Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

57 channels and nothin’ on

I remember as a kid we only had the four channels and I was incredibly envious when I saw those features on TV about how Americans have thousands of channels to choose from. Even if there was nothing on, as was inevitably said, just imagine that choice – surely better to have loads of channels to not watch than just a handful? Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Night Movie: The Haircut

A lovely little film, starring John Cassavetes, Nicholas Colasanto (Coach from Cheers) and a pre-Bangles Susanna Hoffs, among others. I like my regular barbers, but I wish I could go to somewhere like this when I need a trim…

Saturday Night Movie: The South Bank Show – J.G. Ballard

I’ve finally got around to reading some J.G. Ballard – I’m starting with Vermillion Sands but any recommendations on what to read next or guidance on books to avoid would be very welcome. This documentary was a decent primer, plus I have something of a man crush on presenter Melvyn Bragg, not least for his masterful work on the In Our Time radio programme.

Saturday Night Movie: The Battle for Britain’s Breakfast

A documentary about the early days of breakfast television might not immediately sound that promising. But this is excellent, and has quite the tale to tell. Sure, it ticks a few nostalgia boxes for those of us who were up early in the 1980s, but it also is a telling case study of how the same mistakes can be made again and again, that boardroom shenanigans can destroy the best intentions and the fine line between being considered a creative genius and creating a flop.

And if you find this enjoyable, then do check out the book “Morning Glory: A History of British Breakfast Television” by Ian Jones – a brilliant read that fills in a lot of the gaps, and also takes the story into the early 2000s…

Thirty years on from the first Merseyside Wembley final…

…this documentary has been doing the rounds. Made in 1984, it is centred around that year’s League Cup Final – the first time Liverpool and Everton had met in a Wembley cup final. But it is about a lot more than the game. It is a fine document for illustrating how sport can genuinely bring meaning and joy to our lives. It is also a reminder of the rapidly fading link between football and the working classes. Thirty years on we have the same unemployment, the same feelings of isolation, the same rundown communities. But now you can’t even afford a ticket to the football.