Five Fascinating Film And TV Facts #20

The actor who turned down Gandalf, Bond's connection to Call the Midwife and where you've seen the Crawley's home before...

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    Daenerys Targaryen, namer of sea slugs

    When researchers discovered a new species of sea slug off the coast of Brazil in 2013, the first thing they thought of was Daenerys Targaryen. Not because Emilia Clarke looks in any way like a mollusc – the slug in question boasts a silvery strand on its back much like Daenerys' blonde plait, and so the creature was named Tritonia khaleesi.

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    Bond on a bicycle

    MI6 might be a million miles away from the streets of Poplar, but hit BBC1 period drama Call the Midwife is made by Neal Street Productions, a company founded by 007 directer Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling in 2003. From Bond to birthing scenes, eh?

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    Ignorance isn't bliss

    In more Bond related news, former 007 Sean Connery was originally offered the part of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Connery turned down the offer – which would have earned him more than any actor had EVER been paid for a single role – because he didn't understand the script. Bet he regrets that...

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    Cast your mind back to Grey's Anatomy season one (before all the recent heartbreak). Remember finding out that Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, was married? Remember the shock? Well, actress Ellen Pompeo felt it too. The star, who plays Meredith Grey, only found out Derek was married when she was filming the series one finale. "I was very surprised," she said, which we think is probably a bit of an understatement...

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    Not just Downton

    Most of us recognise Berkshire stately home Highclere Castle as the iconic setting of hit period drama Downton Abbey, but you might have actually seen it before. The grounds and parts of the house itself, which is home to Lord and Lady Carnarvon in real life, have also appeared in Pride and Prejudice (2010), Marple (2004), The Four Feathers (2002), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Jeeves and Wooster (1990) and The Secret Garden (1987).

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