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The Channel 4 Book Group show
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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Apple. You are, of course, welcome to PM me on any matter relating to the board.

I remember the old Radio Times, Mike, though not in as much detail as you do. I remember in the early 80s, BBC broadcast a quite superb production of Ibsenís play Little Eyolf (starring Diana Rigg and Antony Hopkins), and Radio Times carried an interview with the translator Michael Meyer. I remember that particularly as it was that particular broadcast (and that interview with Michael Meyer) that aroused my initial interest in Ibsen.

I suppose this is why I feel so strongly about all this. So much of my own education on so many matters came through television, that I do find it tremendously sad that children now are being deprived of this sort of thing.

I do accept Hectorís point about BBC4, which has made a number of very fine products. Itís a shame that it is effectively a ghetto, but I suppose thatís inevitable given the fragmentation in broadcasting. The problem is that I have got out of the habit of watching television these days, and even when there is a programme I quite fancy watching, I end up missing it. But I did enjoy a programme on BBC4 just before Christmas on the Breugel painting The Arrival at Bethlehem, and it would certainly be unfair of me not to mention this.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was quite a good series, about the Christmas paintings - the Van Eyck one was excellent (the Botticelli one less so).  The other was on a Gauguin painting.  Good expert input, strong focus on the paintings (both visually and in terms of spoken content), informative and interesting.

I do wish they would repeat some of the things on BBC2, at least until everyone has switched over to digital reception - I know lots of people still don't have digital receivers (I keep trying to persuade my parents to get a digibox, but they are reluctant - I realise now that I should have bought them one for Christmas!).


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1143



PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone is interested, the book being discussed on the next Channel 4 Book Group show is Sarah Dunant's"Sacred Hearts", which is about nuns in Renaissance times in a convent near Ferrara.

I see from Vita's blog that Sarah Dunant produces mixed emotions but it might be worth a go.

One thing I learnt from the "Cosi Fan Tutte" talk was that in Mozart's times to refer to a girl as being from Ferrara was an 18thC way of calling her an "Essex Girl" - but I'm not sure that that applies to 16thC nuns.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1143



PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone is still watching this but I saw the third show and it has vastly improved.

Gok Wan was missing from the panel this week for reasons which were not explained - I don't know if he read the comments about him on the Channel 4 website - and the discussion was much better without him.

The celeb this week was Emilia Fox, who didn't seem to have a book to plug. †She simply talked about the books she read while growing up and what she is currently reading and she was charming and enthusiastic.

The quirky book item was about unusual pub names, which I'll admit I found extremely interesting.

The usual feature on a writer whose sales have been boosted by being a book club choice was Kate Mosse's "Labyrinth". †I'll admit I'm not a fan of the book, which I thought was over-rated and over-hyped, but I enjoyed looking at the shots of her library and of Carcassonne.

I was fascinated by the interview with Sarah Dunant, where she walked around the convent in Ferrara which was the setting for her book "Sacred Hearts." †I've been to Ferrara but not to that convent.

The discussion on the book was lively and generally enthusiastic, except for Jo Brand, who kept saying she couldn't see the point of nuns (perhaps she was just trying to inject some controversy into the discussion?).


Dare I confess I actually enjoyed the show this week?


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to watch it this week.  I was engrossed by rewatching 'The Jewel In The Crown' on DVD.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw it - pretty much by accident - and thought it seemed improved compared to reports I'd heard of previous shows. However, it was too brief and the discussion mostly quite superficial. I would have liked a bit more depth and substance to the discussion about Sarah Dunant's book.

The section with Kate Mosse seemed a bit self-congratulatory (for the show) and rather pointless. Didn't tell me much about the author or her books, anyway.



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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3362


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might give it a go. I'm very keen on Emilia Fox for various reasons.


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storrrm



Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 78


Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along the same lines of the decline of quality tv, what a crying shame it is that The South Bank Show is no more. I watched the last SBS awards on Sunday and it was a sad occasion with everyone lamenting its passing. As Melvyn Bragg remarked, the cost of making it was only a minute fraction of the cost of making the X Factor.....pity the SBS didn't have a public telephone voting system, maybe they would have kept it!


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Freyda



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 425



PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chibiabos83 wrote:
I might give it a go. I'm very keen on Emilia Fox for various reasons.


Is  one reason because she's a pathologist? Wink


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3362


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm struggling to think of anything I've actually seen her in on TV, in fact. My real reason for liking her is that I occasionally read of her musicality. She's a cellist and I have an idea that her musical tastes are considered and interesting. She's exactly the kind of person I'd like to know personally. And she's cute and has an English degree and I like her parents.



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