Additional reading Form 10 Unit 5

Если бы Вы были школьником и у Вас спросили, о ком Вам интереснее почитать: о Марке Шагале или Хью Лори, что бы Вы ответили? Нет, Марк Шагал нам ничего плохого не сделал, но закручены предложения в тексте о нём так, что ученикам трудно перевести. Поэтому предлагаю при прохождении темы про искусство использовать этот дополнительный материал. А Вы решайте сами.

I don’t believe in God, but I have this idea that if there were a God, or destiny of some kind looking down on us, that if he saw you taking anything for granted he’d take it away. So he’ll be like: ‘You think this is going pretty well?’ Then he’ll go and send down some big disaster.

Hugh Laurie

Are you a fan of the TV show House? Why? Why not? Have you seen the actor Hugh Laurie in any other films or TV series? Which ones?

A man of many talents

Hugh Laurie is the star of the TV series House. The show was watched by over 80 million people across the globe, but has finished just recently. Fans will definitely miss the cynical and grumpy Dr Gregory House, but there are probably two things that many don’t realise: firstly, that Hugh Laurie had a long acting career before House; and secondly, although many think he’s from the United States, he’s actually English.

Bio — Hugh Laurie

Born on 11 June 1959, James Hugh Calum Laurie is a British film & TV actor, comedian, musician and author. He’s married and has three children. His most famous TV programmes include House, A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster.

Hugh got into acting while studying at Cambridge University. He joined the Footlights (an amateur dramatic group, otherwise known as Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club) and began writing and performing in comedy revues.
Soon after, he met fellow student and comedian Stephen Fry, and the two became a comedy duo. Together they had huge success on British television in the series Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry & Laurie. By the early 90s, Hugh was a household name in Britain, but he was still relatively unknown to American and international audiences.

However, that all changed in 2004. Hugh was acting in a film in Namibia when he heard about the upcoming TV show House. He read a few pages of the script and fell in love with the main character, Dr Gregory House.
So, Hugh filmed an audition in the bathroom of his hotel (it was the only place with enough light for the camera). The producers loved his audition and Hugh got the part.

House quickly became an international hit. And Hugh has since become a superstar and a sex
symbol. This includes being the new face of L’Oreal for men. But fame hasn’t been easy on his personal life.
He’s spent the last eight years living in Los Angeles, while his wife and kids stayed in England.

So, now that House is over, will Hugh return to England? Or will his family move to the United States? They’re still not sure. But Hugh has said that one thing he doesn’t miss about London is the weather. “This morning I was having a cup of coffee outside. In London you can only do that three days of the year!»


Is there anything Hugh can’t do? As well as being a famous actor and hilarious comedian, he’s also a novelist, musician and former athlete. While studying at Cambridge University, Hugh was an oarsman for the university’s rowing team. And in 1977, he and his rowing partner won the British national championships.
What else? In 1997, he published his first novel called The Cun Seller, which is a spoof of spy novels. Time Out magazine called it “a work of comic genius» and Hugh is currently writing the follow-up.
Then, last year he released a blues album called Let Them Talk. He plays the piano and the guitar, and sings on the album. Where does he find the time?

The head of L’Or?al said Hugh is “the perfect example of a modern man: genuine, uninhibited and strong.”

Hugh Before House

Before starring in House, Hugh was a famous TV comedian in Britain. Here are three of the shows he starred in Jeeves Wooster (1990 1993). This comedy series is set in England in the 1930s and is based on the books by the famous writer P. C. Wodehouse. Hugh plays Bertie, a lazy, upper-class man who relies a lot on his resourceful butler, Jeeves (Stephen Fry).

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A Bit of Fry and Laurie

This very popular comedy sketch show was written by and starred Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Each episode has several short skits with Hugh and Stephen playing a variety of different characters. One regular sketch was a spoof of an Australian soap opera. Listen to Hugh and Stephen’s Aussie accents (Aussie is Australian slang for an Australian):

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Blackadde was a British comedy series that ran for four seasons (from 1983 to 1989). Each season is set during a different period in British history and features a cunning character called Edmund Blackadder (played by Rowan Atkinson).
Blackadder the Third (1987) is set during the early 19th century. Hugh plays the idiotic and vain Prince George.
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On being happy… “I never was someone who was at ease with happiness.”

On his exercise regime… “I run six-to-eight miles a day, plus weights and aerobics in the lunch hour. I also lie [not tell the truth] a lot, which keeps me thin.”

On raising his daughter… “Girls are complicated. The instruction manual that comes with girls is 800 pages, with chapters 14, 19, 26 and 52 missing, and it’s badly translated.»

On acting with an American accent… “It’s as if you’re playing left-handed. Or like everyone else is playing with a tennis racket and you have a salmon.’’

On living in the United States… “I do feel very foreign there, as if I’m on safari, looking at the exotic animals and the way they behave.»

On playing Dr. Gregory House… “I suppose I’m drawn to people who worry, who are tortured I find I am always faintly suspicious of happy people.»


cynical — someone who is “cynical” is very negative about things, and doesn’t believe in the honesty of other people
grumpy — someone who is “grumpy” is often angry and in a bad mood
a comedy revue — a theatre show with jokes, songs, dances, etc
a household name — a famous person that everyone knows
a script — the text/ words for a film / TV show, etc.
an audition — a type of interview in which an actor tries to get a part for a film, etc.
to rely on — to depend on; to need
resourceful — someone who is “resourceful” is good at finding solutions to problems
a butler — a male servant who cleans, cooks, etc. for a rich person
a skit —  a short, funny piece of acting
a spoof — a TV programme or film that seems to be serious but is actually a joke
cunning — someone who is ‘cunning’ is good at getting things, often by tricking other people
idiotic — stupid
vain adj — someone who is «vain” thinks they are the best / bestlooking/ most intelligent, etc.
a challenge — something now and difficult that you must do that requires a lot of effort
an oarsman — a person who pulls on the oars (long poles) in a rowing boat
rowing — a sport in which people race against each other in boats with oars
a follow-up — the second book / film in a series
uninhibited — someone who is “uninhibited” says what they want without worrying what other people think
an OBE abbr — Order of the British Empire — a British award for people who do something good
at ease with — if you’re “at ease with something”, you’re comfortable with that thing
to lie — not to tell the truth
drawn to — attracted to
tortured — someone who is “tortured” feels bad mentally
suspicious — if you’re suspicious of someone, you don’t trust or believe them

Note: the photos are taken from, the materials are abridged from Ноt English Magazine

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