husband to the equally wonderful Brenda ' Blethyn. She plays Shirley, in mid-life

I losie (Channel 4) 10.30—1 1pm. Fun. frolics and generally easy-going

echoed by aggrieved murmurs of agreement from those of us who rely


crisis and trying to do something worthwhile with her life.

I A Secret World Di Sex (BBCZ) 9.50—10.20pm. The harrowing personal stories continue in Steve Humphries‘ enlightening documentary series.

I The Rebel (Channel 4) lOpm—lZam. Galton and Simpson scripted this comedy vehicle for the late Tony Hancock which

, sees the morosc one quitting his job in the : city to start a new art movement in Paris,

the lnfantilists. Amusing at first, but the ideas are ovcrstretched.


I The European Cup Winners’ Cup Final (Scottish) 7. 10—9. 15pm. History is made. as Scottish show live coverage of a game featuring an English club. They are Manchester United. taking on Barcelona in Brussels for Europe‘s second most important club trophy. Schedule changes may be necessary should things go to extra-time.

I Von Ryan's Express (Scottish)

9.15—10pm.10.40pm—12.IOam.Frank Sinatra steals a train in order to make that date with Nancy Reagan . . . no, hold on. in order to engineer a bold escape from a German POW camp. lt's Boys‘ Own stuff with many a thrill and a spill alongthe way. with the Germans as traditionally thick. nasty and unlucky as ever. and the multi-national cast melding well for an engaging. and eminently watchable tale of derring-do.

I The Beerhunter (Channel 4) 9.30— 10pm. They don't say much those Trappist monk chappies. but they brew damn fine beer, as Michael Jackson discovers when he visits the monastery to sample the stuff.

I Inside Story: A Very Serious Dilence (BBC1)9.30—1().30pm. A report about the Metropolitan Police‘s treatment of rape cases. featuring interviews with officers. victims and perpetrators.

entertainment from Ms Lawrence, if not a

lot of laughs.

i I Manhattan Cable (Channel 4)

1 1—1 1.45pm. A sordid trail of public

access TV in New York has still to uncover

anything as awesomely awful as Esther Rantzen.


I Floyd On 02: Western Australia (BBCZ)

8—8.3(lpm. Floyd raids the fridge of Eileen

Bond. wife of troubled tycoon Alan. Finding little there except some prawns. he conjures up a special sauce which he names after the suitably-impressed Eileen.

I Birdscape (Channel 4) 8—8.3(lpm. Naturalist Bruce Pearson visits the Flow Country of Caithness where massive commercial afforestation is threatening the existence of the red-throated diver.

I LA Law (Scottish) 9—lllpm. Rollinstakes command. defending a white cop accused of killing a black youth. a decision which

brings him into conflict with an outspoken

civil rights activist. I Poetry In Motion (Channel 4)

9.30—10pm. Alan Bennett investigatcsthc

appeal of WH Auden.

I Divorce (BBCZ) 9.35—10. 15pm. The first in a new documentary series looking at the implications and effects ofmarriage breakdowns on families and children as well as the main parties.

I Shadey(Channel 4) l()pm—12am. An overblown and stagey Philip Saville film with a confusing plot taking in sex-changes. military research and incest. lt's a farrago of loosely connected threads making a faintly ludicrous whole. Antony Sher is painfully over—thc-top in the central role. with little support from Bernard llepton and Leslie Ash.

I NB (Scottish) 10.45—1 1.15. The threesome go out once more in search of arts events around the country.





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Pots and


OK, the search can cease. I’ve been tracked to my hideaway and forced to confess. I am the only person in the world who thinks American Psycho is a half-decent novel. It‘s a strange feeling being totally out of step with civilised opinion. but one that grows on you. Yes indeed, it can get quite addictive. Here goes: Tony Hancock wasn‘t funny. Neither is Frankie Howerd. Paul McStay is a very poor footballer. AS. Byatt can‘t write for toffee, but above all,

The Darling Buds Di May (Scottish) is a :

complete load ofold tosh. isn’t it?

Every publication from the Sunday

Mirror to Pravda has been gushing approval for this series since it began. ‘A wonderful evocation ofa bygone age‘ they call it. among similar well-worn phrases of approval. H.E. Bates“ Larkins stories were amiably undemanding farces revolving around the contentedly devious family figurehead of Pop Larkin, an eternal optimist with an eye for the main chance. David Jason plays the role as straight Del Trotter with sideburns, and the tone is completely wrong. Pop Larkin may be a bit of a wheeler-dealer, but he shouldn't have that air ofspiviness that Jason seems unable to shake off. The whole thing is thrown out of kilter by his misinterpretation. which is a shame, as a lot of money has obviously been spent panning over those cute rustic foregrounds and pricey location shoots. Back to Peckham. David. you‘ve been rumbled.

Equally idyllic tales. rather better adapted. can be seen immediately afterwards in the second series of Jeeves And Wooster (Scottish), Clive Exton‘s televisual translations ofthe P.G. Wodehouse double-act. Wodehouse's strength was his authorial voice, and his fondness for pushing similes out into orbit to get a better view ofevents down below. On screen Exton has compensated partly for the unavoidable lack of linguistic trickery with an eye for the ludicrous gesture. Both Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie have a wealth of these. and with the director‘s eye for almost choreographed set-pieces, these adaptations have a vim and zip and general-all-round lively-sort- of-chap feel to them that would get old Pelham‘s wholehearted approval were he still around to enjoy them with his stiff gin of a Sunday night.

Channel 4‘s Banned season is a logical successor to their ‘Red Triangle‘ idea of a couple of years back in its ability to inspire disappointed conversations in the pub the following day: ‘I watched them Banned programmes for two hours and there were nowt dirty in

any of 'em‘ is a typical complaint,

on the fourth channel for a touch of healthy prurience. What we got instead were mostly talking heads and period pieces, telling us how nasty previous or foreign governments were, with little to put things into the perspective ofthe current, hardly-liberal climate. What was heartening about Banned. was the frequency with which members of the public came forward to cut through the jargon with a bit ofcommonsense. In Dancing With The Devil (Channel 4) a Yorkshire heavy metal fan sat politely stony-faced'through a sermon denouncing rock as the instrument ofthe devil with backwards Satanic messages littering every track. At the end he stood up and said with grimly-flattened vowels ‘I‘ve never heard so much rubbish in my life. If you spend £10 on an album. you don‘t waste your time playing the bloody thing backwards, do you?‘. Cheers, jeers, game, set and match to the rockers. This country can still teach those Americans a thing or two.

a g 5

Stephen Hendry: Te ocibl' answerto

i Audrey Home?

No doubt the BBC switchboard has .

beeninundated with complaints (well. maybe two or three) about the

postponement of Twin Peaks to make way for Snooker. (BBCZ) In

fact with a little imagination, it is 3 possible to barely notice the join

(and no jokes about their both be-mg

g a load ofballs. please). Alex Higgins

may not be there. but the Crucible is populated with an equally bizarre group ofweirdos. Turn down the sound, and John Parrott could be Agent Cooper zapping round the table downing reds and blacks as if they were jelly doughnuts and hot, strong coffee. Jimmy White could be James Hurley, all adrenalin rush and brooding menace. barely escaping from a dangerous frame. And let’s face it. Alain Robidoux is Jean Renault. After a decade ofswelling popularity, snooker seems to have found its natural level as background viewing, a sort of intriguing viewzak, that occasionally pulls you out ofa stupor to marvel at a particularly outrageous shot. When it‘s all over and we‘re back to the relative normality of TP again, I for one won‘t be surprised to find that Windom Earle was ‘Whispering’ Ted Lowe all along. (Tom Lappin)

I l l

90The List3—16May 1991