Roundup: Dawn French Chats ‘Marvelous’ New Novel

 With the ink on her divorce papers still fresh, Welsh-born author Dawn French is looking forward to moving on. The six-time BAFTA Award-nominated actress and comedian is readying the release of her first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous.

The 320-page turner shatters the definition of a perfect family and sifts through some of life's various disillusions. Such a storyline sort of hits close to home for the Vicar of Dibley star; French and her husband, English actor Lenny Henry, officially split last spring after 25 years of marriage.

Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, French reveals that she's as honest as it comes and her new book doesn't shy away from that notion.

"I wasn't going to talk about this," French says. "But I will because of the practicality of it. Len [her husband, Lenny Henry] and I decided we were going to split. We decided a year ago, but we wanted to remain in the same house and work things out. I wrote the book under the umbrella of what was going on in my home. But there was no tempest or anything like that. We just pulled away."

In addition to A Tiny Bit of Marvellous, French issued her best-selling memoir, Dear Fatty, in 2008.

In other news:

– Have you ever tried replicating one of Jamie Oliver's tasty dishes featured on his popular 30-Minute Meals cooking show? Four testers make the attempt, but quickly learn that some of the British chef's seemingly easy recipes aren't so simple after all. (The Guardian)

– Fresh from their Hall of Fame win at Monday's annual Q Awards, Take That announced Tuesday (October 26) that they'll be taking to the road in support of their sixth album, The Progress. A handful of UK dates are set for spring and summer and will mark Robbie Williams' first tour with the pop act in 16 years.

"There's going to be a bit for everybody," Williams explained in a press conference. "I'm going to be doing a bit, the lads are going to be doing a bit then we're all going to be doing a bit." (The BBC)

Would you like Take That to bring their long-awaited reunion to the States?

- Aye aye! Arrr! Comedian Eddie Izzard is suiting up to play Long John Silver in a high-priced version of Treasure Island. A two-part extravaganza will be broadcast via Sky 1 HD and will be based on Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson's cherished tale, set for a Christmas 2012 release.

"We have Treasure Island in production, which stars Eddie Izzard, which is really exciting," Sophie Turner Laing, Sky's managing director of entertainment and news, announced. "He doesn't do that much television so we are very excited that he is to play Long John Silver." (The Sun)

– The media and music worlds lost a loyal supporter and pioneer when Tony Wilson suffered a fatal heart attack, after battling cancer, in 2007. His memory is not forgotten and a Factory Records colleague, graphic designer Peter Saville, has created a special headstone for the late broadcaster.

The slick black granite headstone is embossed with a quote from Isabella Varley Banks' 1876 novel, The Manchester Man.

"Mutability is the epitaph of worlds/Change alone is changeless/People drop out of the history of a life as of a land/Though their work or their influence remains." (NME)

- Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, and Gemma Arterton lead the nominations for the 2010 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Cumberbatch will face off against his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman and Alfred Molina, among others, in the Best Actor category. Dame Judi Dench and Sheridan Smith are just a few who join Knightley and Arterton in the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress category. Additionally, Rupert Goold earned a Best Director nomination for his work on Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Earthquakes in London at the National. Winners will be announced on November 28. (The Stage)

by MacKenzie Wilson