This Life: When We Were Young

Do you remember what you were doing when you first saw This Life? Did you discover it when they did the reboot in 2007? Find the DVD box set in a charity shop? An 8mm film in your Nan’s attic?

Or like me, were you drunk on life (and copious amounts of cider) in 1996, distractedly tapping your fingers on the night bus bell as it might somehow speed up your journey to your room in your parents’ house where the latest episode would be waiting for you on VHS, probably with the beginning or end missing?

Or both.

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Hey Jeremy! What are you rebelling against?


So Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble again.

The BBC’s swaggering, denim disturbing cash cow has been suspended from Top Gear, pending an inquiry into allegations that he “punched a producer”. Clarkson, whose list of offences during his tenure on the show is almost  as long as the Lap Time leaderboard, was on his last warning after footage of him reciting a racially offensive verson of a nursery rhyme was released into the public domain.

At the time of writing, 241,030 people have signed a petition demanding his reinstatement.

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BBC: Bringin’ SexistBack


Inverdale. A noted Adonis. Image via facebook.

BBC Sport commentator John Inverdale, having just watched Marion Bartoli win the Wimbledon title on Saturday 6th July 2013.

I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, “listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker”.

BBC 5Live presenter Tony Livesey, speaking about England Women’s chances in the forthcoming EURO 2013 championship this morning, asks whether veteran coach Hope Powell;

would be ‘capable’ of managing a male football side?

Come on guys. In light of recent events at the corporation, shouldn’t you be trying to avoid reminding people of the 1970’s?

Weekend Highlights: Carry On Groping

Have you noticed that some people are terribly perplexed by the sex scandal gradually engulfing the BBC? Over the weekend I’ve come across several individuals, ranging from people I know to commenters on internet sites, who are questioning the veracity of the women coming forward with their stories.

For this week’s highlights package, I’ve prepared a primer of the most common queries I’ve heard or read, plus a crib sheet of possible responses. Writing it has served as a useful distraction from my own annoyance, and if you’re as pissed off about this as I am, it may provide essential pause before your arm lifts and you find yourself grabbing for the nearest heavy object to hurl at the befuddled applicant for the post of village idiot standing in front of you.

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Jimmy Savile: Keep Quiet & Carry On

Image: @SOTCAA.

Without making assumptions of guilt or innocence, the response of a sizeable minority of people towards the recent allegations against Jimmy Savile is making it increasingly clear to me how this kind of thing might have gone unchecked for so long.

I realise it must be horrendous for his family, but the level of anger directed towards the women claiming he assaulted them – the preferred option apparently to “let him Rest In Peace” – frightens me.

I thought we’d made some progress since the 70’s. Obviously not.

More: Grace Dent, Independent. ‘Soon, Pervert, Soon‘.

Victoria Pendleton: Scar Tissue That I Wish You Saw

Image: Tim Whitby/Getty Images Europe.

Listening to Victoria Pendleton trying to explain her reasons for self-harming on the radio this morning reminded me of a time when I too sought refuge in the slicing of my own flesh. Conversations with people since then, plus the perspective that the passing years lent, did not make the compulsion any clearer to me.

What I do know is that it was necessary, it was powerful and it frightened the shit out of people.

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The Viewer: Alan Partridge, The End Of The Affair

Images via walesonline, partridgewikia

It happened.

The Viewer is devastated to report that after eighteen years of watching Alan Partridge flounder his way through the wreckage of his life, it has stopped being funny for her.

A period of mourning will be announced shortly.

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EDL & Mo Ansar: BBC Big Questions

With the kind of casual disregard you might expect of a person who never lets a story get in the way of a sarcastic remark, I wrote about this recently, but forgot to post the video. It’s the full debate between Muslim commenter Mo Ansar and English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, and the excitement that resulted from seeing such important issues openly and honestly discussed clouded my brain to the point where I could only manage a facetious comment about Tommy Robinson’s poor spelling.

Fortunately for you, Mo Ansar retweeted it and reminded me. You now get the opportunity to witness the spectacle for yourselves.

This kind of proactive behaviour is, of course, why Mo is invited to appear on TV debates about important matters and why I’m scoring  smart points off typos.