Dispatches from Purgatory#1: Mums & TV

I didn’t blog for a couple of days over Easter because I was in purgatory – a village on the South Wales coast, near Cardiff – doing the family thing. Nothing of interest had happened since my last visit (well it is purgatory), but it’s funny how memories of home come back.

My parents have the TV on far more than Katharine, Critter and I. So when we’re down there, we get to see stuff we’d never normally watch. I see this as good thing – broadening my horizons – although Katharine sometimes slips away for a lie-down.

Anyway. On a previous visit I discovered that for some, Jonathan Ross is omnipresent. We’d stayed two nights and caught his BBC One chat show, Radio 2 show, Film 2004 and something else I’ve forgotten. Normally we’d be happily ignorant of his very existence.

This time I got to see Stars In Their Eyes – Kids 2004, which was bizarre. It’s hosted by the somehow prepubescent Cat Deeley (tried to find her homepage, but you just get porn) who does the most remarkable Matthew Kelly impression (here’s a spot-on look-a-like). The way she stands (ever so upright), the way she congrats the contestants (big hug – ‘didn’t she do well, audience?’) and all his other mannerisms has to be seen to be believed. The contestants impersonate stars from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s – which seems odd until you see the studio audience for whom that’s a little too contemporary. The 14 year old (approx.) Belinda Carlisle was asked if she’d ever heard of the singer: she hadn’t, so she probably has a pushy mother. Inevitably the old dears voted for the star they’d heard of; an okay and very young Michael Jackson.

Oh yeah, here’s the memory… I used to listen to Paul Gambaccini’s American chart show (Saturday afternoons, Radio 1)… every week mum would come in… turn off the radio… turn on the TV… leave the room… two minutes later she’d return and say, ‘why are you watching this rubbish?’… every week.

Dispatches from Purgatory#2: Out on the Village

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