REVIEW / Who comes over all soppy about sows?
Saturday 29 January 1994
Who writes and presents a quirky series called Further Abroad on BBC2? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Although the series deals with topics that go to the core of Britishness, what is its real subject? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. In last night's programme, 'The Truth About Porkies', you argued that 'we find it difficult to respect an animal that so surely reminds us of ourselves'. Was the viewer reminded of any self in particular? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.
You started an entertaining essay by stating that 'the finest, fondest way to show affection for an animal is to eat it', and ended it by tucking into a sizzling roast suckling pig: name the television personality least likely to be named Vegetarian of the Year. 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Until he came over all soppy about sows, which rigorously intellectual television presenter would you have presumed to be all head and no heart? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.
Who originated the amusing though sometimes also infuriating technique of saying a sentence to camera and then marching out of shot? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Who of the following would you back to win a general knowledge quiz: Peter Scissorhands, Gloria Honey Word, Anne Dire Mons, or Jonathan Meades? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.
Which of the following presenters with their own programme on last night is least likely to become a much loved household name: Louise Doughty (First Reaction, C4), Kate Bellingham and Howard Stableford (Tomorrow's World, BBC1), Ruth Langsford (The Great British Garden Show, BBC2), or Jonathan Meades? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. For his ability to stimulate and infuriate in equal measure, which restaurant reviewer for a cut-price paper should there always be a pew for in television's broad church? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.
If the BBC - 'Beep, beep, beep' - I've started so I'll finish: if the BBC asked you to present an infomercial series about road safety, what should your answer be? 'Pass.' Correct.
Alexei Sayle now has two shows on the go. On Thursday, in his comedy vehicle, the aim is to be dangerous; on Friday, in a new infomercial series about road safety, the aim is to be safe. Someone once said that Clive James, when he had concurrently running shows on the two BBC channels, one highbrow and the other low, was television's first split personality. Sayle must be the second.
At least he's finally landed his own series on BBC1, the moment most alternative comedians know they've made it; he may have to spout stacks of statistics about deaths from road accidents, but with stats it's the way you tell 'em.
Sayle is probably a perfect choice for this punchy 10-minute slot. It isn't aimed at young drivers who any minute now will be wrapping their parents' motor round a lamppost, because that audience group is never watching just before The Nine O'Clock News. So getting a teen idol like David Baddiel to do it was out. Middle- aged to old drivers tend to know how to avoid running over innocent, three-foot- tall pedestrians, so the fogies' choice, Bob Monkhouse, was no good.
What was needed was a comedian who has grown up in tandem with the company-car drivers you see in the ads for German suavemobiles. He may be a suedehead, but Sayle becomes less of a leftie every time he's spotted by a camera crew. He leavens this sermon with levity, and it may well be that this series will even save a few lives: the highest art, lest we forget, entertains and educates at the same time. If he gets any safer, he'll be fronting Crime Monthly (ITV). And Jonathan Meades might fly.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Fifty Shades of Grey banned by Indian censors despite sex scenes being edited out
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Seth Rogan's pot fumes delay hacked Sony boss’s office move
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests