Eight cellists from our Orchestra on Tour, the Philharmonia, just made Christmas 2016 very special.
The Czech presidential elections have a surprise third-place candidate in the shape of Vladimir Franz, an opera composer with tattoos covering his body.
Opera composer and painter Vladimir Franz has caused a stir in the Czech presidential elections, currently placed third in the race for premiership. As well as being a composer, Franz is also a renowned painter, and completely covered in tattoos.
His pro-education stance has so far won him popularity amongst his Czech countrymen, despite his admission that he has no political experience and despite not being affiliated with a political party.
Nicknamed 'Avatar', Franz is also a professor at the Prague school of performing arts. His candidacy was announced late last year after he managed to accrue 88,000 public signatures supporting him (by law, 50,000 are required to be a presidential candidate).
In an interview with Associated Press this week, Franz described the political system in the Czech Republic as: "so enchanted with itself that it's lost the ability to self-reflect."
It is thought that he has only spent $25,000 on his campaign so far, and has not utilised any posters for publicity.