Thursday, May 17, 2007

May Update

This blogger likes trees, dear blog reader. They're rather nice.

Anyway, kids - and all other assorted readers - this is the first update in positively ages (hey, what can I say, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been busy?!) so there are lots of odds and ends to cover.

Monday 14 May saw the first new Book Club episode in six weeks thanks to the pesky Bank Holiday. If you want to listen to it, go here. The books covered were:-
Sally Dugan - Men Of Iron: Brunel, Stephenson & The Inventions That Shaped Our Modern World (MacMillan)
Doran Swade - The Cogwheel Brain: Charles Babbage And The Quest To Build The First Computer (Abacus)
Mick Brown - Tearing Down The Wall Of Sound: The Rise & Fall Of Phil Spector (Bloomsbury)
Ian Abrahams - Strange Boat: Mike Scott & The Waterboys (SAF)
Alexander McCall Smith - Forty Four Scotland Street (Abacus)
Stephen Oppenheimer - The Origins Of The British (Constable & Robinson)
David Winner - Around The World In Ninety Minutes (Bloomsbury)

Meanwhile, in other radio news here is an important self-aggrandising announcement: There was a significant moment in my radio career today as this blogger recorded what is to be his final preview slot for The Julia Hankin Show in its current format. Panic ye not, however, my dear blog disciples because from next Monday ... Keith Telly Topping is going to be a daily feature. (Had you worried there,didn't I?) Basically, what we're going to do is pre-record a whole weeks worth of TV previews each Thursday or Friday and then they'll be dropped, Key To Time-like throughout the week as Keith Telly Topping's Top Telly Tips (devised by the very excellent producer Scunthorpe Steve Drayton). Keith Telly Topping has just pre-rec'd the five shows for next week (including managing to get a reasonably lengthy, and I think rather enthusiastic, plug in for the first episode of Cornell's two-part Doctor Who on next Friday's show). The daily clips - they will be three to five minutes in length - will be broadcast around 3:45pm each day Monday to Friday (they might be five minutes either way but it'll be in that sort of time-frame area). So - if you're as incredibly sad as me - you can make it a daily date in your diaries. As ever, they'll also be available on Listen Again for twenty four hours after each show is completed.

Current Listening:
Robert Johnson
Prefab Sprout
The Who - whom this blogger is going to see live at The Arena a week tonight.
The Woodentops

Current Viewing:
Top Gear
The Riches
Doctor Who
Not The Nine O'Clock News
Veronica Mars (criminally cancelled just this very week in the US)
The Last Detective

Current Reading:
Don Jordan & Michael Walsh - White Cargo: The Forgotten History Of Britain's White Slaves In American (Mainstream)
Patrick Bishop - Bomber Boys (HarperCollins)
Hugh McManners - Forgotten Voices Of The Falklands (Ebury)
Dixe Wills - New World Order (Icon Books)
Sinclair McKay - A Thing Of Unspeakable Horror (Aurum)
David Tossell - Grovel! (Know The Score Publishing)
Paul Smith - Wasted? (Know The Score Publishing)
Several of these may feature on the June Book Club which, all things being equal, should broadcast on Monday 4 June.

Currently Watching (Big Screen Edition):
The Last King of Scotland
Both of which are hugely recommended. And it's not often you can say that about two British films.

Speaking of movies, over the last couple of weeks - between bouts of writing yet more Charmed and Buffy articles - this blogger has been doing a wad of short movie reviews for his dear old friend Diana Dougherty's US multi-media fanzine Raspberry World. For the next issue, Di has decided, perhaps insanely, but we'll leave that matter for another time, to devote the entire magazine to One Thousand And One Movies You Must Watch Before You Die. A fabulous conceit and this blogger was happy to contribute around two hundred reviews of between one an two hundred words each (or, in the case of Batman & Robin, ten words). It's quite addictive, actually (if a bit Asperger's-esque). Below are three samples of what you can expect from the finished magazine:

Almost Famous (Untitled): Cameron Crowe's touching, awkward, stimulating recreation of his teenage years as a journalist for Rolling Stone has just the right degree of wit and insightfulness to ward off potential charges of mawkishness. A rite-of-passage text, a road movie, a social document and sex and drugs and rock and roll. The director's cut - Untitled - is better, if only because you need forty nine minutes more of this film in your life. 'How old are you?' Oh, and the DVD commentary with Cameron and his mum is hilarious.
The Italian Job (1969): Forget The Sting, this is the greatest heist movie ever made. A cultural icon in Britain where men of a certain age can chant along with the entire film and its numerous lines of legendary dialogue ('You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!') Michael Caine is at his Carnaby Street coolest, Noel Coward's last great movie role, tons of cameos by reliable comedy actors and rising stars (look out for Robert Powell as one of the gang), Tony Beckley totally stealing the show as Camp Freddy, the Mini Cooper chase through the streets of Turin and the greatest (literal) cliffhanging end to a movie ever. Magnificent Qunicy Jones soundtrack (thankfully now available on CD). Clever, funny and dramatic script by Troy Kennedy Martin. Forget, too the awful 2005 remake,

Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie) (1980): A cooly detached - and often quite morbid - look at modern French attitudes to morality from Jean-Luc Goddard. After twelve years of low budget, militant left-wing and otherwise experimental film projects outside of commercial distribution, this was Godard's effective return to the 'mainstream', with a sizeable budget and French film stars. Worthy, if for no other reason than where else are you going to see Isabelle Huppert getting spanked in the back of Citröen?! English title: Slow Motion.

For those whose curiosity has been piqued, this blogger post full details on how to order a copy of Raspberry World once I know myself but the magazine's website, featuring details of previous issues, is here.

And finally, as this blogger is away this weekend (a short, well-deserved break at his brother's gaff in Yorkshire) Keith Telly Topping may not get another chance before next Saturday to tell you that, if you only watch ninety minutes of television this year, make sure it's Keith Telly Topping's old mucker Paul Cornell's forthcoming two-part Doctor Who story, Human Nature - BBC, 7:00, 26 May/2 June.

Must-see telly at its finest.


Ian Abrahams said...

What's suddenly got you listening to Darts?????

Ruth is trying organise me an interview with Griff Fender and Den Heggarty ... she was a HUGE fan and has been e-mailing with them recently.

Funnily enough, she loaned me a DVD of their TV appearances and I thought "Ah, I get these guys now ... they're actually rather good".

Keith Topping said...

I stumbled across a copy of 'It's Raining' online last week - I'd quite forgotten what an absolutely STUPENDOUS pop single that is.

I used to have one of their LPs but Christ only knows what I did with it.

They were quite well-regarded for a few weeks in 1978 - they were
funny and about a million times better than Showaddywaddy!

Reel Fanatic said...

I love Almost Famous more than any sane person should, having watched it at least 10 times by now, but I have to (politely, of course) disagree about the Untitled cut .. I just didn't think it added anything to the movie that it really needed