Happening

Created on 4/9/2008

Before we get to my more general comments I do want to make a special mention of the journalist Rod Liddle. He doesn’t cross my mind more than I cross his, which would mean not at all. But on Sunday he was one of the pundits reviewing the press on the Andrew Marr Show. The small panel was discussing the success as a novelist of Katie Price, formerly known as Jordan. Apparently she is about the biggest selling writer in the country. Rod Liddle clearly couldn’t bear this fact, and when someone else said she was probably the second biggest after JK Rowling. Liddle said he didn’t see much difference. What a sour and jealous little man. I guess the question for him concerns, “how many books have you sold Rod?” I am prepared to bet it’s a small percentage of either Katie or JK.

I have been watching an old television series called “Taking Over the Asylum” starring Ken Stott and David Tennant. They both went on to become famous in shows such as Rebus and Doctor Who. This show clearly demonstrates their terrific ability and appeal.

The reason for me watching the show was to fill the time on bad TV nights such as Sundays and Thursdays, which, at the moment, are a barren wasteland. Watching a well-scripted, well-acted piece of serial drama like “Taking Over the Asylum” which develops at a reasonable, well-considered pace, in a well-mounted production reminds you of what we’re missing currently on our television screens.

I have also been watching “The Tudors” which has been mostly good, well- intentioned fun. I thought that casting a fellow of moderate height, in Jonathan Rhys Meyers, was acceptable despite his being a great deal shorter than the monarch he is portraying. It was reported that despite the fact that Henry VIII becoming hugely obese as he got older the star of the series has decided that he won’t be doing anything to make himself physically match the actuality. His rationale being that no one wants to see a plug ugly star. What an egotistical twit. Doesn’t he know that acting is the art of taking on the character of someone else? The only thing Jonathan has that matches Henry VIII in size, is a hugely inflated ego.

It’s a throwback that there are now so many weekend primetime shows such as Last Choir Standing, X Factor, and soon, Strictly Come Dancing. What they all share is that they are good old-fashioned variety shows.

These type of shows were long abandoned and derided by the glitterati but have now morphed into the most popular programmes in the schedule, both in the UK and overseas. In fact the formats mostly originate in the UK and have, since becoming ultra successful, been sold globally.

For reasons of snobbery many of the chattering class I know pretend that they don’t really watch these shows, and if they do happen to glance that way, by accident, they certainly don’t enjoy them. What rubbish! These shows get huge ratings around the world because they entertain the vast majority of the public. What’s wrong with that? Come on folks, you’re watching even if you are middle class!