Arts And Parts Scottish, Sun 22 Jun.
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We at The List like to keep tabs on our former scribes, just to check that they don't go to seed once they leave the nurturing bosom, and that they keep up their ability to blag and lig like the best of them.
It’s been nearly five years since The List's swinging Edinburgh Clubs editor Avril Mair packed her wordly goods and trekked to London to join the style mag iD's editorial team. A year later she was editor. It took faithful freelance contributor Craig McLean longer to resist the lure of the Big Smoke, but eventually he caved in to the possibilities of even more freebies and now he's features editor on the similarly style- orientated The Face.
So when Scottish Television's arts discussion programme Arts And Parts, whose new face-to-face series kicked off recently featuring the likes of Iain Banks and Kenny Ireland, were looking for funky young Scots on the style press frontline, they looked no further than the two former Edinburgh Uni newshounds-
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Arts And Parts: behind the face of style mags
turned-opinionated expats, put them in a studio together and filmed the resulting conversation.
Among a variety of relevant issues, the dynamic duo discuss the extremes the style press are prepared to go to and just as importantly where they draw the line.
'We're interested in what makes that area of journalism work,’ says series producer Ken Neil. ‘The style press does take risks — with graphic styles, photo shoots. It's got a market which is more open to changes.’
Of the series in general, Neil says, 'lt's not very often in television that people are given the time to express their considered opinion, because the nature of TV is soundbites. The notion is that people will catch the programme and feel like they’re in the company of these two people.’
Unless, of course, you actually write for The List in which case you already know what that feels like. (Fiona Shepherd)
ACTOR PROFILE Navin Chowdhry Dalziel & Pascoe, BBCI, 14 Jun.
Navin Chowdhry has had an extraordinary career. At 25, he has already managed to pack in co-starring with Shirley MacLaine in the Hollywood movie Madame Sousatzka, several less memorable pictures and a degree in biochemistry.
Now, better qualified and back infront of the camera, Bristol-born Chowdhry has landed the part of a rookie recruit in the new series of top TV tec show Da/zie/ 81 Pascoe. It is, he says, worth hanging up the lab coat for.
Acting began locally in youth theatre groups, and he got the part in Madame Sousatzka after attending an open audition. Later he starred alongside Peter O' Toole in Seventh Coin, which like all his movies was made while he was still at school. The pundits had high hopes for the film, but it bombed in the States and failed to make it across the Atlantic.
’So much was made of Seventh Coin, but I was very disappointed, both
84 THE UST 13—26 Jun 1997
personally and With the film as a whole,’ Chowdhry recalls. ’When I saw it, I thought, no.The whole idea of having everything deCIded by other people for you at such a young age wasn’t for me.
’All my friends were gomg to university and it was either a question of waiting for other people to decide when I was going to get another job, or basically, to get off my arse and do something for myself.’
That something was the biochemistry degree. ’But,’ Chowdhry insists, ’from the day I started to the day I finished, I knew I would always return to acting. Career-Wise, I had to start right from the bottom again, but to me, it was very important to do something real.’
Chowdhry received a warm welcome from the established team on Da/zie/ & Pascoe — stars Warren Clarke, Colin Buchanan, Susannah Corbett and David Royle. His role as police cadet Sanjay Singh builds over the four episodes, but his options are open for series three, as other projects beckon. He may have to start from the bottom all over again, but he's definitely on the way back up. (Sue Greenway)
TV REVIEW Channel Hopping
’This is the press conference in which we rocked the music industry,’ announced Roger Cook at the beginning of his latest expose of vile corruption and evil insanity. What spectacular plots could the record- business bigwigs have hatched? All receipts from the major labels funding terrorist atrocities, destabilising democracy and leaving the path clear for Demis Roussos to get back to Number One?
Actually, the awesome revelation was that major labels manipulate the charts through backhanders to achieve airplay and buying back their own records to boost sales. Big wowee. With the co-operation of Debbie ’daughter of Edwina' Currie as a fake pop diva, manager Barry Tomes, former handler of Lulu and Alvin Stardust, and producer Mike Stock of Stock, Aitken and Waterman fame, he attempted to set the record industry straight. They also had a field day with the press, including The Scotsman, which made Currie their weekend magazine cover star.
Someone who has been part of the murky pop business is Robson Green who, alongside his buddy Jerome, decided to slaughter some timeless classics. Murder has been back on Green’s agenda as his role in the latest ’intelligent’ cop show Touching Evil comes to an end. While he is no Robbie Coltrane, John Thaw or even fellow Tynesider Jimmy Nail, Green has been surprisingly impressive while locking horns with colleagues and criminals.
The writers seem to acknowledge his desire to move away from his squeaky- clean image by putting two 'shits’ and a ’prick’ into his mouth, though the art directors could have helped matters by lifting the blue-tinged fog which shroud- ed most of the interior action. Indeed, the only things able to penetrate the mist were Green's piercingly blue eyes. The steely gaze with which he fixed suspects was liable to either extract a full confession or provoke the accused to ask 'Weren’t you in Village Of The Damned?’
Green performance aside, the final
story was a tension-starved affair with the sanguiner-titled Leonard Stoker inducing kids to murder via messages on the internet. They murder, they get caught, and then so does he. End of story, apart from a detective losing his job, then the plot and decorating a police cell with Stoker’s brains.
Hands up all those who would swap the life of the city, with all its pollution, death and insecurity, for the pastoral countryside with its natural beauty, serenity and kestrels. And pollution, death and insecurity. In Channel 4’s The Good Life, three couples did just that.
Helen and Murray Nash ditched the mobile phones for a mobile home and headed for Wales. Alan and Karen Reynolds went the same route in search of the perfect goats’ cheese. Meriel and Roger Withnell, the poshest of the trio, read John Seymour's Self Sufficiency and dashed for Herefordshire to mingle with the porkers and get right back to basics, choosing a half dead shirehorse and rickety cart over a combine harvester.
Inevitany the transition to the wild was not without its setbacks. For the Nashs, this came via Murray's twinges of back arthritis which often left Helen with all the work. But, never mind, when they felt blue they got the guitar out and strummed some ode to organic nature. Which was fine until Helen started singing.
The Withnell’s fears had proved largely groundless, with our Rog having swiftly transformed from an IBM power-broker into a rabid anarcho-vegetarian. The early smart money for first back to ’violence, graffiti and vandalism’ were the Reynolds. The first day’s goat- squeezing proved largely unsuccessful, and their young children couldn’t go five minutes without tripping over a stray chicken. Alan
The writers acknowledge Robson Green's desire to move away from his squeaky-clean image by putting two ‘shits' and a ‘prick' into his mouth.
retained an admirable conviction. On inspecting the vast canister of cheese gurgling and burbling away like John Hurt’s tummy immediately prior to the alien's forced eXit, he stated: 'lt’s not so bad.’ Yes, it is. ’Tomorrow’ll be better.’ No, it won’t.
Robson Green: not so squeaky clean