TV and RADIO
by Elizabeth Bano
THE Cathedral city of Hereford and the local Bulmers cider works were subject to two radio visitations last week. On Saturday a sound portrait of the town was presented by the local Conservative MP Colin Shepherd in the company of reporter David Self. They wandered about, visited the livestock market accompanied by suitable animal sounds and spoke to locals.
On Monday morning, Cliff Morgan followed much the same route, as he too, fetched up in Hereford for the third part of his journey down the River Wye. Cliff Morgan was given tea at the castle gatehouse, to avoid a sudden downpour, heard the same animal noises, but on a different market day, and also introduced us to the wonderful chained breviarys which were among the first books to record the musical notation of the offices they contained.
His visit was more fleeting as he had to fit in Ross-on-Wye as well, but he also managed to stop off at the cider works.
Barrister Helena Kennedy has been making some regular appearances on television since she presented the last series of Heart of the Matter which investigated moral and ethical issues on a Sunday night. Two weeks ago she was being interviewed about nannies, and on Monday (BBC1) she gave a personal view on the portrayal of women on television.
She promised that the programme would not be a "whinge" and indeed it was not. Sadly her chats with TV bosses confirmed many suspicions one already had.
The BBC's Head of Comedy was nauseatingly complacent about the tired and tatty sitcoms pumped out each season, in which the role of the wife is all too obvious. A scriptwriter confirmed that he would watch the current output if he was about to write a new series, the TV men always want more of the same.
Libby Purves revealed that after her first few television appearances as presenter of Choices, the management men spent a large amount of time discussing the fact that she wore glasses, and totally ignored the more important matter of how well — or badly — she might have been chairing the programme.
Her attempt to wear the same neutral outfit met stringent opposition from the wardrobe department. They whisked her off to Dickens and Jones to buy 'some little tops'. (As an interesting sideline it is worth noting that the current presenter of Choices has also been a woman, Rabbi Julia Nauberger. The serious religious programme can claim a good track record in ensuring women play a prime role in the programmes).
After much lobbying the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has introduced a system whereby television must reflect the proportion of women in the country and the diversity of their roles.
There are very few women in top management or production jobs and Helena Kennedy is right when she points out the acres of grey flannel suiting which fill our television screens.
Sunday, August 30: 6.32am Morning Has Broken Radio 4; 7.30am Good Morning Sunday Radio 2, Roger Royle's guest is actress Anna Wing who plays Lou Beale in the TV soap opera Eastenders. Anna is a Quaker and talks about her life and her religious beliefs.
7.40am Sunday Radio 4. Weekly religious current affairs programme; 9.15am Articles of Faith BBC1. This morning John Bowker considers the way in which God is present in the lives of Christians in the final programme of this series, A Newly Created Future.
9.30am This is the Day BBC1. Margaret Collingwood presents this service of prayers and reflection on the theme of 'New Wine for Old'. 9.30am Morning Service Radio 4. Fr John McCulloch leads today's service from Thorn Hill in Derry.
1 lam Morning Worship ITV. The celebrant and preacher is the Rev Hugh Murphy at this morning's parish Mass from the Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Whitehouse, Co Antrim.
2pm Scribes, Scholars and Saints ITV. The Most Beautiful Book In The World. The book of Kells was written and illustrated around the year 800AD, although it is impossible to identify the monastery from which it originated.
6.40pm Songs of Praise BBC1. Today's open air programme comes from Padstow harbour in the west country. Cliff Michelmore meets the coxwain of the lifeboat, Trevor England, and visits John Betjaman's grave, and some of the favourite haunts featured in his poetry.