I rather liked Mary Whitehouse. She would often ring me up in a previous journalistic incarnation to "draw my attention" to upcoming outrages. And when she did she was always polite, intelligent and firm, like the girls' school teacher she once was. If the tide of filth had already been broadcast, she would read out the profanities, "eight bloodys, two buggers and a Christ", in her special, taking-the-register monotone, which always enlivened a dull day. And while her repressive views on homosexuality and pre-marital sex were deeply unappealing, her biggest impact on broadcasting was not about sex at all. It was establishing the idea that listeners and viewers should have a say in what broadcasters provide.
They were the so-called slackers who didn't feel compelled to grow up. Now, with middle age a sobering reality, are their years of underachieving beginning to hit home?
Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr and Jack Black star as three has-beens who think they're filming a Vietnam war epic in the jungle, unaware that the people who keep shooting at them aren't actors playing the Viet Cong, they're genuine trigger-happy guerrillas.
Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller's Vietnam-film-within-a-film, has a lot of gags to get through in its two-hour running time – the self-regard of actors; the greed and ruthlessness of Hollywood producers; a raft of 'Nam movie clichés – and yet it still seems at least 20 minutes too long, with all the best jokes used up in the first act (including a terrific trio of spoof trailers).
The new adaptation of Brideshead Revisited is yet to be released, but already one of the film's main stars, Ben Whishaw, has upset fans of the venerated 1981 version.
America in the 1970s wasn't ready for George Carlin: his meditation on the morality of swearing led to arrest, prosecution – and even a Supreme Court judgment. Andy McSmith pays tribute
The deadpan funnyman now earns more than Tom Cruise. But it won't go to his head, he tells Gill Pringle