The Father of Australia.

 

Can’t wait to see this. It airs on Australia Day (Jan 26th) on BBC Two.
(My home town has a statue of Macquarie in the centre of it.)

The Father of Australia

Lachlan Macquarie, born into poverty on a small Hebridean island, rose to become Governor – absolute ruler – of the British colony that would become Australia.

He and his wife, Elizabeth – Australia’s first Power Couple – set a notorious penal colony on course to become a modern nation.

Macquarie was brought down by powerful enemies in the colony. Yet, two and a half centuries after his birth, he’s an Australian hero.

Drama-documentary starring Clive Russell as Lachlan Macquarie, and Julie Wilson Nimmo Elizabeth. Narrated by David Tennant.

Credits:

Narrator – David Tennant
Lachlan Macquarie – Clive Russell
Elizabeth Macquarie – Julie Wilson Nimmo
Producers – Seona Robertson & Stuart Scowcroft
Director – Les Wilson

Producers:

BBC Scotland
The History Channel
Intomedia
Screen Australia
Screen NSW

Book at Bedtime: this week

Coming up: from November 22nd

 22:45 on BBC Radio 4 FM

1/5. David Tennant reads Antoine Calmet’s eye witness accounts of real vampires.

See all 5 programmes coming up.

 

How Roald Dahl Shaped Pop

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This is a promo for a radio programme looking into the influence of Roald Dahl on popular culture. It’s being hosted by David Tennant and will be BBC Radio 2, Monday 22nd November at 10pm.

You can read more information on the programme here

Have I Found My Gaga?

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Maybe it’s because I’m creeping into middle age (I’ll be 40 later this year) but I am suddenly finding myself more and more engrossed in what I’m finding to listen to on the radio. In particular Radio 4 (and no…not just Test Match Special!).

I’ve had the feeling in my head for several weeks now that I’d like to listen to more radio. Spurred on by some appearances David Tennant has made recently in a couple of radio plays, I’m finding myself listening to more and more radio plays.

I listened to one last week which was a “tongue in cheek” look at the behind the scenes making of the film Witchfinder General starring Vincent Price. It was great timing as I’d only just, a few weeks previous, watched Witchfinder General for the first time, so I was at least armed with the knowledge of the film to begin with.

And only yesterday I listened to another play with Bill Nighy in it. If ever there was a voice made for radio plays…

It’s not only the plays I’m interested in. Last night I listened to The Now Show (with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis), a satirical look at the week in news. There are several other comedies on Radio 4 I’d like to get into as well.

But now, it is confession time. I was scared to ask Em to get this for me because she has an aversion to anything that appears even REMOTELY middle class. I thought I might be in for the chop even for asking (I was going to try and keep it secret, but I like getting the radio stuff to listen to on my iPod in bed in the evening). So it was with some trepidation I asked her if she could get me The Archers omnibus! I know! I even amazed myself!

So I listened to it last night. And I have to say, despite some of it being a little hammy, I liked it. OMG, help me, I’m middle class!!!! lol

I really hope I’m NOT middle class for liking The Archers. It might not even last (my liking it). But it did hook me in. It’s a bit of escapism. I see it almost like a look into how “the other half live” because it is a little posh.

I’m already asking myself really involving plot-based questions like: How will Helen go getting pregnant? How long will Jude and Pips relationship last? What’s going to happen to Tom and Brenda’s relationship, as she sounds like she’s ready to leave Ambridge?

ZOMG! lol

I think Em is going to divorce me when she sees this!

Doctor Ten: Allons-y! **Contains spoilers**

*******This post will contain Doctor Who spoilers, so only read if you have seen both parts of The End of Time or are utterly disinterested in Doctor Who!*******

Last night saw the end of an era when David Tennant’s reign as the tenth Doctor came to an end. It is also the end of Russell T Davies’ time as head writer and executive producer on the show. And to that I say GOOD RIDDANCE!

Yes, I thank him for returning Doctor Who to our screens, unreservedly. And yes, he has delivered some fine scripts, Midnight and Turn Left being his stand outs for me. But I CANNOT forgive that final 15-20 of schmultz that had the Doctor visiting his companions and friends in one FINAL goodbye. You did that, RTD, with the series four finale (Journey’s End). You really are hell-bent on the emotional goodbye.

The Doctor’s goodbye could have been so much more befitting. David Tennant had made the character of Doctor Ten SO strong. He had gone to sacrifice himself several times over during the last four series without even a hint of regret or unwilling. And then RTD gives Doctor Ten his final words – as of a coward or wimp, “I don’t want to go”.

Before that, don’t give me the 20 minutes of schmultz. That final line would have sat better if DT’s final scenes had been played out with Bernard Cribbins (as Wilfred Mott).

I can pick holes in the whole thing. I can pick it all apart and over analyse it, but I won’t. I can’t stand the torture of it. Suffice it to say that part one disappointed me greatly and part two sat more comfortable with me until the final 15-20 minutes.

Part two should have ended with Wilf and the Doctor post nuclear lock scene. Those scenes there where the Doctor realised his demise was going to be (inadvertently) at the hands of Wilf were wonderfully played out. It should have continued. Once we were aware the Doctor had soaked up all the radiation in the nuclear lock, I’d have liked to have seen him struggle out the door, lay on the ground and have an exchange with Wilf. You could have played in nostalgia there and not let it obscure or overshadow what were glorious scenes with Bernard and David.

Then it was just stupid. Martha and Mickey married! The Doctor saves Sarah Jane Smith’s son Luke from being hit by a car (isn’t he a cyborg?), setting Jack up with a guy from a previous episode (midshipman Alonso Frame), he turns up to Donna’s wedding, leaving her a lottery ticket (WTF??!!!) and then going back to 2005 to a time before he meets Rose to tell her she’s going to have a “brilliant year”.

And of all of that 15-20 minutes, the one that made no continuity sense whatsoever was the Doctor at a book shop visiting a writer called Verity Newsome who’d released a book called “The Journal of Impossible Things” that had been in her granadmother’s (Joan Redfern) possession since 1913. I got the gist of it, was aware of the book and the character of course, but what didn’t sit right was HOW on earth the Doctor knew to go to this particular bookshop and see Joan’s granddaughter. And apart from that, the Doctor wasn’t in love with Joan, his human self as John Smith was!!!

RTD you make me SSSOOO angry.

I just had to vent and air. I could write more, but I need time, so this is enough. Enough to express my anger and disappointment. I wanted so much more for David Tennant’s final scenes.

The one positive I can take from it is that DT’s demise was ultimately SO anticlimactic that it has actually made me genuinely excited about the new series and Matt Smith as Doctor Eleven.

I think in the end David was right to leave when he did. It *was* time. I am SO looking forward to what Steven Moffat is going to do with it.

Goodbye David and Doctor Ten, you were brilliant. RTD, f*ck off outta here! Go on, piss off to L.A. See if anyone will have you there. Good luck and don’t ever write sci-fi AGAIN!

Griffin Bashing and #BBCQT

I did something that I rarely do and watched an episode of Question Time last night. It seemed a “must see” piece of television as earlier in the evening the BBC faced a brunt of protests outside Television Centre with the arrival of Nick Griffin of the British National Party to the studios.

There were about 1,000 people outside the TV centre protesting against the idea that the BBC would give a voice to Nick Griffin on a political platform.

I only took in bits and pieces in last nights programme as I found myself on Twitter watching the cascading flow of tweets on twitterfall whilst people around the country tuned in to watch old goblin face.

The BNP had come under criticism the previous day for using images of Spitfire air craft and Winston Churchill at their party conferences.

The first question posed to the panel, which included Labour MP and justice secretary Jack Straw, Conservative MP Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne and Curator of the British Museum Bonnie Greer, was whether it was fair the BNP had “hijacked” Winston Churchill’s image for use in their campaigns.

Jack Straw was first respond. He said that the BNP had no right to use Churchill’s image. He said the BNP has no moral compass and says that WWI and WWII was only won with the help of many black and Asian people. He also said a race-based party has no standing in the UK.

Nick Griffin’s response to defend his party’s use of Churchill’s image was that the party chose Churchill as an image because no other party would, due to some of his political philosophies. IE: that he thought there was a real threat of over-migration and that he was worried about the impact of fundamental Islam. Griffin went on to say “I’m not a Nazi and I never have been.”

Erm…really? Then what’s this?

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He also ended with a personal attack on JS saying “My father was in the RAF in the second World War whilst Mr. Straw’s father was in prison for refusing to fight Adolf Hitler.”

What relevance this had on proceedings was hard to decipher. When host Daivd Dimbleby asked why he made this statement he said “Jack Straw was attacking me and I have been being continually attack for the last week.”

Oh, grow up man! And as for Jack Straw attacking you personally, he did nothing of the sort! I dare ask who was the braver in that time, Griffin’s father for being in the RAF (he didn’t say what role he had – my uncle was in the RAAF, but he was a chef!), or Straw’s for being a conscientious objector?

Still on the issue, Bonnie Greer pointed out that Churchill’s own mother was American and her family had possible Mohican Indian descendants, therefore questioning the BNP’s choice for Churchill’s image being that of a “British white role model” that the BNP was looking for.

Chris Huhne chimed into the discussion with his personal views on what he thought the BNP as a party, represented. He said the BNP is “scape-goating” politics. Peddling hatred and fear. Churchill would be rolling in his grave (at having his image being used by the BNP, or being associated with them). He was never a fascist.

Huhne also quoted Nick Griffin as once saying he thought “Yes, Adolf went a bit too far.” He then asked Griffin what part of “too far” did he think Hitler had gone? Slaughtering millions of Jews? Invading Poland and France? Bombing innocent people in Britain?

Griffin amongst his replies says “I brought the BNP out of being a racist party.”

WHAT THE F**K??

David Dimbleby quotes him as saying (not ver batim) “Let’s start out (the BNP) as being moderate to win votes/support. Then we’ll reveal our true agenda.” When asked about this and his involvement with David Duke he said “David Duke was the head of a non-violent arm of the KKK”. This statement had people in the audience and the other panel members in groans of disbelief.

Nick Griffin would shy away from responses to most quotes read to him of things he’d said. Jack Straw confronted him on this. He said (not ver batim) “When we give a quote of something you said you make a defence of saying ‘Oh, I never said that. That’s not quite right.’ But you are there on YouTube, in videos, actually saying these things. Time and again he (refering to Griffin, addressing the audience) wants to wriggle out of it…This guy is the Dr. Strangelove of British politics!”

A question came from an audience member asking why he believes the holocaust was a myth, Griffin said, “I cannot explain why I used to say those things, I can’t tell you (groans and shouts from the audience) any more than I can tell you why I’ve changed my mind, I can’t tell you the extent that I’ve changed my mind because the European law prevents me.”

This was dismissed as bunkum. He was asked to explain why he’d changed his mind about his denial of the holocaust and he gave some lame excuse about hearing radio intercepts of German recordings or something. Jack Straw said “Why would you need that? Were the images from Auschwitz not enough for you”?

Sayeeda Warsi revealed to the audience that he’d shared a platform with Islamic extremist Abu Hamsa after some time of discussing his views on Islam and what he thought of aspects of the Muslim faith. He said he didn’t agree with much of it. It’s treatment of women, etc.

Bonnie Greer said that Griffin starts his history at around 1700 to bypass Roman rule because it doesn’t fit in with the BNP’s “white agenda”. In Roman times there was an influx of many ethnicities, not just Romans.

Baroness Warsi says we need a cap on immigration. She also said she thought that why many people vote or support the BNP is not because they are racist but it is because they are concerned about immigration.

Jack Straw counters this by saying a party like the BNP has been in the British political system on and off since the 1930’s. That the BNP’s recent success in the European elections was NOT due to people with racist leanings voting for them, but it was purely votes gained from protests over the MP’s expenses saga.

On immigration Griffin said successive British governments were committing calculated genocide on the “indigenous white population” of Britain.

WWWHHHHHAAAAAAATT??

Bonnie Greer quoted Griffin saying the BNP are for the “indigenous Ice Age”. She replied, “But there are no people from ‘the indigenous Ice Age’ in the UK.” The UK was populated around 17,000 years ago from people from the south. They certainly didn’t come from the north. How could they get here? “We all know now that we (the population of the world) are all descended from Africa. You should know this Nick, you have a 2:2 in history. The only people who were here on this continent (Europe) 17,000 years ago, and I use the term ‘people’ lightly, were Neanderthals”. Then, speaking to Griffin personally, “You can come to the British Museum and check. We’ve got a lot of information on it. I wish you’d come.”

Then a man from the audience was offered to ask a question to the panel, he said “Yes, I have a question for Dick, er, sorry I mean Nick Griffin”.

That made all us twitterers have a little giggle. Pretending he was making a mistake with his name. It was childish, but funny.

I’m not sure if the programme itself really got anywhere. It did seem to descend into an hour of Griffin-bashing, but perhaps it was worth it just for that. It was certainly entertaining watching twitterfall for the hour the programme was on.

I’ll leve it to the man himself to finish…

Crime Against (Supposed) Crime.

Please explain to me WHY so many people seem to be so anti-BBC?

Is it because people believe it to be a monster? Do people deem it too big for its boots? Do people believe there’s a lack of quality programming? Is it the whole Ross/Brand “Sachsgate” scandal? Are BBC bosses and controllers overpaid? Are BBC entertainers overpaid?

The debate arose again last night as I was listening to radio station LBC and Clive Bull. He started to talk about the TV licence. More to the point, trying to see if he was able to talk to one of the reported 200,000+ people that evade paying their TV licence. This figure has increased in the last financial year and he wanted to eke out whether it was purely financial reasons as to why people were no longer willing to pay their TV licence or whether something more underlying was accounting for TV licence dodging.

Clive wanted to know whether there was anyone out there happy to pay their TV licence. If it had not been so late at night and I was not so shy to make the call, I would have called in to say “me”! I WANT to pay my TV licence, because I can see what I’m getting for my money.

One man called in to say that he didn’t pay his TV licence as he no longer watched any live TV. He used his television to watch DVD’s via his DVD player. So cautious was he to evade getting grievance from the TV licensing body, that he severed his coaxial cable from the aerial on his roof. Clive pointed out that this move would be unlikely to be enough as the man’s TV would still have a tuner within it and therefore the ability to receive live television. That what the man would need to have is a computer monitor with no TV tuner within the screen.

So the man says “Right. This is where I am confused. So even though I don’t actually watch live television, because I have a TV with a tuner, I can still be deemed to be breaking the law?” Yes, says Clive. “Oh”, says the man “but that’s unfair and unclear”. In my mind I was thinking “Well, to avoid confusion or potential prosecution, I suggest you buy an LCD monitor with no tuner”, which Clive sort of went on to say himself. The man finished his conversation with Clive by saying “I’m quite anti-BBC really, but I do like their news web site. So if I’m on there and I see a link that says “watch now”, I’m breaking the law if I watch the clip?” Yes, says Clive.

The fact that the man begrudgingly confessed to using some BBC content wasn’t enough for him to think “Well, you know, maybe I should pay my TV licence?” Melon!

Do these people not think of the content that is provided to them for what amounts to 38p a day? That’s the price of a Kit-Kat! So, for the price of a Kit-Kat a day, you get advertisement free TV across eight BBC TV channels, a multitude of radio stations, including the BBC World Service. You have access to the wonderful BBC iPlayer (a chance to catch missed programmes via an online service that allows you to watch and download TV programmes and listen to radio shows for one week after original broadcast). You have online content via bbc.co.uk, including a news web site that is second to none. You also get a wealth of stunning programmes from documentaries, to drama. A lot of my favourite programmes are produced by the BBC including Doctor Who and Torchwood.

How on earth can you argue with getting that amount of content for 38p a day?!

There are so many who argue why they should pay a TV licence when they are on something like Sky. Get some perspective! Sky charges MORE for its basic service at £16.50 a month (and who, quite frankly gets Sky for its basic package? No one!), which is NOT advertisement free for that cost of subscription either, than the TV licence does. And with Sky’s basic package you are getting LESS content. Why anyone would pay to have Sky is beyond me!

Please! For those people who are hell bent on BBC bashing, please stop and think about what we have here in this country. A multimedia service that is revered around the world for providing quality and excellence and costs us all (well, those who pay it) a Kit-Kat a day.

Clive asked last night “So if people aren’t paying their TV licence, what are the consequences? I can see the consequences of people not paying car insurance, premiums go up. Does this mean TV licence dodgers will make the TV licence go up? What *ARE* the consequences?”

Well, surely the consequences would be programming and services will suffer. That perhaps something like Doctor Who would not have been put back on the screen, and certainly not with the love and financial backing it has received to make it more popular than ever.

The BBC news site would just be like some other ramshackle news site where you have to tread through mud to see content that is most relevant to you.

Things like the BBC Action Line would get cut. It’s there for people who may need to seek guidance or advice from seeing story lines in dramas or topics in documentaries that affect people greatly. Discussions on rape or medical conditions, cancer, mental health issues, etc, the BBC Action Line is a point of call for people to turn to if they want to discuss with someone how a certain subject in programming has affected them.

Funding for things like that would just cease to be.

I just urge people to please think about what they get for their 38p a day before they slag it (the BBC and TV licensing) off.