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Topics - Lady Penelope

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Radio Matters / Sara Coward (Caroline Sterling) RIP
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:22:26 PM »
I was sorry to learn from a belated check of the Archers (sorry Tru!) Website of the death of Sara Coward who played Caroline Sterling (nee Bone) in The Archers.  I was wondering why it appeared the Caroline and Oliver were being written out, and very sad to learn the reason.  There is apparently talk of her being replaced, but I rather hope not as  Sara had a very attractive and unique voice, which would be hard to duplicate.

I think the fact that along with many others I remain faithful to the Archers (with difficulty sometimes) supports the theory aired on the other thread that one clings to programmes heard in one's youth.

Caroline, to my mind, was one of the best as well as longer-standing of Ambridge residents and one of the most believable and attractive characters.   She will be sorely missed.

Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / Nude with Violin
« on: March 23, 2015, 04:40:27 PM »
4X \"on demand\" , but you will have to look for it under categories, because with their usual standards of accessibility  and helpfulness it doesn\'t appear in \"Search\" and searching for Noel Coward goes to an ancient news site!

Apparently part of a \"Coward\" festival which 4x are hiding under a large bushel.    Not one of is best known, nor imho best written, works, but for those who enjoy \"The Master\"\'s wit, a small flicker of light in the current murk of radio drama offerings.  At least with no overriding sounds effects, and the cast (perhaps wisely) playing Coward  conventionally (apart from the dialect parts) with stiff upper lip and clipped or English drawled accent (even when speaking French!) it is mostly audible.

We spray the fields and scatter
The poison on the ground
So that no wicked wild flowers
Upon our farm be found.
We like whatever helps us
To line our purse with pence;
The twenty-four-hour broiler-house
And neat electric fence.

All concrete sheds around us
And Jaguars in the yard,
The telly lounge and deep-freeze
Are ours from working hard.

We fire the fields for harvest,
The hedges swell the flame,
The oak trees and the cottages
From which our fathers came.
We give no compensation,
The earth is ours today,
And if we lose on arable,
The bungalows will pay

I came across the above poem, (to the tune of \"We plough the fields and scatter\") written many years ago, by John Betjamen, and it brought to mind recent episodes of hkw!  Plus sa change?

Radio Programmes - Info \'n\' Reviews / The Once and Future King
« on: November 06, 2014, 07:19:46 PM »
As usual I only found out about this by accident - in this case a trailer before The Archers that a dramatisation of this starts on Radio 4 on Sunday 9th at 3pm.

It is the story of King Arthur and the Round Table and the book on which the film \"Camelot\" was based.   I am only sorry that it is a dramatisation, not a reading, since T.H. White\'s writing is so clever and funny, but it makes quite a surprising and pleasant change from so much of what we have been getting on R4.  They say it is a \"Premier\" and I certainly dont remember it in any form on radio before.

R4 Extra (The Station Formerly Known As R7) Matter / Choice Grenfell
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:55:49 PM »
Tried to find this programme on IPlayer , but no listing under 4X comedy or by searching Choice Grenfell.    Eventually found a programme of Grenfell played by Lipman, called \"Hats Off\" and lo and behold the Announcer introduced it as \"Choice Grenfell\".     Am I doing something wrong or is that all part of the BBC\'s scheme to get me thoroughly confused.

Here is a lovely quote from one of the Grenfell characters \"Progress these days comes heavily disguised as chaos\"#-o

Radio Matters / Calling Jan: Archers: Norman Painting in DID
« on: August 09, 2014, 07:40:40 PM »
Hi Jan, hope you are OK.

With nothing else much to listen to I have been dipping into the Desert Island Archives listed by Mat here, and this evening listened to the episode with Norman Painting who played Phil Archer and was also a script writer for the Archers, inter alia.   He is an interesting man in his own right , but I thought you might find his reminiscences of the start of the programme interesting.   I found it rather amusing that he didnt really want the part, but was told he would be a fool to turnit down as it would give him a job for ten years!          DID episode the 50th anniversary!

The Pub - Open All Hours / I PLAYER UNAVAILABLE
« on: July 19, 2014, 03:26:50 PM »
I am getting a message \"BBC I Player unavailable due to technical problems.  Please try again later\".

Anyone else getting this this, UKor Overseas, and any idea what the probem is?

3.34 UK time

The Pub - Open All Hours / The Rolling English Road
« on: May 26, 2014, 02:08:36 PM »
Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green

G.K. Chesterton

After which he designed Websites for the BBC!

For those who , like me, preferred the older contestants in Just  a Minute 4X are currently repeating \"Just a Minute without Hesitation\" being a compilation of 6 of the old shows introuced by guess who ,  :  but they are not telling  about it !

Last night I must have got onto it by accident, as out of the blue I found myself listening to Clement Freud and Derek Nimmo,

As I hadnt time yesterday to listen the the whole 120 mins  checked it was available for another 6 days, and tried to get back in tonight.   However in the meantime the first episode of the current series had become available on demand and \"without hesitation\" had disappeared from the Comedy Categories Section.  After a lot of wasted time I found putting \"Just a Minute\" in the search box took me to Editors Selection.   Clicking on the top box in that section took me to JaM and clicking on Episodes just brought me back to the current series.  However clicking on \"Available now\" - Eureka! - got me \"Without Hesitation\"!

Just what are they playing at?   Is this a new audience participation game, and is there a prize for the first person to find the programme they want?

The Pub - Open All Hours / Where is Aunty?
« on: May 13, 2014, 08:44:06 PM »
I have been reading recent posts, (and getting way over my head on the techie ones) and it seems that , despite different tastes and modes of listening they are all confirming a suspicision that has been growing on me for some weeks, that in all areas, something very strange is going on \"down at the BBC\" and the Beeb as we knew and loved it is gone for ever - as a public service broadcaster it does not care about the public,it does not give a service and I would question whether it is even a broadcaster in the original meaning of the term.

Allowing for the fact that it is \"the silly season\" and is probably changing to summer schedules (it reserves its best programmes for the British winter when most of its audience were sitting at home in the evening huddled over the tellie rather than going out and actually doing something) and that the British Government has been somewhat stingy about the licence fee recently and stopped underwriting the World Service, I agree that there is some form of cost cutting going on and imho it is highly suspicious.

Sorry if its my techno phobia showing, but the Beeb has invested heavily in new technology and I supect it is turning out a poisoned chalice.  For one thing in the past it has faced competition only from pirate radio and UK based independent terrestial television.  Now not only it can be accessed worldwide but it is faced with all kinds of competion for home entertainmnet from global sources via the Internet and instead of trying to beat the competition by improving its output, it is drawing in its horns and cost cutting in the most important area -the quality of its programmes. I suspect that (apart from a few noisy and obnoxious commedians) it is saving money in the artistic and managerial fields to invest in more technology

It has always been part of the Beebs remit, and it glory, that it would provide a certain number of special interest programmes regardless of lower listener figures , and for a long time a licence was not needed to listen to radio.  The latter in particular reflected public and therefore Government concern that minority and cultural tastes (and I dont mean racial) should be catered for and  the housebound elderly and disabled should at least have the lifeline of radio.  It is perhaps a reflecftion of our mercenary and uncaring society that these are where the BBC appears to be apllying the pinch hardest.

The Pub - Open All Hours / As I was saying..................
« on: April 22, 2014, 08:56:32 PM »
I think I posted the following extract from \"Three men in a boat\" long ago when there was a Poetry Phorum, so apologies for the repeat but it says when I was trying to so much better, and there werent even home computers then!      

Geek Speak / Wireless Router Problem
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:07:26 PM »
Pease bear in mind that I am a Luddite and technically incompetent, so please excuse incorrect termonology and  replies on the KISS priciple please:

The house is l00 years old and the the walls, stone and rubble, 2ft thick, incl. internal walls.

The  wired connection, the router and the PC were installed in the study.   On winter evenings I want to use the PC in the lounge (because it has a  lovely old fashioned log fire which I actually understand and is cheaper than electicity)  which is across another (windowless) large hall from the study, but the doors from both rooms into the hall are approximately oppposite each other, so I purchased a router..

When the PC was moved to the lounge the signal lowered drastically and  buffering occurred frequently  on radio and constantly on TV.

I and my builder friend, thought the probem was the thick walls and were planning to drill a hole from study to hall  
Then the man from the ISP said that would put a wall  directly between the router and inlet and diminish the signal when the PC was used inl  the study!  AS a temporary solution he has fix the router to the upper architrave of the door between study and hall.   Over a few hours testing in two days this seems to work!    The signal still reads low, but the buffering has reduced on TV and stopped on Radio.   Of course other factors, particularly time and weather, could apply!   It has also reduced the congestion on the desk (which also contains a printer and master speaker)) and the cats cradle of cables! but means I cant revert to wired connection for emails etc. if the router or wireless connection fail.

Another \"expert\" says the problem is not the walls but the space between.    He sites a location where a flat has been built on top of an office with a thick concrete floor intervening.    The signal in the flat is poor two rooms away from the router (with conventional walls) but perfect in the office below the thick concrete floor/ceiling.!!!!!!

Any suggestions??        

   PS  I have tried a \"dongle\" but for complicated local availability reasons, this is not an option at the moment.

Recent posts have made me start thinking of characters in\"The Archers\" in relation to Shakespeare plays and casting accordingly:

David Archer as Hamlet \"To put the herd out to pasture or not to........that is the question\".    Or perhaps Tony \"How all occasions do inform against me\"\"

Tragedy Queen Helen as Ophelia (except she is too wet already)

Linda Snell as a female Polonius.

Bert Fry and various Grundys and Horrobins as the mechanicals in The Dream.?

The vicious Hazel Woolley as Lady MacB.

Any other suggestions?

The Pub - Open All Hours / Character: HAMLET
« on: April 03, 2014, 06:49:56 PM »
Why on earth did R4 chose \"Hamlet\" as the introduction to their seesion on \"Characters\"?    Did someone say, I suppose we should have some Shakespeare - anyone know a play?\" and someone else said \"Didnt he write something called \"Hamlet\"?

Depends on your definition of \"Character\" but on the usual implication it is someone who stands out from the herd because they are exceptional in some way - great leader,, brave, eccentric or funny.   Judging from their choices of the Archers it means \"a funny yokel\" so why not A Midsummer night\'s Dream\" which is full of them.  Or Twelth Night with several funny eccentrics?   Either would have been much more light mood enhancing and more accessible to those who are not familiar with the Bard.   Or Henry V with the archypal Brit. hero, plus a funny \"\"Character\" in Falstaff?  Or The Tempest with the magician Prospero being something out of the ordinary.    

My choice would have been \"The Merchant of Venice\" with one of the few good female parts \"Portia\" played by Penelope Keith in \"Margo\" mode or better still Judi Dench in \"M\" mode\"!

What would be your choice of (a) play and (b) character

My favourites  of the latter would have been Margo plus Sir Humphrey from \"YES PM!

The Pub - Open All Hours / Would you let your children watch this?
« on: March 31, 2014, 07:42:58 PM »
A teacher was called to a disciplinary committe charged with corrupting her charges by encouraging them to read politically incorrect books and watch DVDs and shows devoted to vioence and sexually explicit language.  The contents included war, murder, infanticide, rape, suicide, pillage, the macabre, witchcraft, ghosts and skulls, bestiality, sexual infidelity, mockery of physical and mental fallibility and incitement to racial hatred.

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In her spirited defence the teacher maintained that \"Lear\", \"The Merchant of Venice\" and the Scottish play were on the school\'s curriculem.   She had shown her own DVDs to prove how wonderful was the language of the greatest British playwright and poet when performed by Knights and Dames of the British Theatre.  \" Twelth Night\" was currently being performed by the local Am. Dram. players supported by the WI , in the Church Hall.   When Henry V cried \"God for Harry, England and St. George\"  and \"Cry Havoc and let leashe the dogsof war\" he was fighting the French not WKW. .

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Following publication of the above:

An EMP has tabled a motion banning the publication of all Shakespeare plays in the Community

Shares in Amazon have risen due to the unprecented demand for The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

Denmark\'s Ambassador has delivered a note to Sweden demanding the return of Elsinor Castle.

Avon and Sommerset Police have appealed for calm following 2 hour long tail backs on roads to Stratford on Avon

The Scottish National Trust and Forrestry Commission have appealed for funds to reinstate Burnham Woods.

A demonstration has been held in Traffalgar Square demanding the right to wear yellow cross garters without people peering over hedges and jeering at them.


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