Something for le

Weekend .;

Auld alliances and new rivalries are i likely to be the order of the day when 880 Scotland takes control of 8862 on r the night of the France v Scotland Five 7 Nations clash. An entire evening’s .9 programming has been devoted to a light-hearted look at the relationship ; between the two countries and their : perceptions of each other. 3

Hosting one of the shows will be Alex 5 Taylor (‘I was brought up in Cornwall l but my father was Scottish’), a man | who is well known to French television g audiences as anchorman on a daily , news programme. Taylor has spent the 3 last fifteen years of his career in France and is in an ideal position to point out what the two nations make of each other.

‘The French call the British les Anglais, even a Scot is Anglais,’ explains Taylor. ‘I always say “No, les Britanniques” but it’s taken even my best friends fifteen years to understand that difference. But Scotland does have a very strong image in France . . . some other places i don’t even exist in their minds. Take Wales for example, they don’t have any idea where it is.’

In an effort to put right any misconceptions, Taylor has scoured Paris for all things Scottish and, along with the original treaty of the Auld

Alex Taylor: Francophile extraordinaire

Alliance dating back to 1295, he has

come up with a mixed bag that includes a woollen shop, some Scottish students, an ex-pats’ 8urns’

; Supper and perhaps inevitably, some

Scottish women who dance at the Lido, a topless revue bar. Edinburgh is to receive similar treatment before

3 the shows are broadcast.

In the interests of objectivity Taylor is reluctant to forecast the outcome of the rugby. As far as the Scottish audience is concerned he hopes that the boys in blue will win; a French audience may get a different answer. Perfidious Albion or a diplomatic sidestep in aid of the entente cordiale? (Jonathan Trew)

The Cauld Alliance is on 18 February on 8802.


I Friday Feature: Mouth Of A Demagogue, Eyes Of A Poet (Radio 3 ) Fri 10 Feb. l0.45pm. Parliamentary scandals are no modern phenomenon. proves Simon Arruitage with this profile of one- time socialist folk hero. Victor Grayson. who disappeared from his London home in 1920 amid allegations of spying. This ‘young. dynaruic and attractive‘ politician (he entered Westminster at 26) held his West Yorkshire seat for less than three years. and was a politician for less for than a decade. but was regarded by some as Labour's lost leader.

I Rice, Beans and Biting Flies (Radio Scotland) Mon 13 Feb. 12.20pm. A travelogue with a difference. this new five-part series follows two young Kirkcudbrightshire business graduates as they swap career ladders and home for a once-in-a-lifetime canoe trip up the 1800 mile-long Yukon River through Canada and Alaska.

I Adventures in Jazz (Radio 2) Mon 13 Feb. 10.03pm. The inimitable Jools Holland accepts another chance to sneak his own musical talents in on the act as he presents this new series ofconcerts

featuring the cream of Britain's youngest jazz musicians and a weekly solo piano spot from the old maestro himself.

I True Love: At last, Scientific Proof!

; (Radio 4) Tue 14 Feb. 8pm. If our special ' feature this issue on ‘love at first sight'

has caught your roving eye. here‘s a

chance to hear scientists. biochenrists and behavioural experts speak out on why it's

science not lurve that causes knees to weaken and palms to sweat.

I Soundtrack: Reversing the Charges (Radio 4) Thurs to Feb. 7.20pm. With an estimated 5 million malicious phone calls made each year in the UK. Soundtrack goes behind the scenes at a BT Nuisance Call Bureau to investigate the motives and effects of the phone pest. and ask exactly what BT and the police are doing about it. I The Essential MIX (Radio 1) Sat 18 Feb. midnight. ()ld school-style house and

pioneer of mid-80s Detroit/heavy Euro/techno. Evil Eddie Richards is this week‘s guest on the mix.

I Bandit Queen (Radio 4) Mon 20 Feb. 7.45pm. Deepak Verma alias Sanjay iri Iz‘uxtlz'm/wr. moonlights from his market stall to fulfill his other role as budding young playwright. Bum/it Queen is his third play. and his first for radio. It tells the story of Phoolan Devi. the illerate. lower caste Indian Bandit Queen who became a legend among her own people. the subject of many books and the inspiration for the film of the same name which opens in the UK on Feb 17.

I Alan Parker (Radio 1) Mon 20 Feb. 9pm. The original Urban Warrior of angry 80s stand-up. Alan Parker returns in a new six-part series that deals with the burning issues of the day and takes no prisoners except the bourgeois middle-class Nazi world of art. theatre. music and hospitals. (Ellie Carr)


lf policeman actually say ‘you‘re nicked' when out feeling collars. it can only be because they‘ve seen it on television. Telly rnythologises the police force more than any other profession. which is why the innocent bystander in the high streets of urban Britain ought to be a little concerned about Thief Takers (Scottish). It puts the gun into gung-ho.

This was the pilot episode for a possible series about the Met's ‘elite‘ armed robbery squad which lights firepower with firepower. Basically they waved guns around and talked in short. staccato bursts of machine-gun dialogue. Looking hard at all times was the main qualification for the job though this ability was tested to the limit by the mandatory wearing of tiny peaked caps during action sequences. The humiliating headgear would be enough to make even the most placid plod's trigger linger twitch.

Whenever the real armed police are interviewed. as they frequently are for boys-on-the-job documentaries. the commanding officer is always at pains to explain that a successful raid is one where no shots are fired. For cop-show scriptwiters. of course. the opposite is true. If ITV is looking for plenty of bangs for its buck. it could do worse than commission a series of this all- action. no-br'ains format. Just remember to hit the deck if you see a patrol of men in silly hats.

Why is it that people who start sentences with ‘we’re pretty excited about this . . .' always look as if they‘ve never got excited about anything in their lives'.’ In Visions of Heaven and Hell (Channel 4). a dazzling new series about the impact of technology on our lives, this litre came from a propeller- hcad at billion-dollar software corporation :‘vlicrosoft. And what he was ‘pretty excited' about was the new buzzword that cyber-frontiersrnen are bandying about ‘ubiquitous computing'. Put simply. this means computers everywhere. controlling everything. used by everybody.

An example to illustrate: our man points to a bleeper-type box slung on his hip. it tracks his whereabouts in the office and allows him to see where all his colleagues are in the office. Bill‘s working with Mike; the accounts department is in a meeting; Meryl‘s out of her office etc.

Amazingly this horrific development was presented as a Good Thing! Imagine it how could you ever slip


away unnoticed to raid the stationery cupboard or photocopy your body parts in peace again‘.’ These are the things which make working in an office bearable. And when talk turns. in all seriousness. to a ‘fourth dimension where computers mate'. isn‘t it about time we looked closely at the technocrats to whom we have entrusted our technology-filled futures?

A ray of hope for those alarmed by this vision was the glimpse of one subversive employee's work station. decked out in the familiar yellow hunting of Post-it notes. This was surely a low-tech protest against the paperless office perhaps we should unite behind it before we're all wearing bloody tracking devices.

Someone who might actually welcome one of those tracking thingies is Rob. This was a man whose vows were still hanging in the air of the registery office when his mobile phone went off; a man who sends faxes to his wife-to-be detailing last-minute wedding plans. and a man who flies himself in a helicopter to the reception. .'\'o technophobe. Ron.

We were gathered together - family. friends and a few million slack-jawed viewers as witnesses to three sets of nuptials with wedding videos supplied by Cutting Edge (Channel 4). The. couples were chosen to say something about class in Britain; mostly it just demonstrated that some people have more money than others.

Near the top rung of the social ladder were Elizabeth and Christopher who met on a stalking holiday. He proposed halfway down the piste while skiing abroad. and after their wedding they were off to join the Happy Valley set in [long Kong. Rob and Jo were climbing fast. two yuppie survivors from the 805 who grew prosperous on the back of the mobile communications boom. While dole kids Julie and Peter couldn't afford the stamps to send out invitations to their reception in the backroom ofa local pub.

But you had to admire their style. With two hours to go. Peter was trying to quell his rebellious stag-night guts with a caff fry-up. before slotting in a swift frame of pool and then off to iron his shirt. The whole day was done on the cheap. but Julie and Peter were the only couple heard to say. on camera at least. those words: I Love You. The others were too busy counting the cost. (Eddie Gibb)

76 The List 10-23 Feb 1995