Filed under: creativity, tv | Tags: Blockbusters, Bob Holness, channel 4, I'll have a P please Bob
He was great.
There’s a good gag out there but I’m scared to do it.
Filed under: creativity, life, Rants, tv | Tags: C4 The bank Job, Channel 4 The bank job, Greed, humility, Shadenfreude
Did you see The Bank Job on Channel 4?
For a week the winning contestants in each nightly episode collectively pooled their night’s winning money into a collective pot.
Tonight the five finalists duelled one another in a process of elimination until only two were left. (Two greedy blokes as it turned out.)
One was a lucky and hopeless player, the other a cool cat who thought he had it in the bag.
But the producers of this magnificent Game Show had one last twist up their sleeves (it transpired they had two in the final denoument though.)
So, each finalist was given two boxes with about £230,000 in one box and Trash in the other.
The next bit was tricky.
They had to decide if they wanted the full £450,000 or were happy to split the winnings. But they couldn’t say it outright, they had to convince the other that they would share or that they were gambling for the lot.
The deal was, they gave their opponent either the box of Trash or the box of dosh.
If only one handed over the dosh the recipient took the lot.
If both handed over the dosh they spilt it.
But if BOTH handed over the Trash they BOTH lost and the dosh was split between the other three losing finalists.
What would you do?
I’d take my chances on my felllow man and assume that he too would rather have half than nothing and hand over the dosh, after all there was a two in three chance of losing by not taking this approach.
What did the greedy chaps do?
They both handed over the Trash and both left empty handed.
Served the greedy shites right.
A triumph for Channel 4 and a lesson in humility for all involved.
Shame on them.
Filed under: advertising, Arts, books, business, creativity, family, gigs, golf, humour, life, movies, photography, Scotland, stories, theatre, tv, videos, work | Tags: 2011, 2011 in hindsight, best of 2011, gibberish, mark gorman, review iof 2011
2011 was rather less fraught than 2010. I didn’t work to such ridiculous extremes, and the year end saw my portfolio change quite considerably compared to 12 months ago. Three big new clients at year end were Maidsafe, Vets2 and Front Page Design, all autumnal starters and all brilliant to work with. My STV contract finally came to an end after three years but its been great and I am very grateful to them for all the work.
Some old troopers still stand by me; 60 Watt, Paligap, The Usability Lab, Corporation Pop, Ampersand and LA Media, with occassional work from a small number of others.
To you all; slainte and have a great 2012.
If my golf was bad in 2010 it beggared belief in 2011. I gave up my membership at Dundas Park and clearly that did not have a galvanising effect on my game. I was shit awful on both trips of the year and even my winter game has been poor.
We didn’t go away as a family in 2011, for a variety of reasons but I had the holiday (maybe an exaggeration to call it that) of a lifetime in June when Ria and I went to Glastonbury. To say it was memorable would be something of an understatement. There is one abiding memory of it, I have to say…the bogs.
But there were other memorable sights and moments, like this…
Which brings me onto my musical highlights of the year.
My best of CD which you can have if you like included these tracks…
In a good year for music my song of the year, without question, was Video Games by Lana Del Rey.
My albums of the year were;
Bad as Me by Tom Waits (overall my favourite record)
Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
You and I by The Pierces
The English Riviera by Metronomy
A creature I don’t know by Laura Marling
50 Words for Snow by Kate Bush
Hotel Shampoo by Gruff Rhyss
Build a Rocket Boys by Elbow who also performed the gig of the year at Glastonbury (closely followed by King Creosote at The Liquid Rooms)
A different Kind of Love by Bombay Bicycle Club
21 by Adele
I did a lot of cinema in 2011…
Here’s what I thought of what I saw in my IMDB profile…
Two ten out of tens and a few nines show that it was also a good year for movies. In retrospect I plump for three as my best of the year
A Separation and
On TV This is England 2008 moved me to tears and was by far the year’s greatest offering. I liked Top Boy too.
I didn’t read a great deal this year but have really enjoyed
The Brothers Sisters by Patrick DeWitt.
The Childrens Hospital by Chris Adrtian.
And Filthy English, The How, Why When and What of Everyday Swearing by Pete Silverton.
But the best read of the year by far was…The Guardian which I grow deeper in love with.
This was a big year of theatre for me. I reckon I saw at least 20 different productions but easily the stand out was Dance Marathon in which Jeana and I and Chris and Liam danced our asses off for five hours before I was told I was relentless by the Producer. We also had amazing nights at The Kings for James Cordon in One Man, Two Guvnors and The Lyceum for both Dunsinane and Age of Arousal.
This year was sadly marked by way too much illness among our friends for me to want to dwell on but Matt, David and Jenny I am thinking of you now.
Also, we lost James King, Joyce Cambell and Fiona Pirie from FCT and Rachel Appolinari at the outrageous age of 19. RIP all of you. xxx
All of the family have blossomed in the past year, thank God, and long may it continue. In particular Amy has shown an almost exponential growth in confidence and skills in many different areas.
2012 is University year for Tom and Ria should they both choose to go down that path.
And so, to 2012. It’s the year I turn 50, Amy 21, Tom and Ria 18 and I aim, with Pete the Meat, to lose at least 50 pounds each before we turn 50 in May. We are raising money to do so and you’ll soon hear of our plans.
Thanks for being my reader once again in 2011. My year end Technorati rating was an all time high closing in on a top 1% of all the blogs in the world rating.
16,000th out of 1.2 million.
Filed under: advertising, creativity, Scotland, tv, videos | Tags: domestic abuse, strathclyde police, Strathclyde Police domestic abuse
I worked with STV Creative’s team to create this commercial about Domestic Abuse that ran on TV screens in Strathclyde over Christmas.
I think it packs a real emotional punch and is fantastically spare in its execution.
I can hardly say I hope you enjoy it but I do hope you admire it.
Filed under: creativity, family, tv | Tags: Misha B, x factor, x factor betting, x factor odds]
OK Marcus was good tonight and is improving and Janet is slipping away. But how can Misha still be only 4th favourite? That was a bit of a risk backing The Risk at 5 to 1 though eh.
Filed under: Arts, bbc, books, creativity, photography, tv | Tags: BBC, bbc costume drama, BBC Drama, Chris O'Dowd, michel faber, romola garai, the crimson petal and the white
I love Michel Faber’s writing and it’s a toss up between this and Under The Skin for his greatest work. The two could be no more different; Under the Skin is a taught contemporary sci fi horror set in Scotland and this; an 800 page monstrous take on Dickensian Victorian London.
Both are really great books and consequently both run the risk of taking a good pasting when put on screen.
There has been many year’s of talk that TCPATW would be Hollywood-made and for a while rumour had it that Kirsten Dunst was to be the heroine, Sugar. However it fell eventually to the BBC to make this near epic adaptation. I say near epic because big and bold as it was I think it had even greater potential.
The previews did not make great reading; the panel on Newsnight Review, with the honourable exception of Maureen Lipman, annihilated it, so I approached fearing the worst.
I needn’t have worried.
The, at times, over tricksy focus pulling in the camera work was a bit heavy handed but this was overcome on balance because otherwise it was excellent (moody, creepy, almost surreal in places and beautifully emphasised by a particularly odd (in a good way) score written by newcomer Cristobal Tapai de Veer).
The set and costumes are astounding and the acting of the entire cast, but Particularly Chris O’Dowd (the IT team) and Romola Garai were of BAFTA winning standards, and had to be to pull it off.
In particular O’Dowd’s tortured portrayal of sappy rich boy William Rackham is magnificent. It’s as if he can’t decide how to play the role, but that’s just how Faber wrote it. In the end he comes across as merely a weak sap who is only in it for himself. Perhaps he cannot help it as we frequently see when he is led astray by his particularly vulgar “friends”.
Romola Garai, by contrast, is nailed to the tracks in the conviction of her character, as the upwardly mobile Sugar; pulling herself out of the stench thanks to the interest of Rackham who gradually exalts her social profile in a London where status was everything (and boy did she have status in the underworld, starting off as the top prostitute in London). Her gritty but sometimes tender performance is the beating heart of the book and this ultimately excellent adaptation.
It’s still on iplayer but I’d wait for the DVD and splash out.
For me it would play out better as an epic four hour movie rather than a four part TV series.
Wonderful. Bring on the BAFTAs. (And the Emmys).
Filed under: Arts, creativity, tv | Tags: best movies 2010, golden globe awards, golden globe predictions, golden globes, movie awards
The season is upon us and I’ve seen most of the fancied Golden Globes contenders except for The Black Swan which will be remedied soon enough, but not before the awards on Sunday.
Anyway, these are my predictions
Best Movie (Drama) – The Social Network CORRECT
Best Movie (Comedy) – The Kids are all Right CORRECT
Best Actor Drama – Colin Firth CORRECT
Best Actor Comedy – Kevin Spacey FAIL
Best Actress Drama – Natalie Portman CORRECT
Best Actress Comedy – Annette Bening CORRECT
Best supporting actor – Geoffery Rush FAIL
Best Supporting actress – Helena Bonham Carter FAIL
Best Director – David Fincher (Social Network) CORRECT
Best Screenplay – Aaron Sorkin (Social Network) CORRECT
Best Animated Movie – TS3 (guaranteed) CORRECT
Best Foreign Language – Biutiful FAIL
Best TV Series – Boardwalk Empire CORRECT
Best TV Series comedy – Nurse Jackie FAIL
Best Mini Series – The Pacific (also guaranteed) FAIL ?????
Filed under: Arts, creativity, humour, life, tv | Tags: C4, E4, Glee, shameless, skins
Two new series kicked off last night with one (Skins) to come that are hot news in Chez Gorman.
First off; Glee.
A great series opener.
The take by the Glee Kids on Empire State of Mind was more than acceptable and for me the quality of writing has improved overall. The new titchy Asian girl has some voice on her. Good start.
Shameless, on the other hand was passable and no more.
It really has lost the bite that Paul Abbott injected into its early series’.
It wasn’t as slapstick as it has been, thank God, which actually stopped me watching for a while, so that may be a good thing. I used to adore Shameless and now I can barely take it and there is only one reason. The writing. This has been where Skins has absolutely kicked Shameless’ ass over the past few years.
Skins has a new cast for this series but if the writing remains as high quality it should matter not.
But I do hope Shameless improves because it’s on for a 22 week run.
Filed under: bbc, creativity, humour, jokes, life, tv, Youtube | Tags: asterchef the professionals, chefs, cookery, cuisine, greg wallace, m, masterchef, masterchef final
Anyone who revels in the absurd pompousness of Masterchef will adore this spoof. Really hilarious.
Filed under: Arts, bbc, creativity, movies, tv | Tags: bbc 4, history of horror, horror, horror movies, mark Gattis, slasher films
The older I get the more I savour quality horror, and I delight in my kids discovering the genre. (Oh, and they do, bit by bit.)
It takes bravery to endure good horror; and as Rudyard Kipling said;
“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”
Had he have been commentating on early 21st century life he’d perhaps have been saying;
“If you can stomach 90 minutes of gutwrenching horror, you’ll be a man my son.”
The fact is that recent horror franchises, I’m thinking specifically of The Saw and Hostel, are what’s increasingly called Horror Porn and those labellers are right. These films are gross, crass, lacking ideas…just plain sick.
What Mark Gattiss eloquently did in his series (available for now onBBC iPlayer I’m sure) was to identify the genre creators and talk to them and gain fabulous insights.
Latterly Romero loomed large and rightly so.
My favourite moment in the entire series was when John Carpenter was unapologetic about the fact that Halloween had spawned a generation of shite slasher movies.
“Why should I apologise for opening the door to the genre. All these people realised was that you could scare people cheap.”
Carpenter did it with utter class.
This is the precise second my mate Shaun discovered that his daughter Maria had got 4 Yes’s on X factor. He is out of control. Wildly emotional. Orgiastic in his delirium. Good old Shaun. Like an Octopus on a trampoline having 240 volts passed through it!
Filed under: life, music, Scotland, stories, tv | Tags: Gospel Truth Choir, maria Doherty, x factor
I love X factor, but this year has an added twist. Our pal, Maria Doherty, is performing. Well, she’s just headed south to Boot Camp, having got through the auditions; so she will definitely feature at least in the early stages of the programme.
That’s her opening this version of Amazing Grace on The Hour on STV. She’s the one in the middle.
Come on Maria; we’re all rootin’ and tootin’ for ya.
Filed under: family, tv | Tags: Ant and dec, britain's got talent, carl orff, Carmina burana, spelbound
Those creepy gymnasts with the mega fake tan were easily the best though.
Filed under: advertising, business, humour, life, tv, videos, work, Youtube | Tags: brands, male bodywash, male perfume, male scent, Old spice, sex, sex sells, us advertising
US style. Brilliant new ad. Incredible strategy. For Old Spice.
and this is how they made it. Worth watching.
Filed under: Arts, jokes, life, tv | Tags: comedy, comedy drama, Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime, US TV
The Americans have pulled another TV rabbit out of the hat. This time originally commissioned by “Showtime”.
Edie Falco (in her first major appearance since Carmela Soprano) lights the screen up with fire in this tremendous series, directed so far (perhaps always) by another of my favourites, Steve Buscemi.
If you’ve missed the first five episodes catch up on the iplayer or on SKY Anytime where the series to date has taken residence for the next week or so.
It is utterly electrifying.
It’s a comedy drama set in an NYC General Hospital where the consultants/Doctors are overpaid demigods (or so they reckon) and the nurses are there to do all the work.
Falco is addicted to pain relieving drugs (which she is illegally supplied by her lover, the hospital pharmacist who she services every day at noon).
Meanwhile she lives a secret home life with her bar-tending hubby and two daughters, one who draws skies with no sun – she is ridiculously paranoid for a 9 year old.
It’s all, of course, in the writing (you said it again. Ed) as I’ve said before. But it’s true and this is written sublimely giving Falco free reign to deliver one-liners, moments of pathos, passion, hysteria and sheer vilness. Surely there cannot have been a better written female TV part since, erm, Carmela Soprano.
But Falco makes this a masterclass as she holds the screen. She must be in at least 95% of the action with her outstanding ensemble cast behind her to act as willing stooges. My favourite is Zoey Barkow, Nurse Jackie’s poor put upon (but actually secretly loved) intern.
It is quite simply, the best and I’m intrigued to see how it develops. Series two has already been commissioned. Doh. So it’s here for a bit yet.
Enjoy. I’m off to watch Glee!
Filed under: football, Hibees, humour, life, Scotland, sports, stories, tv, videos, Youtube | Tags: crossbar challenge, Hibees, Hibernian, Hibs, hibs crossbar challenge, hibs soccer am, soccer am, the cabbage, the mighty hibees, whisky
I am told very few teams have had a double hit in the Soccer AM Crossbar Challenge. But then, very few teams are Hibernian FC.
Hearts may have had the opportunity, but they’ve all been suspended.
Filed under: humour, jokes, life, tv, Youtube | Tags: esther rantzen, sausages, that's life, that'sd life
Joe will win. But bless…
Filed under: Arts, humour, jokes, life, music, tv, Youtube | Tags: Bohemian Rhapsody, queen, the muppets
I feel sorry for Northumberland and the flooding they are currently experiencing; but for the ITV news tonight to describe the flooding as being in the NW of Britain is ridiculous.
Northumberland is in the NW of England. OK?
Filed under: Rants, tv | Tags: BBC, john humphries, mastermind, Question Time
He is a poor imitation of Magnuss Magnusson and now he is a parlous imitation of David Dimbleby.
Please BBC, spare us this torment.
Filed under: Arts, humour, tv | Tags: 6 feet under, anna paquin, david ball, deep south, HBO, horror, Sookie Stackhouse, true blood, vampires
HBO is really pushing the limits of taste.
Again. (See Eastbound and down.)
On two occasions in the last two episodes – the first watching Jason Stackhouse, the main protagonist’s brother masturbating so hard that the blisters on his palms are bigger than the hands they grew on AND his poor member is engorged to the point of elephantiasis, requiring a blood withdrawal of epic proportions; and the second when the aforementioned star Sookie Stackhouse indulges in a spot of self indulgence as she dreams of her desired vampire lover “taking her” – my youngest daughter had to politely remove herself from the room.
But, the fact remains, it’s a great piece of TV, wonderfully shot (the outside scenes of houses at night have an otherworldliness about them that is unique) and the script crackles and fizzes throughout.
It’s purty sexy too y’all.
Filed under: advertising, Arts, business, family, humour, jokes, life, stories, tv, videos, work, Youtube
Filed under: Arts, family, humour, jokes, life, tv | Tags: esther ranzen, sausages, that's life, That's life dog
This was a highlight of my childhood and it is as funny today as it was then.
It is humongously funny. MUST WATCH!
Filed under: advertising, business, family, humour, jokes, life, music, Scotland, stories, The Scotsman, tv, work | Tags: kate harris, NABS, NABS music quiz, Nabs Scotland, the Drum
Oh, what a night. In the end 72 finely honed competitors turned up for the third NABS music quiz, including reigning champions Multiply who doubled up their effort to see if they could defend their hard fought trophy. But they were reckoning without Mino (Fucking) Russo who ringed for the winning team. More on that later.
From my perspective the night got off to a stinker. Jeana, who had the PA, the questions (and answers) and the marking team in the boot of her car chose to leave the house (40 minutes away) at the time I asked her to arrive. As a consequence a great cloud of gloom and frustration hung over the Nightlfly’s head (that’s me) as we set up at the last minute.
Not a moment was available to spin those wheels of steel. In fact the wheels of fucking steel weren’t even working to begin with.
But in time we got things going and the evening commenced with a satisfying enough and incident free first round about numbers in songs.
Team names were as good as you’d imagine from the creative world. ie not very.
The STV opt outs
Michael Barrymore’s swimming club (who were deducted a point for bad taste)
Guy Robertson’s Home Wreckers
Quiz De Burgh
Let’s get quizzical (surely googled)
Drumb and Drumber and Richard the C***
Now, the Drum were publicly admonished for calling their editor a C*** in the team mate and also docked a point. I can reveal that this issue rolled on post match and after consultation with his mother Richard has confirmed that the team name was indeed appropriate and the point has subsequently been reinstated, not that it matters because they were pish. (Coming in 16th of 18). Well I caveat that; they were excellent in the musicals round where Stephen (the virgin) Lepitak showed all the skills of a forty something housewife and swept the board. (Shame they didn’t play their joker, which in fact they did in the first round with all the tactical nous of Kevin Keegan.)
We go to 11 (get it? I didn’t. It’s a Spinal tap ref)
Def Lepers (nice)
Jackson 4 (tasteful)
Anyway. Round 5 had to be cancelled (the highly controversial itunes genre round) because I forgot to print out the answers and my entire family fell out with me because their late arrival had set a 9.6 out of 10 stress level in me and I was a touch touchy to begin with.
But as the evening wore on it became more and more convivial with record bar takings.
The bonus points awarded to best dancers for The Time Warp were scooped by The STV Opt Outs which helped them in their bitter war of attrition with the Scotsman (Thin Quizzy) with the final result being a wafer thin victory to STV (88.5 and a creditable 5th place) to The Scotsman’s (87 and 7th place).
In the end quality shone through and Newhaven’s team led by Troy Farnsworth (Troy Division) held out to win back the trophy they won in the inaugural competition in 2007 by 7 points to beat Spinal Crap into second (after a stewards enquiry arithmetical incompetence by my daughter Amy revealed that the team we thought were second (the DP’s) were in fact third with 91.)
That means Mino (fucking) Russo got his hands on the trophy for the second time. He worked at Fopp you know. He may be banned next time from playing a ringer’s role.
Filed under: Arts, life, politics, stories, tv | Tags: 102 minutes, 9/11, Bafta, bombing, Brendon Anderegg, manhattan, Terrorism, twin towers
Channel 4 has absolutely surpassed itself in screening this moving and extremely challenging documentary. For two hours, image after image took one’s breath away as we saw real (but mostly very high quality) video footage of the twin towers collapse from 8.45 am until 10 29 am. Played sequentially with views from all angles including actually inside the towers it was heart stopping television.
I think one thing that made it so powerful was its lack of commentary and opinion. It was not a political film, simply an unfolding of an event in something like real time. Some might say it was the extremest form of voyeuristic television but I thought it was a work of true skill and, indeed, art. I should make special mention of the constant but very subtle musical underscore, by Brendon Anderegg, which was quite beautiful. Someone call the BAFTAs. (And the Academy, and the Emmys.)
Truly magnificent TV.
Filed under: life, politics, Rants, sports, stories, tv | Tags: British Lions. The Lions v South Africa, colonialism, fascists, insult, lions tour
The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Empire. From complex beginnings, the war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of colonialism in the region. The war ended the Zulu nation’s independence.
I find this description of Colonialism from Wikipedia interesting.
Colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe built colonies on other continents. The reasons for the practice of colonialism at this time include:
- The profits to be made.
- To expand the power of the metropole.
- To escape persecution in the metropole.
- To convert the indigenous population to the colonists’ religion.
Some colonists also felt they were helping the indigenous population by bringing them Christianity and civilization. However, the reality was often subjugation, displacement or death.[
A colony is part of an empire and so colonialism is closely related to imperialism.
So to see two fucking British twats rubbing the faces of Colonialism into the South African nation in the ABSA Stadium this afternoon totally disgusting, crass and cheap.
This is they…
Or is it just me?
You know what? After I saw that I was almost pleased the Lions lost.
Or maybe I’m just a Guardian-reading liberal.