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The Independent Culture
Jaci Stephen launched a vigorous attack on the New Lad in Without Walls' J'Accuse slot the other week. If ratings are anything to go by, the backlash has had little effect on the public appetite for lager-swilling, football-loving boys. In the week ending 7 April, They Think It's All Over was BBC1's ninth most popular programme, netting just over 9m viewers. Fantasy Football League (hosted by Frank Skinner, right), meanwhile, grabbed a more than respectable 3.34m on BBC2. As if to rub it in, it was closely followed in the BBC2 ratings by Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, with just over 3m.

The joint head of state of New Ladsville, Men Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey will not have to change gear too drastically for the part of a cabbie in Roger, Roger, the latest comedy from John Sullivan, creator of Only Fools and Horses.

Just when you thought it was safe to turn the TV back on... ITV has announced another venture for Robson and Jerome, erstwhile squaddies from Soldier, Soldier. Their new drama, written by Bob Larbey (The Good Life) and provisionally entitled Clapper and Trapp, is set during WWII and co- stars Warren Mitchell. The bad news is, R & J play bandsmen and get to sing.

With its entries to this year's Cannes Film Festival, the BBC continues to enhance its reputation as one of Britain's leading filmmakers. Stephen Frears's reading of the Roddy Doyle novel, The Van, has been selected for competition. Jude, Michael Winterbottom's interpretation of Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, will be shown in the Directors' Fortnight. And debutant director Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol, the real-life story of a woman gunning down the artist, opens "Un Certain Regard", the up- and-coming directors' section. Four other BBC films are being screened in the Festival's trade fair. Not bad for a little old state-run television company.

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