The Doctor is now an Oscar Nominee.

Film Plenty of actors with guest appearances in Doctor Who have been nominated and even won an Oscar, and although Peter Capaldi's short film, Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life won an academy award, Richard E Grant's nod in the Best Actor category is the first time someone who's played the main character in the franchise has found himself in amongst the top ticket. Grant's played the Doctor twice - in Curse of the Fatal Death as one of Rowan Atkinson's successors and later in Scream of the Shalka, the official continuation of the Doctors adventures for the five minutes before Russell T Davies ignited the revival.

Before any of you suggest neither are canonical, at this point the idea of canonicity in Doctor Who is pretty redundant.  But if you really must, there's enough leeway in the 'verse thanks to alternate reality stories interacting with the primeverse, whatever that means, that the Atkinson Doctor, the Shalka Doctor, Peter Cushing and any of the other fragments are just as legitimate as the person we more usually recognise as the Doctor.  So for the purposes of making history, Richard E Grant is the first Doctor to become nominated for their acting.

With all of that sorted out, here are my serious predictions for the night. What I'd like to win and what will win. I've skipped categories when I haven't a clue.

Like: "Roma"
Will: "A Star Is Born"

Like: Marina de Tavira, "Roma"
Will: Amy Adams, "Vice"

Like: Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me"
Will: Sam Elliott, "A Star Is Born"

Like: "Roma"
Will: "Roma"

Like: "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
Will: "Shallow" - "A Star Is Born"

Like: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"
Will: "Isle of Dogs"

Like: "BlacKkKlansman"
Will: "BlacLlansman"

Like: "Roma"
Will: "The Favourite"

Like: Olivia Colman, "The Favourite"
Will: Glenn Close, "The Wife"

Like: Alfonso CuarĂ³n, "Roma"
Will: Adam McKay, "Vice"

Like: "Black Panther"
Will: "Black Panther"

Like: "Roma"
Will: "Roma"

Like: "Black Panther"
Will: "The Favourite"

Like: "A Quiet Place"
Will: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Like: "Black Panther"
Will: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Like: "Black Panther"
Will: "Black Panther"

Like: "Avengers: Infinity War"
Will: "Ready Player One"


Life Yesterday in London I spent a lot of time walking up stairs. There were the stairs in shops, in Muji and Foyles and tube stations. There were the steps around the National Gallery up to the Van Dyke room and back again at the end of the day.  Then there were the some six hundred stairs to the top of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral and six hundred back down again.

Rather than spending my Christmas money this year on the usual mix of appliances and something to play on them, I've decided to pay the entry fee into places which I might not otherwise be able to justify the expense.  St Paul's Cathedral's costs in and around twenty pounds to get in which seems like an awful lot when there's already an amazing cathedral or two in my own city.

It's worth every penny.  Having visited Europe, the architect Chris Wren took the demolition of the Norman church which stood in its place previously in the great fire, to bring what amounts to a European-style edifice to our capital city, a massive dome topped structure which also oddly feels quite intimate and between the crypt and the tower offers far too much to see in one day.

After lunch (an only ok cheese role in the cafe) and with an hour to fill until a guided tour, I simply decided to look at the place and with the baroque paintings in the main dome and the golden mosaics across the walls, I realised the best way to do that was from the floor.  So lay down in the middle of the dome and simply looked.  Here's what I saw:

I was just keying up to take another photo which didn't chop off the side windows when I was told by a invigilator that photography was not allowed inside the cathedral.  I asked if it was ok that I was on the floor and she said it was fine but that I might want to move when the lunchtime service was about to begin.   I was a foot away from a lectern which she'd just put in place.

The tour was an incredibly dense history lesson not just of the cathedral but the various luminaries memorialised and buried there.  The crypt is essentially where all of the local historical celebrities not in Westerminster Abbey are buried.  In one corner, it's possible to find yourself standing on the graves of Turner, Leighton, Holman Hunt. Moore and Reynolds.

Then it was time to visit the top of the cathedral.  There's a pain barrier when hunting up that many steps in a confined space.  The tendency is to attack them quick at the beginning, with gasping and heartache pretty soon afterwards.  Then there's the pain barrier, then there's the moment after the pain barrier and then there's simply getting it done.

But it was well worth it.  Here's me and my big nose, at the top, on the Golden Gallery looking out across London:

And here are some of the things I was looking at:

St Pauls is 111m high or 365 feet. Wren purposefully built the cathedral so it would be the same height as all the days in the year. From up there it seemed like the highest I've ever stood out side of a plane, but the Eiffel Tower is just under three time taller, so that's still my personal record.  Nevertheless, like the interior of the cathedral, there so much to see, not enough time to see them. 

But I'll try.


Life  Despite having every intention of writing here this week, my ability to type has been seriously curtailed due to being unable to use the forefinger on my right hand, the digit I use for pretty much everything.

Last Saturday I received a new mandolin grater and in my glee to try it out, didn't consider the hazards of slicing through a tomato and accidentally removed the skin from the top of my finger.

Blood everywhere, general panic.

So for a week, my pinky has been dosing pain whenever I've accidentally prodded it against anything. 

But the body has incredible healing properties and now it's all closed up and I'm just waiting for the top layer of the skin to sort itself out.

Although I'd be lying if for a few moments right at the beginning, I didn't think it was as bad as this person went through.