Edinburgh Book Festival. Jenny Brown. presents tonight’s edition of the programme which includes Nicholas Fairbairn reviewing Ludovic Kennedy‘s autobiography and a discussion of James Kellman's new novel ‘A Disaffection‘.
I Happy Days (C4) 6—6.30pm. Continuing the C4 policy of screening classic US comedy series. this is the one that made The Fonz. Henry Winkler. a household
I Scottish Eye (Scottish) 6.30-7pm. Edition of the Scottish based current affairs show previously seen on Channel Four. The programme reports on the possible consequences of an accident aboard one of the nuclear submarines based in Scotland.
I Horizon (BBCZ) 8. l()—9pm. Two years ago Glyn Worsnip learnt that he was suffering from a rare disease of the brain. cerebellar ataxia. Since then he has fought to continue his career as a broadcaster despite the fact that the illness affects his speech. and he has already contributed a moving radio documentary about the effect it has had on him. Now Horizon has asked him to investigate the current state of medical knowledge of the disease. in making the film. Worsnip uncovers an alarming dependency on charitable fund
GDVAN GHOST STORY
‘BBC Scotland is different. As opposed to just about any other commissioning department in British TV, they are prepared to go out on a limb in the cause of a good story even if it happens to be political’, says Bryan Elsley, whose first full length TV play, Govan Ghost Story, will be shown as part of The Play on One series this fortnight.
Elsley readily admits that first and foremost, ‘like any good television theatre company BBC Scotland is interested in good sfories’, but the willingness of The Play on One team (Elsley particularly singles out David Hayman and the sensitivity he showed as director) to carry an overtly political message seems another vindication of Michael Grade’s decision to devolve the task of reviving the Wednesday Play/Play for Today format to Bill Bryden’s Scottish based team.
The first series of Play on One demonstrated it wasn’t afraid of controversy with in particular the language of lain Heggie’s ‘Wholly Healthy Glasgow’ and Peter McDougall’s ’Down Where The Buffalo Go’ which some interpreted as an outright attack on the presence of American airforce bases in Britain. New Elsley’s new play will in some respects return to the social themes that provided such strong material for Sixties’ classics like ‘Cathy Come Home’ which dealt with the plight of the homeless. But in addition the play is a critique of the way Glasgow is being developed. ‘When you turn a shipyard into a Garden Festival Site and you redevelop the land for up market housing’ says Elsley about the subject of the play, ’you are making a decision about the way you want to live and you’re also making a decision about the kind of people you want to benefit. Putting aside for the moment any world wide contraction in ship building, high profile housing doesn’t restore the
dignity of a man's labour- and that’s
raising for essential research . . .
I Wildlife on One (BBCl ) 8.3(l—9pm. New series of Attenborough talks about the animals. Tonight ‘Blubber Lovers‘ -The Elephant Seal.
I Defence of the Realm (C4)
9.30-1 l .2()pm. David Drury‘s political thriller starring Gabriel Byrne and Greta Scacchi about a journalist who stumbles on a scandalous state secret should seem more topical than ever. Despite a certain po-faced seriousness. the 1985 film does keep up the tension.
I Panorama (BBCI )9.3o-1t). lllpm. Report on the much overlooked provision of the 1988 Local Government Act which will introduce compulsory ('ompetitive tendering for many essential services currently provided by local councils.
I The Nuclear Age (Scottish)
10.35—1 1 .35pm. (‘entral's absorbing history of the nuclear age reachesJimmy Carter and his hopes fora ‘NewWorld'.
I A Ouestion of Sport ( B BC 1 ) 8.30—9pm. 250th edition of the sports quiz.
I Concerning Cancer (C4) 9—- lllpm. Broadcaster Tom Morgan. who died from cancer earlier this year. embarked on this study of the disease and its effects soon after he first learned he was a sufferer. Sadly he wasn‘t able to complete the film
what Govan Ghost Story is about.’ Literally a ghost story, the play is centred on the character of Jock McGinn (played by Tom Watson) a leader of the Upper Clyde Ship Builders work-in of 1971 and now unemployed, divorced and alienated from his daughter, who is haunted by the image of a distressed little girl. ’The use of the supernatural is a device whereby we can see a central character exorcise some ghosts in his own life, and the little girl is a symbol fora number of other ghosts both political and personal. One of them is the relationship with his own daughter, but linked to it is his involvement in the work-in of 1971 . All that adds up to a statement about Glasgow today’. Elsley currently lives in Carlisle where he is Artistic Director of Pocket Theatre Company, but the inspiration forthe play derives from the years he spent living in Govan in the mid eighties as a trainee director for Wildcat, and from one incident in particular. ‘I went across to my local chip shop to get my tea one day and a little girl came in to get hers. It consisted of a pickled onion, a packet of crisps and a penny chew. She looked awful and it just struck me that in the
.v ' “ng " 52:; ‘11 Tom Watson as the haunted ex-shillVard worker, Jock main".
to his initialbrief but instead his film-making itself became part ofhis therapy and the result is a movingand personal account ofone man's battle.
I The Play on One: These Foolish Things (BBCl ) 9.3(l—2l).45pm. Lindsay Duncan. James Fox and Elizabeth Spender involved in an upper class love triangle. I Scolsport European Special (Scottish) “LBS—midnight. Hearts take on Bayern Munich in the first. home. leg ofthc UEFA (‘up quarter final.
I Out on Tuesday ((‘4) l lpm—midnight. The first magazine show dedicated to gay issues. presented tonight by The (‘ommunards' Richard (‘oles.
I The Barry Awards For Comic Relief (BBC!) 1 l . lS—l l .2()pm. Barry Norman asks viewers to pick their all time funniest films.
. I Young Charlie Chaplin (Scottish)
4.45—5. lllpm. The final episode concludes with the birth of the era's best known comic creation.
I Shadow of the Hoose ( BBCZ) 9.25—lll.2(lpm. Jonathan Hyde stars in this new drama series as Edward Marshall Hall ‘the greatest defence counsel in the history ofthc Old Bailey". Set at the turn of the century. it picks up on the current vogue for period crime shows. Should be a winner.
face of everything real poverty exists in Glasgow. It was something I sort of knew but until then hadn’t really been brought home to me.’
Pocket Theatre Company will be touring to Scotland later in the year with a new show (not by Elsley) about the world of big band music called ‘Some Day Soon’, and currently a children’s show (‘Howard Carter’s Amazing Ouest. . .’ — see Theatre Listings) which he co-wrote with comedian Harry Enfield when the two of them were part of a cabaret act, is touring to Cumbernauld and
. Portobello. Most of his writing is now
fortelevision. While not all TV producers are as sympathetic to his aims as those at the BBC, Elsley doesn't feel compromised by the medium. ‘l’m a writer and l have three children to support. But anyway I don’t want to be po-faced about television and Casualty is actually a very honest programme.’ But clearly there are lines to be drawn: ’I wouldn’t write for Howard’s Way which I consider Thatcherite nonsense which promotes all kinds of despicable nonsense.’
Govan Ghost Story is shown as part of The Play on One series on Tue, 7 March at 9.30pm.
I OED (BBCI ) 9.3(l—lllpm. Part two of ‘An Everyday Miracle'. the story of Dale Bruin. the baby who must undergo heart surgery if he is to survive.
I Uncertainties (BBCZ) 10.2w 10.30pm. Nine part series examining philosophical problems (episode one: ‘Who Am l‘) presented by Bob Peck. Produced by independent production company. Diverse — that's who.
I Breaking Away (Scottish) l().35pm—12.3Uam. 1979 film directed by Peter Yates about a group ofschool leavers working out what to do with life.
I Nature (BBCZ) 8.30-9pm. ()n the eve of the conference. hosted by the Prime Minister. on the dangers to the ozone layer. Mrs Thatcher gives an interview to Michael Buerk.
I City Lights (B BCZ) ‘)--‘).3tlpm. The new series of the Scottish eomedy (which can also be seen live in (‘entral Scotland — see Theatre) starts a run on the network.
I 40 Minutes ( BBCZ) l). 3ll~ lll. lllpm. Real life tales of the supernatural in a programme called Ghost Train.
I Kay's Originals (Scottish)
10.35—1 l .llSpm. No doubts after last week's excellent programme with Jean Redpath. that the idea ofan ‘in Scots' chat show works. Tonight Billy's guest is fiddler Aly Bain.
I Film On Four: High Season (C4)
9.30—1 1.15pm. Jacqueline Bisset.James Fox and Kenneth Branagh in a scenic. island-set melodrama. (Made in l987)
I Max Headroom (C4) 12. 15— l . 15am. The tired old stammerer in the [S spin-off. New series.
I Arena (BB(‘2) 9— lil. 15pm. I’mt-erm the Blood follows American country music star and evangelist. Vernon ()xford. on a mission of peace to Northern Ireland.
I Uncertainties (BBCZ) ll). l5—lt).25. ‘Where Do I (‘ome From? — answer as Thursday: Diverse Productions.
I Prince of the City (C4) 10.30pm— l .Sflam. Powerful made for TV film based on the true story of a New York policeman whose own life was destroyed after exposing police corruption. Made in 1981 bySidney Lumet with Treat Williams in the lead. IPrison(BBC2)12.50—2.1t)am. Important early work from Ingmar Bergman. Made in 1949 it tells ofthc events leading up to the death of a young prostitute.
I Bob Says Opportunity Knocks ( BBC] )
7. l5—8.(l5pm. Bob Monkhouse with his first and last series of the talent show.
I Taggart: The Killing Philosophy( Scottish) 9.()S—l 1.35pm. Repeal of a movie length edition of Scotland’s favourite police show.
I I Don’t Even Like Apple Pie ( BBC!) 10.40—1 1.30pm. Doris Day gives a rare interview which heralds a season of her films which begins with Love Me or Leave Me at 11.30pm.
I Film Club: Day of Wrath and The Word (BBCZ) ill—l .45pm. Two more films by Carl Theodor Dreyer. The first from 1943 about a woman accused of being a witch. the second. from 1955. an allegorical tale about life in a bleak farming community.
I The Princess Royal In New Zealand (Scottish) 6—6.30pm. (.‘overage from ITN. ' I British Academy Awards (Scottish) 9—](lpm. The behind the scenes awards for the arts and crafts section of the academy. I Floyd on TV (Scottish) 1t)— 10.30pm. Looks as if the sometime cook istaking over Clive James‘ mantle as lTV‘s jaundiced commentator on TV matters. This programme includes a look at French TV‘s topless advertising.
48 The List 24 February — 9 March