Monday, 20 June 2011

D'you like my hips... hipsnotise you? Thus the great Carmen Miranda. She is better still in her native Portuguese.

She came into my mind (not that she has ever been much out of it since I first saw That Night in Rio) when Carl de Souza's picture appeared last week, since the lady at Ascot is wearing a more formal version of the sort of thing that Carmen used to wear stapled to her head.

And very nice too, both the lady and the titfer; her name is Anneka Tanaka-Svenska, which comes trippingly off the tongue. She is a well-known vegetarian Natural History presenter and writer who specialises in the Environment, Green Issues and Wolf Conservation, and has been dubbed the Green Guru; well, she would be, wouldn't she? Her website* does not mention her parentage but I suppose Swedish-Japanese would be a fair guess.

Not much doubt about Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha's parentage, though to me she has something reminiscent of a Teutonic Maria: Maria Magdalene Dietrich. Same facial bone structure, same way of narrowing her eyes. But the Brazilian was the better singer and better dancer, especially with the hands and the hips, and equally seductive in a different way: she smiles rather than smoulders. The German may have had better legs but we shall never know: Carmen never showed hers.

Dietrich was born in 1901, so was eight years older than Miranda; sadly, the Brazilian Bombshell died in 1955, while Marlene hung on until 1999.

* ...which states: "Anneka is experienced in studio, live, autocue and corporate". This statement seems to have a word missing to which each of these categories relates: presentations? talks? sex?

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