Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Piers Morgan"s Life Stories, The Brit Awards and Muslim Driving School TV examination The Observer

Piers Morgan talk with Gordon Brownhis mother Sarah was in the audience.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Life Stories: quot;Piers Morgan is to amicable grace what Tiger Woods is to passionate fidelity.quot; Photograph: Gavin Rodgers/ Pixel

In the make-up room of Piers Morgan"s Life Stories Britain"s budding apportion nervously certified to feeling nervous. He was, after all, readying himself to go mano-a-mano with the man who done Nick Clegg declare to sleeping with fewer than thirty women.

"He"s about to face the greatest plea of his career," pronounced Morgan. It says majority about governing body and the media, and maybe even some-more about Morgan"s self-regard, that it wasn"t at all transparent he was referring to the imminent ubiquitous election.

What was less in disbelief was the daunting inlet of the plea confronting the viewer. Regardless of the attitudes towards politics, the stream government, or Gordon Brown, majority of us still contend a nauseating connection to the element that the top domestic bureau in the land should arrangement a sure egghead sobriety and authority the explain county respect. And the solid law is that Morgan is to amicable grace what Tiger Woods is to passionate fidelity.

That"s not to debase the former Mirror editor"s talents. If you longed for to know, for example, since Jordan had undergone her ultimate marital surgery, Morgan would be the go-to guy. When it comes to pneumatic celebrity, he"s the man with a siphon in one palm and a pin in the other. But governing body of state?

There was additionally the have a difference of Brown"s intensity to confuse himself and to illustrate us. Only an romantic sadist could watch the barbarous gurning YouTube debate but experiencing the urge to censor in a dim cupboard.

Yet majority worrying was the awaiting of Brown"s in isolation grief, the genocide of his baby daughter, being played out for the role of mawkish oddity or, worse, vote-winning. The budding apportion told Morgan he could ask any subject he liked. "I"m an open book," he said, seeking some-more identical to a not asked hardback whose pages had glued together.

There were, in short, a accumulation of ways in that the total attempt could have left humiliatingly and distastefully wrong. But in few instances zero materialised. That"s not to contend the programme was abandoned of enslaved moments. Morgan"s unrelenting attempts to get Brown to increase on the story of his matrimony suggest positively tensed the buttock muscles. And during the debate greeting shots of Sarah Brown in the college of song audience, acid out each expression or spirit of a tear, it was a conflict to contend a true set of toes.

None the less it was a flattering well-spoken operation overall, in that Brown emerged as a somewhat ungainly but engagingly hesitant character. He rubbed the questions of his nearby blindness and his daughter"s genocide but any viewable plays for open sympathy, to illustrate gaining some-more of it, and he remained unflustered by Morgan"s ungodly proceed – at one theatre the budding apportion was asked if he was a "plonker".

So whilst Morgan-Brown wasn"t usually Frost-Nixon, it served the role of both guest and host. But did it suggest us, the electorate? In approved terms, there"s no disbelief majority some-more viewers will have watched Brown teased by Morgan than would watch Brown probed by Marr. However, if we decider the politicians by discuss show appearances, we unequivocally can"t protest that governing body has turn a soap opera.

The service at carrying avoided televisual penance was short-lived. For usually 3 days after there was Sam Fox in front of a microphone at The Brit Awards. It was identical to one of those dreams in that you revisit an agonizing mistake pas from the past, solely but the waking-up option. But it incited out to be a joke, despite not a droll one, an mocking anxiety to the right afar mythological failure Fox co-hosted with Mick Fleetwood at the 1989 Brit awards.

"You"re as well immature to recollect that down there," announced the onetime Page 3 indication to the mob of dumbfounded revellers at the front of the stage. The stop problem, alas, was some-more specific than that. They were as well immature to recollect her down there. The rest of us, of course, were old sufficient to wish to forget.

Now sponsored by Mastercard, the Brits has done a corporate bid to purify up the act. The speaker Peter Kay, who looked identical to an overdressed bouncer, resolutely laid down the new rules. "No effin" and blinding," he said. "What we wish tonight is obliged fun."

Well that competence be what Mastercard wanted, but certainly no one else. The total point about the Brits is that it"s a sprawling jubilee of written incoherence. Take afar the effin" and blinding and all you have are speeches filled with appreciate yous to agents and managers, that is frequency rock"n"roll.

"Twenty mins of party dragged over dual hours," was Kay"s correct outline of events. Aside from an expletive-filled cameo from Liam Gallagher – that was censored – and someone from Kasabian descending over, this was a Brits that aspired to choreographed slickness. In use that meant that assorted acts arrived on theatre by being lowered by wires from the rafters, the sine qua non of resplendence pop.

The Americans – Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – conspicuously avoided the fake elevation. They already towered over the internal opposition. Which done the participation of the petite ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell a sold treat. With the chutzpah of the has-been, Ginger Spice condescendingly objected to Lady Gaga singing an unknown song. She competence have zero to suggest the universe of song but her dysmorphic clarity of her own significance is still a monumental steer to behold.

Halliwell picked up a esteem for services to something or other: history, humanity, teenager exploitation? Conveniently, everybody who presented or achieved seemed to travel afar with a gong. The important difference was Sam Fox. As things stand, her lifetime"s feat unaccountably awaits industry recognition.

"We"ve reached the end," pronounced a visibly relieved Kay, "just in time for Muslim Driving School on BBC2." It was a really Kay-like observation, concurrently paltry and absurd, majority identical to the pretension Muslim Driving School. It suggests a vast line of identical projects: Hindu Refuse Collection, Sikh Dry Cleaning, Buddhist Pest Control.

Doubtless the intent of this fly-on-the-windscreen see at womanlike Muslim drivers was to benefaction a rational pick to the nonconformist picture of Islam that dominates the headlines agenda. But if so that eminent goal was undermined by a multicultural paradox. To the border that Muslim drivers are usually identical to any pick drivers, it"s dull. And in the cases where they"re different, it"s patronising.

The majority particular figure was Korsa, the pushing physical education instructor who wears a niqab (the headdress that usually displays the eyes). The settled duty of the niqab is to safety modesty, a charge done some-more perfectionist by the wearer submitting herself to the intrusions of a TV crew.

In one clarity the film-makers were conscientiously sensitive. When Korsa slipped food underneath her veil, momentarily exposing an in. of neck, they confused the image. But we additionally schooled that Korsa"s father was an impoverished heroin drug dependant who had regularly been in difficulty with the police. As she pronounced in an progressing programme, she wasn"t wearing the deceive for her husband, but maybe she was wearing it since of him. Whether her dissimulation was a proof of honour or shame, however, was a gear-shift that this array was not written to make.

What is a half widely separated by a quarter? This was a subject that stumped scarcely all 10-year-olds at Barton Hill first school, the environment for Dispatches: Kids Don"t Count. They"re not alone. One fifth of young kids leave first propagandize but simple numeracy. But the majority intolerable actuality that the documentary suggested is that majority first propagandize teachers are additionally innumerate.

In a pointless exam of over a hundred first propagandize teachers half of them got a half widely separated by a entertain wrong. That"s an equation that hurts the brain. The easy piece is the answer to the sum: dual – that"s how majority buliding there are in a half. The forever some-more formidable subject is what to do about the 50% of teachers who couldn"t work that out.

That competence be something for Gordon Brown to contemplate prior to he finds himself on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

And finally…

Like a nymphomaniac with amnesia, America is a sequence crook of the innocence. But in a prolonged story of unnoticed virtue, it has occasionally been so riven by a clarity of dignified crime as during the Vietnam war. Storyville"s The Most Dangerous Man in America was a constrained comment of one man"s conflict with his own demur during that period.

Daniel Ellsberg was the process wonk who leaked the Pentagon papers, the US government"s own indicting jot down of the actions in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger dubbed him the majority dangerous man in America and Richard Nixon was dynamic to expect revenge. "I don"t give a damn about civilians," pronounced Nixon, definition those killed by US bombs.

In the eventuality the leaked writings had small stroke on the march of the Vietnam fight and Ellsberg walked free from a hearing the supervision attempted to fix. But the writings did explain one victim: Nixon. It was his office of Ellsberg that led to Watergate. Time once some-more to distortion behind and think of America.