On 22 July, 2013, Prince
George of Cambridge was born, the first son of the Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge.24/7 rolling news
programmes went into overdrive, covering every detail and sometimes filling in
with commentary on absolutely nothing – as they do.This is a little memory of the day as I watchedTV.
Like my previous volume, Juggling Jelly, some of the poems in this book are funny, some are silly, some are funny and silly....... This is another “pick ‘n’ mix” selection to amuse in a world that cannot have enough smiles. Whilst the collection is for kids of all ages, it has been compiled with audiences of school children in mind - to involve and entertain creative young minds. Having fun with words and writing poetry - now that's a useful combination.
Last night, for those
of us interested and “in the know”, BBC2 Northern Ireland (Sky Channel 972)
broadcast it’s monthly gem, The Arts Show.The subject was singer/songwriter Paul Brady, profiled and
interviewed by the excellent Marie-Louise Muir.This show, to the best of my knowledge, is a rarity on BBC
and ITV arts and culture output.Sky Arts channels lead the pack, producing some excellent films and
concerts (oft-repeated, but nonetheless welcome) but it annoys me that the UK’s
two oldest television broadcasters appear to relegate “culture” to the nether
regions of the schedules.News,
weather, sport and assorted dross are clearly much more important than the
wondrous marvels from the world of creative arts.
The BBC gives us short
bursts of the series Imagine and The Culture Show and a few other smatterings
across the year.ITV, having
ditched The South Bank Show (scooped by Sky Arts, but only six at a time),
seems to be more interested in celebrity over content and attempts to dupe us
into thinking they are making Arts
programmes and documentaries.Sky
dumped The Book Show a while ago and, whilst there have been some half-hearted
attempts by broadcasters to produce book-themed output, celebrities, rather
than writers, seem to occupy the studio sofas.
BBC NI’s The Arts Show
(and other regions may well have similar programmes that I’m not aware of) is
the perfect template for intelligent, well-crafted, beautifully produced
showcases and in recent months it has been a delight to watch poet Seamus Heaney,
piper Liam O’Flynn, novelist Colum McCann, painter Colin Davidson, dancer
Melissa Hamilton, music producer David Holmes, actress/singer Bronagh
Gallagher, actors James Nesbitt, Adrian Dunbar and Richard Dormer, as well as
specials about the Ulster-influence on the New York arts scene, Derry’s City of
Culture and so much more – a menu of goodness and positive vibes from a wee
part of the world that gets more bad publicity than it deserves.
The downside of The
Arts Show is that it is monthly and only 30-minutes long.The upside is that it exists as a
shining example of what arts programmes should be and can be across the
UK.In a week of news that
literacy levels are alarmingly poor, television has an important role in
producing exciting, entertaining and, yes, educational programmes that
stimulate creative thinking and nurture an appetite for arts-related
I am from Northern Ireland and I am of there but I live in England.For many reasons I am drawn to the
media output of BBC NI, Radio Ulster, Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and Irish
News, as well as keeping myself updated with the vibrant arts scene.So, thank God for the Internet.And for satellite TV. And for programmes like The Arts
Show.Long may it reign.
The latest, though not the last, Victim of the vicious blast And the blaster's scramble for martyr, Are affronts to the human race. Is it enough to expect Compassion out of screaming pain, To exploit humiliation from distress In a terrorist's PR effort to impress? In the beginning was Eden's life-defining sin, For the engine of life to begin, For the evolution of the freedom word, The free pass to the insanity of absurd. Dressed for the storm before the calm, The media, the political whore, Eat dinners and smile for the cameras As the blood-red sea laps our shore. We are by the people, Of the people, For the people...... We are listening, you ordinary people, you fuckwits, you saps, little, insignificant twats, and your votes are important to us ....... ....... .......