Archive for the ‘BBC’ Category

La Marseillaise: ‘The Greatest National Anthem in the World, Ever’ – BBC News

I was looking up versions of La Marseillaise to post when I pass the DELF B2. And in the spirit of BREXIT, I post this clip that came up.

BCC One/FX’s “A Christmas Carol”

It was painful to watch.  I don’t mind non-traditional, but this went way over the top. Other reviewers have gone into why this is over the top. So I won’t bother with that.

I did manage to make my way through it because of Vinette Robinson. She plays Mary Cratchit who is pretty much a non-role in the book. Not really happy with how she was portrayed, but Vinette’s being able to play the role is yet another example of how good an actress she is. My feelings are similar to her reviews for her performance as Florence, the maid, in Hampstead Theatre’s Darker Shores: she “copes admirably”

Vinette began auditioning when she was thirteen years old but didn’t get any big parts until later in her career; her first audition was for the role of Queen Amidala in the 1999 movie Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; a part which ultimately went to Natalie Portman

Vinette then was awarded a Laurence Olivier bursary from the Society of London Theatre. to study drama in the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. She began her acting career in theatre performances. She loves being on the stage more than on set because, according to her, the rehearsals create a more cohesive world. She, therefore, kept auditioning for roles in plays even after making her career on television because she feels more at home on stage.

I have to admit seeing her more on television than any other medium, but would love to see her on stage. Vinette hopes to one day play Isabella in Shakepeare’s Measure for Measure.  I would love to see her playing that role or any of the other theatrical roles she mentioned in her BAFTA 60 Second Challenge.

I know she will play those roles some day.

Could the BBC please rerun The Last Duel?

I’m talking about The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France (PID b0074sh3).

With all the reruns of Medieval themed programmes, this one never gets repeated.  Toss in that it is the version which isn’t all over the internet. No, that one is about something different.

Not to reinvent the wheel:

The story comes from a book by Eric Jager concerning the last officially recognized judicial duel fought in France. It tells the story of the December 29, 1386 trial by combat between Norman knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques Le Gris. Carrouges had accused Le Gris of raping his wife Marguerite de Carrouges, née de Thibouville, that previous January, and had gone to King Charles VI seeking an appeal to the decision handed down by Count Pierre d’Alençon, whom Carrouges believed favored Le Gris. Whichever combatant still alive at the end of the duel would be declared the winner as a sign of God’s will. If Jean de Carrouges lost the duel, Marguerite de Carrouges would be burned at the stake as punishment for her false accusation. Le Gris died.

Anyway,  This was first broadcast on 23 Apr 2008 and last broadcast on 30 Sep 2010.

So, if the programming gods are wondering what to rerun: I vote for this.

Television Licence Fee Fraud?????

Screenshot from 2018-12-29 14-47-10Seriously!

I’ve been getting obviously fake e-mails telling me there is a problem with my Television Licence. OK, they are using the e-mail addy that the BBC has for me, but these are fake.

And they are so obviously fake that it boggles my mind. First off, the licence number is wrong. Secondly, this isn’t how I pay my fee. Thirdly, my licence doesn’t expire at the end of this month.

I thought I would be nice and pass the e-mails on to the licensing folk, but they appear to not want to be bombarded with fake licence e-mails. And I’ve gotten a few of these, which I usually blow off. This one was too silly to not comment about.

headerAnyway, the Licensing Authority has a page on this nonsense for what it’s worth. One of the Licensing Authority’s suggestions is to check the e-mail address of the sender, which this one is fake.

BBC and its rerun policy

Not sure why the BBC isn’t rerunning Banksy’s Alternativity this year. Also annoyed that it is not available to watch online. I am tempted to post it on Youtube just to get it back out there since it needs to be SEEN.

On the other hand, if the BBC programming folk are interested in a suggestion for a rerun: The Last Duel has my vote. It was first broadcast in 2008. The last broadcast was in 2010. They have been rerunning a lot of things, but this one has been missed. It’s based on Eric Jager’s book, The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

BBC’s description of the programme is:

Drama-documentary telling the story of one of the last trials by battle to be fought in Europe, a tale of sex, brutality and political machination set in 14th century medieval France.

A knight, Sir Jean de Carrouges, accuses his former best friend, Jacques Le Gris, of raping his wife Marguerite. Unable to obtain justice from his feudal overlord, Carrouges appeals to the king for the ancient right to fight a duel to the death to find out God’s truth. There is much at stake. If Carrouges dies in the battle, Marguerite will also be burned to death as a liar.

This tense story, told from records of the day, is set against the backdrop of the 100 years war between England and France, 14th century attitudes towards women, crime and punishment and the political intrigues of the feudal system.

While I wouldn’t mind either being rerun, the Last Duel definitely has my vote.

As for Banksy’s Alternativity: I’m surprised he hasn’t posted it on Youtube. If Banksy or any of his minions see this and tell me it’s OK to post it, I will.

Windrush the Musical

I’ve written about Big Life before, but now that Windrush is in the news I have to talk about it in the hope someone sees this and decides to produce it.Big Life

You can hear the play here at rthe BBC. The script is available it’s ISBN 978-1840024418.

I never saw this on stage, but there is an archived version of the radio production of the musical. It combines Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost with the story of the Windrush immigrants, which is now something in the news. I heard that this was a popular musical, yet it didn’t have the long run of something by Cameron Mackintosh or Andrew Lloyd Weber. Maybe because it’s about Windrush.

It opened in 2004 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and then moved to West End’s Apollo Theatre in 2005.

Anyway, I hope someone sees this copy of the script (the book is a copy of the script) and decides to publicise this play. It is a play which should have had more exposure. I think it really needs the exposure now that Windrush is in the news.


I added the BBC to the Categories in the hope someone in programming sees this (Hint. Hint, Maybe this needs to be produced on TV).

Cordon Airs Next Saturday

The first two episodes of Cordon air starting at 9 on BBC 4 (They aired a while ago in Belgium). I’m getting excited since it does sound a bit like an updated version of Survivors.

Posted 21/06/2015 by lacithedog in BBC, BBC TV

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It’s Spring 2015–Where is Cordon?

I mentioned that BBC 4 was going to run a Belgian show called Cordon in a previous post.   The show is described as:

Cordon is a new series from Belgium. Everyday life in the centre of Antwerp comes to a sudden standstill when the area is hermetically sealed off from the outside world. The cause is a contagious and deadly virus which spreads like wildfire.

The people trapped inside the cordon are suddenly left to their own devices. It brings out the very best in them, but also the worst…

The BBC web site says this is supposed to happen in Spring 2015, but it’s getting along in Spring and no new announcements about this.  I know that it is supposed to come out on BBC 4 and Four has had some serious budget cuts.  On the other hand, they have already announced they were going to be broadcast which says to me they have the money (i.e., these are bought and paid for).

The BBC has the usual menu of reruns, but they are not running some things from the archive that would be nice to see again (could you please rerun the Last Duel?).  My question is why if this is sitting around hasn’t it made it to broadcast?

Posted 25/04/2015 by lacithedog in BBC, BBC TV

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The Being Human Pilot and Idiotic BBC policies

I think I mentioned before that the BBC has never officially rereleased the Being Human pilot, despite the show’s gaining enough of a cult status enough to have a US remake and lasting five seasons.  This gets into their rerun policies which can also be fickle.  And as someone who seriously pondered applying for the BBC DG position, I know there is a fuck of a lot of politics at the place, but somehow there must be a way to cut through it.

Especially given their tendency for whining about how broke they are whilst sitting on a treasure trove of material.  well, what they didn’t trash prior to the 1970s and didn’t get saved by someone else.

In this case, they never put the series pilot on the DVDs, which is a shame.  Not that I’ve seen the pilot.


As with most BBC material, you can find a copy of it if you dig around.  In this case, there are a few copies floating about online and I hope to watch a high definition one tonight.  Of course, the Beeb could have done this.  for all I know, there might be some political reason for it not doing so.

After all, the person who DID get the DG’s position lasted about 4 months grace a le Jimmy Saville Scandal.  I understand that the job is a shark pool of politics.  On the other hand, I’ve had years of dealing with the Greater North American Gun Loon.

More on BBC repeats

I was a little rushed after WordPress trashed my last post on this topic: As if we didn’t know this already….  I should have made it clear that I am a little less bothered by this policy;  especially, if the the scheduling deities repeat things which are worth repeating.  I would love to see the Last Duel again (hint! hint!).

Seriously, there are some serious treasures in the BBC archives which could do with being rerun besides Dad’s Army and the Good Life.  And they can always dredge up things like Bergerac if they want to waste broadcasting.  I could also go off and the stuff which was lost due to the idiotic policy of wiping the tapes, but have done that more than enough.

As if we didn’t know this already…

Or the licence fee dodgers are correct when they complain about repeats on the Beeb.

According to the Radio Times, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that almost two thirds of BBC programmes aired last year were repeats. an average of 63% of programmes broadcast across the BBC channels (BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4) during 2012 had already been aired. BBC3 was arguably the worst offender with 3,196 (85%) of its programmes coming from repeats. BBC1 transmitted 2,793 repeat programmes in the period, around a third of its output. 4,423 BBC2 shows were repeats. BBC4 had already shown 2,604 hours, or 78% of its output.

The BBC’s statement regarding reruns said: “Repeats on the BBC are carefully scheduled to reach different audiences. On BBC2, many of its repeats are of classic shows. For example, we have recently shown Dad’s Army and The Good Life, chosen to offer viewers an alternative to what the other channels are showing.”

I noticed they recently reran I, Claudius, which gets to my gripe that there are a lot of classic programmes in their archives which they don’t use: e.g., Take Three Girls and The Borderers. I should add that I’ve also been watching classics such as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Shadow of the Tower which are both contemporary to the Borderers, yet they are complete and available on DVD.  Not sure how some series can exist fairly completely, yet others do not.  I know that sometimes this is due to the tapes being broadcast in other countries.

Anyway, it seems that some good new material is in the pipeline with Professor Mary Beard presenting a documentary on Caligula.   I’ve got to admit that I find Prof. Beard kind of hot in a sapiosexual way which means that this sounds seriously promising.  I need to rewatch the Pompeii documentary, but I remember another of her documentaries on the Romans which she truly demonstrated a love of the topic.  Although she joked to the audience at the Telegraph Hay Festival that “no one, but no one can tweet this, otherwise I will get into such trouble”.

Really now…

Anyway, it’s far too late for regrets now–I’m prepped for some serious intellectual porn!

See also: Hay Festival 2013: Mary Beard making Caligula documentary

BBC America (Canada) at iTunes Store

It has come to my attention that BBC America material is available on demand from the Apple iTunes Store.  I am assuming the same is true for Canada as well.

It’s nice to see a lot of this available on demand, such as Mongrels and Horrible Histories.

Not sure if any ITV or Channel 4 material is available (Time Team).

Yes, the BBC can produce some real rubbish.

I can’t really say that Bluestone 42 was a disappointment since I was prepared for the worst when I heard that the people who wrote Miranda also came up with this show.  And, like Miranda, Bluestone 42 really wants you to like it.  Unlike Miranda, it’s not really likeable.  In fact, it probably has the worst clichés of British Television and maybe even military service.

Let’s start with a woman soldier named “Bird”.  I think that sums up the humour of the show.  The show got old–FAST.  I couldn’t make it through the entire second episode and skipped through it on iPlayer.

I’m not sure how long this will last since Being Human managed to make it to five series.  I fear the worst.

So, British TV can come up with some really good material, but it can also make some serious crap.

Sort of changing the topic, I found a book called A Concise History of British Television 1930–2000 by Tony Currie (Kelly Publications, ISBN 1-903053-17-X). I can’t imagine it being very thick given the Beeb’s archival policies. Yes, I am upset that shows such as  The Borderers were trashed by the old archival policies amongst other things (lots of repeats of nothing I really want to see).

Savile Row

I was warned that the BBC Director General’s job was hellacious, but I didn’t expect the revelation about Jimmy Savile’s paedophilia would come up. And neither did George Entwistle, the person who did get the job. Entwhistle was grilled in front of the House of Common’s culture committee about this topic. I have to admit that this is a serious bombshell to have to deal with.

The real question to me is how much of this was known and when?  After all, it has been alleged that Savile paedophilia went on for 30-40 years without anyone saying anything about it.  Although, there are stories about reports being made to the BBC hierarchy, but ignored.

The other thing which bothers me is Esther Rantzen did nothing about it.  She admits to having heard rumours about Savile’s alleged paedophila.  Rantzen told told ITV1’s This Morning: “As Ian Hislop said so brilliantly last week, knowledge means that you hear from the person it happened to or a witness and that’s what the ITV documentary showed me…Up until then, I’ve heard rumours about the royal family, politicians, about TV presenters and my view about rumours is the vast majority of the rumours are untrue.”

Rantzen also said she had “no memory” of being contacted by campaigner Shy Keenan who said she told her about Savile  saying: “Now the lady who says that she told me 18 years ago – I’ve gone back through the records of that year to see if we ever did an item about child abuse in that series of That’s Life…she says she met me then…I have no memory of her at all…And we did one item about child abuse in that series and it was about criminal compensation… the other members of That’s Life staff have no memory of her.”

Furthermore, Rantzen said no one complained to her Childline charity about Savile.

But the real bothersome thing about all this is that Savile died a year ago.  There are a couple of legal issues I have with that: first off, justice was delayed in this matter.  Secondly, there is no confrontation of the accused by the accuser.  can justice really occur in such a situation?

I feel for the victims of paedophila, but I have several problems with having a posthumous investigation of events which happened so long ago.  Other than airing their complaints, what else will this help if the perpetrator is dead?

Yes, there is the culture which allowed for Savile to get away with this sort of thing for as long as he did.  One person opined that the children were silenced by his wealth and celebrity. Despite that, every one of them had the power to bring him down if only they’d known it. The trouble was that none realised it, or none thought they’d be listened to. At least one had her complaint dismissed by the headmistress at the School where Savile found many of his victims.

But if a child can make their voice heard and they are telling the truth, their accusation will not stand alone for long. When accusations emerge against people who are serial offenders, such as Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky, they turn into an avalanche.

The lesson is that adults must listen with respect. They must finally understand that no-one is above suspicion; that no-one should avoid scrutiny because of who they are.  There are too many cases where there are accusations and suspicions which are not properly investigated due to people’s position and the institution they work for.

On the other hand, I worry that the fall out will effect people and institutions who weren’t involved due to the lateness of any action being taken in this case.  Perhaps the real lesson of Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky is that there should be a proper investigation of these matters since ignoring them hurts not only the victims, but the institution.

Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journey DVDs reduced in price!

Series 1 is now £12.39 and Series 2 is £16.67 at Amazon from being in the mid 20 quid range !

Naturally, any hesitation at buying series 2  disappeared with the reduction in price and I ponied up for a copy.

I should add that the BBC now provides for commercial availability of programmes from online suppliers.  Eventually, they will offer links to services which officially stream the material.

I have to add this vid for BBC America because it’s just silly.