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catchphrase enter the language, as happened to Harry Entield with ‘Loadsamoney', has so far eluded master character creator Steve Coogan. but with his northern lager lout Paul Call, whose stock response to most situations is to denounce it as a ‘bag 0’ shite’. he has come pretty close. What separates Enlield and
Get Calt: Coogan squares up to local hard man Barry Pa The ultimate accolade ot finding your . leatures cameo appearances from new
j Coogan characters who will each take ; centre stage in subsequent episodes.
2 Meet Gareth Cheeseman, the spivvy
i travelling salesman who drives a Ford i Probe in the usual Freudian
t substitution of car for penis; Mike
‘ Crystal, the nightclub singer with an
: Abba-esque pageboy haircut, and
3 Ernest Moss, a man with an unhealthy
Coogan is the latter’s ability to stretch obsession (or DIY.
out a character joke to sitcom length
L As a group, this ensemble of
without it losing its comedy twang. His characters are not life’s winners then?
suite of video diaries shown last Christmas featuring Paul and his sister Pauline (Coogan again in lalsies and blonde wig) showed the Call clan had potential beyond the usual three- minute sketch.
How Coogan returns with a new six- part series which kicks off with the Calls (or should that be Calves) revisited in a hokum adventure which
3 ‘We never sat down and said I’ll do characters that are lundamentally
E Iosers,’ Coogan said recently. ‘They just seem to have more comic potential.’ Enlield had already
2 discovered that, from the ‘I don’t think
i you wanted to do that’ bore to the Old , Gits. Coogan is continuing a line
tradition of misery guts humour. (Eddie
sees Paul searching for a higher state ;
of conscious than can be obtained through lager alone. ‘Get Call' also
i Coogan’s Run begins on Fri 17 Ilav on 8302.
I Cinema 100: Print the Legend (Radio 4) Fri 17 Nov. 10am. John Wayne may have been Big Leggy. but all that cowboy and injuns lark wasn't really very accurate. was it'.’ The ﬁrst in a new series looking at the way cinema has dealt with history ~ starting with the Western. Part of the Centenary of Cinema season. I Two Handluls Long Sir (Radio 3) Sat 18 Nov. 9.20pm. Tire smutty stories and bawdy ballads of the l7th century. traditionally written and published by men. get a good going over by. lawks. a bunch of women. as they dissect the historic forerunner of the dirty joke in this one-off programme. I The Essential Mix (Radio 1) Sat 18 Nov. midnight. Uplifting toons of a Euro- flava techno nature. as mixed into the early hours by this week's guest. Laurent Carnier. I Storyline: The Railway Man (Radio Scotland) Mon 20 Nov. 1 1.45mi). Edinburgh-born McVilie Prize nominee Eric Lornax has his emotive tale of torture and starvation in Japanese POW camps. The Railway Man. abridged for Storyline by David Jackson. and read by Alec Heggie. See Books.
I World Tonight Special: Whose Freedom
is It Anyway (Radio 4) Mon 20 Nov.
9. l5pm. New ‘World Tonight' series looking at breakdown in Eastern Europe from a female perspective. starting with the incredible story of Vera Lansfeld. a dissident from the former GDR who was betrayed by her husband when the Wall came down.
I Hawaii, on Why? (Radio 2) Tue 21 Nov. 9.03pm. ‘Makin‘ Wicky Wacky Down in Waikiki' and ‘()h How Shc Could Yack Hacki Wicki Wacki Woo‘. Oh Yes. it‘s classic Hawaiian tunes time. If
i you thought the shirts were bad. you
[ obviously don't remember the music.
' Martin Kelner dons his grass skin and t frangipane lei and recalls a time when even British dance-ﬂoors ﬁlled to the
5 strains of a cheesy island melody.
! I This Happy Breed (Radio 4) Wed 22
? Nov. 10.02am. Funny handshakes are only
Z the halfofit. Jennifer Holden kicks off a i new series looking behind the closed doors of all-male organisations with this l report from a week spent in the company | of the Coventry Pigeon Fanciers
Association. Mens clubs to come include I Sedburgh public school and the Rotary
i Club. Harrogatc.
g I Old Harry’s Game (Radio 4) Thurs 23 Nov. 6.30pm. New sit-corn from the co- } creator of TV's Drop the Dead Donkey
i and regular on Radio 4's The News Quiz. ‘ Andy Hamilton. Set in Hell. it stars a
l bored Satan (played by Hamilton) whose I humdrum life among hellﬁre and sinners is cheered up by the arrival of two new
guests. the Professor (James Grout) and
; Thomas (Jimmy Mulville).
i I In Concert with David Bowie (Radio I) 5 Sat 25 Nov. 4.30pm. British rock-god
l David Bowie kicks off the UK leg of his : biggest tour since Sound and Vision (1990) to coincide with the release of his new album Outside. Question is. can he
still cut it? See feature.
i I Late Night Opening: Trust (Radio 4)
‘ Wed 29 Nov. llpm. It had to happen
1 sometime. Nerys Hughes. Keith Allen and
Margi Clarke star in a new satirical
; comedy series set in an NHS Trust
hospital. At the Bottomley Memorial
, everything is run to targets by a suitably
i cut-throat Surgical Directorate Manager
i Mike Blunt. whose chief activity appears
1 to be attending weekly auctions to bid for patients against competitors like
l ‘Hospitals R Us’. (Ellie Carr)
If you swatted every camera crew currently masquerading as a ﬂy you would be left with a very messy wall and. as ever. a fair number of recent documentaries seem to be about the military. From the undisputed queen of the let-the-camera-run technique Molly Dincen. whose apparently effortless dissection of a platoon of Welsh guards called In the Company of Men belied eighteen months on manoeuvres. to the mindless. square-bashing approach of Redcap: about Military Police cadets. the fascination with armed forces continues.
The two series are an object lesson in good and bad documentary-making. While Redcaps was entirely predictable. Dineen's skill was that she ptrt together a picture of the forces which was always surprising. And more importanty she was true to her subject. unlike 'lory Wives from the new series of Modern Times (BBC2. Wednesdays). which was simply a clinical stitch-up ofan unsympathetic breed. The trick was giving the subjects enough rope to hang themselves. There were approximately 300 spouses of male Conservative MPs to choose from. but the selection committee voted for the ones who ﬁtted a preconceived notion ofa Conservative wife.
The sheer quantity of lacquered blonde hair and ﬁxed smiles on parade was something to be rnarvclled at. but was surely not representative? Instead of reflecting the diversity of the subject. this programme chose to ridicule it. Documentaries which go for easy laughs may be all right on the night. but they cheapen the whole process of making this kind of documentary ﬁlm. This will no doubt provide further ammunition for right- wingcrs convinced of antisTory bias in the BBC.
Asa perpetuation of a stereotype. it must be said that Modern Times had chosen well. It's a tribute to the researchers that they found more real- life caricatures of the county lady than are to be found in The Final Cut (BBCI. Sundays). This archly entertaining political satire has devoted its energy to sending up Tory husbands. who have names like Booza-Pitt. None of them seem to spend much time with their family. at least not by choice. and so it is in reality.
‘lfyou‘re married to a politician. his ﬁrst wife is the House so you have to have other interests.‘ said Tory wife Mrs Cyril Townsend. And she wasn't talking about the kind of house with white garden furniture on the patio and Laura Ashley wallpaper in the bedrooms. though she had those too. This was the House with a capital ‘ll'.
Lady Sally Newbcrt. the other half of
i Tory wives: ‘A husband is happier i doing his own thing. If the wives fall in ' with his plans they'll be happier too.‘
Sir Michael. knight ofthe shires. had this advice for the next generation of
Does that include fatnin photo calls after said husband has been caught doing his own thing with a Commons researcher? One simply doesn't ask that kind of question in polite company. and as an invited guest. Modern 'Iimes was minding its Ps and Qs — at least until it got to the edit suite.
If this was clever selection of subject to editorialise without appearing to do so. the ﬁrst in a new series of arts documentaries TX (BBC2. Saturdays) seemed to have abandoned all pretence ofeditorial control. The ﬁrst programme was about documentary photographer Nan Goldin. whose own : screwed-up life mirrored America's l crisis of political. sexual and. with the l discovery of HIV. viral identity. Her ' photographs documented New York's bohemian set over the last twenty years as they experimented with gender- bending. intravenous drugs and breath- taking promiscuity. The soundtrack. which included Lou Reed. Patti Smith and Television. hinted at the creative force which made New York an exciting place in the 70s and early 80s. But this ﬁlm wasn‘t about that.
Instead. Goldin was handed the camera. which she used to make a , video diary about her friends‘ emotional lives. Their whining self- obsession almost obscured the impact ofGoldin's pictures. whose inﬂuence can be seen in the cheap. brittle glamour of recent fashion photography in magazines like The Face. The point was rnade.just. but it took 40 minutes of tedious television to get there. Tx failed to consider the viewer in its desperation to make an arty. subjective ﬁlm. lfGoldin is worth devoting a whole documentary to. surely we deserve to be told why.
More indulgence was on offer in the Ex-S (Mondays. BBCl) tribute to the Daily Record which is in its centenary year. For too much space was given over to editors of the paper‘s tabloid rivals in Scotland. who couldn't even manage good grace at a birthday party. If this was a humorous celebration of a Scottish institution and the daft eccentrics like Joan Burnic who populate it. why give free airtime to people intent on promoting their own product? Or if it was supposed to be a serious analysis of the current upheaval in Scottish mass-market newspapers. surely some rather more disinterested commentators were required? fix-S attempted to do both at once and ended up with neither. (Eddie Gibb)