J.K. Rowling Honored at South Bank Show Awards, Jokes About Replacing Gambon with Lord Attenborough

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Jan 29, 2008

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

A follow up today on news we first told you about several weeks ago involving a special recognition for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The BBC reports the South Bank Show awards presented Jo with a special honor, giving her “an outstanding achievement prize for her success with the Harry Potter books.” You can see Jo at these awards here in our galleries as well as here via Getty Images and WENN.
UPDATE: The Times has a new article now online, containing Jo’s remarks at the ceremony, where she told the audience splitting ways with Harry Potter is worse than a divorce.

“It has been the worst break-up of my life – far worse than splitting up with any man. But it has also been wonderful to stop and draw breath and think, ‘My God, look what’s happened with an idea I had 17 years ago on a train.”

The award was presented by British film legend Lord Richard Attenborough, who jokingly said he wanted a role in the Harry Potter films. “I’ve got a great complaint against the recipient. I joined Equity in 1941 and I have been a regular member ever since, therefore I am due a certain amount of respect in these circumstances.I think I must be the only English actor of my generation who has got absolutely bugger all out of this extraordinary series that has been read by millions and made into movies.Surely there must have been something I could have played? Even just a few lines here and there? Don’t think I didn’t try!”

Rowling joked that he could take the role of Albus Dumbledore in the next film, saying: “Michael Gambon will shortly be having a hideous accident.”

Jo then goes on to say yet again she is done writing the Harry Potter series.

“I think I’ve definitely finished his story. I said seven books and there have been seven,” she said. The author is already working on her next project, although she would not be drawn on its subject: “I am writing, it’s a compulsion with me. I’m not in a mad hurry to publish because I’ve had 10 years of deadlines.”

Also attending the awards tonight was actor Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon). These awards are held to “recognise British achievement in music, theatre, television and the arts,” and will be broadcast on UK channel ITV on February 3. Congratulations JO! Anyone who can capture the awards program, please send it in and we will post.





51 Responses to J.K. Rowling Honored at South Bank Show Awards, Jokes About Replacing Gambon with Lord Attenborough

Avatar Image says:

I would guess by the photos that the award was presented to Jo by (Lord) Richard Attenborough. No sign of Madonna and daughter as was previously rumoured.

Avatar Image says:

Gambon to have a hideous accident… Oh my! XD Thank goodness for no Madonna.

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Is Attenborough too old to play Aberforth?

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Wouln’t that be just wonderful if he could really replace Gambon!? ; )

Avatar Image says:

Wow… I never even thought of him. He would have made a great Dumbleydoor! He could do Aberforth too, I guess.

Avatar Image says:

They should have picked him over Harris when they were first casting for the series.

They better make him Aberforth.

Avatar Image says:

Another little tidbit about Jo’s next story. I honestly can’t wait and all I know is that it is a political fairy tale.

Avatar Image says:

I know its not related but i say Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) walking down broadstairs today after school im still recovering from shock we just drove past him!!! just thought i would let people know since my school mates dont pay attention to that sort of thing lol xxxx

Avatar Image says:

Alas Dickie Attenborough (like me, a good Leicester man) is in his 80s and so too old to play Aberforth.

As for Gambon…he will be remembered for his bravura performance in Dennis Potter’s “The Singing Detective”.

Sadly , he will not be remembered for his Dumbledore….thats all I will say on that little matter !

Avatar Image says:

I don’t think people should judge Gambon’s Dumbledore until he’s actually been given something to do, which he hopefully will have in HBP and DH (albeit in flashbacks and…from beyond the grave!). Yeah he wasn’t good in GoF but he was fine in Ootp and very good in PoA. Definitely better than Richard Harris, but I don’t think either actor was perfect for DD. Ian Mckellen was.

Avatar Image says:

“As for Gambon…he will be remembered for his bravura performance in Dennis Potter’s “The Singing Detective”.”

He’ll be remembered for far more than that!! He isn’t a Sir for nothing you know.

I like Gambon full stop, and yes, I also like his DD. Never had a problem with him.

Avatar Image says:

Huh…Attenborough might have made a good Slughorn, actually.

Glad someone mentioned “The Singing Detective”! (The original British series, not the hollywood remake.) Those who aren’t Gambon fans now should watch that. His acting style really suits that role, and it’s full of dark humor, fantasy and intrigue. Imelda Staunton also has a juicy part in it, and David Thewlis is briefly seen as a soldier on a train. My god, I love that series so much.

Avatar Image says:

I never have seen it. I’ve seen Gambon in other things that I thought were good though—just not as Dumbledore.

I can totally seen Attenborough as Aberforth. It doesn’t really matter what his age is—he looks quite young for being in his 80s. I love his comments, but mostly I find it very funny that Rowling brought up Dumbledore’s role. Makes me wonder if she isn’t all that happy with his portrayal either.

Avatar Image says:

Ok, if Albus is 115 and Aberforth a few years younger, Attenborough’s really not too old to play Aberfoth. Too YOUNG maybe…

Avatar Image says:

“And the hits just keep on comin’”! Yay, JO!!! As for Sir Michael….....here, across the pond, I recently rented a most interesting DVD of (I presume..)a BBC “series” called ‘Wives and Daughters’.................Sir Michael Gambon is a marvelous actor! I think the WB and Jo made a splendid choice. I also agree, with Beth and Doobah: I think he would make an excellent Aberforth. @Sillysilly10: I don’t think present age would present any problem, with Sir Richard…..after all, makeup and hair can do wonders for those who are “not the age they are supposed to be” *D

Avatar Image says:

SORRY! I really didn’t mean to post that twice and this is the second time I’ve done that.

Avatar Image says:

The next book…....................cant wait!!

BUT:

Doesn’t she have the HP encyclopedia to finish first??? I think its supposed to be call A History of Magic (by Bathilda Bagshot lol). So lets hope Jo can do both I guess, but I’ve never doubted her!! I’m sure she can do it and give up a new amazing book PLUS the encyclopedia we all want so much!!

Avatar Image says:

I admire Jo so much….she’s brilliant….but I dont want any “hideous accident” for Sir Gambon….he’s so great….and he’s great as Dumbledore too…..on this site there’s lots of bad comments about him as Dumbledore….but people…..he’s so Dumbledore(there’s no better)-and about his aggression in GOF-that’s directors and screenwriters fault-besides it’s not so bad-he was worried for Harry and thats why he reacted like that : )

I think Aberforth will be left out in DH film

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Lindsay: I don’t think Jo is in any hurry to produce the encyclopedia, she jokingly said 10 years on PotterCast. So this other book could well appear first.

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It would be awful if something did happen to Gambon now. The press would have a field day after that comment. Although to be honest, I don’t like Gambon in his representation of Dumbledore and the way he shouts at the students, like in PoA and OotP. He’s too severe and he doesn’t have the twinkle of the eye thing going on.

I can see Attenborough as Dumbledore but I still don’t think he’d be that great, Aberforth might suit him though. Richard Attenborough and goats, that’d be hilarious!

And just to add, my friend got cast as a Ravenclaw!!! She had her uniform fitting today. Although I havn’t talked to her properly so I’m not sure of any of the details. More tomorrow!

Avatar Image says:

I wonder if the “hideous accident” Jo was referring to is when Dumbledore falls off the astronomy tower at the end of HBP.

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Tyler said -

I wonder if the “hideous accident” Jo was referring to is when Dumbledore falls off the astronomy tower at the end of HBP.

Yes -of course it was !

As to poor Jo and her attempt to go cold turkey on Potter. As a self-confessed “addictive complusive” cf-”A year in the life of JKR”, she is obviously having a very bad time getting away from the Potter world.

For purely selfish reasons, I hope she does’nt quite make it….....

Avatar Image says:

Roonwit:

I really hope you’re wrong! I can’t wait for the encyclopedia to come out!!

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And M Jones:

I’m with you….. I hope she has a relapse!!!

Avatar Image says:

Lord Attenborough should defenitely play old Grindelwald… both of them have yellowish teeth.

And old Grindy’s role is very static… you know in Nurmengard prison… only sitting there and waiting for Voldemort to kill tou…

Avatar Image says:

Fantastic… I love that Jo wants to replace Gambon, too!!! chuckle Now, if only the directors took note…

Avatar Image says:

This isn’t even airing til the 3rd?! That sucks… Jo looks amazing in the pics, though! Can’t wait to see video.

Avatar Image says:

Oh, I do like Jo’s wit – Dumbledore will soon have a hideous accident involving the Astronomy Tower.

As for Lord Attenborough, he could be cast as Elphias Doge or old Grindelwald.

Avatar Image says:

“Fantastic… I love that Jo wants to replace Gambon, too!!! chuckle Now, if only the directors took note…” Posted by mlwl on January 29, 2008 @ 06:10 PM

That is not what she said at all, and it was totally in jest! Jo has always had nothing but praise for Sir Michael’s Dumbledore – as do I. She even mentioned how people shouldn’t take Gambon’s “very dry” sense of humour at face value in the Potter Cast interview!

Why does EVERY mention of Gambon turn into a hate-fest?

Anyway, ON TOPIC: congratulations, Jo! you deserve every accolade you get!

Avatar Image says:

I sure hope she’s right about that =)

Avatar Image says:

how about Richard Attenborough as Xeno Lovegood hmmm nah a bit too old but i agree Aberforth would be a posibility

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They already cast Aberforth though! He was in the 5th movie, albeit very briefly. So I suppose that guy might have just been an extra. But honestly, I imagine Aberforth will just be an extra in the seventh movie as well (if he’s even seen at all).

Avatar Image says:

Attenborough could have played Slughorn! not that Broadbent won’t be good. but attenborough could have been really good!!

Avatar Image says:

Well, Sir Attenborough can’t be DD, but I am surprised no one mentioned Gregorovitch!!! Or even better, Grindelwald – that scene in the Nurmengard jail tower with Voldemort could be awesome!! Just a thought…

Avatar Image says:

I hat to be superficial about our favourite author but she looked really great in those photos – great clothes, great hair, great make-up. Still I would love her even in her olden day long lanky brown hair, big glasses and terrible orange fake-tan because her writing is so humourous/brilliant and with great plot lines and story.

Avatar Image says:

What a relief that J.K.Rowlings was given the award by Lord Richard Attenborough! Lovely humor J.K. Rowlings! I am sure some hideous accidents have done wonders for some Actors careers. Enjoy writing on your new book!

Avatar Image says:

Aberforth is allready casted. We saw him in the hogs head in OOTP, remember.

Avatar Image says:

Attenborough is to small to play dumbledore in the first place. He could be a great Doge though. Ofcoarse Doge isn’t going to be in the film version of DH, so it will probably never happen, but still…

Avatar Image says:

Attenborough as Doge is a brilliant idea, but still, I’d love to have somebody else as Dumbledore … Gambon completely lacks DD’s humour, and I really missed Dumbledore’s superiority in the climax scene of OoP – he looked and acted frightened, and weak, Dan Radcliffe bplayed so much better and he’s still so young, compared with Gambon … He’s certainly a great actor, but I really got the feeling that he simply doesn’t take his part seriously.

Avatar Image says:

Attenborough as Doge is a brilliant idea, but still, I’d love to have somebody else as Dumbledore … Gambon completely lacks DD’s humour, and I really missed Dumbledore’s superiority in the climax scene of OoP – Gambon looked and acted frightened, and weak, Dan Radcliffe bplayed so much better and he’s still so young, compared with Gambon … He’s certainly a great actor, but I really got the feeling that he simply doesn’t take his part seriously.

Avatar Image says:

Attenborough as Doge is a brilliant idea, but still, I’d love to have somebody else as Dumbledore … Gambon completely lacks DD’s humour, and I really missed Dumbledore’s superiority in the climax scene of OoP – Gambon looked and acted frightened, and weak, Dan Radcliffe played so much better and he’s still so young, compared with Gambon … He’s certainly a great actor, but I really got the feeling that he simply doesn’t take his part seriously.

Avatar Image says:

I hat to be superficial about our favourite author but she looked really great in those photos – great clothes, great hair, great make-up. Still I would love her even in her olden day long lanky brown hair, big glasses and terrible orange fake-tan because her writing is so humourous/brilliant and with great plot lines and story.

Posted by Bellatrix’s parole

Unfair.

As the recent ITV special made clear -that Jo was a very different person in terms of hapiness and confidence.

She is now happy in love, family and work -hence her appearance.

Good luck to her -Depression is a truly awful thing…...and she has fought it and won. The return journey to her old house where she wrote Phillosopher’s Stone towards the end of the show, showed her in constant tears -words were not necessary.

She has won !

Avatar Image says:

Hi M Jones. Us -outside-of-the-UK people havent seen that documentary yet. They are enforcing non-appearance of it on the web quite vigilantly. Its interesting you made the link between Jo’s appearance and whether she was depressed or not. I didnt think my post was unfair – it was factual. She is looking better these days. However, what I love about this woman – her writing – has remained brilliant throughout superficial appearance changes.

Avatar Image says:

Zhiyal, how can you say that Gambon lacks DDs sense of humour? He is the MOST HILARIOUS man in interviews!! When I saw him on Top Gear I thought ‘He IS Dumbledore_as_Muggle’, he has precisely the wit and eccentricity I expect from DD, including the twinkle in the eye. And when he was racing the car round the racetrack I was imagining DD trying to do it (they’ve named a corner of the racetrack Gambon corner after his terrible attempt at it)! Gambon is a brilliant actor, so the fault for not exploiting those aspects of his character must lie with the scriptwriters and directors. Actually in POA I found Gambon closest to BookDD than either of the first two films.

I think the Top Gear interview is in the archives here.

Avatar Image says:

I cannot understand why Mrs. Rowling´s nasty comment should be seen as a joke. She behaved tasteless. But you poor LC guys would say: Jo rocks even if she says: die Gambon.

Avatar Image says:

Hi Anne, this is precisely my point: Gambon is a really good actor, so if he’s a humorous person when not acting, why can’t he create a better DD on the screen? I think it has to do with the fact that he hasn’t read the books; the scripts had to cut a number of crucial scenes, but to refer once again to the climax scene of OoP, when DD is fighting with Voldemore, I was actually very disappointed to see a DD that was scared and frightened; he seemed to be barely able to defend himself. He reacted to Voldemort’s attacks, but didn’t ACT like one of the two greatest wizards of the age … might indeed be a problem of the script, since Gambon hasn’t read the novels he would have no idea that DD is a very superior person, in more than one respect.

He’s probably too eccentric as a private person to fully appreciate a literary character’s very genuine eccentricity …

Avatar Image says:

Dear Sad

I don’t thin Jo meant the comment to be anything more than a laugh. She was probably referring to the denoument of movie 6 viz – ” a nasty fall from the astonomy tower” but even if she was not, she was probaly humouring the great Dickie.

Now, I (note, not Jo) do not care much for Gambon’s portrayal of Dumbledore but I am not going to guess what Jo thinks.

Avatar Image says:

Dear Bellatrix’s parole officer -

That ITV documentary was surprisingly revelatory and extreemly emotional. Jo was either in tears for on the verge of tears throughout although there were some funny moments. But as she once wrote albeit in a different context, life is not made up of good and bad or happy and sad; there are shades of colour in everything we do and experience. She clearly bonded with the interviewer who spent the entire year with her. I thought Neil was simply being honest when he said that she can be a real pain to live with. Who isn’t ? I was a bit surprised that she said that the girl who asked the Carnegie Hall “Dumbledore is gay” question, looke at her as if she wanted to punch her ! But I guess Jo was there and I wasn’t, so there it is !

But yes -the best documentary -by far, on Jo and I sincerely hope it is shown in the States.

Avatar Image says:

Again the victim of the dreaded LC typos !

Avatar Image says:

Hi Zhiyal, that’s good. I didn’t want you to miss out on his humour :)

Firstly, I saw an interview on the POA extras dvd yesterday where Gambon specifically says he’s read the third book. So I think people are wrong to accuse him of not having read them.

I also still think we do see glimpses of TwinklyDumbledore or EccentricDumbledore from Gambon, especially in POA and once in OotP. There aren’t that many instances in the books when you actually think about it, so it depends on whether they make the film. GOF the one opportunity, the Yule ball dinner when he talks of chamber pots was cut, sadly.

But even in the first two films there aren’t many instances shown with Harris. They cut the sherbert lemon / london underground scar scene at the start of PS, so we only get the school welcome feast and the hospital scene. I can’t remember one in COS. The rest of these first two films are pretty serious too. We even see SternDumbledore in COS when he meets Tom Riddle.

But because the later films and books are much darker, and DD spends a lot of time worried about Harry, many instances when Harry and DD meet are actually quite serious, even in the books. TwinklyDumbledore wouldn’t be appropriate.

In POA I think they got DD spot on, because we see EnergeticDumbledore as well, which is how he should be. Eccentric or TwinklyDumbledore appears during the Buckbeak ‘execution’, when he talks about the strawberry planting to Fudge and asks Hagrid for a large brandy, and at the end when he says ‘Did what? Goodnight’ and walks off humming (an addition which JK absolutely loved).

In OotP the one opportunity Gambon has he also uses well. I crack up every time he says his middle-name Brian at the hearing. If only the filmmakers had allowed him to conjure up a chintz armchair as well it would have completed the scene.

But the rest of the film, like the book, is pretty serious. I must say, though I was disappointed that Harry didn’t get to throw things around, I LOVED the calmness of Gambon during the office scene at the end.

As for PowerDumbledore, I think people mistake his crouching for cowering, when in fact he is concentrating on a curse so powerful that it reduces all those glass shards to fine dust. I don’t see a weak DD at all. V actually concedes defeat with a disappointed look on his face just before he possesses Harry.

Avatar Image says:

Hi Anne,

I am most impressed by your e-mail, and you are right about the Wizengamot scene (“Brian”), that one actually was very funny. As for PS and CoS, I felt that Harris, whenever he looks at Harry (whether in front of the mirror of erised, or in Hagrid’s hut while Harry’s under the cloak), he has this twinkle in his eyes, even if he talks in a serious manner. He’s benign, and fatherly towards Harry, just like the DD in the books. It’s really a pity that they used neither his line on his scar (London underground) nor his comment on McGonnagall sitting so stiff (as a cat) in front of the Dursleys. These sentences really gave him a characteristic, humorous flair from the very beginning.

Now, I am afraid I don’t agree with your response to the climax scene of OoP, but there you are, if Gambon actually managed to act convincingly for some viewers, I won’t complain. It’s just that, in the book, Dumbledore’s power, even when he’s fighting Voldemort, is presented as virtually effortless; he really is the superior wizard, and it’s only because he doesn’t want to use dark magic, and knows about the Horcruxes, he doesn’t kill Voldemort. Finally, when Harry is being possessed, Gambon hadt this frightened and helpless look again. This particular scene wasn’t in the book, and I think Dan has performed really well here, and so have Emma and Rupert (in the few glimpses that we get), and I really felt that, compared to these youngsters, Gambon could have done a better job.

Also, I really wish they would give him something else to wear … what has become of DD’s flamboyant clothes? Ever since Gambon plays DD, he is wearing what looks like an old grey rag (certainly not his fault, but that of the costume designer!).

One of my favourite DD lines ever is in HBP (“Yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often,”) and if Gambon manages to make me laugh (given the line’s in the script), I’ll take back everything I’ve said about him …

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