MEDiA: From The Oast House, Alan Partridge [Audiobook]

More ‘lovely stuff’ from AP, this time in audio only format. Eighteen wonderful episodes, all approx 20-25 minutes long, giving a total listening time of six hours forty-five minutes. Textbook!

I only wish there were more. Much, much, much more. Alan Partridge and Count Arthur Strong (the latter esp so in his radio guise) are my favourite contemporary comedy characters. Both are afflicted with delusions of grandeur. Aren’t we all, in our own sometimes public but more often furtively private ways?

Personally I think a large part of the appeal of these characters, in addition to the obviously clever wit and wordplay and occasional broad humour, is how they they play on the sensitive nerves of our fragile egos.

As much as aspects of their appalling self-regard and utter tactlessness may sometimes seem repellent, they’re also wounded but proud, wilfully set on going their own way. And I think both have sufficient humanity that we even identify with and love them – certainly I do – despite or because of all their glaring faults.

Characters like Partridge act as a comedy valve, allowing us to guffaw at the crassness of our own or others’ feeble fractured egos, simultaneously pompous and over inflated, and yet always covered in the peeling band-aids we all use to hide our frailties. Licking our wounds and dreaming of the greatness the world so often obtusely fails to recognise as our obvious just desserts.

From The Oast House is amongst the best Partridge we’ve been served for a long while, and overall far better for being ‘pure Partridge’ than the recent-ish TV show This Time, which was great, but perhaps over diluted by the abundance of ‘straight’ characters.

Coogan and co walk a fine line very adeptly, and perhaps the high wire act of balancing crass Tory corporate buffoon with lonely estranged single-dad (and now grandad), with an obvious if peevish intelligence, and even a penchant for half-decent poetry – Autumn Leaves, anyone!? – is at the heart of what makes Partidge, for me at least, easily the best single character comedy creation of our times.

Each episode works as a stand-alone bauble. But the whole lot form a necklace of pearls. Some threads, such as the ongoing cyber-drama of Partridge and his troll nemesis ‘High Noon’, run through the series. Other facets are singular to their given episode.

One constant is, of course, the erratic flight of a proud Partridge. And here, alone (or near enough; we have interactions with Rosa, his NDA-signed Philippino cleaner, and other occasional interlopers*) with his podcasting tech, we are treated to hours of pure unfiltered Alan. Love it!

For me, just over six and a half hours of vintage single malt Alan is both massively welcome, and yet not enough to slake the thirst. Come on Coogan et al, uncork the bottle and let the genie-us out!

* Lynn is, as so often in the non-TV Partridge stuff (like the books) a constant presence in the wings. Unseen/unheard, but there, as a sounding board (and many other things), for Alan.

BOOK REViEW: Erebus, Michael Palin

Well, this was an ace read, no mistake! I was glued to it from start to finish. Palin has, as we all know, a very engaging character. And he writes as well, better even, perhaps, than he presents TV travel adventures.

In this very easy to read and rather compelling book he tells the story of the ship Erebus, a ‘bomb ship’ converted for polar exploration, that has a fascinating story, full of life and death. For the sake of ease and simplicity, we can call the life part the Ross expedition, and the death part the Franklin expedition.

Built in the wake of the Napoleonic wars, it’s military or naval purpose condemned Erebus to the doldrums of instant obsolescence, initially. Until she was realised to be, along with the equally scarily named (slightly older and slightly smaller) Terror, perfectly suited to adaptation for work in the polar extremes.

Designed and built to be quite small but very strong, so as to carry heavy mortars (the ‘bombs’), she needed less fiddling with to be made ready for the freezing conditions of polar exploration than most ships.

Survivors trek southwards.

Palin tells her tale, from her birth at Pembroke in Wales, to her re-fitting(s), and her periods of idleness at Chatham, right the way through to when the ‘nearly ship’ of the British Navy became one of the most famed.

As well as the story of the boat, there’s also the interwoven strands of broader history. After Napoleon’s defeat, Britain’s maritime pre-eminence helped these tiny islands punch well above their weight internationally, helping found a massive global empire.

And this empire was growing apace as much for reasons of a more enlightened kind, as for those more normal reasons of imperialistic avarice; ever more wealth and power. Erebus would find fame not for her martial prowess, but for furthering knowledge and science, as well as national and commercial interests. Oh, and for both triumph and tragedy.

And so it is that the 19th C. enquiry into global geo-magnetism assumes an important place in these tales. This is a golden Age of Enlightenment influenced rational science. The era of Darwin and the rise of ‘natural history’. And representing that we have several characters, chief of whom is Joseph Hooker, aged just 22, travelling on Erebus, under the care of the dashing Captain, James Ross.

This document has two handwritten notes on it. One says ‘All Well’. The other? Less so… *

Having already followed Erebus’ career, from manufacture to patrolling the Med, and then into Ordinary (semi-retirement!), the biggest chunk of the book is concerned with an epic four year voyage to the Antarctic, under Ross. It’s terrifically evocative and gripping stuff!

After the triumphant return of this initial expedition, it’s successes – which were by no means complete – soon lead to another attempt at finding the fabled ‘Northwest Passage’. But this time the crew on Erebus, under Capt. JohnFranklin, would be almost entirely different, as would their fate.

Intriguingly several characters we have already met in the Erebus’ former wanderings – such as Franklin and Crozier – come into the foreground in this ‘second act’ of polar adventure. And it is their misfortunes that we follow next.

Palin does a great job of telling this story in a way that maintains one’s interest, because, at the crucial moment in the doomed second voyage, all goes eerily quiet. Franklin, who we first meet in Tasmania, and is now Captain of Erebus, and all aboard both Erebus and Terror, simply vanish. No news is forthcoming.

One of the many ‘rescue’ missions, makes a grim discovery.

As anxieties mount back home, officials dither. This is partly understandable, as polar explorers were known to get frozen in over winter. But the degree of tardiness in the face of growing certainty that something was wrong is pretty shocking.

The story then switches from that of the boat and her crew to that of those searching for her/them. And here things are slow and patchy in developing. Once again Palin unfolds this in a masterful manner, maintaining one’s interest where it might, like the attempts to locate the lost explorers, have simply petered out.

And thus it is that the Erebus’ story brings us up to very near the present day, as she is eventually located, in 2014.

Our voyages of exploration, unlike Ross’, Franklin’s, and even Palin’s (he journeys in the footsteps – or should I say wake? – of these heroic explorers) may be from the cosy comfort of our homes. But Palin takes us, through words and pictures, on an amazing journey, to the very ends of the earth.

A computer enhanced sonar image of the wreck of Erebus.

And this fantastic story takes in not just heroism and the awful sublime grandeur of nature, at her most powerfully disinterested in us mere mortals, but runs the gamut of feelings, from intoxicated wonder (and plain old intoxication; these are rum-soaked sailors, after all) and elation, to illness, death, and horror.

Beautifully written, on a fascinating subject; well illustrated, with maps, old paintings and prints, and plentiful photos (ranging from daguerreotypes of crews, to kelp festooned wreckage), this really is a fantastic book!

* This is the only written document covering the death throes of the Franklin expedition to have survived and come down to us.

This model of Erebus shows her in her warlike guise.

PS – I love model ships, and have a few books – one or two rather lovely! – on the subject. I once even tried my hand at building a wooden one, as a child. It was an awful balsa-wood failure (trashed by my sister!), inspired by the three Unicorns of Tintin/Haddock fame. I still hanker after building some nice old ‘age of sail’ type models. Erebus seems like an appealing subject. Hmmmm!?

Also worthy of note, it appears Ridley Scott has made a film or TV series about the expedition, named after the other boat of the expedition, The Terror!

Preserved in the permafrost, the cadaver of stoker, John Torrington.

MEDiA: Amazon/Royal Mail Delivery Blues

Arrived today: an Xmas gift for Teresa, who loves her Hammer films.

Several months ago I ordered a Hammer boxed set from Amazon, for one of Teresa’s Christmas presents. It took them so long to source the set I was thinking it was never going to arrive. But Amazon have always been pretty good at fulfilling their orders. And I order from them loads. So I was patient.

The only packaging was the shrink wrap!

And today it finally came. It arrived whilst I was out working. Teresa, however, was working from home. But even though she was in, she only got it after hearing a knock at the door, and opening it to find no one there. Inside our door was a bizarre courier note for a completely different address!

Hardly in a pristine brand new condition.
Look at these corners!

Outside it was raining. Heavily. And the Hammer DVD set was simply sat outside in the rain. And it wasn’t wrapped properly either, just sealed in clingfilm. As the pics here show, the corners are damaged, and the bottom of the plastic case is cracked. Frankly I think this is appalling.

Both card box and plastic case are damaged.
These cracks on the plastic case are not suggestive of careful transit.

It’s a Christmas present, so we won’t be opening it til late December. What do we do if we discover DVDs inside have been damaged, due to the absence of adequate packaging, and the shoddy delivery service? Simply dumping a more or less unprotected set of DVDs outside in heavy rain really is beyond the pale.

It looks second hand.

But the other side of the equation is that this set is out of stock in most places, and took Amazon two or three months to source. These facts, and the reasonable price I paid, incline me/us to keeping it and hoping it’s ok.

UPDATE: 28/1/‘22

So far we’ve watched maybe four or five of the discs. And thus far they’re all in working order.

MUSiC/DiY: Workshop- Bodhran/Frame Drum, #2 (Part the 2nd)

Viewed from the underside, after a night gluing up.

Well, turns out I needn’t have stressed over this drum not tightening up. It’s tightened up a treat. Very much like the first one. And this despite the cat-damaged goatskin being a ways off-centre (as can be seen in some of the accompanying pics).

All clamps save the one holding the elastic removed.

Next I need to remove the excess goatskin, and then wrap tape and a textile wrap around the drum, before finally securing them all with shortened tacks. I’ll aim to get all that done today. So I should have the drum finished in just a few hours. What fun!

The topside view.

Here, in the above image, one can see how off-centre I had to make the skin, to avoid the kitty-damaged areas winding up on the playing surface. Chester has left his moggy-mark on this one!

All clamping inc. elastic removed… she’s holding!

After a day that quickly filled up with other activities, I finally got back to the drum. Having taken off the last bit of skin tensioning, the elastic, I had to remove the excess goatskin. This left a much messier residue than last time.

After cutting off the extra skin, it’s a bit of a mess; needs tidying!

I left the protective ‘frog tape’ masking in place, so I could clean up the messy residue of goatskin and glue. Using a knife, then a chisel, and finally some sandpaper, I cleaned up the mess as best asI could.

Double-sided carpet tape and fabric binding.

Then I took the protective masking tape off, and put a band of very high-tack carpet tape on, followed by the fabric tape. So, this new drum is pretty much done now. I decided to join the fabric tape edge to edge, rather than as previously, with a fold-over.

I did the join/seam differently this time; no fold over!

The end to end join is nicer looking than the bulkier fold-over. At least I think so! Not sure if I’ll use the tacks this time or not? I’m leaving them off for now. I can always add some late if I feel the need.

Next step is to start playing it, and get a video of that up. So folk can hear how it sounds. I’ll be making a few more. I really want one with a much deeper bass note. So I either need less tension, and/or a bigger drum shell.

FiLM REViEW: Night Of The Living Dead, 1968

The orgy of horror continues! With a classic from 1968, the year my dear Teresa was born; the Summer Of Love, and zombies! This has become a cult classic. And it’s not hard to see why.

Brother and sister, Barbara and Johnny, are visiting the cemetery, to pay their respects to their deceased father. At the graveyard a lumbering figure approaches, and it all turns from dull day out to spooky weirdness. In an instant.

A visit to the cemetery…

What’s notable about this is how it does a lot with very little. Barbara flees from the graveyard assailant, and after crashing her car ends up in a house, empty save for a rotten corpse at the top of some stairs. She’s soon joined by Ben. Barbara, in shock, is mute. Ben sets about securing the house, fighting off a few zombies, setting a couch on fire to keep them off, and hunkering down defensively.

Ben finds and switches on a radio. We hear a voice describing what’s going on. Barbara momentarily comes out of her shell, only to get hysterical over the fate of her brother, Johnny. When Ben goes upstairs, Babs sits silently on the couch, getting freaked out by the newscaster and his reports of zombie cannibalism.

Numbers at the house grow.

Two men then come up from the cellar. So now there are four… no, wait, there’s a family downstairs. Oh, and the girlfriend of the other guy. So it becomes three in the basement and four upstairs. And tensions grow between the two parties. It’s simple enough, but fairly realistic and well done.

The kitchen sink aspect, of everyday life going horribly awry, and the ‘Alamo’ vibe of defending the homestead, combine very effectively. The ‘verité’ aspects are further enhanced by use of the radio and TV reportage interjections. And elements of the direction, from tilted/angled camera work, right down to the movie being shot in stark black and white, add up to a simple but powerful formula.

Will any of the normal folk get out alive?

And it’s a formula that’s been hugely influential. Spawning a franchise and countless rip-offs or homages. The cast are all obscure unknowns, only a few of whom would continue to work in the industry, unlike director George Romero, for whom the movie launched a whole successful career.

Tom (Keith Wayne) and Judy (Judith Ripley) are progenitors of the ‘classic’ young himbos and bimbos that would become future horror movie staples; Harry Cooper (Karl Hardman) is the uptight dad, whilst Helen (Marilyn Eastman), his wife, is, like Judy, very gorgeous. Their immobile injured/ill daughter turns out, surprise surprise, to be infected.

Fighting off the ghoulish hordes.

Having learned from the radio that a civic response is getting underway, and rescue centres are opening up, an attempt is made to escape. Only Ben survives to return to the ‘ranch’, where the zombie siege gradually intensifies. A short scene of cannibalism at the burnt-out escape truck ensues, and is, whilst risibly primitive by todays standards, special-effects wise, nonetheless pretty disturbing.

Interestingly there is no mention of the z for zombie word. Instead the walking cadavers are referred to as ‘ghouls’. How ironic then, that Night Of The Living Dead should spawn, usher in, or re-animate a veritable zombie invasion!

The Cardille segment…

The segment with ‘chief McLellan’ is great, with TV personality Bill Cardille as himself, interviewing the head of a posse of ghoul-hunters. History has, with incredible irony, seen the rise in the US of zombie legions who, instead of being hunted by such vigilante posses, are instead those self same gun-toting rednecks; it was these ‘ghouls’ that besieged the US Capitol after Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election. As Partridge might say, at this point, you couldn’t make this stuff up!

… where he interviews ‘chief McClellan’ is great.

As the siege reaches its climax, young miss Cooper finally arises from her sickbed… to butcher and feast upon her parents! As primitively done as it is, it’s still a potent shocking scene. And it makes this movie, along with Hitchcock’s Psycho, an antecedent to the whole slasher genre, as well as zombie movies galore.

The end of the movie is an absolute classic. I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know it. Dark as pitch! And perfect Halloween viewing.

Black and white gore-shocker!

MUSiC/DiY: Workshop – Bodhran/Frame Drum, #2 (Part the 1st)

Having cut the body from a 13” tom, sanding the cut edge.

The workshop is fairly clean and tidy now, at last. I decided to make a start on frame drum #2. I’m not really a fan of Irish folk music, hence it not being a ‘bodhran’, as far as I’m concerned! The last frame drum I made was for a person Teresa works with, who is a fan of Oirish folk. So, that was a bodhran!

I routed a new bearing edge on the cut side.
It has a more symmetrical and softer profile than the donor tom has.

Like this first, I’m making it from an old 13” rack tom. First I cut around the diameter, judging the depth by eye/feel, as opposed to measuring to a set depth. Then I fill a loa of the holes where formerly tuning lugs were mounted, using dowel.

The last one I made was sprayed black. This is lacquered for a natural wood look.

I’ve knocked off for the night, having done that much. I also sanded the cut side. The dowels need to dry overnight, and then it’ll be time to sand then flat, and fill any gaps. if I can I’ll also rout bearing edges around the cut side.

Today, Sunday,31st Nov – Hallowe’en! – I taped off the drum shell, and sanded the exposed area, ready to take the goatskin head, which had been soaking overnight.

I taped off the area of wood that will be visible once the skin is attached.

I forgot about the details of this process, and has to re-learn them on the fly: stretch still wet skin; fix using wood glue, clamps, and finally elastic, wound round several times; clamp elastic; re-stretch skin, re-clamp, and leave to dry/tighten.

This didn’t go as smoothly as last time. And Chester, our beloved moggy, savaged the goatskin, which was very poorly packaged, whilst I was out at work. When I got home, I found he’d left tooth and claw holes in it.

Goat skin glued on, clamped and ‘elastic’d’!

This meant I couldn’t place the skin equidistant from all edges. Instead it was quite a way off centre. This meant that when securing it to the drum, some areas had excessive amounts of skin to grip on/stretch, whilst others had barely enough to grip, or gain any purchase when stretching the head.

I’m just hoping that when it dries out it’ll be tight enough to sound ok. My first attempt, perfectly undamaged, and therefore well centred, came out very nicely. Perhaps too tight. So I did want a lower tone in this second one. But not too loose/low/baggy… we shall see, or rather hear, once it’s dried.

FiLM REViEW: City of the Dead, 1960

We watched this (again) tonight, as part of our Halloween half-term horror movie fest. The original English version is poorly named: it’s set in a village, not a city. But it’s a much better title than the US version, which revelled in the name Horror Hotel.

It follows a familiar old horror film theme: witchcraft persisting into the present. Albeit that the present in this case is now a very retro black and white place! The plot is totally ridiculous, naturally.

Nan, beautiful but very dim…
It wouldn’t be horror without boobies!

Nan Barlow, a terrifically beautiful but rather dim student of Prof. Driscoll (Christopher Lee), visits Whitewood, Mass., at the latter’s suggestion, for reasons of academic research, concerning 17th C. witchcraft.

But before this, key characters are introduced at the film’s outset, in scenes of a 17th C. witch burning. The villagers burn Elizabeth Selwyn as a witch. Now, three centuries later, Nan’s visit is the chance for the Whitewood coven to indulge in a spot of virginal blood sacrifice.

Valentine Dyall, aka Jethrow, phantom hitchhiker and witch.
Patricia Jessel is Elizabeth Selwyn/Mrs. Newless.

These key characters are Mrs Newless, who runs the Raven’s Inn, where Nan is staying, and Jethro Keane. Newless is of course Selwyn, and Jethrow is her lover, who we see invoking Satan to save Elizabeth.

It’s all ludicrous hokum, of course. And the film is also a little weird for the interludes of relatively ‘cool jazz’, as opposed to your typical horror movie spooky music (you get some of that as well).

The 17th C. opening scene…
The phantom hitcher…
It’s always misty in Whitewood.
Hooded figures, more mist, crooked crosses…

These old Hammer-style movies are kind of charming, in a bizarro kitsch kind of way. I quite like them for their antiquated charms. And this is a better than average one, in terms of mood and atmos’.

It’s not particularly scary, more quaint, frankly. Were such films frightening when they came out? I really don’t know. It’s hard to credit that they were. But perhaps for some they were? Nowadays they’re more like a spooky form of panto’.

Nan’s bro’, Dick, and Norman MacOwan as the blind (and bushy-eyebrowed) Reverend Russell.
The dreaded coven!
In search of the life eternal… virgin’s blood, etc.

Nan’s brainless doe-like complacency gives ways to nails on a blackboard screaming when, well… I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen this. Her college beau and her brother decide someone ought to go looking for her, when she fails to rendezvous at a swinging party she said she’d be at.

The remainder of the film changes from following Nan to the duo’s investigation of her disappearance. Culminating in a… well, again, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. There’s a blind reverend, a mute housemaid, and lots of general spookiness.

The shadow of the cross…

Silly, but appropriately fun for the nights running up to All Hallows Eve.

This more modern graphic is used on Shudder channel listing.

FiLM REViEW: Hellraiser, 1987

This movie is a pedigree blackbird, Turdus turdus.

Having recently been indulging in a veritable orgy of horror films, as we approach All Hallow’s Eve, Hellraiser has reminded me of one of the chief reasons I’ve eschewed the genre most of my life. It’s totally utterly awful.

I’m guesstimating that I managed about 30 minutes. After which I decided I’d rather gargle acid whilst having my plums crushed in a vice than suffer any more of it. So I bailed, and instead I’m going to bed with Michael Palin, in the good ship Erebus.

FiLM REViEW: The Blood On Satan’s Claw, 1971

Another October evening in half-term, another Hammer-esque horror movie. This is actually another from Tigon (as was Curse of the Crimson Altar). Fortunately this is a much better than film.

It’s still far from top-notch, frankly, despite having garnered a cult following thanks to the ‘folk horror’ aulde Englande atmos’, very pleasingly conjured by director Piers Haggard. This evocation of a vanished England is my favourite aspect of the film.

What a fantastic shot!

Also worthy of note are some of the camera angles, from a crow, rook or raven or summat similar, viewed from below against a lowering sky, in the opening credits, to similarly vertiginous close in views at other moments, both the look of this film and it’s overall direction are great.

What is ultimately most shocking is the fact that the evil-doers, the ‘possessed’ are children. There are several scenes, all of which are quite shockingly graphic, not in necessarily typically explicit or gory ways, but rather in an old-school suggestive pre-cgi manner.

Childhood innocence corrupted is at the heart of this P. D. James style story.

The twin ‘daemons’ of sex and death rear their horny hairy heads, as paganism returns to haunt Olde Englande. As the film progresses I think I grow to like it more and more. The denouement, however, brings everything rather clunkily back down to earth.

We start with Ralph (rugged, handsome, tousle-haired Barry Andrews), a ploughman, turning up something rather oddly disturbing, as he goes about his work. He reports his find to the local justice of the peace (Patrick Wymark), who is sceptical of Ralph’s country bumpkin superstitions. But it turns out Ralph’s right, and has unwittingly unleashed a formerly dormant demonic force.

The judge questions Margaret (Michele Dotrice).

I won’t synopsise the whole plot. Watch the movie to find out what happens. The chief attractions are the evocation of ye Olde Englande, and a gorgeous vision of rural 17th C. life, plus (un?)healthy doses of pagan sex and death.

Unlike most films of this ilk/era, this is actually a little bit scary in places, in the way The Whicker Man is (although this is not as good a film as that genuine ‘folk horror’ classic), because, as mentioned before, it’s chiefly kids that become ‘possessed’ and act out the evils of their demonic master.

Angel and Cathy during a climactic scene.

Linda Hayden is Angel Blake, who becomes the leader of the devilish coven, and Wendy Padbury plays Cathy Vespers, whose fate is one of the film’s darkest moments. Characters are well named in this movie!

The Blood On Satan’s Claw touches upon one particular area that is potentially very fraught, especially in our current climate, child sexuality. And it does so in two surprisingly shocking scenes: Angel’s attempt to seduce Rev. Fallowfield (Anthony Ainley, perfectly cast), and the ritual rape and murder of Cathy.

Rural England is beautifully evoked.

Taken as a whole, this is a beautifully filmed work, with some great turns from actors who aren’t giants of their art. I can certainly see why The Blood On Satan’s Claw has attained a cult status. Not quite a classic of the same order as The Whicker Man , but definitely amongst the best of its kind, I did really enjoy this, as silly as it is at its core.

Ralph’s fate is key to the plot arc.
Ralph battles with boobies and a blade, for his eternal soul.

MEDiA: Lost At Sea

Peter Bird, at sea.

Phew! This was a pretty hardcore watch. I loved the whole Peter Bird part; he’s very easy to like. But he died doing what he loved, or was was obsessed by, rowing across oceans. Mental!

The hard part, harder than his death, for me, is the legacy, particularly as to how it affected his wife and son. Peter’s son Louis has clearly been profoundly effected by his loss, and the film’s subtitle is My Dad’s Last Journey.

Peter, wife Polly, and little Louis.

It’s a very powerful story, equal parts sad and seductive; dreams of adventure, fame and freedom, pushing oneself to achieve something unique, and at the same time being solitary. Those things appeal to me.

But there are other darker sides, such as a trauma in the family; Cyril, Peter’s father, and Louis‘ grandfather, was what we’d now call bi-polar, and committed suicide by drowning himself in the Thames. Peter then went out and ultimately did something similar, albeit in a very different way. And perhaps neither deliberately nor intentionally?

I’m assuming this is Xmas day, at sea.
This image is fab! Oozing adventure glamour.

Using archival film and audio, and with old newsreels and family and friends as talking heads, this excellent film tells a compelling story. I really loved this documentary. It’s very potent. Very sad. But it also has something magical about it. Hard to convey.

Essential viewing.

PS – Louis decided to row the Pacific, like his father, but – unlike dad – as part of a two man team. To face his own fears, and to try and understand what drove his father.

Louis, with the wreck of the boat recovered without Peter.

PPS – This superb doc’ was directed by Johnny Burke, Amy Ellis’ brother. We spent a terrifically convivial night out recently with Dan, Amy, Johnny and a number of others, during which this programme came up Prompting me to track it down on All 4. Very glad I did!