MICHAEL DALE, director of the West End Festival, chooses his top places in the West End.
1 The Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens A stunning work of art and engineering and a great place to visit. It's going to be refurb- ished in a couple of years.
2 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the University Gilmorehill Tower in the same shot See these at dusk with the last glow of sun on them from the west — inspired.
3 Tinderbox Coffee shop at the corner of Byres Road and Highburgh Avenue. Best coffee in Glasgow and a West End hang-out.
4 Fopp Records A splendid independent record shop with a policy of £15 003 reissues of everything from the Beach Boys to Tom Waits. You don’t have to replace everything on vinyl. but at these prices I now own three of almost everything.
5 The West End Festival Carnival and Street Closure Day Everyone tumbles onto the street and hangs out in the cafes. bars and shops. Please God
. . . some sunshine this year.
Leftfield Glasgow comics writer GRANT MORRISON, who pens the New X-Men, gives us his five favourite comic characters.
1 Hen Broon There was just something weird about Hen. A lot of undercurrents going on with him and he was always going off to unspecified meetings.
2 The Flash He has the best superpowers of all, the ones I want most. Super deluxe powers: being able to move at the speed of light and vibrate your molecules through walls.
3 Big Dave It‘s a bit of a cheat because I invented him with Mark Millar but I really like him.
4 Parllax Created by Pete Milligan, one of my mates but I really liked him as well.
5 The Numbskulls Those little guys who lived in your head. I'd love to do an updated version of them.
THE PI ON .4. ill
Big Brother’s back and everybody’s talking about it. Is that because there’s nothing else on? Words: Allan Radcliffe
ay One in the Big er/lcr house (affect
dispassionate (ieordie voice). As the
contestants arrive in the revamped sauna- cum-log—cabin. l‘m reminded of scrubbed. excited primary school children embarking on their first school trip. The air rings shrill as the ten camera-happy show-offs attempt to outdo each other in sheer madcap /.aniness. Air—kisses. tickles and f‘eelies are exchanged with alarming frequency. yet. overall. everyone involved seems fairly boring and nice. So. now that these formalities have been dispensed with. can we
The appeal of Big Brother had much to do with the editing which revealed the participants as one- dimensional panto characters.
proceed directly to the bitching. back-stabbing and emotional crises. please'.’
Big Brother and its counterparts in the ‘Reality/Surveillance TV‘ sub-genre are now the nearest terrestrial audiences have to ‘event television.’ .»\nticipating that BB2 will repeat the impact of its predecessor. (‘hannel 4 has upped the surveillance elerrrent by broadcasting events from the house Zl hours a day. It shouldn‘t have bothered.
The appeal of last year's Big Brut/icr had little to do with ‘uncut reality" and much to do with the programme's editing which revealed the participants as one-dimensional panto characters. We booed when Nasty Nick attempted to divide and conquer. then cheered when square-jawed hero (‘raig revealed his evil schemes. We laughed at Darren the chicken—obsessed clown.
Scrubbed, excited school children on their first trip
longed for Mel to seduce handsome farm-lad Tom. then revelled in seeing the flirty darling of the house being pushed from her pedestal.
Of course. the notion of ‘Reality TV‘ is a misnomer. The most compelling aspect of Big Brother and lTV‘s Survivor is the eviction process which owes nothing to ()rwell's vision of a world under surveillance and everything to Agatha ('hristie‘s .‘llll/ Then There Were Mme in which ten disparate people are gathered on a remote island and murdered one by one.
it‘s the ongoing ratings scrap that has led to our channels being flooded with cruel. surveillance game shows. In the last nine months. lucky [PK viewers could watch ('usrulvuv. Jul/break. .S’lll'pll'rm'kcrl and numerous copycats. The reality format is cheap to produce (at £75000 even the Big Brother pri/e money is pretty stingy) with no shortage of willing participants. As the ratings battle intensifies. la/y programmers are green-lighting increasingly outrageous versions. tlstlally encouraging sex between participants. Two of. the .S'urvl'vnr candidates have already obliged toll camera). while the forthcoming 'li'mprurimr ls/um/ places married couples and beautiful ‘up for it‘ models in an enclosed 'hothouse‘ environment.
These extreme examples may prove novelty talking points as last summer’s Big Hrnl/Ir’l' briefly did. an antidote to the usual diet of tacky soaps and soapy dramas. The long-term casualty in this ratings war is quality drama and comedy. with a continuing reluctance from the main channels to nurture original scripts.
Happily. there are already signs that the ‘Reality/Surveillance‘ backlash is underway (.S'lirvl'vur kicked off to disappointing ratings). But what will the alternative be‘.’ Decent. compelling drama and funny colrredy or cheap. touchy-feer gardening makeover l)lY programmes with a cash prize and lots of gratuitous nudity. Hmmn . . . I wonder.
I N Noel Fielding, East Kilbrlde Arts Centre. East Kilbride
Alison Sa/es Rep
really good. I lzzard but
8 THE LIST 7—21 Jun 2001
I thought he was
i thought he was Qtllte like Eddie
Denise Horst/t: The/(2:15;:
was absolutely fantastic. utllte . surreal and 'eall‘, funny i ,ust laughed
. ) lCr'E'TLl
l (min: laugh out loud that much, but rt was (lLlllf:£1lilUSlfig. Karen
The way he ad libs it; innovative and the Slylt: is new. in the that he lust rambles.
Dra'rirz Tilt/M Brilliant lsaxr lllll‘ before at the Edinburgh Festl/al In Auto Boosh and Just loved ll.