I forgive you.
Last week I sat down to watch your extended edition via BBC iPlayer and you served up nothing but a U2 special. This was downright soul-destroying and, frankly, not acceptable. I expected more from the only terrestrial show that this country can count upon to cross audience demographics and open up new avenues of taste for haggard old bastards who think ‘culture’ means a school trip to the National Gallery when they were ten. I tell you, I was THIS CLOSE to writing a strongly-worded letter of complaint. U2 are not ‘culture’ unless you mean the bacterial kind, the toxic biohazard stuff.
But, today, fresh from a rather tearful edition of Waterloo Road (I am nothing if not lowbrow), I turned to by iPlayer Download Manager and gave you another chance. Let it not be said that I hold grudges (unless your name is Hayley Cartwright, in which case I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN 1997 AND I HOPE YOU DIE OF THAT LITVINENKO POISON). Today, you returned to me my faith in the licence fee. In fact, you can double it based on this week’s programme. Triple it, why not. It comes out of Andy’s bank account anyway.
This week you gave us interpretations on the Yoko Ono retrospective from The Telegraph’s art critic, Alistair Sooke (although that older guy who waves his hands around in front of canvases like he’s going to wet himself is still my favourite), a celebration of thirty years of Viz, a discussion about the relative success of arts and culture replacing heavy industry in Newcastle Gateshead, and an interview with the author of Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano, who is now in hiding because he went undercover with the Mafia and then wrote it all down. The interview was subtitled, complex, intelligent, and included some brilliant examples of life imitating art. There was a Mafia dude who had his house built to be an exact replica of Tony Montana’s villa in Scarface. There’s a female mafioso (mafiosi? mafioserina?) who dresses her she-heavies like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
So, dearest Lauren, who I have held so dear to me ever since the days of Kenickie (“P.U.N.K.A! Punka! Lo-fi songs are great! Punka!”), and Mr Kermode, the thinking woman’s Mark Lamarr, you are back on top. The U2 debacle is but a distant memory. We’ll chalk it up to experience and move on to ever sweeter, more diverse and more thought-provoking televisual climes.
You are awesome.
Lots of love and kisses,