Girls on top ?

Two new shows promise to offer an . oestrogen-orientated alternative to lads’ TV but the boys will probably '

watch anyway, says Gill Roth.

The Girlie Show is the latest Channel 4 offering for young people staying in on Friday nights. Fantasy Football League it ain't but these gmls definitely have balls. Rapido TV, purveyor of late night. brash trash in bright colours has come up with a raunchy little show presented by three full-on. feisty females with more attitude than a pool full of piranhas.

The Girlie Show may be a reaction to a culture overdosing on ladism but babes have never needed any lessons in how to behave badly. The three presenters are all new to TV: Rachel Williams, an American supermodel with :1 Tank Girl scowl and a

Cox, a brassy blonde from Bolton, with a penchant

articulate one. with dreadlocks.

The press release for the show promises us ‘babes with brains’ who will present regular items such as Wanker ofthe Week. Toilet Talk and The Girlie Show‘s answer to Readers‘ Wives. Trivial, trashy and ultimately disposable it may be but the last thing this show seems is girlie. 'lt's not about being cutesy or giggly.’ agrees producer Courtney Gibson. ‘lt’s a shameless exploration of what it is to be a woman.‘

Presenter Clare Gorham adds: ‘ldcally, we want to show what it’s like to be a woman in the 90s, now that it's no longer so odd not to get married or have

to show that women can be anything they want and have a lot of fun in the process.‘

Katie Puckrik's Pyjama Party on the other hand, is a frothy, frou-frou concoction and coy in comparison. Dressed in an alluring assortment of nighties, Puckrik and her co-presenters sashay around the studio on

tattoo in her ‘ass crack' as she delicately puts it; Sara

for tequila and arm wrestling, and Clare Gorham. the ;

satin sling-backs or lounge languorously on sofas. There's easy listening music, midnight snacks and male guests are sneaked in and out of the back door so the grown ups won’t know. Described by Puckrik

as ‘a demented late night chat show', it draws on her

children. In between the trash and the trivia, we hope t,

; American teenage experiences of girlie sleep-overs.

Although Pyjama Party has its fair share of ballsey women, the decadent 50s feel and retro. cheesecake

style is soft centred while The Girlie Show adds a

touch of muscle.

While both shows are primarily aimed at women, you can bet there will be plenty of guys missing out on last orders to be home in time to see curvaceous Puckrik in a scanty nightie or the Girlies strutting around, all hips. lips and quips. ‘The Girlie Show is for people who want something exciting to watch, we're not into men bashing.‘ says Courtney. Pyjama

Girlies show out: Sara, Rachel and Clare get llppy

Party also denies exclusivity. its treatment of men is pretty gentle and ‘not about putting them down,‘ says Puckrik, whereas the not so cuddly Girlies have a

: slightly tougher stance. somewhere between lust and loathing.

With many women having more options and

exercising more choice over their lives. femininity , has become increasingly hard to define and television

has always trailed behind real life in its

3 representation of women. Pyjama Party and The

Girlie Show are two positive attempts to present a

more diverse picture with their youthful celebration

7 ofwomen being gorgeous, clever and crude; in other

words. having it all.

The Girlie Show starts on Fri 26 Jan at 11.05pm on Channel 4. P'yjama Party is on Sundays at 12.50am on Scottish.


The vital Spark

Edinburgh-born author Muriel Spark’s life story thus far makes an interesting object lesson in the way writers find and, more importantly, hold on to their sources of inspiration. In a rare interview given to BBC Scotland’s Ex-S, she explains how her writing comes from images she carries with her, and which seem to have little direct bearing on her geographical location.

Alter years of travelling and now in her 705, Spark has come to rest in a

newspaper in 1950.

Muriel Spark: elusive

house on a hill in Tuscany, where she continues to write. Alter growing up in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh, she travelled to southern Africa where she entered into a marriage she almost immediately regretted. When she returned to London, Spark began to move in highbrow literary circles, after winning a short story competition in The Observer

But it was when her classic comedy of manners The Prime 0! Miss Jean Brodie, based on school-day memories, was turned into a film with a creme de la creme cast headed by Maggie Smith that Spark became a celebrity writer. The idea didn’t appeal to her one little bit and she decided to head for New York to escape the hangers-on of the literary establishment. It’s better for writers’

work that they live somewhere that no one recognises them or much cares who they are, Spark reckons.

Muriel Spark has long been a reclusive writer, and although not quite on the M). Salinger scale she guards her privacy jealously. To counter what she regards as the ‘misinformation’ surrounding her life she published Curriculum Vitae in 1992, an autobiography which takes the reader up to the publication of her first novel. Beyond that, says Spark, her books can speak for her. This rare interview gives a little more insight into her attitude to her work, but is also a fascinating study of the relationship between the writer’s imagination and the outside world. (Eddie Gibb)

Ex-S: The Elusive Spark is on Mon 29 Jan on 8801.

72 The List 26 Jan-8 Feb I996