In the RTE1 news one night last week, two Waterford people featured, Sean Murphy who was Bursar at Newtown School was shown laying a wreath on a war memorial grave in Glasnevin on behalf of the British Legion. Dr. Sheila Donegan of WIT was featured organising the very popular children’s events for WIT Science Week.
There seems to be a liking on television for, if not mini series, then a drama running over five nights to explore a specific incident or set of coincidences. UTV had Collision last week about a multiple vehicle crash on a motorway and bit by bit they unfolded the various plot threads or strands that led the characters to their collision. It was top heavy with actors whose faces you recognise but you have difficulty putting a name on them. Diouglas Henshall as the chief police investigator and in Anthony Harowitz’s fine script, a tension filled story or set of stories unfolded.
Each night you got another piece or three of a particularly clever jigsaw and it was very satisfying to watch the plot unwind or unravel. Not particularly original but good watchable tv for all that.
BBC2 had a little gem on its tongue, last week, with a Horizon programme on how people learn to speak. It looked at the possibility that children are hard-wired speech patterns at conception. A scientist, Deb Roy, filmed his son from birth to year three to catch the way babies shape words or noises and how much a parent shapes these like multiple repetition. He showed with time lapse recording how a baby manages to say Water over six weeks and it was fascinating to watch a young baby shape its mouth to make sense of sounds. It touched my heart as I recently watched the wonderful antics of my newest grandchild, Samuel Hodge, as he laughed and giggled with happiness.
The argument for product placement in UK tv shows is hotting up, with ITV claiming that they could earn £25 to £35 million a year for introducing specific brands into shows. The government bans such placement in the UK due to alcohol and gambling products and there is also a health problem in mentioning food with high fat content.
Imagine if RTE got in on the act with a certain type of car or a specific beer or a wibbly wobbly wonder in the shop. Or cast to wear logo teeshirts or logo glasses. The mind boggles. Nobby’s Nuts in McCoys. But is it any worse than the blatant advertising in The Apprentice on TV3 under the guise of challenges or tasks?
We now have BAFTA Scotland awards, as if we don’t have enough award shows. At least Bill Forsyth got an Outstanding Contribution to Film Award. Robert Carlisle got a Male Acting Award. Where was Sean Connery? Daniela Nardini got a Female Acting Award and Armando Iannucci got a Directing Award for In The Loop as did Peter Capaldi as an Actor In Film Award for the same movie.
Ant And Dec
A family challenge game show is to be the newest star vehicle for Ant And Dec to feed into Saturday night. It will be called Push The Button and it will surprise two families at home to go head-to-head on a series of challenges. It will also have comedy sketches and celebrity guests. Both Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly have signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with ITV, possibly worth £20 million. They will still present I’m A Celebrity… and Britain’s Got Talent.
Since the great audience reaction to choirs on the BBC, they have decided to commission a quick three-parter, Dangerous School For Boys, to be fronted by the spiky haired very likeable, Gareth Malone. He will set up a school for 11-year olds who under-achieve and he will use traditional methods, such as competition, risk and adventure, to appeal to children from sporty types to secret swots.
Malone plans to utilise the boys boisterous behaviour and get around their usual aversion to standing out from the crowd.