The lists new soapwatch column hitches a ride to France with those bed-hopping close-dwellers from Brookside- anything to escape the tedium of Coronation Street. . .

‘Britain’s most famous front is back.’ runs the slogan. alongside a picture of Bet Lynch to publicise Granada TV‘s new venture into satellite broadcasting which promises wall-to-wall reruns. It’s not hard to see why showing twenty- year-old episodes of Coronation Street (Mon. Wed. Fri; Scottish) is an attractive moneyspinner. Who wouldn't prefer the l970s dingdongs between Bet and Elsie Tanner to the current storylines?

Pop into the Rovers fora swift half just now and you'll see all manner of nervous ties. as Weatherfield‘s rniddle-

aged males try to nod and wink their way into Square Dealers. which seems to be a branch of the Mane masons. Members including beefy butcher Fred Elliott and nerdy Norris have been enjoying free pints and hot pot at the local for weeks now.

Just why this particular storyline has been plodding on for so long is as much a mystery as the secret society itself. Any club whose members include Curly Watts isn't exacty for high flyers.

It's only a matter of time before trouser legs are rolled up and we get to see the funny handshakes. But why wait when you can switch over and see incest. adultery and mad blokes on other soaps.

When it comes to drama. Brookside (Tue, Wed, Fri; Channel 4) can teach Coronation Street a thing or two. The Liverpool soap‘s current live nights-a- week soapfest promised a tense few days to rival ‘body-under-patio‘ week during the Jordache trial last year. Shifting the action to France meant a welcome return for everyone‘s favourite yuppie Patricia Farnhatn. estranged second wife of restaurateur Max. who‘s currently living with superbitch ex-wil'e Susanna.

Going on location doesn't usually mean a stress-free holiday for Maxie Famham. Last time he went to the Cotswolds and discovered the kids next door indulging in a spot of sibling stnooching. This sojourn across la Mane/re has seen marital strife come to a head with long-suffering. long- distance wife Patricia.

Back home dans la Mersey. neighbours Nat and Georgia keep it in the family and prove that Brno/(side only happens every night when incest is involved. It's all a far cry from the groundbreaking coverage of the Jordache saga. that three-ring circus of a battered wife. raped daughters and dead dad under the patio. You can‘t help wanting to slap the dizzy pair around the chops and tell them to stop messing.

Dopey Nat’s problems don‘t even end with getting his end away with his sister. Like Max Famham. he‘s lumbered with a wife who’s surplus to requirements. At least the Simpson/ Famham ménage a trois has accelerated over the past week to end with a bang. The only explosive situation we're likely to see on The Street any time soon is Elliott's sausage bursting. (Jo Ward)


Stand up, black Britian

This month sees the start of two black entertainment series; Channel 4‘s sketch show Get Up. Stand Up returns for its third run while Friday nights on BBC 2 are being handed over to The A- Fort'e. an umbrella title for the first batch of programmes from the BBC new African-Caribbean unit based in Manchester.

This slot. presented by stand-up comic Felix Dexter. will feature comedy. :1 black version of Blind Date and a new ten-part drama serial called Brothers And Sisters set in a Pentacostal church. which. if successful, the producers hope will turn into a soap. That would make it the first black continuing drama since Empire Road during the mid-70s.

The idea is to widen the scope of ‘multi-cultural‘ programming from earnest issue-based documentaries about racial discrimination. though the fact is that both The A-l"ort‘e and Get Up. Stand Up got on screen via positive discrimination policies by broadcasters. rather than competing directly for cash from comedy and entertainment budgets. For Malcolm Frederick. one third of the (let Up. Stand Up team. the fact the show is commissioned by Channel 4‘s multi-cultural department is accepted with a mixture of bitterness and resignation.

‘Black performers have a right to express themselves like anyone else

just hope people find the show fttnny.


Get Up, Stand Up: equal opportunities comedy talent can develop and producers from other pans of the BBC can find black programme makers.

‘I hope people will look at my agenda and say. ah. that‘s what black people want to see on TV and adapt bits to their own programme areas.‘ says ()niya. ‘In an ideal world there shouldn‘t be a black department because the rest of the organisation would be so aware of these issues. bttt I think I will be very grey before we reach that point.‘

(let Up. Stand Up begins on Tilt’ 8 ()t't at //.()5pm on Channel 4." The lI-I'TH't't’ starts on I’ri IN Or! at /l. l5ptn on [38(‘2.

and if that means only black producers commission trs then so be it.‘ he says. ‘There's lip service paid to equal opportunities btrt whenever there‘s a black programme it‘s always shown in some kind of special slot. Whether we reflect these injustices. I don‘t know I As executive producer and head of the BBC‘s African-Caribbean unit. Dele Oniya is obviously tnore upbeat about the role of a separate department to bring black shows to the screen. though he admits that in the long run he would prefer black programming not to be singled 0ttt for special treatment. He regards the unit as a place where black


I Bubblegum King! (Radio 2) Sat 5 Oct. 5.03—6pm. Jonathan King investigates the myth that bubblegum music is superficial. disposable pop and suggests instead that it was the work of genius producers and writers. The jury remains out but the judge is reaching for the black cap.

I Kaleidoscope Feature - Raving In Revolt (Radio 4) Sat 5 Oct. 7.20—7.50prn. Tim Maylon examines the ever-changing rave scene and asks is it underground and dangerous with important social and political implications or simply the vacuous pursuit of apathetic teenagers. Perhaps someone should tell him that a ‘rave‘ is very difficult to find these days. I Beat Patrol (Radio Scotland) Sun 6 Oct. 5pm. Peter Easton casts an eye and an car over the forthcoming Ten Day Weekend in Glasgow. Superstar provide the session honours. See Ten Day Weekend feature.

I Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) Mon 7 Oct. lO.3()—l l.30am. Jenni Murray leads the festivities as Woman is Hour celebrates its 50th birthday.

I In Concert - Pulp (Radio 1) Mon 7 Oct. 9pm. The Prince of Polyester and Messiah of the Misfits. Winner ofthe Mercury and Champion of the Cardigan-Wearers. ladies and gentlemen. please give a big band to Mr Jarvis Cocker and pals as captured at the V96 in Chelmsford earlier this year.

I Mark Radcliffe (Radio I ) Mon 7 Oct. l()ptn. Radcliffe and the hapless Boy Lard are joined by Julian ‘Full Moon‘ Cope in their Palace ofGlittering Delights in Manchester. Well worth lending an ear to over a brew or two.

I Bodies 0f Evidence (Radio 4) Wed 9 Oct. 9pm. Tony Robinson continues to study our ancestors from the Iron and Stone ages and discovers ancient herbal

tea. prehistoric l0o paper. a Stone age bumbag and a Neolithic first aid kit. Everything Ugh needed for a night on the tiles.

I Yehudi Menuhin’s 80th Birthday (Radio 2) 7.30pm. Two-hour broadcast of a special concert held at the Albert Hall in recognition of the work which Lord Menuhin has done for music in this country. The soloists read like a Who is Who ofclassical music.

I Beat Patrol (Radio Scotland) Strn I3. 5pm. Eugene Kelly and cohorts are back in business again after a lengthy lay off. This Eugenius session will doubtless air the new single ‘Womb Boy Returns.‘

I The Essential Mix (Radio I) Sun 13. 2am. Paul Oakenfold performs an extended version of his Fluoro Mir. featuring music not available on his forthcoming album of the same name.

roommat- Ladies at large

In the overcrowded world of television cookery, you need a gimmick and, boy, do Two Fat Ladies have one. They’re plump! They’re plummy! They ride around the country on a classic Triumph motorcycle with sidecar! These two grandes dames of the kitchen are parodies of the kind of gung-ho county lady who is happiest up to her welly-boot tops in mud.

The resemblance to French And Saunders’s rural hearties is disturbingly close to the reality of Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright. The best thing about this show is they probably know they cut somewhat absurd figures, but don’t give a damn.

Edinburgh foodies may already be familiar with Clarissa, a former barrister who now runs the city’s only specialist cookbook shop in the Crassmarket, while Jennifer appears regularly on the Food And Drink programme. Together these culinary heavyweights tour around the country, making short work ot crabs in Cornwall and the Duke of Hamilton’s pheasants. Anything edible should run for cover. (Eddie Gibb)

Two Fat ladies starts on Wed 9 act at 8.30pm on 8802.

Paul Oakentold

The List tl-l7 Oct I996 83 A