Archive | May, 2013

Murder Workers …Channel 4

16 May

The only thing in common with all these stories on this thoughtful documentary was that they had lost a loved one in a murder. The hurt, the questions, the grief and the emptiness are all unique to each family. A burden each parent, sibling, child and relative had to deal with in their own way

I lost my dad when I was a teenager in a not unsimilar circumstance and I remember the immediate aftermath, dreams that he had travelled and come back and all was well but waking up every morning to the same gut wrenching void, so I have a lot of empathy for the families shown.

The loss you feel can be almost overwhelming, but real life does not stop out of sympathy and neither do the sad but inevitable consequences of the loss, like funerals or trials go away. In to this emotional whirlpool step in the workers of Victim’s Support National Homicide Team.

The gentle way they talked the little girl through the family album and watched her as she blots out the face of her ‘dad’ who had murdered her mother. The biker who had lost his son, said he was coping but when he talked about the son it was obvious he was welling up inside. The family watching the moment their dying son is dragged out of a club by the bouncers accused of killing him. The family who’s son is murdered and find the law sadly doesn’t alway dispense justice. The son who watched as his dad stabbed his mother to death and finds his dad is still his legal guardian.

In the face of this overwhelming grief the ‘Murder Workers’ offered a shoulder to cry on, an ear to share your grief and guiding hand to help you pull through

From the Channel 4 Website

The Murder Workers is a powerful and insightful Cutting Edge documentary exploring a side of murder that most people know very little about. It follows members of Victim Support’s National Homicide team as they work closely with families who have been bereaved by murder or manslaughter.

The Murder Workers offer practical and emotional support for families at different stages of bereavement from the initial shock right up until the steps needed to start re-building their lives again. The families are often thrown into a world of police investigations forced to navigate the deeply confusing world of the criminal system and it is the Murder Worker’s responsibility to guide them through this difficult time.

When others don’t know what to say or how they can help, it’s Murder Workers Dave, Alli and Carol who step in to help with funeral arrangements, apply for compensation, seek specialist help, close down bank accounts, cancel booked holidays or be there when their homes are turned into crime scenes; but most importantly, they are a shoulder to cry on. They are there to fight the family’s corner and whether its humour or a hug that’s required, they know the right thing to say – they have an extraordinary capacity to go into the unknown and alleviate some of the stress put on the families.

The Murder Workers also goes into the lives and homes of those recently bereaved to learn about the impact of homicide. Marie is an extraordinary woman with an inner fight and superior strength preparing to come face-to-face with the men accused of killing her son Lee. Elsewhere, Jackie who was getting ready for her retirement now has her hands and house full of young children. Her three grandchildren, aged five, eight and thirteen years old moved in with her after their father killed their mother, who was Jackie’s daughter. She is now battling to become the children’s legal guardian.

The Victim Support Website :

Soul Rebels on Andrew Marr Show…BBC1

12 May

I just caught the end of the Andrew Marr show on BBC1 this morning, Andrew Marr himself is away recovering from the stroke he had in January and his stand in this week was James Landale.

He was wrapping up an interview with the Education Secretary Michael Gove. The Education Secretary is a ‘Marmite’ man if there ever was, you either love him or loathe him.

I remember once travelling on a suburban train in the depths of Hertfordshire on a weekday afternoon. The train was mainly populated by a smattering of genteel retirees, silently leafing through copies of the favoured broadsheets. Out of the blue one of the lady pensioners let out what seemed by a loud howl of anguish followed by well emphasised used of the f-word. Suddenly the carriage was alive with gentle rustling of the newspapers as people without meaning to be too obvious tried to find out what was going on.

The suspense was short-lived as the lady quickly issued a general apology to the carriage for her outburst explaining “That Michael Gove, he really drives me mad”.

Anyway that was not the may reason for my post. It was to shout out to the Soul Rebels Brass Band who gave a fantastic performance at the end of the show. Their brass band instrumental rendition of Micheal Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall” was class, a little bit of Sunny New Orleans on a nice spring morning.

Here they from another show doing their thing with Jools Holland.


Jacob’s Creek…Something’s wrong here?

8 May

If he is the perfect host, who’s he going to hand the glass he just slurped in?   That’s just as bad as programmes like Come Dine With Me where the host so obsessed with their own cooking licks clean the ladle or some other serving instrument and proceeds to double dip.


The Apprentice its back as brash and as narcissistic as ever – BBC1

7 May

Sometimes when I watch the Apprentice I think it is a mix of Big Brother and a specialist holiday programme that takes you on a tour of business parks, warehouses and retail spots of London.

Every year the bitchiness starts earlier and earlier. We have got a new series and already one of the boys Neil Clough stands out as the man who seems best able to combine all round bitchiness with the now mandatory “how good am I” look. As smug as he was, he clearly was not stupid enough to volunteer to be the first project manager, always a poisoned chalice.

That “honour” fell to a Jaz Ampaw-Far  on the girl’s team and Jason Leech on the boy’s side. First week is difficult to tell who is who, as it is largely just a random collection of faces. The lesson is clear at time like this with no credit to your name never, never put your hand up to be Project Manager, there is only a downside. You win, no one remembers by week seven because it is so long ago. You lose, you’re toast. Have you people not watched the programme!!!

Sadly for Jaz that is just what she did and months from now people will pass by her at Supermarket thinking I know her from somewhere, but just would never be able to put their finger on it.

For the rest of us we watch to see if the this series will give us an apprentice legend like Stuart “The Brand” Baggs, Raef Bjayou (my all time favourite), Tre Azam or Katie Hopkins.