There are some new things I've started doing since, well, let's be honest, even before a nationwide lockdown commenced. And owing more than ever to the fact I've not seen my youngest nephew in two months, this is one of the ways I can still feel connected with him, through a TV show that both … Continue reading Ah-woof: a post in praise of Hey Duggee
Over 50 years ago, there were two not so little chaps called Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. And they lived and worked together in a disused cow shed in rural Kent, making some of the most iconic and well loved British children's television series for several generations. Smallfilms is one of the most widely recognised … Continue reading Once upon a time in a cowshed: the lasting legacy of Smallfilms
I think everyone is a little bit guilty of subscribing to the view that their age of TV as a youngster was the golden age of kid's shows, and nothing around for today's kids even comes close. Sometimes, that's a fair enough argument to make. I've been an uncle to two nieces and two nephews … Continue reading Muddy puddles, glitter and digging up the road: the zany and witty world of Peppa Pig
On the eve of their 30th anniversary since formation, I have to say it. Take That are the best boyband ever. Don't agree with me? It's OK, BTS and Phixx fans the land over. I can understand your protestations you're hurling from behind your screens right now. But I must tell you categorically that you … Continue reading Take That are the best boyband ever. Discuss.
Ask me to name one of my all time favourite sitcoms, and unquestionably, Richard Curtis' classic BBC One staple from the 90s and 00s, The Vicar of Dibley, is somewhere in my top 5. The hilarious antics of the barmy country parish flock of St Barnabas, Dibley, in Oxfordshire, tended to by the show's titular … Continue reading Bless you for watching: The best episodes of The Vicar Of Dibley
Now here's something to make you realise how much time has elapsed. Did you know that Nigella Lawson has been part of foodies' lives and cookbook shelves - including mine - for exactly two decades now? This month has seen the publication of a special 20th anniversary edition of her debut book, How To Eat, the … Continue reading Nigella Lawson: The Queen of Foodies in Twenty Quotes
I will try not to descend into giddy fanboy mode a la another of her biggest champions, Radio 4 film critic Mark Kermode here with this blog today, but I am just going to come out and say it: Emma Thompson is possibly one of my most favourite women ever. Mad, beautiful, incredibly funny and … Continue reading On her Damehood, the essential guide to Emma Thompson through a series of YouTube videos.
Dear Mr Shennan sir (ooh. Sounded like Basil Brush), Hello to you. My name is Alex and I am 28 years old. About five years ago now, with my ever advancing age (mid 40 year old in a twentysomething's body. Just saying), I made the glorious leap to listening to BBC Radio 2, the station … Continue reading An open letter to Bob Shennan, controller of BBC Radio 2 re: Ore Oduba.
I've spoken many a time on this here blog before about my formative experiences with being introduced to music. And with the return this week of All Saints, the sassier, streetwise and grittier alternative to many of their 90s and 00s pop contemporaries, now seems like a good time to breach this very subject again. … Continue reading They’re moving, they’re coming: my thoughts on the glorious return of All Saints
The year is 1945. VE Day marks the end of World War II, actor Martin Shaw and singer songwriter legend Van Morrison are both born. And in May of that year, on exactly this week, the first in a new series of books for children called 'The Railway Series', charting the lives of a team … Continue reading ‘The Railway Series’ at 70: still crossing the points to new generations