Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Ich, Eich Dyn, Dien

Apologies for the lull in blogging - my bid for the directorship-general of the BBC required considerable time for mental, spiritual and other refreshment. I wish my rival, the late John Entwistle, the very best in the dusty tasks that face him. I would have been a tough act to follow, and how harder will it be to lurk in the mighty tripod of my shadow.

With the grace for which we Welsh are noted, I hereby put all my previous programme proposals at his disposal, in the certain knowledge that, if spared due legal scrutiny, they will prove nothing if not stimulating.

I would also like to mark this 4th of July by suggesting that Mr Entwistle should ponder the article in which  Nick Cohen wonders why the BBC does not produce the sort of pant-shredding drama that the Americans have made their own.

The reason Americans fashion such telly excellence as "24", "The Sopranos", "Treme" and "The Wire" is simply that they have massive, brass balls, and they like the sound these make as they clack together while their owners stride down Main Street, sparks flying from their leather chaps.

The pallid knackers of the BBC, by contrast, are clamped in one of those devices that Accident & Emergency crews regularly have to remove from the damper parts of Anglican clergymen, and so bring us the likes of "All The Small Things", a stack of ticked boxes in flight from the audience.

The plucky resistance movement at BBC4 tries hard to serve up steaming hot television, and they deserve some praise for their Scandinavian Knight's Move - a cheeky ploy to resell pasty Danish remakes of ITV's Mirrentastic "Prime Suspect" as Euro neo-noir. But we can't rely on six million herringheads to provide all our two-dimensional dramatic needs.

The BBC will not slough off its sub-Rattigan cosiness overnight, so I propose a manageable transition by literally bringing American elements into existing British formats. Here are a couple for free:  

Ponty PD. The United States takes over the Gwent Police beat in Pontypool, if only to make damn sure that any new Piers Morgans are dealt with in situ. In episode one, Chief Inspector Serpico Terminaterwitz sends a SWAT team to Mrs Prys-Price-Parry-Jones's late husband Gwil's pigeon loft, where their layabout son has been flattening pennies so that they will fit in the 2d slot of the pre-decimal cigarette machine at Pontypool leisure centre.

Donnie Darkie. The dense, multilayered psychological teen thriller is rewritten as a British 1970s sitcom. Robin Askwith is the psychiatrist, Liz Fraser is the mum, Jim Davisdon is a giant racist rabbit.

The BBC Drama types in Cardiff could knock those out with a flick of a powdery mirror and still have time to catch the last train to England. I await the call.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Scandinavian Knight's Move? Are you referring to The Bridge, featuring the blonde policewoman who causally discusses her casual sex life over tea and biscuits? I'd like to know how a woman like that would go down in Wales. My guess is she'd pussy-whip the lot of you!

Francis Sedgemore said...

"But we can't rely on six million herringheads to provide all our two-dimensional dramatic needs."

Oh yes we can. There's plenty more where the recent batch of brain-twisting whodunits came from, and soon ska' vi alle tale dansk. Glottal stops R us.

Let the Danes' licence fees pay for the productions. The Beeb is getting all these series dirt cheap, and, let's face it, these days we're crap at it.

jams o donnell said...

Damn, so we won't get to see CSI:Merthyr Beaumaris Five-0 or the Fresh Prince of Bridgend now?

Ah wellperhaps next time. Be sure to pitch hard for The Only Way is Ebbw

No Good Boyo said...

Blondes are corralled in Radnorshire, GB, as any further west and they'd be burned as witches.

Francis, no one actually speaks Danish, apart from Pete Beale on Eastenders. It has no distinct vowels or consonants. When Danes are at home they speak Norwegian. "Danish" as such is just a way of (further) annoying the Swedes.

Jams, these are inspired ideas. I'll add them to my pitch if DG John bites on the Ponty PD plan.

Francis Sedgemore said...

Not quite, Boyomun. There is indeed a distinct and commonly used language called Danish, and it is a little more than speaking Norwegian with a hot potato in the mouth. It's just that Danish speakers can barely understand each other. This is probably the reason for Denmark's high ratings in quality of life and happiness indices.

Dansk for begyndere

You are absolutely correct, however, on Danish as a means of annoying the Swedes. It's Denmark's national sport. After handball.

No Good Boyo said...

Those Norwedgers are a cheeky bunch, and no mistake. Still, it beats speaking Faroese, the language of the Adrift Egyptians.

Anonymous said...

Francis--that's a hilarious video--thanks. In my naievity I thought I might learn how to say things like "Hello" and "Thank you" but I learnt so much more.

Francis Sedgemore said...

You're welcome, looby. As Cymrawd Boyo says, the Noggies (for it is they who made the Dansk for begyndere video) are cheeky chappies, but they don't half make some good TV comedy sketch programmes. The Fast Show is but a pale shadow of what is on offer from Oslo.

No Good Boyo said...

I remember Danish liguist Otto Jespersen said his nephew burst into tears on a Norwegian holiday. It took a while to work out that the Norwegian tones reminded him of his dentist in Copenhagen, who happened to be a Swede.

Francis Sedgemore said...

That would be the Otto Jespersen who specialised in English grammar, for want of finding any coherent structure in his native tongue. Commas don't count.

Francis Sedgemore said...

Oh, and while I'm here, another Norwegian comedic delight...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I think, NGB, that the issue of your post will be resolved when the revolution comes and many of the current BBC staff will be put against the wall.

On the related subject re the American brass testicles: the same sound effect is reached by Russians from walking in the cold. Since according to climate science (let Francis confirm it) Britain is going to be frozen, it will come to your future employees naturally.

No Good Boyo said...

When the revolution comes, Snoop, the BBC will send a plastic DJ and two funsized kids TV presenters to cover it.

Anonymous said...

Late to the party but:

'The Baritones.' Edgy drama about the murky world of choral singing.

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