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Channel 4, Thu 3 Jul, 9pm 0000

Oh. how the migth have fallen. Never have these words carrred such poignancv, perhaps. as rn the case of Rodnev Steven llull. the ganglv man from the Isle of Sheppey, famous for a gnashrng, raffra glove puppet nan‘ed Emu. Craggv and long- faced With a somewhat scarecrow like appearance. Rod was a man With ambrtron. as this programme documents its tragrc. Icar'usesgue conclusron. l-eaturrng interviews \vrth Wives tone and twor. children. producers. managers and. wart for rt. (irotbags. rt shows how [.mu brought hrm fame. wealth and women but was to become a grant albatross hanging around hrs neck. lhe rest rs the stuff of age- old hubrrstrc demise: he bought a mansron, Pink L'V/ndm/ll got axed. the tax man found hrm. his Wife left and he ended up Irving rn a derelict shack in Kent. But things were just starting to look up for Rod when the final fall came. Emu lives on. (Ruth Hedges)


ALT TV: THIS IS A TRUE STORY Channel 4, Fri 4 Jul,

7.30pm .00

The Coen brothers were plavrng a practical roke when they declared therr frlm Fargo was based on a true story When a Japanese grrl named

lakako Konrer arrived !l‘. the real Fargo. North Dakota, the locals beheaed she had fallen for the Joke and was searching for the anr that Steve Buscenrr's character buried rn the frlrn And when Konrshr was found dead outside of town. a nredra fren/v ensued and she became an urban myth. Paul Berc/eller's documentary attempts to separate fact from fiction and, In dorng so. unearths a tragic mrsun<lerstandrng that's pure Coen brothers. Although Berc/eller's reconstruction of the events makes for fascinating vrewrng. rt leaves a sour taste.


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8801. Sat 5 Jul. 8.15pm 8r Sun 6 Jul. 8pm .00

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The truth is always stranger than fiction. And there’s no stranger truth than the neglected tale (a cynic might say it had been conveniently swept under the carpet of history) of an unfortunate Scottish attempt to colonise a corner of the Tropics in the early 18th century. This fascinating docu-drama recreates the ‘Fool’s Errand’, manned by William Paterson, a late 17th century idealist who dreamed of a distinctively Scottish empire in the jungles of Panama. The enterprising Paterson, portrayed in the reconstruction by contemporary namesake Bill, succeeded in persuading Scots landowners and merchants to invest in the expedition, accumulating a sum totalling around half of Scotland’s overall wealth. After a gruelling four-month voyage, the 4000 colonists eventually pitched up at their destination and set about clearing the jungle, making friends with the local tribe and establishing their ‘New


And, as every seasoned Scottish cringer will have already surmised, within two years the settlement was abandoned, 2000 of the adventurers having perished from diseases and various attacks by Spanish conquistadors. The reconstruction, leading up to the union with England, which came about partly as a result of the expedition‘s squandered wealth, is interwoven with footage of a recent archaeological investigation, led by excitable enthusiast Mark Horton, to uncover details of how the Scots colony failed. The question of whether the beleaguered excavators uncover anything, other than the odd decayed tartan, becomes as compelling as the 300-year-old

story. (Allan Radcliffe)

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8pm 0000

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