o Pioneers of Socialism (C4)

8. 15—9pm. The controversial Ramsay MacDonald is the subject of the last ofthese excellent programmes.


o The First Eden (BBC2) 7.45—8.40pm. David Attenborough‘s latest series which looks at the history and natural history of the cradle of civilisation

Greece and the Mediterranean 0 ArrnchairTheatre (C4)

9.15—10.20pm. Robert Munro’s Afternoon of a Nymph touched on what was then at least the controversial subject of lesbianism. In retrospect the producers wondered whether they hadn’t been so subtle that no one had noticed. Starring Janet Munro and Ian Hendry.


o Ironslde(BBC1)2.05—2.55pm.

Disappointineg early in the day but nevertheless welcome rerun of the classic detective series really the forerunner of programmes like Kojak and The Rockford Files.

0 French and Saunders (BBC2) 9-9.30pm. Next to Victoria Wood the funniest female comedians on television. in a new series.

0 Intimate Contact (Scottish) 9—10pm. See Panel.


0 Scotland 2000 (BBCI) 8—8.50pm. Two-part (second part at 10.30pm) edition of BBC Scotland‘s television project which assesses Scotland‘s position as we approach the year 2000. Tonight land use is examined.


0 OED (BBCl) 9.35—10.20pm. The story of the gossamer plane, Voyager, andits flight.


0 Life Without George (BBCI) 9.30—10pm. New comedy series with Simon Cadell and Carol Royle and written by Penny Croft - daughter of Dad’sArmy creator David.


The theme of Alma Cullen’s new series ‘Intimate Contact’, Channel 4, is not so much AIDS as intolerance. ’Dlsmayed but not surprised’ at the preiudice In public response to AIDS, she was wanted to write about a woman who was ‘very cushioned’ from life, who was able to buy herself a place In the world where uncomfortable issues no longer impinged on her existence. It is set in the Home Counties where the jet-setting husband supports the wile. ‘There are other unresolved tensions in the marriage and I wanted to make her face her own sexual identity' explains Alma Cullen without wanting

to give away too much of the plot. Gays are involved, but play only a peripheral part.

She believes many heterosexuals never really stopped being resentful about gays, even when gays became

much more open about their sexuality in the Sixties. The strength oi gay


feeling was such she suggests,'that it won for itself the strength of a corporate voice and a political movement. The rest were ‘forced to take it on board', but without real conviction. Hence the current desire to say AIDS Is a form of retribution.

With a string of successful television and radio plays behind her Cullen Is in the happy position of only writing to a commission. She hasn’t written ‘on spec' since her first play, or more specifically since the first act of her first play when she followed the BBC handbook, ‘Writing for the BBC', to the letter. If recommended writing only part of a play, which she did, and than sending it to a producer with an idea of how it would continue. Her play was accepted and produced and she has kept writing ever since.

Much acclaimed for her sharp observation of life, she claims her characters aren’t based on real people. She admits ‘one or two friendships have been rocked‘ when people thought they recognised themselves In a play, but ‘you require a character to fit the demands of a plot. Real people don’t do that.’ She writes not by getting inside the character, but with a visual awareness, ‘as if It’s unroiling In front of me.’ Sometimes she says, ‘you meet a character’, someone whom she hasn’t consciously made up. ‘They’re just there, talking to another character. It happens. It's a curious process - it’s often an improvement!’


BBC 2’s Sunday afternoon Music In Camera series comes to the end of its run with three programmes of Landmarks on 8,15 and 22 March. Produced by BBC Scotland Music and Arts Unit in Glasgow, this second of these features the vocal group Electric Phoenix (see photo), whose director Terry Edwards depicts the move from acoustic to electronic vocal music as an inevitably consequence of a line of development which runs from Britten and Messiaen through Stockhausen’s ‘Stimmung‘ to Berio’s ‘A-Ronne’. James Wood highlights a personal view of the landmarks of composition

for percussionists in the last fifty years on Sunday 8 March, and on 22 March it’s the Arditti Duartet on music for

string quartet. (Carol Main)


o The Naked City (C4) 11.15pm—1.05am. ‘There are eight million stories in the naked city.‘ This was the first. The influential New York Police movie that inspired the on location filmed television series ofthe late Fifties. The film stars Barry Fitzgerald and was produced by ex-journalist Mark Hellinger.


0 Horses (C4) Ian Ogilvy and Lucinda Green introduce Scottish Television‘s international canter round the subject of horses.


o Rude Health (C4) John Bett (currently starring in The Three Sisters at Edinburgh‘s Lyceum Theatre, stars with Paul Mari and John Wells in this new sitcom about a medical practice.


0 Just for Laughs (C4) A six-part series begins tonight with the best from Montreal’s World Festival Of Comedy Just For Laughs. If this event isn’t just a Channel 4 leg-pull. I pity the poor folk of Montreal. Imagine, an alternative comedian in every pub! Joining the acts from abroad are the more familiar Lenny Henry and Phil Cool.


o The Media Show (C4) Michael

J ackson‘s six-part series Open The Box was the nearest television had yet come to proper analysis of itself. Now he turns the principles of those programmes to use in a new television magazine show.

0 Heart of the Country (BBC2) 9.25—10.25pm. Last episode of the Fay Weldon series.


‘Give me a child ofeight and I will make a priest of him‘ used to be the boast of the Jesuits, the Catholic society founded in 1540 by Ignatius Loyola. Their reputation is mixed. Well known for their scholarship and

learning, Jesuits also have a name a name which they deplore as the shock troops ofCatholicism, and they have fought back vigorously from several attempts at repression, in the 17th. 18th and 20th centuries. This radical order is the subject ofa six-part documentary The Jesuits beginning on Sun 8. R3, 5.30pm. It is presented by Lord Rawlinson. formerly Solicitor-General to

Harold MacMiIIan and later Attorney-General under Edward Heath‘s government. Lord Rawlinson travelled extensively to research the series. to talk to leading Jesuits from all over the world, from Central and South America to Eastern Europe and the Far East. Today the Jesuits are not so much missionaries as pioneers for social change and the series looks at both their influence and their tradition. Newsnight presenter Nick Clarke has worked with Anne Sloman, producer of the award-winning The Thatcher Phenomenon on an equally ambitious project Legacy ofthe Empire. a new six-part series beginning Wed 11. R4. 7.20pm. Unexpected echoes of British Imperialism are still found, in everyday life from sehoolchildren's hymns and road traffic signs in Africa to a North of England-type city hall in Singapore. More potently, the influence is observed in attitudes to politics. business and law and Clarke looks at some of the implications and the strength of current feeling towards Britain. Count Omega is the best-known novella ofthe multi-talented eccentric and wit, Lord Berners. Full ofeomplexity and symbolism, it is fundamentally a story about the implication to a composer of his homosexuality. Dramatised by composer Mike Steer, the play is produced by John Theocharis and stars Jane Wenham and Timothy Bateson: Tue 10. R3. 7.30pm. Finally. in response to huge public demand, Tolkein‘s famous classic The Lord of the Rings is repeated in thirteen parts from Sun 8, R4, 2.30pm, starring Michael Hordern, Ian Holm and John Le Mesurier; and Capercaillie with their special guest piper Fred Morrison are the stars of The Folk Bands of Scotland on Wed 11,

R2, 8.30pm.

18 The List 6- 19 March