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‘I thought, if I f--- this up I’ll need witness protection’: Chris Columbus on directing Harry Potter

When Chris Columbus first heard that he would be directing the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, he was ecstatic – for about 20 seconds. “Then I was overcome with a wave of incredible terror,” the Pennsylvania native tells me. “I thought, oh my God, I’ve got the weight of millions and millions of people who love this book – if I f--k it up, I’m going to have to get into witness protection.”

The Birdman of the Tower of London and the missing ravens

Nothing in Edgar Allan Poe’s majestic poem The Raven prepares you for their smell. But Christopher James Skaife, Yeoman Warder and Ravenmaster of the Tower of London, knows it only too well. “Ravens are quite smelly, especially babies, it’s quite pungent, and I only have a small house tucked into the walls of the Tower of London … the ravens like to walk around our house, and they poo everywhere. That was the first thing my wife moaned about.”
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