ARTS / Cries & Whispers

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The Independent Culture
BONG] It's goodbye News at Ten. Bong] And hello News at Seven. Bong] Some people are making sniffy noises about this. Bong] They shouldn't. Bong] There is nothing downmarket about a time of day. Bong] Channel 4 News has been on at 7pm all its life, and it's as classy as any bulletin in the English-speaking world. Bong] It never did make sense for ITV to break its big films in two. Bong] There are, however, two possible snags. Bong] One is that Channel 4 News will not get a suitable slot at the other end of the evening, as the station is now financially independent, and probably loath to endanger the ads that its after-supper crowd-pullers bring in. Bong] There is talk of having both shows at the same time, which would be idiotic. Bong] The other worry is that News at Seven will have all the failings that News at Ten has developed, only more so. Bong] So, the set will get even glossier; the theme tune will be given another zippy new arrangement; someone will say 'Well, Trevor' every 20 seconds instead of every 40; and correspondents will go even further in their attempts to lay the stress on just the wrong words in every sentence. Bong] (That's enough bongs - Ed.)

JACK JONES is one of those people I thought were dead. Last week he was on Brucie's Guest Night, which is much the same thing. I switched on as Jones embarked on a version of John Lennon's 'Imagine'. I stayed tuned, mesmerised by the incongruity of this cruise-ship crooner, in navy blazer, grey slacks, and an even less authentic tan than Brucie, delivering the great hippie manifesto. He obviously found it odd too: instead of the line 'nothing to live or die for, and no religion too', he sang 'that's my religion too'. A fake tan is one thing; censorship quite another.

BETTER tidings from Tin Pan Alley. 'I Will Survive', by Gloria Gaynor, is stomping up the chart again. It was No 1 in 1979. So were many other songs, but this one stays with us. The message is both universal and timely: in the karaoke chart, a sure barometer of the national mood, it is No 1. The music has a momentum which puts it up there in the dancefloor-filling stakes next to 'Tiger Feet'. They don't make 'em like that any more, and until they do, reissues like this will be fine by me.

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