1. You can never have too much Hugh Laurie. Never. I watched him in the new series of House (he blew me away – but he does that every week); I laughed at his befuddled Prince George in Blackadder The Third and I adore him alongside Stephen Fry in Jeeves And Wooster.
2. Nothing will erase the memory of Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus Of Nazareth (starring Robert Powell). I mentioned this production in an article looking back at TV In 1977 and for me, it remains the definitive portrayal of the life of Jesus Christ; visually stunning with a wonderful cast, who give excellent performances. The BBC gave it a fair go with The Passion but it was a case of close, but no cigar.
3. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was a fitting tribute to the late Anthony Minghella. Directed by him, from a script he co-wrote with Richard Curtis, it’s based on the first novel in the best-selling series by Alexander McCall Smith. R&B singer Jill Scott was a revelation in the lead role as Mma Ramotswe. Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) played her secretary Mma Makutsi and Lucian Msamati (Spooks) was first-class as Mma Ramotswe’s suitor, JLB Matekoni. Special mention to David Oyelowo (The Last King Of Scotland, Spooks) as the sleazy Kremlin Busang; he made me laugh so hard, I got hiccups.
Some critics accused this production of being "rose-tinted" and "twee". OK fine. It did veer on that side a tad (Richard Curtis has a knack of doing that to every single thing he touches). However it was, without doubt, one of the funniest, most refreshing, poignant and life-affirming programmes I’ve seen on TV in a long while. And its massive 6 million showing in the ratings indicates that many more enjoyed it too.
African women in the lead roles would’ve made The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency perfect – but I guess this is a necessary concession in order to tap into that all-important American market. Look out for the series on BBC1 later this year. In the meantime, enjoy one of my favourite Jill Scott songs. It’s called Family Reunion and it’s about family get-togethers; y’all know the kinds I mean, right? Just picture a hot day, loadsa food and all your relatives popping round…including their kids.
4. There’s no point screening Airplane!, and the like, in the daytime. My enjoyment of this classic movie was seriously ruined by Five who butchered it. I really wish broadcasters would desist from screening shows, sitcoms and films that are unsuitable pre-watershed if all they’re going to do is cut them to pieces.
UKTV Gold? Stop showing Porridge and Only Fools And Horses if the political incorrectness or fruity language is not to your liking because the editing is not to ours! E4 and Channel 4? Forget about Friends in the daytime if the result is going to be cuts and chops so obvious, even a brain cell-challenged WAG wannabe can see it. Grrrrrrrrrrr!
5. I’m sick and tired of the long-running Sky/Virgin Media dispute. I was unable to see Terry Pratchett’s The Colour Of Magic on Sky One due to the fact that I am a Virgin Media subscriber. Sky’s basic channels have been unavailable to us for well over a year and it’s time this dispute was resolved. Ultimately, it’s customers that are losing out.
Today I am mostly lovin’ – The Apprentice is back! I love this show. The first episode is a must-see so don’t miss it.
Today I am mostly hatin’ – The BBC should stop defending that buried alive/coffin EastEnders scene because they’re starting to look stooooopid. It’s indefensible. It’s as simple as that. I’m no prude – I abhor censorship of all kinds, but there’s a line…and EastEnders is one soap that persists in crossing it. Where is the common sense as far as pre-watershed content is concerned? UKTV Gold cuts out fruity (not profane) language from Only Fools And Horses in the afternoon and the BBC shows a man in a coffin because his wife intends to bury him alive before the 9pm mark. Hypocrites – the lot of ’em.
MSN Editor Coops
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