Thursday, December 12, 2013

Michael Palin the explorer and new BBC HD Channels

Now Michael Palin has been hitting the headlines because of a series of 2014 reunion gigs with his comedy crew (Monty Python's Flying Circus). Now I'm not sure that the idea of a group of seventy plus performers re interpreting their day in the sun really works apart from an opportunity for people to say 'We saw Monty Python live' - for me comedy isn't the new rock 'n' roll and there's probably too much nostalgia on stage these days too.
Feel the anticipation?
Anyway what was perhaps most noticeable at yesterday evening's London Centre Royal Television Society lecture given by Michael was how politely the audience were in not asking him about the millions of pound it will deliver to him and his colleagues - I don't think that money can be the main motivation but of course it is the main headline.
In fact Michael stuck to his brief of '25 years on the Road' (this being longer in fact than his time as a comedy performer/writer/actor) his was a relaxed stroll down the memory lane that had circumnavigated the globe and then gone pole to pole, he amused with stories that included a trip to a Japanese replica Dutch town  ( the place is called Huis Ten Bosch  it's in Nagasaki if you want to find out more ) here a group of clog wearing musicians had delivered a version of Bohemian Rhapsody from their bicycles and he also described the pleasure of traveling on the top of trains in Khartoum.

I had heard that Mr Palin was not the first choice for 'Around The World in 80 Days' but he revealed the fact which was new to me was that Noel Edmonds had declined the opportunity to do the first of the travel shows that now seem so natural for him (perhaps not a bad thing for all of us Noel included).
Still happens on some trains today
New BBC home - short of dosh?

New HD channels from BBC

so it's nice to able to report (although if relevant you probably know) that the High Definition channel versions promised have arrived and they're ahead of the 2014 delivery signposted .
Well done BBC now HD on BBC TV 3 and 4 as well as News24 and the kids channels - I wonder what they would have done with the money if they'd got a better licence fee settlement?

The Why Factor (BBC Radio)

Also on the BBC - radio this time I've fould a nice little gem of a programme called 'The Why Factor' the first one I listened to was about Optimists versus Pessimists (characterized by the question Is the glass half full or half empty?) - there's a hole archive of similarly curious questions with an 18 minute investigation .
Michael Williams is the man who presents.-

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