Leeds today: Howson, HS2, Armouries, Holbeck, health fundraising, romantic films.

Good morning one and all. Mark here today. A striking sunset called time yesterday evening, a violet quilt draping over the end of the day. What awaits us as the curtain closes on another week?

A troubling story led Look North’s Thursday evening bulletin and online: James Howson, the Leeds man who became the first black actor to portray Heathcliff on the screen in last year’s acclaimed adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’, has pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment of his former girlfriend. Howson, 24, was plucked from obscurity and taken from a background of drug dealing and previous convictions, when he found the audition ad at his local job centre.

However since the success of ‘Wuthering Heights’ – for which Howson was paid relatively little, despite propelling him to the Venice Film Festival – perhaps inevitably no more work has been forthcoming, and he has been cast back onto the scrapheap which he poignantly seems almost to foresee in this rare Telegraph profile of little more than two months ago. Howson will be sentenced next month.

Elsewhere on the BBC, this report explores one of the major political stories of the week – the proposed high-speed railway line on its (admittedly leisurely) way to Leeds. The report looks at Leeds’s French twin city Lille, which campaigned vigorously to be connected to the high-speed network which joins it to London, Paris and Brussels and has led to the development of a new business district around the station.

Meanwhile the Guardian Northerner blog has a short profile of financier Wesley Paul, previously head of global investment at J P Morgan, who has been appointed new chair of the Royal Armouries.

South Leeds Life showcases a film from Peter Spence, documenting the regeneration scheme in Holbeck.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you could do a lot worse than follow the example of one man kicking off a fundraising campaign for healthcare in Leeds. This Sunday, Keith Woodhouse, Non-Executive Director for Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, will be setting off to climb the highest mountain on the American continent, as part of the Trust’s ‘What’s your Goal?’ campaign to raise money for equipment to help service-users improve their physical health. The Trust will be organising other outdoor sponsored events throughout the year ahead, open for anyone to participate. Contact fundraising.lpft@nhs.net or call 0113 305 5976 to get involved.

Or if the January winds are taking their toll and a weekend indoors is on the cards, why not take a look at Irna Qureshi’s blog from The Culture Vulture, her personal take on The Guardian’s 25 Best Romantic Films of All Time.

Whether this weekend takes you to the hills and mountains or into bed to watch a good old-time classic, have a good one. All the best from me until next week.

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