When I grow up i can think of no ﬁner geriatric to be than Preston Lockwood. This splendidly-named character, who if he didn’t exist would have had to be invented by Graham Greene, was the twinkling, subversive 82~year-oid conscience of Northwood Golf Club, the subject of another gloriously illuminating Cutting Edge (Channel 4) ﬁlm.
Our Preston was ﬁghting an uphill battle to save Northwood’s soul from eternal damnation. All those stereotypes about golf clubs — that they are the habitat of chubby, red-faced Telegraph-reading City gents with sinister masonic connections, keeping undesirable artisans out of the club- house, denying ‘lady’ members a say in the running of the club, and stufﬁng their faces in arcane lunch-clubs - were proved scarily accurate. Co-producers Kate Woods and Brian Hill’s previous project was Sylvania Waters, and the same delicious eavesdropping atmosphere permeated this ﬁlm.
‘What’s bereavement when you can play a few holes and sink a few gins with the boys
Woods and Hill’s cameras lingered around the edges of the greens, in the committee rooms and by the lunch— tables of the 19th hole, picking up snippets of blimpish little England. The ladies wanted to be allowed to play on Sunday mornings, but as one lard- ridden neckless codger pointed out, ‘They won’t be able to make it to the tee by 9am after cooking breakfast and doing all the clearing up.’ Fellow- thinker Peter Harvey gave us a sober analysis of the appeal of the club. ‘If you’re unfortunate and lose your wife, you can always come down here and cheer yourself up.’ That’s the spirit. Pete, what’s bereavement when you can play a few holes and sink a few gins with the boys afterwards?
Preston Lockwood wandered through this mineﬁeld of bigotry with an ironic grin, a philosophical shrug and the occasional outburst of irritation, a wise- cracking cross between Wilfrid Hyde- White and Guy Burgess. ‘I put up with this horrendous right-wing bunch for the sake of the game,’ he conﬁdes in an arch aside to camera. Once out on the fairway though, Preston begins to recant. ‘I kid myself I enjoy it, but i hate the game really,’ he says, playing an awkward chip out of the trees. ‘I
really am a diabolical player. But we’re at the 16th now, looking forward to tea and toast and all the good things in life.’ It was a rare moment of warmth in a ﬁlm rich in examples of the petty- mindedness of the small man.
Lenny Henry’s trip into the world of black American comedy for The South Bani: Show (Scottish) was too disjointed to do full justice to the subject matter, but Henry’s easy-going accessible approach elicited some pointed material. Kwnan Ivory Wayans, the writer and performer behind the US TV hit show In Living Color, bemoaned the fact that it wasn’t enough for a black comic simply to be funny, they have to end racism single- handedly. ‘At what point do you celebrate your achievements?’ he asked. ‘I can’tjust be a comedian, I’ve got to change the world as well.’
New York comic Ricky Harris graduated from robbing and selling crack cocaine to become a stand-up (which makes a change from a degree at Manchester Poly and three years in an experimental theatre co-op i suppose), and stressed the importance of studying the comedians of the 503 and 60s. Unlike Britain, where revisionist comics tend to believe that laughter was invented in l979, Harris insisted ‘lf you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future.’
‘You can punch the opposition, grab their vitals and stamp on the fleshy parts of their head and receive at worst a caution. Shove your hand into a scrum at the wrong moment though and It’s disaster, last-second penalties and tears before tea-time with Dougie nonneﬂyﬁ
Meanwhile can anybody explain Rugby IIIIOI (BBC!) to me? it seems you can punch the opposition, grab their Vitals and stamp on the ﬂeshy parts of their head and receive at worst a caution. Shove your hand into a scrum at the wrong moment though and it’s disaster, last-second penalties and tears before tea-time with Dougie Donnelly. It’s a man’s game as James Brown nearly said. Back at Northwood, Preston was hacking out of the rough. ‘I have been known to take nine on this green. Still it’s better than being on remand for several years without trial . . .’ (Tom Lappin)
A selection of television highlights, listed by day, in chronological order. Television listings compiled by Torn
I Surgical Spirit (Scottish) 8.30—9pm. Nicola McAuiiffe stars as the stroppy surgeon Sheila in the medical sitcom. Jonathan consoles himself after his split with Sheila by flirting with a new nurse. I Drive (BBCl) 8.50—9pm. Alexei Sayle teaches us to drive safely in a series of ten-minute amusing ﬁlms with a serious message.
I love iiurts (BBCl) 9.30—10.30pm. Adam Faith and Zoe Wanamaker engage in more sulky tantrums as Frank’s plans to buy a vineyard hit a few snags and Tessa's hopes of setting up a women’s refuge look equally shaky.
I llome Improvement (Channel 4) 9.30—10pm. Tim Allen stars as TV handyman Tim Taylor. attempting to teach his sons some table manners.
I Roseanne (Channel 4) 10—10.30pm. Jackie agrees to go out with Dan’s workmate, if Roseanne will ﬁre the horrendous Bev (played by Golden Girl Estelle Getty) from the diner.
I Damien - limen II (Scottish) 10.30pm—12.30am. Second instalment of the satanic horrorshow ﬁnds antichrist Damien reaching the age of puberty. Comedy fans will notice that Vic and Bob stole their idea of the ‘bloke under the ice’ from this.
I The Unpleasant World Of Penn And Teller (Channel 4) 10.30—11.05pm. The sick and scurrilous magicians perform more bad-taste trickery. teaching us how to impress a hot date and scaring special guest Christopher Reeve.
I The Word (Channel 4)
i 1.05pm-12. 10am. Terry Christian, Huffty, Dani Behr and Mark Lamarr introduce more salacious showbiz chat and music.
I Fantasy league ’94 (BBC2)
l 1.15—1 1.45pm. A further instalment of the shoddy soccer game-show, with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel.
I Olympic Grandstand (BBC2) 3—5pm and 11.45pm—12.35am. Coverage of the opening ceremony from the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and ice-hockey action from the ﬁrst day.
I llew Baywatch (Scottish) 5.35—6.30pm. More gossip and gussets with the Californian life-savers.
I The llew Adventures Of Superman (BBCi) 5.45—6.30pm. The soapy take on the superhero saga continues, with Lois going undercover to expose a bunch of ruthless arsonists.
I to Picasso (BBC2) 7.55—8.40pm. A season of programmes devoted to the acclaimed Catalan artist begins with a
dramatised documentary account of his
life. Brian Cox plays Picasso in his studio in the 605, recalling an eventful life. See preview.
I Casualty (BBCl) 8.30—9.20pm. Tempers run high in the Holby department as staff discover the fate of Queen’s Hospital.
I Unplugged: Crosby Stills And llash (BBC2) 8.40—9.05pm. Zone out to the slumbersome Yank geriatrics in another MTV power-free concert.
I IYPD Blue (Channel 4) 9—lOpm. Kelly and Martinez attempt to catch a fellow ofﬁcer who caused the death of an elderly
I Arena: The llarlrer Side Of Black (BBC2) 9.05-l0.0Spm. An examination of the cultural origins of ragga music, and the furore surrounding its violent, misogynist and homophobic lyrics.
I Buster (Scottish) 9.15—1lpm. Cheeky Cockney capers with Phil Collins as dim train robber Buster Edwards whose ill- gotten gains and exile in Mexico prove no substitute for life in rainy London.
I Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush (Channel 4) lO—l 1.05pm. Breakfast king Chris Evans hosts a new live entertainment show with help from fellow wackoid Jools Holland. See preview.
I llnited States Of Television (Channel 4) 11.05—1 1.50pm. As previewed last issue, Laurie Kightlinger takes a trawl through the wilder extremes of American TV offering a compilation of some of the more bizarre shows on offer.
I Broadway Stories: Sense Of Humour (Channel 4) 11.50—12.20am. Mike MacShane recounts the tale of Joe the Joker who rather recklessly plans a surprise for Frankie Ferocious.
I late licence (Channel 4)
1230—4. 15am. The return of Channel 4’s service for insomniacs with Lily Savage and ‘Page 3 Stunna’ Gayle Tuesday presenting a mix of music and comedy.
'I Hoviewatch (Channel 4) 6—6.30pm. Johnny Vaughan hosts the ﬁlm review show from Leicester, with punter pundits offering their critiques of Schindler '3 List, A Bronx Tale and Flight 0 The Innocent I Encounters: finest For he Mr (Channel 4) 7-8pm. A new environmental series opens with a report on the discovery of a mysterious object in the remote mountains of Eastern Turkey. Could it be Noah’s Ark?
I llorse Opera (Channel 4) 8-9pm. Another specially-commissioned TV Opera, this is based on Anne Caulﬁeld's play about an ofﬁce clerk who fantasises about the Old West. Rik Mayail, Edward Tudor-Pole and Gina Bellman feature in
the cast. and the score is provided by former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. I Only Fools And Horses (BBCl) 8.25—9.40pm. More classic comedy with John Sullivan’s Cockney wide-boys. Rodney is feeling a mite cheesed-off
about Cassandra’s career commitments.
I Moving Pictures (BBC2) 8.55-9.45pm. ! A report on Spielberg’s acclaimed ‘ Schindler's List set during the Nazi Holocaust interviewees include Roman Polanski whose uncles were saved from death by Oskar Schindler.
The List 11—24 February I994 61