Only 7 Best Days in a Week
Hazel performing in 2019
“I looked up and saw Israeli jets,” the 80s pop-punk icon tells me. I started rowing very quickly to the shore, because a dingy folds like a concertina when it’s in motion. All anyone could see was a little dingy concertinaing across the sea…”
The Lebanese civil war had begun, and the jets were targeting the port. Hazel raced towards the underground change room, reaching the beach. “Then the first bomb went off, so I just ran into the street in a bikini which you wouldn’t normally do in a Muslim country…”
It’s impossible for “talkaholic” Hazel, 66, to give a bad interview. This once-panda-eyed and pink-haired superstar behind Top Ten hits such as Eighth Day, Will You? The once-panda-eyed, pink-haired star behind Top Ten hits like Eighth Day and Will You? has many stories. But the highs of Hazel’s life are off-set by surprising lows, including a traumatic rape and a heart-breaking late miscarriage.
She found fame as rebellious singer Kate in the 1980 film Breaking Glass, but never saw a penny from her chart successes.
She broke her back four years ago trying to fix the septic tank at her holiday home in France. “I was trying to carry the big stone filter, I fell over, and that was it.” Hazel’s tone is matter-of-fact; her attitude stoic.
Hazel (second from right) starred in Breaking Glass
Born in Coventry to an Irish father and an English mother, she has one older brother Neil who was in punk band The Flys.
Her Galway-born father joined the British Army at 17 to fight in World War II, then moved to Coventry, met her mother and worked at a car-plant.
“Dad was part of a big working class male voice choir and he and mum both loved ballroom dancing so he’d either do a gig or they’d dance and all come back to ours. We’d hear people singing, laughing and dancing….”
One terrible night, her uncle drove into a lamppost with her parents in the car. Dad nearly lost his life when he smashed through the windshield. Although his throat was cut, he wasn’t so drunk that they could give him anaesthetic. I used to pass by the lamppost. It had a tremendous impact. The perils of drink-driving.”
Her parents survived, their marriage didn’t. She says, “I don’t know if it pushed her away.” They split .”
. The children shared a bed with their mother, who was nine years old. Neil was only irritated when Hazel began singing. He had severe asthma, and could not stop his wheezing. He said that he couldn’t stop wheezing and had asthma. I responded by saying, “If you won’t keep quiet, I will sing.” And he did. “Haze, I cannot help it p>p>Her initial musical love was The Small Faces and The Kinks. Then she saw I Got Life performed at her local Locarno. I thought, “I want that one,” just like Little Britain’s fella. I was too Minnie Mouse at the time. Now I have it. I have lived up to my potential .”
p>She left art college at 16 and fled “because I was selfish” and wanted an adventure. After learning Arabic and French in Morocco, she was then raped by a knife-point rapist in England. So, I got a job as a go-go dancer in Japan. He didn’t want me to leave, and he took me to the airport. Her boyfriend suggested they go to Africa. He left me behind to return to Ghana after I contracted malaria while crossing the Sahara. I realised it was over.”
Joining three-girl group Lady Luck, she toured GI bases across Europe in a Dormobile – “us, three musicians and the manager all together; I ended up driving us back home after our costumes had been nicked.”
Hazel persuaded Neil to teach her how to write songs. Although I had never been trained musically, I was able to see patterns and learn how they work. The 70s were a stale era, and women were marginalized in music. Punk changed that.”
Breaking Glass was her big break, but she nearly walked out of the audition. “I saw Toyah there, I thought, I’ve got no chance.”
A self-help book convinced her that “if you really want something you can do it, but you have to believe…and I landed the lead role. They were looking for someone with an interesting story. They wanted to know if I had written songs. They asked me if I had written any songs. “I said a lot.” “I didn’t care about money, I just wanted to get my records out.”
Hazel in 1986
Around this time, Tony Visconti, who produced Hazel’s album, introduced her to Bowie. I was so in awe. “I was in such awe! The film title was not inspired by his song. It wasn’t. He offered to compose songs, although I already had all the lyrics. He asked me to trim his hair. I was panicking, I didn’t have proper scissors; I used office scissors.”
Bowie wanted to see her live. We were there to support Iggy Pop at Camden for 2 nights. It was awful the first night. They yelled at me, “Get off your silly bitch!” I then dropped Will You? Because I believed they would want quicker songs. I decided to drop Will You! just so I can say to myself, ‘Well I did it once before quitting forever…’
“Singing that song to a hostile crowd showed me that people could change in a flash as long as you’re true to yourself. It was a hit with them. I was enjoying the solo saxophone sax and looked back at the wings to see David Bowie. That night completely changed my life. I gave myself permission to be who I was.”
Hazel dated actor John Finch, Midge Ure and Stranglers star Hugh Cornwell “for about a week before he went to prison” (for drug possession).
Famous pals included Clash guitarist Mick Jones, who hit on her in the Marquee but wasn’t her type, Elton John, who she taught to balance a spoon on his nose in Tunisia, and George Michael – “such a lovely friend, we’d walk dogs together.”
The tabloids claimed they’d had a fling. She is joking. “We had a peck in a video but there was never a romance.”
Hazel recalls going to one of George’s parties in LA with then-husband, artist Kurt Bippert.
“We were skint and there was so much lovely fruit there. I told Kurt to tie knots in his jacket sleeves and fill them with pineapples.”
The couple moved to Rathdrum, Ireland, but over-worked Hazel miscarried at nearly five months and the marriage disintegrated.
She still lives there and has renovated the house herself – not always a relaxing process. I was trying to repair the roof when a storm struck. It was so dangerous that I had to remain there till it fell over. I didn’t dare move!”
Hazel had to postpone her tour
Lockdown taught her new ways to reach an audience. “I gigged all the time. I did so because I didn’t get any royalties. When everything was in place, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. It was just as I was about to tour when everything stopped. I didn’t know what I should do.
Hazel now plays Coventry and her postponed tours start in March.
She enjoys dog-walking (and gardening), hill-walking, singing on Facebook and posting stupid songs. It’s a good thing that humans can make mistakes. If you own up to them, people forgive you.”
Hazel plays the Queen of Flanders Spiegeltent, Assembly Gardens, Coventry on 19th September. For tour dates see hazeloconnor.com
Angie continued: “The cameras are still in use today. The cameras were added by Elvis in sixties to provide security. The only place that no one was allowed to go was upstairs, without being personally invited by Elvis himself.”
While The King liked to examine the cameras in his bedroom to get a feel for who was in the house before coming downstairs himself.Sat, 21 August 2021 at 16:51:00 +0000 George Simpson
The September 2021 free PS Plus games will be announced on September 1. The games will be available to download less than a week later on September 6.
This gives existing subscribers plenty of time to download the current batch of PS Plus games, which include Hunter’s Arena Legends, Tennis World Tour 2, and Plants vs Zombies.
With the new games coming soon, fans have been having fun predicting the September 2021 PS Plus line-up.
It’s all part of a monthly predictions thread on Reddit, which has had some success so far this year.
The one game that keeps popping up time and time again is PS4 exclusive Uncharted: Lost Legacy.
Other first-party PlayStation games also feature in the predictions thread, including Gravity Rush 2, Gran Turismo Sport and The Order: 1886.
Other PS4 games mentioned in the thread include Ubisoft releases like Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Ezio Collection and Far Cry 5.
Indie games such as Axiom Verge, Castle Crashers, Dead Cells, Hellblade and Pyre.
As for the PlayStation 5, there are lots of mentions for Marvel’s Avengers, which has recently added Black Panther DLC.
Launch titles like Godfall and Sackboy also get a mention, alongside the PS5 upgrade for Ghostrunner.
Some people believe we’ll be treated to another brand new release, specifically F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch.
“After the animals of Torch City were defeated by the invading Robotic Legion in the Resistance War six years ago, former Resistance fighter Rayton the rabbit has kept a low profile,” reads the official description.
“The arrest of a friend meant he had no choice but to put on his giant metal fist and fight against those oppressing him. He didn’t know that he would be involved in an array of conspiracy involving the Legion and Resistance as well as the Rat Gang. “
If you’re not already a member, then now is the time to sign up for a PlayStation Plus subscription.
Sony is currently selling PlayStation Plus memberships at 50% off the recommended retail price.
This means you can sign up for a 12 month membership for the low price of just PS24.99.
Sadly, the offer is only open to non-subscribers, so you can’t take advantage of the offer in order to top up an existing membership.
The deal runs all the way until August 30, which means you still have time to take advantage of the deal.
The Champion of Auschwitz: Piotr Glowacki stars in tense trailer
Spectators watching boxer Tadeusz ‘Teddy’ Pietrzykowski in the ring would marvel at the ferocity and accuracy of his punches. It was as if the Polish fighter’s life depended upon every punch landing correctly. His survival at Auschwitz was dependent on his winning. If he lost, the gas chambers were waiting.
Fighting for the entertainment of the guards, his opponents were kapos, or supervisor prisoners, who were handed responsibility to keep the other inmates in check by any brutal means necessary.
Teddy’s adversaries were mostly German, which the fight arrangers thought would increase the viciousness and make the betting more interesting.
To their frustration, he refused to rise to the bait and fought skilfully and in a controlled manner in every one of 40 bouts in his three years in the Nazi-run death camp in German-occupied Poland.
Now, 81 years on, his story is being brought to the big screen in a film called The Champion Of Auschwitz.
“Teddy was a man who, thanks to a strong will to survive and a passion for boxing, has shown even the greatest unimaginable evil can be defeated,” says Polish actor Piotr Glowacki, who plays him in the film.
“This is a picture which, by showing closely the fate of Tadeusz Pietrzykowski, can give hope that if we strongly believe in something, if we work hard for something, we are able to overcome all the adversities, including our fears and anxieties.
The film, starring Piotr Glowacki, left, as Teddy depicts the brutality of the camp fights
“I treat the title of the movie ‘The Champion’ as a word that has many different meanings and definitions and interpretations. The last survivors of the Second World War are being farewelled. This story is a tale of mythology, particularly for young people. This story is meant to inspire confidence and self-worth in people. “/p> Teddy was born in Warsaw, 1917. He had strong Catholic upbringing and discovered a passion for boxing when he joined Scouts at age 11. A legendary coach, Feliks Stamm, considered by many to be the father of Polish boxing, spotted his talent and helped to perfect his technique.
At bantamweight (around 53 kg) Teddy won the championship of Warsaw several times, but the outbreak of the Second World War curtailed a promising career.
He joined underground military units in France to fight for a free Poland but was caught making an illegal border crossing and sent to Auschwitz.
TOUGH ROLE: Glowacki lost 20 percent of his body weight to play Teddy
As part of the first transport of 748 mostly Catholic Poles to Auschwitz on June 14, 1940, Teddy was tattooed with the number 77 and was allowed to practise boxing in his spare time, even though he barely had the energy because of the meagre rations and forced labour.
If prisoner athletes performed well in contests there was a reward, usually extra food rations. Teddy sent a secret message to his mom saying that he was now the all-weight champion at KL Auschwitz. “I’ll be fine in hell. “
In March 1941, he became the first prisoner boxer to win a fight against the German kapo Walter Dunning, who had been middleweight vicechampion of Germany.
Dunning, weighing 70 kg (11 stone), is said to have stopped the fight when he realised he stood no chance of winning against a man weighing 40 kg (4 stone 4 pounds).
“He was the smaller of the two, but he was agile and fast,” recalled Auschwitz survivor Tadeusz Sobolewicz. He was a skilled boxer who could hit his opponent with a punch and did amazingly in ducking their blows. “
During his three years at the camp Teddy fought 40 bouts while suffering fatigue, starvation and daily brutality.
To prepare for the demanding film role, Piotr lost 16 kg – 20 percent of his body weight – and worked up his muscles in the gym, often with expert boxing coaches. Piotr says that he also went to Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. I spent several days there and had access to archives, warehouses, and the vast knowledge of all the staff. “I had the opportunity to spend a few days there, having access to all places, archives, warehouses and the vast knowledge of the people working there. Every moment of Teddy’s presence on screen tells a story about him. “/p>
The camp’s prisoners saw each victory in the ring as a sign of hope. They also felt pride in Polish talents in the most difficult of circumstances.
Teddy’s kindness to fellow inmates is as strong as his punches. He would give away his bout winnings of margarine and a loaf of bread to the malnourished fellow inmates around him.
He also stood up for Catholic priest Father Maximilian Kolbe who was treated cruelly inside Auschwitz, where he was given the number 16670. Kolbe refused to be submissive to the guards and continued preaching to others despite beatings and lashings. Father Kolbe, a Polish prisoner was starved to death in his bunker to teach other prisoners how to escape is still revered. Kolbe was starved for two weeks and was ultimately given a lethal injection.
Using skills learned in the underground movement, Teddy also worked within a camp resistance movement, organised by Captain Witold Pilecki. He participated in an unsuccessful assassination against Rudolf Hoss, which was staged on Hoss’s horse. However, the beast escaped with only a fractured leg. The Nazis did not appear to realise he had been the victim of an attempted assassination and dismissed it as an accident.
Teddy was later deported to the Neuengamme concentration camp in northern Germany where he also fought. This was a fortunate turn of events. The Auschwitz guards were becoming annoyed at his successes and wanted him sent to the gas chambers.
FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL: Teddy knew the only way to avoid death was to win every bout
As the war drew to a close, he was evacuated to Bergen-Belsen, where he was liberated in 1945 having survived five years’ imprisonment. He was a member of General Stanislaw Maczek’s 1st Armoured Division. After that, he went on to become a teacher in Poland. His grave is located in Bielsko Biala, Poland. Many former students paid a respectful visit to him. Eleonora, his daughter, stated that he needed to prove himself to be able to survive in the camp. He could only do box. “
Film director Maciej Barczewski says: “Pietrzykowski, like the biblical David, fought Goliath in the camp arena. The strength of Teddy was not his muscle mass, but his skill and determination. I knew that in order to create a convincing character of Teddy I was going to need an actor who, at first glance, would be the opposite of the boxer archetype.
“Someone who looks inconspicuous, even harmless, but in whose eyes you can see two clenched fists.
“At the same time, it would be an actor who, for the role of an Auschwitz prisoner, is willing to undergo radical transformation of his body, but also to master the boxing technique to the extent that allows fighting without cuts and without the participation of a double. Piotr was the only and first choice. He exceeded all my expectations. After reading an article by Tadeusz Borowski, a Polish writer Tadeusz Borowski inspired Barczewski to make the movie. Borowski said in one of his stories: “There’s still the memory of number 77 who used to box Germans as he desired, taking revenge on the ring for the losses of others in the field. “
Barczewski adds: “This sentence intrigued me so much that I began to investigate the fate of the prisoners of the first transport to the Auschwitz camp, especially Tadeusz Pietrzykowski. It was fascinating to me that he represented hope and victory against Nazi terror for his fellow prisoners. He was considered a hero by his fellow prisoners. “
Now Teddy’s bravery will have the wider audience it deserves.
- The Champion Of Auschwitz is released in UK cinemas on September 3
If you’re looking to get hold of a PS5 this weekend, then ShopTo is the most likely destination.
The retailer has consistently restocked the PlayStation 5 on weekends, typically on Sunday afternoons.
There’s been no official announcement, but recent form suggests a Sunday stock drop is highly likely.
As a reminder, ShopTo lets customers sign up for alerts, so head on over to the website to register interest.
Following a recent stock drop in the latter half of the week, it’s also worth visiting the GAME website for cancelled orders.
Likewise, customers should contact their local GAME outlets for potential in-store restocks.
The same is true for high-street retailers such as Argos and Smyths, which are increasingly restocking in-store.
PlayStation 5 prices are also starting to drop on second-hand sites like eBay and CEX.
PS5 consoles are available for an average of around PS500 on eBay, while CEX prices have dropped to PS665.
PlayStation 5 shopping tips when buying from GAME (via PS5 UK Stock)….
* Get familiar with the bundles, so you know which one to target first: Obscure bundles are easier to get, standalones almost impossible. * Click on the alert to get into the queue for your chosen bundle. [GAME]/p>p>* It will tell you if the checkout failed. Go back to your bundles and choose another. [GAME]/p>p>* Don’t check out too many things too fast. This will cause you to lose 30-60 seconds. You can always wait and try again if this happens. [GAME]
PlayStation 5 general shopping tips…
* Login if you already have an account with the retailer.
* Use multiple devices wherever possible – desktop browser, laptop, tablet, smartphone.
* If the retailer has a dedicated app, download and use the app for purchasing a PS5.
* Sign up for retailer stock alerts where possible. Sites like ShopTo allow users to register interest.
* Follow stock checker accounts and websites, including PS5 UK Stock and Express Gaming.
If you do manage to get hold of a PS5, then you’re going to want some new games.
Launch title Demon’s Souls is arguably the best game on the PlayStation 5 so far, although Returnal isn’t far behind.
If you’re after something a little more family friendly, Ratchet and Clank A Rift Apart is an essential purchase.
Lots of games have been upgraded for PS5, including Ghost of Tsushima, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Borderlands 3.
There are also some fantastic games coming soon, including PS5 exclusive Deathloop, which is developed by the team behind Dishonored.