Saturday idght(butno Whigﬁeld)
mu Westwood: renowned from Brixton to the Bronx
With the Smashie and llicey squad having been pensioned off, TFM is making a serious play for club credibility and the hard-to-please 16-25-year-old demographic that goes with it. On Saturday night you can now tune in to an unprecedented eight hours of dance music (more if John Peel’s occasional jungle and techno excursions in the afternoon are included), starting with Danny Bampling and grooving straight through to Annie Nightingale, who finishes in the 4am chill-out zone.
The popularity of Pete Tong’s Friday
night Essential Selection has been a major catalyst in this move. Tong’s 500,000 audience and growing status at the station, (for what it’s worth, Steve Wright cites him as his favourite DJ) have paved the way for 1m to co- opt aciiieed survivor Bampling of Shoom fame and legendary hip hop DJ Tim Westwood to head its new Saturday night line up.
Jeff Young, who presented influential dance show Big Beat and now the Bampling show’s producer, sees it as a logical and long overdue change. ‘You’ve got to remember that Danny Bampling already has a successful show on Kiss and Tim Westwood’s been on Capital for eight years and before that, pirates,’ he explains.
1PM intends to trade directly on the existing credibility of Westwood and Bampling, which should mean no irritating patter. ‘The whole idea is that they bring what they do on a local basis to the station,’ says Young. ‘People buy tapes of Tim’s show in places like Bristol so it’s just a ‘ question of making it more available to the whole nation.’ The playlists won’t change much either: ‘Ttm’s gonna introduce elements of jungle, swing and ragga, which he doesn’t play on Capital,’ says Young. ‘Danny will play what he plays orﬂiss, lots of llew York garage and a bit of Euro:
f Barbara Tucker, 0e 0e Rogers, DJ Duke 3 that sort of thing.’
Young is confident the new look Saturday night will find an instant audience: ‘Pretty soon you won’t have to go out - just stay at home, roll up a big one, get a couple of cans in and turn up the volume.’ What would 0LT make of it all? (Bethan Cole)
3 Danny Bampling starts on Saturday 3
December at 7pm. Tim Westood’s show begins the following Saturday at 9pm.
I French Challenge: Arthur Smith‘s French letters (Radio 4. Sat 3 Dec. 10.15pm) As we all know. the French are stylish. romantic and cook Iraute cuisine for tea every night of the week. Comic Arthur Smith is not convinced and in this two-part series he sets off to ﬁnd out for himself the truth that lies behind the popular British image of France.
I The Art of llolse (Radio 1. Sun 4 Dec. 7pm) Part one of a two-part documentary which charts the history of the relationship between music and technology. Former Beatles producer George Martin kicks off the series with a look at the 50s. It was a time when both music and recording techniques were undergoing monumental change. and Martin discusses how these developments have shaped the sounds of the present day. I The Slice (Radio Scotland. Tue 6 Dec. 2pm) A slice of sporting life from this week's show with Euan Mcllwraith going several rounds with the Scottish boxing fraternity. The reports come from an amateur gym and a professional ﬁght night and will look at why the sport holds such attractions for youngsters in Scotland‘s inner cities.
I Phobias: Ken Bruce (Radio 2. Wed 7 Dec. 9.30am) Not many of us actually relish the idea of ﬁnding a spider in the bath. but for many ordinary folks in Britain today fear of things like spiders or open spaces become obsessions which take over their lives. Radio 2's two-day spate of programmes on phobias opens with Ken Bruce quizzing Olympic athlete
Geoff Capes about his fear of flying and continues with a series of shows looking at phobias off all kinds and what sufferers can do to help themselves.
§ I 0perama: The Sunday Play: Lady Macbeth 0t Mtensk (Radio 3. Sun 11
Dec. 7.30pm) Blythe Duff and James Macpherson keep themselves busy with a spot of radio drama while the long term future of Taggart is decided. Duff plays ‘the murderous Katerina’ and Macpherson her lover Sergei in this dramatisation of the modern opera lady Macbeth of Mteask by Soviet composer Shostakovich. I Cover Stories: Screen Writing (Radio Scotland. Mon 12 Dec. 6.15pm) Bill Forsyth. Liz Lochhead and Jimmy McGovern (writer of C racker) are among those doling out advice and gentle words of warning for would-be screen writers. I Sinatra at the Movies (Radio 2. Tue 13 Dec. 9.03pm) It's Christmas. and as every K-Tel marketing manager knows it's time to get nostalgic and wheel out the old Hollywood feelgood movies and songs. Roy Pickard takes the opportunity to pay tribute to that all time crooner and star of
u the silver screen Frank Sinatra with a look
at the man. the movies and the songs.
I Salem’s lot (Radio 4. Thurs IS Dec. llpm) You've read the books. you‘ve seen the ﬁlms: now prick tip your ears for the ﬁrst ever radio dramatisation of a Stephen King novel. The scene is familiar — the surface calm of a small town torn apart by a sinister presence which later turns out to be a vampire — but let‘s face it. that tried and tested King formula works every time. (Ellie Carr)
Sadly. Polish auteur Krzystof Kieslowski never explored hair loss as i a metaphor for the human condition. It l would have been called ‘A Short Film 1 About Balding‘. or possibily ‘The Double Life of Vitalis'. with endless 2 shots of barber's working pomade into the scalps of stern eastern European 5 men in mid-life crisis. as fragile French waifs called Irene or Annette looked on. smoking.
Now that Kieslowski has folded up his‘ director‘s chair forever. it fell to rookie writer Nick Vivian to instruct juries on the international ﬁlm festival circuit in the importance of baldness. and the fear. thereof. as a defining masculine characteristic. Vivian's ﬁlm .S‘yrup, which picked up a prize at Cannes this year. was the ﬁrst in the new series of Short and Curlies (Channel 4) which gives ﬁrst time writers and directors their ﬁfteen minutes of fame.
Syrup is the story of one man’s suburban hell (in lligb Barnet. where else?) lived beneath a Bobby Charlton comb-over. Skinheads — oh. the agony of seeing people with hair who don't appreciate it — stop him in the street to pat his pate threatenineg. Every neurosis about his lack of virility and 1 inability to take control of his life is channelled into the absence of hair. When he buys the ‘syrup of ﬁg‘ of the title. this Everyman becomes the extravagantly quiffed teddy boy of his dreams. lindyhopping round the living room with his wife. before making the bedsprings rock ‘n' roll for the ﬁrst time in years. Hair today. sex tonight was the punchline of this beautifully crafted short.
With hair in mind. I switched channels to catch Andrew Neil. the former Sunday Times editor who was relentlessly dogged by the nickname g ‘Brillo' ((9 Private liye) throughout his years at the helm of Britain‘s biggest- selling broadsheet newspaper. For Neil. ; every day is a problem hair day. though for him it is the texture (see aforementioned nickname) rather than the quantity.
During his recent sabbatical in America working on a now-aborted news progamme for Rupert Murdoch‘s Fox Television. regular progress reports on Neil were ﬁltering back to Britain. The talk was less of current affairs than current hairstyles however. with normally serious newspapers running stories about makeovers. as Neil's image was moulded for the notoriously
image-driven American news.
After the US show was given the chop. there was a parting (woopsl) of
the ways for Neil and Murdoch. leaving .
the journalist free to front a new
political chatshow The Midnight Hour
(BBCZ). The hairstyle has. l can reveal. ;
changed. and for the better with Neil benefiting enormously from a short back and sides. Having got the topiary
f right. it might be that the show itself
cotrld do with a bit of a restyle. The format is political chat. with four
back»of-the-backbenches Ml’s rolling ’ tip their shirt sleeves to discuss the ' political stories of the day. The
gimmick is that the show is recorded in
a studio decked out like a basement bar. complete with neon sign and house
: band. After a final number from the
band —- a kind of l.itrr'o~sceptic blues
the neon sign flickers off and. in an
' inspired moment of self-parody. Neil
invites his guests to his favourite nightclub Tramp. It may seem a bit
cheap to comment on a presenter‘s
i hairstyle. but sadly it's the most
interesting thing about The .l/u/ure/H [full/I
Talk of snips allows (‘hannel Hopping
to segue neatly into The Word (Channel
4) which returned last week. This is the
show at the cutting edge of trash
' culture. and what better way of starting anew series than a report on John
Wayne Bobbitt. w hose wiles attempt at amateur surgery opened a whole new
career path for the severed member and
This is an old story. of course. but 'l'lre ll'nrc/ resurrected it to prove that anything American television can do, the Brits can do crasser. Yes. the Bobbitt appendage really did pop up on
screen. (fhatshow queen Ricki lake was on hand to look shocked and
confirm that The llim/ had found a new
2 angle on the dangle. .
I know this is neither big nor clever. btrt a kind ofgrudging respect is due to The Him] for continuing to be so aggressively bad. That this is deliberate can be the only explanation for new presenter Jasmine l)ottiwala. whose single talent is the ability to flash her underpants (red and shiny. since you
ask) whenever a camera is pointed in
her direction. Jasmine was last seen building her part as floor manager on The Big Breakfast. but given full rein in
front ofcamera. she makes Amanda De Cadanet look almost demure. I wonder
ifshe needs an introduction to 'l‘ramp‘.’ (Eddie (jibb)
The List 2 IS December W‘H 85