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New BBC series shows that Tudors did not necessarily have bad teeth


Programme-makers behind the BBC’s four part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall have spoken about the lengths they have gone to ensure that the Tudor story is told with great historical accuracy. Critics have previously complained about unrealistic levels of hygiene and dentistry in period dramas, such as last years The White Queen, based on the Wars of the Roses.

Although most people might expect to see rotten, stained teeth in a Tudor story – given the lack of toothpaste in that era, author Hilary Mantel insisted that the actors should have white, healthy teeth, as the drama is set in a time when sugar was not widely available in England. Wolf Hall has been adapted for the screen by Peter Straughan and Ms Mantel told cast members, including Damien Lewis as Henry VIII, that they ‘do not have bad teeth’ and that they would not be dirty either.

Mantel said that ‘there are two ways in historical drama; either glamorise them impossibly or rough them up in some picturesque way so they all have bad teeth.’ She maintains that people ‘at this stage in history’ did not have rotten teeth because they ate so little sugar.

Wolf Hall premieres on BBC two this week and it chronicles Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power as well as Henry VIII’s attempts to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.

Earliest false tooth found in Western Europe


An iron tooth implant has been found in Northern France and archaeologists have put it at 2,300 years old, making it the oldest tooth restoration ever made. It is believed that the tooth was added to a dead body to make it look better, as the procedure would not have been possible with a living person at that time.

The implant looks like an iron pin that was fitted to replace the upper incisor and a false tooth was attached to the end of it. It was discovered in a female skeleton in 2009 and archaeologist Guillame Seguin told the BBC that the remains were ‘very badly preserved’ but the teeth were still in place, with a bit of metal in one socket. Seguin said that his first thought was ‘what is this?’

The woman was buried with bronze jewellery and ornaments which are thought to date back to the European Iron Age, which developed from 450BC to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC. The tooth was hammered into the jaw bone to make sure that it did not come loose, which suggests that the woman had already passed away before the dental work was carried out. A similar restoration was discovered in Essonne, France in the 1990’s but this implant is thought to predate that by over 400 years. Prosthetic teeth that were used to improve the appearance of dead bodies have also been found in Egypt in the past.

Felicity Kendal says no to further Botox injections


She is well known for her youthful appearance but Felicity Kendal has always kept quiet about how she maintains her looks as she gets older; now the 67-year-old actress has admitted that she did use Botox in the past and said that she would not do it now, as she wants her complexion to ‘match’ the rest of her body as she ages.

In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Felicity – who shot to fame with BBC sitcom The Good Life in 1975 – said that there was a certain amount of pressure to retain a youthful complexion in the entertainment industry but stated that she hasn’t ‘done fillers or Botox for ages.’ She went on to say that ‘there comes a point where you have to match bits of you with the other bits, otherwise you get a terribly random situation. All that is off the cards now.’

Felicity explains that she prefers to use exercise to keep herself looking and feeling young, rather than cosmetic treatments like facial injections. Speaking about her experience with dermal fillers she advised against it for people who have prominent cheekbone already, joking that ‘when your cheekbones are high, it’s chipmunk time.’

The mother-of-two also went on to talk about the role of women in society, adding ‘we’ve still got this hang-up about what women look like. I do it myself. There is still an obsession with women’s looks, and that’s never going to go, but we could be a little more generous.’

Simon Cowell’s appearance raises further questions about cosmetic surgery


X Factor judge Simon Cowell has never been shy about having cosmetic treatments before, but he might not be too happy with the latest stories regarding his appearance; the talent mogul was recently snapped out and about in LA, looking every inch his fifty-three years – prompting some industry insiders to question whether he should be heading back to the clinic for a top-up.

Cowell is well known for investing a lot of time in his appearance and normally boasts a perfectly square jaw – something that was decidedly absent in the photographs, taken as he drove around LA in his Ferrari, viewing three expensive properties in the area.

In the past, the TV judge has spoken about his Botox use and casually compared it to brushing his teeth, but he also explained that it was important to use in moderation, saying ‘I think you’ve got to be very careful, as a guy in particular, you can end up looking really really weird.’

Cowell might have more worry lines to get rid of if the viewing figures of this year’s X-Factor are anything to go by; the ITV talent show is suffering its lowest numbers since it began, as just eight million people tuned in to watch – compared to an average of almost fourteen million in 2010. It has been beaten in the ratings by rival BBC show Strictly Come Dancing for the past four weeks.

Botox over the phone and internet to be banned



Doctors will no longer be allowed to prescribe anti-aging treatments like Botox over the phone or via the internet if they have not met the patient personally, as a result of an investigation by the BBC into the business dealings of one of the UK’s largest procurer of facial injections. New rules are expected to be published later this week according to The General Medical Council that will stop doctors remotely prescribing Botox and similar products.

Chief executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson, said ‘there are good reasons why these are prescription-only medicines and we believe doctors should assess any patient in person before issuing a prescription of this kind.’

Concerns were raised by the BBC after a secret video showed nurses ringing a cosmetic surgeon from all over the UK to receive authorisation to administer Botox injections immediately to patients – Botox is a prescription drug and treatment requires a doctor’s supervision. The surgeon in question even encouraged nurses to inject their patients without permission if they could not get in touch with him, clearing it with the clients later on. Director of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service, Sally Taber, said that this practice was ‘wrong, it’s breaking the law and it’s not acceptable.’ Dr Nigel Mercer of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons was in agreement, saying ‘This is a wake-up call. It’s not an appropriate way for providing a medical service.’


Latest casualty of Lord Sugar’s boardroom talks Botox


The most recent candidate to be sent packing on BBC’s The Apprentice has spoken with Hello! magazine about wanting Botox after her appearance on the show saw fans dub her ‘Gordon Ramsay’ because of her frown lines. 26-year-old Katie Wright was fired last night for failing to deliver the goods in a street food challenge and she has reacted to fans comparing her to the wrinkly chef, telling the paper; ‘People keep saying I look like Gordon Ramsay. I didn’t realise how many conversations my forehead was having with the world.’

Unfortunately, the pretty blonde’s confidence has taken something of a knock following the airing of the show’s seventh series, and the comments have made her consider facial injections to improve her appearance. ‘It’s made me want Botox,’ she said, but added that her other half was not keen on the idea; ‘My lovely husband Mark’s absolutely adamant I can’t have it done though.’

Despite her week six firing, Katie said that the only regret she has is that she didn’t push to the front and get herself noticed during the first few tasks, admitting that she might have looked like she was trying to hide, when really it was a case of ‘deer-in-the-headlights’, in the face of TV’s most intimidating job interview. ‘I just wish that I had the confidence to step forward from the start.’ She said.

Apprentice star considers Botox


Lord Sugar’s right-hand man Nick Hewer is famous for raising an eyebrow or two at the antics of some of The Apprentice contestants, but the sixty-eight year old has revealed that he is thinking of getting Botox injections to keep his energetic brows in check. Nick, who is also the new host of Countdown, has said that his animated expressions could be a thing of the past if he follows in Lord Sugar’s footsteps and undergoes cosmetic treatment.

Two episodes into the eighth series of the BBC show, Nick’s famous frown has already made more than one appearance, and he has joked that the only way to stop it is to freeze the muscles using facial injections. ‘I don’t realise when I’m doing the frown.’ He admitted, ‘I’ve got a very mobile face and I think the cameramen pick up on it. I’m thinking I might have Botox to make it impossible to raise my eyebrows.’

The business tycoon was also at pains to point out that there were no rehearsals on The Apprentice, and his expressions were not deliberate; ‘It’s not like I practice it in the mirror. No one makes me raise my eyebrows on cue,’ He said, adding, ‘I am what I am. Nobody would have the nerve to ask me to do something to suit the cameras and there are no retakes.’

So far in The Apprentice, two of team Sterling have been given the chop after failing to meet Lord Sugar’s expectations in the field of business.

BBC sitcom passes dental equipment on to charity


Hit BBC comedy My Family has supplied a new dental surgery in Bangladesh with the equipment they used on set for ten years. The programme – which starred Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker – centred around the Harper family, whose patriarch Ben was a dentist, it ended in 2011, after a decade on BBC one. For the duration of the series, the surgical equipment that made up the set for Dr Harper’s surgery was rented from UK-based company The Dental Directory, and was subsequently returned when the series concluded last year.

Around the same time as My Family was coming to an end, the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh was hoping to provide the Aloshikha Maria Mother and Child Health Care Clinic with suitable equipment to get it up and running, but they lacked funding. There were more than a thousand children already enrolled at the Aloshikha centre, with almost a third of them suffering from tooth decay, and a tenth in constant pain from dental problems. When The Dental Directory received the barely -used equipment back from the BBC, they generously passed it on to the Dentaid foundation; a project set up to furnish two surgeries in Bangladesh. Thanks to twenty-three Lions Clubs (a world-wide charitable organisation), £3,500 was also raised to help purchase all the necessary tools to provide children in the area with the care they need.

Dentaid thanked it’s supporters at both The Dental Directory and the Lions Clubs.

Saturday Kitchen presenter criticises ‘vain’ TV chefs


Celebrity chef James Martin is normally a fairly easy-going kind of person, he’s happy with working for the BBC on hit weekend show Saturday Kitchen, and he’s not looking to abandon UK television to make a name for himself across the pond. He does, however, have some strong opinions about chefs who are so desperate to make it in America that they are willing to undergo cosmetic enhancement to achieve their goals.

The 38-year-old has passed judgement on fellow TV personalities such as Gordon Ramsay, for their use of Botox injections and other facial surgeries, vowing that he is going to grow old gracefully. ‘I’m quite happy,’ he told The Sun newspaper ‘Why would I chase for anything more?’ Before adding, rather crudely, ‘If I’ve got to have my ar*e welded to my forehead to crack America, then, America, see you later.’

Although he’s not sold on the idea of using dermal fillers to achieve a more youthful appearance, James hasn’t ruled out the use of beauty treatments, to keep him ready for his close up. ‘HD is great, as long as you’ve got hair and make-up. The only other show I’ve done with HD is The One Show, where they spray make-up all over you.’ But an overflowing wardrobe is something he draws the line at, admitting that all he does is buy ‘every colour of polo shirt twice and that’s it.’

Strictly Come Dancing contestant sings the praises of Botox


Reality TV star Nancy Dell’Olio has admitted to having Botox treatment twice a year, and insists that there’s ‘nothing wrong’ with turning to cosmetic aids to maintain a youthful appearance. The celebrity has made no secret about the fact that she would like to look younger than her fifty years, and she had a few words of wisdom for other women her age; ‘We must always do little things to take care of ourselves, which prevent doing major work later on, like facials and even a little Botox when you need it. It’s something you can do without going too major and still look like yourself.’

Nancy also agrees that it’s important to look for the right provider, and use in moderation, saying ‘As long as you have the right doctor and the right measurement, twice a year is perfect.’

Despite her enthusiasm for non-invasive procedures, Nancy was not keen on the idea of having something more permanent done, she spoke to The Sun about cosmetic surgery and commented that if it makes people feel better about themselves, there’s nothing wrong with it, she later added ‘I don’t think it’s healthy for women to be obsessed with surgery. A lot of these women all look the same.’

When questioned about the future, Nancy was as optimistic as ever, following her stint on BBC reality show Strictly Come Dancing. ‘I’m in the best shape now and it’s going to get even better.’ She said, ‘That’s my attitude; that the best is yet to come.’

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