Kumar de Silva
  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 06 – The team grows. Our studio is ‘born’.

    The Embassy of France in Sri Lanka is at 89, Rosemead Place, Colombo 07. It has been there since the year dot, I think. This was once a quiet and shady tree-lined avenue devoid of the high rises and commercial establishments it has today. I was told that, once upon a time, it had played home to rose meadows and hence the name ‘Rosemead’. I don’t quite know its veracity, but I often tried imagining the fragrance emanating from rose meadows fusing with the aroma of cinnamon from the gardens nearby ….. aromathérapie Colombo. The Bonsoir Studio was housed in the French Embassy. The current Cultural Affairs Counsellor, the genial Michel Treutnaere, and his team now occupy what was once our former studio. I still often end up in a time warp and get very nostalgic, whenever I visit him in his office. Ours was a far cry from what

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 05 – Yasmin Rajapakse on board !

    It was no fun at all hosting Bonsoir alone. I often felt like an abandoned orphan. It was boring. I needed a vigorous thrust and parry. The French Embassy was thus on the look out for a ‘suitable’ female co-host. The candidate didn’t have to have television experience BUT had to speak fluent French. The search was on … many hopeful probables were interviewed … but no one fitted the bill. Finally one day I was told that the ‘Bonsoir Girl’ had been found. I was jubilant. In walked Yasmin Rajapakse, the dusky, curly-haired lady whom I had very briefly met, and barely spoken to, at the Alliance Francaise at Ward Place. She was the perfect foil. She was variably crazy, rather nutty and ‘tres expérimentale’. Like me, she too had absolutely no experience in television. This was March 1986. She worked with us every morning, sharing her time between

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  • Mrs. Cooke, how can I ever forget you !!!

    Visakha Cooke, ‘Mrs. Cooke’ as I called her, passed away in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 18 May 2021. I go back to the Subs Desk of the Daily News. This was 1980. I was just after my ALs in August that year and biding time to enter University one year later. It was a grand era at Lake House. JR. Jayawardenehad swept into power three years prior and Ranapala Bodinagoda reigned supreme at the helm as Chairman Lake House. Clarence Fernando was the Editor of the Daily News at that time and at the Subs Desk were Dudley Jansz, Thomas Ramanathan, Rohana Aryaratna, Chandra Silva, among others.   There were the veterans K. Nadarajah and P. Balasingham, both my mentors. Across the room at the Sports Desk were the legendary M.M. Thawfeeq and his son Sa’adi. The ‘raw-est’ of them at the Subs Desk were Muditha Senadheera

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  • FOR YOU who went away …

    Inspired by the final journey of Kanishka Perera as seen through the eyes of his son Kavindu. . Dadella cemetery, Galle, Sri Lanka. . The evening of Thursday 13th May 2021 . Dedicated to the memory of all those of whom Covid has taken away . Gasping for breath you clamoured for life through tubes and masks.  It was all in vain. . No words were spoken but tears we shed. And so you went away. . Two layers of polythene in a cheap wooden box, an ambulance, your hearse, and only your car was your funeral procession . No words spoken But tears we shed. And so you went away. . And as the Arch Deacon blessed your spirit at dusk that evening in Dadella, Galle, the winds let lose their fury as the Heavens opened up. . I watched the whiffs of smoke crawl then billow out of

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 04 – The French Cancan … legendary theme music

    This year I celebrate 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and on Sri Lankan television. Bonsoir closed down in 2010 and in the absence of an archives is ‘Bonsoir Diaries’, the behind-the-scenes stories I wrote in 2013. The book is a cocktail of chapters, bursting at their seams with pithy asides, a trail of faux-pas, tit-bits from behind-the-scenes marinated with anecdotes and drizzled with nostalgia, revealing everything you never saw on your favourite television show … from the 80s through the 90s into 2000.  In celebration of my 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and Sri Lankan television this year, ‘The Morning’ newspaper serialises the fifty chapters of the (now sold out) ‘Bonsoir Diaries’ every Tuesday. CLICK HERE TO READ – http://www.themorning.lk/chapter-04-the-french-cancan-legendary-theme-music/ 50 chapters over 50 weeks will take us right upto Christmas 2021. Happy Reading !!! THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 04 – The French Cancan … legendary theme music I joined Bonsoir

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 03 – Those early recordings at ITN…

    This year I celebrate 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and on Sri Lankan television. Bonsoir closed down in 2010 and in the absence of an archives is ‘Bonsoir Diaries’, the behind-the-scenes stories I wrote in 2013. The book is a cocktail of chapters, bursting at their seams with pithy asides, a trail of faux-pas, tit-bits from behind-the-scenes marinated with anecdotes and drizzled with nostalgia, revealing everything you never saw on your favourite television show … from the 80s through the 90s into 2000.  In celebration of my 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and Sri Lankan television this year, ‘The Morning’ newspaper serialises the fifty chapters of the (now sold out) ‘Bonsoir Diaries’ every Tuesday. CLICK HERE TO READ – http://www.themorning.lk/chapter-3-those-early-recordings-at-itn/ 50 chapters over 50 weeks will take us right upto Christmas 2021. Happy Reading !!! THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 03 – Those early recordings at ITN… Bonsoir had no studio of

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 02 – The agony of traumatic ‘screen tests’

    This year I celebrate 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and on Sri Lankan television. Bonsoir closed down in 2010 and in the absence of an archives is ‘Bonsoir Diaries’, the behind-the-scenes stories I wrote in 2013. The book is a cocktail of chapters, bursting at their seams with pithy asides, a trail of faux-pas, tit-bits from behind-the-scenes marinated with anecdotes and drizzled with nostalgia, revealing everything you never saw on your favourite television show … from the 80s through the 90s into 2000.  In celebration of my 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and Sri Lankan television this year, ‘The Morning’ newspaper serialises the fifty chapters of the (now sold out) ‘Bonsoir Diaries’ every Tuesday. CLICK HERE TO READ – http://www.themorning.lk/chapter-2-the-agony-of-traumatic-screen-tests/ 50 chapters over 50 weeks will take us right upto Christmas 2021. Happy Reading !!! THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 02 – The agony of traumatic ‘screen tests’ Aruni Devaraja was the

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES – Chapter 01 – A diplomatic birth and the journey begins …

    This year I celebrate 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and on Sri Lankan television. Bonsoir closed down in 2010 and in the absence of an archives is ‘Bonsoir Diaries’, the behind-the-scenes stories I wrote in 2013. The book is a cocktail of chapters, bursting at their seams with pithy asides, a trail of faux-pas, tit-bits from behind-the-scenes marinated with anecdotes and drizzled with nostalgia, revealing everything you never saw on your favourite television show … from the 80s through the 90s into 2000.  In celebration of my 35 years on ‘Bonsoir’ and Sri Lankan television this year, ‘The Morning’ newspaper serialises the fifty chapters of the (now sold out) ‘Bonsoir Diaries’ every Tuesday. CLICK ON LINK HERE – http://www.themorning.lk/chapter-1-a-diplomatic-birth-and-the-journey-begins/ 50 chapters over 50 weeks will take us right upto Christmas 2021. Happy Reading !!! THE BONSOIR DIARIES – CHAPTER 01 – A diplomatic birth and the journey begins … Bonsoir was

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  • THE BONSOIR DIARIES … The Prologue

    Today, Tuesday 05 January 2021, I celebrate thirty five years on television. It was on this day, in 1986, that I first appeared on the little screen, on Bonsoir, on ITN. What a journey it has been, over the years, across hundreds of editions of Bonsoir and all the other wide and varied TV shows I have hosted … to social media today, to ‘Aperitifs with Kumar’ on Pulse (www.pulse.lk) And as I look back on that journey, I remember with deep gratitude, all those persons both in Sri Lanka and in France, too numerous to single out, who have been a part of that exhilarating voyage with me. Today 35 years later, if I were to single out any one specific facet of that journey which changed my life AND for which I still thank Bonsoir and the Alliance Francaise and ITN and the Embassy of France in Sri

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  • “Arjie helped me finally make my peace with Brandon”

    Sri Lankan actor Brandon Ingram, in a chat with Kumar de Silva, discusses his screen avatar Arjie in ‘Funny Boy’, his first ever movie, and goes back to his foray into acting at Wesley College Colombo, Sri Lanka, his alma Mater, where in 1999 he won the coveted Best Actor Award at the All-Island Inter-school Shakespeare Drama Competition. An adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s 1994 novel, ‘Funny Boy’ is a Canadian drama film, directed by celebrated film maker Deepa Mehta and has been selected to represent Canada at the Academy Awards in the International Feature category. An edited version of this chat with Brandon Ingram appears in the Dec 2020 / Jan 2021 issue of the Pulse Magazine. At the end of this Q&A are also his interview with “Aperitifs with Kumar” on www.pulse.lk How much of Arjie is Brandon and how much of Brandon is Arjie ? Well, for starters, Arjie is 17 and Brandon is

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