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In Exile Channel 4,Wed Jan 14, lOit-m.

A bit of a coup: Patrice Naiambana and Fraser Jones in In Exile

imagine Edi Ainin living in ilellllllQSldU Picture Colonel Gadaffi buying a house in Bearslen What if Saddam Hussein set up home in the Merrhant City7 These notions may veer on the head- explodingly v.errd side of bizarre, but In Exr/e, a new srtLom for Channel 4 written by Tunde Babalola and (o- pr'oduced l.-y r‘~.lark Fast Show Williams, is dll( hored on JUSI su< h a premise \r‘v'hen General Alfred 'Provrdenre' lvlukata, military dir tator of the Afriran Republir of Kurneria is toppled from his self-iriiposed perrh by a (oup, he has to haul hrs sorry totalitarian ass to the

Brits for prote<tion Exiled in leafy St John's Wood, l.‘:ukata has trouble (oping with domestrr birss, proving the old adage that yrtu (an take the despot out of the (ountry but you (an't stop him getting medieval with the hired help

lvlukata a (haratter hailed in some quarters as the new Basil Fawlty is played by Royal Shakespeare Company actor Patrice Narambana, who has exchanged doublet and hose for Afrir'an robes, and doubtless relished the chance to strut around and shout about the homeland a lot

On the receivmg end are his personal assistant Ellen (a former aide to Fergiel and Solomon, the last remaining member of lvlukata’s elite guard, who harbours S(’( ret ambitions to berome a professional danrer

Unlike the wiserrarking suburban Disneyland that has constituted most UK situation ('omedy sinre the 1980s, In Exr/e hinges its humour on the (ulture (lash WlH(lt marked 70s Britroms A polititally (orrert Love T/iv Neighbour perhaps, or a Faw/tv Towers if the Germans (ame to stay every episode 'Don't mention the roup"

That /n Exr/e (an live up to John Cleese's (lassir is obviously unlikely, but one thing is for (ertain there's nowt like havmg a foreign tyrant next door to improve the Neighbourhood Watt h (Peter Ross)

Ruckin' around the Xmas tree: Tiffany and Grant


New Year, Old Problems for the soapsters, as the season of festive fights, tinsel trauma and crackers confessions came round again.

In EastEnders the tedious lvlll( hell l‘ru‘.‘.ers launr led a d'ruble-harrelled (ha'ni (>‘.‘e::s:.-.* with the eriii‘hasrs on the latter to van hat k their partners sed ;: t..'e snarls of 'Well,

you're rm f

e, arrir ha.“ Poor Tiffany, l‘t‘:lif’l2"l for the herr‘ous ( Mine of having a laud“. in the hub, fell for Grant's resolution in -:< :ne tl‘e perfert husband, an ‘n.:‘.'ll quoted lay bookies v.2th lr‘ri'ler rd'l, than Elm, heing alive on .‘.'.ars

Als’) ('ll-f ly r'i.',t'eatr=tl v.as Coronation Street's Cyndie, who lairer’l lover and champion i‘erl yrn"ng~r Jon in a gr'i‘phg l’agn‘anay shtr.‘.vtlt‘r.vn Even after she'd set-n hrs vale, home and thrldrer‘. he was still spinning an elaborate brazen lrzt:"r‘- to aireunt for it all l‘l‘c‘J‘l r:.'r‘.il the tie shrp, he's got a great future in po'::i<s As he (alrr‘dy told her h:s w ‘e is a ra rig lunatic, you

100 THE LIST 9 2/ Jan 1998

almost l)(‘l|("v’(’(l he (ould get away with it trll Deirdre delighted the nation by (hut king him out

But worse was to (orne a painful (onfrontation with ’.".rs Jon, vvhod been told she was a dangerous stalker Prror Deirdre's frustration was thrilling .'re'-.ving hut, despite Anne Kirkhrrde's years of moist-eyed prattue in the show, she's still (ompletely rubbish at trying Let's hope she pulls herself together gurtk and works out a way to get her own l)<l( k

Over in Brookside the hest the struggling soap (nuld ()ftel was the horrible and frankly haffl'ng pestle-(I at another girlfriend for slea/v Ron Dixon This one is played by the elegant Dian-1' 'llesrafe' Keen, so at least (:llt‘ (an hope shell shake some toffee beans or irririg along Gareth Hunt for a threesome Or there is the (in-dragging love triangle of Our Lindsey, Barry Grant and Jolly giant hairdresser Peter Barry (an (hange her life, but Peter (an save her a fortune on hot oil treatments Tough (ll’)|((‘ But on the plus side, Lindsey has der rded to give up her singing (areer, so there is hope for the year ahead (Andrea l.lullaneyr

rv REVIEW Channel Hopping

You (an't have a new US (till drama series without it starting off with the (le( overy of a very young female stiff Tia/in Peaks and Murder One being but tvro examples True to form, the latest Ameritan import Michael Hayes ’Channel ‘1, Mondays) opens with the traditional stent h of nubile blood as our eponymous hero, the publir (orruption thief, remains tormented nine years later at the murder's memory and the investigations failure to turn up a randidate for the r hair Like so many of our US telly purr hases over the last two der ades, Mir hae/ Haves has stylistr; flashrness nausea-indur ing (amera angles, tennis-nix k panning, subtle slo-mo, the relur tanr e to (lean the lens and (rarkrng (ontent Hayes's lplayed by former NYPD B/ire star Davrd Caruso) (onrerns look to be the pivot around ‘.'Jlll( h the series will either spzn wonderfully

Easel does it: Tara Fitzgerald and Andrew Lincoln in The Woman In White

dialogue 'What (an you tell me about your friend7' Reply through a splrff <loud 'He was the best bass player I ever met, man' At times you got the impression that the trophies and gorrgs bestowed upon MK hael Crr< hton's baby have blorked the way into the S( riptwrrters' conference room and they've rust derided to let rt write itself Still, thlt of the furi Comes in waiting for Dr Greene to ('rark up a bit more and, in Anthony Edwards, you have the only reason for (ontinuing to watt h Highly enjoyable but hardly the revelatory experien<e V‘JllK h its (our h (llS( iples (laim it to be

One festive revelation was the BBC givmg period drama a good name with The Woman In White (BBC 1) This adaptation of Wilkie Collins' (‘lassir potboiler proved that there's nothing like a dose of wrongful burial and (‘hild abuse to get the Christmas spirit going Mur h of its su<(ess was in the

you got the impression e. tr'og‘rhies and gongs i55.3":g‘it'ttfittifittt neon Michaef

or twist itself into a knot ijes’ttfi‘ltfiit'fi 389‘; have blOCde

So fa' had a troublesorrze sibling set to be releaserr frrr'“ :l‘okeyg the obs ‘-ssive rrursut '2‘ the mob and the hardbitten CathoI-t (iii-'l‘stlt‘llti‘

One thing ‘.'./lll( h Mir hae/ Haves nroves is that you needn't look like George C lortney to be a series figurehead You (an be totally shorn 'Oaniel Ben/ah in Murder Oner or, heavens above, tan even be of the ginger variety Caruso, herei

Of (nurse, ER “Channel ‘1, ‘vvednesdaysr has its own hardy-made George Clironey in George Clooney, a man v'rho possesses the range and, very 'rea'ly, the voit e of Sly Stallone The new series began in a fly on the l:lr;-od-and-puke-stained

walls type not -umentary as the ward betame the for us of a lotal TV (rew filming a day in the life of hell on earth The effert rs an odd (oupling of a video diary Casrra/tv -the needles go right in and the brown b:le is not Daddy's Saut er and Po//( e Squat, style

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tasting, with Tara Fitzgerald l(|ly impressive as the modernist Vi( torran woman and Simon Callow hamming it up in fine style as the worms Count Fos< o Sadly the leap from This Life to this was a bit too mur h for Andrew Lill(()lll who rather, wait for it, over- egged his role

From one woman in white to another

who rould have got through Xmas without glimpsing one of the 412,563 broadtasts devoted to Saint Diana You tould stray from the simple hagiographies to spet ials on Kensington Palate, the Dr lookalike industry or even the murder theories whit h lnternerds will be spending years salivating, or worse, over As proved by the further revelations of Grate Kelly in Secret Lives (Channel 4;, (learly there's no prinr ess like a dead prinress (Brian Donaldson)