Another fine mesh: Playing The Field hits the back of net

rv REVIEW Channel hopping

Trna Turner’s 'Srmply The Best’, has been a predrctable, rf rrsrble, addrtron to the canon of pop songs blastrng rnaudrbly from stadrum tannoys. In the battle for supremacy rn provrdrng lrve actron to the armcharr or pub- bound fan, the terrestrral channels have been relegated to mrnor status by Sky’s superlatrve blanket coverage of the game, be rt Spanrsh League, Schoolboy Internationals or a One- Armed Leprechaun charrty match

Last week saw the BBC take on Sky rn the Quarter-Frnals of the Scottrsh Cup, Luckrly for the Beeb, Sportscene had prcked the Dundee Unrted versus Celtrc clash, a frxture whrch never farls to provrde rrvettrng telly. Sky's Football Special got the Rangers versus Dundee encounter, one whrch had lack of goalrnouth actron wrrtten all over rt from the start.

Yet, Sky were never on a loser. Therr slrcker approach leaves rrvals behrnd, though they really should drtch the techno-bagprpe srgnature

Sky’s btanket foetbalt coverage ts snpertatme, be it Spantsh League, Schoolboy internationals or a One Armed filtitt‘t‘t’y t‘t‘ic’t‘iiltr

tune when they cover Scottrsh

games. Then there's the commentators A- BBC's Rob McLean rs slowly becomrng a more

authorrtatrve v0rce than hrs early season form rndrcated, though you had to chortle when he screamed 'thrs rs a wonderful advert for Scottrsh football’, convenrently rgnorrng the fact that all frve goals were netted by Scandrnavrans

Over on Sky, Martrn Tyler left the gaffes to co-anchor (say rt really qcrrckly) Alan lvlclnally who rnsIsted thrs was a dark nrght for ’lbrox Football Club’ The hrghlrght of the nrght was Davre Provan’s post-match rntervrew wrth Rangers' rncreasrngly grey and glum boss Walter Srnrth.

’W0uld y0u agree that thrs

performance rsn’t good enough7’ guerred Davre, gamely, after the home srde's feckless showrng had allowed the plucky vrsrtors to garn a replay. ’Good enough for what7' spat Walt after a long pause rn whrch he appeared to be ponderrrrg whrch form of rnedreval tOrture was most Surtable for hrs rnterrogator

Strll, Srnrth was a prllar of restrarnt compared to Sunderland boss Peter Rerd as Premier Passions (BBCl, Tuesdays) contrnued rts look at the Roker Parkers’ fadrng attempts to stay rn the top flrght last season Rerd appeared to have had a clause Inserted rn hrs contract whrch oblrged hrm to use the 'f’ word at least IWrce rn every sentence durrng hrs half-trme pep-talk

Sunderland were doubtless chosen as the fly-on-the-dressrng-room-wall vrctrms because they were so heavrly trpped to go down that hrgh passron was guaranteed Whatever happened that season, they would be playrng therr last match at Roker Park after 99 largely unsuccesful years and enterrng a new era whrch forces clubs to move from therr rrghtful home and set up at places

wrth names lrke Stacfrum Of Lrght or The Reebok

Staclrum Castlefrelcl Blues have no fears about marntarnrng Prernrershrp status, what wrth them bernc; entrrely frctrc)na| In Band Of Go/cf wrrter Kay Mellor’s prornrsrng Playing The Field (BBCl, Sundays) the all-female Blues have a Job marrrtarnrng form whrle all arocrncl them rs collapsrng Therr star piayer rs threatenrng to pull out because her husband has been offered the manager's jOl), the team captarn rs havrng a flrng whrch rs abOut to be exposed, and the charrman's ere rs more rnterested rn a nrce new couch than the team's survrval Strll, Peter Rerd and Walter Srnrth should take a substantral leaf out of the Blues' manager’s team talk book: 'I put my marrrage on the lrne for thrs team' and 'You are a drsgrace to your sex' he oprnes Then agarn, maybe not. (Brran Donaldson)


Two of soapland’s nicest characters prepare to bow out.

What's all the fuss about rn Brookside over Davrd Crosbre’s new woman, Srnrster golfrng frend Molly, Wrth whom he's ab0ut to set up home.7 Of course she's after hrs money what else? He's years older than her, and whrle he has a natty lrne rn blazers, you'd hardly call hrm a catch

Strll, thrs rs BroolcSrde Close, parallel unrverse, where even Ron Drcko can have them gueurng up. So dashrng old Brng rs packrng hrs flannels and Emprre memorabrlra, but what erl they do wnhout ltlm7 Every show needs a crusty old buffer, to tut drsapprovrngly at the werrd antrcs and rally round rn a crrsrs.

The Nerghbourhood Watch \vrll doubtless collapse, but that's no loss when you recall the number of c'rrmes c‘ommrtted there, rt's clearly been pretty useless To rnrss one murder under therr noses mrght be a rnrsfortune, but three or four rs srrnply careless And poor Julra wrll be crushed when Brng leaves, her cups of tea spurned for Drane Keen’s erstwhrle coffee bean shake.

Also hangrng up her halo and movrng on rs Home And Away's Prppa, after two husbands, one body transplant, numerous natural drsasters and dozens of troubled teens sulkrng up her starrs Strangely, few of the ungrateful sods ever come to vrsrt after they've been

A Parcel 0f Rogues Channel 4, Sat 21 Mar, 8pm.

Chrrstmas Eve, 1950 Whrle London's revellers celebrated the brrth of the lrttle baby Jesus by gettrng smashed on hrs blood, some pesky Sc‘ottrsh natronalrsts were helprng themselves to the Stone of Destrny rn Westrrrrnster Abbey As A Parcel Of Rogues, Channel 4's look at the hrstory of the frght for Scottrsh Home Rule, rndrcates, thrs stunt was a mrx of 'hrgh rclealrs‘m wrth low far'cje' No rrrentron rs made as to whether rt was merely an rrrnovatrve prece of last mrnute shopprng The prograrnnre traces the path from those post-war days when the SNP were seen as a rrrere nursance to the brgWrgs rn Parlrament, through to the present day and the effect they have had rrr forc'rng rncleperrdence onto the polrtrc'al agenda

Ian HarnrltOn, one of the men behrncl the plan to brrng the Stone back north and safely ensconce rt rn Arbroath Abbey before rts eventual recapture, rnsrsts that rt was no nrere stunt 'l clrcl rt to waken my country up,’ he says '1

reviews TV

David ‘Bing' Crosbie: crusty old buffer

strarghtened Out No wonder she’s had enough

Not to worry though, srnce every other adult (all four of them) rn Summer Bay takes rn warfs and strays too. Irene can step rnto Prppa's flrpflops, havrng JUSI provrded a complete stranger wrth a full set of clothes, room and board wrthrn mrnutes of meetrng hrm

Perhaps Mark and Ruth from EastEnders could prck up a few trps, srnce they can't cope wrth Just the one foster chrld - angelrc Jessre, who’s returnrng to her real mum. The SOCIal servrces must have been farrly desperate to place a chrld wrth any members of the Fowler clan, hardly noted for therr parentrng skrlls. Walford folk are clearly not as crvrc rnrnded as Aussres, are they7 (Andrea Mullaney)

,j; r \, Winnie Ewing wins the Hamilton by-election. 1967

strll remember seerng rt under the Saltrre, knowmg that rt would be taken away, but not gurte belrevrng that they'd rush rt away wrth such rndecent haste and rndrgnrty rn the back of a polrc‘e car If that rs England and Scotland, we've had enough of them '

In the frrst of the three eprsodes, 'A Rrsrng Trcle', the landmarks rn the struggle to achreve self-determrnatron are set out among them Hamrlton's farled but hrghly symbolrc‘ court actron guestronrng the rrght of the Queen to call herself Elrzabeth II rn Scotland and the famous Hamrlton by-electron vrctory of 1967 by a very young and unfeaSIbly sexy Wrnnre EWrng

Whrle the programme features a brt too much Sc’ottrsh guarntness -- Sc’ottre dogs, lone prpers, st0rc crofters, 'Speed, Bonny Boat' etc the hazardous road to the brrnk of self- governrrrent rs evocatrvely lard before yOu wrth vc)rces such as Ludovrc Kennedy, Lord Home’s sOn, er Srllars and Donald Dewar recallrng the battles won and lost (Brran Donaldson)

20 Mar—2 Apr 1998 THE LIST 97