EX-SOAP STARS In Defence/Up Rising

Scottish, starts Mon 26 Jun, 9pm; Sun 25 Jun, 10pm.

Ross Kemp is lost and bedraggled as a sharp-suited lawyer

It’s a rrsky trade-off that soap actors face; rump shrp too soon and you’ll be accused of arrogance and career advancement, but stay too long and you’ll never work rn thrs town agarn. After all, who wants to cast the man forever known as (say) Frank Butcher? Anna Frrel escaped Brookre's sub-patio homrcrde and shock-tactrc lesbranrsm rf you can call co-starrrng rn Rogue Trader an escape whrle recent Walford refugee Patsy Palmer rs strugglrng Wrth the twm traumas of bad scrrptrng and a father full of the regulatron Orrrsh charm rn A/chr'eady 8r Daughter.

Fellow ex-Ender Ross Kemp, havrng

drtched Grant lvlrtchell's bovver boy chrc, attempts to pull off a vo/te-face of stunnrng :nagrrrtude Wrth In Defence, tryrng to convrnce us that he’s a lawyer, and one wrth both a heart and a conscrence

Frghtrng agarnst the standard TV lawyer problems bent coppers determrned to see anyone go down, gurlty or not, moral guandarres that would see real lawyers krckecl off the Bar, relatronshrps that fall by the waysrde of the Road to Truth Kemp looks lost and bedraggled. He's strll a wrcleboy now wrth a surt and he wrth all the tenacrty and porse of an rnsuranc‘e salesman stuck rnsrcle a storylrne that reduces everythrng rt contarns to overcooked clrches.

Hoprng to av0rd the same fate rn Up Rrs'r'ng, lvlrchelle Collrns removes herself from Albert Square to the more salubrrous envrrons of the home countres vrllage Of Rrsrng. Yet, the class-bound clrc'hes rernarn frrmly rn place, as she plays half of the ostentatrously rrouveau rrche couple who rn addrtron to a hrppy, a crty lawyer, a local alcoholrc psychopth and a prg called Beowulf manage to wreak mayhem on a summer fete.

Harkrng back to the worktng-c'lass- vulgar/upper-class-stuprd clrvrsrons that have been the marnstay of comech for years, rt’s pretty lrght stuff, but the odd truly comrc moment does seep out of the leaky scrrpt and lrft rt beyond the realms of comic clrsaster (Leon lvchermottr

The juvenile yet genial Hemphill and Kiernan

COMEDY SERIES Chewin' The Fat BBCl, starts Fri 23 Jun, 10.50pm.

'I worked out that along wrth professional garnblrng, stand-up comedy rs the only career where you Spend more money dorng rt than making rt.’ Greg Hernphrll, who alongsrcle hrs co-wrrter and performer Ford Krernan, has certarnly parcl some clues w:th past regular appearances at London’s Comedy Store and Edrnburgh's Grlclecl Balloon 'lvlaybe after all thrs, we wrll frncl ourselves domg rt agarrr,’ Krernan prpes rn, somewhat drsr.)assronately

Somehow you doubt rt though because these boys are clestrnecl for TV comedy greatness For those who haven’t seen Chewrn’ The Fat, rt rs the freshest, funnrest and most rnventrve comedy sketch show to come onto the UK screens In recent trmes Devord of the sort of post-Pythonrsms that often mar The Fast Show and Smack The Pony, therr show rs a puerrle mrx of

Juvenrle schoolyard humour, gurrky catchphrase-anchor'ed characters and absurdly wrld takes on the class-rrdden uptrghtness of the Sc ottrsh psyche lrke all sketch shows, rt rnrsses as often as rt hrts but on the whole rt rs a delrght.

There rs a possrbrlrty that thewrn’ The Fat rs the natural born successor of Absolute/y or Naked Vrdeo but Ford Krernan doesn't gurte see rt lrke that "They were very much team shows, everyone knows thrs rs rust me and Greg Some crrtrcs have compared us to Rab C btrt how can they? That's a srtcom and we are a sketch show '

Hemphrll and Krernan's work rs rnflrrenced by people as drverse as Brlly Connolly, Alasdair Gray, chhard Pryor and Saturday N/ght (rye, and therr show certarnly contarns some of the oddest and frrnnrest carrcatures thrs srde of Harry anreld (check out Krernan's hrlar‘rous Ronald Vrllrers, the world’s worst actorr. So rf you were thrnkrng of watthrng anythrng else on Frrdays, here's some aclvrce, 'gonnae no dae that?' (Paul Dale)



A Many Splintered Thing

BBCl, starts Tue 27 Jun, 10.20pm.

lt's sorrrethrng that Brrtrsh TV comedy has traded on ever srnce Tony Hancock frrst furrowed hrs brow and muttered under hrs breath. The frgure of the valrant but bumblrng, rncorrrpetent hero has grven wrrters endless mrleage rn the past 40 years; rt’s a comedy staple as common as the pedantrc bureaucrat and the wrsecrackrng maverrck, takrng rn everyone from Basrl Fawlty’s splenetrc hotelrer to Hornbyesgue rrrrddle-aged teenagers, placrng more rmportance on records and football than on relatronshrps.

Alan Davres' Russell Boyd rn A Many Splintered Thing, rs the latest addrtron to thrs lrne of loveable muppets who, somehow, trrumph over adversrty, embarrassment and amusrngly-shaped rnanrmate ObJGCIS. A rrngle-wrrter wrth a wrfe and dead-end rob, Russell’s eyes are opened to the world of extr‘a-r‘narrtal sex, secret phone calls and clandestrne rneetrngs by Elly (Kate Ashfreldr

There's a gay best frrend on hand to grve advrce, a srnrster landlady lthe brrllrant, schemrng Josre Lawrence) and stuck m the rnrcldle rs Davres’ hapless man-boy, forever escaprng by the skrn of hrs teeth and forever berng a loveable, hopeless rornantrc trapped rn a nrghtmare of srght gags and rnnuendo, Which rs, of course, why we love hrm. (Leon lvchermott)


Witness/Real Life

Channel 4, Sun 25 Jun, 9pm;

Scottish, Tue 27 Jun, 10 m. The theory that Brrtarn ras become a

steadrly more free and relaxed place to lrve has been rrppecl apart rec ently, The lrkes of the Soho bomber and the Sectron 28ers have shown that thrs farr rsle rs strll populated by those who erl never accept the notron of drfference.

It's not Just the UK where homophobra can get hysterrcal As Wrtrres‘s. Gorng Strarght shows, Arnerrca rs strll way ahead when rt comes to rregatrvrty. Exodus lnternatronal founded rn T976 wrth the goal of savrng men and women from a gay fate ‘.'~.rif‘. a lrttle help from God, The programme follows a year at a Wrchrta house of correctron where the lrkes of Brad experrences ’healrng' Unsrrrprrsrngly, rt fa: and Brad leaves With hrs homosexualrty rntact and hrs farth rn tatter's

Back rn Brrtarn, Rea/ ere: Brrtar‘n’s‘ Frrst Gay Dads rntrocluces us to Barry and fathers to twrns Aspen and Saffron. Havrng been refused perntrssroo to adopt {)y therr local councrl, they turned to an Amerrc'an surrogate ager‘cy to ‘Lr‘frf "t! fatherly vvrsh. Thrs srtuatron rs a mrnefreld of legal and rnoralrstrc drlevnrms b .T anyone rn favour of undrluted egalrtarranrsm, there rs no room for doubt (Brran Donaldson)

RADIO DOCUMENTARY Vambo Rools 0K: The Sensational Alex Harvey Story

Radio Scotland, Sun 25 Jun & Sun 2 Jul, 11.03am.

Alex Harvey was a fun krncl of fella, a full-on showman, consummate entertarner and rnanrc rocker. Asrcle from out-perforrrrrng lrm Kerr, Bobby Grllespre and many other great pretenders to the throne of Caledonran rock god, Harvey was also Scotland’s lrf not the UK’sr frrst punk rocker

Whrle the New York Dolls were proneerrng the early elements of the sc;_;r::: (2"11 style rn Arnerrca, The Sensatronal Alex Harvey Band were cr’eatrrzg a '_.'(K1.S \' predated punk by half a decade It rs even clarrned that l-lav‘vey once *3 c'il to manage an embryonrc Sex Prstols, how punk rock car: you get“

lvlrdge Ure narrates thrs two-part story of Glasgow's frrres! roc tracing .' s roots growrng rrp rn Glasgow's Gorbals through to forrnrng tne (rrl‘sSK SAM-3 ..l‘t' up and releasrng several acclarmed albums before hrs death from a heart attar rt 1982

The documentary features archrve audro of Harvey hrmself extolling tt‘e ..':..es of the band, the musrc and therr outlanclrsh stage garb We hear ‘ro'r‘ f'w r'emarnrng members of hrs band, therr producer Dave Bachelor, manager loo e ‘Tobrn, Harvey’s wrclow and son, and a host of performers who rierp give rnsrght rnto why he was such an appealrng and cornpellrng star rialark Robertson-

A loveable muppet and friends

Barry and Tony are proud fathers fighting prejudice in Real Life

or‘ ,r,

The original punk rocker

2) hr." o la THE LIST 109