Archive for the TV Category

Roger? I still would…

Posted in Film, Heroes, Star "Style", TV on October 14, 2010 by Johnnie

Sir Roger Moore turned 83 today.  They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but I always hold out a little hope I’ll meet him one day.  He was my first pin-up hero, the first ‘person I wanted to be’.  I’m not sure who bought me the giant Roger Moore poster on my wall when I was only 4, but I really wish I still had it.

As I spent a huge proportion of my childhood in front of the telly (which is why I’m 25 stone and live on crisps*), he came into my live (suavely) as Simon Templar in The Saint and as Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders with the late, great Tony Curtis.  I’ve been watching reruns of The Saint lately and they still stand up; he’s still heroic.

He was also my first style icon.  Whenever my grandmother would take me to buy clothes, even as a 3-year-old, I only wanted to buy shirts and ties – that’s what Roger always wore.  Not sure they were matching paisley-patterned ones, mind you, but it was good enough for me. Continue reading


Time to call in pest control

Posted in Favourite Publications, TV, Unwanted Comebacks on October 4, 2010 by Johnnie

I’m sure Irish News Of The World readers are a discerning bunch but surely even the most apathetic of them have their limits.  The new ad for the paper is little short of astonishing, even in a country which has experienced its fair share of shocks lately.

‘Typical’ rheumy-eyed NOTW readers open their fridge and kitchen cupboards of a Sunday morning to find an infestation of various types of pest.  The first three would be bad enough but the fourth is none other than the former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, in his latest guise as a ‘roving’ football reporter.  For anyone who doesn’t know, doesn’t care or may simply have forgotten, he wasn’t just the leader of this country a long time ago, he was elected leader of this country at the last general election. Continue reading

Tony Curtis 1925-2010

Posted in Dearly Departed, Film, Grave News, TV on September 30, 2010 by Johnnie

Very sad to hear of the death of one of my childhood heroes, Tony Curtis, at the age of 85.

A handsome, rugged and stylish man, he was a surprisingly versatile actor in his younger days.  He received an Oscar nomination for his performance as John ‘Joker’ Jackson in 1959’s The Defiant Ones, starring alongside Sidney Poitier and Lon Chaney Jr, he played the slave Antoninus in Stanley Kubrick’s magnificent Spartacus, and was the uncredited voice of Donald Baumgart in Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, but he’s probably most famous for his role as Joe/’Josephine’ in Some Like It Hot, co-starring with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe.  However, he came into my life when I was a youngster when he played New York rough diamond Danny Wilde in ITC’s wonderful TV series, The Persuaders. Continue reading

Moonbase Alpha, we miss you

Posted in Geeks, Star "Style", TV on September 13, 2010 by Johnnie

I forgot this last year, a happy anniversary to the crew of Moonbase Alpha, who, along with the moon, disappeared from the earth’s orbit due to a ‘massive nuclear explosion’ on this day 11 years ago.  Obviously, we here on Earth have no idea where you are these days but we sincerely hope you’re all right.  And that you’re still wearing those lovely one-piece uniforms with the bell bottoms that simply reeked of, ooh, 1975. 

Continue reading

A life in magazines: TV Comic

Posted in Favourite Publications, Geeks, TV on August 3, 2010 by Johnnie

TV Comic was the first proper weekly magazine I collected.  I could barely contain my juvenile excitement between issues.  It would pop through my letter box on a Thursday, even though, somewhat frustratingly, it had “Every Monday” printed under the banner – such were the trials of Scottish village life in the mid-1970s.  TV Comic pandered to practically all my favourite things on TV, as well as a few I had no idea existed.  It had a natural BBC slant, in as much as most of the cartoon strips in it were based on programmes shown on the BBC, whether home-produced or imported.  The first copy I remember owning was bought for me by one of my great grandmothers.  It was a fine summer’s day (I’m not just saying that because I was 5, it really was sunny), and we sat on a bench in Kirktonhall Glen, the local public park, while I peppered her with questions about its contents:  “What does that say?  What does that mean?  What is that?”

It started with a Tom and Jerry strip on the front, one which concluded on the back – good for a chortle but nowhere near as funny as the actual cartoons.  Inside, there were strips of other cartoons too, like Roobarb and Barney Bear – although, I confess, I don’t recall ever seeing a Barney Bear TV cartoon in my puff. Continue reading

Jeremys #2: Brett

Posted in Jeremy..., TV on July 31, 2010 by Johnnie

Second in a series of short tributes to well-known people called Jeremy

With the BBC’s Sherlock on our screens, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how great Jeremy Brett was, both in and out of the role.  Brett was a truly fine actor and one of British television’s most recognisable faces, having put his sharp features and that extraordinary voice to devilish use as a variety of dastardly villains in some magnificent cult ITC series like The Protectors, The Baron and The Champions.  Indeed, he was rarely off the TV as a character actor from the 1960s onwards.

Naturally, he is best remembered for his exquisite portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in Granada Television’s The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes between 1984 and 1994.  To many, he was the definitive Holmes of his era.  Certainly, for an ITV programme, it was practically unmissable and the programmes easily stand up as dramas today.

Brett was, of course, one of those British actors – the type who would automatically be linked with what I call the holy trinity of British acting roles: Sherlock, James Bond and Doctor Who.  Continue reading

Pipe down, it’s a no-shit Sherlock

Posted in TV on July 26, 2010 by Johnnie

Benedict Cumberbatch sounds gloriously anachronistic, a name to do a little more than conjure with.  He should be a Dickensian cartoon character, if such a thing could possibly exist.  Crazy name, crazy face,  he must surely be a crazy guy.  How perfectly cast he is, then, as Sherlock, the latest TV incarnation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes, brought to BBC1 by Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

It’s now set in 21st century London but, as soon as it gets the plot point of Dr John Watson’s (Martin Freeman) recent, troubled past in Afghanistan out of the way, ‘A Study In Pink’ proves remarkably true to the adventurous spirit of Conan Doyle’s original Holmes stories.  As Doctor Who fans already know, Moffat and Gatiss wouldn’t be involved unless they were huge fans of the source material, and would protect its legacy jealously.  Continue reading