Richard Ingrams: Should cricket be subject to such a rude interruption?

Notebook

Share
Related Topics

It seems ages since one was able to watch a whole Test match ball by ball on the BBC. Then Rupert Murdoch bought up pretty well all first-class cricket for Sky and I have not watched a Test match on TV since.

However, for the past few years Channel 5 has provided a welcome substitute in the form of an hour-long highlights programme at the end of each day's cricket. It has the advantage not only that it leaves out all the boring bits but it also features expert commentary by the likes of the curmudgeonly Geoffrey Boycott.

Watching the highlights of the most recent Test with a 13-year-old, cricket-mad schoolboy, I was brought up with a jolt during a commercial break by a trailer for a forthcoming Channel 5 programme called Red Hot Lesbians. This was about 7.30pm.

It was a timely reminder that Channel 5 is nowadays owned by Richard Desmond, a man who has made a fortune out of pornography. Ofcom, the over-manned quango which is supposed to police all TV channels, saw no objection to Desmond being allowed to acquire Channel 5 last year, despite the regulation laying down that any successful applicant had to be "fit and proper" – words that did not immediately spring to mind in connection with the sleazy Mr Desmond.

But having allowed him in, you might have expected Ofcom to tell him to clean up his act, at least when children are watching. Otherwise people might begin to think Ofcom is no more fit and proper than Desmond.

Hackers do have their uses after all

The story of 19-year-old Ryan Cleary, who spent his days shut in his bedroom with his computers and his cat Columbus, is a familiar one. Cleary was charged this week with attacking the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency while police investigate claims that he may also have attacked the CIA, the US Senate and other important institutions. It seems there are young men all over the country engaged in targeting powerful organisations.

Only a few months ago there were stories of a public schoolboy in Manchester who, with the help of his computer, plundered £8m from 65,000 bank accounts, while in Banff another boy sent out from his mother's front room millions of virus-laden spam emails. Best known is Gary McKinnon, still awaiting possible extradition to the US to face charges that he hacked into the American army's website from his bedsitter in Neasden.

McKinnon is not a criminal. He is a computer addict, obsessed by the internet who probably needs psychiatric help. And instead of being prosecuted, these people should be commended for performing a public service in showing up the vulnerability of our systems. After all, if a nerd in Neasden bedsitter can check out the secrets of the US army, how easy it must be for al-Qa'ida or the Taliban to do so?

Harry Potter is not on my to-do list

There are books nowadays listing all those things you should do before you die. But I'm not tempted. It's a relief to think as you get older that not only have you never done all those things, but the chances are you never will. In my own case they include seeing The Sound of Music, going to the Chelsea Flower Show and buying a copy of The Economist.

Now I have a new candidate to add to my list. I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter film. Why so? Partly because I have a perverse tendency to assume that when something is enormously popular it won't be any good. That, as I pointed out only recently, explains why I kept well away from The King's Speech film.

But also, I must confess, I am put off by seeing pictures of JK Rowling in the papers, most recently seen launching a new Harry Potter game on the internet. And it seems unfair that someone like her should be not only amazingly talented, successful and rich but also very pretty and youthful-looking.

It's illogical, I know, but there it is. I shall go to my grave with no Harry Potter in my intellectual baggage. And no special regrets, I have to add.



React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A homeless person sleeps in the streets  

This is why I am sleeping rough outside the party conferences

Max J Freeman
Strikes were carried out by manned air force and navy aircraft (File photo)  

Syria air strikes: President Assad now has the enemy he always wanted – Islamist terrorism

Kim Sengupta
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits