Jonathan Dimbleby

Sunday, February 24, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a government minister with bad fortune must be in search of a scapegoat. But it was the good fortune yesterday of all those who chanced upon the Jonathan Dimbleby show to see the government minister in question searching for the scapegoat utterly humiliate himself, and betray any lingering doubts in the minds of even the most committed of New Labour apparatchiks and apologists that this governments raison d’être is based almost exclusively on the subtext of style over substance and presented in the language of spin over truth. Read more

The Brit Awards 2002

Thursday, February 21, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In the same way that Ian Hislop watches Have I Got News For You to see which of his bits have been cut out between recording and transmission, TV coverage of the Brit Awards invites viewing of a similar before-and-after mentality. Read more

Masters of Darkness: Rasputin, The Devil in the Flesh

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Before I sat down to watch this Channel 4 documentary, my knowledge of Rasputin was scant. In fact, this is all I knew: he was “The Mad Monk”, he had a beard and – according to Boney M, always a reliable source – he was “Russia’s greatest love machine”. Read more

Pop Idol

Saturday, February 9, 2002 by · Comments Off 

A review of the final of Pop Idol somehow doesn’t seem appropriate. Better instead to bring together for a final time, the rumours and the trivia; and to confer once again on the relative merits of the contestants’ performances. Read more

Another Audience With Ken Dodd

Saturday, February 9, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Quite a few years ago now I saw Ken Dodd’s Laughter Show at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow and enjoyed it immensely. Then in 1995 I saw An Audience With Ken Doddon ITV and enjoyed that hugely too. So as I settled down to watch Another Audience With Ken Dodd last Saturday night I had high hopes. Happiness was on its way and a pleasant diversion from the incessant fixed grins of Gareth and Will and their pop pap. Unfortunately ’twas not to be. Read more

Smallpox 2002: Silent Weapon

Tuesday, February 5, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In the months leading up to Christmas, I’d noticed some changes in the office. My colleagues in charge of opening the post were no longer there. As I ventured out during the morning coffee run, I would see them creeping furtively along the corridor wearing pairs of sinister rubber gloves. “What are those for?” I enquired. “Oh, Anthrax.” Read more


Sunday, February 3, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It’s unfortunate that Channel 4′s new “reality” show has turned up in the schedules so soon after its last one ended. Read more