TV: Graham Norton Show Episode 5.3 BBC Two

Gervais on Norton, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

Not the best episode of Mr Norton’s show I’ve seen this series although still quite special to see fluffy Ronnie Corbett taking pride of place in the number one seat on Graham’s sofa.

Interesting thing from Ricky Gervais about Extras talking about how another season probably isn’t likely.

The real star of the show was, of course, our cat Cromarty who can be heard fully in the clip above.

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Eurovision 2009: About Jade’s hair

I’ve been in email contact with the producer of the BBC’s Eurovision website today. In part to join in a thread about something fairly inconsequential, but also in a bid to keep tabs on his plans. You know .. just to make sure they’re doing everything right. Us Eurovision fanatics are so very picky and so very quick to judge.

He was quick to point out to me that UK representative Jade featured heavily on the Eurovision homepage today and that if I’d take the time to watch the accompanying video I would see not only that the BBC’s Eurovision website team are working very hard indeed but that adorable Jade was presented in a very positive manner.

Such shameless self-promotion on his part struck a chord with me. Largely because I had, only a few hours before, watched the video myself. 

Frankly, I wasn’t happy with the way Jade was presented in the video. There was something fundamentally uncomfortable about the whole affair. I had originally intended to keep quiet about my concerns, but in light of being prompted to go and look at the video again, I vowed to the producer I would write a blog post about the matter and point him in the direction of it when it was published. I’m just as good a shameless self-promoter as he is, you see.

My problem? It’s Jade’s hair in her latest Eurovision interview. It’s a little too curly for my liking. It’s a bit of a problem for me. She does rather look too young. I preferred the straight hair she had.

If it seems I’m being terribly picky it’s only because I feel maintaining momentum is important.  It’s vital everything is absolutely perfect for the big night. So, I consider it equally important I take every step to ensure that measures have been taken to prevent anyone thinking the hairstyle she has in the video is acceptable in Moscow.

Normally, I would leave such superficial matters to other equally superficial Eurovision fans – of which there are plenty and none of whom I connect with – but on this matter I feel it’s my responsibility to lay it on the line.

We need to spend a little more time thinking about how Jade will look. You know what the rest of Europe is like. If they see an opportunity to have a go they will. If they do, then we’ll do badly. And if we’ll do badly I will be miserable as sin. And if I’m miserable as sin I will let EVERYONE at work know about it. 

And in case you’re one of those unfortunate people who are outside of the UK and can’t watch the video up on the BBC’s Eurovision site, then take a look at her appearance in Bosnia & Herzigovina. She has the same style there and .. whilst we’re on the subject, that pink outfit has to go as well. I don’t like that one bit. 

One Thoroughly Good secret

Blogging. I love the word. I love the look of the word. I love doing it.

But the addiction which has developed as a result does come at a cost.

I’m not talking about the blogging/life balance. I’m talking about the process I seem to adopt when pushing stuff to the web.

Other bloggers I know happily admit to stacking up their entries, getting copy written and stored away for a rainy day. Some even schedule their updates so that blog posts appear automatically. They feel reassured about that. Personally, I’m irritated by that.

Scheduling updates implies a certain amount of organisation. It suggests people plan out their week and their copy in relation to that week. It means they’ve thought about what they’re going to write long before they’re ever going to publish it. Such organisation in an individual is both something to admire and something to fear. Actually, it’s something to fear.

I’m an impulsive thing. I might partake in a conversation, have an internal personal reaction to that conversation and then laugh at myself about it. It’s then I’ll reach for the keyboard, let my mind think of a handful of words – perhaps even stretching to the end of the first sentence – and then bash out everything like it was a stream of consciousness.

That’s why most of what I write goes on for ever and ever and ever. Ask any of my friends. They will concur my anecdotes go on for hours.

When my fingers hit the keyboard I get caught up in the whole process. I love it. But, by the time I feel myself approaching the end of what I’m writing, another emotion kicks in. It’s the ever increasing pressure that as soon as the full-stop has been committed to the page, I must add the tags, assign the categories and click on publish. I have to do it.

The pressure is enormous. It’s like I’m running a race I never thought I’d run and I’m finding myself in the lead and close to the finish line. I have to reach the finish line and I have to commit.

Publish and be damned.

The aftermath of such a method is considerable. There will be a period of say twenty minutes when I’m overcome with a sense of relief. I’ve done it. I’m purged. I can relax now. And then, regular as clockwork, shortly after that, the doubts start to creep in.

Will there be someone who reads what I’ve written and notices the mistakes I’ve made? Will someone find it difficult to get to the end of an especially long sentence I’ve written and then curse my inability to insert even basic punctuation into that sentence? Or will someone stand up from their PC monitor, look down their glasses at me and mutter “He really shouldn’t have written that. The man is an idiot.”

That’s when I quiver. That’s when I reach for the keyboard again and ponder whether I’ve done the right thing. Should I have said what I said? Should I reconsider? Should I, in fact, delete it?

I usually reassure myself at that point that I know my intentions when writing weren’t bad. Yes, the result might be raw and overall point of the piece might be lost on the reader, but if my intention wasn’t to attack but to applaud or be good-humoured or (this is usually the catch-all) be self-deprecating, that makes whatever I’ve done on a personal blog OK.

Doesn’t it?

Personal blogging isn’t easy. Amid all the cries of “you must link to stuff if you are to be a success”, the inner blogger desires nothing more than to write stuff and publish it. The motivation is simply that. If the blogger’s motivation is genuine, sincere and in best interests (not to mention following some simple, personal guidelines about what’s right and what’s not), then that’s the bloggers responsibility met.

Anything else is the reader’s responsibility.

TV: Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle (1.6)

Brilliant, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

During the first of six episodes (1.6 Toilet Books) marking his return to TV, Stewart Lee delivered a scathing attack on “celebrity hardbacks” in a venue which could well have been frequented by the Kray brothers in a jacket one or two sizes too small for him.

The latter was of no consequence. In fact it went some way to emphasise his regained sense of cool.

Lee is angry about seemingly everything, be it Dan Brown, Chris Moyles or the Harry Potter franchise. Even Radio 4 gets a beating and not a moment too soon either.

Brilliant stand-up interspersed with appropriately lengthed filmed inserts and followed up with some excellently executed red button stuff. There’s even something on the new BBC comedy blog.

There’s a reason this stuff is good. Armando Ianucci is behind it all.

Watch it now or alternatively watch the cheeky little clip below filmed on my mobile phone.