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The Independent Culture
Pulp art

Pop stars will go to extraordinary lengths to get away from being seen as pop stars. The former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has been made a Goodwill Ambassador while David Bowie has metamorphosed into an art critic. Now it is the turn of Jarvis Cocker (above), the frontman of Pulp, to change tack. The man who became an international hero with his hilarious protest against Michael Jackson's ridiculously pompous performance at the Brit Awards a couple of years ago is setting aside his music for a while. Instead, he is presenting Journeys into the Outside with Jarvis Cocker, a three- part documentary for Channel 4 about ordinary people who have created extraordinary works of art. Although obviously a mega-star, Cocker has still managed to retain the air of an outsider and so is well suited to hosting a series on the breed.

He journeys first to France, where he visits the Palais Ideal, a bizarre grotto fashioned from sculpted concrete and unusual stones. This weird art-work was built a hundred years ago by a postman who worked on it alone for 30 years after being inspired by a dream. In the second episode, Cocker goes to Watts, an impoverished area of Los Angeles. Here, for the past 34 years, Simon Rodia has constructed 100ft towers in his backyard and decorated them with intricate mosaics. The musician also drops in on Leonard Knight, a hobo who resides in a truck in the desert and spends his time painting uplifting messages on a mountain.

The series ends in India, where Nek Chand's creation - a secret rock garden - has risen from small beginnings to the status of the country's second most-visited site after the Taj Mahal. Journeys into the Outside with Jarvis Cocker, which goes out later this month, poses the intriguing question: as the world is, in the famous phrase, being shrunk to the size of a global village, is it still possible to stand outside mass culture?

Whatever happened to...?

Tyne Daly (below). One of half of Cagney and Lacey, she was an integral part of one of the hit American series of the Eighties. As Detective Mary Beth Lacey, she sparked memorably alongside Sharon Gless as Detective Christine Cagney between 1982 and 1988. When the series came to an end, Daly was faced with the problem confronted by many actors departing major television shows - typecasting. Just look at the way David Soul has struggled to escape the mantle of Starsky and Hutch. Daly has now settled into the niche marked "TV movie" that awaits so many American telly stars. In one such, Face of a Stranger, to be broadcast on BBC2 this Thursday, she plays a homeless woman who befriends a poor widow (Gena Rowlands). JR

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