RTE1 moved into “moving statues” territory with an honest and balanced view of an ordinary man who claims to have visions and communications with and from the Virgin Mary at Knock. Joe Coleman seems an ordinary man. A Ballyfermot man, who claims to be a healer through light and to reveal ordinary messages from the Virgin. There was no sensationalism and it was as hard to believe him as disbelieve him. He didn’t seem motivated by money and his simple faith and plain speaking impressed me. Maybe, he is delusional but his faith and his Church have sanctioned visions and visionaries before, so why not him? The camera didn’t capture any solar phenomena that his followers said they saw and I was surprised that the Knock clergy used a security firm to prevent him worshipping in a specific place at a specific time. He didn’t appear sensationalist or ego driven. I didn’t believe him but saw no harm in the man.
So as far as TV goes, Jonathan Ross said goodbye to BBC1 with a normal Friday Night show. Well almost. He had Roxy Music, Mickey Rourke, Jackie Chan and David Beckham. Yes, the English footie star calls his wife Posh and his kids go to bed at different times – riveting trivia – Cruz 7.15pm, Romeo 7.45pm and Brooklyn 9pm.
Did he get emotional? Not really as he said he promised Morrissey he wasn’t going to cry, and he didn’t, even when Roxy did an extra special song for him. Rourke looked like he was sleepwalking and Chan did a few moves at some pictures on the wall.
No doubt the BBC will miss him, if not actually regret they forced him to go. Apparently Graham Norton will replace him on Friday nights but come twelve months time when the contract deals are over, Ross will be back on ITV.
Some will day good riddance to one of the most over-rated, over-paid and talentless people around. One critic referred tom him as the End of an Error. Mostly, I liked his love of movies and his zany humour and how his lisp didn’t stop him being a star. He entertained.
John Barrowman, the wonderful musical theatre performer and Captain Jack star from Torchwood, is lost in the BBC1 second series of Tonight’s The Night, a mix of seaside entertainment, am-dram wannabees and a dollop of Jim’ll Fix It as he sings a song or two then, smiling all the while surprises people who have ambitions in their own living room to sing with Dionne Warwick, dance with Diversity or duet in Wicked in green make-up.
However, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow makes up for it all after Casualty. Can’t see what all the fuss about Saturday night is about. Take BBC2 a few weeks ago, they showed golf, then a Dad’s Army repeat, then Michael Caine in Is Anybody There? Followed by Have I Got News For You, then a movie Eastern Promises, then more movies.
It is probably the rain, wind and humid mists of July that makes viewers consider putting on the heating for an hour or two and Sunday TV doesn’t help with the last round-up of Heartbeat, now in its final and eighteenth series. Somehow, this feel good cops and nostalgic music show has the taste of autumn about it and as the evening darkened it was like a comfortable jumper or duvet. Even the knowledge that this was the last ten or so shows, couldn’t raise the sense of gloom.
To make it worse UTV followed that with the rescued Taggart, now in its 25th year and once upon a time it was considered tough and dangerous, now it’s as safe as cocoa and Hobnobs. Why STV persuaded ITV to continue with it I’ll never understand and the opening episode about dogs and gambling was made back in 2000 and never shown then.
Old Big ‘Ead
What a blast it was to see the BBC2 programme about football manager Brian Clough – The Greatest Manager England Never Had. Now I’m not a great footie fan but I read David Peace’s book, The Damned United and loved the film of the same name with Michael Sheen as Clough, but this TV programme shown alongside the film was a blast of old fashioned ego and big headedness. Clough was a rough diamond, who signed Roy Keane for Notts Forest. His flawed personality, motor mouth and dogged attitude to football skill was of an era before world football techniques and he gave fans good honest in yer face value and he was a celebrity on television who was for a while, bigger than the box and bigger than the game. What a blast from the past.
StepMum Not so sure if Gary Lineker’s new wife Danielle, was so well advised to make a BBC programme, My New Stepfamily. Ok, Gary works for the Beeb but it was the silent looks on the step kids especially the older guy who looked about the same age as his new stepmum. George didn’t look at all happy for an eighteen year old. Danielle seemed more enthusiastic towards another family she found on the internet, but again the little girl of that family said it was a lot of pretence but on the inside it was just rubbish. But Gary’s kids weren’t as forthcoming and happy families it wasn’t.