TELEVISION / Make a drama happen, pick up the phone

SPONSORSHIP of programmes is a source of revenue denied to our beloved but beleaguered Corporation. Inspector Morse found the aptest of supporters in Beamish, an exemplary marriage of like with like that all sorts of BBC programmes could follow. Middlemarch could tie up a deal with one of these privatised railway companies that we've been promised, The House of Eliott would link up with House of Fraser, and Chef] is just crying out for backing from Spud-U-Like.

By the looks of things, Love Hurts (BBC1) is about to sign a lucrative contract with Motorola that will take the workaholic couple played by Adam Faith and Zoe Wanamaker up to retirement age. (And then we'll have a whole series about the ethics of carrying on your career after the age of 65. Can't wait.)

The heavy deployment of mobile phones in a drama that lacks much mobility of its own is a clever tactic. If there's a lull - Tessa hasn't got a meeting to bully, or Frank's between deals - whip out a cordless and plug it into the hole. In one stunning act of scriptwriting bravado, our hero and heroine whipped them out AT THE SAME TIME and dialled each other. You can do that in dramas. Unfortunately they were both engaged: love does indeed hurt. If the moment wasn't quite moving, it certainly was mobile.

In this third series, childbirth is on the menu. And why not? Every other programme's doing it at the moment. So in this NHS bed we have a chatty old mother of eight, in the other a grumpy young single mother, and in between we have Tessa, over 40 but having her first. If you could glimpse at Catherine Johnson's script, you'd probably find it covered with simple formulae and mathematical symbols.

In every other respect, we're open for business as usual: Frank is flogging dodgy goods, only he doesn't get laughs the way Del Boy or Arthur do, and Tessa is waddling around saving the planet, or at least a troupe of Polish ballet dancers. The drama of Part 1 was of the will she / won't she variety: will she or won't she still be tapping away at her lap-top when the contractions are coming every 30 seconds? The tension was relentless, apart from the scenes in which Frank spent pounds 700 on a rocking horse, in which Frank built the cot, in which Frank went jogging. They relieved the tension rather a lot.

Love Hurts has boiled down to a portrait of executive life, which is good for healthy production values, less so for the health of audience sympathies. The storylining of this series will doubtless go on to portray the strain of parenting for the highly paid middle-aged, but that's a group as remote to your average viewer as 19th-century Midlanders or 1920s fashion designers. On second thoughts, then, it's a hit.

In ''Dreams on Ice', a film for Short Stories (C4), real parents took their real children skating at a rink in Hackney. Precision skating, in which a lot of young girls dress up in uniform, do what they're told and absolutely love every minute, is the urban equivalent of the Pony Club. In this neck of the woods, the only sign of opulence on show was the red Mazda driven by the girls' instructor. If she gives up charity work, Tessa could maintain her lifestyle as a rink coach. This disciplinarian reminded you of no one so much as Lady Thatcher, who before her fall got all her little boys to do high kicks in a line.

The wedding of David Dimbleby and Question Time (BBC1, Thur) was traditional. It offered something old (Ken Clarke's Matrix Churchill wrigglings), something new (Ken Clarke's first appearance on the programme as Chancellor), something borrowed (Ken Clarke's brothel-creepers, formerly in the keep of Geoffrey Howe) and something blue (Ken Clarke). The only alteration from the outmoded Sissons coupe is cosmetic, and it involves a lot of walking: the guests, like prize-fighters in suits, walk on as they are introduced, while Dimbleby indicates that he's a man of the people by going among them, like Jesus or the Queen or Robert Kilroy-Silk. This show will walk and walk.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen