Tom Jones, the Welsh crooner, who was to have performed at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday, has cancelled his Hong Kong date, citing "serious illness in his immediate family". The 75-year-old hipswinger has said that his love for music goes back to when he was a boy, and had to spend two years in bed recovering from tuberculosis, tunes helping him through. In 1970, he joined forces with actress Raquel Welch to present the television special Raquel! The multimillion-dollar song and dance extravaganza was filmed around the world and featured as guests Bob Hope and John Wayne …

Born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, the American actor – Duke, to many – starred in a string of cowboy hits. He had some odd superstitions – he would never leave a hat on top of a bed and no one in his family was allowed to pass salt directly to him; it had to be placed on the table, and then he would reach for it. Smoking, though, he had no problem with, chuffing his way through five packets of cigarettes a day, a habit that brought him first a hacking cough and later lung cancer. It has been reported that Wayne dodged the military draft so he could continue a love affair with his The Spoilers co-star, Marlene Dietrich …

Marie Magdalene Dietrich was born in Berlin, in 1901, and went on to become one of the biggest stars of the silver screen. The actress had some quirky habits of her own; one involved sucking lemon wedges between takes to keep her mouth muscles tight. She also never worked without a mirror on set so she could constantly check her make-up and hair (according to her make-up man, she went in so hard that she needed a new coat of lipstick after every kiss). According to her daughter, Maria Riva, Dietrich never went anywhere without a satchel containing religious medallions, including one dedicated to the patron saint of travellers, St Christopher …

According to legend, Christopher carried an unknown child across a river before that kiddie revealed himself to be Christ and, like the Son of God, the saint was killed by the Romans. He is also referenced in many works: the song Lonely Stretch, by Australian band The Triffids, contains the line “Fingering my silver St Christopher / and saving my empty shells for her” and in The Canterbury Tales, the Knight’s Yeoman is described as wearing “A Christopher on his breast of silver sheen”. The latter was written by Geoffrey Chaucer …

The “father of English literature”, Chaucer is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first to be buried, in 1400, in the Poets’ Corner of London’s Westminster Abbey. A crater on the far side of the moon is named for Chaucer but, of course, far more people are familiar with The Canterbury Tales; all 24 of them. The 2001 film A Knight’s Tale takes its title from the second of those stories and stars Heath Ledger and Mark Addy …

The English actor has had roles in The Flintstones, Still Standing, Jack Frost and Robin Hood. He also played the fat and miserable Robert Baratheon in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. The year 1997, however, proved to be one of great exposure for Addy: he played a leading role in the film The Full Monty, which ends with a group of men on stage in front of a packed house, stripping to You Can Leave Your Hat On (their hats being the final item removed). The song those unlikely sex symbols got their kit off to was the version sung by Tom Jones.