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V RADIO Highlights

80 not out: Brian Johnston

I Bodie's Occupation A new comedy

thriller by Jack Gerson. See preview. (Radio Scotland, Sat 20, 9.30am)

i I Dire Straits at Woburn For those

who like this kind of thing (and a frankly scary number of people do) the head-banded ones take to the stage at about 8pm. Tune in earlier and hear two groups not past their sell-by date, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. and Was (Not Was). (Radio 1 . Sat 20. 3—10.30pm)

I Johnners at 80 As English as a lovely fruit cake from Mrs Blenkinsop in Worthing, Brian Johnston hits the big 8-0 and reminisees about 45 years in broadcasting. For all his old Etonian/Cambridge background, he’s still the fairest and most impartial sports journalist of his generation and certainly one of the

most accomplished chatters of this or any other era. (Radio 3, Sat 20, 1.10pm)

I A Year In Harness Continuing Paul Heiney’s entertaining account of life on his organic Suffolk farm. It’s April and that old radio favourite, a country ‘character’, turns up to show Paul how to plant potatoes in the traditional manner while muttering into the microphone ‘I dunno why ’e don’t just buy ’em from the supermarket like the rest of us.’ (Radio 4, Sat 20, 5pm)

I In Richard Hannay’s Footsteps Christopher Lambton, copy of The Thirty Nine Steps in hand, sets out to retrace John Buchan‘s hero‘s flight from those damn cunning Germans. He also addresses the question of to what extent the book was a catharsis

for Buchan himself— who created his

dashing hero after being told he was too feeble to fight in the Great War (lucky man). (Radio 4, Wed 24,


I In Concert: The Levellers and Blur Two bands, both just on the verge of very big things indeed, and deservedly so (for once). Blur, live, probably just about shade it in the quality stakes so long as you crank up the volume. (Radio 1, Thurs 25, 9pm)

I Bookshelf A true rarity - an author willing to talk about her novels with the paying public. PeneIOpe Lively answers listeners’ questions about her (Booker prize-winning) work and writing in general during this phone-in hosted by Nigel Forde. (Radio 4, Fri 26, 3.30pm)

(Philip Parr)

Bodie count

Glasgow’s lull ol shotgun-wielding heavies, corrupt politicians and crooked cops. . . in the lictional world of Jack Gerson's Bodie. Gerson’s hero in his new six-part drama for Radio Scotland is a down-at-heel gumshoe treading the mean streets very much in the style at Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. But where the creations ot Hammett and Chandler are tough men with a penchant for snapping limbs, Bodie is in his early sixties and the only bodily harm he’s ever committed was to slabs oi meat in his butcher's shop on the Byres Road. ‘I wanted something dilierent,‘ says Gerson ‘and a butcher seemed like a suitably dalt concept’

Gerson wrote the part at Bodie for an old iriend, Robert Urquhart, whose gravelly Glaswegian voice does lull justice to Gerson’s ear lor sharp, wry dialogue. Once again in the classic private eye tradition, Bodle has a wise-cracking secretary and a seemingly all-knowing janitor who looks alter his seedy oiiice block. The retired butcher can hardly believe his luck when his dreams oi

Bogart-emulation (he carries Chandler i novels around with him as reterence

l sources) startto turn into reality with

j the discovery of a murderous intrigue

5 involving councillors, property

developers and the tormer lranchise

j holder oi the detective agency who

L ‘accidently died' as a result oi

Jack Gerson

seventeen stab-wounds. Gerson himsell admits to loving all at the 303 novels, but doesn't take it as tar as wanting to step into the shoes oi Bodie himseli.

“That’s a bit much,’ he replies. ‘l'd rather be pretending to do it and write it, it’s saler. I’ve met some at the crooks in Glasgow and they can be rather sinister, but then they own bungalows in Whitecraigs and things like that, so I’ve tried to capture that double identity. It is a fiction; how would you put it- heightened reality. But, hell, maybe the reality is heightened llction when you think of the recent goings on with Pat Lally and the real council. (Philip Parr)

Bodie’s Occupation begins on BBC Scotland on Sat 20 June at 9.30am.

Looking to escape born the ‘wondertul summer oi sport’ on the box? The List guide to what's new on the vus boot in the rental shops and on the sell-through shelves


I Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey (PG) A sequel that improved on the original. while remaining as engagingly stupid. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are the excellent dudes, inhabiting the sort of‘North American adolescent heavy metal experience‘ recently given a higher profile going-over in Wayne's World. This time around thay are slain. literally, by a couple of bogus robot clones, and have to battle a splendidly Bergmancsque Grim Reaper to get back to life and rescue the princess babes. Amiably daft stuff with some splendid one-liners. viz. on cncounteringthc gatesof Hell: ‘Man. our album covers lied to us!‘ (20:20 Vision)

I V.l. Warshawski ( 15) Sara Paretsky‘s feisty private detective is played by Kathleen Turner with a mixture of no-holds- barred sexuality and a neat line in applied violence. The story is routine murder, corruption and lunkish hoods stuff, but Turner‘s performance is strong enough to distract you from the limitations ofthe plot without ever appraoching the subtlety of characterisation to be found in the novels. (Buena Vista)

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I Till Death Us Do Part ( 15) Nothing to do with Alf Garnett. this is another one of those true-life drama TV movies that Odyssey churn out. it‘s the tale of how state prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (who later made the case against Charles Manson) fought to bringa cunning psychopath to justice. Alan Palliko makes a habit of seducing. marrying and murdering wealthy women. As the film’s blurb says: ‘He loved her almost as much as he loved the insurance money.‘ And only one man could stop him . . . ho hum. (Odyssey)

I Notorious (15) (Guild) I Mannequin On The Move (PG) (Warner)

I Dead On (18) (Warner)


\ B‘tllltt l.£\l\s,h l-ll u

I Avalon (U) Barry Levinson‘s family saga tells the story ofthc Krichinskys, Polish immigrants who come to embrace. and be taken over by. the American Dream. The family that was initially united by the

traditions of the Fourth of July and Thanksgivingis gradually fragmented by the ambitions ofa new generation. Occasionally moving, often very funny, ifsometimes over-sentimental. (Columbia Tristar £10.99))

I Pstcards From The Edge

(15) Meryl Streep and

Shirley Maelaine star in this comedy melodrama about the love/hate relationship between a mother and daughter in the midst of a drug and alcohol-crazed Hollywood. Based on the ‘novel‘ by Carrie Fisher, who knew a bit about this sort ofthing. (Columbia Tristar £10.99)

I Problem Child (PG) irritating comedy about a villainous little kid with no discernible redeeming features (the kid or the film). (C1C£10.99)

I An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (U) Our hero immigrant mouse heads for the Wild West in another cutesy Disney animation. Pass the sickbag. (ClC,£l2.99)

I Robin Hood (U) Not Kevin Costner. not the other one. not even Lorne Green. but a kids‘ version ofthe Sherwood Forest socialism tale. (Buena Vista£13.99)

I Talespin: True Baloo (U) (Buena Vista £8.99) ITalespin: Fearless Flyers (U) (Buena Vista £8.99) I Chip 'n' Dale—Danger Bangers (U) In which Walter Smith signs a couple of lovable chipmunks to bolster up his midfield. (Buena Vista £8.99)

I Chip 'n' Oale-Oueliing Dale (U) (Buena Vista £8.99)

I Oucktales-Fool OtThe Nile (U) (Buena Vista £8.99)

I Oucktales-thtle Ouckaroos(U) (Buena Vista £8.99)

I Gooiy's Olympic Goots (U) Essential viewing for Tom McKean. (Buena Vista £8.99)

IAuntle’s Bloomers The BBC's answer to all those Denis Norden [I'll Be Alright On The Night capers. You‘d have to be particularly sad to want to own this. (BBC, £10.99) I Beau Geste This is more like it. Quality drama and a rattling good yarn for all the family. The BBC costume department has done us proud in the past few decades. as the rest of the fortnight‘s releases testify.(BBC, £14.99)

I Little Women (BBC, £14.99)

I OoctorWho: Daleks-The EarlyYears (BBC.£12.99) I Doctor Who: Shada (BBC, £12.99)

I OoctorWho: Cybermen-The Early Years (BBC, £19.99)

58 The List 19June 2 July 1992