Brace yourselves: the time has come. You may have survived five days of milling about in Ireland, and even a dose of plague, but now long-suffering Brookside fans are being tested to the limit again with a second five- night stint, beginning on Monday (8.45pm, then 8.30pm Tue-Fri C4). Mandy (Sandra Maitland) and Beth (Anna Friel, right) face judgement day as they finally go on trial for the murder of Trevor Jordache.
A spokesperson for Mersey Television, which makes the soap, had no sympathy for addicted viewers who suffered enough stretching-out of storylines when they first tried out the five-night format back in January, heralding that move as "a great success". This time, two versions of events have been filmed for the next seven weeks: "Only Phil Redmond (creator) and Mal Young (producer) will decide which is to be screened, the night before transmission, to ensure that the plot is not leaked." And there'll be no quick exit for either of the Jordache accused: "They are both under contract until September along with the rest of the cast," the spokesperson insisted. You have been warned. Only hypnosis can help you now.
Dial F for Freedom
If any of you are left out there who don't think that Chris Evans is the sparkly, carrot-topped new broadcasting Messiah, then thank heavens for that. Try tuning your radio to 104.9FM to get a blast of fresh air from Freedom FM. It started broadcasting only yesterday, kids, and it's the first 24-hour lesbian and gay radio station in London or any other world-class city. Attractions include: a daily gay soap opera, North Benders; readings from the Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (and other children's stories banned from libraries by Clause 28); and commentary on the FA Cup Final by a footie-loving lesbian doctor. But it's not just a ghetto thing - this station is for everyone interested in talk radio, programming for women, and HIV/AIDS awareness. That means all of you, all right?
Bullets over Broadway, another burst of theatrical angst from Woody Allen (right), opens in the cinemas next Friday. Sky Movies Gold, meanwhile, cashes in by taking the opportunity to play some of his earlier, funny work including What's New Pussycat? (9 May 8pm), the first of his blend of sex and psychoanalysis to reach the big screen, in which the Peters O'Toole and Sellers ham it up beyond the call of either duty or, indeed, comedy. Bananas (10 May 8pm) fulfils Mia Farrow's dreams by making the four-eyed sex monster the target of a tropical assassination plot while Sleeper (11 May 8pm) deposits him in a future of contact-free sex and sight gags. And, of course, Annie Hall (12 May 8pm), in which our hero wrestles with a lobster. All very funny, of course, but what does it mean?
The fascination of what's offensive
Another set of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Council bursts upon us. The current bulletin concerns 189 complaints about 88 programmes. Five complaints were upheld, and one more upheld in part. Among those getting slapped wrists are: Chris Tarrant (right) for joking about theft; Chris Morris for making jokes about Jesus; Westcountry Live, for allowing the dread "twat" to slip through (twat! twat! how could they?); Kavanagh QC for rape before the watershed and BSkyB for playing Romper Stomper at all. A viewer was offended by a feature on The Word in which a man pulled a woman across a studio floor on a piece of string attached to his penis. Jealousy, presumably. Another felt that a possession scene in Kung Fu, repeated on Sky One in December, was unsuitable for the showing time. Kung Fu was first broadcast 20-odd years ago: has this viewer been saving this complaint up all this time? Even slower off the mark, though, was the person who complained about "the use of crude phrases" in Radio 4's serialisation of the Diary of Samuel Pepys. What'll they be doing next? Bowdlerising Shakespeare?
Compiled by Serena Mackesy,
Debbie Gordon and Steven PooleReuse content