As Match of the Day goes out on BBC One, chopped to twenty minutes and with no studio punditry or even commentary on the action, here are some random thoughts on Gary Lineker’s tweet:-
- He is absolutely correct to point out similarities between the language being used now and that used in 1930s Germany.
- He is a sports presenter, so his views on issues outside of the sporting arena are irrelevant to his ability to do his job.
- Compare the reaction to that when Andrew Neil regularly spoke out on political matters, including calling Carole Cadwalladr a ‘crazy cat person’ after she exposed Brexit corruption.
- If Lineker had gone the other way and praised the government and its policies, there would have been no outrage and no suspensions – Tim Davie refused to deny this when asked about it earlier today. The BBC has capitulated to the right-wing ideologues again.
Lineker will be just fine whatever happens – his skills as a presenter and pundit will have him in high demand from sports channels. The BBC, I’m not so sure about. I cherish it and want to see it thrive, but it has lost its way on matters of impartiality and needs to have a good long rethink of its purpose and goals. A clearout of the Tories at the top couldn’t hurt either.
It’s been nearly four months since we got the fantastic news that Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.
Things went a little bit quiet after that. There was the announcement of the production team, and a fantastic New Year’s Eve show with Sam Ryder showing just how Eurovision can boost an artist, if they want it. But if there was activity behind the scenes, not much of it was in the public eye.
Things kicked up a gear on Monday with the unveiling of the theme for this year’s contest, United by Music, and the logo and graphics, which combine the colours of the UK and Ukraine.
Continue reading “Liverpool calling”
As soon as it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be hosted by the BBC, it was inevitable that Liverpool would throw its hat into the ring. As a city with such a great muscial pedigree, we were the obvious choice, right?
Maybe not. Even my most ardent Eurovision pals were sceptical of our bid. “It’ll be in Glasgow,” they all said, whenever I dared to dream of a Eurovision on the banks of the River Mersey. When the bids were narrowed down and Liverpool was in the final two, a lot of people seemed to be surprised that we had even made it that far.
And then, on Friday night, the final announcement came…
WE DID IT!
Continue reading “We are the winners of Eurovision!”
Note: I started writing this blog post last week. In the interim period, Netflix has decided, again, to provide a platform for obnoxious transphobia. My blog post is specifically about Heartstopper and nothing else, but I need to acknowledge that the platform that produced this beautiful programme is also pumping out some hacky anti-LGBTQ dreck.
The news that Heartstopper got renewed for two more seasons made my own heart skip for joy. The show, based on a series of graphic novels, based on a webcomic by Alice Oseman, has quickly become one of the most talked-about shows of 2022 so far.
For the uninitiated, Heartstopper follows Charlie, a gay teenager at an all-boys secondary school, who gets paired up with Nick, a boy from the year above. When Charlie joins Nick on the rugby team, a friendship quickly blossoms and develops into something deeper, as Nick is forced to confront his own sexuality.
Continue reading ““Hi.” “Hi.””
The FA Cup Final is today, but I am naturally more interested in the Gay FA Cup Final, namely Eurovision, which kicks off at 8pm tonight.
There’s lots of chatter about the UK’s entry this year. After several years of lacklustre performances, earning few points from either the jury or televote, the BBC has changed direction. This year, the UK has gone with an innovative, risky strategy of entering a decent song with a likeable performer. It seems to have paid off, as Space Man is actually being talked about as a possible winner. Sam Ryder immediately piqued my interest in his song by releasing a lyric video based on teletext, albeit fake teletext that was just unrealistic enough to annoy me.
But I don’t want to talk about the front-runners. No, I am far more interested in the poor artists who poured their heart and soul into their song and performance, only to get perfunctorily booted out at the semi-final stage. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the performances that failed to get through because Europeans apparently wanted a load of tedious ballads instead.
Continue reading “Eurovision Wrong Contest”
I was rightly told off for posting this on Twitter, because it contained spoilers for Killing Eve. It was an honest mistake – I thought the series had finished, but it actually has one episode to go if you are watching weekly on linear TV.
So, if you have NOT finished watching the series, or are waiting for the final episode to be shown on BBC One rather than binging on iPlayer, STOP READING NOW!
Continue reading “The Shrine on Lord Street”
At the beginning of January, a story went around the news websites about a recreation of Ceefax. Nathan Dane, a broadcasting enthusiast and hero, has painstakingly recreated the erstwhile information service, using code that scrapes content from the BBC website and translates it into authentic, up-to-date teletext pages.
For the uninitiated, Ceefax was a teletext service, consisting of pages of information broadcast in the hidden parts of the TV signal on BBC1 and BBC2. A decoder in the TV set could convert this data into text and chunky graphics, selected by entering a three-digit page number on your TV remote.
If you want to view Ceefax redux, a web teletext viewer will render the pages in all their 7-colour, 40×25 text resolution glory. For the truly dedicated, it’s possible to connect a Raspberry Pi to your TV and generate a teletext signal, allowing you to view the service as God intended.
Continue reading “Fax the way (aha, aha) I like it”
What was I doing during 2021, apart from not-blogging? Well, because I’m a dynamic go-getter, I spent a fair amount of time slouched in front of the telly. In no particular order, here are some television events or products that I heartily endorse:
It’s a Sin (Channel 4)
Surely Russell T Davies’s finest output yet, probably because it is the most personal work he has ever done. An unflinching look at the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, told with humanity and heart. I laughed, I cried, I raged at the burning injustices – hospitals that locked up patients; the uncaring, ignorant press and the parents who abandoned their children.
There are bravura performances from Olly Alexander, Keeley Hawes, Lydia West, Callum Scott Howells, Omari Douglas, Nathaniel Curtis, David Carlyle and many more. A debate was sparked about whether LGBTQ characters should be played by LGBTQ actors. While I understand the arguments, I have to say that I don’t think straight actors could have brought the needed authenticity to these roles.
Also, there’s numerous opportunities to spot Liverpool doubling up as 1980s London. Watch it, but be warned: you’ll never be able to listen to Hooked on Classics the same way again. Available on All4.
Continue reading “What I did during my gap year”
On Saturday, the EBU presented Europe Shine a Light, a special show “honouring” the songs that would have appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest, had it not been cancelled.
I can’t stop thinking about the finale, where the would-be contestants all joined in singing Love Shine a Light, the UK’s winning song from 1997. Maybe it’s because recent events have left me feeling emotionally fragile, but the sight of a continent coming together like this moved me to tears. I’ve watched the video about 20 times in the past 48 hours.
Tomorrow, Star Trek: Picard will start streaming around the world on Amazon Prime, a day after it premiered on the US-only streaming service, CBS All Access.
Anticipation for this series has been building, ever since the announcement in summer 2018 that Patrick Stewart was reprising his iconic role from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Continue reading “Picard Day’s Night”