Arts and Entertainment

Mr Memory, who was brought on Monday’s Newsnight to memorise the title sequence and couldn’t even remember that Jeremy bloke with the beard’s name. Gosh I love telly. 

The love that dares to speak its name

"Big bubbly brunette seeks strapping guy, 17 to 25. Living people need not apply. Will provide big black roomy car for romantic getaways." "Middle-aged male seeks one-legged partner. Other leg optional, but must be removeable." "Young male seeks long coil of wire and full-length mirror. But hurry: one of us dies each week in the UK alone."

Axe hangs over drama

Doubts hang over the future of the BBC's £5m drama series Seaforth. A decision is expected before Christmas, Alan Yentob, the controller of BBC1 said yesterday.

Dramatic tribute to Dennis Potter

The celebration of the life of Dennis Potter was both curious and memorable. Little advertised, yesterday's service attracted barely 200 people.

Lottery stays on a losing streak

THE ILL-STARRED run-up to the launch of the National Lottery continued yesterday as the BBC announced that two lesser-known celebrities would present the weekly televised draw and the Millennium Commission, which will distribute pounds 1.6bn of lottery proceeds, went back to square one in looking for a chief executive.

TELEVISION / The ghost in the scheduling machine

IN SPITE OF years of research by top scientists, there is still no satisfactory explanation for the most gripping mystery of all: why, in television reconstructions, do the actors always have plummier voices than the people they portray? We will probably never know.

Street-Porter to head cable TV channel

JANET Street-Porter's long quest to secure one of the most senior posts at the BBC ended yesterday with the announcement that she was leaving the corporation after six years to head the Mirror Group's new television channel, Live TV.

Dear Esther Rantzen: That's Life] is dead, long live Esther] - the Chat Show. That's the script, anyway, but be careful, Esther, you're no Oprah Winfrey

We thought it was all over: the teeth, the striding through shopping centres in search of amusingly-shaped vegetables, the quizzical cocked eyebrow and 'But hang ons' in every show. Twenty-one years of fun, and serious stuff, too.

All good things must come to an end . . . that's life: Rhys Williams recalls the mix of tabloid fun and campaigning that fuelled a TV hit

IF YOU want to stick the boot into That's Life, go no further than Rowan Atkinson's rant on Not the Nine O'Clock News in 1980:

Media: Showman to the chattering classes: Next Thursday, BBC2 celebrates its 30th anniversary. Maggie Brown meets its ambitious Controller

The furore over the high-handed changes to Radio 4 has threatened to overshadow a happier event for the BBC.

Promise to Potter

Alan Yentob, Controller of BBC 1, and Michael Grade, head of Channel 4, have expressed support for the wish of the dramatist Dennis Potter, who is dying of cancer, that the two final plays he is working on - Karaoke for the BBC and Cold Lazarus for Channel 4 - will be screened on both channels.

Long runners

Age: 30. First broadcast New Year's Day 1964 from a converted church in Manchester. The presenter was Jimmy Savile. A six-week run was expected.

REVIEW / Flying in the face of a painful death

'I FELT I was really flying,' said Dennis Potter, winding down after his interview with Melvyn Bragg. He was talking about the conversation they had just had, and you only heard the remark because someone had decided not to tidy up the recording, so that the small-talk not intended for broadcast - the settling in and the getting up - blended into the more considered utterances of the interview proper. It was a good decision, both for deceptive and honest reasons.

FILM / The British Are Coming II: Now hear this: the British film industry is booming. And it is thanks, in part, to Eldorado. Kevin Jackson considers the documentary evidence

It may be tricky to appear gleeful and wry at the same time, but D A Pennebaker was making a fairly good stab at it in Sheffield last Friday. The American documentary director had just screened the Oscar-nominated film The War Room, which Pennebaker co-directed with his partner Chris Hegedus, and he was obviously pleased by the way the audience had chuckled and whooped their way through its absorbing, gloriously funny account of the Clinton election campaign of '92, then given it a prolonged round of applause.
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