50 The List 1 l--24 February I994

Power games

Sister to Vanessa, aunt to llatasha, and daughter oi Michael, lynn Redgrave is probably the most removed member at the Redgrave clan. She lives in LA tor a start, experiencing at iirst hand the rigours oi both forest tires and the earthquake, and consequently is rarely to be seen on British TV.

Calling The Shots, a new two-part American co-production with the BBC, otters her the part oi tough ' investigative documentarist Maggie llonneIIy. ‘I worked with the director, I Ross Devenish, a few years ago and he i thought oi me and sent me the script,’ she says. ‘The character was so strong ', that it leapt up oil the page at me. My 4 heart was in my mouth all the time, and l phoned Ross straight away and said “when do we start?”

“It’s rare to get a script this strong,’ she continues, “with a character like this - most oi the time we actors have to make a character out oi very few clues. Had this been made for American network TV, it would undoubtedly have been softened, and equally undoubtedly I would not have been in it. They would have taken 30 years oil the woman’s age and given the role to the latest llavour oi the month.’ it’s certainly a bit of a shock to hear the hard-edged llorthern Irish accent with which the ultra-English Redgrave kits out the character - somehow it seems appropriate tor the ilavour oi integrity the production is trying to convey.

The labyrinthine thriller plot takes place against the background at power struggles in the TV news department - with the well-meaning

lynn Redgrave plays reporter Maggie Bonnelly but exploitative Bonnelly lighting her comer as a new programme chiei tries to drive the slot downmarket. ‘Rer ieeling oi her power over her medium makes her certainly culpable within the story,’ she explains. ‘llonetheless, she has overstepped her bounds, and

is paying a rather hideous price ior it.’ i For Bonnelly becomes the subject oi a

spooky pursuit as she gets involved in

investigating a rape and assault she

accidentally captures on videotape. Calling The Shots covers plenty oi

v bases, irom the PC territory oi gender and media manipulation, to the

currently popular ‘strong woman’ genre in which other actresses - Helen Mirren, Cherie lunghi - have shone. ‘Sometimes you have to make that leap oi iaith,’ Redgrave concludes, ‘and bury yourselves in one

character that is perhaps beyond your

ken. You only have one lite, and

1 however widely experienced you are,

ii you want to play wildly diiierent characters you have to accept your own limitations as well.’ (Andrew


Calling The Shots begins on BBCi on Tuesday 15 February at 9.30pm.

Tooth or dare g

Chris Evans tills that Saturday night cavity

At a Channel 4 launch last year, the station’s boss Michael Grade proclaimed Chris Evans a genius. The ginger-haired, bespectacled ionner N has been light entertainment’s biggest discovery oi the 90s, his blend oi childlike enthusiasm and manic irreverence being vital ingredients in the success at ‘The Big Breakiast’. In the increasingly prevalent world oi ‘zoo TV’ Evans is one oi the biggest cats around.

Rumours abound about the mammoth

incentives Channel 4 have oiiered Evans to stay with them. Part oi the deal must be “Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush’, a new live entertainment extravaganza with elements of chat, music and game-show.

It sounds a potential shambles, and reports from the studio suggest that

. the pilots were unremitting disasters. In the wake ol Danny Baker’s recent ' much-hyped ilop oi a chat-show, there

are more than a low TV people keen to see golden boy Evans iail.

He’s no mug though, and the new

series plays to his strengths as a irom-the-hip presenter and people’s mate. In among the gags and routines

with iellow chirpy ironist Jools

Holland, will be the game-show that

, gives the series its title. Three hundred people irom around the

country will arrive to make up the

5 studio audience, cases and

toothbrushes packed, hoping that they will be the lucky couple to win the

: competition and ily oil to the

Caribbean that very night.

lt’s tacky, it’s live and it’s very American, but you have the sneaking suspicion that it anybody can carry it oil with the right blend oi rabble- rousing excitement and knowing seli- parody it’ll be Evans. Don’t bet against him. (Tom Lappin) .

Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush begins on Channel 4 on Saturday 12 February 2 at 10pm.

All thatjazz

lt’s six months until August, but those Festival FM people are up and at us again. Under the guise of ‘Somethin‘ Else Sounds Directions Ltd’, they are the producers of a unique syndicated jazz-dance radio show, the TAG. Talkin' Loud Hour. The hour will be broadcast by the UK’s eleven biggest Independent Local Radio (l.L.R.) stations, including RFM and Clyde 1, over a ten-week period from 10 February.

The idea is simple: to have one of Britain's most respected DJs, Gilles Peterson (creator of Talkin' Loud Records, which otherwise has nothing to do with this show) to produce a twenty-minute segment within the hour of each DJ 's show. The Talkin’ Loud 20 is a funk/house/jazz montage of classic, current, forthcoming and exclusive cuts; Peterson has a mean reputation for getting his hands on material that doesn’t surface domestically for months.

Certainly it’s a brave idea for radio in Scotland, where dance music invariably leans towards the white- youth-rave scene. in something approaching musical segregation, Peterson panders to a scene that is orthodox in London, black-youth-soui. While this may seem like another

Talkin’ Loud in man Gilles Peterson

challenge to the regional identity of Scottish radio. Somethin‘ Else spokesperson Celeste Neill claims that the idea is to encourage new tastes. ‘Prcsenters will be building their show around the jazz-dance scene. thus introducing the music into their own repertoire and bringing underground music into the mainstream. Above all,‘ Neill cites, ‘the show aims to expand listener choice and encourage them to broaden their musical tastes.‘ (Philip Dorward) The TAG. 'lalkin' Loud Hour will be broadcast on Clyde / at 6pm. Saturday during the Paul Welsh show, and on RFM at 9pm during John Collins's Thursday night show.


I A Book at Bedtime: Oscar and lucinda Thurs 10 Feb. 10.45—l lprn. Twelve part serialisation of Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel. Set in 19th century Australia. this is a bizarre tale of love between a minister and a glass fetishist who share a compulsion for gambling.

I Storyline: The Chlorine Bath (Radio Scotland) Fri ll Feb. 12.03—l2.20pm. A chance to hear Janice Galloway’s story about an office boss who tries to instil a little learn spirit by taking his workmates on a swimming trip.

I From Rice Paddles to Temples (Radio 3) Fri ll Feb. 10.45-1 |.30pm. The fascinating story of a Vietnamese ethno- musicologist who returned to his country after a long absence to make recordings of traditional music. Since he was assisted by a team of American volunteers. this programme also offers a novel perspective on the uncomfortable relationship between the US and Vietnam.

I At the Beeb: The Smiths (Radio 1) Sun 13 Feb. 7—8pm. An hour of nostalgia for the generation who were adolescent and miserable in the 80s. and found in the Smiths the ultimate soundtrack. This programme consists of early sessions and exclusive recordings from the BBC archive.

I Wind In the Willows (Radio 5) Sun 13 Feb. 9.30—10am. Ratty. Mole and the incorrigible Toad venture from the riverbank for this six part drarnatisation of Kenneth Grahame‘s tale. The cast are Timothy Bateson. Dinsdale Landen and Willie Rushton. with Martin Jarvis as the narrator.

I The Jungle Book (Radio 5) Mon 14 Feb. 9.55—l0.25am. Another children’s classic adapted by Auntie. this full scale drarnatisation runs every morning until Fri 18: take a coffee break and hear Eartha Kitt purring down the mike as Kaa. that most insinuating of pythons.

I The Music Machine: Byte the Music (Radio 3) Mon l4—Fri 18 Feb. 5—5.15pm. Mike Edwards. lead singer of Jesus Jones.

presents this series of programmes looking at the effects ofdigital technology on the music world. Areas covered will include the controversial business of sampling. computers in live performances. and computer-generated music based on the chaos theory.

I It I Should llie (Radio 4) Wed 16 Feb. 3.02—3.30pm. in this one-off feature. the death penalty is looked at not as a moral conundrum. but as a very personal tragedy. The remarkable letters that Andrew Lee Jones. a Death Row convict. wrote to a middle-aged Birmingham widow shortly before his execution form the basis of this poignant story of a very special relationship and a very barbaric practice.



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I Can't Pay? Won’t Pay! (Radio 5) Thurs l7 Feb. 9—10.10pm. This radio premiere of Dario Fo's farce and political satire stars Margi Clarke and Frances de la Tour as two ‘conscientious‘ shop lifters.

I Rello (Radio 4) Fri 18 Feb. 3.30—4pm. Different modes of greeting are the subject of this half hour documentary. Any programme which juxtaposes the ‘secret scrotal handshake' of West Africa. with a spokesperson for The Polite Society of Great Britain dismayed at today‘s ‘headlong race into mateyness' has to be worth a listen. (Catherine Fellows)