Tag Archives: Oasis

ITV…Did the Brits just invent a new award for One Direction?

20 Feb

The Brits is pretty much what you expect a host of stars, starlets, luvvies, media types, the full A to Z  of celebrity. Then you have the those they all came to see and be seen with the Brit nominees and the winners.

It was a good night for Emili Sande taking home the Brit award for British Solo Female Artist of the years and album of the year.  Other artistes who won were Ben Howard (Best British Breakthrough and Male Solo Artist), Lana Del Rey (Best International Female), Frankie Ocean (Best International Male), Black Keys (Best International Group) and Adele received her award over in America for Best Single.

Pretty much all the usual suspects picking up awards except that is for uber-boy band of the moment One Direction. Host James Corden spent a lot of the programme talking about them and mingling with them. When Talyor Swift made an appearance it did not take long for James Corden to head over to join them (well Harry Styles). A beaming open shirted Simon Cowell was close by, keeping an eye on his money spinning wards.  Generally they were the focus of a lot of attention.

Surely with all this focus they must be here to pick up an award, but as the awards were handed out one by one it looked like they were heading home empty handed. That was until out came Robbie Williams waddling up to the satge in a suit that fitted very snugly over what looks like the beginning of a very ample belly.

He announced the winners of the ‘Brit Award for Global Success’ and the winner? Yes One Direction. What? Where did that come from you might say?  ’Brit Award for Global Success’ where was that when Blur, Oasis, Cold Play and others were sweeping the world before.

Who knows but maybe in the minds of some these other artistes aren’t as ground breaking as One Direction. The lesson it seems is if the fans, and critics don’t want to show any love for One Direction, the Brits awards committee will.

BBC..Africa. The Sahara where survival trumps the love of dung.

30 Jan

Over the last few weeks I have probably used all the superlatives at my disposal in describing just how good BBC’s Africa documentary is. Well this week I had to dig into my superlative reserve, because it tonight’s episode was positively biblical.

The opening scenes with massive sandstorms rolling across the Sahara were like some biblical plague come to life, I almost expected Charlton Heston to step up in his robe and staff crying out to “let my people go”.

This week we moved away from the large herds and prides of eastern and southern Africa to a more delicate and precarious battle between life and the environment, but no less intriguing.

The lonely Grevy Zebra roaming the fringes of the Sahara  living a lonely existence for months at a time, and then literally out of the blue along come a herd of female Zebras and an opportunity for our lonely lad to end his dry spell so to speak. It turns out there are were another bunch of male Zebras in the vicinity with similar ideas.

Cue a bit of handbags between the male Zebras which saw our lonely lad come up tops giving him just enough time for a quick bit of ‘how’s your father’ with a lady Zebra before once more returning to his solitary existence.

There were the  two million Barn Swallows of southern Nigeria who undertake an epic journey from the wet grasslands across the vast Sahara to Europe an epic journey  that given the biblical theme can best be described as an exodus.

Like any decent exodus they need to refuel on their journey and the Sahara offers some surprising options, like the ‘oasis’ in the Ubari Sand Sea – Umm El Mar.

On the surface it looks like a miraculous refuge for any weary thirsty traveller  the cool waters shimmer in the sunshine. This is however deceptive, a cruel trick player by nature.  Years of evaporation have left the water so concentrated with salt that it would drinking from it would be fatal.

Swarms of desert flies also inhabit the lake but here nature plays another card, the flies are able to drink the water and filter out the salt, so they are effectively plump little sachets of water just the refreshment the swallows need.

Sometime though the ferocity of the Sahara makes survival trickier. The Dung Beetle survives on collecting camel dung and in one trip can collect enough to last a life time. The problem though is getting it to storage,  in their trademark approach the dung beetle use their hind legs to roll it along. The problem with this approach is you can’t see where you are going, and can end up down side of a sand dune.

Try as you may rolling up  a ball of dung up a sand hill is a Sisyphean task and in temperatures of 50C, the love of dung wanes quickly.

Probably better suited for the searing temperatures of the Sahara are the amazing silver ants whose reflective body coating allows them to endure the hottest temperatures of the desert for brief burst of time. We see an amazing segment where the ants go a “mission impossible” to hunt a stricken fly and get it back to the den.  Amazing footage.