August 29, 2000
[eastenders] An Eastenders scriptwriter discusses the problems of introducing a new family in a long running TV soap. ‘To make this predictable universe work on the screen, you need characters who are relatively stable (even if they are unstable). The writers and the viewers buy into a myth that people aren’t particularly complex, that the full range of their feelings and actions can be revealed in a few hours on the TV. And a quick, visible way of revealing characters is to mirror them in their occupation. Thus we have Pauline Fowler, long-suffering drudge and matriarch. What better job than folding pants all day in the launderette? Or Peggy Butcher – tough but fun-loving and gregarious. So she runs the pub. But what attributes spring to mind when we think of Italian restaurants? Fond of pasta, perhaps? Permanently overworked? The job never provided an easy route into understanding the di Marcos’ characters.’ [Related Link: Eastenders]
August 28, 2000
[not this life] Preview of the new drama on BBC2 called Attachments which has a website which is part of the story. ‘Attachments centres on the efforts of Mike and his wife Luce to transform his new music website,, from a bedroom hobby into a viable internet content business offering news, reviews and gossip. Frazzled executives will recognise the couple’s struggle to secure venture capital funding without having to give away too much control of their fledgling company. Those lower down the new economy food chain will be able to identify with an internet start-up office divided along content writer versus techie versus programmer versus designer social faultlines. They will also recognise the long periods idled away playing computer games and emailing mates, punctuated by short bursts of frenzied, work-through-the-night activity as deadlines loom.’ [Related Link:]
August 27, 2000
[savile meme hoax] Excellent, compelling reading — a HOAX transcript of out-takes from Have I Got News For You between Ian Hislop, Jimmy Savile and Paul Merton. If only it were true… [Related Links: Hoax Confirmation, Tsluts, the Savile meme spreads]
August 26, 2000
[adrian mole] Adrian Mole on Nick Bateman: ‘I have been brutally betrayed! I feel humiliated and sick! How could he have told such terrible lies to me over the past five weeks? I admired him so much. He was the type of man I would have liked to have been myself. He was a man who could cope with adversity (the death of his young wife in a car crash). A man who led other men (an officer in the Territorial Army). He was also a healer (like Jesus), and a reiki master to boot.’
August 25, 2000
[simpsons] The Evening Standard meets Matt Groening. “I haven’t figured out whether comedy is truly healing or whether it’s merely a bandage on the wound. It is momentarily cathartic but then you see comedians who are great on stage and depressed afterwards. Basically, we all want to be loved. Maybe my secret is that I can’t ask for it directly so I ask for it through a cartoon. ‘Hey, please love my cartoon, while I’ll just sit over here.’ If they go ‘heh, heh’ maybe that means they like me a little, too.”
August 22, 2000
[big brother] Charlotte Raven on the social debt we owe to Big Brother. ‘The annoying thing about all of this for those of us who stick with popular culture in the lean times as well as the good, is that dilettantish tendency to gather up all the glory without putting in the hours. If you haven’t sat through six months of crap EastEnders, I don’t see what gives you the right to come in for the Christmas episode and talk about Tiffany’s death as if you cared as much as we did.’
[chegwin porn!] My referrer logs tell me that many people come to LMG to look for naked pictures of Keith Chegwin… which always makes me laugh. Apparently he’s refusing all requests to show clips from the gameshow he appeared nude in again and according to BBC News a video of the program is about to be released which he will make a hefty profit from. LMG will link to the video as soon as it’s available. :) [Related Links: Channel 5 criticised in Commons, Original LMG posting, Original notsosoft posting]
August 21, 2000
[big brother] Guardian Unlimited covers how Nasty Nick’s departure from Big Brother helped converge TV and the internet. ‘But if the convergence between the internet and TV isn’t to become a collision, these media need to work together. Being big on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean that TV viewing figures will decline. Viral marketing? Bollocks. Call it good old-fashioned word of mouth. Internet page impressions went through the roof and boosted, not hindered, the TV audience that night. If the content is compelling enough and production teams plan well, the internet and TV can feed each other. It is the viewer who wins.’
August 18, 2000
[big brother] Guardian Unlimited asks: Where were you when Nick was kicked out of Big Brother? ‘The playwright Dennis Potter once explained that he had decided to write for TV rather than the theatre because only television offered the possibility of a “common culture”: one in which people of all classes and generations experienced the same event simultaneously and talked about it the next morning.’ [Related Links: Nick Bateman Appreciation Society]
August 17, 2000
[big brother] Update: Nick has been disqualified from Big Brother. Earlier: BBC News reports: Big Brother’s ‘Nasty Nick’ rumbled. ‘A Big Brother spokesman said: “The online producer panicked and hit a panic button which brought the [live video and sound internet] feed down between 0400 and 0600. “It was a mistake, it shouldn’t have happened and it won’t happen again.” However, he denied widespread rumours that the situation had turned into a fist-fight.’ [Related Link: Big Brother UK]
[TV] Guardian Unlimited profiles The Prisoner and Patrick McGoohan. ‘The last episode, written and directed by McGoohan, completely overdosed on weirdness pills. “Fall Out” had Number 6 gunning down guards to “All You Need is Love”, with no obvious answers to all the questions posed throughout the 17 episodes. On the night of transmission, thousands jammed the ITV switchboard, complaining about the incomprehensible finale.’ [Related Link: McGoohan at IMDB]
August 16, 2000
[simpsons] Guardian Unlimited covers the Simpsons in Edinburgh. ‘At the beginning of the evening, by way of introduction, the man from Sky 1 noted: “Unlike Friends, the cast don’t get older and the scripts just get better.” Nor do they get $750,000 an episode. But then, the cast of The Simpsons are only really famous for what they actually do, and not for having nice hair or great pecs.’
[tv] Boom Box — Michael Lewis on TiVo and ReplayTV. ‘They’re seizing control of a $50 billion industry from its creators; there’s more than enough booty to go around. “The one question our investors did ask us,” Ramsay says, “is ‘How long will it take for the TV networks to hate you so much that they shut you down?””
August 15, 2000
[big brother] GuardianUnlimited asks: Is Big Brother just like working in an office? “‘Dishonest gossip, lack of co-operation, unkind looks and sneers, the intolerance of dissent – all are now regarded by many American workplace psychologists as classic symptoms of ‘mobbing’. And they are also, of course, all leitmotivs of the Big Brother household. ‘Big Brother appears to be a microcosm of work, just as work is a microcosm of society,’ said Ishmael.”
August 14, 2000
[big brother] The Observer finds somebody to praise Nasty Nick‘Even his name bears testament to his mission. Nicholas is clearly a reference to Niccolo Machiavelli, the founding philosopher of group intrigue. And Bateman is of course a nod to Patrick Bateman, the homicidal stockbroker who ruthlessly eliminates his rivals in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.’
August 12, 2000
[big brother] This is London pits UK Big Brother vs. US Big Brother. ‘So far there has only been one US drama when Karen, the oldest woman in the group, publicly dumped her husband in front of the TV cameras as she entered her temporary home. But there is little of the nastiness and sexual tension which makes watching the British gang so compelling.’
August 11, 2000
[big brother] GuardianUnlimited profiles ‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman. ‘On Wednesday night’s show, the voiceover wrapped up incredulously, “Nick is now the most popular man in the house,” and Caroline and Nichola, those two “brainless rooks”, were captured on the Big Brother sofa, sharing a tender word about him. “Poor Nick,” said Caroline. “He’s so delicate.” Shakespeare himself could not have wrought a better intrigue. Recall Edmund’s defiant cry: “I grow; I prosper: now, gods, stand up for bastards!”‘
August 8, 2000
Patrick Malahide as Inspector Chisholm on Minder[bacon] How many degrees of seperation between Kevin Bacon and Detective Chisholm (from Minder)? [Related Links: Patrick Malahide’s website, Minder fan-site]
[simpsons] The Interactive Ralph Wiggum ‘”I saw Principle Skinner and Ms. Hover in the closet making babies, and I saw the baby and it looked at me”‘
August 7, 2000
[big brother] Nick has a heart-2-heart with Big Brother. ‘”Everyone has a certain amount of selfishness,” he replied. “Everyone has a slight devious streak in them. In this environment it can just bring those to the surface because we’re all here to enjoy ourselves primarily. But secondly we’re all here to take part in a game show that has an ultimate prize at the end of it.”‘
August 6, 2000
[simpsons] The Observer takes a look at ten years of the Simpsons. ‘Perhaps drawn by the show’s numerous highbrow cultural references, it attracts the attention of rhapsodising academics and literati worldwide. Edinburgh’s Napier University, for example, now runs a course in its Cultural Studies module entitled ‘Having the Donut and Eating It: Self-Reflexivity in The Simpsons’. The writer Gilbert Adair declared that ‘The Simpsons is a chef-d’oeuvre to which the work of no currently practising English-language novelist is comparable in importance or greatness.”
August 5, 2000
[big brother] This has got to be a blow to a man’s self-esteem: ‘When the news finally arrived Andy’s face said it all – he couldn’t accept the awful truth that the public wanted him out. But 68% of more than a million voters wanted him go. And as his confidence crumbled at the sound of his own name Andy’s face was complete shock. All he could say was: “Fuck.”‘ And Thomas does not really help: ‘”Look on the bright side,” he told him, “at least you can go home and have a good wank.”‘ [Other Links: BBC News report, notsosoft, Barbelith.]
August 4, 2000
You get that bus out Butler![on the buses] How many degrees of seperation between Kevin Bacon and Blakey (from On The Buses)? I’ve got you Butler!
August 3, 2000
[big brother] A couple of reports — According to BBC News Sada wants to be a TV Presenter and newsUnlimited covers the whole Big Brother phenomenon‘Conflict is inherent in Big Brother because it is a competition. Treachery is essential, as Nick, the stockbroker, has realised. Maligned by the media he may be – the Sun’s Dominic Mohan has started a Kick Out Nick campaign – but Nick is liked by his housemates. In this week’s vote on eviction, no one has voted to have him ousted. He plays the game too well, as proved by his exploits last week, when he encouraged everyone to vote for Sada and Caroline’s expulsion then provided them with a shoulder on which to cry.’
July 29, 2000
[ads] Blast from the past —
July 25, 2000
[big brother] BBC News Big Brother update‘For her part, Sada described Andrew as “the worst type of man”, while softly-spoken Thomas revealed he may have a nine-year-old love child – if two fortune-tellers are to be believed.’
July 10, 2000
[tv] What will happen to The Philisophical Car Lot if Frank Butcher leaves Eastenders? G-g-g-g-go!!
July 6, 2000
[tv] Burnside: “You are nicked, you slag!”. newsUnlimited covers the programme‘Now, with six post-watershed hours of his own to play with at last, Burnside begins as he means to go on. Five minutes into the first episode and we’ve been treated to a couple of “shits” and a “wanker” – words you’d never hear from his colleagues at Sun Hill. And the bodycount has gone through the roof. No longer fighting The Bill’s unglamorous war against shoplifting single parents and domestic violence, Burnside now faces Uzi-wielding Yardies, international gun-runners and warped serial killers. “Dark and adult”, is how the show’s producer Jamie Nuttgens describes it all. “The Bill has faced some criticism in the past but with Burnside we’ve pulled out all the stops”.’
June 30, 2000
[ali g] Ali G Interactive Rapper [Requires Sound Card and Flash]
June 18, 2000
[tv] newsUnlimited reports that the Germans are to to remake Fawlty Towers. ‘Basil: “So that’s two eggs mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering and four Colditz salads … no, wait a moment, I got a bit confused there, sorry … I got a bit confused because everyone keeps mentioning the war, so could you…” German: “Will you stop talking about the war!” Basil: “Me? You started it!” German: “We did not start it.” Basil: “Yes you did, you invaded Poland…”‘
June 12, 2000
[tv] Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligans Island. I’ve been interested in Gilligan’s Island for years… but I’ve never seen an episode! As far as I know it has not been shown on British TV in living memory… but Americans seem to refer to it endlessly in comics and on the internet and for ages it has fascinated me — Who were Gilligan and Skipper? What were they all doing on that Island? Eventually, I found out all the details… but I’ve still never seen an episode… and I’m not sure I’d want to! [via pearls that are his eyes]
June 7, 2000
[THE HORROR!! PART DEUX] Not So Soft provides a link to an image of KEITH CHEGWIN’S KNOB ON TELLY LAST NIGHT!! [He’s the nude guy in the pith helmet.] Plenty of commentary about this from UK Blogs: Blogging The Line, I Just Type and LukeLog.
[THE HORROR!] Sorry for the crudeness but DID I REALLY SEE KEITH CHEGWIN’S KNOB ON TELLY LAST NIGHT? I’m slowly going mad! I’m sure of it… [Not so Soft and Blogging the Line provide metal relief — they saw it too. It was either a shared hallucination or broadcast as part of Channel 5’s Naked Season]
May 31, 2000
[clerks] Kevin Smith talks about the Clerks Animated series. “There’s really no pressure on us because at this point it’s not as if we have to get good ratings to stay on, as we’re not going to be coming back. Having said that, however it does on TV, you have to figure that the worst night would probably reach more people than most of our films have reached theatrically. Potentially, if we let it run on TV and receive some nice feedback, then maybe we can turn it into a feature with a viable box office prospect ahead of it.”
May 21, 2000
[wisdom] The wisdom of Ralph Wiggum: “My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”
May 20, 2000
[tv] The wisdom of Starsky and Hutch… Everything i ever needed to know i learned from Starsky and Hutch: “There’s got to be more to life than just breathing in and breathing out.” [Starsky and Hutch are on weekdays in the UK on Granada Plus at the moment]
May 17, 2000
[sport] How Grandstand was cancelled [from newsUnlimited]. “The premier league clubs expect to realise around 2bn from auctioning the various rights packages. By chance 2bn is roughly the BBC reaped in licence fee income last year to fund its two television channels and five radio stations, plus its new digital ventures.”
May 15, 2000
[tv] Why do I like Friends so much? I have no idea… anyway… the cast of Friends have signed on for another two years!
May 10, 2000
[tv] Clerks [The Cartoon] — it’s times like these I really wished I lived in America….
May 9, 2000
[conspiracy?] Has anybody noticed that the Doctor from UFO looks just like the Russian President Vladimir Putin?
April 29, 2000
[tv] Channel 4 have a list of the greatest UK TV ads.
April 27, 2000
[tv] FilmFour to broadcast banned sex scenes on web. FilmFour will show a doctored version of The Idiots, which caused controversy when it was given a cinema certificate, on its subscription channel. But it will “webcast” the most controversial scenes, uncut, on its website.
April 24, 2000
[funny] TVGoHome is pretty much the funniest thing on the web. Even its submissions guidelines are amusing: “We run very few listings whose title is a weak and obvious pun on an existing show: i.e. Changing Wombs, Ainsley’s Big Cock Out, Blind Rape, Scooby Poo, etc etc.”
[quote] “We’re the Sweeney son, and we haven’t had any dinner!”
April 20, 2000
[news] Ricky leaves Eastenders… newsUnlimited has the story [Text Only]and so does BBC News [low graphics]. From newsUnlimited: “Ricky stumbled onto our screens in 1988, and fate has pissed mercilessly into his eyes ever since. It’s been nothing but disappointment, heartbreak, humiliation and plodding, battleship-grey drudgery. And while he may not have suffered with dignity – there’s nothing dignified about him – he has at least avoided pulling an “Arthur Fowler” and plunging into full-blown mental unhingery. Until now.”
April 19, 2000
[web] DigiGuide is a great web application which allows you to download TV schedules for UK TV programmes and view them off-line.
[film] filmUnlimited interviews Harry Enfield about Kevin & Perry Go Large.
April 17, 2000
[south park] nme interviews South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
March 31, 2000
[telly] Remember Monkey? It’s being rereleased on video…. The Guardian does a profile of this weird TV Programme from the 80’s. ‘The Nature of Monkey was Irrepressible!’
March 27, 2000
Interesting article about Ali G. Apparently he’s the face of Channel 4?