INSIDE THE TUBE

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The Independent Culture
We can't, it seems, get enough of supermodels. David Bailey, photographer and husband to quite a few models, has directed Models Close-Up for Channel 4, a new three-part insight into their world, beginning on Wednesday 16 Sept. Using his privileged access, Bailey has persuaded such names as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss (top), Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Jerry Hall, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini and Jean Shrimpton to take part. The series will examine how models start out - Christy Turlington's simple advice is "find a good agent and pray" - and how they ascend to the position where they won't get out of bed for less than $10,000. They have now attained such a status - more famous than most movie stars - that they can have absurd extras written into their contracts. A model is able to demand that she "only flies Concorde, must have her own chef, and her best friend gets everywhere at the magazine's expense". Not surprisingly, some magazine editors liken supermodels to Frankenstein's monster.

As if that wasn't enough, ITV is also broadcasting the self-explanatorily titled Clive James Meets the Supermodels on Tuesday 29 Sept. James (below) travels to Paris to meet, you've guessed it, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. These models are so busy appearing on TV programmes, it's a wonder they have any time left for the catwalk.

Meanwhile, BBC2 is so confident about its big autumn drama, The Cops, that it has already commissioned a second series. Set in the northern town of Stanton, it uses unglossy fly-on-the-wall camera work to portray police conflicts with the local community. Oh no, I hear you groan, not another hard-hitting, flashing- blue-light drama. The difference with this one is that it contains no renegades from popular sitcoms in the cast and it is made by Tony Garnett, whose reputation for gritty, innovative drama is second to none. You can't argue with someone who was behind Up the Junction and Cathy Come Home in the 1960s and in more recent years has produced Between the Lines, Cardiac Arrest and This Life.

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the telly... Alf Garnett (no relation, above) is on it again. Stunning his myriad politically correct critics who thought they had seen the last of him, Britain's best-loved bigot returns in a new six-part series, The Thoughts of Chairman Alf, starting on ITV on Wednesday 16 Sept. Sounding off in a string of public meetings, he treats us to his enlightened views on everything from foreigners, feminists, homosexuals, the environment and animal rights, to New Labour, the Spice Girls and the Millennium Dome. Leave your PC concerns at the door.

JR

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