Friday, 8 February 2008

Jeremy Beadle

Subtitle: How I find out about News Items in 2008

I click ‘send/receive’ on my outlook email, and watch as the figures reveal just seven new correspondences overnight. Ignoring emails about The Guardian archives for writers, and press releases about The Futureheads and something called The Adam and Ron show, I go instead to an email newsletter from a website called Retro To Go, and look at all the lovely radios, furniture and prints I cannot afford to buy. Then I read that the BBC are finally closing the school gates on Grange Hill. I obviously haven’t watched Grange Hill for years, but am saddened that the BBC didn’t find a way to update the school drama in a way that was relevant to 2008, in the way I was saddened that TOTP was gradually left to die in a forlorn Sunday slot.

So I think I might blog about Grange Hill, and go to youtube to see if I can find a Young Ones clip of Ben Elton doing a spoof of Grange Hill, saying they were the only kids in Britain that didn’t say f**k. As even though my generation think it was gritty and realistic when we watched it, perhaps there is a bit of that rosy glow thing going on there. However on youtube I find instead some tribute to 80's/90's TV shows, and click on that instead as I eat my cereal. Oh yes, Russ Abbot. Blankety Blank. TV-AM…. My eyes wander down the comments, although I usually don’t read them as all that LOL U SUCK! gives me a headache. Then I see RIP Jeremy Beadle and think what?

I copy and paste Jeremy Beadle’s name into google and click on the first entry, wikipedia. Uh oh, the entry has a death date, this could possibly be true… at this point I think it is time for serious news and go to the BBC website. And it is confirmed…

I loved Game for a Laugh when I was kid, and it was television my whole family sat down to enjoy. I can still remember my dad’s rich chuckles, which is priceless to me considering he sadly passed away a good many years ago. Later on, You’ve Been Framed made me long for a camcorder, as we watched large VHS videos being slotted into state of the art clunky video recorders to play for an audience. Isn’t it funny how dated technology can get so quickly?

Although I must admit, the premise of Beadle’s About scared me rigid. I find watching it, and the sort of shows that sprang up in its wake, almost painful viewing. This is a marked difference to what I thought about Game for a Laugh – perhaps I grew up more and my sense of humour changed, but I started to feel really sorry for the ‘victims’. Jeremy always did seem to time it well and appear just when it looked like said victim was about to call the police/punch a bystander/collapse in hysteria though.

In later years I accidentally caught his LBC show one Sunday, and it was bloody funny, not to mention informative. I couldn’t believe it was the same man that used to terrorise people with his fake beard on television. And hearing his voice made me feel all nostalgic and happy – one of those voices you grow up with, that somehow seep into your subconscious without even knowing it.

Yet it is only with his death at the age of 59, did I realise he did so much work for charity and raised over £100 million for good causes. Bless the man, so many people go through life without even giving a pound in the right direction. Even nicer in a way that it was not publicised, but just quietly got on with, like so many other people in the public eye no doubt do with little fanfare. Decent people, all of them. RIP Mr Beadle.

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