Rab C. Nesbitt BBCZ, starts Fri 14 May, 9.30pm.
There are many who would have been glad to see the back of Rab C. Nesbitt. At the end of serres seven, Govan’s most ranting sage (unless you \vould nomrnate Alex Ferguson for that award) had the problems of the world on hrs shoulders and hrs house rn torched rurns at hrs feet.
All appeared hopeless for the strrng- vested malcontent — hrs wrfe lvlary Doll had knocked boots wrth hrs best frrend JameSre and the burden of that knowledge led hrrn to commrt arson and face prrson. Yet, serres erght drags hrm out of hrs personal hell and back rnto sOCrety wrth a few surprrses ahead
Among hrs out-of—character antrcs he becomes a proud-rsh grandparent to Peaches after affectrng ’scum rndrfference to the hrde0us rnevrtabrlrty of sprogs’; dresses up rn black-tre and tuxedo as he crosses lalbert very temporarrly) the Cultural drvrde, and
Bar hell: Rab C. Nesbitt
ponders hrs exrstence to the pomt where he decrdes to embrace Buddhrsrn. Albert very temporarrly.
Yet, the resrdue from Rab’s erd years are never far from surfacrng as he consrders a career as a professronal alcoholrc, ’as opposed to a grfted part- trmer.’ As producer and drrector of the Comedy Unrt’s baby, Colrn Grlbert rs rn a perfect posrtron to state Just where Rab rs now, as he prepares to take the plunge rnto the next century — should he survrve thrs one. ’Rab may be a grandfather rn thrs serres, but he rs strll growrng old drsgracefully'
Yet, for all those who would be happy never agarn to see Rab sprttrng brle and spoutrng forth rndrgnance, there are more who WOUId mrss rt for the same reasons, The show, wrrtten deftly by Ian Pattrson, rs at rts best when confrontrng the mrsery of life wrth no meaning. It may often teeter towards the workrng-class sentrmentalrty rt derrdes, but Rab C. Nesbrtt's heart remarns both warm and rn the rrght place. (Brran Donaldson)
REVIEW Psychos Channel 4, Thu 6 May, lOpm is a k
Controversral. Drsgraceful. GrOund- breaking. Shockrng. Proponents and crrtrcs alrke were keen to have therr chosen adjective at the ready for the launch of Psychos, even before many of them (the crrtrcs, marnly, as ever) had vrewed the programme. Strangely, for a show about the rnsrdes of a mental unrt there rs actually lrttle to be seen of those f0ur elements,
Douglas Henshall rs tremendous as Danny Nash, the manrc yang to Neve lvlclntosh's cool yrn of Kate lvlrllar but somethrng tells you very early on that her reflectrve and drstant demeanour wrll, at some pOrnt, be shattered Not by her workrng envrronment and the darly hells she has to confront there but by the barrage of tomfoolery and abuse she has to Suffer at the hands of Nash
Later, we wrll see her whole essence berng br0ught rnto questron as Nash takes her to task for a lack of passron.
Passion victims: Psychos
Ab0ut anythrng. But where does all thrs leave the patrents rn Psychos? Many have had the/r passron for lrfe extrngurshed by farlure and the onset of mrsery leads rnevrtably to several attempts on lrves. Is that so shockrng? Endrng rt all, or the dark thought of rt, probably does go on rn the lrves of those wrth mental problems. It w0uld be much more unrealrstrc and thereby controversral were there to be no rmages of people tryrng to hang themselves or slash therr arms to rrbbons.
What has upset many who have actually seen the programme rs that these personal dramas act purely as a backdrop to the antrcs of Henshall. Then agarn, there would be others who would decry a lack of humour were thrs to be strarght down the lrne psychodrama wrth lrght relref posted mrssrng.
Psychos may not come close to anythrng peOple have sard about rt but there rs surely at least one superstar rn the makrng to rrse from all of thrs, (Brran Donaldson)
TV & RADIO
Perfect Days Radio 3, Sun 16 May, 7.30pm.
Dusty Sprrngfield on Radro 3? It can only mean one thing — Liz Lochhead's Perfect Days has taken temporary control of the arrwaves. Ever since rts hrghly acclarmed premiere at last year's Frrnge, Lochhead’s comedy drama about a Glaswegran harrdresser who rs positrvely deafened by the ticking of her brologrcal clock, has been playing to Jam-packed houses. The radro versron grves those who missed out on the lrve experience a chance to enjoy the razor-sharp banter between corffeuse Barbs and varrous friends, lovers and famrly members.
The radio version differs slightly from the orrgrnal, havrng Siobhan Redmond’s Barbs lrnk the scenes vra strarghtforward narratron, rather than the vrsual clues given on stage, but basrcally rt has adopted a sensrble, rf rt arn't broke, don't frx rt attrtude. lnevrtably however, a little somethrng rs lost rn transrtron, rf only because the lrstener rsn’t sharrng rn the laughter wrth several hundred other satrsfred customers. (Rob Fraser)
PREVIEW Touching Evil
Scottish, starts Sun 16 May, 9pm.
Radio highlights: Perfect Days
Blyth's spirit: Touching Evil
No matter how hard he tries, Robson Green wrll probably always be regarded as the genral Geordie wrth a cheeky smrle on hrs lrps and a song whrch we all wrshed had remarned rn hrs heart. Yet, he has been tryrng hrs damnedest to alter that image wrth hrs role as Detectrve Inspector Dave Creegan of the Organrsed and Serial Crime Unrt.
The thrrd serres of ITV’s chrllrng Touching Evi/ even allowed Green to follow. rn the sandy footsteps of hrs hero. ’We took some rnsprratron for thrs serres from Get Carter,’ states Green, addrng that some scenes were frlmed rn the same area, Blyth rn Northumberland, as Michael Carne’s I971 classrc gangster movre ’A lady came up to me and thanked me for puttrng Blyth on the map. I told her she mrght not thank me when she saw the story of gruesome murders '
Heartland FM BBCZ, starts Fri May 14, 7.30pm.
Ah, the Joys of communrty radro. One broadcaster talks about what turns hrm on about Heartland FM, Brrtain's first rndependent amateur local radro statron: ’The buzz is rn thrnkrng: “Is anybody out there?" And rf there rs, are they makrng slow rhythmrcal hand gestures thrnkrng "that guy's utter crap!" ’
Chrlled-out rn Perthshrre, Heartland cheerfully boasts 'no professronals’, preferrrng to manacle itself to the local communrty vra volunteers who, by day, maSQuerade as grouse-screeners, pastor's, shepherds and rce-cream vendors. When the sun sets, however, they transform rnto captains of spin.
Tales are also told of the towns Heartland weaves rts waves through Apparently, you can’t even buy a bra or parr of knrckers rn Prtlochry; whrle nerghhourrng Aberfeldy, has ’a brt of everythrng’ — except, perhaps, penrs-shaped pasta and chocolate nipples. Both of which, Prtlochry vehemently punts to baffled contrnental t0urrsts brave enough to enter rts bawdy 'naughty corner" \“glro needs Amsterdam? (Alrson Chresa)
Manacled volunteers: Heartland PM
13—27 May. r999 rrrursr 103