Stella Street BBCZ, starts Thu 23 Nov, IOZOpm

r'lze C)Ilt'lfll('t' Twrns drg rt, l.l:chael (arrre won't rrrrss an eprsode, and re a double helprng of post-rhodernrs'r. Dar/rd Bow;e rs fond of guotrhg ittlt'S from the slrox‘.

Yes, those spoofed are srnrtte'r by Ste/la Street, a surreal Hel/o/ rnaga/rne of the rrrrncl vrxhere Jagger and ch hards run the corner shop and Pescr and Pac rrro debate the merrts of [astErrc/er‘s ror Neverfuck/n'lsrrc/er's as Joe sees rI' But whether rt's the Beeb prddlrng aborrt \‘vrth trme slots or most crrtrcs berng aesthetrcally challenged clolts wth the noble exceptron of Vrctor IeWrs Smrthl, the Street remarns a cult show, desprte the superlatrve efforts of creator‘s Phrl Cornwell, John Sessrons and Peter chhardsorr

'Some people krncl of mrss the pornt of rt,’ says Cornwell, who you may remember from Gr/ber't's Fridge, Steve Who/rt In The Afternoon or Big Tr'arn

’They tlrrnk we're tryrng to do Rory Bremner’s JOI) but we're not rn the satrre busrness We do thrs other thrng

COMEDY SERIES Human Remains BBCZ, Mon, lOpm

A voyeurs peek into dysfunction

Relatronshrps and then dysfunctron have long made c’ompellrng TV But rn recorclrng such rnteractrons rn a 'rnockumentar'y’ style, the meclrum uses fake people to show jUSI how odd real people can be

The frrst frurts of Henry Normal and Steve Coogan’s productron company Baby Cow, Human Remarns does bear a resemblance to another of therr lTlaJOT successes, Thrs /s A/an Partrrdge It takes the proceedrngs a lrttle further, however To say Human Remarns rs dark rs a brt Irke sayrng Jam was a brt werrd Whrle rt rs blacker than the rnsrde pocket of the Devrl’s own duffle coat, rt combrnes thrs Wrth some deeply comrc moments.

The Inst of the srx programmes focuses on an upper-class couple, Peter

The strength of Street knowledge

and I don't knou'; what you call '1 ‘f/e're not about rmpersonatons \"Jt’ do cha'ac ters ‘\.'.I‘() just happer‘ to be famous'

It's that ,ruxtaposrtron of cc-lebr'rty ‘.'.rrth the eseryclay that makes Ste/r’a Street so effortlesst char'nrhg, off-krlter and funny So \.‘~./Irat's thrs about fioz'ne takrng over lvlrck 'n’ Kerth's grocery busrness7

‘l-le helps out for a brt, not very successfully Kerth tr’res to explarn but Davrd doesn't really take rt rn He ends up grvrng the keys to Dean the Mr lrxrt Man who eats all the chocolate, therr you see Bowre gorng for an audrtron for a cheese trrrgles cornmercral and

More rnoclernrsrn of the post sarrety when rntervrewecl at thrs year's Q Maga/rne Awards the real Kerth chhards rasped, ’Well I suppose :n a way are the grocer shop of rock ‘n' roll"

'Bless hrm,’ laughs Cornwell 'In the new serres we have Van Morr'rsor‘; and Strng dorng a duet rn thrs awful bed and breakfast place Of course rt could only happen rn Stella Street ' rRodger Evansl


rs a short, henpeckecl man who rs terrorrsed bv hrs deeply unhappy \x'rfe, Flrck who prnes for her long lost love who perrshed rn a boatrng accrclent erghteen years prevrous

Two chorce cuts from the frrst programme rnc Iucle the couple argurng over who rs gorng to be burred where rn the farnrly pet cemetery and Peter’s frrst tragrc foray rnto showrurrrprng where he concludes, 'There must be a last so that there can be a frrst, so rn that respect I feel I have played a part '

lnrtrally we feel crushrngly sorry for pathetrc Peter, but by the rlrteral‘r clrmax of the show we come away feelrng very lrttle for the rrdrculous pan:

The naturalrstrc frlmrng style grves the programme an eerrly realrstrc qualrty and the wanderrng eye of the camera grves the vrewer a voyeurrstrc peek rnto the lrves of these often greatly dysfunctronal couples

One of the show's brggest achrevements lres rn the actors, Rob Bryclon r800 Mart/n, Manon & Jeff‘r and Julra Davrs (Brg Trarn, Jamr are vrrtually unrecognrsable rn the second programme as Gordon and Sherla Budge, a mrddle-aged husband and ere from the Black COuntry who run a 8&8 whrle rndulgrng rn therr hobbres 88M and swrngrng They follow thrs rn the thrrd rnstalment as a soon-to-be- wed Welsh couple. So convrncrng are the portrayals and so rrdrculous the scenarros, that one occaSronally forgets these are actors at all rMark Robertsonr


COMEDY SERIES Simply Fred BBCI, starts Fri 24 ‘10s, lO.35;)rr‘..

s :r‘tencrec: to cause (O'C'thV'Sh sa.s Hec: ..rac Away, but

:.(-.'. mo we Warm .' o‘ {to Vacs n 31s ":ec'. serres, Srrrrpr’, Fret] l-la.r."c; spent some trme o". the road recently, huffsng up hrs *‘.lacAtriay has already begun tack‘rr‘g the formal :ssues of the day Educatron Izlrrrrster last nrglxt and I told

hrna l ‘.‘.as pleased becatrse l u rust got rm ll‘glter Maths I ardnt rate t~ s'. f"e

:etfe'box ‘.‘.‘lill my name e"

stand up skrirs,

'I ‘.'.as sittrrtg 'rext to the nets:

MP5 get a battering from MacAulay

exarn, put the cert frcate strll (arr‘e through the

Outx'flth the polrtrcs, there are a fex'; desrgner Colrn Prggot has created a 'real' house where spectal guests Fred nurth hrs darly chores Carol Smrllze ‘.'.rll be helprng rrte put up ml. c l‘r,st"xes tree and 0/ Clark wrll be helprnc; rne end up under rt Other \.!‘rlic)ls l":c acre Jonathan Ross, and takrng achantage of the garden bandstand ‘.'.!il be leetrane lancltrl), Reef, Kathryn ‘v’lr'rllrams and, rn what MacAuIay consrders to be a orator co'ap', The \"Jom'bles Further forays rnto the far srcIe of entertainment r‘c Illrlt' 3: man rn a frsh surt traversrng the land to ask 'can a man rn a trsh srrrt rre', rnto the army/lap—dancrng bar/etc 7' As l\lacAu!ay says '\.«'\.‘e'll be aslrng the (ltlr'stmtts other people are too scared to ask ' -Lotrrsa Pearson‘

COMEDY SERIES The Jerry Atrick Show

Channel 5, starts Sun l9 Nov, lllSpm.

[)‘(l A‘II‘Iklt "It

other surp'rses rn store

v 9)

Peculra." that the one-trme parrah of alternatrve comedy who managed to offend people that Bernard lvlannrng had only rust realrsed exrsted now fznds hrrnself rostlrng for space Wrtl‘. Kerth Chegwrn and Melrnda Messenger on Channel 5

That rsn't sayrng that Jerry Sadowrt/ has lost any of hrs edge he can strll turn out a grrsly gag to dent the thrckest of hrdes rt's rust that he has remembered what he rs really best at close—up card magrc A relatrvely rare beast on TV these days, the days of I)anrc-Is and Air Bongo berng long gone, magrc has been rrrrsrepresc‘tnted by rrcrrrces lrl r' Davrd Copperfreld Whrle on no crusade, Sadowrtz does occasrorrally reveal some rnsrght rnto the orrgrns of hrs trrc'ks, some datrng back to the Vrctorran age

Urrlrke hzs two prevrous TV serres (one for CS and the other for BBC/a, thrs rs an amalgam of hrs prevrous endeavours, part strarght ahead magrc, part stand up, part sketches Wrth the odd specral guest chucked rn for good measure 3acl ‘.'.'rtIr long trme srdekrc'k Logan Murray rn tow, Sadowrtz proves why he rs strll one of the frve best card mangrans rn the world and a top comedy turn erlark Robertson)

DOCUMENTARY The South Bank Show:

Courtney Pine Scottish, Sun 19 Nov, 11.15pm.

Thrs profrle of Brrtran's most successful black ra/x musrcran rs long overdue, and comes at a trme when Courtney Prne rs gettrng back to hrs roots

Potted hrstory Prne grew up rn North London, studred musrc: at school, excelled at an early age blowrng the tenor sax, formed the black Ja/z collectrve the Jazz Warrrors and hrt the marnstream wrth a serres of albums released rn the 80s Srnce then Prne has contrnued to push the fusron envelope, collaboratrng wrth pop and dance artrsts The 21st century, however, frncls Prne makrng a trrp to hrs parents' home country, lamarca, to explore the roots of ska -~ the musrc he grew up wrth rn London rtselt' has rts orrgrns at Jazz

Though there's much to be sard about rts SUbJGCT, the show’s documentary format rsri't very rnsprred. However, there are also rnterestrng recollectrons, sur “'r as Prne turnrng down the opportunrty to play wrth Art Blakey's Jaz/ lvlessengcrrs to stay home and nurture the Brrtrsh JdZZ scene la decrsron conderrrrred by Prr‘es Amerrcan contemporary Branforcl Marsalr5r But who can fault the ghetto krd who recerved an OBE for playrng Ja727 (Mrles Frelderr

Sadowitz has a great deal to offer

Roots manoeuvres from Mr Pine

a forrrr '.'.Irlch

t6-—3O llov 2003 THE LIST 115