Woman 's Hour —- rumoured to have substantially increased its audience since moving to a morning slot — is soon to celebrate its new. more universal appeal with Men '5 Talk. a series in which male celebs talk frankly about relationships. male
; bonding. and the injustice ofonly
being allowed to cry on very sad occasions and not. for example. at weddings or football matches. But. while Alan ('oren. Jeffrey Archer and the definitely-not-lmring Stephen Hendry share their feelings on ‘honesty'. the debate really heats up in Radio Scotland‘s New Women. New Men. a two-part series exploring modern man‘s reaction to modern woman‘s changing role. Producer (‘arolyn Beckett got the
idea from psychiatrist Robin
Skynner who laments that. while
. most ofthe country‘s female
population has radically changed ideas about their roles in life. most men ‘have dug in their toes. refusing to budge. pretending things haven‘t changed at all.’
But men suffer too. and the show also discusses male stereotyping— and men‘s suffering at the hands of male-unfriendly feminism. Presenter Joyce MaeMillan will interview journalist Sue lnnes and her playwright husband John Clifford — an unusual couple in that her once radical feminism has mellowed while his has stepped up—
and Ian Walker. the
Edinburgh-based organiser of one of Britain‘s few 'Men‘s groups‘.
Beckett. an ‘optimist' where male/female relations are concerned. nevertheless fears that the path to glorious equality . continues to be rocky. ‘Politically it‘s . hard to see where to go'. she says ’More and more women are deciding . not to live with men. bringing up
Children on their own and the
divorce rate is soaring ,‘
If the roles we have fought to shrug off have left both men and women confused about their place in the scheme ofthings. the answer. , apparently. lies in a fantastic piece of sociologese — ‘personal development‘. New Women, New i Men will bid us learn to define our own priorities without resorting to isms and. hey presto. end of ; Pmblem- (Miranda France) I New Women. New Men starts Thurs I 14 at 1.30pm (repeated 7.02pm): ' Men's Talk starts Mon 11 at 10.30am
I something separately tor a while,’ she says, “Doing French And Saunders
; months to tape and edit. That’s a year out oi your lite. We both agonise over
1 We needed to have a break lrom it.’
i Murder Most llorrid with her old Comic Strip males, but resisted. ’l’d have
’I thought it would be tunny to do murders,’ conlesses Dawn French. Fear not, the comic actress hasn’t decided to turn her hand to serial killing, she's merely talking about the premise ior her new comedy series. Murder Most Horrid, six spool tales oi 'orrible murder and dodgy detection. ‘Ourstories aren’twhodunnits, because sometimes you know g
' whodunnit lrom the beginning,’ she
says. ’In some I do the murder, in l others I‘m the victim or pivotal 5 character to the plot. It was great just to give writers a briet like “write a murder ; story and make me the central l character".' '
ll that sounds a bit prima donna-ish ‘ it's understandable. It's the tirsttime French has done a TV series without her usual partnerJenniier Saunders, and an opportunity she relishes. ‘Jen and I both knew we wanted to do
takes us six months to write and six
the writing, neither oi us linds it easy. French admits considering casting loved Jenniler to have played a lot oi
the women, with Robbie, Rik and Ade. it’s very tempting but you’ve got to be .
. carelul otherwise you get back to the 3
same thing and that’s what we’re trying I
Dawn French as Inspector Soitly in The Case 0t The Missing.
3 to avoid. We are deiinitely taking
French admits making the series was made just a tad easier by having supporting husband Lenny Henry in the background. ‘I go oil to America with him and play the wile, then it's time for him when we come back to sit back while I do Murder Most Horrid. You know, buying the bog rolls, doing a bit at shopping, making sure the tood is cooked and doing all the domestic stutt while I haven’t got the time to do all that. It just means his ego has to go to bed tor a little while and I’m the one who’s allowed to rant about when I get home and be looked aiter.’ (Amy Druszewski)
Murder Most Horrid starts on 8802 on Thursday 14 November at 9pm.
Channel Four were reiuslng to divulge ' the contents oi the lirst issue oi Free For All, the open access programme. Not that they don’t want anyone to know, it is just that the programme is so topical that they had not made it yet.
While open access slots can degenerate into Ego TV a la Manhattan Cable, Free ForAll is the viewer’s chance to set the record straight on an issue that matters to them. It is open to any punter involved in a controversy, or who has news or opinion not seen elsewhere.
‘We can negotiate the style oi the piece, what is most appropriate torthe story,’ according to the programme’s Eileen Herlihy. ‘The lirst series had a piece on how the law discriminates against lesbians and gay people; we had some soldiers who had gone AWOL during the Cult War; we had some humorously done pieces like suriers against sewage and we had more lantastical pieces like Mel’s Dream about a young black woman whose lantasy was to be a truck driver.’
All the punter has to provide is the idea — and a willingness to be involved
Steve May demanded a better deal tor soccer tans in the last series.
in the making at the piece — then the camera crew, director, script writer and researchers will help them turn it
; into television. They will also have a
lawyerattheirdlsposal, allowing them
to be as controversial as they want and,
more to the point, the punter has ‘linal
cut’ ot their story, in that it will not go
out until they are quite happy with it. As tor that first programme, it won’t
I be Manhattan Cable, but The List
understands there will be a strong
attack on the recent anti-Pit Bull Terrier . legislation, starring Porky the dog
being castrated on screen, and a piece on why Britain's Coal Field communities are losing out on
European lunding because oi Rate
Capping. (Thom Dibdin)
Free For All will be on on Thursdays on Channel 4 trom 14 November at 8pm. It you want to get your story on air, tree-phone 0800 22 0815, or write to Free For All, PO Box 4000m W3 BXJ.
I As Others See Us Another one ofthose series about what fun it is to be British — insular. stiff-upper-lipped. but quirky and idiosyncratic. This time. however. instead ofletting us examine our own navels. foreigners get to do the analysing (Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini kicks off with an assault on the class system). taking. perhaps. a sterner view ofour foibles. (Radio 4. starts Thurs 7. 9.45am)
I Sunday Play: A Single Man A radio version of Michael Michaelian‘s adaptation of Christopher lsherwood‘s novel. and notable for the fact that the parts are all played by their original stage actors. The play. ‘a painful exploration‘ of middle age. homosexuality and loneliness. went down well at Greenwich Theatre. and may soon tour to Los Angeles and Broadway. (Radio 3. Sun 10. 7.30pm)
I Thinking Aloud A new series of six essays. starting with Jonathon Swift‘s infamous satirical essay A Modest Proposal. which suggests that the rich eat the children ofthe poor. thus solving Britain‘s poverty problem. Later essayists include Churchill. Muggeridge and other snowy-haired. learned gentlemen. (Radio 4. Sun 10. 8.40pm)
I Third Ear: Norman Mailer At 24. he was comparedto Homer. His new novel. Harlor’s Ghost. has been hailed as his masterpiece. A failed politician. Mailer has had six wives — one of whom he stabbed at a party — and sired nine children. Sounds more like Henry VIII than Homer. (Radio 3. Tue 12, 7.05pm)
I Indian Tales ot the Re] Another opportunity to delve into the psyche of those quirky. idiosyncratic. insular funsters. the British colonialists— this time from an Indian perspective. In the first programme. Serving the Sahibs. Indians who served in the army. civil service. law and business, talk about the Raj andits legacy. (Radio 4. starts Wed 13. 1 1pm)
I The Cabaret otDoctor Callgarl The second in a series of ‘comic urban horror stories' - a peculiar melange of alternative comedy. horror story. 505 ‘8' movie and old- fashioned come-uppance. as far as I can tell. (Radio 5.Thurs14.9.3()pm).
The List 8— 21 November 199171