F.Looking and Listening TV A fine Bank Holiday week
. end is presumably had business for the television. A great many people are out all day doing things for once instead of watching them, and even if they return home in good time they may well be more ready for early bed than putting a fag-end of artificial entertainment to a day of the real thing.
Perhaps the B.B.C. sensed this-at any rate the few programmes I myself have had the opportunity of seeing were, apart from Mr. Frank Sheed's Epilogue, pretty poor stuff. I am conservative enough not to like animals or the Zoo without Mr. Cansdalc, and I suspect that we were always enjoying Mr. Cansdalc's quiet, unassuming and human manner quite as much as the pets he showed. In fact, he was the best pet of all. Sunday's play, Golden R a i n, though a poor effort rather indifferently acted. had at least the merit of starting the mind working on important topics-thus preparing the way for Frank Sheed.
To me it seemed extraordinary that the subject of football pools should have been chosen by Mr. Delderfield as the supreme test of the sincerity of an Anglican clergyman. I admit that I would not expect to find pools in a perfect world, but they seem to me to have a higher place than much of TV's variety shows. I admit that like everything else they can he abused by the individual. But was it not extraordinarily priggish of the young clergyman to question the servant's one moment of happiness in a pretty grim-looking life when she won her prize. As for the wife, with all her faults, I fell she was nearer to the reality of things than her husband. I hope the clergyman preached last Sunday on the Pharisee and the publican instead of on Abraham and Sara. It seemed to me a pretty dark sort of religion that was being preached in that rectory, and until people are given something more spiritually (rather than merely morally) substantial than pools they will probably stick to them. whatever ardent young clergymen may say.
In the week beginning August 10, in "Lift up your Hearts" at 7.50 in the Home each morning, Fr. Agnellus Andr.ew, 0.17.M., will be commenting on the First Epistle of St. John, providing something more acceptable than the very odd doctrine indeed that is sometimes put forward in this wellintentioned programme.
RADIO. The holiday season seemed an appropriate time for welcoming a new radio parlour game and an old favourite, "Much Binding."
In the parlour game "Chit for Chat," devised by Lionel Hale, members of opposing teams are each given an awkward sentence which they have to introduce politely into a conversation, the winner being the competitor who gets his sentence in first. "I found a dead fish in my letter-box" was one example of the kind of sentence. A good idea, but a little muddling at the first try-out.
The "Much Binding" team are running a newspaper this time and that ought to provide plenty of opportunities for the kind of nonsense that has earned them laughs in the past. 1 found the opening of this new series only fairly amusing, and I was sorry that Richard Murdoch did not give us one of his deliciously absurd songs.
The general level of the humour in most of the "funny" programmes seems to stay steadily low. My family started listening to the "Forces Show," (Light. Tuesdays) mainly because we liked Winifred Atwell and her jingle-jangle, off-pitch piano. Though she isn't with the show any more, we still listen to see if that incredible pair Pharos and Marina ever make a mistake in their telepathy act. So we hear. too, the Forces Quiz at the end of the show, in which we had the almost unbelievably puerile questions morbidly fascinating.
is it assumed that Service men and women are all morons? Jewel and Warns. the show's funny men, also sometimes give grounds for thinking that this is indeed the assumption, though they generally provide "good, clean fun," even if it is not everyone's idea of humour.