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How to prepare your plants for cold weather

Green fingers can still thrive in winter, you just might need to keep them in some gloves (Picture: Getty)

We’re not far from both Christmas and the shortest day of the year, which is great news if you love the cosy season but not so good for your plants.

The lack of light, the cold temperatures and the adverse weather conditions could all spell trouble for your beloved plants.

Especially because parts of the country are predicted to hit the minuses by next week as a polar air mass lands.

So if you want them to come back next year, there are a few things you need to do.

Looking after plants in winter

Freddie Blackett, CEO and co-founder of plant delivery service Patch, explains that it’s just as important to care for plants in the colder months as it is in the summer.

He says: ‘As summer ends, it’s easy to think that the garden is done for the year. That’s not the case. All your plants are just entering a new phase.

‘For most plants, winter is a time for conserving energy, ready to spring forth anew in, well, spring. For some, winter is their time to shine. Whatever sort of outside space you have, this is a good time to start preparing it for winter.

‘Cut back dead or damaged growth on your plants and prune back any that have grown wildly over summer. Most plants won’t grow very much, if at all, during winter so now is a good time for a chop.’

Some plants can’t tolerate frost at all so it’s important to protect them.

Freddie adds: ‘You don’t want to lose your carefully tended plants at the first frost, so any warm weather lovers, like lemon trees, should be moved somewhere frost free.

‘You can move them inside, if necessary, but remember they only need to avoid frost; they don’t need to be moved somewhere really warm. Things like potted olive or bay trees could be wrapped in horticultural fleece to protect them from the harshest conditions.

Your garden or balcony can still be a lovely place when it’s cold (Picture: Getty)

‘Keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure you do this before the first frost. It can sneak up on you.’

It tends to be wetter in winter too so you need to think about your plants getting too much water.

‘For pots left outside, consider raising them off the ground, e.g. lifting them on to a pair of bricks.

‘You want them to be able to drain very freely in really wet weather, as well as avoid them getting saturated with water that could freeze and seriously damage their roots,’ Freddie says.

Of course, there are some plants that still bloom in the winter and they can be used to add some colour to any outdoor space.

Freddie recommends a turf lily, which grows tall purple flowers throughout autumn and plants with attractive evergreen foliage. He also suggests adding some year-round interest with something like a Curly Red, which looks exactly as you’d imagine, with firey spiral leaves.

‘Winter can still be a beautiful time for your garden and if you put the work in, you’ll prepare it for a great burst of life in spring,’ he says.

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Queen Consort Camilla met Baga Chipz at Gyles Brandreth’s party

Baga revealed the unlikely friendship (Picture: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

In what might be the most unlikely friendship of the year, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Baga Chipz has revealed she’s friends with Queen Consort Camilla.

And not only that, but the Queen Consort was left ‘starstruck’ by the icon.

The two actually met at writer and This Morning regular Gyles Brandreth’s birthday party.

‘I met Camilla and we had a few drinks together. She is lovely,’ Baga revealed.

‘It wasn’t surreal at all. Camilla was more starstruck meeting me.

‘She was saying, “Oh Baga! You look gorgeous.”‘

The Queen Consort was reportedly ‘starstruck’ (Picture: PA)
The pair met at Gyles Brandreth’s birthday party! (Picture: ITV)

Baga jokingly continued to The Daily Star: ‘We’re close now. Bring on the damehood!’

The 33-year-old went on to comment on the claims Camilla had an affair with Prince Charles while he was still married to Princess Diana, which have been brought to light by the highly anticipated fifth series of The Crown.

Baga added to the publication: ‘I can’t judge people. I’ve been with more married men than Liz Taylor. She’s a girl like me. She gets all the men. Keep your boyfriends away!’

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The new series pf The Crown, which follows the royal family after a time jump, will see Elizabeth Debicki take on the role of Princess Diana, while Imelda Staunton stars as the late Queen Elizabeth IIDominic West as King Charles III before he ascended the throne and Olivia Williams as Camilla.

Before the third season of The Crown came out, the nephew of Camilla, Queen Consort, told Vanity Fair that his aunt did enjoy the series, but ‘wasn’t looking forward to the bits to come’.

The Crown is available to watch on Netflix.

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MORE : Mel B praises Queen Consort Camilla for ‘bravely’ standing up against domestic abuse and supporting charities

MORE : Queen Camilla reveals female team but she won’t call them ladies-in-waiting

World Cup 2022: Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal counters critics by reaching quarter-finals

Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Louis van Gaal is a taste many football purists in the Netherlands still struggle to acquire but he can counter the complaints with results as he successfully plotted the route into another World Cup quarter-final.

Van Gaal is fighting off the same charges of negativity that he faced when taking the Dutch to third place in the 2014 World Cup, when they only lost on penalties to Argentina in the semi-final.

This vastly-experienced coach was typically forthright in his response to his detractors. And the 3-1 win against the United States in the last 16 here in Qatar means he has now gone 19 games unbeaten since replacing Frank de Boer in August 2021 to start his third spell as Netherlands coach.

The Netherlands produced a ruthless display of finishing to punish a wasteful US side and it was a satisfied Van Gaal who packed away his trademark notebook and pen before a cursory wave towards the stands after victory was complete.

Van Gaal is a notoriously hands-on micromanager of a coach, which those so beloved of the Dutch’s famous ‘total football’ believe removes freedom of expression and flair.

There is no doubt his methods and straight-talking manner do not win him unanimous favour but there is also no doubt he gets results at this level, which means the Dutch are not a team to be under-estimated.

And Van Gaal is still on course to make his biggest statement of all to those who question him as he moves into the closing stages of the World Cup once again.

The Netherlands did not exactly light up the group stages but they finished top of their section, beating Senegal and Qatar while drawing with Ecuador and here they are again. Here is Van Gaal again.

Van Gaal will never be burdened by modesty about his achievements in the game but he has a lot to be immodest about.

This, after all, is the coach who won the Champions League, Uefa Cup and three Eredivisie titles with Ajax, two La Liga titles with Barcelona and another Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar. He also won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, who he also led to the 2010 Champions League final where they were beaten by Inter Milan.

And, of course, Van Gaal won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 2016.

It is still odds against that Van Gaal can pull off the greatest triumph of all, given those countries still in the World Cup, but if the Dutch fail it will not be through their coach’s lack of confidence.

The big plus was this was their best performance so far, containing a goal that will have the purists purring in Van Gaal’s homeland.

Christian Pulisic had already missed the US’ best chance before the Netherlands pieced together a magnificent 21-pass sequence in their truest traditions, Memphis Depay giving the move the flourish it deserved when he converted a cross pulled back by Denzel Dumfries.

Dumfries was provider again with a similar pass from the right wing on the stroke of half-time, with Daley Blind the beneficiary.

The US snatched a lifeline with Haji Wright’s freakish deflection before Dumfries got the goal he deserved for all his creation, Blind repaying the compliment with a cross his fellow defender met on the volley at the far post.

It was a graphic demonstration of what Van Gaal’s team can produce as, for all the criticism of conservatism, there is skill and quality throughout this team.

Van Gaal has a world-class defensive leader and captain in Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who is clearly a great influence on Nathan Ake alongside him, while Dumfries and Blind provide potent attacking options from the full-back positions in the Dutch counter-attacking game.

Inter Milan defender Dumfries deservedly won the player of the match accolade, Van Gaal’s main weapon as the left side of th US defence was brutally, and repeatedly, exposed.

Frenkie de Jong gives measure and authority in midfield while Cody Gakpo, one of the emerging stars of this Qatar World Cup, is a serious threat alongside the rejuvenated Depay.

Depay, 28 and often remembered for his failed spell at Manchester United, was menacing throughout, scoring one goal and almost getting on the scoresheet again.

He is currently surplus to requirements at Barcelona after he joined them from Lyon in June 2021. That move followed a successful spell in France, where he scored 76 goals in 178 games over four seasons.

Depay has even been linked with an unlikely return to Manchester United and he will surely attract further attention if he can give more eye-catching displays such as this.

There was certainly a hint of Manchester United days gone by in this win, as the goals were scored by former Old Trafford duo Depay and Blind with the whole show overseen by ex-manager Van Gaal.

Van Gaal, in typically spiky form, insisted before the match that if he listened to the Dutch media then he would never believe the country that lost finals in 1974, 1978 and 2010 would ever win a World Cup.

If there is one man aboard the team coach that left Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Saturday who does believe the Netherlands can win the World Cup, it is Louis van Gaal.

And it is this concrete-clad confidence that makes him one of most successful, interesting and intriguing figures in the game.

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Elon Musk Says Neuralink Human Trials Soon, Hopes To Get One Brain Chip Himself


Elon Musk’s current focus may be on Twitter following his $44 billion acquisition, but he is the visionary behind some of the world’s most innovative companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and, of course, Neuralink.

Elon Musk now claims that Neuralink’s new interface will allow people to communicate directly with a computer through their thoughts, using a device implanted in their brains. Also, Musk has clearly expressed that he wishes to get one chip for himself.

“We’ve submitted I think most of our paperwork to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and we think probably in about six months we should be able to have our first Neuralink in a human,” Musk said.

He added, “We’ve been working hard to be ready for our first human (implant), and obviously we want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device in a human.”

As per AFP, Neuralink’s human trials have been delayed by almost two full years. Earlier, Musk had claimed that Neuralink would be able to perform human trials by 2020.

Currently, coin-sized prototype chips have been implanted in Monkeys. At a recent Neuralink presentation, the Musk-owned start-up showed monkeys doing simple tasks — like moving a computer cursor, playing simple games through their Neuralink prototype.

As for real-world applications, Musk has promised that Neuralink’s efforts would aid in helping humans restore vision and mobility. “As miraculous as it may sound, we are confident that it is possible to restore full body functionality to someone who has a severed spinal cord,” Musk said.

Musk’s end-goal with Neuralink is to ensure that in future, A.I — as fast as it is progressing — doesn’t overcome humans.

Read all the Latest Tech News here

Taking a Solo Cab Ride? Follow These Tips For A Safe Journey

Many people credit their personal development to their experiences as a lone traveller, be it exploring your own city or foreign lands. There is a widespread misconception that travelling alone is dangerous only for women. Not only women but men too get harassed. So today we are here to give some safety tips that can be used by men and women, when they are taking a cab ride alone.

Ask for ID proof from the driver

Check your driver’s licence, company ID or any other ID proof; and if possible, take a photo of the photo ID and email it to a friend or family member.

Keep GPS on

Keep your phone’s GPS turned on until you arrive at your destination. You will be safe if you do this.

Take a picture of the number plate

Never forget to take a picture of the cab’s number plate.

Avoid taking shortcuts

Many cab drivers suggest taking shortcuts. Always avoid that and never agree to take these shortcuts.

Always have a speed dial list

Keep the phone numbers of family and close friends on speed dial. You can contact them in a matter of seconds if necessary.

Keep your mobile charged

Before boarding the cab or going anywhere, make sure to charge your phone. Carry a backup battery, such as a power bank with you if possible. Check to see if the call and data pack is activated.

Have safety tools

Remember to keep pepper spray, as well as any sharp objects, in your purse or bag. Keep these items in the bag in a location, so that they are taken out quickly when needed.

Read all the Latest Lifestyle News here

A Place In The Sun’s Jonnie Irwin ‘determined to make the most’

Jonnie recently revealed he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Jonnie Irwin has shared an update with his fans, saying he’s ‘determined to make the most’ of the day after a ‘horrible’ night filled with ‘getting painkillers’.

Last month, the A Place In The Sun star publicly shared that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given ‘months to live’.

‘I don’t know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it,’ he said, having revealed that cancer in his lung had spread to his brain.

However, on Saturday the 49-year-old shared a positive update with fans.

Taking to his Instagram stories, he said: ‘After a terrible night’s sleep, up and down and getting painkillers – oh it was just horrible – it’s a beautiful day.

‘So I’ve got a steroid inside me and some more painkillers and I’m determined to make the most of this.’

Jonnie said he’d been up all night getting painkillers (Picture: Instagram)
He showed followers what he’s trying to make the most of (Picture: Instagram)

He then showed his followers a stunning view of his cycling route.

After sharing the news of his diagnosis, Jonnie said in a recent interview that he’s received ‘messages from people all over the world, wishing me well’.

Jonnie shares three children with his wife Jessica Holmes (Picture: Instagram)

‘Thousands of people have left me heart-warming comments on Instagram and I promise I will try to read them all,’ he told The Sun, boasting 131,000 followers on the social media platform.

‘They range from practical, scientific advice to ones from very religious people. There are thousands and thousands of them on my social media platforms and it’s been great.’

He added: ‘I’ve not hidden away but I’m not bothered about the limelight. I had no idea how much people really liked what I did and I know that now.’

Jonnie shares three children with his wife Jessica Holmes – three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac.

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MORE : A Place In The Sun’s Jonnie Irwin admits Christmas will be ‘tricky’ after terminal cancer diagnosis: ‘I don’t know if it will be my last one’

MORE : A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin ‘had no idea how much people really liked what I did’ amid outpouring of support after cancer diagnosis

England v Senegal: Gareth Southgate says ‘favourites’ tag means nothing before last-16 tie

Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Gareth Southgate says England’s tag as “favourites” means nothing as they prepare for their World Cup last-16 meeting with Senegal.

The Three Lions meet African champions Senegal in their first knockout stage match in Qatar on Sunday at 19:00 GMT.

England qualified as Group B winners with a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday, while Senegal were runners-up behind the Netherlands in Group A.

“We will be considered favourites,” Southgate said.

“But that doesn’t really mean anything in a one-off game,” the England boss added.

“It doesn’t mean there isn’t any pressure for Senegal because every international team has great pressure in their own nation and externally as well.”

The meeting at Al Bayt Stadium is the first between the two nations and the winner will meet reigning champions France or Poland in the quarter-finals.

England ready to go the distance

While Senegal have reached the knockout stage of a World Cup for just the second time, England are bidding to make the last eight in consecutive tournaments for the first time since 2006, following their run to the semi-finals four years ago.

Southgate’s side were eliminated by an extra-time Croatia winner in Russia, before then losing out to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last summer.

“We are two tournaments on from when we played Colombia at this stage in Moscow. I think our level of experience is better, our level of ambition is different,” Southgate told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“When we qualified from our group stage in Russia, we were probably celebrating quite a bit. This time was a great evening for our fans and we enjoyed the win, but we were already thinking of the next game.

“We know the focus has to be on this one game, nothing else.”

Asked about the prospect of penalties, Southgate added: “We are aiming to win the game and avoid extra time and penalties, but if we need to go 120 minutes or beyond that we have to be ready for that mentally and physically and I believe we are.”

‘We have huge respect for Senegal’

Senegal lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy for the first time in February as Aliou Cisse’s side overcame Egypt in a penalty shootout.

The Teranga Lions were dealt a huge blow prior to the World Cup when star player Sadio Mane was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury he suffered playing for Bayern Munich less than two weeks before his nation’s opening match.

But victories over hosts Qatar and Ecuador, after an opening defeat by the Netherlands, ensured they have qualified for the knockout stage for the first time in 20 years.

“We have been very impressed with Senegal,” Southgate said.

“They are African champions and are very proud and have great spirit and belief in their team. They have some excellent individual players who can cause problems, but a good structure as well.

“Cisse has done a fantastic job. We know the size of the job ahead of us.”

Senegal coach Cisse was unable to attend his news conference on Saturday because of illness, raising doubts over whether he will be on the touchline.

‘Important Maguire has felt the love’

Southgate has so far seen his faith in Harry Maguire repaid by the Manchester United centre-back, despite his recent struggles at club level.

Partnering Manchester City defender John Stones at the heart of a back four, England kept successive clean sheets against the USA and Wales following a 6-2 thrashing of Iran.

Southgate believes the 29-year-old Maguire, who has started one league game for his club since August, has benefited from England’s style of play – as well as the appreciation shown by the fans.

“He knows we’ve got complete belief in him,” Southgate said. “He’s had huge performances for England in two tournaments where we’ve had a huge degree of progress as a country.

“As with most players of that quality, it is about confidence. You can see that when he plays in our team. We play in a way that suits him.

“He feels the love of the fans, that was clear in the stadium the other night, and that was brilliant to see because that hasn’t always been the case in the last few months with England.

“He’s helped to form a really important bedrock for our team.”

Kane aiming to come into best form

England captain Harry Kane won the golden boot at the 2018 World Cup, and although he is yet to score in Qatar – despite England’s tournament-high nine group-stage goals – he has contributed three assists.

The Tottenham striker had an injury scare earlier in the tournament after sustaining a knock against Iran but says he is now focused on hitting his peak.

“First and foremost my foot feels fine, no problem at all. It has been getting getter and better day by day,” Kane confirmed on Saturday.

“Form-wise I feel like I have been playing well. Goals are what I’m going to be judged on most, but I’m a calm individual and I always try to focus on doing my best for the team.

“I will continue to do that. If the goals come, great, it will give us a better chance of winning. It will be a tough game, but tomorrow hopefully I can get off the mark.

“I feel really good, I feel fit and sharp. I feel as match fit as I’m ever going to feel. Only time will tell. I can try and come into the best form with these knockout games.”

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An ATM at Art Basel publicly ranks its users by their bank account balance : NPR

Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF created an ATM that displays and ranks the cash balance of users.


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Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF created an ATM that displays and ranks the cash balance of users.


What if everyone in a room knew your bank balance?

A Brooklyn art collective has created an ATM that lets people put their balance on display at the Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The ATM created by MSCHF puts the cash balance of those who use it on display at the art fair and ranks people by wealth. American DJ and music producer Diplo posted on Twitter a video of him taking the No. 1 spot on the ATM at $3 million on Friday.

“ATM Leaderboard is an extremely literal distillation of wealth-flaunting impulses,” said Daniel Greenberg, co-founder of MSCHF. “From its conception, we had mentally earmarked this work for a location like Miami Basel, a place where there is a dense concentration of people renting Lamborghinis and wearing Rolexes.”

The ATM was sold for $75,000 at Art Basel, Greenberg told NPR. Wherever the ATM crops up next is up to the discretion of the buyer, but top scores on the leaderboard will remain on the ATM after each showing to encourage people to top previous users.

MSCHF collaborated on the ATM with Perrotin, a contemporary art gallery that has also presented quirky pieces like a banana duct-taped to a wall priced at $120,000 in 2019.

MSCHF creates products that often go viral with the help of top influencers.

Kylie Jenner, with over 370 million followers on Instagram as of Dec. 3, shared a photo of a pair of imitation Birkenstock sandals made with leather from Hermès Birkin bags she snagged from MSCHF last year. Lil Nas X partnered with MSCHF to create “Satan Shoes” — an aftermarket Nike sneaker with drops of blood that sold out in under a minute. MSCHF was sued by Nike last year for selling their shoes, which cost $1,018 a pair, unauthorized.

The best Christmas candles to scent your home with this festive season

Burning bright (Picture: Getty/Credited below)

This article contains affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

There’s nothing like curling up under a blanket with a candle beside you.

And at this time of year, there are plenty of festive limited edition releases to enjoy, all scented with an array of pine, orange, and spices, for the most Christmassy of candles.

Some have special packaging too, making them just as beautiful to look at as they are to smell.

Light these on a cosy night in – they’ll make it feel all the more special.

Diptyque Neige

Serene (Picture: Diptyque)

The outer design on this luxurious candle twinkles when lit up, creating a soothing glow. The fragrance is just as evocative of a winter’s night, featuring heliotrope and white musks.

Buy it for £65 at Diptyque.

NEOM Cosy Nights

The brand’s new festive scent (Picture: NEOM)

A soothing mix of sandalwood, frankincense and nutmeg scents this one. With three wicks, it offers 50 hours of burn time – plenty to get you through these darker months.

Buy it for £48 at NEOM.

Anthropologie Holiday in the City

A candle votive worth keeping (Picture: Anthropologie)

Coming in three varieties, you can choose from woody, citrusy, and herbal fresh fragrances.

We’d keep the votive holder afterwards too, as the quirky illustrations will make for standout Christmas decorations for years to come.

Buy it for £18.30 (was £26) at Anthropologie.

Aromatherapy Associates Forest Therapy

Breathe deep (Picture: Aromatherapy Associates)

Designed to help calm you down, this candle helps create the illusion of the outdoors coming in.

The earthy essential oil blend features ho wood, pink pepper, and cypress to refresh and uplift while you get the grounding feeling of being in nature.

Buy it for £50 at Aromatherapy Associates.

Yankee Candle Cinnamon Stick

Spicy (Picture: Yankee Candle)

There’s nothing quite so festive as cinnamon, and this large votive will see you through the whole winter period.

Buy it for £27.99 at Yankee Candle.

Lush Snow Fairy

A sweeter scent (Picture: Lush)

This limited edition candle offers something gentler and sweeter – which will work for those who don’t want a candle with an intense throw.

The Snow Fairy scent is a favourite for fans of the British brand, with synthetic musk that conjures images of candy floss and bubblegum – these candles are also 100% vegan.

Buy it for £12 at Lush.

Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus

Snow time (Picture: Jo Malone)

A pretty votive worth keeping long after Christmas, this’ll make you feel like you’re in a tranquil forest.

The snowball design is festive enough for this time of year, but can easily be passed off as polka dots once the tree’s put away.

Buy it for £58 at Jo Malone.

Fortnum & Mason Christmas Votive Candle

Warming (Picture: Fortnum & Mason)

Another festive scent, this features orange, cinnamon, and clove – like mulled wine on a chilly evening.

Burn this when you turn on the tree lights for a comforting glow.

Buy it for £25 at Fortnum & Mason.

John Lewis Spiced Clementine and Pomegranate

Spicy, citrussy – what more could you want (Picture: John Lewis)

Christmas candles don’t need to be costly – this one proves you can get a cheery scent without burning a hole in your pocket.

The department store’s range also includes Frosted Mistletoe and Eucalyptus, Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla, and Winter Spice options.

Buy it for £5 at John Lewis.

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The Witcher Blood Origin: Lenny Henry exalts ‘wonderful’ Deaf co-star

Sir Lenny’s character Chief Druid Balor bears incredible power and influence (Picture: Netflix)

Sir Lenny Henry has showered his The Witcher: Blood Origin co-star Amy Murray with praise, revealing he learnt some ‘rude things’ in sign language thanks to the Deaf actress.

The prequel series, which is set to premiere on Christmas Day on Netflix, is set more than 1,000 years before the events of The Witcher, when Elven society was still in its prime.

The show – which boasts a cast including Michelle Yeoh, Sophia Brown and Laurence O’Fuarain – will also depict the creation of the first Witcher centuries before Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) came into existence, as well as the Conjunction of the Spheres, which brought monsters into their world.

While speaking to and other media, Sir Lenny opened up about his experience of playing Chief Druid Balor in the upcoming drama, a scheming being with the ability to channel magic.

One of Balor’s close companions is Fenrik (Amy Murray), who just like the actress who plays her, is Deaf.

Sir Lenny, 64, admitted that at times, he was so ‘fascinated’ by Amy’s use of sign language that he ended up missing his cues in scenes.

‘I worked with Amy Murray and she’s Deaf. I had to do lots of scenes where she was signing, and I don’t sign,’ he explained.

‘So there was quite a lot of laughing as she was saying things, and I was missing my cues because I was fascinated with her fingers, and I wasn’t really listening to what the interpreter was saying. I was just trying to figure it out, because Balor was supposed to be able to understand sign language. So it was very difficult.’

The actor remarked how in his opinion, in the real world, ‘signing should be a language that’s mandatory at school’.

‘Amy taught me some things – she taught me “L E N N Y”. And she taught me some rude things. She taught me lots of things that I’m not even supposed to be able to tell you. But she taught me lots of rude things. I mean, hilarious,’ he said.

Sir Lenny recently starred in another fantasy show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Picture: Netflix)

‘She also signs in a Scottish accent, which I think is genius. I loved the entire experience [of making The Witcher: Blood Origin]. It was all brilliant. But the biggest thing was working with Amy Murray, she was wonderful.’

A month ago, the celebrated entertainer released a book called The Book of Legends, which he described as a ‘quest for kids’, telling the tale of siblings Bran and Fran who embark on an exciting adventure.

‘It was inspired by Amy, one of the kids is Deaf,’ Sir Lenny said.

‘He’s called Bran and he’s Deaf, and he signs all the way through, and there’s a page for signing in the book.’

Another co-star the Comic Relief co-founder enjoyed fun memories with was Jacob Collins-Levy, who plays Eredin in the series.

‘When we were raising the monolith in a few of the scenes, we had to wait for a very long time because the monolith took a long time to raise. We sang David Bowie songs, he’s a big David Bowie fan,’ Sir Lenny recalled.

‘So we were there singing: “Fashion, turn to the left. Fashion!” There were all these elves joining in with us singing girl TVC 15, and: “Ground Control to Major Tom.” So we sang all the time. It was big fun, the whole thing.’

The Witcher: Blood Origin premieres on December 25 on Netflix.

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