 'never ever let anyone tell you that you're not good enough or that it's too competitive or that you can't do it. If you carry on and if you really want it then logically you're going to get it. Just don't stop until you get that job.'

Comment & Features 7

Freddie Herzog

Rhian's Top Tips for the aspiring journalist

CV – Show, Don't Tell When it comes to putting together your journalist CV forget everything you were taught in careers lessons at school/college. Your CV is there to show a prospective employer that you have the skills for the job, not to tell them you have the skills for the job.

Shameless Self Promotion As well as being a journalist, you need to be your own PR person. Liken it to creating a brand and selling it – you are the brand and there is a huge advertorial space in the world wide web for you to take.

Be Resourceful While it's important to keep up to date with current affairs you don't need to be an expert on everything. There are, however, many experts out there who do know a lot about everything you could possibly want to know about.

Writing Style – Stay Brief A journalist's job is to convey a story as clearly as possible. Don't use ten words when two will do, don't use academic terms and don't assume prior knowledge with an audience for anything.

Do Your Research Come across a brilliant scoop? WAIT. Don't tell anyone yet. Finding a potential story is only the half of it. Before you try and pitch an article you need to think of a way to find out as much information as you can, decide if it is as juicy as you.

Pitching – Cut to the The most important thing to remember when pitching article ideas is – keep it brief. Sum up your idea in three or four sentences and draw the editor in with your first line. They are very busy people and if your idea is buried under two paragraphs of waffle they will probably have stopped reading and you won't get a reply.

Rhian Jones Journo-Apprentice

8 Comment & Features

Opinion Matrix Views on the News



Launch of the new iPad Wednesday saw the launch of the iPad 3, but how many more iPad launches will we witness before people stop avidly following live


tions about the cause of death or other such information. Despite being greatly in support investigative journalism, I believe that this is an area that the media really need to be less persistent in. blogs recording them? Apple often gets slated in C&F for being unethical, overpriced and 'culty'. However, the products they produce are quite brilliant. As I write this I'm surrounded by editors working on pages with Apple Macs – this is even being typed on an iPad. Apple is now far beyond a company; its cult-status is incredible. But the launch of the iPad 3 raises questions of how long it will last – all empires fall eventually, it's just a matter of time. (Sent from my iPad)

GLOBAL AFFAIRS Anti-Kony viral campaign A video entitled 'KONY 2012' launched by American film maker and African aid worker Jason Russell went viral this week. Its stated aim is to make Ugandan guerrilla group leader Joseph Kony 'famous', starting with an online campaign and culminating on April 20th when viewers are encouraged to fill their cities with Kony posters, raising awareness of his crimes and pressuring the US government


Gray's suicide revelation This week disgraced former Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray made the headlines by admitting in an interview with the London Evening Standard that he 'would be

into furthering efforts to capture him. Kony has been torturing and mutilating Ugandan citizens since 1986, and has kidnapped over 30,000 children for his army. The campaign's rise is an example of social media's superb potential to evoke social consciousness. lying' if he said he hadn't thought about committing suicide after he was sacked for sexist remarks in January 2011. However, the first thought that came to mind when reading this was 'Why on earth is a journalist asking somebody if they had contemplated suicide?'. The question seems unnecessarily leading, and arguably immoral. When interviewing somebody, it is important to encourage interesting answers. But asking a question as unnecessary as that, about a very sensitive subject, has got to be considered inappropriate.


Return of the 80s Giles Longley-Cook

Casualties continue The news of a death is always a sad one, especially of a military service person on duty abroad. But while I was sad at hearing the news of the deaths of six soldiers in Helmand province in Afghanistan this week, I was also concerned by the invasive attitude shown by the media. Instead of allowing the families to deal with their devastating news in private, the media think it is acceptable to constantly ask ques

9th March 2012

A while ago I wrote an article expressing hope that this decade would be the one where the 21st century could truly get off on the right foot. Two months down the line one might be forgiven, just by glancing at the situation, for thinking that the de-

cade was now simply trying to do its best impression of the 1980s. There are some pretty spooky comparisons. David Cameron's conservative government came to power right at the beginning of this decade, almost matching how Thatcher's assumed office. Both shortly afterwards faced nationwide riots with a mixture of racial, economic and chaotic motivations. Closely related to this are the mirror imaged economic woes that look set to make a comeback. Except this time it's not the over-unionisation and uncontrollable labour that has drained us, but rogue capital traders, who, to our great disadvantage, are far harder to pin down and discipline. Somehow, the pessimistic, unemployment culture that began with Thatcher's destruction of industries still offers perfect scapegoats for national short-comings while the habitual gamblers who were to Blair and Brown what the unions were to Wilson and Callaghan, have made hasty retreat as Babel collapses. In an added irony, Greece has become the economic pariah of the EU exactly 20 years after it joined. Across the pond the race of who can out-right-wing each other in the Republican camp is reaching fever pitch, with ham fisted diplomacy and bible thumping all the rage. Those of us to whom the future of the human race is important probably shouldn't worry too much, except for perhaps if Romney does win the nominations. His political slipperiness is eerily reminiscent of Ronald Reagans', possibly putting Obama in the position of being the Jimmy Carter of our time; wellintentioned but ill-fated within a role where a conscience is a burden. Should a Republican enter the White house they will be walking into what William

'The pessimistic unemployment culture still offers perfect scapegoats for national shortcomings' Hague has described as a mounting 'Cold War' with Iran. The comparisons with the Western-Soviet standoff are obvious, with equally terrifying prospects, with particular fear over the consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran. But remember, if the world could survive the destruction of Saddam's nuclear facilities in Operation Opera in 1981, then hopefully the worst coming to the worst this time will be survivable too. Either way, if Iran's government can collapse under the weight of its own people's spirit, like the USSR did in 1989, crisis could be averted. And the prospect of popular change is not a pipe-dream anymore. The incredible revolutions of the Arab world are almost direct reflections of the emancipation of Europe in 1989, as if acting in reverse, (Mubarak's reign in Egypt began in 1981 and ended in 2011). Another comparison would be the democratisation of South America in the 80s. But we should be ready for the emerging monsters now, unlike last time. Perhaps aware of the anniversary, the Falklands have again become sabre-rattling central, with both Britain and Argentina making accusations and a return to form of the bizarre interventions by celebrities in political matters, this time represented by esteemed diplomat Sean Penn who graced us with his expert opinion of the crisis. Of course this is hardly exclusive to now or the 80s but the 80s did give us live aid and Madonna so it's close enough. The only good thing to come out of this sad coincidence is that if the big crunch has in fact happened and time is now in reverse, then the 2040s should be our 1960s, so there could be a hallucinogeninduced rainbow on the horizon after all.

POLITICS Vladimir Putin The news that Vladimir Putin had secured his third term as president of Russia was greeted with the expected dose of media controversy. Golos, a leading independent election watchdog was a prominent voice; citing examples of carousel voting and insufficient campaigning from competitors. Whilst officially, Putin won with a 64% majority, Golos suggest that the true figure may well be under 50%.

Given the sheer volume of detractors, it is alarming to think that this victory is considered official. Perhaps it says something quite significant about Russia's reluctance to completely alienate itself from its dictatorial past. The next four years will be interesting.

Written by Freddie Herzog, Owen Earwicker, James Dolton, James Phillips & Oscar French

Happy memories?

9th March 2012


Comment & Features 9

Sleaze on a Sunday: Murdoch's Last Stand? Alica Grimes Commentator

There seems to be no means of stopping Rupert Murdoch, who is proving to be almost as resilient as Louis Walsh as an X Factor judge, yet this is where the similarities end. When Louis made us chortle with his hilarious pronunciation of 'Wagner', Murdoch gave us such headlines as 'Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster' and falsely accused Elton John with having sexual liaisons with rent boys. Yet perhaps most importantly, Louis gave us Westlife – and Murdoch? He is proud to present (drum roll, please) The Sun... on a Sunday. It's true! No longer will we be forced to entertain our Sunday mornings with Andrew Marr or, heaven forbid, Desert Island Disks, but can happily rejoice in our reunion with Deidre and Mystic Meg as well as a brand new addition – a weekly column by Katie Price. At least the poor people on the paper's advertising campaign seem happy about The News of The World incarnate, smiling inanely into the camera lens whilst proudly clutching a crisp copy of the 50p Sun whose first headline reads 'My Heart stopped for 40 Seconds' and pictures Amanda Holden, you know, the one from Britain's Got Talent, on its front page. Besides the inevitable rubbish that will be splattered across the pages, my primary concern is how can the publishing empire News Corporation, responsible for a monumental and historic phonehacking scandal, be allowed the rights to another paper less than a

year after they were forced to dissolve their last. It wouldn't be an issue except that The Sun has the largest circulation in the United Kingdom and remains, sadly, one of the most popular and influential media vessels in our modern society which is surely set to continue with this brand-spanking new paper (with some old favourite journalists from News of The World, of course, thrown in for good measure). However, it is the individuals at the top of The Sun publication and News Corporation who need analysing most closely. When asked by the BBC for his thoughts on the new Sunday paper, Kelvin McKenzie responded with 'I like sleaze on Sunday so I feel slightly robbed.' Touching words from an ex editor of the most powerful publication in the country, yet 'sleaze' embodies what The Sun is notorious for with its kiss-and-tell stories, coupled with its infamous 'page three' – but this clearly sells. And no one can deny that what Rupert Murdoch has achieved is nothing short of extraordinary. After buying The Sun in 1969, then a struggling broadsheet, he transformed it into the multimillion selling machine it is today, as well as personally owning some of the most powerful media companies in the world including The New York Post and Fox News. Furthermore, his heir James Murdoch is not without a share of the power only recently stepping down as executive chairman of News International after claiming he had 'nothing more to offer' amongst the ongoing investigations into

Murdoch 's front room

the phone-hacking scandals which surfaced last year. Whether this is mere coincidence or an attempt to escape the inevitable firing line as the Leveson inquiry continues to shine a spotlight on the conduct of News International is hardly worthy of debate and only proves that the owners of the most influential media company in the world have something to hide.

So what does this mean for the future of the Murdoch Empire and the newspaper industry generally? As James Murdoch said himself, the launch of the new Sun on a Sunday will put the company in a strong position after the controversy surrounding News International last year. There are clearly secrets and deceit underpinning the media industry with individuals in posi-

tions of power, and journalists who are willing to go to unimaginable lengths to get information they need. All I can say is that if a newspaper company, already shrouded in controversy are able to hastily produce a new Sunday paper to replace the last, this surely signals that something is drastically wrong and that the future of the industry may prove even more haunting.

Comment Cartoon

Illustrated by Sophie Freeman



9th March 2012


'So, Bill, what you're telling me, essentially, is that Napoleon was a short dead dude.'

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

The Beginner's Guide to... Silent Film

Film News

This week we're thankful Jayne Rudd hasn't kept her mouth shut about these silverscreen gems

Since the acclaimed silent film The Artist gained five awards at the Oscars, there have been mixed opinions as to whether the silver screen still has a place within modern culture, or if it is now a forgotten relic to be laid alongside fax and letter writing as remembrance of an earlier, simpler era. When The Artist was released, filmgoers at the Odeon in Liverpool demanded refunds as they were not aware that the film was dialogue free - perhaps, then, a beginner's guide could help to draw more people into this golden era of cinema history.

The Beginning

In terms of American cinema, the inventor Thomas Alva Edison is credited with developing the first early motion picture cameras. America's first authentic movie studio, the Black Maria, was built on the grounds of Edison's laboratories, and it was there that The Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze became the first film officially registered for copyright. One of the first cases of censorship within the film industry took place when the short film Carmencita was being filmed in 1894, and the dancer Carmencita was the

first woman to appear in front of an Edison motion picture. Due to her legs and undergarments being exhibited, the film was in some cases forbidden from being projected, a far cry from the controversy and censorship of more recent films such as A Clockwork Orange or The Exorcist.

The Classics

In my opinion, an archetypal homage to the horror genre, Nosferatu, is the earliest surviving screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula and also one of the first examples of German expressionist cinema. Described as a 'symphony of horror' and with the character Count Orlok making a fascinating Count Dracula through his hideous countenance, this film subverts today's stereotypes of vampires as charismatic, sexual magnets, and provides a new, fresh take upon a very tired genre. The infamous surrealist short film, Un Chien Andalou, is also essential silver screen viewing. Developed by Luis Bunuel, and Salvador Dali, the film refuses to succumb to the limits of plot and uses the concept of surrealism and dream sequence, with disturbing

images including rotting donkeys, a woman's eyeball being sliced by a razor, and ants swarming around a hole in a man's palm. Arguably an influence upon both the cult television series Twin Peaks and the film Blue Velvet by David Lynch, Un Chien Andalou demonstrates the establishment of film as an exercise in psychological irrationality.

Josh Taylor Critic

The Lorax

The Lorax has smashed expectations at the box office by grossing over $70 million this weekend, $20 million more than was projected. The film currently has the highest opening of the year and third highest of all time in March, behind Alice in Wonderland and 300. Following up their surprising 2010 box office hit Despicable Me, Illumination Entertainment, founded by Chris Meledandri, look to have another runaway success on their hands with The Lorax.

If the silver screen or arthouse cinema is in any way a passion of yours, from foreign language films to 'mumblecore', The Electric Cinema opposite New Street Station is renowned for its monthly cult film nights, and occasional screenings of silent films with live music accompaniment. They're also screening The Artist until the 8th March, so if you haven't, go see it while you still have the chance!

Five of the Best: Films Inspired by Shakespeare

Renaissance woman, Natasha Lavender, shares 5 things she loves about The Bard on screen

Shakespeare in Love



Inspired by Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, and with a few sonnets for good measure. Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is struggling for inspiration when he meets Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow), an aspiring actress. Viola is cast as Romeo, but their affair is doomed when she is promised to creepy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth). Funny, romantic and moving, this film gives Shakespeare sex appeal.

The Lion King

Disney classic was #4 this loosely based on HamA controversial inclusion,

let. Some protest that comparing a masterpiece to a film about flatulent warthogs is an offense against literature. Granted, Simba is less brooding than his counterpart, but scenes featuring animals performing uplifting musical numbers was just what was missing from the less than cheerful original.

Ralph McQuarrie

Oscar winning visual effects artist Ralph McQuarrie has passed away at 82. Best known for being the driving force in the creation of the Star Wars universe, envisioning Darth Vader amongst many other legendary characters, McQuarrie also worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Cocoon for which he received his Oscar. George Lucas said of his collaborator, 'his genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy'. McQuarrie is survived by his wife, Joan.

10 Things...


A comedy of love and underhand negotiations, this sees The Taming of the Shrew transported to an American high school. When popular Bianca is forbidden from dating before her antisocial sister Kat (Julia Stiles), her wannabe-suitor Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) must find someone to win feisty Kat's heart. Enter bad-boy Patrick (pre-Joker Heath Ledger) whose rendition of 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You' will have everyone swooning. The quick-wit, nineties outfits and perky soundtrack of 10 Things I Hate About You make it an enlivened retelling of a timeless tale.

Step Brothers 2? West Side Story


Another reimagining of Romeo and Juliet, this classic musical is set on the streets of New York, where the Sharks, led by Bernardo, are fighting for dominance over rival gang the Jets. However, when ex-Shark Tony and Bernado's sister Maria meet and fall in love, disaster awaits both sides. A slick array of powerful songs and superb dance sequences make for an edgy and moving retelling.

She's the Man

#5 Night player

This take on Twelfth follows 'soccer' Viola (Amanda Byrnes), who is enraged when her team is dropped by the misogynistic coach. To teach them a lesson she takes her twin brother's place on the team at a rival school, but accidentally falls for teammate Duke (Channing Tatum). Cue enough confusion, slapstick and indecent exposure to leave even Shakespeare in stitches.

Those of you still holding out for a sequel to Anchorman will be sad to hear that it appears to be a lost cause at this point thanks to budgeting issues, but star Will Ferrell has stated that he will hopefully be again teaming with frequent collaborator Adam McKay on a sequel to another one of his films, Step Brothers. Ferrell is said to be working on a script with the intention to commence filming in the autumn. As with all the projects that Ferrell is said to be tied to, you should await studio confirmation, as this could easily go the way of Anchorman 2.

Student Voice


With 80 ele cted stude nt representa tives mee ting five tim each yea es r, Guild Co u n democrat cil is the ic voice o f Students University at the of Birming h a m. Throug Guild Cou h ncil, stude n t s University at the of Birming ham decid policy of t e the he Guild a n d ensure it working fo ’s r its memb ers.

What’s being discussed at the next Guild Council? Guild members have submitted a number of motions on a range of topics. Here are some of the issues that will be debated and voted on at Guild Council • Supporting societies in Welcome Week • Setting up an Entertainments and Engagement Committee • Changing the process of adding companies to the suppliers list • Reviewing Officer working practices and hours • The future of the online ‘Better Guild Forum’ • Affiliating the Guild with ‘Attitudes is Everything’ • Making the last Guild Council of the year fancy dress • Electing Senate Reps And, as always, a chance for you to ask questions of your Officer Team about the work they have been doing for you! For a full agenda, please visit, or email

When is the next Guild Council? When: Thursday 15th March, arrive 5.30pm Where: Guild Council Chambers, Guild Building

What do I need to do to attend? All students can come to Guild Council and speak on any of the agenda items. All you need to do is turn up to the Guild Council Chambers at 5.30pm on the night of Guild Council. If you can’t attend the meeting, follow what’s happening on Twitter using #guildcouncil



9th March 2012

Music Bieber in Numbers

100,000 Is the estimated cost of the car Usher gave him for his 18th birthday last week

18,100,462 Is the number of followers Bieber has on Twitter

41,075,630 Is the number of likes Bieber has on Facebook

7,000,000 Is the estimated number of albums Justin has sold word wide

713,096,690 Is the number of YouTube views his smash hit Baby has

Live Reviews Noel Gallagher NIA 26/02/12 Charlotte Ross Critic

It's hard to predict what the quieter, and arguably more lyrically creative Gallagher brother can bring to the table of British music that we haven't already seen. Proud, youthful, artist angst? Smashed guitars? Disappointed avid fans? One thing is for sure, the performance delivered by Noel Gallagher at the NIA did anything but disappoint. An earthy, typically indie backdrop of anticipation was formed by support band Reverend and the Makers, before the main act began with a simple word, uttered in an effortlessly casual Mancunian accent 'Al'ight'. That's all it took. Cheery echoes from nostalgic 90s memories and newfound song obsessions alike bounced around the arena, as the all too appropriate 'It's Good (To Be Free)' began. Followed by tracks both old and new, Noel's performance depicted something more than a much-anticipated return, but also a continuing presence in modern music. Accompanied by large choir harmonies, both solo and Oasis tracks were delivered with the coolness and effortlessness only a true pro can achieve. Gallagher performed old favourite 'Supersonic' with nothing but an acoustic guitar donned over his shoulder. Raw passion and memories erupted throughout, as tracks from the band's self-titled album intertwined with old Oasis favourites flowed throughout a flawless set list. 'Talk Tonight', a less popular B-side intoxicated loyal fans and newcomers alike with the story of Noel's legendary conversation


Follow us on Twitter @redbrickmusic, or visit our website at Also, tune into our radio show every Wednesday from 6pm on BurnFm

Single Reviews

Arctic Monkeys

R U Mine?

Josh Holder

Online Music Editor

Bursting back into everyone's consciousness, the Arctic Monkeys unexpectedly released new single 'R U Mine?' to the world last week. The thumping opening drumbeat immediately confirmed that they have already abandoned the 60s inspired grooves of Suck It And See, substituting them with suave rock 'n' roll riffs that prove that the Arctic Monkeys can master whatever style they choose. 'R U Mine?' is entwined with Alex Turner's distinctive witti-

with an anonymous female in San Francisco, regarding his internal debate between ending and continuing with Oasis back as early as 1994. A cheeky dedication 'to all the ladies in here' lifted the emotional weight with newer track 'AKA… Broken Arrow', a crowd pleaser despite its lack of Britpop roots. After an ominous end to the main set with '(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach', Gallagher left a lot to be anticipated for the encore, everything coming down to the Oasis classics. A beautiful rendition of another B-side 'Whatever' with mesmorising orchestral accompaniment was a definite highlight of the entire night, followed by old favourites 'Little by Little', 'The Importance Of Being Idle' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. A blur of nostalgia for the middleaged Liam look-a-likes and a strike of inspiration for new generations, the encore encapsulated the audience, the soundtrack of the 90s rushing through every human being present. With or without his straight-talking and beautifully vocally nasal brother, it is clear that Noel is still most definitely a musician in his own right. His fans and his performance proved that. My God, is that man flying high.

cisms, with the difficult, on-off nature of his former relationship with Alexa Chung being the track's underlying subject matter. Musically, the track is the perfect blend of the old and the new, with the new, fuzzier guitar licks effortlessly combining with the in-your-face immediacy of their sophomore album Favourite Worst Nightmare. The result is a new sound for the Arctic Monkeys that continues to push their music forward, whilst still retaining the band's unique feel. If this is a sign of things to come, then their next album can't arrive soon enough.

Enter Shikari Arguing With Thermometers Jenna Kirby Critic

Rou and the boys are back with the second single from their much-anticipated third album, A Flash Flood of Colour, released on 16th January. And once again, with their new release comes a completely new musical direction. 'Arguing with Thermometers' combines various genres, including electronica, indie and dupstep, with a distinctly Michael Jackson-esque riff. Each of Enter Shikari's albums have carried various political messages, and this trend continues in their latest single which openly criticises the world economy's reliance on oil, most prominently in the lyrics of the chorus. There is also a typical En-

Laura Marling Symphony Hall 26/02/12

ter Shikari breakdown with Rou spitting out lyrics comparing the world's addiction to 'the most abused and destructive drug of all time'. Continuing on from the success of their first single from the new album, Sssnakepit, the early release of 'Arguing with Thermometers' helped propel A Flash Flood of Colour to number four in the UK Album Chart – a significant achievement for a band who remain resolutely on their own independent label, Ambush Reality. The single, along with the rest of the new album, was recorded in Thailand by the band and their new producer, Dan Weller. It has already proved very popular with fans – their 2011 test-drive tour sold out, and the same is expected for their upcoming tour which kicks off later this month.

cased the talent of Marling's band, in which the banjo player jumped between the French horn and the guitar. After we enjoyed a few more Annabelle Collins Critic richly accompanied songs, the band left the stage, leaving Marling with the audience to herself. This was without doubt the highlight of the show. Dimmed lights and just her new temperamental 'big The soulful folk dog' guitar made Marling the sole melodies of Pete focus; the vastness of the venue Roe drifted around the was no longer apparent. We atrium of the Symwere treated to new song 'Master phony Hall, perfectly Hunter', but renditions of 'Ghosts' setting the scene for the and 'Alas, I Cannot Swim' rerest of the night's perminded us of how Marling formances. Although the has progressed as an artist seats were not yet full, his since her debut 5 years ago; set of folk and blues songs was they sounded so light and careclearly enjoyed by free compared to the darker elethe audience, ments present in not only for the her latest album. catchy melodies 'Blackberry Dimmed lights and Stone' was a but also the heartfelt lyrics. standout moNext, Taylor ment, the accomjust her new temKirk, a sole member paniment buildof Canadian folk rock peramental 'big dog' ing from just band Timber Timbre the cello to the entered the stage. guitar made Marling whole band once Even as a solo permore, and was the sole focus former, Kirk's vocals truly beautiful reverberated around to experience. the venue, and Ending the set reminded the listener of a difwith the atmospheric 'I ferent age of folk music. Speak Because I Can' and 'GoodBy now, the Symphony Hall bye England (Covered in Snow)', was almost completely full and the Marling appeared vulnerable yet anticipation for the headliner was somehow wise beyond her years. electric. Without further ado, LauLaura Marling's talent for creatra Marling and her band entered ing a style of folk that feels fresh the stage and instantly started and relevant was showcased in to play 'I Was Just A Card'. With the this performance; however the set audience in the palm of her hand, was over far too quickly. Ending Marling continued to perform on a crescendo, Marling and her stand out songs from her most band departed, leaving the entire recent album A Creature I Don't Symphony Hall wanting more. Know. 'Salinas' particularly show-

Music 13

9th March 2012


Redbrick Meets... The Jezabels

James Dolton chats to Heather Shannon about Bach, Twilight and the future for Australia's hottest new export J – First of all, how are you today and where are you at the moment? H – I'm good! We are just rehearsing today in London, Hackney. We finished our UK tour and got back yesterday. J – You just came off your biggest UK tour yet: how did it go for you? H – Good, really good. We had some great shows - a few stood out, especially in Glasgow, London, Edinburgh, but it was all pretty amazing. We've only just started touring rurally through England really: it [their appearance on Thursday 23rd Feb at HMV Institute] was the first time we've been to Birmingham. J – What is the difference in your profile between the UK and your native country of Australia?

H – We get asked that question a fair bit: I don't know if there is much of a difference in crowd reaction: the only one really is the size. In Australia, we do quite big shows, but our album (Prisoner, released March 5th) only came out in this country this week, whilst it's been out in Australia since December and went Gold pretty quickly. Here we are still starting out: we don't expect the record to be massive, as people don't know us yet, so it's just a starting point here. We've been touring heaps and building up a fan base: we sold out a show at the KOKO in London a couple of weeks ago, which was really awesome. J – What music are you into yourself? H – Well, I actually play quite a lot of classical. I love classical music, mostly the really instrumental stuff like Bach and Prokofiev. I

also like a lot of Bjork. Stuff that's really ornate and orchestral sounding. J – As keyboardist in the band, do you think these influences shape your sound? H – Yeah, I think it definitely affects the way I write my parts and the way I think about music. I prefer to think about harmony and arrangement rather than chords and riffs and tunes and stuff. I'd say that's the classical influence in me. J – Another cliché one: how would you describe your sound? I found it quite difficult. H – We get asked that a fair bit too: it is very hard to describe. We get a lot of very strange comparisons: a lot of people write that our music sounds epic and expansive, which I can see. Actually, Sam,

our guitarist, made up a label called 'Intensindie'. We started using that for a while as a joke but now people have caught onto it and actually write about us as it. Also Hayley's (Mary, lead singer) lyrics, and I think our music is influenced by gothic themes and gothic literature, so maybe 'Gothic Pop'? J – Novel. So what is in store for the Jezabels in the next few months? H – We go to Europe in a few days, straight to Berlin, and then through Germany, up to Scandinavia, into Holland, and then a few other places around Europe, and then into North America. Basically we are touring for quite a few months, up until July. We are doing the US with Benjamin Francis Leftwich. He is quite well known here, but I think he's only starting out over in America, so he's going to be supporting

us over there, which should be interesting. J – One last question: according to Wikipedia, you had a song turned down from appearing in Twilight for being 'too mature'. Is this true? H – Well, according to our publishers it is true, but I don't know if it is as simple as being 'too mature'. I don't really know. I'm not a big fan of Twilight, I have to say. J – It is strange, the number of great artists such a terrible film franchise manages to muster. H – Yeah, the soundtrack is incredible! It's weird though, because there is stuff like Iron and Wine and Radiohead on there, and obviously they sound mature.




9th March 2012

Ubisoft have announced Assassin's Creed III, to be set in the American Revolution.

RSA Security Conference warns of new threats to digital safety by two separate bodies whereby whole networks are hacked into and taken down. While this may appear to be a war fought without weapons of destruction and wholsesale loss of life, an entire network of data of a country or organisation could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. For instance, Stuxnet, a virus fundamentally targeted at the industrial sector, caused huge problems in Iran in 2010. The virus is responsible for a worm which can re-program software, changing the instructions governing the operation of machinery. Out of the 38,000 infections caused by Stuxnet, 22,000 affected Iran, including, some suspect, its nuclear plant. It was believed consequently to have been an attempt of industrial espionage. Indonesia and India were also hit. More of these attacks are expected to come in the future and they will bring great cost to society.

Andrew Spencer Technology Editor

Digital security appears to be more important than ever before as dangerous new threats were revealed in last week’s RSA Security Conference 2012. A series of key problems were identified throughout the conference for the year ahead. Conference delegates were shocked by demonstrations which showed how vulnerable technology has become. In one of the presentations an Android phone was hacked to indicate how easy it would be for an attacker to gain

control of a phone. The demonstration involved the user clicking on a malicious link on an Internet page on the phone’s browser and then malware being downloaded, without knowledge, onto the device. The scary part is the consequences. A hacker can intercept calls and texts, read everything on the phone and then even control the camera and microphone to record things without the user even realising. Phones with GPS will furthermore mean that the attacker will know the user’s location and where they are going. In fact, Android phones are believed to be the top choice

Game over for GAME Group?

Sam Atkins

Technology Editor

The games industry was one of the few to emerge from the recent recession unscathed, with just about every other industry showing losses until recently. It looks like the good luck has run out though, for UK gamers anyway, as GAME group, home to GAME and Gamestation is at the lowest point sales-wise in its history. Their fate was sealed when consumers began receiving emails saying that their preorders of Mass Effect 3 had been cancelled, with more details arriving a few days later. Said to be due to a refinancing and strategic review of the company conflicting with the credit terms from EA, the company would not be stocking any March releases from the publisher after SSX. This includes Mass Effect 3, possibly the most antici-

pated game of 2012, a decision that is set to cost GAME group upwards of £2.5 million in lost profit. Though officially this is a temporary problem, and is a stock issue, it’s hard to see this as anything but the final straw for a company that has continually been losing out to both online retailers, such as Amazon and Play, and digital distribution of content. Schemes to keep people in their stores have been hit and miss, with redemption codes sold on cards attempting to get people to the tills despite garnering very little profit for the retailer. The Online Pass debate has made preowned games the much less attractive option, and with online prices for new games sometimes half the price of in store the company has struggled stay relevant. With stores closing across the country, unconfirmed reports that the directors of GAME group are planning to cut their losses have begun to appear. By the time you read this, it may all be over for Game and Gamestation, two shops in particular that at one time were the main place to go for the latest releases. Even if they do survive March, what happens the next time a major release isn’t stocked? Imagine a game retailer where you couldn’t buy the new Call of Duty for instance. Surely this is the end for a company that has always lived up to its name.

for mobile hacking over the next year or so, due to their high levels of vulnerability. If these attacks are not prevented, there could be a whole new danger of cybercrime. The conference also showed how over the past few years, hackers have started forming groups based on political and financial motives, creating a new dynamic in the crime sector. There were fears raised by the fact that the increasing power of hackers has also been utilised by military and secret intelligence. These are based on the worry that a cyberwar could break out at any time – a war fought

Mobile Internet access is no longer safe. Other dangers were identified as existing in the home as more household items are connected to each other. Various companies such as Google are working on systems to be able to control devices all round the house such as the TV or lighting. Anyone able to hack into the mobile system will be able to disrupt people’s domestic lives.

While mobile systems are clearly growing more vulnerable, there is yet to be a large outbreak in malware. As conference speakers reiterated, because threats are currently being identified, Android will regularly be releasing updates for its operating system fixing any bugs in the code which could be targeted. Demonstrations like those that have been taking place at the RSA Security Conference 2012 may be scary and eye-opening but they show us that potential malware problems are being identified and dealt with before it is too late. Security companies across the globe can now start their own efforts to prevent these problems and try and stay one step ahead of the attackers. It is not just Android that is at risk. With mobiles taking over from computers - being used for so many more applications such as banking transactions and paying for parking fees - there is increasing likelihood of other phone operating systems being targeted. The phone companies are on the case but the best advice security professionals were able to give to any mobile users is that everyone should be on guard and be aware that mobile Internet access is no longer safe. SMS messages can also be targeted and phone users should be wary of any links sent by text. It is important now that the companies in attendance take what has been learnt from this global conference and use it to improve security across all vulnerable platforms. Be sure to check out the Redbrick Tech Twitter page for more on this story and others. @RedbrickTech

Redbrick Science: The week's biggest news Ellie Fewings looks at the big stories from across the world

New worries as virus spreads to UK farms

'Iceman' Oetzi's genome mapped

The Schmallenburg virus, originally identified in Germany, has now been identified on 83 UK farms. The virus causes a loss of milk production, fever and diarrhoea in farm animals. The virus has been thought to be carried by midges. It is also known that the virus can swap genetic material, making the current strain particularly deadly. Schmallenberg affects sheep, cattle and goats and so far the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control claim there are no signs that the virus can infect humans. It is, as of yet, unknown what the economic ramifications of this strain may be for the UK farming industry.

The full genome of Oetzi the Iceman has now been sequenced, allowing scientists to discover his blood type, eye colour and other medical information. The frozen body of Oetzi was discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991. It is believed the man’s body is 5,300 years old. As well as being able to tell us that Oetzi was lactose intolerant, suffered from heart disease and had brown eyes, this information provides an insight into the migration of early Homo Sapiens. For example, it was found that Oetzi’s DNA was more closely related to human tribes in Corsica and Sardinia than to groups found in the Alps where the body was dug up. The technique used to sequence the genome, Wholegenome sequencing, was not possible from one sample before this.

New measurements to be carried out on Mt. Everest This week, scientists are attempting to re-measure the height of the world’s tallest mountain. Arguments between Nepalese and Chinese officials about how Everest should be measured have been underway since the initial agreement of a height around 8,848m in 2010. Shifts in the rock foundations have only added to the disputes. The Nepalese government are appealing internationally for donations of equipment to carry out the measurements.


07.06.12 Preparations for this year’s Grad Ball (Thursday 7th June) are underway! For the third year running, the event will be held on campus and will welcome top name acts to entertain you. With a free funfair, silent disco, bandeoke, and much more, it’s guaranteed to be a night to remember!

V.I.P Tickets

Celebrate the end of the year in style and with sophistication. V.I.P tickets (final year students only) cost £67.50 inclusive of table wine*, and include a mouth-watering three course dinner in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall, and access to all entertainment. *4 bottles of wine per table for dinner tickets only.

Ball Tickets

Available to all students, Ball Tickets are priced at £37.50 and give you access to all the entertainment, including headline acts and funfair.

Tickets sale details to be released shortly. For more information please visit Facebook: Gradball 2012 or see:



9th March 2012


This week, the Tate purchased eight million of Ai Weiwei's porcelain sunflower seeds that covered the floor of the Tate Modern in a 2010 exhibition.

Does Art still matter?

As a generation, we're becoming increasingly used to One Direction fans monopolizing Twitter, and art being regarded as outdated and boring. Redbrick Arts examine the place for theatre and poetry in our 21st century culture. Ben Norris Critic

'All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players'. When he wrote those lines, Shakespeare couldn't possibly have foreseen how relevant they would be to theatre in 2012, as we chart the genre's ever-increasing dexterity. No longer is drama something that happens solely on a stage or TV. Instead it happens around you as you go about your daily life; it happens while you're on the train or walking to the shops; it leads you through a field or an abandoned factory; sometimes it happens without you even knowing. Of course, a lot of it still happens in conventional arenas, but the rise of street, promenade and guerrilla theatre (where you might witness a scene of domestic violence in Tesco only to later realise that you were watching a performance intended to provoke profound thought) respectively is having a profound effect on the genre as a whole. Sometimes, as with 9 at West Yorkshire Playhouse, the actors aren't even actors but people with 'little or no performance experience' collaborating to create a compilation of intimate solo portraits. WYP is spearheading development in regional theatres: last week they appointed a new Artistic Director, James Brining, who will oversee, among other things, their 2012 Transform festival, including 9 and the Transform Symposium, a discussion forum centring on where theatre goes from here. Things like this are increasingly necessary because theatre is at an exciting cross-roads. Where it cannot hope to rival television and cinema for realism, it has to reinvent itself and find other ways of entertaining. A glance at the programmes of London's National Theatre or Birmingham REP tells you that times are indeed changing. There are less productions of Shakespeare in the stuffy manner that became standard in stifling Victorian proscenium arch auditoria, and more like the National's

daring Comedy of Errors, in which Lenny Henry's Antipholus of Syracuse is an illegal immigrant. Lots of these changes are not purely stylistic, however. This is the year in which savage Arts Council funding-cuts take effect. 'Savage' because the government reduced ACE's budget by 60 per cent, a huge blow to an already under-funded industry. One of the companies to lose all ACE support is Theatre Writing Partnership, which supports new writing in the East Midlands. Still a relatively young company, TWP has nevertheless achieved a great deal in its 11 year tenure, developing a number of new plays that have gone on to full-production, publication and national or international presentation. I spoke to their general manager and producer, Bianca Winter, about where she thinks the industry is heading:

'Where theatre cannot hope to rival television and cinema, it has to find new ways of entertaining.' 'I think there's a national trend to diversify theatre-making and audience experience, as well as interesting explorations of the live experience, which is in part a response to the potential of technology. I'm also seeing an increase in the number of co-productions hitting our regional stages, which might encourage risk (because the burden is shared) or inhibit it (because there are more parties and agendas involved) – either way, it makes for a more impoverished theatrical landscape'. Where there are casualties there are also victors, like 'Punchdrunk', whose grant increases by 141 per cent from April and whose site-specific theatre 'rejects the passive obedience usually expected of audiences'.

Another winner is The Arcola Theatre, receiving a 100 per cent rise to £300,000. They're now based in a converted paint factory in Hackney, and are avid supporters of new writing. Looking solely at ACE's distribution of funding for 2012 onwards tells us a great deal about the direction theatre is headed. For, while the National Theatre is undoubtedly good, it is still very much 'the establishment' and the real dynamism comes from smaller diversified pockets of the industry, such as WYP, our very own REP, and other regional theatres.

It's not all austerity though. 2012 sees the climax of the Cult u r a l Olympiad, an opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle and also the World Shakes p e a r e Festival. But while these will be spectacular and will hopefully boost public interest in performance art, the reality for British theatre is penny-pinching innovation. Indeed, scant resources may force the industry to think outside the box and find interesting solutions. It may even, ultimately, be good for theatre.

There is no satisfactory explanation for the death of poetry. Charlotte Wise Critic

At the beginning of February, Polish poet & Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska died, aged 88. A week

later and global superstar Whitney Houston too passed away – the latter made instant headlines and,

within hours, had been mentioned on every major news channel and social network throughout the world. Admittedly, whilst undeniably talented, Szymborska may have lacked the instant glamour and sex appeal that many singers, actors and even novelists today hold – but does this detract from her talent, from the dedication to her art? Or is it indeed, less about the artist and more about the art itself? In a world full of de-tagging, de-friending, YouTube hits and blogging; where people are encouraged to summarize their thoughts into 140 characters or less, poetry seems outdated and irrelevant. Today, many people see it as the preserve of English students, the pretentious or the elderly (although admittedly, there is a tendency for the former two to overlap somewhat… we've all seen them, reading Proust over a tall-soy-caramel-macchiatolatte) – and for this disillusion, many poets blame postmodernism. But were this the case, why did the postmodern movement not strangle the life out of visual art, or literature, or film? There is no satisfactory explanation for the death of poetry, or at least for the paralysis of interest in it. For poetry is still being written - in-

deed, there is more poetry available today than ever before – but it is instead largely comprised of thousands of self-published 'poets' who view the Internet as an acceptable filter for their every thought. The art of true poetry, in the traditional sense, seems to have been lost – or, if not lost entirely, certainly buried. The likes of Philip Larkin, Charles Bukowski and Joy Harjo may be writing great verse, but it is for the future. For when poetry is resuscitated, as it inevitably shall be, people won't look back and realise the cultural crisis we find ourselves in – there shall be plenty of documentation on the Iraq war, the economic downturn and the rise of the hoody, even if we currently don't want to hear it. So I continue to champion poetry, whether it be Carol Ann Duffy or Dr. Seuss, if for no other reason than it's a much quicker guide to human nature than any novel will ever be, no matter how deeply we analyse. The art of poetry may simply be the Picasso of the 21st century, unappreciated in its own time – which if anything, is rather fitting – for, as Adrienne Rich expressed: 'Perhaps this is the hope: that poetry, by its nature, will never become leashed to profit, marketing, consumerism'.

9th March 2012




Chicago at the Alexan Tal Fox Critic

Chicago tells a story of 'murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery'. The show takes place through the eyes of wannabe performer Roxie Hart, who views all situations as a performance. Ali Bastain plays the lovable murderess Roxie Hart. Although she slightly misses the target with Roxie's edginess, the innocence she brings to her character becomes her redeeming factor. Tupele Dorgu's sexy and gutsy Velma Kelly was practically flawless. She was fierce, funny and fab-

ulous and made sure the audience knew it. Unfortunately Bernie Nolan may not have been the best choice to play the outrageous and assertive Matron 'Mama' Morton. She sings beautifully but lacks the 'Razzle Dazzle' that makes Mama feisty. Her low energy felt out of place in such a spirited performance. Billy Flynn, played by Stefan Booth, knew how to work the audience for laughs: his comic timing was impeccable. He held his audience as well as he held his exaggeratingly long note at the end of Both Reached for the Gun. However, once again he missed the liveliness that should

be created by Billy Flynn's lust for money. Roxie's naive husband, Jamie Baughan, rustled up sympathy from the audience during his big solo, Mr Cellophane. His response to the orchestra ignoring his request for exit music was hilarious. It seemed the audience were torn as to whether to sympathise or laugh at the poor sap's silent exit. The chorus really brought the oomph to the show. Their constant presence on stage added to the effect of the prison setting. The choreography was racy yet tasteful and simply sensational. Naturally, the orchestra were just as full of energy as the rest of the cast who also


atr e h T t n e d tu S 's k e e W This

3BUGs presents: Bug at The Amos


Ami Coxill-Moore Critic

Delivered through acutely convincing deep-southern American accents, and passionate, tensionfuelled acting, 3Bugs latest production, Bug, transports the audience to a life where paranoia, turmoil and human weakness are high on the agenda. Set in a single room of a run down motel, the audience witness the gradual demise of Agnes, following her introduction to vagabond Peter, a reclusive war veteran. Bug centres around a fragmented relationship between Agnes and Peter, played by Ana Richardson and Jacob Lovick, two characters failing to understand and accept incidents that have occurred in their earlier lives – Agnes is mourning the loss of her son and release of her ex-husband Jerry 'Goss', Hal Geller, from state prison, while Peter's experiences in the Gulf war have lead him to fall victim to damaging conspiracy theories. Their lives and issues collide, and the extent of their fragile per-

sonalities is realised through the arrival of the 'bugs'. Emotions are pushed to the limit as the audience can only watch as their two lives spiral out of control. The set remains the same throughout, but prop changes excellently show how a life prioritised by alcohol and drugs changes to a life teeming with bug sprays, UV lights and microscopes. The curiosity surrounding the existence of the 'bugs', complete with harrowing sounds of a prying helicopter above add to the suspense-filled atmosphere. Realistic portrayals of all characters are given through strong acting of composite characters, from the slyly witty, yet abusive, Goss to Agnes' feisty and confident workmate, R.C, played by Ally Perpick. The play successfully and accurately deals with the consequences of human weakness through cleverly crafted scenes that blend fear and chaos with delicacy and compassion, indicating the complexity of human behaviour, which, in this case comes to a head as the strength of paranoid minds take control of irreversible actions.


had their time under the spotlight; it made an amusing change to have the cast interact with them and they were not left out of the brilliant choreography. Heads turned from the trumpet players swinging from side to side, to the piano players jumping up and down on their stools and then to the banjo player who was turning and twisting the instrument as he played. The raunchy costumes were simple but worked, as did the minimal use of props throughout the show. The ladders on either side of the stage worked as a believable change of setting. All in all, one of the most energetic casts that brought laughter, scandal and All That Jazz.

Article 19 presents: Look Back in Anger at The Harvey Milk Room

Will Hunter Critic

John Osborne's Look Back in Anger is a near autobiographical depiction of a self destructive couple from two very different backgrounds; Jimmy and his wife Alison, portrayed superbly by Joe Hinds and Sarah Portsmouth, who occupy a small flat in the Midlands. Their social crutch, a Welsh lodger – here depicted perfectly by Michael Brownlee – acts as a buffer between the two of them. When this play first reached theatres at the end of the 1950s, Osbourne was filed under the bracket of 'angry young men', spawning a group of working class British writers. It received wide praise and was hailed as a corner stone of social realism in British writing and nucleated the popularity of kitchen sink dramas, which occurred following its success. Article 19's adaptation and execution of this play, which permeates with frustration and remorse, was near perfect. The selection of such an intimate venue, along

with the perfectly confined stage direction and design only added to the intensity and tension in the atmosphere. For those of you who've ventured into the Harvey Milk room, you'll realise that there is very little room to play with when you factor in a cast, crew and a twentysomething strong audience. However, these restrictions only aided the beautiful direction of Patrick Neil Doyle who played on the discomfort and confined space of the venue. Using it to build connections between the audience and actors gave a sense of involvement but at the same time, subtle claustrophobia. In a recent interview with Redbrick Arts on the subject of this production, Doyle expressed that his aim was not modernise it too much, but instead demonstrate how fluidly it could be worked into 21st century English culture. There is no disputing this is how the play came across. Beautifully portrayed and acted by all the cast, with a sense of Article 19's characteristic personality injected with ease.

See for more reviews, including Birmingham Royal Ballet's Spring Passions; The REP's latest production Gravity; Robert Glasper's album Black Radio and Watch This's 48 Hour Mean Girls.

3BUGs present: Romeo and Juliet Fusion, The Vale 9th-11th March £5

Scottish Fiddle Orchestra Symphony Hall 10th March £12

Infinity Presents: The Fastest Clock in The Universe AE Harris Warehouse 13th-16th March £5

REP:Waiting For Godot The Old Rep Theatre 13th-17th March £17

IKON: Slow Boat Canalside Mooring 16th-17th March Free



9th March 2012


Read Russell Webb's review of Truckers and Trailers at

Redbrick gets In the Loop with Chris Addison Charlotte Lytton talks to University of Birmingham alumnus and all round funnyman Chris Addison I studied English at the University of Birmingham between 19911994, and spent a lot of my time in the Guild, my lot were quite Guildy people! We did lots of plays – I was co-chair of the Guild theatre group – and I used to like doing a lot of society stuff too. We used to go for a big night out on Fridays at the Guild which was always great, and I loved my time at Birmingham. I think of it often, and just went to the 40th birthday party of my best friend who I met on our first day here. Most of my social world still includes people that I was at uni with, and I think this place was the making of me. When I left university, what I really wanted to do was direct plays, so about a year after college graduation I wanted something creative to do. That led me to stand-up comedy, because it's the simplest thing you can do in terms of organisation. I know most people will think it's terrifying, but it's a good creative outlet. From there, I got into acting after getting involved with a political comedy night. For the first and only time in my stand-up career I did it as a character: Dr Tristan Hardy from The Mail on Sunday, doing a lecture on immigration, and I think Armando Ianucci (creator of The Thick of It) saw that and thought I was a character actor. Armando and I met a few months later and he told me about an idea for a show he had, which would be an up to date version of Yes Prime Minister. He asked me to come in and talk about the programme, and a few months later, I did a weird improvising casting – instead of reading off a script I had to improvise a scene with the producer of the show, and then I didn't get called back and I thought that was the end of that. But just before Christmas that year, I got a call asking me what I was doing the first week of January as I had a part in this new show. So the first time I had ever

really acted was as Ollie in The Thick of It. When we began the process, I think we realised that we were onto something. We only recorded three episodes to begin with due to money, but they made it stretch

in amazing ways. At the end of filming, we all thought that we'd done something extraordinary. Filming was really odd,

though, because it involved a lot of improvisation, so everyone was terrified about how it would work out. When we saw the first screening we thought it was really good, and then the positive reviews started to come in. Making In the Loop, which was a feature length version of The Thick of It, meant we needed to make some adjustments. My character Toby was very close to Ollie, although he's a lot nastier. But it didn't feel very different, because by the time we got to the film we'd already had a couple of two hour long specials for the show, and the cast was growing. We

started off filming it with many of the same crew, the same writers, same director and many of the same cast, so it just felt like making the telly series, with slightly less flimsy props. It

was only at the very end that we went to the States to shoot some exteriors in Washington. Little by little, we built on the foundations of the television show and made it into a film. It's hard to pick out one career highlight as I've done so many different things. I've had my own radio shows, written my own TV shows, sitcoms, I've written books – there are so many things that I've been able to do, and at the beginning of each of them, I've pinched myself. When you've written a script and then walk into a room that's been set up exactly as you planned, it's really exciting. I have no hidden talents; all of them have been used in the attempt to make a living. So that's really why I ended up in comedy in the first place, as I had no other talents. In ten years time, I see myself on my privately bought Caribbean Island and as Director General of the BBC, where all channels will be comedy all the time. There are loads of comedians and actors who I enjoy watching – I think when you work in comedy you start laughing less and appreciating more, so I really value people who can make me laugh and forget myself. Billy Connolly is the best: I've never seen him perform without feeling unable to breathe from laughter; which is the biggest compliment that I can give. I will never get bored of watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was Elaine in Seinfeld, I think she's amazing and hilarious. There are so many brilliant comic actors and actresses in this country and it seems almost unfair to single people out, but those are two people who reduce me to a fit of quivering joy. I have several upcoming projects this year – firstly, to sort out Syria, and then a new series of Mock the Week begins in June. And after that, I'm going to have a nice sit down, maybe with a bag of crisps. Chris is performing at the New Alexandra Theatre on March 15th, tickets still available.

Is Monty Hall the reel deal? Eleanor Pitt looks at The Fisherman's Apprentice and how fishing communities are surviving Monty Halls, marine biologist and conservation expert, takes to the water as a fisherman's apprentice in this BBC Two documentary. Setting sail on local skipper Nigel Legge's small boat, Monty explores the routines, catching styles and general life of the fishermen of Cadgwith. A reputedly tight and closed community, Monty must earn his place and prove himself worthy of the waves. A saddening note rang out from the programme as pieces to camera from some of the village's most experienced and well-known fishermen highlighted the modern struggle to continue this traditional livelihood. As a result of government policy, fish stock decline because of huge deep sea trawlers,

and the cost of diesel the ancient fishing cultures of Cadgwith are facing tough times ahead. With the increasing obstacles against them, it is not surprising that 40 per cent of small British fishing boats went out of business in the last 18 years. The programme was interesting and featured a blend of topical issues, an insight into the men themselves and out on the water action. Helicopter shots also captured the beautiful Cornish scenery and coves. The programme conveyed a real sense of community despite the fact that Cadgwith is home to only 100 households. Fortnightly fishing competitions for the young and more experienced fishers alike attracted healthy numbers and

proved rural living and its quaint traditions still thrive. Fishing as an income fetches on average just £15,000 per year. Yet, if the pressures placed upon the fishermen increase anymore, the thatched cottages will continue to be bought by tourists as summer homes, leaving Cadgwith a ghost-town come winter. The lasting message from the documentary, which comes highly recommended, was that these fishermen carry out sustainable fishing. Our small fishing cultures therefore should not be as vulnerable to extinction as they currently are. As one skipper pointed out, once gone, they will not come back, and thus it is our responsibilty to protect them.

TV picks Charlotte Lytton Television Editor

Over my year spent at the helm of this fair section, I have often been asked what shows I actually watch. So, here are my current faves... New Girl: I'll admit I was sceptical of Zooey Deschanel starring in her own show, but this quirky comedy has to be the best new thing on the box. Every episode has me in tears of laughter with its off the wall humour and sheer awkwardness, and the ménage a trois scene in 'The Landlord' is television gold (not for the reasons you might imagine). The Graham Norton Show: Having been in the studio audience four times, it's fair to say I'm a big fan. After Wossy's departure from the Beeb, Norton has taken the prime Friday night chat show slot and made it his own, dealing with his A List guests with a winning combo of informality and inappropriate jokes. Teen Mom 2: It's puzzling that young girls are willing to ruin their lives for our entertainment, but seeing as they have allowed the cameras to document their divorces/fights/ court appearances, we may as well appreciate it. And if the serious congenital diseases and prison charges don't tickle your pickle, it's worth watching for Barbara alone, who is pretty much the best person to ever have been on TV. Ever. Modern Family: This hilarious mockumentary/sitcom is now in its third series, and more Brits should be aware of its brilliance. Its amazing ensemble cast are definitely responsible for the numerous awards it has raked in. Cougar Town: Yet another sitcom that has gone under the radar this side of the pond is the brilliant Cougar Town, with Courtney Cox leading the cast (yes, she really did do something after Friends). This bunch may consume more wine than the guests at an AA Christmas party, but that's why we love 'em. University Challenge: This is a bit of a curveball, but there are few things more satisfying in life than getting a question right in this quickfire quiz. With geeks aplenty and regular cruel interjections from host Jeremy Paxman, this show is one you can actually feel good about shouting at. Take Me Out: Saturday nights are cheesy for all the right reasons again as Paddy McGuinness embarks on a mission to match-make the country's most eligible bachelors. The majority of the contestants can't tell the difference between Gandalf and Gandhi, but this show is bringing some old skool charm back to the small screen to spice up the weekend.

Television 19

9th March 2012


Simpsons or Futurama – The world's oldest debate Eliott Rhodes takes a trip to Evergreen Terrace to back up the Simpson clan

500 episodes and 25 years on our screen, the institution that is The Simpsons is something that can never be beaten or recreated. It was a staple part of our childhood seeing it on BBC Two after school in a comedy double with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and it is something we all look back on with fondness. The show itself has had 500 sofa gags, and 500 messages on a blackboard in the ever increasing detentions of Bart. And, despite a couple of years of staleness, it's always maintained its quality above all other cartoons. I remember how hard I laughed the first time I saw Homer Simpson skateboard down Springfield Gorge, or when he forgot what the word 'spoon' was – the torment he endures has been wonderful and highly entertaining. The best episodes are always those featuring the fantastic Sideshow Bob; it's like a more intelligent version of Tom and Jerry,

James Moore heads to the 31st Century in support of Futurama

with Bob's fiendish schemes being unravelled by the small boy, especially with 'rake to the face' gags. The Simpsons are also the kings of the short stories, with multiple Halloween specials that are most usually spin-offs of popular culture from Harry Potter to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The family have sung and danced across burlesque mansions, monorails and Kwik-e-Marts, but not before ending up in Australia being kicked up the backside, or on a Japanese gameshow. The Simpsons is the greatest cartoon show in history, and forever will be, far out-reaching the competition of shows like Family Guy. It may come to an end soon, however – they were fortunate enough to get picked up for two more seasons but now they've reached this landmark, sadly I don't see them making many more of the iconic series.

What once made The Simpsons exciting was the world of possibilities and adventure that was open to the family. Unfortunately after 23 seasons and 500 episodes the whole world has been emptied of ideas. Despite continuing attempts to find any situation to fill up 20 odd minutes of television, the show has not only gone stale but started to fester and decompose. The advantage for Futurama is that they have not just a planet full of stories but a universe. And this is clear in the continuing success of the show – recently commissioned for its seventh series of 26 episodes, the series is set to go from strength to strength. While taking the best parts of The Simpsons; the loveable characters and the referential humour, Groening expanded off world and created a retro-futuristic comedy that easily surpasses its rival sister show.

Reviews: This week's hottest shows Supersize vs. Superskinny Jenny Porter Critic

Dr Christian is back to fight the increasing obesity problem in Britain. Christian immediately employs the shock factor as he visits 'America's Fattest City', Evansville, Indiana, where 38 per cent of the population is obese.

Pointless Celebrities Charlotte Goodwin Television Editor

BBC quiz show Pointless has been given a prime time Saturday night slot for a second series. Presenters Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, were joined by celebrity pairs including actor Brian Blessed

But Futurama doesn't allow its more fictional setting to prevent the audience empathising with the characters. Despite being a man out of his time, the audience can experience through Fry a whole society created so lovingly that it's a pleasure to watch. With subtle injokes and humour based around modern-day life and science, Futurama reaches audiences on multiple levels. Also, by giving the characters relatable problems, be it mutant Leela's abandonment at birth, or alien crustacean Zoidberg's lack of social grace, the show keeps the audience caring for the oddball cast. Despite being on the airwaves for fewer years, Futurama has matured quickly into a young-adult cartoon series that has its own brand of comedy and has by now cut the umbilical cord from its creator's earlier works. Still fresh and with millions of galaxies full of possibilities, Fox should think very carefully next time they decide which Groening project should be axed and pick the one that's really past its sellby-date.

He witnesses the shocking new generation of coffins emerging – at the size of a hot tub, they're able to hold up to 80 stone. To prevent this becoming a dangerous phenomenon in Britain, he returns to the feeding clinic, where the supersized and super skinny swap diets in an attempt to scare them out of their dangerous eating habits. Helen considers food an inconvenience, and with 15 cups of tea a day and a cheese slice for lunch, she weighs just over

six stone. At the other end of the scales is 25 stone Elaine, who eats around the clock, consuming nearly 6000 calories a day! The strategy seems to work and the programme shows the two women bonding over their battle and their vow to change their diets. The show can have differing results, either reassuring you that you can afford the odd biscuit, or putting you off food (temporarily at least), but either way it's a great show to watch to reinforce positve body image.

and presenter Anthea Turner to raise money for charity. The special edition followed the format of the normal series, where contestants test their general knowledge skills to find the answers to questions no one else can think of. The more obscure the answer you give to simple questions, the more the chance you have of winning! The show's made the move to prime time, like other week day shows including ITV's The Chase.

The Saturday night slot has followed the move from BBC Two to BBC One due to the great onscreen partnership, with Armstrong taking the role as lead host whilst Osman provides the extra jokes and facts alongside the questions. Sadly, Blessed didn't find the ultimate pointless answer, and unfortunately lost out on the £250,000 jackpot! The show is worth a watch if you enjoy playing along to see if you can discover the pointless answers.

Top 5 chat show hosts with the most Jenna Kirby gives us her opinion on the best chat show hosts on the block

Chelsea Handler


Chelsea Lately debuted in 2007 and was successful despite her guests not always being A-list celebrities, with Handler commenting that the worse the guests are, the funnier her show was. However, since then, Chelsea Lately has begun to boast some of the world's biggest stars.

Jonathan Ross


As one of the longest running chat show hosts, Ross has rocked our screens for the last 20 years. He'd be higher if not for his tendency to let his ego take over. The Jonathan Ross Show boasts some of the biggest celebrity interviewees, as well as some of the most awkward moments on TV.

Alan Carr


Channel 4's answer to Graham Norton managed to grab the Best Talk Show award at this year's NTAs. Carr's tongue-in-cheek interviewing allows him to put cheeky questions to the biggest stars and his popularity means that the show is quickly re-commissioned series after series.

Ellen DeGeneres


The Ellen DeGeneres Show has aired five days a week since 2003 and features some of the biggest celebs in the world. As a comedienne, her sharp-tongued humour is perfect for taking the mickey out of her guests. Her show's popularity has queues of celebrities wanting to appear.

Graham Norton


The Graham Norton Show makes going out on Fridays a tough choice. The combination of two celebrities and a comedian is a sure winner, while Norton is a pro at squeezing gossip from his guests. With that and the red chair, the worlds of celebrity and normality are expertly mixed.




9th March 2012

Are we a society obsessed with sex? Abi Tunney explores the concept of student asexuality online at:

A Right Royal Round-Up: Kate vs Pippa - The Style Stakes

Fierce & Finished Fierce

Maddie Kilminster Writer

Kate Middleton has undoubtedly made an impression on the fashion police of Great Britain ever since she turned heads in that McQueen wedding dress. Blogs and websites such as ‘What Kate Wore’ and ‘Kate Middleton Style’, to name a few, seemed to crop up the minute Wills proposed! No one can seem to resist scrutinising our fledgling Queen’s style. But what should we really make of Kate’s lady-like, clean-lined, frankly a little under-whelming wardrobe choices? Is she a true fashion icon? And how does she compare with hot sister, Pippa? Mrs Windsor tends to be spotted sporting understated combinations of blazer, J Brand jeans and ‘safe’ wedges. To almost all formal occasions she opts for a trench coat of some description which she then whips out again a few weeks later as if no one would remember. Notably she has been seen wearing her favourite Burberry and red LK Bennett red Trench. Is she committing a fashion faux-pas or giving a lesson in thrift to students like us? In all fairness, some quite admire Kate for her selection of genuine high street attire. We noticed, of course, her lace tulip Zara dress which she wore to the Royal Albert Best of British Calender 2012: We are frankly royally flushed at the build up to the Queen's diamond jubilee...

Hall recently and the nude Reiss dress she met Michelle Obama in. However having another look at the photo of Kate next to the first lady (now the Kate-buzz has died down slightly), one can’t help thinking that our princess played it safe next to Michelle's bolder choice. Maybe with time, as Kate settles into her royal engagements, she'll forge her own fashion path and experiment with her role as a style icon. With all the events coming up in the next few months, we will be able to test this theory..

April: 23rd (for 3 months) - The World Shakespeare Festival 29th - Wills and Kate's 1st wedding anniversary

Amy Wakeham Writer

With Pippa Middleton’s recent athletic success in Sweden’s historic cross country ski race, the Vasaloppet, all eyes have turned to Britain’s regal sisters. A l most a year after their sartorial success in McQueen at the Royal Wedding, we trace their style footsteps to see how far they’ve come. Thrust into the limelight a year ago by her sister’s royal engagement, Pippa, along with Kate, is one of the reasons May: 18th - Olympic Torch Relay TBC - Royal Horticultural Society: Chelsea Flower Show

for fashion’s return to the ladylike look. Not exactly daring, the duo has won fashion’s heart nonetheless. Pippa is regularly seen in Alice Temperley, and following her appearance in the designer at the reception of the Royal Wedding, she even sat front row in her S/S ’12 collection last September. For everyday wear though, Pippa prefers low- key, high quality classics from mid- range brands such as Brora, Crumpet and Russell & Bromley; her every sartorial move is tracked and photographed by the world’s press, lending material to countless headlines and blogs dedicated to her wardrobe. Practical, with a sporty edge which belies her family’s love of all things athletic (note the skiing marathon to raise money for charity her which brother James took part in), Pippa’s style has made waves in the fashion sphere. We perhaps have her to thank for last winter’s demure skater dresses, and this season’s influx of ladylike silhouettes and low key, sporty ensembles. Although, technically, she may not be a ‘lady’ (yet), Pippa has certainly brought demure elegance back under the fashion microscope; and after the brash, hedonistic consumerism of the noughties, who could say no to that? June: 2-5th - The Diamond Jubilee 21st-9th Sept - London 2012 Festival - Cultural Olympiad

Student Review: Fairtrade Fashion Show, Deb Hall

Photographer: Alex Avery April Shacklock Writer

Last week I found myself back on the front row, this time in the Deb Hall for the UoB Fairtrade Fashion Show. It was an evening designed to promote a Fairtrade lifestyle, ranging from catwalks showcasing Fairtrade and vintage fashion, to Fairtrade food and drink and lovely home baked treats. So although the evening’s schedule ran late, there was cake to entertain the guests in the meantime. The first collection was called ‘Campus Casual’ made up of all the student favourites including simple t-shirts, jersey dresses and jeans. There was some displace-

ment in the models’ footwear however; most models walked this catwalk in platform wedges. Was this aimed at the Fab market? Because it didn’t exactly portray the ideal shoe for walking to a 9:00 am. An interesting catwalk was ‘African Heritage’, which was made up of clothes from Lucia’s World Friendly Boutique. The show began with a slogan tshirt: ‘Say No to Violence Against Women’. This reminded me of the ‘Love From Africa’ range of t-shirts shown in the Ubuntu show at London Fashion Week, which also sported strong slogans. This was followed by a series of traditional African garments, which normally would be difficult

to incorporate into our wardrobe, however with this season’s PJ trend, the billowy white trousers were a more economical and ethical version of Richard Nicoll’s silky white pyjama trousers. Other catwalks included ranges by Annie Greenabelle (stocked in Topshop), People Tree (stocked at and Motel Rocks. There was also a collection provided by the new vintage charity store in Birmingham, Forgotten Vintage. The range of clothing showcased on the night was sensitively constructed to ensure a plethora of tastes and styles were accommodated for. The best collection of the evening was without a doubt the ‘Charity Shop Walk’. Collected from charity shops around Birmingham, this walk showed the audience how style can be achieved on a budget. The show also reflected many of this season’s key trends including sportluxe with a mid-length tennis dress, and the many sequin and beaded items were perfect for achieving 1920s glamour needed for the 'Great Gatsby' look. In between the catwalks, there were talks from various people concerned with ethical and Fairtrade fashion, including

the People & Planet and Oxfam Outreach society, and a particularly insightful speech from Thea Spicer, the online fashion content assistant at Oxfam Fashion. Thea spoke about what happens to our donations to Oxfam, and also highlighted some of the issues surrounding todays ‘fast fashion’, which is affecting the quality of donations and how much they can sell the garments on for. The evening was successful in raising awareness of the wide choice of Fairtrade and vintage clothing available, as well as educating the audience in how buying Fairtrade products is beneficial across the globe.

Rhiannon Johns Writer

Birmingham Fashion FairsLast week left us spoilt for choice with both the Fairtrade and Vintage Fashion fairs. Oh, how we adore a good old knitted jumper. Calvin Klein launch new cosmetics range- The new CK One Colour Cosmetics won’t be released until September but we shall eagerly await the line of over 130 products until then! Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation- The controversial singer has set up her own foundation to stamp out bullying and whether you’re a fan of her outlandish fashion sense or not, you’ve got to give her credit for this latest campaign. Elizabeth Olsen- The younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley is bringing a new fresh look to Hollywood. She’s ditched both her sister’s over-the-top grunge look for some gorgeous lady-like tailoring but is still managing to dress her age. Definitely one to watch out for! Desperate Housewives final series- After the slight disappointment of last season the final episodes are pulling out all of the stops. L&S are absolutely gripped and do not want our favourite housewives to leave us during this already difficult exam period.

Finished Rihanna getting back with Chris Brown- Has your new hair given you amnesia or something Riri?! Sophia Grace and Rosie- We once thought those Essex-born girls were adorable and amazingly talented for their age, but there’s only so much screaming and raps about Disneyland we can take. It’s time you went back to school. Referencing- The bain of every essay-writer’s life as term starts to near its end (R.Johns, 2012:20) Over-excited Brits- Yes it might start be getting warmer but this does not make it ok to whip out the Hawaiian shorts and flip-flops just yet; calm yourselves. Celebrities smoking while pregnant- Stacey Solomon is the latest celebrity to be spotted puffing away while 7 months pregnant, we thought you were meant to be role models? Leap year female proposalsit's back to you guys. Guild Elections- cluttering up campus, an influx of campaigning my.bham emails and strolling casually into our Selly Oak living rooms interrupting Eastenders... a minimalist campaign would be a nice change.

Photographer: Alex Avery

Life&Style 21

9th March 2012


High Fashion High Tops

An 'Absolutely Fabulous' Career Choice: PR Lara Edwards Senior Life&Style Writer

Stereotypes of glamorous parties, boozy client lunches and exciting product launches makes PR an extremely popular choice for graduates, with the profession regularly ranking in the top three graduate career paths. But disregarding the stereotypes, what does Public Relations really involve? Last week myself and the Life&Style team headed to South Kensington to attend a PRCA Careers event at the National History Museum, designed to give graduates a bit more of an insight into the world of PR. After dragging ourselves out of bed at 5am and frantically applying our make-up on the train, we were feeling distinctly less than glamorous by the time we arrived in London. A chance to mingle with industry professionals - and copious amounts of coffee - soon woke us up however, and the introductory overview of PR provided us with some interesting statistics and information. For example the average PR salary is £48,000 and 5% of the industry earns over £100,000, dispelling rumours that there is no money to be made in Public Relations. Yet before we look at the different types of PR, what does the term PR really mean? The PRCA

(Public Relations Consultants Association) define PR as being all about reputation – what you do, say and what others say about your brand. So in simple terms this means trying to gain positive media coverage for your client and developing a strong engagement between your client and the public as well as the media. Traditional PR activities include writing press releases, selling to journalists, attending client meetings and publicity stunts; yet increasingly PR is becoming about online expertise with a focus on engaging the public through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. There are lots of different areas of PR within the main four sectors: Consumer, Technology, Healthcare and Public Affairs. Consumer is the sector from which most of the Ab Fab stereotypes arise and is the most competitive to break into. Its popularity is reflected in the pay, with many juniors interning unpaid for months on end. This is something the Government is currently trying to combat with its new apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with leading PR agencies and in-house teams. Nonetheless it has to be said that once you have a foot in the door, areas like beauty PR can pay extremely well, especially if you work in-house for a large cosmetics brand. The In-house Vs. Agency

panel broke down the differences between working as part of the communications team for a single brand or in an agency which represents multiple clients. Typically PRs begin their career as part of an agency and move in-house later on, as working in an agency can help you to gauge where your true interests lie, be it in fashion, travel or sport. Agencies tend to be extremely fast paced and dynamic, throwing graduates in at the deep end, which can be brilliant for gaining experience. The representatives from renowned consultancies like Grayling and MHP Communications shared anecdotes of their involvement in high profile campaigns from day one and assured us that juniors are given much more important responsibilities than making cups of tea. There has been a lot of debate over the qualities that make a good PR. PRs often get a bad press with devious celebrity publicists like Max Clifford only fuelling this negative image. A ‘PR personality’ can be described as someone who is a people person with strong written and verbal communication skills and a creative streak. The speakers re-iterated that although PR is a fun career, you have to work extremely hard and working overtime is the norm with Rana Reeves, founder of Consumer agency John Doe, attending the event after only

a couple of hours sleep. Alternatively Sally Costerton, the chairman of the PRCA, emphasized that lots of different personalities suit PR, and that those studying other disciplines other than humanities should consider the profession as they can also bring a lot to the table.

Vajazzling & Feminism: A Not Desert Island So Unlikely Combination?! Beauty Product Megan Nisbet

Oluwalayole Oladimeji


Vajazzling – the act of literally sticking crystals on to one's foof - has sparked much controversy in the world of feminists recently… Is it simply a beauty regime that makes us feel sexy and confident, or are we really just bluffin’ with our muffins in an attempt to get the opposite sex’s attention? For me, it is the former, although I don’t deny that the mini dress I squeezed my ass into for Mechu on Thursday night was not entirely for me (that would just be selfish); if it did turn any heads that was just a plus to how confident I had already made myself feel (the dress was a newbie from topshop) and it is safe to say I came home with a cluster of girls, giggling about the nights antics and feeling on top of the world. Vajazzling (of which we have TOWIE to thank – surprise, surprise) is defined in the Urban Dictionary as ‘to give the female genitals a sparkly makeover with crystals so as to enhance their appearance’. It does not suggest, however, that this is at the hands of the sexually dominating man. When I’m feeling low or stressed I cure it with a rather hefty costing spray tan; when my housemate feels this way she spends all morning at the beautician's. It makes us feel healthier, sexier, and more confident; it is a boost


to our selfesteem , not a desperate attempt to get men to fall at our knees, although that would be nice. While I am a virgin to vajazzling my 'vajayjay', the point I am trying to make is much similar to Dawn Porter who recently argued ‘yes’ to the question 'can you vajazzle and still be a feminist?' She stated ‘Whether it’s glistening with jewels or a tangled mass of wirly curls, I am and always will be, a feminist’. Dawn suggests we do what we do to pleasure ourselves and not those men from mars. Who is to say that if it were for them, that we too wouldn’t gain from their pleasure? Surely a bit of sparkle between the sheets is bound to spice up anybody’s sex life? I’m not saying your in between bits aren’t beautiful just the way they are, Bruno Mars will tell you that much, but I don’t think that accessorizing down there is any different to accessorizing anywhere else and it certainly doesn’t defy the philosophy of feminism. In fact I think it’s rather #reem.

I don’t know about you but all the booze, takeaway and partying that becomes mandatory with student life often leaves my skin needing a pick me up, and nothing does the job better than St Ives scrub. It gently removes dead skin from the face revealing new, baby soft, smooth skin and as an added bonus it also leaves your hands feeling super soft. Amazing right?! And with three different variations blemish fighting, invigorating and gentle there is certainly one to suit your skin care needs. Also you can’t go wrong with the price. Think about it, how many things nowadays could you buy for less than £4. I mean even a ticket to Gatecrasher would cost you 1p more. Still not convinced? Well St Ives is the bestselling scrub in the UK and one of these babies are sold every 20 seconds. I rest my case.

Sarah Murray Writer is written by a nineteen year-old from Chester currently in her second year at Nottingham Trent University studying Fashion Communication and Promotion. Her blog is a mixture of day-to-day outfit posts, current inspiration and little insights into her life. India’s style is laid back and boyish, a mixture of sportswear basics, like fleece joggers and New Balance trainers, and more casual garments, such as a slouchy t-shirt or oversized knit. She is the embodiment of effortless cool and while it’s obvious from her blog and her degree choice that she loves fashion, you can tell she’s the type of girl who will always take the extra 10 minutes in bed rather than getting up early to compile an outfit - a concept I’m sure most university students can relate to.

Tiffany Bowers Writer

They may have started out as notoriously chav-tastic, but ‘high-tops’ have well and truly made their way into the fashion world. There is no doubt that they are comfortable and practical, but some have considered whether they can ever really be high fashion, despite their popularity amongst celebs. However, with fashion powerhouse Isabel Marant designing the ‘wedge sneaker’, the way for heeled high-tops on the catwalk has been paved and they are set to be big for 2012. I first became aware of these shoes when watching Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’ video, in which she wears a black leather pair with a leotard and quirky military hat. After debating over how on earth her legs could look that good in a pair of trainers, one of my friends suggested she was getting a bit of a lift in the heel department. Originally I was sceptical, but with a bit of help from Google, I quickly realised that this was the case, and my love for the wedge sneaker was born! Unfortunately for us students, purchasing a pair of Isabel Marant’s design will set you back over £500, and with their popularity soaring due to celebrities such as Miranda Kerr, Heidi Klum and Alicia Keys all dressing down in these trainers, they are all out of stock anyway. However, River Island are set to bring out a pair of white ones, with bright colourful detailing, and other high street chains are likely to follow. I, in fact, purchased mine from eBay at a fraction of the Isabel Marant style price, but if you plan on buying some this way, then make sure you choose some that are described as having a ‘hidden wedge’, otherwise you may receive a pair of odd high heels in a sneaker-style as opposed to the cool, chunky hightop kicks that are on-trend. These shoes are ideal for your spring wardrobe; worn with skinny jeans and lots of confidence, they are a girly twist on the high-top and are the perfect way to do casual-cool whilst giving you the appearance of longer, slimmer legs. Sounds like a winner to me! SAVE: Converse High Tops £24 John Lewis

SPEND: River Island £30

SPLURGE: Isabel Marant £400


9th March 2012



Next Week Online

Catch up with food writer Helena Gonda each day, as she puts our vegetarian guide into practice.

A Student Guide to Vegetarian Eating Charlotte Lytton and Anna Hughes Writers The moral benefits of vegetarianism are widely debated, but for a student, elements of the vegetarian lifestyle have far more practical advantages than people may realise. It's healthier, cheaper, easier to cook and there's no risk of salmonella; always a bonus. So what's stopping people scrapping the sausages and changing

only is it budget friendly, but the fat content of the veggie version is less than half that of its meaty counterpart, making it a waistline win too! Many people are worried that going vegetarian means you'll be lacking vital nutrients from your diet, but veggie alternatives are

is no excuse not to try your hand at vegetarian living. The health benefits of vegetarianism extend further than just weight loss – the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are significantly lowered thanks to a meat-free lifestyle. Going veggie might not make you the world's most popular dinner guest, but you'll live longer than the rest of the party, so go for it! Y o u don't just

boiled; roasted veg can take centre stage and sweet potatoes and parsnips make great mash. Pulses, including lentils and beans, take a while to prepare but they're cheap and bulk up meals quickly. Try kidney beans and chickpeas in a salad to make it a wholesome meal. Tinned chickpeas cost a mere 29p from Home Bargains. With all this in mind, going vegetarian is an ideal choice for students. If the idea of cutting out meat completely just seems a step too far, why not limit yourself to one or two servings a week? Try out the recipes below – they're all simple, delicious and far cheaper to make than their meatier counterparts. I defy anybody to gnaw through a steak after trying out one of these bad boys; you'll barely notice the absence of meat, I promise. Recipes

their eating habits? Not only can you incorporate substitutes like Quorn and tofu into traditionally meaty dishes, but you can also knock up a load of tasty veggie meals at a fraction of the price. Take mince for example. Tesco offers its own version of vegetarian mince for £1.75, while the same amount of beef mince costs £3.48. Just two pence shy of being half the price, the vegetarian option should be an obvious choice for students watching the purse strings. Not

packed full of antioxidants, iron and protein. In fact, a serving of vegetarian mince offers almost an identical amount of protein to the regular version, and there is also plenty of iron in vegetarian cuisine. You don't need to eat red meat to avoid anaemia: eggs, root vegetables and broccoli are full of the stuff, so there really

need meat substitutes to make a great meal. A common perception is that vegetarians eat rabbit food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but with a bit of creativity, vegetables can be transformed into a variety of nutritious and delicious feasts. Sauces can turn any ordinary dish into cultural cuisine – why not try aloo gobi, or a black bean sauce with your vegetables? This can make any bland dinner into a tasty treat, so think outside the box and make your meal special. Vegetables don't have to be

Places to Try: Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants Writer, Laura Parks, gives us her guide to vegetarian eating out

Veggie Chilli con Carne: 250g frozen veggie mince 1 can chopped tomatoes 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1 courgette, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped Half a pack of mushrooms 1 can kidney beans 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup Pinch of chilli powder Heat oil in a pan and add all the chopped vegetables. Cook until softened, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato ketchup and kidney beans, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chilli powder to taste and serve with rice and garlic bread. Goat's cheese and butternut squash cous cous: 50g goat's cheese 200g cous cous ½ a butternut squash 30g hazelnuts 1 fresh tomato 1 vegetable stock cube 50g peas Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the butternut squash into small cubes and cut the hazelnuts in half. Put the butternut squash and hazelnuts in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the stock cube in 500ml boiling water then add the couscous, leaving it for five minutes until cooked. Take the

butternut squash and hazelnuts out of the oven, and mix with the cous cous, tomato, peas and goat's cheese. Greek holiday pitta: 1 wholemeal pitta 2 tbsp houmous 4 cubes of feta 5 sliced black olives Shredded lettuce Half a tomato Slice the tomato, removing the pulp, and the olives. Toast the pitta and slice in half. Spread with houmous, then add the tomatoes, olives, crumbled feta and lettuce. Vegetable lasagne (Serves 4): Dried lasagne sheets 1 bottle tomato passata 1 courgette, chopped 2 peppers, chopped Half a pack mushrooms, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 aubergine, chopped 100g Red Leicester cheese 50g mozzarella Preheat the oven at 220C. Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped vegetables for five minutes, then add the passata. Place a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom of a casserole dish, making sure none overlap. Cover with a layer of the vegetable mix and Red Leicester, then repeat this step alternating pasta with vegetables until the dish is filled. Garnish with the slices of mozzarella, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Stuffed peppers (Serves 2): 2 red peppers 80g rice Handful of cheddar cheese, cubed 40g peas Quarter of an onion, diced 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered Halve the peppers, scrape out the seeds and roast in an oven, preheated to 200C, for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the rice in boiling water for ten minutes, until cooked. Place the cooked rice in a bowl and mix in the cheese, peas, onion and tomatoes. Spoon the rice mix into the pepper halves and cook for a further five to ten minutes until the cheese is melted.

What's Seasonal Now: Cabbage ChaoBaby, Bullring

Kababish, Moseley

Bar Estilo, Mailbox

Cuisine: Thai Price Range: £20-£25pp Rating: 4 out of 5 For those of you who are yet to visit the new Spiceal Street extension in the Bullring then check out ChaoBaby Thai Restaurant. They have an extensive menu of authentic thai dishes with a whole menu dedicated to vegetarian dishes! Menu options range from appetisers and soups to a stir-fry or curry, meaning everyone will be spoilt for choice! One to try: Vegetable tempura followed by Thai Green curry.

Cuisine: Indian Price range: £15-£20pp Rating: 3 out of 5 Famous for their Tandoori and Balti cuisine, Kababish provides a wide range of dishes influenced by the foods of Pakistan and India. Kababish offer all their vegetarian dishes in a main dish portion or as a side dish. So, with over ten options that are suitable for vegetarians, gone are the days of being stuck with the simplest option of a vegetable curry. One to try: Dhesi Karai Subzi – an authentic vegetable Karai.

Cuisine: Mediterranean Tapas & Grill Price Range: £15-£20pp Rating: 4 out of 5 The relaxed atmosphere at Bar Estilo makes it a perfect place to meet with friends. Both the food and drinks on offer here will get you into the full Mediterranean spirit right in the centre of Birmingham. Make dinner a social event and have a taste of the wide range of vegetarian tapas dishes available. One to try: Spiced chickpeas.

Izzy Gibbin Food Editor 'Mmmm, cabbage!' I hear you murmur, dear reader, as you lovingly tuck into a bowl of home-made cabbage soup before handing in your history coursework two weeks early, giving your room a thorough clean and setting off for a two-hour run. Or perhaps I'm just being a cock-eyed optimist. But before I lose your attention and respect forever, allow me to make just a brief case for this versatile vegetable, which endures an (only partially true) reputation for being slimy and tasteless. Picture the scenario: you purchase a bog-standard cab-

bage from the supermarket, slice it thinly, then stir-fry it with some egg noodles, and a little soy sauce mixed with some peanut butter. An easy, tasty meal that costs mere pennies to make. Now consider this: the next day, take the rest of that same cabbage and slice into bite-sized pieces. Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 180°C in a mixture of double cream, cheddar and wholegrain mustard, perhaps with a layer of breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top. Suddenly the limp, bland vegetable your Nan used to serve on the side of a roast dinner is transformed into the centrepiece of a delicious meal – and what's better it'll only set you back about 80p. See what I did there?



9th March 2012

Travel Quote of the week:

'The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes' Marcel Proust

Philosophical Ponder: What is it that makes us travel? Natasha Turner examines the reasons behind our desire for travel, asking the big philosophical questions. If you could either: stay in the place you consider home but never travel, or travel the world but never return home, which would you choose? While this question divides opinion, many students and people of our generation, including myself, appear to choose the latter. So why is it that people, and students in particular, have such a burning desire to travel? Fresh out of the clutches of secondary education, many people's first move is, well, to move. Anywhere and everywhere, away from the humdrum of daily life and the nagging voices of parents. Travelling brings a sense of freedom and a chance to take control of one's life. Freedom and control, however, have shady connotations. Mobility has always been a showcase for privilege and class, so perhaps we ought to reassess the links between travel and freedom by looking for them elsewhere. Although class-related ideas about travel are changing, and nowadays travelling couldn't be cheaper or easier, it seems to me that this has not eradicated the class divide but instead has merely changed standards. Now the difference is not who can travel and who can't, but how much you get away, where you go and how much it costs. It's the dif-

ference between a camping holiday on the English coast or a Greek island holiday, and a visit to the art galleries of Venice before a road trip across America. Freedom of mobility seems of less importance in understanding the desire to travel. People travel in the hope of gaining knowledge about the world and insight into themselves. We hope to become better, more open-minded people by experiencing the lives of others first hand.

Taking the time to consider your motivations to travel will only enhance your experience However, by assuming that knowledge of the unknown will help us to understand ourselves we create a distinction between 'us' and the 'Other'. A fear of this creates an urge to categorize, and to assert our place in the world in relation to the 'Other'. This prevents us from ever gaining any real knowledge. Alain de Botton claims that when travelling, you take your own 'meanings' with you that, arguably,


get in the way of the goal of 'finding yourself'. The idea of gaining cultural knowledge from travel has also lead to a kind of cultural snobbery; particularly it seems, amongst students. There is always an awkward moment in freshers when the person who lived with locals in India asks the person who worked in Tesco for a year what they did on their gap year. When did culture become so elitist? People who pick the first answer to the question I posed at the start of this article are, for some reason, looked down upon as being 'uncultured.' At least with Botton's view, someone has just as much chance of gaining worldly knowledge from visiting an art gallery or reading a book as they do from experiencing the world first hand. In some cases (of course not all), this supposedly acquired knowledge comes to little avail. You may have watched the sun set on Ayres rock but you're still drinking snakebites at Fab 'n' Fresh with the rest of us. I'm not saying travelling should make everyone into some kind of activist, although it wouldn't hurt! Of course for some, none of this bears true at all. Travel is about relaxation and pleasure in a different environment that pro-

vides activities that you simply can't do in a rainy British city. Jim Butcher creates a case for guilt-free travel claiming 'tourism need only be about enjoyment'. Tourism is a large and beneficial industry for many countries, so why not travel with the sole intention of drinking cheap beer on a beach and a chance to get away from it all? A chance to get away from what? My final point relates back to my initial question. For some, travel is a form of escapism. We would choose to travel and never return home because travelling is as much about discovering a new home as it is about leaving an old one. In our fast-paced, progressive society a chance to escape, to gain a sense of a forgotten past or an unknown future is incredibly appealing. Does this show dissatisfaction with our own lives? Maybe, but this is because our society appears to require us to keep looking further afield for satisfaction. Asking 'why' in any situation is important, and travel is no exception to this question. There is no doubt that travelling is a fulfilling experience and taking the time to consider your personal motivations for going on the move will only enhance and allow you to get the most out of it.

Mad On March

15th – 19th: Fallas de Valencia, Spain: A crazy carnival celebrating the patron Saint Joseph, where locals spend five days partying with pageants and fireworks! On the last night hundreds of papier-mache statues filled with fireworks are burned, literally setting the city alight! 17th: St. Patrick's Day, Ireland: Festivities in Ireland are celebrated in style, with carnivals and firework displays around the country. The national celebration of the Irish apostle sees tourist flock from over the world to drink Guinness and experience traditional Irish dance, music and shows. 24th – 31st: Hanami, Tokyo: A celebration and appreciation of Japan's cherry blossoms! People gather together in large numbers around the blossoms and in Chidorigafuchi people hire rowing boats and enjoy the view from the river.

photo by Thetalesend on Flickr

Last minute Easter breaks: snow and ski or sun and sea? Travel Editors Will Spence, Chloe Osborne and Emily Booth debate the pros and cons of sun or ski for this upcoming Easter break.


Top Tips for last minute


Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca offers a beautiful and peaceful alternative for those who don't want to splash too much cash. Reaching average heights of 26.5 degrees Celsius in April, it offers a pleasant temperature that's a fantastic break from the British cold; not too sauna-like, and perfect for mojitos on the seafront. Even if you're not a beach fan, scuba diving to visit the sunken wreck of Zenobia is available at a fantastic price. Flights: Birmingham to Larnaca from £113; correct for April.

photo by Eugene Regis on Flickr

Make a budget and stick to it – however tempting the deals are. Going in a group will make everything cheaper; ski hire places will often do group deals etc and most resorts have dormstyle accommodation. photo by Pascal on Flickr

Montpellier, France

For a chic French city break look no further than this jewel of the south, Montpellier. Offering a cheap break for those who want to explore the markets throughout the day, then wine and dine at night. Filled with bars and restaurants to suit all budgets, the sun is forever shining in this beautiful city that makes it perfect for an ice-cold beer while listening to the tinkling of traditional French bikes cycle past you on the cobbled streets. Flights: Birmingham to Montpellier from £189; correct for April.

Read the small print – what does a 'package deal' actually include? Food does not always mean alcohol...

photo by Javier Corbo on Flickr

Pamporovo, Bulgaria Bulgaria's cheap prices and beautiful scenery make it a much more viable student option than those resorts in the Alps. Pamporovo has cheap ski deals online throughout ski season, and the resort combines good skiing with a great apres-ski vibe after dark. Website: www.fasttrackski.; for the best Easter

Be aware of religious protocols in certain countries, like Morocco. In most places, especially in public spaces like markets, you will need to dress modestly and girls might be expected to cover their hair. photo by Petritech on Flickr

Soldeu, Andorra

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is lauded as romantic by some, exhilarating by others, and culturally exquisite by all. For those who can't get enough of wandering through the markets, or simply sitting under the stars with a mixture of sweet tea and a shisha pipe, Marrakech is for you. Flights: Manchester to Marrakech from £210; correct for April.


photo by Malias on Flickr

This resort has an impressive range of slopes with great ski schools, ski tours, and a wide variety of accommodation. The town itself is a little too full of English style bars and restaurants, it being very popular with UK skiiers, but they have tried to keep a Spanish vibe, most of which is reflected in the nightlife. Website: often posts last minute all inclusive deals for Soldeu and the surrounding area, and constantly uploads weather and snow conditions.

photo by Leeds Sackboy on Flickr

Brides-les – Bains, France

This budget resort is the gateway to the Three Valleys, and is linked by a 25 minute gondola ride to the higher resort of Meribel. This cosy resort itself is located on the edge of Vanoise National Park, and is renowned for its late ski deals, cheaper accommodation prices, and most hotels and chalets within easy walking distance of the Gondolas. Website: france/brides-les-bains offers decent deals for Easter, including airport transfers from Geneva airport.

photo by Russ Back on Flickr




universities and colleges are members of BUCS


Birmingham 1sts vs Durham 1sts Thursday 15 March Brum, however, are second in the league and did beat an (albeit weakened) Durham side last week. The game is undoubtedly the biggest of the season for the team. If they were an animal? Lion: Fierce, with a strong character.

Men's and Women's Badminton

Fencing Friday 16 - Sunday 18 March

Did you know? The men's team won gold in last year's BUCS.

The fencers are competing as individuals this year; both the men's and women's team narrowly lost to Cambridge and Bristol respectively in the last 16 stage. However, the men's team won their league last week with a win against Leicester,

having won all nine of their games. The women are a comfortable third in their league, but their division (the Premier North) is one higher than the men's. If they were an animal? Cobra: agile and darting.


The Story Last Year



Women: Brum vs Leeds Met Men: Brum vs Loughborough Saturday 17 March Both the men's and women's teams sit in third place in the Premier North division (out of five). They've reached the BUCS semi-finals and face stiff competition. For both sexes, the remaining three teams are Bath, Leeds Met and Loughborough The

women, having beaten Cardiff 8-0 in the quarters, now play a fierce Leeds Met. The men face Loughborough, one of the best teams on the university circuit. If they were an animal? Swallow: elegant, swift yet rapid.




Men's Squash Women's Hockey Men's Fencing Swimming (2nd team) Judo (Caroline Cross) Athletics (Julian Adeniran) Athletics (Alison Leonard)


Swimming (1st team) Judo (Diego Scardone)


Martial Arts


Only once in the last eight years has Birmingham finished outside the top eight.

The BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Championships are for the crème de la crème of university sport. The organisation is responsible for organising 50 different university sports and every team (from hockey to waterpolo; football to archery) participate in their yearly championship. It usually takes the form of a knockout competition, and only the best sporting universities progress to the latter stages. The season starts in October and finishes in July, although the most important week for most teams takes place in March. Interestingly, the athletics finals this year are being used as an Olympics test event, so a few privileged Birmingham athletes will be competing in the Olympic stadium. The University tends to do exceptionally well in BUCS, rarely finishing outside the top three. Photos: George Killick (hockey), Charlotte Wilson (waterpolo and judo), Tom Flathers (hockey, volleyball), Millie Guy (fencing), Michael Drury (badminton)

The University's best teams travel up to Sheffield next week to take part in the prestigious BUCS Championships. Here, we profile the teams that are travelling northwards in search of titles and silverware. Redbrick Sport will launch a microsite where all the news, reports and interviews of that weekend will be available.

Women's Hockey


the likely number of students who'll be competing next week

BUCS for Beginners

BUCS Championship Contenders

The girls are chasing an unprecedented third Championship, having overcome a series of tough opponents in the cup including Gloucestershire, Oxford and Bath. They now face a strong Durham side, who wrapped up the league two weeks ago.


9th March 2012

FINAL: Birmingham 1sts vs Durham 1sts

Thursday 15 March

Did you know? The climbing club has been running since 1932

Women's Lacrosse FINAL: Birmingham 1sts vs Cambridge 1sts Thursday 15 March

One of Birmingham's strongest teams, the women's lacrosse play Cambridge in the BUCS Championship final. Last week they effectively conceded the league title to Durham, although not after a superb fight. They smashed Exeter 17-1 in the recent

Men's Volleyball FINALS: Men: Brum vs Warwick Wednesday 14 - Sunday 18 March Unlike other sports, which may only play one game in Sheffield, the men's volleyball team still have a quaterfinal match to win. They've been waiting a while too, having played their last cup game back in November where they beat York 3-1.

There is plenty of strong teams left in the competition, including Leeds Met, Loughborough, Edinburgh, and a Warwick side unbeaten in Birmingham's league. If they were an animal? Kangaroo: must jump well and have a good punch.

Water Sports



Sunday 18 March

The karate and judo club are taking down teams to compete in the individual and team events. Karate has both sparring and kata events, and aims to do well. They won bronze last year in the men's senior kumite

semi-final, and they've also had comprehensive cup victories against both Oxford and Cardiff. Cambridge are top of their Premier South division. If they were an animal? Ostrich: quick, powerful and will lash out.

(sparring) and also in the women's intermediate kata; success that is helped by visits from esteemed karate master Hiroshi Shirai. If they were an animal? Tiger: explosive, strong yet graceful.

The climbers head to Sheffield with a team of six. They include Alex Dexter ('beautiful body but ugly footwork'), Annie Byass Clarke ('broad, muscular shoulders') and Steffen Cruz ('large in both

body and m i n d ' ) . Those interested should check out the club's great website: www. If they were an animal? Squirrel: good scramblers but with effortless poise.

Birmingham 1sts vs Durham 1sts Thursday 15 March Gary Humpage, the swimming coach, has overseen a revolution in Birmingham swimming. They are now one of the best teams in the country. Last year they finished second in the BUCS Championships. In the Wa-

ter Polo, both the women's and men's teams are in the semi-final and will play each of the three teams again in their respective groups. If they were an animal? Salmon: superb swimmers but brutal battlers

Sport Thoughts Why are women so undervalued in sport? Redbrick legends Charlotte Lytton and Anna Hughes explore the reasons behind the polarity in the media's coverage of men's and women's sport.

Battling Bedford bruise Brum Men's Rugby Union

Right winger Snelling added a second try for Bedford before halftime, finishing well in the corner to ensure that Birmingham went in at the break nine points down and the outlook was decidedly bleak. In the second period, Birmingham put up a tough resistance but weren't able to convert their handful of half-chances, the ball being turned over frustratingly at times when they had a lot of territory. The seconds have been having a good season in the league, notching up some big wins including a superb 56-0 away win over Worcester seconds earlier this semester. Today though, they were battered and bruised by a bigger side and, throughout the match, Birmingham suffered a number of injuries, further hindering their attempts to find a rhythm and get a foothold in the game. In particular, Nurse was badly hit in the opening period and required pitch-side treatment, as Bedford gradually overpowered their opponents. The visitors went on to add two tries mid-way through the second half, effectively ending the match as a contest and from then on it was all too comfortable for Bedford, who will face either Harper Adams seconds or Oxford Brookes thirds in the final later this month. Despite this defeat, the Birmingham seconds should be pleased with their respectable cup run, having reached the semi-finals thanks to some excellent results in the earlier rounds including big wins over both Derby firsts and Bedfordshire firsts without conceding a single point. Their attentions will now turn to a busy run of important league games, starting with Warwick seconds, the side who currently top the Midlands 2A table, at home this Saturday.

Conference Cup SF

Birmingham 2nds


Bedford 1sts


Tom Garry Sport Reporter

The seconds have had a successful season epitomised by this run to the semi-finals of the Conference Cup. Bedford stood in their way; a tough test, as Brum would find out.

You'd be forgiven for not realizing that the British netball team is currently ranked third in the world. In fact, after finishing first in the 2011 World Netball Series, all of the team has remained in full time employment due to the pitifully low exposure, and thus money, that they receive. While premiership footballers are raking in six figure sums each week, world-class netballers are struggling to juggle the 9-5 and train at an international level. Take Lindsay Keable, for example. The twenty three year old netballer was selected for the England team but could not take up the position as a result of her work commitments. Being a teacher may not be most people's idea of a lucrative career, but there is so little money in netball that giving up the day job just isn't an option. The situation turns bleaker still when comparing the salaries of male and female footballers. In England, there is not a single stadium owned by a female club, and the sport is rarely aired in primetime slots on the big networks. During the 2007 Women's World Cup, female footballers were paid just ÂŁ40 per day, a meagre amount compared to the ÂŁ23,975 raked in daily by Camerounian player Samuel Eto'o.

On an afternoon that saw everything from dazzling sunshine to pounding hail, it was a dull gloom that eventually settled over Birmingham as visitors Bedford firsts progressed to the Midlands Cup Final. Despite playing in an inferior league, Bedford were bigger, stronger and more efficient than the Birmingham seconds and eventually completed a comfortable 26-8 victory, despite a good first-half try by Birmingham's Davies, who also added three points in the second half from a penalty. Bedford controlled the game from the start, the opening try for the visitors coming after just seven minutes with Walsh, the loosehead prop, going over after good play from the Bedford backs. Birmingham then got themselves back into the game thanks to some quick-thinking with a tap penalty and the well-worked move was finished off by full back Davies. However, Davies wasn't able to convert and nor were the home side able to build on their try, with Bedford's forwards dominant in the scrum and Birmingham often wasteful in possession.

Bedford put an end to Brum's Midlands Cup run Hannah Macdowell

Novices tame Thames waters Doug Brown

Rowing Correspondent

So why is no one putting money into women's sports? If networks are unwilling to broadcast their games in the first place, how are they expected to drum up interest and quash age-old gender inequalities? We shouldn't automatically assume that people don't care about women's sport; it is simply that they don't have access to it like they do the endless channels devoted to the male equivalent. When did you last switch to a terrestrial channel and find a game of women's football? The endless pre-match, match, and post-match programmes dedicated to male sports are a stark reminder of the fact that Britain simply does not want to invest in its female players. Its lack of airtime heavily contributes to the fact people just do not take women's sport seriously, and this attitude needs to change – fast. Mixed gender teams may be a long way off, but there's no reason equality in sport shouldn't be.

Sport 25

9th March 2012


The University of Birmingham Boat Club may not have an invitation to compete alongside Oxford and Cambridge in their famous annual boat race on the Thames, but this has not stopped them from putting in impressive performances of their own every year on the 7km course between Mortlake and Putney. Last weekend saw the both the squads take to the water to battle it out against 287 other women's crews from as far afield as Zurich, Italy, Hannover and Belfast in the

UBBC take the Thames by force

Charlotte Wilson

Women's Head of the River race. This race also traditionally marks the end of the head race (time trial) season and begins the lead up to the summer regattas, with all crews keen to gauge the performances of their rivals when the results are revealed. A tense and overcast morning was spent constructing the boats after travelling down from Birmingham, only brightened by the swathe of freshly delivered red, blue and gold Kukri kit strewn across the Thames towpath. The novice squad didn't disappoint and fulfilled the clubs high expectations of them with style and in less than perfect conditions. The novice first eight (Jessie Taylor, Hannah Garvey, Tori Piper, Alice Worsdall, Cassie Summers, Katherine Hurrell, Megan Garner, Fiona Webb and cox Katherine Eyles) continued their run of success with a superb fourth place in the novice academic category, a mere 18 seconds off the win. The second and third eights demonstrated the depth of talent in the new recruits this year, with both boats coming comfortably within the top 30 novice university crews and handling the choppy conditions with ease. With the Thames infamous

for its rapidly changing currents which can cost crews crucial seconds, novice women's coach Alex Darby praised his three novice coxes. 'They all steered excellent lines on what is unquestionably the most challenging course in the entire season', adding 'their prerace planning and race execution certainly played a huge factor in our strong performances.' The senior women's top eight built on the novice squads' success with a solid eighth place in their highly competitive category. On their race women's captain and number three seat Tonia Horgan said, 'UBBC Senior women's dedication to the intense winter training programme enabled them to rate highly off the start and maintain this good rhythm over the gruelling 7km stretch of the tideway.' This led them not only to their eighth placed finish but to a top 100 finish in the overall standings, a cause for celebration on the return journey. This may be the end of the head season for UBBC but it brings with it the imminent intense training camp in the south of France, and the beginning of what could be one of the most successful regatta seasons for the women's squad in many years.

26 Sport

9th March 2012

Newcastle's woes extended by ruthless Brum Luke Callis Sport Reporter

Birmingham are comfortable in Premier North mid-table, and played a Newcastle side who are fighting to stay in the division.

Men's Badminton

Premier North

Birmingham 1sts


Newcastle 1sts


Birmingham men's first team headed into their Premier North division clash against Newcastle firsts full of confidence fresh off the back of winning all three of their last three games, securing their mid-table position. Their opponents were bottom of the division having only picked up a single point all season, although they were in the knowledge that a win could see them advance out of the relegation playoff zone. However, in the opening stages the early confidence of Birmingham was found with doubles pairing Furze and Hendy making short work of their Newcastle adversaries. The pair performed superbly turning defence into attack and then converting attacking chances

Furze and Hendy were able to frustrate their opponents in a convincing win

Michael Drury

Redbrick into points. The visitors' frustration was clear to see as the pair won comfortably 2-0 on games. The home side were also on top in the singles matches as well: James Lauder producing a great display, exhibiting fantastic athleticism to reach shots all over the court before overwhelming his opponent to win 21-11, 21-12. He summed up the side's confidence stating that, 'Newcastle were a weaker side' and that the team 'really should be pushing for an 8-0 victory.' Despite this, the away side were able to claw back one match, with James Taylor losing out in the singles after a tricky match. It was left to doubles partnershipCoppleman and captain Andy Wainwright to secure the victory in emphatic fashion after outmanoeuvring their opponents to win 2-0 on games again. After the match captain Wainwright stated, 'we were expected to win and did; it was a good result. It was a shame to drop a match.' Finally, Wainwright turned his attentions to the teams upcoming semi-final clash with Loughborough, saying that 'the team have had a good run to the semifinals and this victory can only increase confidence heading into the game.' The Birmingham team now have 10 days to recover before heading in to the all-important BUCS Championship semi final clash; a game which should prove to be a much tougher challenge for today's comfortable victors.

Arch rivals ease past plucky Birmingham Sam Price Sport Editor

Third-placed Birmingham hosted second-placed Loughborough. Against their fierce rivals, it would be good preparation for the BUCS. The Munrow played host to some high class badminton on Wednesday, as Birmingham welcomed arch rivals Loughborough, who sit a single place above them in the league in second. With coach Lorraine Cole away in Germany on England under-19 coaching duties, the responsibility fell to captain Lucy Hunter to inspire her comrades in what would undoubtedly be a tough game. The hosts were eager to exact revenge for the 5-3 defeat away to Loughborough earlier in the season, but the visitors were on song, and Birmingham succumbed to a 6-2 defeat which put a second placed league finish beyond their reach. Skipper Hunter was coy about her team's chances ahead of the game. 'We're the underdogs but I'm hopeful we can pick up a few games. 3-5 or 2-6 would still be a good result for us.' The first doubles match set the tone for the contest, as Birmingham's number one pairing Alyssa Lim and Lauren Bromley took on Sam Andrews and Hoey Mok. Despite falling behind in

Women's Badminton

Sport Shorts Archery

Birmingham's archers travelled up to Loughborough for their first competition of the year. They did themselves proud, with Lewis Clarke taking gold; Alan West and Eloise Cornish taking silvers; and Mickie Green taking bronze. Jack Bryant also finished in a creditable fourth place in the Gents Recurve; the Novice team finished second; and the Experienced team finished sixth.


The University's sailing team has reached the second round of the BUCS National Qualifiers. They now take their place in the BUCS National Championships this Easter. Jim Rosser, the captain was pleased with how his team had 'held off some strong attacks from the opposition.' The team, who finished seventh overall, had travelled up to Strathclyde and will now compete in West Kirkby.

Cheltenham Tipster

Fancy a chance of winning a signed copy of AP McCoy's autobiography? You're in with a strong chance, be it as a seasoned punter or a lucky beginner. The Birmingham University Racing Society have organised a competition on Facebook. Simply search for 'Cheltenham Tipster Competition' and follow the instructions. It's a fun way to compete with fellow students without the risk of losing any money.

Other Results 7th March 2012 Men's Hockey 1sts beat Loughborough 1sts 2-1 Women's Hockey 1sts beat Leeds Met 1sts 5-0

Premier North

Birmingham 1sts


Loughborough 1sts


the early stages of the first game, Lim and Bromley soon found their feet, and some clever positional play saw them first peg back their foes and then take the lead themselves. Lim's variegation of length and power was a joy to behold, and with Loughborough flustered, the hosts took full advantage to secure the first game 21-14. But if the first game was a close run thing, the second was a formality. The long rallies and closely fought points of the first game became an abiding memory as Brum took full control, combining powerful smashing with deft hitting into the corners. Lim and Bromley never looked liked losing; the resounding 21-7 score was an accurate reflection of the pair's dominance. Anna Showan and Claire Mort were flying the flag for Brum in the singles matches. Showan gave the team another crucial point with a nip-and-tuck 21-17 21-16 victory over Loughborough's Alison Pulford; the Birmingham player's calmness on the big points made the difference here. Pulford was

Men's Fencing 1sts beat Loughborough 1sts 131-45 Women's Tennis 1sts beat Notts Trent 1sts 12-0 Women's Lacrosse beat Edinburgh 1sts 13-4 Lauren Bromley and Alyssa Lim were on good form taken to three games in the following match against Mort, but this time prevailed 21-13 17-21 21-14. But the star performer of the day was perhaps Loughborough's Nanna Vainio. She dealt with Mort and Pulford with consummate ease, earning straightforward victories while demonstrating an impressive array of shots and an ability to dictate the play by sending her opponent seemingly where she pleased. Loughborough's top doubles pairing Sam Ward and Jen Day were also on top form. After beating Hunter and Hannah Killick, an exciting showdown beckoned against Lim and Bromley, but the latter struggled to reproduce their performance of the first game, going down 12-21 16-21. Thus it finished 6-2 to the visitors, but despite the defeat, the performance pleased Hunter, who

Michael Drury

could take a number of positives from the match. 'I think we played really well today. We picked up two good games, one in the singles and one in the doubles so I'm pleased'. Birmingham's next assignment is a daunting BUCS Championship semi-final against Leeds Met in Sheffield. Of the team's preparation, she said 'we're going to try out a few new combinations, put in lots of training and test the partnerships in our club championships next week.' The optimism emanating from the Birmingham camp should stand the team in good stead for the challenge of Leeds Met, and a semi-final appearance will cement what has been a successful season for the ladies. See Redbrick's profile of the 2012 BUCS teams on page 24

Women's Fencing 1sts beat Manchester 1sts 128-119 Women's Squash 1sts beat Manchester 1sts 3-1 Men's Basketball 1sts lost 10285 to Coventry 1sts Netball 1sts lost 53-33 to Loughborough 2nds Men's Rugby 1sts lost 29-24 to Edinburgh 1sts Women's Football 1sts lost 3-0 to Loughborough 1sts Men's Football 1sts lost 2-0 to Loughborough 1sts Rugby League 1sts lost 26-18 to Sheffield Hallam 1sts

This week in... 1936 Sepp Blatter celebrates his 76th birthday this week. He is one of sport's most controversial figures having been embroiled in fiasco after fiasco, yet has thus far refused to resign. The decisions to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup, made on his watch, has been met with worldwide condemnation.

Sport 27

9th March 2012


This week on the Redbrick website... Wednesday Debate

Heroes... Rory McIlroy

In this week's discussion, Reece Lawrence puts forward the view that Stuart Pearce should be given the opportunity to lead England to Euro 2012, but James Newbon argues that it should be another, more experienced manager.

Cheltenham Festival

Sport Podcast

1975 Juan Sebastian Veron was born. He had a high profile, if unsuccessful, move to Manchester United before moving on to Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Max Milward looks ahead to the most eagerly anticipated horseracing event in the jumps calendar. Going on from Tuesday until Friday, the article previews highlights such as the Champion Hurdle, the Arkle and the famous Gold Cup.

This week, host Joshua Reynolds is joined by Birmingham Pussycats stunt coach Jasmine Demeester to find out more about the cheerleaders. Point of discussion this week is the controversial sacking of Andre Villas Boas.

Couldn't make it up

Where are they now?

Retired semi-professional footballer, Arquimedes Nganga is suing the Baptist church for £10m, claiming his devotion to the faith cost him £20,000 a week and a stellar career in the Premier League. Lille midfielder Eden Hazard confessed to a (frankly bizarre) practical joke at a Greek airport. He quietly placed a team-mate's £6,000 watch in his pocket whilst at security and watched the action unfold. The team took off half an hour late after a fracas ensued.

Olympic Countdown

140 days to go

140 nations took part in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The number was significant due to the 14 Eastern Bloc countries that boycotted due to Cold War tensions. Carl Lewis was the hero of the Games, winning four gold medals.

Cheltenham Wager Big Race Tips Champion Hurdle - Hurricane Fly Champion Chase - Big Zeb World Hurdle - Big Buck's Gold Cup - Burton Port Neptune Hurdle - Simonsig (nap)

Five-time champion jump jockey Richard Dunwoody has been extremely busy since retiring in 1999, leading riding holidays for travel company Wild Frontiers. Dunwoody has also raised thousands for charity, trekking to the South Pole in 2008, and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing a year later.

Leading Jockey Ruby Walsh (pictured)

Club President: Josh Daymond The climbers are participating in the BUCS Championships this year (you can read about them on page 24). Amongst their many talents are Alex Dexter, James Kay, Annie Byass Clark, Steffen Cruz, Jack Brougham and Ahlam Qattan. The University's climbing club is closely related to the Midland Association of Mountaineers (MAM), and organise event in conjunction with them. Those interested in joining the club would do well to check out their website at

It's not only superbly designed, but has plenty of information, including self-depricating profiles of the committee. They climb indoors and outdoors every two weeks, usually meeting every Wednesday in front of the Guild and travelling to the local climbing centre. They do rock-climbing, ice-climbing, mountaineering and bouldering, amongst other things. They charge a very reasonable £30 yearly subscription rate (which allows you to use their gear for free), and are one of the most popular guild societies with superb socials.

Mordo Nahum Puzzles Editor

This week's prize is a £5 Waterstones Gift Voucher Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office. (Redbrick Office located in the basement of the Guild)

Name: Email Address: Phone Number:

Scribble box



1. Season (6) 4. Seasoning (4) 7. Chinese martial arts (4, 2) 8. Protein obtained from wheat (6) 9. Lines that don't intersect are this (8) 10. Effortless (4) 11. Something with advantages and disadvantages (5, 8) 14. Mock (4) 16. 99, perhaps? (3, 5) 18. Knowledge that comes with experience (6) 19. Rule (6) 20. Leg joint (4) 21. Relax(ed) (6)

1. Steam room (5) 2. Move south for the winter or north for the summer (7) 3. Balance (11) 5. Shade of blue (5) 6. Senator (anag.) (7) 8. Bird of prey, sometimes associated with the USA (6, 5) 12. Arena used for figure skating, curling, etc. (3, 4) 13. Wither (7) 15. _____ Racer, series of arcade racing games (5) 17. Projectile weapon; direction indicator (5)

Charlotte Edwards

The England cricket captain led her side to an impressive 3-0 ODI series win in New Zealand. Edwards was on fine batting form herself, hitting 84 and 137 not out in the first two matches to help ensure the tourists remained unbeaten.

Colin Fleming Ross Hutchins YouTube search: Cheltenham Gold Cup 2008 Kauto Star was odds on to retain his crown, but stable-mate Denman was in peak physical condition ahead of this clash of the titans. Denman dominated in one of the most impressive Gold Cup showings ever, giving jockey Sam Thomas a dream victory.

Club in Focus... Climbing

The Redbrick Crossword Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword into the Redbrick office.

Classic Race...

The 22-year-old rose to the top of the world golf rankings after winning the Honda Classic in Florida by two shots. McIlroy headed for Madison Square Garden in celebration to watch his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play a tennis exhibition match; the Irishman even took to the court himself to the delight of the crowd.


The British doubles duo won their second tennis title together last week, triumphing in three sets over Michel Mertinak and Andre Sa to secure the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

and Villains... Lee Cattermole

The Sunderland captain failed to lead by example in a fiery TyneWear derby last Sunday. Cattermole received his 10th booking of the season within a minute, and was given a straight red after the final whistle for berating referee Mike Dean. That's a four match ban - doh!

Roman Abramovich

The Chelsea owner is looking for his eighth manager in nine years following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. The 34-year-old has been an expensive mistake; Chelsea paid £13.3 million to release him from his Porto contract, and £10 million to terminate his Chelsea one!

=1_2_3_=45_6= =_=_=_===_=_= 7_____=8_____ =_=_=_=_=_=_= 9_______=0___ ===_=_=_===_= ab_______c___ =_===_=_=_=== d__e=f_____g_ =_=_=_=_=_=_= h_____=i_____ =_=_===_=_=_= =j___=k_____=

28 Sport

9th March 2012



BUCS Championships: A Preview The Championships are the pinnacle of university sport. Redbrick profile the teams representing Birmingham in Sheffield next week, p24

Michalak magic denies Brum title Women's Basketball

Midlands 1A

Birmingham 1sts


Nottingham Trent 1sts 67 Reece Lawrence Sport Reporter

This was it. The title-decider. Birmingham needed to beat a strong Nottingham Trent team to secure the league and, with it, promotion to the Premier North. The title-deciding game of the Midlands 1A division saw Birmingham fall short against their main league rivals Nottingham Trent in the Munrow Gym, thanks largely to the sensational performance of Natalia Michalak. After a slow start the game exploded into life, but it was Birmingham who started the brighter, before a second-quarter fightback followed by a third and fourth-quarter attacking blitz from the visitors – spearheaded by point guard Michalak – all but put the game beyond the home team, who to their credit did not give up, despite the deficit they faced. Birmingham went into the game knowing that winning by more than the one point they lost

There was no stopping Natalia Michalak to their opponents in the reverse fixture in November would seal the championship and with it promotion back to the Premier North division. They settled quickly and surged into a 10-2 lead, the towering figure of Anne Martin becoming increasingly influential with her defensive blocks and counterattacking composure. The speedy

George Killick

Michalak was the one Trent player showing signs of a potential spark, constantly looking for support in the opening minutes. Defensive lapses crept into Birmingham's play and led to free throws awarded to Trent on more than one occasion. Captain Stacey Townsend and Katherine Blake joined Michalak in upping the pressure on

Birmingham, who began to lose a little of their early momentum. Subsequently, the women in pink finished the first quarter just one point off Birmingham. The second quarter was an even contest, but Birmingham's play in attack was rushed at times and Trent duly began to capitalise. With the scores at 22-20 they enjoyed an unprecedented spell of complete domination. It was Michalak who stood out from the rest – her mazy dribbling and lethal finishing was a joy to watch, aided by the clinical work of Townsend and Blake. She was allowed far too much space at times but exuded her quality by taking advantage. By half time the impressive counter-attacking displayed by the table-toppers saw them hold a 30-20 lead. Birmingham's players were taken to the dressing room, shellshocked at their demise. They returned with a fighting spirit and at one point their terrific response had them close the deficit to 34-29, and the atmosphere in the crowd was electric. Trent wisely called a timeout to halt the home impetus, and unfortunately for Birmingham they were held comfortably at arm's length for the remainder of the game, despite a wonderful three-pointer from Mathilde Bonhomme and some brilliant passing moves that belied their position in

the game. The final quarter was played in the same manner as the previous period; Birmingham kept attempting to chip away at the lead, only to be thwarted by Michalak and company in response. A late ankle injury to the outstanding Trent number 5 marred what was otherwise a perfect away day for the victors. A modest Michalak said at full time, 'I just do what's best for the team, but I'm pleased with my performance.' Of the home side's showing, Birmingham's assistant coach Dexter Dixon said, 'offensively we didn't perform as well as we could do, and we made a lot of easy turnovers', while home captain Jo Blakeway was proud of her team-mates in defeat. 'I was pleased with the fight that we put in. It's the last game for a few of the girls so we just wanted to finish it with dignity. This season's been really good.' Despite missing out on the title to an excellent Nottingham Trent side, Birmingham can hold their heads high and look to next year with plenty of optimism.

Magic Number


There was only one threepointer in the match, scored by Birmingham's Mathilde Bonhomme

Unbeatable Men's Golf

Premier North

Lincoln 1sts


Birmingham 1sts


Daniel Beattie Golf Correspondent

Birmingham's golfers wrapped up the Premier North title last week, and travelled to Lincoln for their final league match, determined to end the campaign unbeaten. The University of Birmingham golf first team extended their lead to 26 points from a possible 30 at the top of the BUCS Premier North division by securing their eighth win of an unbeaten 10 game season. The final match was played at Woodhall Spa, home of the English Golf Union (EGU) on the ninth best golf course in the UK, the Hotchkin. Sam Botham led the team off brimming with confidence after

a top 10 finish at last weekend's BUCS qualifier at Princes. Botham beat one of Lincoln's best players in an enthralling game, which ended on the 17th with Botham prevailing 3&1. Matt Jones backed this result up with another solid win of 2&1. The highlight of his round came on the par five 14th, where he managed to hole out with a wedge from 70 yards for eagle to seize the momentum back at a crucial stage in the match. Gareth Jenkins had to hold his nerve after letting a four-up lead diminish, eventually holing a six foot birdie putt on the 18th to win his match one-up. Owen Edwards suffered the reverse as his opponent birdied 18 to send everybody's favourite lefty to a second defeat in a row. Second team captain Tom Devine stepped in to face one of Lincoln's up and coming star players. Despite a tough start Devine battled well around the front nine but was seen off 6&4 in the end by some very consistent scoring from his opponent. Unfortunately Devine now has to wear the ex-

tra small ladies' pink jumper for the player who loses the most; he was apparently spotted wearing it whilst driving the team bus home. First team captain Dan Beattie played Lincoln skipper Jamie Powell in a very tight game played in great spirit between two exBritish universities squad players (2010), which ended all square after birdies at 15, 16 and 17 coming down the stretch. This half point saw Birmingham take all three points in a tightly contested game 3.5-2.5. Congratulations to all the players and staff involved with University of Birmingham Golf as both the first and second teams secured league victories, while the fourth team hammered De Montfort to reach the Conference Cup Final. The first team are unbeaten all season and long may it continue into the knockouts. This game was great preparation for next Wednesday's home match to Stirling in the quarter-final of the BUCS team knockouts at Edgbaston, likely to be the biggest game of the year.

INSIDE Turn to page 25 to find out how the men's rugby seconds fared in a Conference Cup semi-final clash against Bedford

George Read

Redbrick - 9th March 2012  

Issue 1410

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you