Remembering Bob: Hoskins in 1986 at the Cannes premier of Mona Lisa. Photo: Getty
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Bob Hoskins’s finest film moments, from Mona Lisa to Roger Rabbit

The British actor died yesterday of pneumonia following several years with Parkinson’s. We look back at some of his most memorable film roles over five decades.

Bob Hoskins retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the year before. He died yesterday of pneumonia in hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 71. 

Hoskins, son of a nursery school teacher and a communist, atheist lorry driver and with one Romani gypsy grandmother, was born in Suffolk, but grew up in Finsbury Park in London. And it was as the archetypal Cockney geezer that he became known. His diminutive height (5 ft 5) also lent itself to a string of comedy roles and character parts but he could do deeply menacing too, playing gangsters both British and Italian-American. 

Here are clips from some of his best or most memorable big-screen roles:

As Harold Shand, the British gangster attempting to become a legit businessman in The Long Good Friday (1980). Here the final, fatal scene:

 

As the US club-owning mobster Owney Madden in 1984 crime drama The Cotton Club:

 

The darkly comic repairman Spoor in Terry Gilliam's steampunk dytopia Brazil (at 3 mins)

 

In perhaps his most iconic role, George the ex-con and driver for prostitute Simone (Cathy Dyson) in Mona Lisa (1986)

 

As Eddie Valiant, an alcoholic private investigator who holds a grudge against the Toons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

 

As Cher's lover Lou in Mermaids (1990)

 

As the eponymous plumber Mario Mario in the so bad it's... still bad videogame-to-big-screen Super Mario Bros (1993)

 

As Verloc in the under-the-radar adaptation of  Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1996)

 

As the boxing impresario Alan Darcy in Shane Meadows's Twenty-Four Seven (1997); here in a famous dancing scene:

 

Going romcom with J-Lo in Maid in Manhattan (2002), as wise hotel head butler Lionel Bloch:

 

 

As the Windmill Theatre manager with Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

 

And as the sympathetic factory boss Albert in Made in Dagenham (2010)

 

And finally...  

A little bit more Bob in this classic shower scene, also from The Long Good Friday

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Thomas Calvocoressi is Chief Sub (Digital) at the New Statesman and writes about visual arts for the magazine.

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Is there a Guardian bias on Radio 4's Broadcasting House program?

Call me paranoid, but I've long had my suspicions – and this line-up cast all doubts aside.

I’ve long wondered, on and off, whether I was just being paranoid about the flurries of bias on the Sunday-morning magazine programme Broadcasting House in favour of the Guardian Media Group, but in recent weeks I have not been sure I am. Take the edition of 17 April, when the newspaper reviewers were the ­actor Tom Conti, Gareth McLean (the Guardian journalist) and Katharine Whitehorn (the veteran Guardian journalist and Observer columnist).

Conti, talking amusedly about Brexit (“It’s like walking through a forest with a wilderness of tigers”), kicked off the discussion with a tremendous rustling, as though spreading the article across the whole studio. “Well, in the Observer on page five . . .” He was immediately followed by Whitehorn: “That isn’t the only thing in the Observer about this, because my own column in the magazine makes the point that . . .” Changing the subject to the return of Game of Thrones, McLean then said, “There’s a nice piece in the Observer . . . loads of facts and figures, and some nice reporting done.”

I’m sure there was, but if the BBC’s radar remains broadly Guardian-esque in its political direction (and was ever thus), it doesn’t half sound snug.

The following week, the press reviewers were the conservatoire principal Julian Lloyd Webber, the former rear admiral Chris Parry and the journalist Sali Hughes – of the Guardian. Lloyd Webber began the newspaper review, talking down the line from Birmingham about the frustrations of everything being centred around London. “Well, the Observer has three pages on how people living outside London view our capital city . . .” He was followed directly by Hughes, commenting on a story about immunisation: “In the Observer there’s a story about how pro-vaccination campaigns in America . . .” After which Parry recommended: “There’s a very good article by Will Hutton in the Observer.” None of what was discussed was objectionable – but the comfiness was. A creeping insularity being presented as a nice, interesting chat, as even-handedness, when actually it’s what can start to feel like a rock-hard centre-left world-view. An eye must be kept on it, is all I’m saying.

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 06 April 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The longest hatred