Not sure what TV3 mean by celebrity these days but some of the faces in that yoke Celebrity Salon seem like a blank canvas. I recognised Leigh because she was in The Clinic but she keeps talking about acting the doctor. There’s a wrinkly older one, a busty wan who was the butt of Podge and Rodgering at The Stickit Inn and there’s a bearded gay type who giggles and he was in Big Brother once. There also Breffni who mumbles and he was in The Apprentice with Bill Cullen.
What do they do? They pose, pout and preen and bitch about who got what part and waste an hour of TV time.
The blood, beheadings and carnage have replaced the beddings, bodies and bonkings of The Tudors on TV3. No more complaints about the edgy actor playing Henry VIII, whether he is fat or not doesn’t seem to matter as poor Catherine Howard got her tortured desserts. I enjoy seeing Irish actors in lots of parts and the production values are good and the costuming of fine quality. Now the same production team are auditioning for a new series based on Camelot, to be partly filmed in Ireland.
As an aside to football, BBC4 are showing a talking heads and drawings three-parter Rude Brittania, looking at the history of sex and scatology. Too many academics and so-called experts but the seaside postcards are saucy and fun and the dirty dittys like Put In All and the fart joke cartoons. Wonder what were the rude words Wayne Rooney uses when he is thwarted on the field.
OFCOM the media regulartory body has carried out research into what is usually called “bad language” or “offensive language”. The nine o’clock watershed still limits the use of F words C words and MF words but the position of words such as “shit”, “wanker” and “bitch” has changed depending on the context. Yet there is a politically correct stand-off regarding “pikey”, “gyppo”, “retard”. The word “black” and its variants is still a taboo very often while nobody seems to bother about “lezza”, “poof” and “queer”.
The BBC1 arts programme Imagine returned for a short run and Alan Yentob is trying for the Melvyn Bragg slot as top arts guru. He kicked off in fine form with a feature on the punky and unpredictable Nigel Kennedy whom since his marriage to a Polish woman, lives and plays in Poland and has immersed himself in free form jazz and Jewish klezmer music as well as forming a young mostly Polish orchestra to perform at concerts. Kennedy is still spiky and eccentric in his West Ham shirts and weird hair that he cuts himself.
A flashback sequence showed him at seven playing piano and violin and he comes from a family of excellent musicians. His mum is a piano teacher and his dad was principal cello with a top orchestra. He still dislikes his first name Nigel and for a while his albums carried only the name Kennedy. It was great seeing his play in barns and makeshift places and small pubs/clubs and his intensity for his music is thrilling.
When The Bill was axed after twenty-six years somebody had to take the blame. Talkback Thames made The Bill and they are owned now by Freemantle, and in these tough times there is little mercy for losing a show that once had viewing audiences of 19 million per night. So the Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Heggessey is now leaving Thames to pursue other things. She was bumped, dumped and blamed. Heggessey came to Talkback Thames about five years ago from success at the BBC but sadly she didn’t seem to have any replacement show on the books for The Bill and it was ailing the last three years and moving it to nine didn’t help any. They say she didn’t see it coming. Strangely, Talkback turnover had stayed reasonably stable in these troubled times but someone had to go.
There must come a time, when people wonder who they are and where did their forebearers or ancestors come from. My own sister traced our mother’s family and there was satisfaction and love in that act of memory. So, the story of Sarah Jessica Parker’s search for her mother’s people in BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? Was fascinating and sad as well. She grew up thinking she was of German origin from Cincinnati and it turned out she had ancestors named Hodge. John Hodge, and there was also a Samuel Hodge about the time of the Californian Goldrush.
Further research brought her back to the Salem Witch Trials where an ancestor was accused of witchcraft. Even though there is no connection, I was amazed to make a family connection of my own. My daughter Neva, married a John Hodge and they have a beautiful son Samuel. John Hodge’s father Des works for this newspaper. Small world, but a wonderful one. All just from watching a TV programme.