TELEVISION / Briefing: Famous for 50 minutes

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
If David Frost has hosted 25 shows with his name in the title, Clive James must be fast catching him up. In his latest offering, CLIVE JAMES - FAME IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (9.30pm BBC1), his name even precedes the actual subject. With the aid of copious clips, he examines the influence of the media on celebrity since the turn of the century. Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first to realise the power of moving pictures; he starred in a Presidential campaign film that culminated in his chopping down a tree that landed on the cameraman. Charlie Chaplin became the most famous figure on earth, and Rudolph Valentino the most desirable. His fame also proved his undoing, however; an illness became fatal when his advisers failed to find a doctor celebrated enough to treat him. As Beatrice Ballard's comprehensive first episode (of eight) shows, once the fame genie is out of the bottle, it is very hard to put back.

In 'Deadly Slumber', INSPECTOR MORSE (8pm ITV) investigates the murder of the founder of a private hospital. At the end of this, the seventh series, the detective (John Thaw) will park his Jag in the garage and put the Mozart CDs back in their boxes once and for all. The character's gruff appeal over 28 films no doubt contributed to the actor winning a CBE in the New Year's Honours.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments