The living dead 3

A new interview series, The : Obituary Show, has already killed 3 and buried Glenda Jackson, Ken ' Russell and Spike Milligan on film. I Tom Lappin watches the tributes _ flood in. j

Glenda Jackson: not dead yet

In the TV programme title buzzword stakes. j

where the leaders are Simpsons, Third Reich I Glenda Jackson, Spike Milligan and Ken Russell subjects, loving Ken Russell for his flamboyance, Inspector and sex, Obituary would proba|y find .' are the first celebrities to be given the treatment, but somewhat perplexed by the chairman of the itselfa long way down the list, sounding more than g with more planned for a second series. The process . Manic Depressive Society (honest) Spike a tad morbid, Which I suppose makes The involves a combination ofpersonal revelation, Milligan. ‘Spike Milligan was completely honest,‘ Obituary Show, Glasgow independent Big Star In comment from both friendly and frank ‘witnesses‘ ' says Barclay, ‘and rather disarming. He really is A wee Picture‘s latest production for Channel 4‘s 1 and archive footage. ‘The main thrust of the only remembered for the Goon Show despite the Without Walls strand, something of a courageous , programme is a long biographical interview.‘ : fact that he‘s been really prolific and done lots of venture, especially when you hear it will feature explains Barclay. ‘a sort of cross between an arts other things. He says that it will say on his funereal music, ethereal lighting and religious profile. a This Is Your Life sort of thing and a tombstone “Wrote the Goon Show and died“. imagery critical Private Eye-type piece about the person. He‘s really keen to be regarded as Irish, but he has Fear not though. for it turns out that we aren’t in this real old-Empire English streak to his for a roll call ofthe recently deceased, but personal .He said he wanted to be buried in a I character. He’s full of apparent contradictions,

. . . but he‘s also very funny. He said he wanted to be wasmng macmne so u would contuse . buried in a washing machine so it would confuse

future archaeologists who WOUIU think h8’d future archaeologists who would think he‘d been

been washed to death.’ washed to death-’ . r The Obituary Show promises an interesting new : take on the interview/profile show, although a lot

and kicking, but are given the premise that they have just shuffled off this mortal coil, and would they please look back at their lifetime's achievements. The visual style and atmosphere

are as much irreverent as sombre, with the subject I

profiles ofcelebrities who are still very much alive j

sitting enthroned in glass as if in limbo between life We?“ them Vcr." Personal thmgs aboui the" “‘3' will depend on how bitchy the witnesses are and death. ‘It‘s definitely not morbid,‘ insists ' the“ “feet and a_ Standard 59‘ 0f qucsm’m abou‘ , prepared to be. In actual obituaries. writers are assistant producer Sarah Barclay. ‘although there the” {"f‘mdcs ‘0 M? and death» that 50” 0f thing} ' often restrained by a natural inclination to not are more moments of pathos than you get in most What It I! 53." 0" the" t0mb510m~ Who." be at the” , speak ill of the dead. No such restraints should interview shows, and sometimes it can be very funeral- . _ . affect the TV version. (Tom Lappin)

profound_ But. ironically enough. it comes across . Lynn Barber, the notorious mtervrewer from the The Obituary Showstam 0,, Chafing” on 3 more as a celebration of me .~ , Independent helps to flesh out the character of the December 0, 9pm.

Castle, among others. ‘Brltain has the turn Britain into a ‘new Jerusalem”, but 1


i reputation ol being the most just six years laterthe traditional ruling class-ridden society in the world,’ classes were back in power. claims Cockerell, who should know (he ‘Upper-class Tories have sought to 1 works lor the BBC alter all). project themselves as men of the t . ‘Since the Second World War, people, while the Labour leaders have ' John Major, like the woman he . l governments have declared their aim presented respectable middle-class deposed, is a man at the people. At ' oi increasing social mobility and personas,’ says Cockerell, who won’t

least, that's what he tells us. He gets

his suits irom CM and his kicks lrom

the lootball terraces. And unlike

Douglas Hurd, who tried valiantly 3

l reducing class dillerences. The series be drawn into revealing his own class . i will assess how successlul they have background. “Obviously I know what I j ' been, and the elleci class now has on am mysell, but when you’re a journalist v the way people vote, in an age that has you get talking to all kinds at people, !

' during the leadership campaign to play a " I seen the rise of Essex Man and the and what you are seems less important 9 down his PriVilelied beektifound. John MiChael 300*9'9" P'esemem' “338 ""‘e ; ‘Loadsamoney Society.’ than getting them to talk.’ Hmm, my

1 the circus-acrobat’s son, didn’t go to t t Cockerell, a political reporter for 25 guess is that he's upper-middle class,

! Eton. ln tact he wouldn't even know a the way in which politics have drawn j years, points out that Major’s pledge to educated at Oxlord, with a hefty

g public-school tie it it strangled him. 3 upon class, interweaving archive lilm ? create a classless society has been guilt-complex. (Aaron Hicklin)

' In a new tour-part series lor BBCZ. l with contributions irom Tony Benn, . heard belore. Clement Attlee believed Class Rule, BBC 2, Tue 26 Nov,

1. reporter Michael Cookerell examines ; Peregrine Worsthorne and Barbara his Labour government ol 1945 would 9.50pm.


L -__

68'I'hc List 22 November— 5 December 199]