After fantasy leagues, quiz shows, greatest-ever lists, fanzines, drama and docu-drama, you might have thought that television had exhausted every spin on football. The good news for us turf junkies, however, is that the DOC has found another twist. Football Fossball Voefball is a nine-part exploration of the continental game from 1956 right up to next year’s European championships in England. The advice is to go out and buy a big pack of videos and set your recorder for this excellent anthology of European soccer wizardry.
The first programme kicks off with those Iberian masters from Spain and Portugal. It’s mainly concerned with the great club sides like ileal Madrid, Denflca and Barcelona, and star players such as Puskas, Eusebio, Di Stefano and, em, lineker. The footage is well-research and includes interviews with the players themselves, plus words of wisdom from distinguished commentators such as Sir Bobby Charlton and Scottish sportswriter llugh Mcllvanney. Contributions from Barry Davies and John Motson verge on the trainspotterish, but the information that the European Cup was created after a campaign in French sports
Eusebio: ‘the European Pele’
paper L’Equipe or Beniica’s signing oi Eusebio was the result of a barber shop tip-off will surely be of interest to someone.
In such money-motivated times it’s pleasing to see black and white pictures of players in over-sized shorts obviously enioying the game. Eusebio in particular recalls how he wasn’t bothered about winning his first European Cup medal with Beniica - he just wanted to swap shirts with his idol Di Stefano. This is followed by footage of the victorious player being carried aloft by delirious fans, busily stuffing Di Sieiano’s shirt in his iockstrap. Priceless. (Fillipo Dorward)
Football Fussball Voetball starts on Friday 20 October at 7.15pm on 8802.
I Under the Indian Sun (Radio 4) Fri 20 Oct. 10.02am. Clare Jenkins pays a visit to two terribly posh post-colonial outposts in Calcutta. India and ﬁnds an assorted group of hoteliers. vicars. choir-mistresses and social butterﬂies still sporting stiff upper lips and resolutely waving the red. white and blue. i
I Kennedy in Conversation (Radio Scotland) Thurs 26 Oct. 2pm. Iain Banks. contemporary Scottish novelist and author of cult novels like The Wasp Factory, Complicin and numerous science ﬁction tomes (in his Iain M. Banks mode). is Charles Kennedy‘s guest in the series looking at key ﬁgures of the day.
I The PR Carrie (Radio 5 Live) Sun 22 Oct. 10.05pm. ls PR all Edina. Patsy and three glasses of Bolly before breakfast, or is it really a ﬁne and noble profession? Sketchwriter at The Times and erstwhile MP. Matthew ParTis appears to run with the former. in this new series looking at the way PR companies try to mould public opinion and manipulate the media. This week. marketing the royals.
I The Music Machine: The Technocrats (Radio 3) Mon 23 Oct. 5pm. Avant-garde German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen gives a rare interview on a subject he pretty much wrote the book on — how technology is shaping the role of the modern composer. Over the course of ﬁve programmes, Stockhausen will divulge his views on a set of DAT recordings by a group of young ambient house and techno gurus. and members of the bands Tangerine Dream and Can will describe how the composer has inﬂuenced their musical careers.
I The Late Book: The Handmaid’s Tale (Radio 4) Mon 23 Oct. 12.30am. In the ﬁrst of 'a new series of the late-night book slot. Buffy Davis reads Margaret Atwood's future-shock novel set in a brutal but sophisticated nightmare state where falling birth rates have forced all
but the most elite women into a serf—like existence as breeding-machines.
I Africa ’95: A Little Boom (Radio 4) Thurs 26 Oct. 8.45pm. Nobel-prize winning author Nadine Gordirner marks the pace of political change in her homeland in the ﬁrst of a series of speciallycommissioned letters by leading African writers.
I Desert island Discs (Radio 4) Sun 29 Oct. 12.15pm. Umberto Eco. world- famous academic and author of bestselling novel The Name oft/1e Rose. celebrates the publication of his latest book The Island oft/re Day Before by telling Sue Lawley what cultural rations he‘d choose to be stranded on a desert island with.
I Booked! (Radio 4) Thurs 31 Oct. l2.25pm. Richard lll bumps into Eeyore at the battle of Bosworth Field and the drunken Captain Haddock from 'Iinrin encounters Oedipus at a self help group. Just an average kind of a day at the irreverent new literary game show serles Booked! — featuring stand-up comic Mark Thomas. columnist Miles Kington. performer Dillie Keane and Roger McGough with Bamsley poet Ian McMillan as Chair.
I Just a Part of the Furniture (Radio 4) Wednesday 1 Nov. 10.02am. Have you ever read that copy of War of Peace that takes pride of place on your bookshelf? Or is it just a posey accessory for impressing intellectual friends with? In the ﬁrst programme of a new series looking at people and their furniture. Clare Jenkins delves into the dusty world of the domestic bookshelf to ﬁnd out what their contents say about the owner.
I Interface (Radio Scotland) Thurs 2 Nov. noon. Top bofﬁns from the world (or should that be other worlds) of space travel get together in this new series of celebrity conversations between scientists. Spinning off into verbal orbit this week are Roald Sagdeev. the last head of the Soviet space programme and Charles Kennle of NASA. (Ellie Carr)
For me. watching soap operas is a bit like going to church. Not because it‘s a religious experience involving syrupy wine and cheese biscuits without the cheese. nor for reasons of spiritual uplift. No, the similarity is that both are done unwillingly and even then only on very special occasions.
Last Monday's episode of Coronation Street (Scottish) was just such occasion — it was like a birth. death and marriage all rolled into one. This was the moment when Bet Gilroy ﬁngered the rope of the last orders bell one final time. wistfully relieved an ashtray of its cargo of Regal Kingsize butts and dropped ajail wardcr-sizcd bunch of keys on the bartop. Then. pausing only to clip a pair of diamante candelabras to her long-suffering ear lobes. this galleon in full sail breezed out into the Street for the last time.
Twenty million viewers gulped back the tears. but not Bet — she had other plans. ‘l'm horneless.jobless and I‘ll probably be legless for a couple nights.‘ she said. Her destination was unknown. but wherever Bet‘s headed. she’ll be wearing a leopardskin coat and a grin the size of a Cheshire cat. As she swept magniﬁcently round the comer. or as magnificently as anyone can sweep in a knackered old Hackney cab with the meter on, all that remained was the dazzle of her pearly whites against the grimy brickwork of Coronation Street.
For a soap opera planning on going four nights a week. the loss of such a grande dame must be a blow. Rumours frothing in the soap world hint that the departure of actress Julie Goodyear was prompted by the increasing prominence in storylines of Raquel. a rival blonde behind the bar at the Rover’s Return. lf that’s true. she misjudged the competition badly. but now Bet‘s gone. 29 years after she ﬁrst ordered a pie and a light ale in the bar she went on to manage. but never own. Even a non- believer was forced to bow down before such a historic bowing out.
Bet won‘t be back. we‘re assured. but then you probably didn‘t expect to see they ﬁt burds from the back of the Tennent’s lager cans ever again. did you? Well you reckoned without Late Edition (Scottish, Thursdays). a new late night chat show beaming out live and direct from Cowcaddens. Having fronted an afternoon show that wouldn't say boo to a goose. the Daily Record's own favourite bottle blonde Kirsty Young was kicking over the Traceys with a pair of leopardskin trews that even Bet might have thought twice about. Looking rather less casual
was co-liost Jim White in a Presbyterian-looking four-button suit. which stayed firme four—buttoned up throughout the show.
The whiny title graphics and low- slung camera angles suggest Late lz'rlilion was conceived as Scotland's answer to The Word. Jirnbo leads the laddish banter while Kirsty communicates an air of boys-will-be- boys tolerance. The chemistry between the two is more Anne and Nick than Terry and Dani. but at least there is some. My main difﬁculty with the show is it comes across like a spin-off from Scottish Television's comedy football quiz A Game o/‘Tivo Halves. Last week Jim White was on the receiving end of the same Masonic banter by guests Stuart Cosgrovc. a semi-professional St Johnstone fan. and former hell-raising Celt Frank McAvennie.
With a stag night party lurking in the studio audience. the bonding ritual came close to a babboon-like bottom- snifﬁng frenzy. lfthis is post-pub telly. Late Edition has stayed for one too many before heading to the studio. kebab-handed. At times Kirst was left looking like the girlfriend who inadvertently shows up on lads night.
Given the tone of the show thus far. it was an almost surreal idea to reunite the early 80s lager can girls — a bevy of bevvy beauties. you might say. Sadly the r'epartee from these icons of Scottish culture didn‘t match their ability to model a clingy white dress in a wind tunnel. but you can‘t have everything. The girls just bristled at the suggestion that this line of work was little more than cheesecake glamour modelling. ‘lt's not only a matter ofjust looking good on a can.‘ said Violet. ‘lt‘s a matter of personality and being able to chat to all sorts of people.‘ Like television presenters. for instance.
A couple of days later. Stuart Cosgrove popped up in his otherjob as theme-meister of Channel 4’s graveyard shift. Having proved himself at home with tribal rituals on Late Edition, his second Saturday night Tribe Time featured some more ﬁt Scottish lassies. though this time in a rather more aerobic sense. In A Short Film About Cheerleaders (Channel 4). the Claymores‘ ra-ra squad lined up to explain why their idea of fun was dressing up in micro-skirts and American tan tights to high kick in front of a crowd of predominantly male sports fans. The terracing chants. one imagines. would feature a polite request to get their porn-poms out for the lads. (Eddie Gibb)
.3 The List 20 Oct-2 Nov I995