190 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Craig says:

    The paper review panel on Broadcasting House consisted of Conservative MP Graham Brady, ubiquitous comedian Arthur Smith and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. There were some telling moments (as ever) from presenter Paddy O’Connell:

    1. After Arthur Smith had been going on (as generic Radio 4 comedians tend to do) about the “ghastly” rich, Paddy returned to him to say “Arthur Smith, you gave us the ‘Rich List’ in the ‘Sunday Times’. You’ve got another list for us, which is more optimistic.” Rather a negative take on the ‘Rich List’ (all that success, all that effort rewarded – by and large!) don’t you think?

    2. When Graham Brady gave an unfunny fact about rainfall in Manchester, Paddy said “Well OK, so not that funny but it is nonetheless very dry, that’s the headline!” At which point Arthur Smith chipped in with every generic Radio 4 comedian’s favourite punchline – “He is a Tory!” Paddy O’Connell never gets the giggles but here he couldn’t contain himself: “Um, Graham Brady (laughter), Graham Brady, you can either take (laughter) take aim at Arthur Smith (laughing as he speaks) as he snuck something in there or (still laughing) go on with the papers, Sunday Express page 2 (still laughing).” That’s obviously the way to get any BBC employee to crack up with laughter live on air – tell a joke that ends “He is a Tory”!

    3. Unusually at the end of the paper review, Paddy said some more things about his guests, asking the actor about an award he’s getting tonight. The actor replied, after which Paddy invited him to attack the unsuspecting Tory, “And we’ve got a senior Conservative with us and there was a lot of talk from the British film industry that they were being ‘nutcrackered’ I remember. Do you want to take a view on that?” The actor however didn’t want to get roped into what was clearly meant as a classic Tory ambush and asked Mr Brady what he thought instead. Mr Brady said the film industry is still doing very well.

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    • sue says:

      Has anyone ever seen Arthur Smith being a comedian? I’ve only ever seen or heard him on talking-head shows such as grumpy old men. He’s always introduced as ‘Arthur Smith, comedian’, but how do they know?

      Incidentally I read that the new controller Danny Cohen who asked for more workin’ class comedy has axed the only two workin’ class comedies on the Beeb. ‘Whites’ (I thought it was good) and Jo Brand’s ‘Getting on’ which was good too. Remarkably so, considering.
      Alan Davies aint too pleased.

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      • Scott says:

        Well, the misrepresentation of Danny Cohen’s comments notwithstanding (I’d say you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the Daily Mail, but it’ll fall on the usual deaf ears), he’s controller of BBC1 – and Whites was a BBC2 commission, while Getting On was BBC4. Cohen would have had nothing to do with those series not being recommissioned.

        But hey ho – nice to see Biased BBC’s reputation for accuracy (or lack thereof) is intact…

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        • Scott says:

          Oh, and Arthur Smith is a great comedian and playwright. He’s up in Edinburgh for the Festival Fringe every year – but if you can’t get up there, he’s doing a preview show at the E4 Udderbelly Festival on the South Bank in July.

          If you get a chance to read his autobiography, “My Name is Daphne Fairfax”, I’d recommend it.

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          • George R says:

            “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian.

            Well, they’re not laughing now. “


            (Bob Monkhouse.)

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          • sue says:

            Are you accusing me of having the usual deaf ears?
            Sorry Scott, I assumed Danny Cohen’s remark about the BBC needing more blue collar comedy covered the whole of the BBC. My mistake.

            Arthur Smith doesn’t seem funny with his current hairdo but I expect he’s hilarious with a fringe, and your comment about accuracy is a bit rich from someone who can’t tell the difference between the  Mail and the Telegraph. 😀
            (That was meant to be a smile, but something has gone wrong with the emoticons)

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            • NotaSheep says:

              Come on Sue, you should know Scott’s m.o. by know. Ignore the main arguments and concentrate on nit-picking.

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          • Grant says:

            Scottie,

            I saw him once at the Fringe  and he was crap. If it weren’t for the BBC paying all these clones with our money, no-one would have heard of them.

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          • John Anderson says:

            Smith is usually very unfunny – and gets way too much BBC airtime.  He is now boring us on Radio 4 Extra (Radio 7 as was) as well. 

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      • Grant says:

        Sue,

        Alan Davies .  There is another BBC clone.  Has anyone done a head-count of BBC comedian clones ?  50, 100 , over  100  ?
        And all of them with identikit political views. I think the BBC has a clone breeding centre somewhere.

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    • Grant says:

      Did, geriatric Arthur Smith disclose his wealth on air ? 

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      • Bupendra Bhakta says:

        C’mon, folks, surely you realise by now that every single BBCC outlet has to have its own ‘Comedy’ Controller, and HR Dept, and set of political journalists, entertainment journalists, sports journalists, business journalists, weather readers, news readers, and people who go off to Japan for the Grand Prix.’

        It’s called… ah, now what’s the word… ah yes… duplication.

        BBCC – Wasting Your Money So You Don’t Have Too

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  2. Will says:

    “The secret life of the national grid” on BBC4 – how can the BBC engineer an anti-tory angle, one wonders. Well a group of Highlanders, only getting electricity supplied in the 1970s were saying how much they had been looking forward to sharing the TV experience. This was illustrated by a bit of contemporary telly – Heath getting paint thrown over him on the steps of no10. Job done, BBC!! (I hold no brief for Heath, but out of all the telly of that age, why that clip?)

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    • Bupendra Bhakta says:

      Never quite seem to be able to find the clip of Porky Prescott getting soaked by Chumbawamba.

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  3. George R says:

    Will BBC-EU report the following?

    Or doesn’t PATTEN want it to?

    “Europe to spend £225million on army of 1,000 spin doctors to promote EU”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8500981/Europe-to-spend-225million-on-army-of-1000-spin-doctors-to-promote-EU.html

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    • crabtreecottage says:

      So…..er….that’ll be about £225,000 PER SPIN DOCTOR. Presume that’s for a year’s work?

      All for writing and talking b*ll*cks!

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    • crabtreecottage says:

      So…..er….that’ll be about £225,000 PER SPIN DOCTOR. Presume that’s for a year’s work?

      All for writing and talking b*ll*cks!

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  4. cjhartnett says:

    I have heard Broadcasting House(or B.H as Paddy O`Connell calls it!) for a few months now,and it is classic Beeb hangover detritus!
    The churches should fill up at least though!

    The night shift handover will be off duty  of course, so we get left with  old Paddy to spit his Gitanes over the wall and think he`s a rebel!

    Pathetic-true,but compared to Fi Glover he`s well …crap as well on reflection!

    We get the usual Wolfie Smiths reviewing the papers. Carefully placed to  sandwich someone a bit gaga and Tory-like Honor Blackman-who is just happy to still get a BBC taxi to promote the new book/film what have you…shameless, but at least we don`t need matron and her pager to know where she is!

    The BBC formula for B.H is just Pot Noodle for the cultural munchies. Superannuated “comedians” like Arthur Smith are exactly the chill out zones equivalent of the Test Card. Time to get Danny Cohen up on a unicycle and show us what “working class comedy should look like”…or at least ahe could give us a commentary on how things look from his high horse!

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    • Grant says:

      cj,

      I love the “left bank”  reference to Gitanes  !  Great stuff  !

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  5. My Site (click to edit) says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8501690/Nick-Robinson-How-I-gave-power-to-the-people.html

    Luckily for Nick and the BBC, the cuts were ‘selective’, and freedom extended did not include choosing media sources… or ceasing to uniquely fund those any may did not find fit for purpose.

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  6. 1327 says:

    Over the weekend I posted that Auntie Beeb appeared to have lost her narrative due to the (to her) shocking recent events and appeared rudderless. Well I listened to the 7am news on Radio 4 this morning and can report that a narrative has been restored. Rather predictably its back to Tory cuts and more Tory cuts with the recent referendum and the entire nation of Scotland being put into a memory hole !

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  7. 1327 says:

    I’m enjoying the discomfort of the Beeb and the entire Political class about the superinjunctions story. Its just lovely as it not only involves so many Beebiod regulars but also the way the can’t bring themselves to say how this entire mess originates from the EU and how our brave Political class can’t (or won’t) do a damm thing about it.

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    • graham duck says:

      1327, I thought these injunctions were more to do with a certain Mr Justice Eady, than the EU, please someone correct me if I’m wrong…

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  8. My Site (click to edit) says:

    I wonder if this may enjoy extensive coverage as part of the ‘cuts’ season…

    scope Scope charityPleased to announce that Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Bryne has agreed to speak at #hardesthit Rally this Wednesday’

    .. especially if the guest speaker leaves any slightly more honest and pragmatic notes afterwards.

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  9. George R says:

    ‘Multiculturalism’ as BBC-NUJ religion, which licencepayers must fund?!


    The wonders of BBC apartheid radio station, ‘Asian Network’, which Director General, Thompson promised to close, but then reneged on his promise.

    “Believing in BBC’s ethos is equivalent to a faith, job tribunal rules ”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384968/Believing-BBCs-ethos-equivalent-faith-job-tribunal-rules.html#ixzz1Lrvi7JsV

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