There are many things to love about football but one thing it does not get enough kudos for is unintentionally re-inventing the English language. Take today for instance, Chelsea had just defeated Southampton 3-1 and the highlights were shown on Match Of the Day 2 on BBC1.
One of the scorers in that match was Chelsea defender Gary Cahill who scored the first of Chelsea’s three goals. Cahill had not scored in a while and when reminded of this fact in the post-match interview replied how he was “glad to get this duck of his back“.
I can’t help but feel this particular metaphor does not fit the bill…:-)
When Citizen Khan first came on air I thought “Here we go another misguided attempt at multi-culturally diverse programming on BBC1″. Don’t get me wrong there have been great successes like the “The Real McCoy”, “Goodness Gracious Me” and “The Kumars At Number 42“, but there have also been abysmal flops like “The Crouches“.
Which way was Citizen Khan going to go? The first few episodes were not encouraging. With its heavy reliance on stereotypes the programme plunged depths that would have embarrassed even the late Bernard Manning. It was like someone had unearthed a scripts from “Till Death Do Us Part” swapped Alf Garnett and his family with a Pakistani family and voila! we got citizen Khan.
Despite my reservations I think the programme has improved, largely because it has moved away from relying too heavily on stereotypes and racially-tinged jokes (largely with Indians as the butt of the jokes). The humour has become broadly based, drawing on experiences that even if you are not of Pakistani origin you could still find amusing.
Is it great comedy? No I would not say so, but it does still raises the odd chuckle as I watch it. It is also a brave attempt to portray Muslims and Islamic life in a way I can’t recall being done on British TV before.
If you were to take a large dollop of the 70′s hit series M*A*S*H, mix in a couple of teaspoons of Channel 4′s comedy ‘Green Wing‘, add just a soupçon of the ‘Carry On’ films, flavour with an essence of the Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker while not forgetting to sieve out any thought-provoking darkness or depth, the end result? Bluestone 42.
Bluestone 42 is a light-hearted take on what is potentially a controversial subject. The Comedy drama follows the day to day goings on in the lives of a bomb disposal detachment serving in Afghanistan. With Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) accounting for over fifty percent of British casualties in the ongoing Afghanistan war it was always going to be a tricky topic to base a comedy on. The writers, by concentrating on the often mundane downtime in the camp that the troops experience between patrols and being called into action, manage to avoid any really tricky issues.
What you get is a very funny comedy with a focus of banter between troops who find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, and a very unlikely wartime romantic “would they, wont they” arc between an officer and the camp chaplain.
Following in the steps of ‘Gavin and Stacey‘, ‘Torchwood‘ and ‘Little Britain‘. Bluestone 43 has made the leap from the youth programming laboratory that is BBC 3 to the mass market, big audiences and promise of multiple series offered by BBC1.
For fans of Borgen, the Danish political thriller that was a big hit for BBC4, yesterday’s episode of Bluestone had a bit of a crossover with Birgitte Hjort Sorensen (Katrine Fonsmark in Borgen) making a guest appearance as a Danish Journalist. Preview is below.
Yesterday was just like an appetizer for today. Today the news networks and BBC went over and above the call of duty in their attempt to report on every little facet of information about the new Royal Baby…HRH Prince No Name.
And when there was nothing to report we were treated to lingering shots of hospital doorways where people of import may or may not be entering or exiting.
Occasional they did hit jackpot when they grabbed an interview with either one of the royals (major or minor) or the Middletons.
On the Middletons, I am sure the they would have been ecstatic about a grand daughter whatever the circumstance but when they were being interviewed today I couldn’t help but think this scene from Eddie Murphy’s ”Coming from America” must be running around in their heads.
He got his own money and, baby, when I tell you he’s got his own money, I mean the boy has gotten his own money!
A prince. He’s a prince!Oh, Lisa, you did it this time. You hit the jackpot. Your little goat herder makes Darryl look like a welfare case!
The British People have a new future king as Prince William and Kathrine have they first baby boy…and that is essentially the news tonight. So why has the BBC spun in out into a never ending rolling news special so far clocking up 2 hours with no interruptions.
They are telling us over and over either things we already know, have no interest in knowing or simply don’t want to know.
All sorts of special guests, experts, royal commentators are being rolled in front of the camera largely telling us the same thing in different ways and invariably it is an opportunity to replay endless clips from the archive about Princess Diana.
Congratulations to William and Catherine. To the media it has only been 2 hours and we are already drowning in the media saturation.
Sometime one picture says it all. The moment of pure, raw and unadulterated joy!
Congrats to Andy Murray, it was well deserved.
Quick note to Alex Salmond, dude there is a time and a place. Andy Murray’s victory ending 77 years of waiting I suggest is not the place for a political point winning. Even if it is slightly amusing how David Cameron is totally unaware of what your getting up to. It is like the political equivalent of “Bunny Ears”
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.
I am a big fan of comedy shows especially live stand up and love comedy in all its guises, with the odd exception. Yesterday I caught an episode of Live at The Apollo. It was fronted by Simon Brodkin better kno’wn as Lee Nelson who gave a pretty good performance as host and link man. He is quite funny but you do wonder how many jokes you can milk out of the “chavvy lad about town” persona.
Anyway it was not Lee I wanted to talk about. It was an aspect of Paul Chowdhry‘s performance. Now despite Paul being an incredible Doppelganger of pop rocker Prince I think it would safe to say Paul is of a heritage that has roots in the Indian sub continent. If the name was not a give away the jokes were. Last night we got a lot of Indian jokes all quite funny and entertaining.
Now having done the Indian jokes his humour sat nav moved further to the east as he regaled us with jokes about a perpetually exasperated Chinese takeaway Restuaranter - “Wha you wan? One rye’ or 2 rye’? Make up your mine!”.
Now I have often thought there is an unspoken, but widely accepted rule in comedy, if you are of a given ethnic origin or racial background you can do jokes about your background, but if you are not then you are threading on dangerous ground. So we have black comedians engaging us with jokes about the Black British, African or Caribbean experiences. Same with Iranian comedians with Iraninan jokes, Jewish comedians, Irish Comedians and so on.
I don’t know if this really the case or just my perception, but if it is true how wide is the “remit” of a comedian with extra-heritages as it were. Paul reached out into the Chinese community, but if he told jokes about Somalian could that be deemed offensive? Anglo-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili for instance does Nigerian jokes, albeit fairly poorly, and don’t recall him getting any grief for that.
Or is this rule something I have just dreamt up and comedy is really universal with no boundaries.
Imagine if I you were a hormonal 17 year old lad and the star of a hit TV show that enthralled the nation and turned you into a star across the country.
Imagine if some film dudes came along, looking to cash in on your new found popularity and offered to make any film you like with you as the star. I can imagine a film like Lesbian Vampire Killers would be top of your list, but surely not if you are in your 30′s with thoughts of a serious career.
The premise is very simple, two lads find themselves in the middle of the Norwich countryside late at night and spend the next hour and half stitching together every conceivable horror film cliche.
From the darkly lit pub with a bunch of unfriendly, inbred looking locals warning the two lads to be wary. The priest fighting a lone battle against the forces of evil. A camper van of exceptionally fine looking Swedish girls happy to party with the boys. The absence of any women over the age of 25 (we can’t have any actresses not there for anything other than their looks and youth). The lipstick lesbian vampires. It’s all there
What was missing was a discernible plot that made much sense, even for an outlandish horror movie.
It turns out that somehow this little village has a curse that turns all women over 18 into lesbian vampires. The only thing standing in the way of their total domination of East Anglia is the character played by Matthew Horne who unknown to him is a descendant of a legendary vampire slayer.
The boys party with the girls, the Swedish girls get killed or turned into vampires one by one, till we are left with the two heroes, the last of the Swedish girls and the final not-so-epic battle with the forces of evil at a graveyard.
If you have been out on the lash, and struggled home with a doner kebab stuffed with salad and lashings of chilli sauce you may well think this has Oscar winning potential, but when you wake up in the morning you’ll quickly realise the film was just slightly more memorable than the remnants of last night’s Kebab.
Graham Norton’s show is tops. His rapport with his guests is great, not too obsequious (except the Madonna special last year) and not too full of himself, but irrespective of who he has on his show the highlight is always the Red Chair.
First up on the Red Chair was a woman who worked as GP’s receptionist, she seemed remarkably chirpy especially because in my experience GP receptionists are generally from the more miserable end of the happiness spectrum, but I digress.
Our lady started telling a story of how she went to get a hollywood wax. From the looks on he faces of Leslie and Paul I am guessing the phrase has not crossed the ocean, or may be not made its way to Hollywood (kind of ironic if so). Even the girls of little mix seemed a bit unsure of what this entailed, that was until Leigh-Anne Pinnock blurted out “Is that when you get an “H” down there”.
Graham Norton is normally the utmost showbiz professional but that even he could not keep it together after that and was left creased up with laughter. Poor Leigh-Anne she tried to explain but it was best left alone.
The second Red Chair ‘victim’ was a twenty something American lady from Kansas, incidentally the same state as Paul Rudd. She turned out to be also to be from the same town, it was a looking like she might be here to tell a riveting Paul Rudd anecdote and Graham asked the obvious question “Does she know Paul Rudd?”. Her response “No but her parents went to high school with Paul”
I had rarely seen the chair lever been pulled so fast as she was tipped over. There I was thinking Paul was at worst in his late thirties.