Rogues & Vagabonds

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

Look Back in Languor • Lynne Harvey • 10 October 2001

Ant & Dec [Wikipedia]

Ant & Dec [Wikipedia]

It surely has to be some of the best TV in years. Oh the tears! The heartache! The anger! The hilarity! All to be found in the follow up to PopstarsPop Idol. This is the latest in the “lets put the auditions on TV” programmes. Old train spotter Pete Waterman led the firing squad of Nicki Chapman, Neil Fox and Simon Cowell.

This programme was good for the soul, as just when you thought everyone was turning into the same singing clone, ITV attracts some of the best young eccentrics in the country – and talented ones at that. The girl who sang ‘YMCA’ is a true character, and would brighten up anyone’s night down the pub, the only one not to sing in an American accent and not start each stanza with a breath and an emotion. She was also the only one not to sing.

What she did do defied description – but it was enjoyable. The guy who had a crying fit and threw his glasses across the room when turned down should surely not be in a business where rejection is something you take with your cornflakes, but the guy who argued with the judges? A winner! A good voice and he had a valid point about too many sugary pop stars and not enough rock singers. Shame he was auditioning to be the next sugary pop star.

The presenters, Ant and Dec, got in the way a bit and came out with clichéd TV comments, and mediocre blurb in between reading off autocue. I despair; just what is going to happen to these fresh-faced gurners, the cathode tube babies that are Ant and Dec?

They’ve been trapped in TV land for far too long and need rescuing before they turn into Max Headroom and Bruce Forsyth. Are they destined never to experience the outside world again? If they do, it’ll be like Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the abductees come out of the space ship. Led out of a TV studio by people in contamination suits, shaking and stumbling and hiding their eyes from natural light.

Will they be expecting everyone to be hap hap happy and wacky, and to talk in neat chunks of dialogue? Won’t they be able to talk unless they see a red light? They’ll be needing sweaters and warm clothing as their wardrobe must surely only consist of light studio clothing. One thing’s for sure, they need some life, other than TV life, as their reference points, personality and charm are becoming akin to something computer-generated, and that’s a real shame for two likely lads who are capable of doing far more than present TV shows on a conveyor belt.

•••

Looking forward to seeing No Man’s Land by the living god that is Harold Pinter, a living god for what he says about theatre just as much as his plays. This man talks sense for what he doesn’t say. Explained beautifully in his speech made at the National Student Drama Festival in 1962 (not that I was there you understand), which starts off: “I’m not a theorist. I’m not an authoritative or reliable commentator on the dramatic scene, the social scene, any scene. I write plays, when I can manage it, and that’s all.”

Oh the long drawn out plaintive speeches from writers who speak in great, long, drawn out sentences on why they wrote it, when they wrote it, how long it took, the problems they had with the characters, the day the computer broke down, the friendly repair man who repaired it and was honoured by having a character named after him – all this and they never explain a damn thing.

Should we tell the venerable Mr Pinter that of the two people ‘following’ him up and down stairs, through corridors and round bends at a deserted National a few months ago, one of them was no other than me old mate Mark, assistant set designer on No Mans Land. This was way before he got the gig, so Mark was decidedly uncomfortable when Mr Pinter was always five steps in front of him and really started to sweat on finding Harry baby holding the seventh door open in a row, static, with a quizzical look on his face, but extremely relieved when Harry then turned left when Mark and colleague had to turn right. No longer the ‘threat outside’, Mr Pinter was finding the threat inside and after him. Now Mark, I just hope you weren’t wearing those tight red trousers, as they’d frighten anyone.

•••

There I am in the never never land of Chardonnay and Chablis and who should pop up on screen but me old mate Jeremy. No sooner had the guy in the documentary said “I’ve invited my friend Jeremy over for dinner” than I knew it was my Jeremy who would be grinning over the kitchen table. Lovely lad, very spiritual, very sweet, very spiritual, very open, very spiritual and a martyr to his crystals.

•••

This week’s quiz question is: Where are the TV listings in this week’s Radio Times? All I seem to have in mine is adverts and magazine articles. I guess they’ve dropped them due to lack of interest.

Lynne Harvey © 2001

Originally published on R&V 10-10-01

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.

Enogastronomista

Food & Wine

Coffee fuels my photography!

~ my everyday life through the lens of my camera ~

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

Writer + Translator + Anthropologist + Educator + 英語教師

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 and 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

%d bloggers like this: