IEEIIIIIIIII Wight light, Wight heat
Although it makes much more dramatic sense to suggest that the 608 ended with the savage murder of elghteen-year-old Meredith Hunter by a swarm of Hell’s Angels during the Rolling Stones’ free show in Altamont, 1969, many suggest that, intact, the beast staggered on. Thus, the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970 is being proffered as the 60s youth/music culture’s ‘Iast great shout’ (or, if you prefer, death-vomit) by a forthcoming complementary pair of programmes.
The five-day festival attracted more than 600,000 people to the site, much to the chagrin of the upstanding island community who, reportedly, denounced the whole thing as a communist plot. Amongst those attending was Oscar-winning director Murray Lerner, who brought with him 16mm and 35mm cameras and captured the last European performances of both Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, who died eighteen days later.
Telly loves an anniversary — wasn’t that Woodstock weekend just great - and with the Isle of Wight, those lucky programmers get a kind of two-tor-one deal, this being the 25th anniversary of both the festival and Hendrix’s death. Channel 4 have opted to broadcast Lerner’s film of Hendrix seen for the first time in its entirety on television.
Isle of Wight: the end of the 60s and Hendrix’s career
With Message To Love, on the other hand, 8302 are showing Lerner’s entire concert festival coverage, including footage unseen since it was first shot. The programme documents not only the onstage performance but also the backstage organisational shambles and the antics of primadonna artistses and tripped out tans. For those so inclined, footage includes a Hizla-worrying array of performers; The Doors, Hendrix, Free, Jethro Tull and Joan 8an to name but a few. For the rest of us with nothing better to do on a Saturday night there’s the opportunity to laugh at a few hippies, and cheer on the end of an era. (Damien Love)
Message To love is on 8802 on Sat 26 Aug. Jimi Hendrix at The Isle of Wight is on Channel 4 on Thurs 3 Aug.
I Divided by a Common Language (Radio 4: FM only) Sat 29 Jul. 2.02pm. American accents — don’t ya just love 'em. Ex-US citizen Bill Bryson takes a trawl through 365 years of American history to unravel the quirky mix of cultural/social phenomena that have shaped contemporary American English. Back in the USA he finds the Prince Charles maxim that '[they] invent all sorts of nouns and make words that shouldn‘t be' kind ofunpopular. and meets with an opposing lobby suggesting Shakespeare would’ve found American English easier to understand than the version currently Spoken in the UK. I HEM live at The Bowl (Radio 1) Sun 30 Jul. 7pm. Shiny. happy REM-type people gather at The Bowl in Milton Keynes for the arrival of this heavily anticipated UK tour. Drummer Bill Berry is back behind the kit after a dramatic brain haemorrhage brought the initial tour to a halt four months ago. and the band. according to The List’s roving reporter in Hamburg. are back on fine form. I letters From Hound About (Radio 4) Wed 2 Aug. 2.47pm. Travel writer Adam Hopkins sends a letter to his brother Harry in Sevenoaks from Asturias. the wet-and- Welsh-looking coast of Northern Spain. in this new series looking at some of the lesser known holiday spots of the world. I One In The Jungle: lioni Size and Dynamite (Radio l)Thurs 3 Aug. 9pm. Roni Size. who first Dl‘d in his early teens. played with the Wild Bunch crowd that Massive Attack emerged from and is now the brightest star on the Bristol jungle scene. joins forces with MC Dynamite for the latest episode of Radio 1‘s nod to the UK’s hugejungle scene. I The Tall Droll (Radio 2) Thurs 3 Aug. 7.03pm. Bill Forsyth. lan Christie. Joe
Beltrami. Murray Grigor throw in their ten pence worth in the last of this series playing tribute to the late. great Chic Murray. The actor Eric Barlow gets to play the part of Murray mulling over his career. while Forsyth and co chip in with anecdotes as and when required.
I The Mark Steel Solution (Radio 4) Fri 4 Aug. 1 lam. Stand-up comic Mark Steel adopts a politician's logic to tackle the social issues of the day in this new satirical four-part series. ‘Anyone who gives to charity should be jailed.‘ and other reasoned ideologies abound.
I The Essential Mix (Radio 1) Sat 5 Aug. midnight. Judge Jules. DJ magazine‘s club DJ of the year. is the man on the mix. Prepare to be uplifted.
I The Sunday Play: H: A Hiroshima Story Powerful dramatisation oflapanese author Oda Makoto‘s acclaimed Hiroshima novel. on the 50th anniversary of the bombing. Adapted by Giles Cooper award-winner Tina Pepler. it stars Matthew Dunster as Ron — the focal character who narrates from a surreal hospital limbo—land in the period following the fatal bomb.
I The Rug Hethinkers (Radio 4) Mon 7 Aug. 9pm. The inside life of the posh haircut revealed as Mr Harold and his team invite us into the inner sanctum of swanky Mayfair barbers. the long- standing Stephen‘s of Hay Hill. for a glimpse of how the rich and powerful like their hair cutting.
I Old Heds (Radio 4) Thurs 10 Aug. 7.20pm. Reds of varying shades come out from under the bed. to discuss how the beleaguered history of the world‘s communist regimes is affecting their beliefs. George Matthews. Betty Lewis and Ken Gill (later president of the TUC) — all one-time members of the British Communist Party —— air their views with
Charles Wheeler. (Ellie Carr)
‘. . . and I said. I thought you couldn‘t try anything on in Marks & Spencers.‘ Cue collapse of thoroughly warmed up studio audience. while our host for the evening Bob Monkhouse. for it is he who has just delivered this killer innuendo, adjusts his cuff-links for the umptecnth time. mouth pursed in that strangely dyspetic smirk of his and eyes twinkling with mock sincerity. Bob Monkhouse is so oily OPEC should be informed — a man we truly love to dislike.
But there‘s a depth to this man‘s shallowness that marks Bob out as a class act who arouses a complex love- hate emotion in us that Jeremy Beadle can only dream of. Whereas a simple. yobbish blow to the host‘s face with a fistful ofgold sovereign rings would be a good result from an edition of Beadle '5 About, the come-uppance of Bob Monkhouse would need to be a far more subtle and extendedaffair. Perhaps hosting an entire Royal Command Variety Performance with his ﬂies at half-mast might teach Monkhouse some humility. Indeed a ﬂies-down situation may well hold a particular terror for Bob: the title sequence of his new show Bob Monkhouse on the Spot (BBC 1) features some blatant zipper hoisting before the star is ready to meet his public.
This new Saturday night entertainment is a return to Bob‘s comedy roots. in which he displays a dazzling ability to improvise ajoke for every occasion. Or that's the idea. How about this, and remember as you read it that Bob has recently become the darling of the ‘alternative‘ comedy set: ‘I wouldn‘t say my wife was fat. but when I took her to the opera she had to sing before anyone would leave.‘
Now this may sound like retrogressive. unreconstructed sexism. but to suggest that would be to miss Bob‘s subtle subversion of this standard music hall gag. The perceptive among you will have noticed that he didn’t in fact tell a mother-in-lawjoke as that uncouth Bernard Manning might have done. but a wife one. This. you must agree. is progress.
Also toiling away at an over-worked seam of fossil fuel humour is A Game of Two Halves (Scottish). an attempt to combine the locker-room backslapping of Question of Sport with the comedy quiz format of Have I Got News For You. From the title you will of course have guessed that the theme is football. specifically Scottish football. This is a show with some very neat touches such as the masterfully edited sequence of clips from Maurice Johnson's colourful
career. One minute the blonde bombshell is swearing blind Celtic is the only club he's ever wanted to play for; the next Molo's deftly lobbed the goalie to score a superb Old Firm goal . . . wearing a blue jersey.
Despite sports-caster Jim White's classy display of verbal ball control, too much of the show‘s humour relies on call-and-response routines about the Pope. masonic handshakes and sight- impaired officials (as in ‘whaur's yer dug. ref'."). The devotion to Scottish football is so ingrained in the culture that it has its own instantly recognisable set of comedy codes. but A Game ()f'lim Halves has a habit of inst shouting out the punchlines like terracing chants.
Sticking with the football theme. albeit rather tenuously. that maverick MP Alan Clark suggests intriguineg that there is nothing, constitutionally speaking. to stop parliament installing Gary Lineker (Clark‘s choice of unsullied hero) on the British throne. Even the average A Game of Two Halves viewer is unlikely to bend the knee to King Gary (though who would have predicted the lbrox welcome for Gazza). Clark‘s point is that the existing Royal Family has failed to unite the nation in the way that. say. a successful World Cup run might.
Still. according to William Shawcross’s new four-part investigation into the Monarchy (BBCI). this nationalised industry has been working hard to become a leaner. fitter organisation. For instance. did you know that only three royals (Queen, Queen Mother and Prince Philip) receive direct payment from the public purse? The rest. including those darling princes and princesses, have to make their own way in the world or tap mum when they run short. Furthermore. the Queen raised a cool £25 million from opening up Buckingham Palace to the muddy boots of the 1101' pol/01'. cash used to repair Windsor castle after it went tip in a puff of amms Izm'ribilis in 1992.
But the crisis of confidence in the monarchy is not about the cost of keeping the royals in gilt carriages. The problem. most royal watchers agree. is the Queen‘s insolent offspring who are not the stuff of future kings and queens. ‘She‘s had a lot of trouble with her family — i feel very sorry for her.‘ said one loyal subject. ‘Prince Charles? Well he's rather blotted his copybook.‘ said another primly. Their views on Gary Lineker, or Bob Monkhouse for that matter, were not canvassed. (Eddie Gibb)
73 The List 28 Jul-10 Aug 1995