Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Look Back in Languor • Lynne Harvey • 2 December 2001

It’s a different shape, not quite pear, but definitely orange, with so much squeezed in a small area. Of course, who else but Dick and Jude, back in their own weekday show, Richard & Judy on Channel 4.  Dickie as arrogant as ever, Judy the shivering housewife who got lucky.

Still, the programme itself is nae too bad, even though it races along, giving no time to anything or anybody – excepting showbizzy mates Amanda Holden and Les Dennis “talking for the first time about their relationship difficulties” – this means Amanda’s affair with Neil Morrissey – but no mention of that was heard, only, “We just want to tell everyone we’re happy now and we’re over it” – okay, so use your showbizzy mates to do just that. Sorted.

Personally, I would have liked to take Jonathon Ross and his lovely wife and put them in this slot. Not that Jonathan is underused, but just put in the wrong things which don’t always show off what he’s really capable of.

Take his talk show on BBC 1; he seems to be doing it with his hands behind his back, gagged in some way, and Jonathon Ross gagged is like Mick Jagger naked – a skinny old geezer: put his designer clothes on and he’s a superstar luvvie and part of the establishment.

Also, what the hell is that Mr Average doing alongside Mr Ross? How many times have we watched the TV and said, “Well I could do that”?  This time you could – we all could. He disappears when a guest comes on and comes back to … what? Banter with Rossy? Hardly. Jonathon Ross can do it on his own, thank you very much. Leave him to it.

•••

If you were a radio producer, you’d probably want to employ people who had great radio voices, interesting radio voices, with something to say; maybe an American voice to add interest. I can dig it, but oh what folly, someone has employed probably the most annoying radio voice in the history of radio. His name is Charlie Wolf and he appears like a bad smell when you least expect it, on talkSPORT (formerly Talk Radio). Cheesy? This man has half a pound of Cheddar under each armpit and probably wraps Brie round his mike.

I don’t want to frighten anyone, so I’ll just say he’s on late night around 1am, mostly weekends, but be careful out there and check radio listings in case you hear him by mistake.

Even he loses out to the cheesiest voice I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard a lot) on local radio — one Colin Young on BBC Radio Shropshire. To hear is to believe. He finishes his show every day with the line “Mind the trams”.

Ever wondered why most local radio has to appeal to those of a nervous disposition who’ve never been out of their own village? Exceptions are there – and rare — noticeably BBC Radio Merseyside, who have a whole raft of good presenters and a tremendous standing in Merseyside. Wit, genuine humour and understanding of their community shine through – with not a whiff of cheddar. Is it because they don’t look down on their audience and don’t have to pretend to be a presenter for three hours a day? No matter how much some local presenters want to appear as just normal, affable, characters you could talk to if you saw them in the supermarket, my bet is the smile would only last as long as the backslap. Are there awards for most cheesy, annoying radio presenters? Perhaps we should start them.

•••

For all those people who stopped buying Private Eye for whatever reason – some after Ian Hislop took over, some because they needed a break from all the black & white small print and turned their attention to OK! and Hello (as if), TAKE OUT A SUBSCRIPTION NOW. There’s been a hiatus, I admit, but something happened – it got funny again.

C’mon – how many publications have legit small ads as strange and wacky as the Eye? Aren’t you sick of leafing through fatuous, empty mags on train journeys? Want something real to read? Want to get your attention span up to five minutes and not five seconds? Then buy the Eye. ‘It’s Grim up North London’, ‘Supermodels’ and ‘Pseuds Corner’ are just for starters, and the letters page has missives from wannabe wits and figures of the establishment answering back.  So they do read it then.

Above all, it’s needed in a world where quite a lot is being brushed under the Wilton. Private Eye picks it up and puts the dirt on display – the fact that some people don’t like this and get litigious make it a very important publication.

I wonder if Jeffrey Archer will be suing Channel 5 when he gets out of Chokey: he’s been called much less than a psychopath and stormed into the law courts (What Makes Jeffrey Archer Tick – 28 November). Channel 5 might have to sharpen their lawyers when he comes out. The programme dug deep, and came out with some quite well-reasoned arguments – bit of a shock for Channel 5. The conclusion is that he’s unstable and a compulsive liar.

Judging by the taped conversations to ladies of the night and ‘friends’, lying comes as easily as falling off a slippery log. It was so very, very, obvious his background had a lot to do with it; called Tuppence in his mother’s local newspaper column, bullied at school, always trying to appear something he wasn’t and with a father who was a swindler to boot – who’d have thought that nice Mr Archer with such a fragrant wife could be such a nutter?

•••

A mention for Mary Whitehouse who died last week, who was so “disgusted” at what she saw on TV. As people who read this column will know, I’m no friend of bland, insipid, safe television, but equally I’m no fan of porn and violence as dished up on Channel 5. Sex as cornflakes, violence as something to excite and, combined, a lifestyle option. Regulation a thing of the past. Yes, we do need someone, somewhere to say “This is too much, fine if you want it, but get it elsewhere”.

•••

This week saw the passing of George Harrison, “the quiet Beatle”. It really is hard to believe that there are only two Beatles left in the world – aren’t they supposed to be there forever? Aren’t they our background? Our establishment? It seems the rug gets pulled from under our feet quite a lot now and the people who made up the background of our lives are fading.

I confess I didn’t know he wrote ‘Something’ and ‘While my guitar gently weeps’. Ashamed to say it. I assumed they were from Paul McCartney‘s pen. ‘My Sweet Lord’, which is magical, speaks not just to believers but to atheists like myself. I believe in the spirit of man, and George Harrison had a beautiful spirit.

Lynne Harvey © 2001

Originally published on 2 December 2001

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Polly's Paper Studio

Vintage Inspired Paper Crafts & Digital Design

Robin King

I make faces.

Life on La Lune

A journey through life in Southwest France

Vanessa Couchman

Historical Fiction with a French Flavour

Disability & Determination

It isn't being John Malkovich, but it is being me

Nicholas Andriani

Musings of a Wandering Scholar | Writer - Educator

Joe Ruggiero at Home

Daily Reflections from My Home and Garden

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

Genealogy Jude

Unlocking the Door to Your Past

Jack Monroe

The #1 budget recipe website

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.

The Stuff They Won't Include in Any Tourist Guide: The Real England

The Real England is a concise, direct, and not-so-gentle window into the depths of the leftovers of the world’s once greatest empire. It is told from the perspective of one lone (or not so lone) long term visitor. It informs one of the dregs of the country and helps to explain quaint British oddities such as the crack addicted chav.

Postcards from

home and away...

S.O.U.L. S-P-A-C-E

Artists, Writers and Visionaries Blog on the Unique and Ordinary

The Lady Sews

Collected works and other excuses from a textile obssessive

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

@KellyOSullivan

has random thoughts

Criminal Historian

Working with dead people

Jemsbooks

Writing - Loving What I Do and Doing What I Love!

Noir

the darker side to sedge808

Off Center & Not Even

Photographs, music and writing about daily life. Contact: elcheo@swcp.com

Reina Cottier Art

Creative Intuitive from New Zealand

Tenafly Road

Family Saga Fiction by Adrienne Morris

johnrieber

Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!

Etan Smallman

Freelance journalist

Assemblage Art

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Candia Comes Clean

Candid cultural comments from the Isles of Wonder

blackwings666

Horror, Science Fiction, Comic Books and More

The Wandering Empath

Traveling the World Through Others

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

penwithlit

Art, Literature, Poetry, Politics and a little History

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

Judith Barrow

Writer & Author

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Tropical Affair

Observations of the illusion through the eyes of wonder...

Doodlewash®

Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

Luanne Castle's Writer Site

Memoir, poetry, & writing theory

Life in Russia

The Bridge between two countries

London Life With Liz

A lifestyle blog with a little bit of everything.

Brotherly Love

A personal exploration of autism from a brother’s perspective, including family relationships, philosophy, neuroscience, mental health history and ethics

Alex Raphael

Entertainment, travel and lifestyle blog

Teagan's Books

Founder of the Three Things Method of Storytelling

%d bloggers like this: