:— Empress’s new clothes
' I! clothed in the linked City
Fancy watching a spliff rolling competition between MP Tony Banks and Fish, or maybe a lesbian golf tournament In los Angeles? If so, then the new series of llaked City should be your cup of gunge. Hosted by the ever effervescent Caitlin Moran and Movlewatch’s Johnny Vaughan, the show aims to drag yoof programming above the Neanderthal with a mix of intelligent interviews, live bands and bizarre celebrity challenges. Something of a mixed format seems to be on offer but whatever flaked City is, it ain’t The Word. ‘There was no love in that programme at all,’ gushes Moran. ‘It was very vicious and nasty.
There’s no viciousness in this show. We’ve got a lot of heart. We’ve got so much to give.’
ilaving survived a close encounter with Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and a chainsaw in the first series, Moran’s enthusiasm for television seems to be undlminished and she’s excited at the prospect of being allowed a reasonable budget second time round. ’For the first series we’d go into a garage, not a shrdio,’ she remembers. ‘l’d have no script, no autocue and make up what I was going to say seconds before we turned the cameras on. low we’ve got a proper studio, more than one camera and a producer who knows what he’s doing. Most importantly of all I’ve got a wardrobe allowance.‘
So Moran gets to choose her clothes and her favourite bands; the Boo Badleys, Jeff Buckley and the Cranes will all be making an appearance, as will Crowded House. ‘Everybody thinks that they aren’t cool and I think they are,’ she explains. So there.
Vaughan will conduct a weekly feature investigating the dress and behaviour codes necessary for aspiring goth/ragga/crusty and metal freaks. Step aside Kate Adie, it takes real nerve to ask a gang of cider swilllng crustles exactly how long it takes for their hair to reach optimum tangled furball mass. Moran has a theory about how Vaughan manages to avoid a kicking: ‘Iie wears a blazer and reeks of corporatism. People get a bit scared of that.’ Ah, the power of that wardrobe allowance. (Jonathan Trew) flaked City starts on Channel 4 on Wednesday 27 April at 11.05pm.
_ Kiss and tell
France has a ‘mouth culture’, apparently. In Britain, we incorrectly call the intertwining of tongues ‘French kissing’ but the real thing is rather more chaste - a greeting involving a peck on both cheeks, always starting on the left. Unless, that is, you’re in Paris when it’s a left, right, left affair, or ilormandy, where the pace of life is slower and a ritual greeting involves no fewer than four kisses. We Britons take elaborate measures to avoid kissing our friends unless we’re planning to go all the way - and that’s ‘I.a Difference’.
This new series narrated by lionor Blackman - best known as James Bond’s sometime sparring partner, Pussy Galore - is billed as an ‘affectlonate look at the English and the French and the things that have always come between there’. (Note the English bit; this is a story of old enemies, not auld alliances.)
In selecting the sharp contrast the format requires, this documentary has been forced to stray to the extremes of both countries. For instance, is the kind of English fully that has an au pair really typical? 0r after a trawl through Soho’s gay bars. Is it reasonable to suggest that England as
a whole is tolerant towards homeeexeallty? And is every pre- pubeecent French girl taught how to be a proper little madam at beauty
in ilisiop; stating France's poodle media school? Probably not, but it mates for better television than a serious attempt to contrast and compare the two cultures.
The first programme looks at love and sex. Working on the assumption that you can judge a nation’s appetites by its popular press, the very English Ian lllslop is dispatched to quiz newscaster Christine Cckrent on political scandal. Introduced as ‘the queen of current affairs’, she makes it clear that the French media does not regard reporting It politicians’ affairs as acceptable, while implying that France’s elected leaders are rather better behaved than their English counterpart. ‘I’m very sorry but we haven’t found any French MP with stockings on his naked body for quite some time,’ she says waspishly. ‘The French people wouldn’t know about it if they had,’ retort Ilislop. Touche. (Eddie Gibb) la Difference start on BBC2 on Sunday 24 April at 7.40pm.
.\ i ,
Mixed media: Sanleev Kohli, 7
Sidra Kim aid To. Billing ‘lt‘s hard being black in Britain.’ said one ofthe guests on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday night. ‘When i was at school someone couldn‘t understand how I could have a black mother and a white father. The only thing he could get his head around was when I told him i was born white and had a suntan which never went away.’
The problems of ignorance and lack of a media-profile for ethnic communities have been well catalogued. But following in the success of ﬁlms like Bhaji on the Beach. which highlighted the traumas of second and third generation Asian women, Ghetto Blasting is a new radio programme aiming to push minority broadcasting out ofghettos and into the media mainstream.
‘lt is quite different from what people expect a multi-cultural programme to be.’ points out producer Uzma Mir. ‘They think it’s going to be kind of
worthy and a bit too serious. but my idea is to make it as young. vibrant and interesting as possible.’
Presented by the charismatic new BBC Scotland wonderboy. Sanjeev Kohli. with Sidra Khan and Tom Chung. the hour-long magazine format is a mixture of live discussion on current issues. features. music. reviews of books. ﬁlms. theatre and the chance to phone in and add something to the discussion.
The two biggest communities in Scotland are the Chinese and Asian but there is also a burgeoning Afro- Caribbean population. How can one programme hope to hold their interest? ‘We just basically pick issues that cross all the baniers,‘ says Mir. ‘Arranged marriage has been done so many times but never from the perspective of the actual ethnic minority concerned. It’s always been from the white perspective. On the ﬁrst programme we had guests including a Muslim woman who is married to a British man and is very unhappy with it and would never have a mixed marriage again and a Chinese woman who is just about to many a British man. Whatever ethnic community you’re in. you could pick bits out of what each of them were saying that would apply to you.‘
Ghetto Blasting provides a vital insight into a range of ethnicity-related topics. However, the most promising sign of its cross-culture appeal was the number of white Scots who called in to take part in discussions. (Beatrice Colin)
Ghetto Blasting is on BBC Radio Scotland on Sundays from 8-9pm.
I What If . . . ? (Radio 4) 44.30pm, Sat 23 Apr. The format might sound a bit ponderous: two people and a presenter sit in a studio and talk about what would have happened if say. Thatcher had never got into power. But this edition has Eddie Shah and Dennis Skinner ‘discussing’ the loss of trade union power. so it's probably worth tuning in just to hear the acoustic effects of two grown men hitting each other in a sound proofed room.
I Alan Parker (Radio 1) 9—9.30pm, Wed 27 Apr. Urban Warrior Alan Parker sets out to subvert the nation through close textual analysis of Sham 69 songs and offers helpful advice on how to ﬁght Fascism. A comedy must bear for anyone who cares about what‘s happening to the kids out there on the streets. ‘cos Alan cares. alright?
I Still“! Control (Q96) 8—IOpm. Weds. Iain Hossack presents a new programme dedicated to the West of Scotland music scene. He’ll be interviewing local bands and hopefully educating young musicians in the ways of the music industry. Plus lots of music. reviews and analysis of the latest equipment.
I Storyline: A Lady’s life In The Rocky Mountains (Radio Scotland) midday—12.20pm. Mon 25—Fri 29 Apr. Eileen McCullam reads the remarkable journey of Isabella Bird, who crossed the Rocky Mountains in 1873. She met wild mountain men. grizzly bears. drunken cowboys. took part in cattle drives and befriended ‘Rocky Mountain Jim', one of the West's most notorious gunmen.
I The Three Musketeers (Radio 4) iO—lO.30am. Thurs 28 Apr. Big star line up including Timothy Spall. Anton Lesser. Jamie Glover and Imelda Staunton for this six part dramatisation of Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling epic.
I The Campden Wonder (Radio 4)
2-3pm. Thurs 28 Apr. Mark Hebden not
dead! Okay so he may have pranged his car in The Archers but now he’s back in a murder mystery drama. Richard Denington plays John Perry, who in 1676 was accused of murdering his master. Perry in turn accused his brother and his mother, who was a witch, and then began to exhibit some increasingly odd behaviour during his trial. Who would have anticipated the outcome ten years later. . .
I Murder Most Foul (Radio 4) 10-10.30am, Fri 29 Apr. When not playing devil‘s advocate with hoary old ex-Majors who ask for more public whippings on his early morning phone in, the delightful Nick Ross presents aural crime reconstructions. This time he‘s delving into the secret life of bigamist Arthur Rouse: can the pathologist ﬁnd a link between the body in Rouse’s burnt out car and Rouse himself?
I Travel Time (Radio Scotland) lO—lO.30am. Fri 29 Apr. Geoffrey Baskerville delivers a special report from the Tibetan Plateau. For centuries this land of Buddhism. mountains and yaks was closed to all foriegners, but today the visitor can enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Unfortunately the country is occupied by the Chinese. who have assiduously been destroying the indigenous culture as well as a lot of the Tibetans. so you might not want to go there anyway.
I Tell W More (Radio Scotland) 6.45—7pm, Thurs 28 Apr. Science and technology made about as sexy as you can get on the wireless: Roddy Forsyth goes to a house in Paisley where-the bricks are on the interior to create a giant storage heater. and looks at a computer interface for disabled people which works on the principle of speech recognition. The sort of programme that provides the sort of arcama which you can really irritate peOple with if they sit next to you on the bus.
16 The List 22 April—5 May 1994