Friday, August 05, 2022

"If I Chance To Talk A Little Wild Forgive Me I Had It From My Father"

From The North arrives yet again, dear bloggerisationism reader, to add a, perhaps much-needed, splash of colour to all of your lives. Or, alternatively, if you've already got quite enough colour in your life for one lifetime, just ignore this bit and go onto the next section which is all about Doctor Who.
The pure-dead-excellent Neil Patrick Harris is set to play a 'major' villain in the forthcoming Doctor Who anniversary episode. You might have heard about it, dear blog reader. 'Many fans [are] speculating that he could be taking on the role of The Celestial Toymaker - although there has yet to be any sort of confirmation,' says an audibly-excited Lauren Morris of the Radio Times (a magazine which, of course, used to be edited and written by adults). Who these 'many' fans are and what they are basing their specularisationisms upon, we just don't know. The Toymaker was last seen in Doctor Who in 1966, played by Michael Gough. You knew that, right? Speaking on Variety's podcast Just For Variety with Marc Malkin, Harris spoke about how Big Rusty Davies approached him for the part without, once again, revealing what the part actually is. 'I get a text from Russell T Davies saying, "So I'm doing this thing and I've written a thing and there's a part in it that you might like. I think it's delicious. Is it okay if I send it to you?" And I say, "Of course Russell, you're Russell T Davies." And he sent it and I started reading it and from the very, very first scene I was like, "Ah, this is delicious."' But, he still didn't reveal exactly whom or what he's playing. So, not for the first time Radio Times have created a shitty clickbait title (Doctor Who's Neil Patrick Harris Teases "Delicious" Sixtieth Anniversary Role) that is writing a cheque the accompanying article saimply can't hope to cash. Congratulations, Lauren, on wasting a few minutes of your readers time. It's very much appreciated as this blogger is sure you can imagine. One is sure your parents are very proud of you. 
Matt Smith has become the latest former Doctor Who lead to sing the considerable praises of incoming Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa. Speaking at the premiere of the Game Of Thrones spin-off House Of The Dragon - in which yer man Smudger has a starring role - Matt said that he had exchanged a few online messages with Ncuti and thinks he will be 'a perfect fit' for the role. 'I think it's the most sensational bit of casting,' Smudger said, as reported by Variety. 'What an actor; he's brilliant in Sex Education. I think he's got something "other" that that part really needs.' Matt has joined several other former Doctors in giving Gatwa his backing - with David Tennant, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker and, most recently, Christopher Eccleston having previously praised both the actor and the casting decision. As noted when Ncuti was cast, this blogger hasn't seen much of his previous (and current) work - though he is actively trying to rectify that situation - but, he is sure, Ncuti will be great. After all, the last Doctor whose work this blogger was, broadly, unfamiliar with when he was cast was Matt Smith. And he did all right!
Returning, now, for another whinge about Radio Times, yer actual Lauren Morris has also, this week, published an article about the forthcoming - and, much-anticipated - BBC drama Marriage, starring From The North favourites Nicola Walker, Sean Bean and James Bolam. The article, itself, is mostly fine - albeit, clearly based on a BBC press release - but it includes one, regular Radio Times house style aspect which, sad to report, really gets on this blogger's tit-end. So annoying is this, in fact, that it requires this blogger to bellow the 'Nutty Norman' song at the top of his voice until he calms down ('Nutty Norman's coming to town/You'd better hide the bread knife'). Allow this blogger to quote what has so vexed him and got his mad right up: 'The drama, written and directed by Mum's Stefan Golaszewski, follows Ian (Game Of Thrones' Bean) and Emma (Unforgotten's Walker) as they explore the hopes and fears of their marriage, from insecurities and jealousies to funny, moving moments ... The drama, which will air on Sunday 14 August, also stars New Tricks' James Bolam as Emma's father, Gerry.' For feks sake has everybody taken The Stupid Pill, or what? Seriously, dear blog reader, if you are reading the Radio Times website and need to be told that Sean Bean was in Games Of Throne, Nicola Walker was in Unforgotten and Jimmy Bolam was in New Tricks then there is no hope for you and you might as well end your visit to the gaff at your earliest opportunity. You are advised, instead, to visit your local DVD emporium and pick up complete series copies of Sharpe, [spooks] and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads for your further education. Anyway, at least the drama itself looks terrific judging by the trailer.
An exhibition has opened in Bradford marking the one hundredth anniversary of the BBC. 'Switched On' at the city's National Science & Media Museum (this blogger's been there. It's very nice) covers the first radio broadcasts, the arrival of television to today's streaming services. It focuses on 'fourteen pioneers linked with broadcasting innovations' including Sir David Attenborough who led the introduction of colour television when he was controller on BBC2. The exhibition runs until January 2023. Other people featured include electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire. Visitors will be able to try their hand at operating a TV camera or taking part in a radio broadcast in a number of interactive exhibits. Curator of television and broadcast Lewis Pollard said the museum was 'incredibly excited to be taking part in the celebrations of the BBC's centenary. Our museum tells the stories of sound and image technologies and their impact on our lives and many of our objects would not be possible without the achievements of broadcasters like the BBC and the trailblazers who have continued to push the boundaries over the last one hundred years,' he said. The British Broadcasting Company, as the BBC was originally called, made its first radio broadcast from its London studio, 2LO on 14 November 1922. It was the first broadcaster in the world to provide a regular 'high definition' television service with daily broadcasts starting in 1936 from its studio in Alexandra Place. July 1967 saw the first full colour TV service in Europe introduced on BBC2.
The actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, who has died aged eighty nine, was one of the first black women to be featured regularly on American television in a non-subservient role when she played the communications officer Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek (1966 to 1969). She was also involved in one of the US's first small-screen inter-racial kiss (see footnotes). When Nichols considered leaving Star Trek at the end of the first series, a chance meeting with the civil rights leader Martin Luther King at a fundraising event changed her mind. 'He said I had the first non-stereotypical role, I had a role with honour, dignity and intelligence,' she recalled in 2011. 'He said: "You simply cannot abdicate. This is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we'd see this on TV."' Returning to the part that she had seen simply as a stepping stone to Broadway, Nichols took it more seriously and reprised it in Star Trek's spin-off movies. She saw Uhura - her name was based on 'uhuru', the Swahili for 'freedom' - not only as a role model for black people, but also for women with ambitions to become astronauts or scientists.
Star Trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry, championed sexual and racial equality and presented a hopeful vision of the future in the series. 'The promise of that imaginary universe was real to me,' wrote Nichols in her 1994 autobiography, Beyond Uhura: Star Trek & Other Memories. 'I am still very proud of Uhura: proud of who she was (or will be) and what she represented, not only in her time but in ours.' Nichols was born in Robbins, Illinois, the daughter of Samuel, a chemist who had just served as mayor of that town and his wife, Lishia. Her paternal grandfather, a white Southerner, had alienated his parents by marrying a black woman. After Nichols and her family moved to Chicago, she studied dance at the Chicago Ballet Academy from the age of twelve. Two years later her professional career began as a singer and dancer in the revue College Inn at the Sherman House hotel. Later she toured the US, Canada and Europe with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton's jazz bands (1950 to 1951), appeared in the revue Calypso Carnival at Chicago's Blue Angel nightclub and performed as a solo singer and dancer. Moving to Los Angeles, Nichols was a principal dancer in the film version of Porgy & Bess (1959), which led to her being cast as the campus queen Hazel Sharpe in the original production of Kicks & Co at The Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago (1961). Although the musical was a flop, Hugh Hefner saw Nichols and booked her to appear at his Playboy Club. In 1964, she acted in an episode of Roddenberry's series, The Lieutenant, a drama about the marine corps. She then auditioned for Star Trek early the following year. With her character still to be developed, she read Spock's lines and claimed to have impressed the producers so much that they checked whether Leonard Nimoy had yet signed his contract. When it was confirmed that he had, they began discussing Uhura, whose name came from the title of a novel about the fight for freedom in Africa that Nichols had with her at the audition.
In her autobiography, Nichols revealed that she had a relationship with Roddenberry - who was married and already dating the woman who would become his second wife - before Star Trek began. She later wrote a song for him, 'Gene', which she sang at his funeral in 1991. She was also a regular at fan conventions. After Star Trek ended in 1969, she voiced Uhura in Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973 to 1974) and played the part in the first six spin-off films, beginning with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and ending with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Nichols was so associated with Uhura that she was only occasionally offered other screen roles, although she voiced several television cartoons. In the 1974 blaxploitation movie Truck Turner, she was Dorinda, a foul-mouthed madam hiring a gangster to carry out revenge on the bounty hunters (played by Isaac Hayes and Alan Weeks) who killed her pimp boyfriend. She later played Nana Dawson, the matriarch of a New Orleans family devastated by Hurricane Katrina, in the second series of Heroes. In 1975, Nichols formed Women in Motion, which produced educational materials based around music. The initiative later expanded, with a NASA grant, to become an astronaut recruitment project aimed at women and ethnic minorities. Among the thousands who applied were Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space. Nichols won NASA's public service award in 1984. As a singer, Nichols released three LPs, Down To Earth (1967), Uhura Sings (1986) and Out Of This World (1991). In 1990 she also staged a one-woman show, Reflections, a musical tribute to black performers such as Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Eartha Kitt, at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles. Nichols's two marriages, to the dancer Foster Johnson in 1951 and the songwriter Duke Mondy in 1968, both ended in divorce. She is survived by Kyle, the son from her first marriage, who became an actor.
Footnote 1: This blogger fully realises that to get all trainspottery concerning the kiss Nichelle Nichols shared with William Shatner in the 1968 Star Trek episode Plato's Stepchildren makes him the worst kind of pedant imaginable. And that, for doing so, he should probably be horsewhipped through the streets to a place of execution and, there, dealt with. However, the last week has seen numerous published obituaries to Nichelle referring to this as 'television's first inter-racial kiss.' An example of lazy journalism striking like a scud missile, sadly. Leaving aside three known examples of inter-racial kissing which occurred on British TV which predate Star Trek (1959's Hot Summer Night, 1962's You In Your Small Corner and a 1964 episode of Emergency Ward Ten), US television had featured a dozen or more prior examples, going all the way back to Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball in 1951. There's even a jolly helpful Wikipedia page on the subject which should, frankly, have been the first port of call for every obituary writer who was about to make this dubious claim. There, they would have discovered that it wasn't even the first example of an inter-racial kiss on Star Trek involving Nichelle Nichols. The 1966 episode What Are Little Girls Made Of? - a particular favourite of this blogger when he was but a youngling - featured a scene of Uhura kissing Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett). All of which goes to prove an age-old truism, that there is no text known to mankind which cannot be improved by, ahem, lezzing it up. And, on that bombshell ...
Footnote 2: The number of people in the UK who claim to have clear memories of watching Kirk kiss Uhura during the BBC's regular repeat runs of Star Trek throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s seems roughly equivalent to the number of people who claim to have seen The Sex Pistols at the 100 Club in 1976. 'No, straight up, I was in the front row, chief.' Et cetera. Which is 'interesting' (for which, read 'curious') as the first terrestrial broadcast of the episode Plato's Stepchildren didn't occur in Britain until BBC2 showed it on 22 December 1993. For reasons far too complicated to go into here but which have been discussed, at length, on this blog previously, three Star Trek episodes including that one were not broadcast during the series' original BBC run in 1969, 1970 and 1971 and they, together with a fourth, were not considered for transmission until the early 1990s. Whether that particular episode's non-broadcast in the UK had anything to do with the controversy that it caused when first shown in the US (particularly in the Southern States where the racism lay thick) has been the subject of some debate although the general consensus appears to be that it's inconclusive but, probably not. Add this one to your 'Everything You Know Is Wrong' list, dear blog reader.
And so we come, dear blog reader, to the - seemingly, increasing popular - From The North series, Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty One: Bernard Cribbins: 'A thief or a boozer, it's all the same to me. I don't need either one as a barman, quite apart from the fact that half the time he's pulling your tits instead of pulling pints.' Anna Massey: 'Now, look here ...' Bernard Cribbins: 'He can't keep his hands off you! The customers are always talkin' about it.' Anna Massey: 'And what about you? Always fingering me!' Frenzy. Another one that Keith Telly Topping originally had lined-up for later in this on-going series but recent sad events seemed to make its appearance at this point far more appropriate.
Interestingly, that particular dialogue exchange cropped up in Matthew Sweet's heartfelt tribute to the late actor, Hearing Bernard Cribbins Is Dead Is Like Being Told That Chocolate Digestives Have Been Discontinued in the Torygraph. 'In Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972), Cribbins plays a sleazy Covent Garden publican who gropes his barmaid - she uses a more explicit word - and encourages the police to arrest a rival for murder. To hear Cribbins deliver lines such as "Half the time he's pulling your tits instead of pulling pints,' is to feel the world besmirched,' wrote Matthew. At least one of this blogger's Facebook fiends said something very similar concerning the line. To which, this blogger responded that it was a role Bernard played really well but, 'yes, seeing the lovely Bernard that we grew up with reading stories on Jackanory and in The Railway Children as a seedy barman does take a bit of getting used to.'
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Two: Maurice Kaufmann: 'How do you spell that word, "psychotic"?' John Gregson: 'You may have to spell it M-U-R-D-E-R, if you don't get someone over there quickly!' Fright.
A more-than-decent scary movie, nicely directed by Peter Collinson and, in many ways, rather influential on subsequent movies like Halloween and the 'stalk n slash' genre which it helped to spawn. But, Fright, it must be admitted, has the daftest set up of just about any horror movie. How Honor Blackman could keep a straight face when Susan George asks her 'is there anything else I should know?' is a mystery in and of itself. It's just begging for a reply along the lines of: 'Yes, since you ask, actually there is. My psycho ex, Ian Bannen, has just escaped from the loony bin and is probably on his way here as we speak. But, nevertheless, I'm still going out now with my second husband, Arthur Daley and leaving my precious young child to be protected by you and That There Denis Waterman (and no, before toy ask, he can't sing the theme song).' Sometimes, dear blog reader, in horror movies it's best to turn a blind eye to the good ship logic and all who sail in her.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Three: Michael Johnson: 'Schoolmaster. Ridiculous occupation. I don't know why a man does it.' Ralph Bates: 'It has its rewards.' Lust For A Vampire. This blogger feels he must quote from his own work at this juncture: 'A conveyor-belt of titties and naked moonlight swims, Lust includes the most overtly lesbian-sequences in the entire Hammer oeuvre. The Mircalla/Susan Pelley relationship is chock-full of nudity and, erm, stroking. 'Strange Love' accompanies a scene which heavily implies that Richard is performing cunnilingus on Mircalla. Note that she goes cross-eyed to simulate orgasm. Interestingly, she also does this when she's staked during the film's climax. Speaking of that bloody song ... added in post-production, without the director's knowledge, was the cringeworthy 'Strange Love', lyrics by Frank Godwin, performed by Tracy. Legend has it that Jimmy Sangster and Ralph Bates went to see the completed film in Hammersmith and, as the song progressed, the pair sank lower and lower in their seats in sheer embarrassment. 'That horrified me more than anything else in the entire film' noted Mike Raven. Deprived of Ingrid Pitt's presence, Lust For A Vampire is a pale, cheapskate and cardboard sequel to The Vampire Lovers ... let down by examples of randy schoolboy silliness. Yutte Stensgaard's ability to give teenage boys the raging horn seems to be the only reason for her casting.'
Also, given that there only seem to be about three teachers present in this school (including the Headmistress) and that the Ralph Bates character's syllabus subject was, clearly, the study of teenage girls' knickers, this blogger has often wondered exactly what a beau dandy such as Richard Lestrange could possibly be teaching aside from his somewhat Byronic take on English literature. Netball, possibly?
Memorably Daft Lines From British-Spanish Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Four: Peter Cushing: 'Thought this [gun] might come in handy.' Julio Peña: 'Oh, good idea. Two of you together ... But what if one of you is the monster?' Peter Cushing: 'Monster? We're British, you know!' Pánico En El Transiberiano. This blogger bloody loves Horror Express and justifies its appearance in this on-going series because a) it was co-produced by the same company that made Psychomania, b) it's got Peter and Christopher acting their little cotton socks off and c) Telly Savales - what's not to love?
As this blogger's most fine and excellent fiend Ben Adams noted: 'Telly comes in like a force of nature and goes out like one, too ... quite quickly. But, my God, he chews the scenery gloriously while there.' As Telly himself added: 'Anything that moves near that door, kill it!' 'But what if the monk is innocent?' 'We've got lots of innocent monks!' Utterly fantastic.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Five: Jerold Wells: 'Good evening, sir. The table d'hôte is rather nice. Juice, soup, roast, sweet, coffee.' Daniel Massey: 'That'll be fine!' The Vault Of Horror.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Six: James Villiers: 'The meek shan't inherit the Earth. They wouldn't know what to do with it!' Blood From The Mummy's Tomb. One of this blogger's favourite daft lines in this on-going study of great daft lines. It's so great. And daft.
Also, of course, Valerie Leon. Gosh, she's a well-built girl.
Mention of whom, inevitably, led to a lengthy discussion on Facebook concerning Val's popular and long-running role in a memorable series of adverts for That There Hai Karate Aftershave®™.
And, thereafter, to this blogger's confession (sadly, not with a William Franklyn voice-over) that Keith Telly Topping still possesses an (empty) bottle of said noxious splash-on that's peel your face off in certain circumstances which he discovered in his late father's wardrobe after Daddy Telly Topping died. This blogger should, really, have thrown the bottle away but, a) it's a genuine 1970s icon and b) if the dustbinmen found that it would've felt like the equivalent of throwing away a stash of porn. And, here it is, together with one still almost full - if, rather dusty - bottle of Pagan Man (by Jōvan) and one bottle of Rapport by Lenthéric. The latter of which, actually, this blogger still uses on those rare occasions that he is out on the town cruising for rich divorcees and he needs to smell of leather and wealth.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Seven: Judy Huxtable: 'I've often had thoughts about taking you to bed.' Leo Genn: 'It's not such an unusual thought, it's been a long, fierce summer.' Judy Huxtable: 'Strange, obscene thoughts. In detail.' Leo Genn: 'I really ought to spank you soundly.' Judy Huxtable: 'Yes! Yes!' Leo Genn: 'Stop it! You'd only be disappointed!' Die Screaming, Marianne.
Not Pete Walker's best movie, but a sharp, perverse little chiller with some terrific performances (especially from Huxtable who manages to be alluding and dangerous at the same time and is every bit as Mad! As! Toast! in this as her then-husband, Peter Cook, would be in Derek & Clive Get The Horn).
According to the director, Die Screaming, Marianne had lots of production problems, not least due to Susan George and Barry Evans' constant squabbling on-set. It was Pete Walker's attempt, he said, to move up a notch and do a more expensive sort of movie, something along the lines of the psychological thrillers that Hammer had been making at the time, but with more of a 1970's feel. However, Die Screaming, Marianne didn't do as well as Pete had hoped so, in his own words, it was 'back to the exploitation movies.' Which is odd since this blogger always thought Die Screaming, Marianne was an exploitation movie. And a bloody good one, at that. This blogger imagines that Pete meant this was more of a psychological chiller than his usual 'blood, snots and a packet of giblets' fare.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Eight: Suzy Kendall: 'He looked exactly like The Devil!' Assault. The opening shot of which has the camera moving through dense trees to suddenly reveal an electricity pylon. Such an iconic beginning was clearly designed to assure the audience that this was not a period Hammer film. What followed was a routinely dour contemporary thriller which, at times, seemed like a straight mix between Z Cars and Night Of The Hunter.
Assault is blessed with a terrific cast, a reasonably accurate stab at police procedure and a lot of sexual tension. The only problem is an unspoken suggestion throughout the movie that teenage girls who go off into dark woods on their own are in some way to blame for, subsequently, being raped and murdered. Whether that was the production's intention is unclear, but the implication is always there, lurking in the background. The rather tasteless subplot involving Tony Beckley's character, a man frustrated into impotence and ogling teenage girls' bottoms by his wife's crushing ambition, is another unfortunate betrayal of The Sisterhood. All of this means that, whilst Assault is cohesive and rather well-shot by Sidney Hayers, a potentially explosive cocktail of awkward subject matter renders it not very likeable.
This blogger's Facebook fiend, Dan, wrote: 'Watched this the other night. Up there with that Darren Nesbit home invasion film as possibly one of the grottiest things the British film industry ever made.' And, for a moment, this blogger assumed that the Darren Nesbit film being referred to was Ooh ... You Are Awful!
But, the moment quickly passed. Then, he remembered Give Us Tomorrow (1978) which, to be fair, does make Assault look like The Godfather in comparison. What it makes Ooh ... You Are Awful look like is another matter entirely.
This blogger replied that the grottiest thing the British film industry has ever produced 'would probably be a series all on its own.' Additionally, of course, that several movies which were once seen as grotty and nasty and were thoroughly spat-upon by the critics at the time of their release later developed a genuine cult following and were thoroughly re-evaluated in later years and decades. Many of them, rightly so. The Curse of Frankenstein for one (and, quite quickly too). Peeping Tom for another. There's also House Of Whipcord, once regarded by many as a movie wallowing in its own sadean filth and made solely for the dirty mag brigade to have a good, hard wank over in Row Z. Now it has been - in this blogger's opinion, justly - reassessed as a work of considerable merit with some very important things to say about right-wing views on crime and punishment.
Or, for that matter, The Black Panther (1977) which did for the career of its director, Ian Merrick, what Peeping Tom did for Michael Powell's (effectively, ended it) after That Vile & Odious Lawley Woman created a spiteful, Mary Whitehouse-style 'won't somebody think of The Children' stink about the movie on Tonight. In 2012, the film was remastered, placed into the British Film Institute Archives and Hall of Fame, as 'an important British film' and re-released in cinemas. To, broadly speaking, rave reviews. Some movies, it would seem, just need a bit of water to pass under the bridge before enough people finally understand what they're trying to do.
For what it's worth, amongst this blogger's own nominations for 'the grottiest thing the British film industry ever produced' would be Revenge (1971) which this blogger did cover in A Vault Of Horror. Well-made, admittedly, but with a truly repulsive subject matter and, well, just nasty.
And, definitely, dead grotty.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Forty Nine: Diana Rigg: 'Well, the brilliant Peregrine Devlin. Wielder of the brutal aphorism, master of the killing phrase, my father's murderer.' Ian Hendry: 'That's a bit melodramatic, isn't it?' Diana Rigg: 'Forgive me. I forgot. It was your reverence and admiration that drove him to take his own life!' Theatre Of Blood. Twenty-Four carat Masterpiece.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Fifty: Roddy McDowall: 'I was the only one to make it out of here alive and sane in 1953 and I will be the only one to make it out of here alive and sane this time.' Pamela Franklin: 'Who the Hell do you think you are, you bastard? You might have been hot stuff when you were fifteen, but now you're shit!' Legend Of Hell House.
Which is, as this blogger told his Facebook fiends, three-quarters of the way towards being perfect and then it gets rather let down by the ending. A great cast, nicely shot by John Hough, scary and minimalist, science-versus-the-paranormal, a Delia Derbyshire soundtrack ... it spends eighty-odd minutes bloody terrifying the audience and then spoils it all with a gobbledegook climax stripped of any inherent drama. Worth it, however, for Roddy being at his most twitchy. And the cat, obviously.
Memorably Daft Lines From British Horror Movies Of The 1970s. Number Fifty One: Stephanie Beacham: 'You're a right little charmer, aren't you?' Stewart Bevan: 'Get fucked!' House Of Mortal Sin. Another - somewhat under-rated - little corker. Mainly for Anthony Sharp who spent a career on telly often playing really nice vicars and the like, here playing a really nasty one. One of Pete Walker's best.
Getting away, briefly, from blood and entrails (before we return to it, shortly, via this blogger's health situation), in the hours after this blogger posted the last From The North bloggerisationisms update, he decided to do the weekly Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House washing. Instead of doing it at the weekend as he usually does. All whilst he had a, somewhat necessary, lie down. He being, to put it bluntly, tired and shagged-out following a long blog. It usually takes this blogger ten minutes or so to strip The Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House bed (duvet and base sheet) and then, probably, twenty minutes to put the replacements on. Sometimes more. What can this blogger say in mitigation, dear blog reader? Keith Telly Topping is, after all, a man, we don't do domestic type malarkey. At least, we don't it is very well, anyway. Nevertheless, this time around, this blogger managed it with some ease and then spent some hours flat on his back in his pit with the laptop on his chest contemplating the inherently ludicrous nature of existence. But, delighted with his bedding-related efforts (in an extremely sad, 'I did something that normally takes ages a bit quicker than expected way, aren't I, like, the coolest kiddie in all the land?'-type way).
We come now, dear blog readers, as threatened - and with a terrible inevitability of the terribly inevitable - to that part of From The North dedicated to this blogger's on-going medical shenanigans. For those dear blog readers who haven't been following this on-going saga which appears to have been on-going longer than The Viet'nam Conflict, it goes like this: Keith Telly Topping spent some weeks feeling pure-dead rotten; had five days in hospital; was discharged; received B12 injections; then more injections; somewhat recovered his missing appetite; got a diagnosis; had a consultant's meeting; continued to suffer fatigue and insomnia; endured a second endoscopy; had another consultation; got (unrelated) toothache; had an extraction; which took ages to heal; had another consultation; spent a week where nothing remotely health-related occurred; was given further - painful - B-12 injections; had an echocardiogram; had more blood extraction; did another hospital visit; saw the insomnia and torpor continue; returned to the hospital for yet more blood letting; had a rearranged appointment to get his latest note from his doctor. And, suffered probably his worst day yet in terms of this depressing fatigue. That brings us more-or-less up-to-date.
Since this blogger knew last weekend that he wasn't going to of much use to man nor beast (and, especially, to himself) for the majority of this week and that he wouldn't be able to get out to do much shopping (that on-going fatigue thing, again), he decided to order a couple of items online for delivery to The Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House. To wit, a new pair of trainers for when he was able to venture to the bus stop and get to Morrisons or ALDI as the old pair were getting a bit threadbare. And, something this blogger had been after for a while, an orthopedic pillow. Which, it turns out, isn't (as Keith Telly Topping believed it to be) an extended version of the first Jefferson Airplane LP. Rather, it's a pillow for people with back and neck issues and poor sleeping postures. Which very much includes this blogger so, he think, even though he's unable to get a tune out of it, he'll keep it.
He also bought several pairs of loose-fitting socks due to having recently developed oedema as part of the anaemia malarkey, but they didn't arrive until Wednesday.
Moving along, swiftly, to the From The North Headline Of The Week award. Which, this week, stays local. The Evening Chronicle scooping all before them with the peerless Campaigner Dons Traffic Cone Costume As Council Urged To Remove 'Ugly' Gosforth High Street Bollards. Complete with pictures. Bollards, dear blog reader. Good word, that.
Despite being the clear winner, that one did have some, if you will, stiff competition from Wales Online and their My Boyfriend Gets One Hundred Erections A Day & There's No Rest From It. Makes ones eyes water just to think about it.
And, indeed, the Sussex Express's fascinating Reverend Richard Coles: Strictly Star & Celebrity Vicar Gets Stuck In Eastbourne lift.
Not forgetting the Daily Record's Man Who Can Taste, Smell & Feel Words Won't Date A Kirsty 'As Name Has Scent Of Urine'.