Monthly Archives: January 2015

Cuteness dialled up to 11!

Image.  BBC

Cute hamster. Image. BBC

Would you like to see puppies having a pillow fight, getting covered in feathers? or how about two hamsters in a wheel racing each other, and the winner chucking out the other one? or a budgie called Disco who has brilliant mimicing skills? or Japan’s “rabbit island” with a load of bouncing bunnies? Of course you would!

These are just some of the delights for the viewer in this two part BBC documentary “Pets – Wild At Heart”, whose first episode aired this week. The programme makers use a number of photographic techniques to get us up close and personal to the wild side of the nature of animals who are our pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits, budgies and hamsters all feature.

Narrated by David Tennant it is brought to us by the production team who gave us “Penguins – Spy in the Huddle”,

Do yourself a favour, and wallow in some cuteness!

First episode available on iPlayer, second episode next Wednesday on BBC1 at 8pm.

NTA awards – those who didn’t make it

Tonight it’s the National Television Awards and with just a few exceptions, the same shows and people made it though onto the short list whose winners will be taken from tonight.
If you’re not a high profile show/actor or presenter then you stand little chance of getting from the longlist to the shortlist.

Listed below are the shows and people who didn’t make the shortlist. The drama and drama performance categories in particular are badly served. All types of drama, excluding soaps, and actors and actresses are bundled into these categories. There are so many that only the high profile shows are going to score high enough to elevate their actors into the shortlist. Soaps of course get their own category so they don’t have to compete with the other dramas.

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Music and money, two documentaries of note

Two documentaries worth checking out which aired recently, one which was mentioned in my last post, one which I’ve caught up with belatedly.

We take recorded sound so much for granted nowadays. Just turn on the radio and listen and, if you like something just get the CD or download it. It’s easy. Yet take a moment and think what it must have been like without all that, before Thomas Edison recorded his own voice in 1878. Appreciate this amazing invention and watch part one of “Sound of Song” on iPlayer. The three part series continues on BBC4 at 9pm.

Imagine spending £215,000 on a watch? Bargain. How about  £30,000 for a facial with golden particles?  Well those that can and do spend these amounts trot out the line that their spending helps the rest of us. It is called the “trickle down” effect and successive governments from the 80s onwards have sold us this theory, but does it actually work? Well, there a number of leading economists who say this doesn’t work and the vast majority of us have seen precious little of any trickling down of wealth. Find out how the “non dom” rule has had billionaires flocking to Britain and resulting in us having more billionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Watch  “The Super Rich and Us”, a two part documentary which is now available on iPlayer. Part one is repeated on BBC2 this Thursday at 11:20pm (and I assume part two the following week).


Sound of Song


Neil Brand. Image BBC


As part of BBC4’s Song and Dance season, there is a new documentary which starts tonight called Sound of Song.

Composer and musician Neil Brand looks at how music was recorded and sung, what makes a hit and how it became the soundtrack to our lives.  First part of a three part documentary.

BBC4. 9-10pm Fridays.

Brian Clemens has died

Embed from Getty Images
Above, Clemens collecting his OBE in 2010

Anyone who watched any action series made in the 60s,70s,80s has bound to have watched the work of prolific writer Brian Clemens OBE who has died at the age of 83.

Clemens was associate producer and main script writer on The Avengers and The New Avengers, and his company went on to produce The Professionals. There was barely an action series which didn’t have at least one story written by Clemens. The Adventurer, The Protectors, Bergerac to name but a few.

In the 80s he went to the States and worked on, among other, Father Dowling Investigates, Remington Steele, Diagnosis: Murder and Highlander.
He also had a hand in some films such the Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Highlander II.

He is survived by his wife Janet and two sons, Samuel Joshua Twain Clemens and George Langhorne Clemens. His sons’ names reflect the fact that Clemens was related to American author Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens).

A writer who gave joy, fun and provided escapism to many generations. Thankyou Mr Clemens.

Androids and animals out. Thoughts on 2014.

Well, the old adage of not working with children or animals can be updated this year to add androids to that list. Two of my favourite new shows got axed this year. They were worlds apart in premise, originated in different countries and on different networks but what they had in common was the most important thing of all, they were good, really good and their fans loved them, enough to petition their respective axers to bring them back. I doubt that FOX or the BBC will take any notice as they obviously know what’s best for us 😕

My thoughts on these series and many more in 2014 follow … (Click on ‘read the rest of this entry’ and each page number below)

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