Sunday 27 December 2009

Queen Victoria

It's Christmas, so there's naturally hundreds of repeats on telly at the moment. I don't mind this because they're usually a better class of repeat. I spent last night chortling to a Morecambe and Wise special from 1973, which is before I was even born, but it was still fantastic. And things like The Good Life Christmas Special ("But this is the Daily Mirror") can never be shown too much as far as I'm concerned.

The BBC have been entering the spirit of things by repeating two great programmes on BBC2 of a morning. First, Wainwright Walks, where party animal Julia Bradbury (did you see her on Come Dine With Me? That girl is wild) hikes all over the Lake District. Lovely relaxing stuff, though for obvious reasons I preferred her Railway Walks series.

Right after it they've been showing the complete series of Great Railway Journeys, which I've series linked. Now I have to be honest: they're not all great. This may be a personal thing, but watching Timmy Mallett take the Paraguayan Express (or whatever) has a limited appeal for me. Yes, it's very pretty, but after a while it just becomes scenery to me. It's hard to relate to the Lake Titicaca Sleeper because it's such an alien experience.

However, on Tuesday morning (the 29th December), they are showing Victoria Wood going from Crewe to Crewe. I've mentioned this before because, quite frankly, it's amazing. HRH Victoria Wood travels around the country in the dying days of British Rail, meeting drunken Scotsmen, heading to Thurso (and turning around again), and going to Woolworths to see if the Pick 'n' Mix is different to the stuff back home. It's funny, it's clever, it's heartfelt, and I strongly urge you all to watch it. It'll ring a bell for anyone who's been stranded at Crewe, or travelled on a crappy diesel out into the wilds, or has waited on a wet platform for a train that never came. Record it. Treasure it. At the very least it should help erase the memory of that awful special she did on Christmas Eve (and how it pains me to say that). At least there are no dodgy jokes about crinoline or fat people dancing for your amusement.


Robert said...

There's a follow-up of sorts in the New Year as starting on BBC2 on 4th January at 6.30pm is a new series: Great British Railway Journeys, which runs every weeknight at least until the 22nd which is far ahead as my listings go.

Looks good: the down side is that it's presented by Michael Portillo.

Episode 1 is billed as Liverpool to Eccles which doesn't seem to quite live up to the title of the series, but still...

Scott Willison said...

I looked it up in my Radio Times and it does look good. The minus is that it's presented by Miguel Portillo, as you say, but by starting in Liverpool I think we're going to get lots of hot HUSKISSON! action so it's not all bad.

I have just finished giggling my way through the Victoria Wood Great Railway Journey and it was just as good as I remembered. In fact I was surprised by how much I did remember considering I haven't seen it for fifteen years. "We didn't film this, but a man from ScotRail caught his trousers on a bit of protruding metal and flashed his turquoise Y-fronts. You'd have never got Trevor Howard doing that." It's also nice to see that her fears about through ticketing aren't as bad as we'd feared, and also that the fashion for rubbish outfits for station employees has, if anything, increased.

Also on a personal note, that was my 100th post. Woo!