Five Thoughts on Stuff I watched and listened.

As summer finally made an extended appearance, well over a week at least, I have been outdoors reading and chatting so TV and radio has taken a back seat. However there were a few programmes I did manage to catch and these are my thoughts.
1. Fixing Dad. Billed as two sons battling to overhaul their dad’s destructive lifestyle. This is available on the BBC iPlayer, here. This is an inspiring story and proves that is never too late to turn your life around. The story of far from plain sailing but I won’t spoil it for you. If I had one criticism of it is that sometimes it appeared more appeared the making of the film rather then subject. So lots of shots of cameras and the like. Maybe that’s just me and, in truth, it didn’t get completely in the way.
2. The Archers. The only time I catch The Archers it usually in the car and I have somehow stumbled across it. Last week I actually sought it out and gave it a listen. Although I don’t listen I seem to have many many friends on Facebook who do. What’s more not only are they avid listeners they are very involved in the story lines. There have been many times when I have wondered if an intervention was required. So having listened to two episodes in one week. I have concluded that you really should use some kind of plate when cutting the meadow. (I really have no idea why that was significant)  There is a character called Rob who, according to my Facebook timeline is a cock.
3. The Secret Agent. Starring the wonderful Toby Jones, Vicky McClure and Stephen Graham this is set in Victorian London. Toby Jones place Soho shopkeeper Verloc a spy of the Russian Embassy on an anarchist cell. He seems a pretty inept spy to be honest but that I think is the point. As the episodes unfold he is forced to take spying to the next level. Great Sunday night viewing  just a shame it is only three episodes long. I am looking forward to the concluding episode this Sunday. Really worth catching up on player. To my mind BBC drama at it’s best.
4.Shawshank Redemption. It doesn’t really matter what time of the year it is, somewhere among the many TV channels you will find The Shawshamk Redemption. On it’s original release it didn’t do that well but has subsequently become quite a hit. If by any chance you have not watched this yet then you should. Brilliant story telling by Frank Darabont from a short story by Stephen King.  I admit there is quite a bit of Shawshank before the redemption but it’s worth it. Great performances from Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Look out for this on ITV 4, usually late night. Don’t worry if you fall asleep and miss a bit it’ll be on again soon. Worth watching for this shot alone;


5. Dead Ringers. I always listen to The News Quiz and The Now Show but somehow I have missed out on Dead Ringers. Sat in the garden I listened to a couple of episodes on iplayer. Well worth it, great impersonations and satire combined. The writing and the performing team deserve a wider audience. Worth it alone for the Laura Kuenssberg impression, so funny. Listen and catch up here.
Hope you like some of these, enjoy.

Share This:

Five Thoughts For Thursday – The One about The Voice

Along with many people I watch The Voice on BBC 1 on a Saturday night. Well I say watch, it’s more audio visual wallpaper. You know it’s there but you don’t really notice it until you glance up and see the bit of edge that is curling up or the inexplicable tea stain two thirds of the way up the wall. How?

Well it got me thinking.

  1. It’s not really all about the voice, despite what the producers say. It only really works because we, the viewers, can see the person singing and we wonder how anything good is going to come out of their mouth. Or in a Susan Boyle like epiphany we marvel at the outstanding voice coming from a less than outstanding looking person. Judgemental I know but the programme doesn’t work without it does it?
  2. It’s not a talent show it’s a light entertainment television show.
  3. Boy George looks genuinely crestfallen when rejected as a coach by one the singers.
  4. The way in which they communicate the back story to the judges is incredible. The show is as dependent on heartbreaking sob stories as The X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. What I do admire is the way they manage to shoehorn it in. All the judges need to ask is “what’s your name and where are you from?”  That’s all. Still they manage to add that they have lost 11 stone, overcome crippling fear or any other of the many obstacles life throws in our path.    The more heartbreaking the story the more the judges look like complete bastards for not turning.
  5. Appearances are everything and then again they’re not. Generally speaking all of us have to interact with other people. Appearances do matter, you can’t avoid it. Your opinion of someone, especially a first or second one, is largely based on how they look to you. I say how they look to you because how they look to you is largely based on your preconceptions. I dare say all of he judges, past and present, have their own misconceptions about people based on how they look.



Share This:

Five Thoughts For Thursday – the one about Wogan

Terry Wogan was a fixture in mine and just about everybody’s life. From radio to TV he was there with his charm, wit and consummate professionalism.  Much has be written so here are my five thoughts, lessons from the great man.

  1. Speaking to one person is more effective than trying to speak to many. His great skill as a broadcaster was to make you feel he was talking to just you.
  2. Being a skilled professional does not mean you have to take yourself too seriously.
  3. The apparent ease with which something is done belies a lot of hard work done out of the spotlight. The seemingly “making it up” as you go along vibe that Terry exuded was due to a lifetime of experience and learning.
  4. Understanding your audience is the key for effective communication.
  5. The way he observed and commentated with wit, charm and insight is a gift few possess in the way Terry did. At no point did you ever feel he crossed the line into cruel ridicule of the person or an event.

Goodbye Terry, you will be missed but you have left a lifetime of memories.



Share This: