SOME READERS may have heard of or even viewed Channel Five. It is a beacon of culture transmitting documentaries and championing the work of littleknown auteurs late into the wee small hours.
Now the Tristrams have whipped up a Jamie Oliver soufflé of an idea for a series with book tie-in. The Most Evil Men And Women in the World will premiere in the spring and feature i ndepth profiles of such totters as Caligula, and the odd Catholic sinner as well. Torquemada, naturally, And "Bloody" Mary. It can scarcely be denied that in her brief, truncated reign Queen Mary I applied herself with ruthless efficiency to the Protestant question. It's not my period, but I'm pretty sure that while Mary was speedier in the rate at which she eliminated Protestants, Elizabeth I killed a greater number of Catholics during her regnum. Sad to say, programme-makers have deemed Liz to be just not bad enough. At least those remaining Catholic fellowtravellers will enjoy the episode on good old Joe Stalin.
As A GtAntrous undergraduate, I was terribly excited when actor Tom Conti
lingered outside the gates of my college, where was parked a nice brown Rolls Royce.
I mention this not so much to brag about famous-people-I have-seen, though that is certainly part of the reason. (Incidentally, bolder friends steeled themselves to approach this especially Protean thesp, who, fresh from portraying Jeffrey Bernard told them that he was recording a radio show on Cardinal Newman.) But that is by way of a sidebar No, Archbishop Mario Conti o f Glasgow was accosted by a stranger around the time of his preferment. outside St Andrews Cathedral. "So you're the new man?" the stranger said. "I heard it was someone called Conti.
But 'ir re nothing like Tom COM.i In real Life."
CAMD: dOrItCha IONE 'em? Charity is a good thing. The Apostle Paul told us that much in that beautiful passage from the Epistle (a more stately usage to the ,current "letter", no?) to the Corinthians that you always hear at weddings. So do not mistake this little item for sneering. Last Friday was Cafod Fast Day. Last Friday was also the Feast of the Chair of Peter. Canon lawyers, please advise me: were the faithful to fast. or to feast?
To PARAPHRASE the great R. Chandler: Farewell My Lovelies. I refer of-course not to the _Prudes Sternwood sisters. hut to Herald friend Ann Widdecombe's
tragic bereavement. Cat lovers had better surcease from reading — or grab a massive bunch of Kleenexes.
The story is so poignant
that the Daily Mail employed Ann to write a few tear-stained words on the cruel event. When I visited the MP in her pretty cottage a few years back, the house evinced no evidence of cats. No dying songbirds writhed on the lawn, no kittie-litter adorned the vestibule and no allergen-rich hairs stuck to the sof t furnishings. But just two years ago, Carruthers and Pugwash arrived. And now they're both dead. "I hope that in the great feline heaven Carruthers and Pugwash are curled up in a celestial armchair." sniffles Ann. Though even Ann's felinophilia would balk at the fluffy charms of "Cc" the kitten cloned in Texas.
— Martin Marprelate