Category Archives: Film & TV

The World of Ephemera: Before Z Cars…

Time for some more ephemera, Found in amongst a pile of old theatre programmes, this edition of the school mag of M.C.B. – Methodist College Belfast from June 1949. My mum went there, and must have been in the sixth form when this edition was published. Sadly, despite being a classics scholar and singer she doesn’t get a mention, but… Read more »

“City of stars Are you shining just for me?”

Some thoughts on La La Land I wasn’t going to write a post about La La Land. but after talking about it to an increasing number of friends who’ve now seen it, and nearly all been slightly disappointed/didn’t really like it, I feel compelled to get some thoughts on the page… because I loved it! I didn’t love it unreservedly, but… Read more »

‘Carrison’ and ‘A New Hope’

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Like the whole world, I was totally shocked to hear of Carrie Fisher’s heart-attack, then death over Christmas, followed by her mother Debbie Reynolds just one day later. I’d bought this volume the week it came out, and had just started to read it when I heard of her heart-attack. Carrie Fisher was one… Read more »

A great comfort at year-end

Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook by Clive James Whatever is happening outside, a new book by Clive James is always a comfort to read – something you can’t say about many other (predominantly) non-fiction writers, except Bill Bryson. I grew up reading James’ TV reviews in the Observer every weekend – looking forward to the ways he was able to… Read more »

Two shorter non-fic reviews

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately – including some absolute crackers that deserve a whole post to themselves – and I don’t mind saving them to write about for the new year. Meanwhile, today I have two shorter non-fic reviews for you… Set Phasers to Stun by Marcus Berkmann If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll… Read more »

Shopgirl – Film & Book

Shopgirl by Steve Martin I adore Steve Martin’s writing – see my review of his tremendous memoir Born Standing Up here, and his 2010 novel An Object of Beauty at my old blog here. I finally got around to reading his first fictional publication Shopgirl, a few weeks ago, and yesterday I watched the film, so this post will touch… Read more »

Can’t wait for this TV adaptation, but had to read the book first…

The Night Manager by John Le Carré I can’t be the only person who is eagerly anticipating the BBC’s adaptation of Le Carré’s 1993 novel The Night Manager this weekend.  Hiddleston and Laurie feel like perfect casting, and I’d watch anything with Olivia Colman in. Interestingly, Colman’s character is male in the book, but Le Carré himself has said that… Read more »

Moviewatch – a true story

Spotlight Last night I was in Birmingham with nearly 5 hrs to kill while my daughter and her friend saw All Time Low (an American pop punk band from Towson, Maryland – I’m none the wiser!) at the NIA. I had been planning to base myself in one of the many coffee shops locally and read The Night Manager, but then I… Read more »

A Walk Among the Tombstones: Book v Film

The recently released movie A Walk Among the Tombstones starring Liam Neeson is based upon the 10th in the series of Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block. I’ve read the first twelve – and have enjoyed them all, with a few more still to read one of these days. I read this back in 2006, and my capsule review from my… Read more »

DVD Review – The Coen Brothers do the 1960s folk music scene…

Inside Llewyn Davis by the Coen Brothers I’ve been taking advantage of my daughter being on holiday with her Dad to catch up on TV and movies. I binge-watched Broadchurch (loved) and The Honorable Woman (good, but confusing and irritating), but finished my week by watching the Coen Brother’s latest movie from earlier this year on Blu-Ray. As a folk music… Read more »

Beryl on the box & big screen …

Today, I offer you a survey of Beryl’s work for TV and film, with as many links to clips as I can find… During the early part of her career, Beryl was an actress.  In 1961, she famously appeared in one episode of Coronation Street as the peace-protesting girlfriend of Ken Barlow. See BB in Corrie. She wrote several plays/screenplays for the TV,… Read more »

Book v Movie: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive) I went to see the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen this afternoon based on the brilliant 2006 book by Paul Torday. I read the book last year and loved it, (review here), so I was crossing my fingers that the film would also be… Read more »

Brothers under the skin???

I will get back to writing about books very soon, but an off-duty photo I saw yesterday of Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson in my daughter’s kids’ newspaper ‘First News’ gave me a jolt – for the delightfully chiselled Robert is looking rather like the handsome younger brother of the comedy demi-god that was John Belushi! I couldn’t find the exact… Read more »

An evening with Alan Titchmarsh

The people of Abingdon had a treat tonight. Another national treasure came to visit in the body of Alan Titchmarsh, gardener supreme, broadcaster, chat-show host and great favourite of ladies of a certain age. I don’t count myself as one of them yet, but he is responsible for encouraging me into gardening during his stint at the helm of the… Read more »

Now Titchmarsh is coming to Abingdon!

We’re getting all the big names in Abingdon now. Next to visit is the gardening everyman megastar Alan Titchmarsh. The event promoted by Mostly Books is on Friday September 25th. The venue is being finalised, but tickets are on sale at £6 from the bookshop (01235 525880). Alan has a book to promote (naturally!). I was pleased to see it’s… Read more »

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – were they really desperate?

In the same way that I adored watching Rome and am enjoying The Tudors, I also loved Desperate Romantics which recently finished screening on the BBC. All of them are generally utter tosh historically, but great entertainment to watch – and of course everyone looks marvellous; (Rome also wins prizes for being the most creatively potty-mouthed programme on TV!). So how accurately… Read more »

Moviewatch – Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Yesterday was our first available day to go and see the new Harry Potter film. I checked out the times, and asked my daughter “Shall we go for the quarter past one showing, or go earlier?” … So there we were at the cinema for the 10am showing along with just ten other people in the biggest screen at Didcot…. Read more »

Boldly Going …

There are lots of great programmes on the TV at the moment celebrating the 40th anniversary of landing on the moon. I was nine when it happened, and remember watching the landing on the telly and being entranced by the whole event. I will still watch anything about space and I have many books on the subject, so I am… Read more »