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Harry Potter and the famous name

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Harry Potter holding a banner which reads 'Harry Potter 10k for Gryffindor' at a Manchester 10kImage copyright
Harry Potter

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Harry Potter with a banner his friends made for him when he ran a 10k in Manchester

“It’s probably a good thing overall, a light-hearted conversation starter,” says Harry Potter.

Far from being a wizard, Harry is a neuroscientist from the University of Manchester.

When he responded to a question on Twitter asking, “What piece of pop culture has ruined your first name?” he didn’t expect the reaction he got.

“I take your ‘first name’ and raise you my full name,” has conjured up more than 267,000 likes and 33,000 retweets.

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Kris Bramwell

“I’ve tweeted about my name before and it’s proved popular amongst people that follow me but that’s it. That Twitter account is for work. The stuff about my name is just a side thing.”

Among those to tweet Harry in solidarity include a Michael Jackson, a David Cameron and a Meg Griffin, a name made famous by the American series Family Guy.

At work Harry’s research looks at how a woman’s immune system during pregnancy affects the development of a baby’s nervous system later in life.

But some people online have suggested some other academic papers he might have written had he branched out of his field of research.

“People assume it’s a bad thing and I might want to change my name but it’s not. Mostly people find it funny,” Harry adds.

The 25-year-old says he will often use his name as inspiration for a Halloween costume but admits it has caused confusion at work.

While on a placement for his PhD, Harry says he once emailed someone in another room and five minutes later, that person rang another colleague to check the email wasn’t spam.

“‘Yes, he’s real. He’s sat next to me,’ I heard them say.”

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Harry Potter

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Harry says his colleagues have tried to make his academic work more interesting in the past

Having a famous namesake does have its advantages though. When Harry was six, his family moved to Devon and someone from a local newspaper came to photograph him dressed as the famous wizard and gave him a book.

He and his family were given a trip on the Hogwarts Express as a result of that article.

“I don’t really remember the trip other than it being good fun,” he says.

‘The third Harry Potter in my family’

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Harry Potter

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Harry Potter outside the entrance to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play in July

From one Harry Potter to another now.

This Mr Potter lives in Melbourne, Australia, and says he’s been “putting up with the same jokes for 20 years”.

“You can imagine being a PE teacher – ‘Are we playing Quidditch today sir? What are you doing here, shouldn’t you be teaching at Hogwarts?’ Students in the corridors humming the theme tune. You have fun with it. It doesn’t make me angry.”

The 37-year-old is originally from Yorkshire and says he remembers the moment when it struck him how famous his name was going to become.

“I remember getting off a train from Huddersfield to Leeds for my first year at university and there being a huge billboard for the first film. That’s when it hit home that this was going to be massive.

“People don’t believe you when you tell them your name. They laugh. They don’t expect it to be true. All around the world people know who Harry Potter is. I’ve been to China and Africa and the reaction is the same. It’s a very famous name.”

Harry is the third Harry Potter in his family with both his great grandfather and great uncle also having the name Harry Potter. “It’s sort of a family tradition,” he says.

In 2018 he tweeted JK Rowling to tell the author that his two girls named Iris and Ivy were starting to appreciate that their dad has a “very cool and famous name.”

However, there was one baby name this Harry Potter ruled out.

“I thought Lily would be too cruel,” he says, referring to the fictional Harry’s mum. “They get enough questions and fascination about my name, never mind their own.”

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Katie Price

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Katie Price with her boyfriend Dan

Katie Price says the first time she can remember realising she shared a name with a famous model was when she was about six or seven.

“It’s something I’m used to now. But when I was younger it used to get annoying because I didn’t know who she was,” says the 21-year-old, from Worksop.

“It’s not really affected my life in a negative way but I get laughed at when I book appointments.

“I recently broke my leg while on a hen-do in Dublin. When I went to A&E and mentioned my name to the woman behind the desk she started laughing and said, ‘I bet you get it all the time.'”

Hotel upgrade

Last April, Katie went to see The Courteeners in Manchester and the hotel she was staying in had upgraded her because of her name.

“When I checked in they said they didn’t know whether they were getting the real Katie Price or not so they’d given me one of their better rooms.

“The room had a mini-bar, a larger bed and there were sound systems everywhere – you could play music in the bathroom!”



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Leonardo da Vinci goes ‘immersive’ at London’s National Gallery

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London’s National Gallery is running a digital show of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Virgin of the Rocks.

The show is an “immersive” exhibition that allows visitors to walk through multi-sensory rooms and explore different aspects of the painting.

This exhibition is a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death.



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Kodak Black: Rapper sentenced to nearly four years in prison

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US rapper Kodak Black has been sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges.

The 22-year-old, who had a US number one album last December, admitted falsifying information on background forms to buy four guns.

He was arrested before his set at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival in May.

One of the guns he bought was used in an attempted shooting in March. Prosecutors said “a rival rap artist was the intended target”.

However, he has not been charged in relation to that shooting.

Real name Bill K Kapri, the hip-hop star faced a maximum of 10 years in prison, and prosecutors had pushed for a sentence of eight years. The court heard he was alleged to have beaten up a prison guard while awaiting sentencing.

US District Judge Federico Moreno acknowledged that Black had made anonymous donations to charity in the past.

Black’s lawyer Bradford Cohen told BBC News: “After the court was apprised of all the facts and circumstances of this case and the good charitable work that Bill has done over the years, the court rejected the government’s request of 96 months and sentenced Bill to 46 months.”

The MC has had a number of legal charges and spells in prison in recent years, and is known for his violent lyrics.

His debut studio album Painting Pictures went to number three in the US in 2017.

The follow-up went to number two, and a third album, Dying to Live, reached number one last December. Two hit singles – Zeze and Tunnel Vision – have reached the Billboard top 10.

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Niall Tóibín, actor and comedian, dies aged 89

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Niall Toibin as Fr MacAnally

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Niall Tóibín played Fr MacAnally in Ballykissangel, which ran from 1996 until 2001, starring opposite Stephen Tompkinson and Dervla Kirwan

Niall Tóibín, the Irish actor and comedian, has died in Dublin after a long illness. He was 89.

Tóibín appeared in numerous films and television series, including Ryan’s Daughter, Veronica Guerin, The Irish RM and Ballykissangel.

His career began in radio drama in the 1950s, and he played Brendan Behan in the original Abbey Theatre production of Borstal Boy on Broadway.

The actor died in Dublin earlier on Wednesday, RTE reported.

He is survived by his children Sean, Muireann, Aisling, Sighle and Fiana.

His wife Judy died in 2002.

The Irish president, Michael D Higgins, paid tribute to Mr Tóibín’s “comic genius”.

“His contribution to Irish theatre was a unique one, in both Irish and English.

“The depth of interpretation that he brought to a wide variety of characters showed a very deep intellectual understanding and, above all, sensitivity to the nuance of Irish life.”



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