Reputations BBCZ, starts Tue 16 May, 9pm.

Olga Korbut damages her reputation

Those anticipating a fresh batch of scandalous revelations abOut their favourite put)er faces will be more than disappointed by the celebrities lined up for the new series of Reputations, Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut, entertainer Liberace, heavyweight boxer Joe LOuis, ex-prime minister Anthony Eden and rock star Janis Joplin

Doubtless these are significant figures in their respective fields, and have done much to shape the last Century, but a question begs to be asked who

DOCUMENTARY SERIES Brits BBCZ, star sWed I7 May, 9.30pm.

What is this programme good for?

They said it was the war that could never end The problem without a solatron And in many ways, the Troubles and its makers have always appeared keenei‘, almost to the pomt of revellzrtg, in being a major part of that problen‘.

As part one of Brits ends, an ex- sctuaddie recalls how an IRA brigadier gleefuizy irtforrrted him that the Provos would never give in Tney were merely I)'(IIII(] their TIITTO until a weak British government was elected, one so lily- livered that they would offer the IRA

116 THE LIST ft 2s I.’.ay 2000

cares? In theory, these figures are chosen to be representative of a larger cultural concern, In the case of Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut, that concern is the Cold War and how the Russians used the arena of world athletics to promote a superior status.

A valid topic for discussion, you’d rightly cry, but the programme itself practically ignores this and Instead degenerates into vapid rape accusations against Korbut’s coach Renald Knysch. The gymnast alleges that, as well as ruthlessly training her for seven years, forcmg her to smile and strictly monitoring her diet, Knysch raped her at seventeen years of age only days before her performance in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In hrs defence against an accusation no one else can substantiate, Knysch asks why he would Jeopardise success at the Olympics when it was all he had worked for over the preVious seven years. Olga Korbut went on to Win f0ur gold medals in Munich and in the process became the first star of world gymnastics. Propelled into the limelight, success went to Olga’s head. She dropped Knysch as a coach and at the I976 Montreal Olympics she was past her peak and only managed to wrn one srlver and the team gold medal.

Building a programme around such a tenuous accusation, and making only slight mention of medal-fixing by the Eastern Bloc Judges, is hardly material enough to warrant a one-hour expose. Let’s hope that Liberace has more sparkle. (Catherine Bromley)

everything their emerald hearts so desired. ‘And it’s come true, now, hasn’t it.7' he concludes. You get the sense that this particular Brit, and many like him, yearns for the good old days of 'shoot to kill' and internment, conveniently forgetting that it was the so-called Iron Lady whose signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement set in motion the situation we have today.

Peter Taylor the award-Winning JOUTTTO whose hard-hitting investigations have detailed the lows and downs of a strife which has now touched upon four decades - follows up Loyalists and Provos wrth this look at the folk you Will vrew as either the invading enemy or welcome peace- keepers.

Brits sets out, not simply to retread the old grOund and walk the Viewer through to the delicate peace we have now, but to shed light on matters which the authorities would probably prefer to remain undisclosed Throughout the series, we hear how Republican icon Bernadette Devlin was targeted for assassination, how the secret peace talks got started, the involvement of undercover British Army agents in sectarian killings and the truth behind the already well-exposed Stalker Affair.

With the pOSSibility of genurne peace such a tantalising prospect, any programme which looks at the murky side of this seemingly never-ending conflict nuay appear mischieVOLis. But the truth remains Just that, and there can never be a bad time to be given the harsh reality IBTldIT Donaldsoni

DRAMA Lady Audley's Secret Scottish, Wed 17 May, 9pm.

Stop me if you‘ve heard this one before. This production is a lovrngly detailed, finer acted, beautifully costumed and lusth desrgned period drama. There’s lots of repressed sexuality, a strong whiff of ineVitable betrayal and a past which may or may not contain dastardly secrets.

Yep, this two-hour adaptation of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s 'scandalous' Victorian novel, Lady Audley’s Secret, is another addition to the genre that is ever harder to escape from. It concerns the manners and motives of one Lucy Graham (a post- Gormenghast Neve McIntosh) who

Neve McIntosh has the hots in a distinctly lukewarm drama

gets hitched to the kindly but gruff Sir Michael Audley ithe kindly but gruff Kenneth Cranhaml. Naturally enough, their age gap of 30 years has implications, not the least of which IS Lucy havrng the hots for Sir Mick's nephew, Robert

(Steven Mackintosh).

All decent enough telly, but after the likes of the far superior Pride And Prejudice and Great Expectations, yOu have to wonder why peOple bother

(Brian Donaldson)

DOCUMENTARY SERIES Spy TV Channel 4, starts Thu It May, 12.30am.

4Later has not been noted for its cutting edge programming, more as a ghetto for subject matter that can’t find another home. Spy TV breaks the mOuid, looking at trends in new technology and their SOCIOIOglCaI effects.

Tess Daly enlists slightly paranOid analytical skills from the likes of 00uglas Rushkoff and Jane Buckingham to expand on the Virtues of fads, trends and phenomena. Programme one looks at US advertising’s Current fetish fOr voyeurism ‘- as seen in Calvrn Klein’s latest TV campaign and the use of mghtvrsion camcorders to record

There's a spy in the house

clubgoers’ more uninhibited moments It also charts the rise in pOpularity of e- mail dating among young New Yorkers who are uncovered as fame-chasing

wannabes, rather than lonely hearts.

It’s a peCuliar mix which, deSpite the clunky format, is only stodgy during the extended ramblings from the 'experts'. Worthy of investigation nonetheless.

(Mark Robertson)

DRAMA SERIES Fish BBCI,Tue 9 May air it

Here we go, again. The omnipresent Paul McGann plays Fish, the latest in a long line of maverick TV professronals whose colourful personal life and eccentric working methods mask a piercing intellect and almost supernatural inSight. Oh, and of cOurse, he's Wildly attractive to women. 'l’d kill to go to bed wrth that man', sighs one c0urtroom Opponent

Early indications suggest the writers are seeking to emulate the Al/y McBea/ formula of slightly offbeat legal matters, all of which \VIII presumably culminate in a resplendent zero-hour diSpIay of legal expertise and compassionate pleading from the hero

Paul McGann's new legal drama is hook, line and stinker

Hardly revolutionary stuff, then To make matters worse, they’ve cast one of those whining, precooous stage-brats as Fish's neglected child This irritating encumbrance is tempered somewhat by the comfort:ng presence of wee Katy Murphy as super-efficient nanny Angela, described as ‘sexy in a kind of Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins-ish way' Now, there's a compliment -.Allan Radcliffe‘