Voices

These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Media: Have the likely lads had their last laugh?: The critics may not like their latest series, but Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are not about to quit after 30 years in TV comedy, says Sue Summers

FOR more than 30 years, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have written classics of television drama. Their big hit of the Sixties was The Likely Lads; in the Seventies, it was Porridge; in the Eighties, Auf Wiedersehn, Pet. Each combined brilliantly observed characterisation with mainstream entertainment.

Letter: The strange case of 'Bengal famine gruel'

Sir: It was with some astonishment that I learnt from Anne Symonds's afterword (Gazette, 23 January) to the obituary of Dame Janet Vaughan that the distinguished doctor claimed that thousands of British prisoners of war returning from the Far East in 1945, and also the victims of the Belsen concentration camp, owe their lives to a simple solution of powdered milk with a few additives prescribed by herself.

Eight-year-old murders mother

PEKING (Reuter) - An eight-year-old only child who poisoned his mother when she refused to buy him a toy car was killed by his enraged father, who then committed suicide, the Jiangsu Legal News said.

Recipe: Go to work on a drink

IT IS a strange old world, especially in the morning. A quick poll of what my colleagues eat for breakfast showed up some diverse, and occasionally unappetising, habits. One, for example, consumes fruit-flavoured yoghurt and lemon tea every morning. Your contributions tend to be more wholesome, but every bit as individualistic. Frank and Marian McGreevy of Church Stretton, Shropshire, submit an 'Irish porridge' recipe. It dictates that the oats be cooked overnight and finished with whiskey.

TELEVISION BRIEFING / Follow that cab

If you are a new franchise-holder making your debut network comedy programme, you could do a lot worse than ask Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to write it for you. FULL STRETCH (9pm ITV), made for Meridian, the new South and South-East franchise-holder, may not match up to some of their Greatest Hits (The Likely Lads, Porridge), and a cab office is not the most original setting (Taxi, Rides, Carry on Cabby), but this six-part series gives the viewer a pleasant enough ride. In the first episode, we are introduced to Baz (Kevin McNally), a former Chelsea footballer from the era of Peter Osgood and 'Chopper' Harris who now runs the Ivory Tower limo service. The office, run by a wheelchair-bound Sue Johnston, is festooned with pictures of Bruce Forsyth and the Chippendales, and his motley crew of drivers includes a resting actor called Tarquin (Reece Dinsdale) and a female athlete training for the Atlanta Olympics (Rowena King). Tonight, Tarquin has the opportunity to say 'I had that David Bowie in the back of my cab.'

Letter: National potential bogged down in porridge

Sir: Christopher Huhne ('How to escape from our history of failure', 18 September) is right. Inflation and exchange rate policy, by themselves, can do little to improve the UK's international competitiveness.
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition