Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The Twitcher and His Minder

That curious British institution Springwatch - sex and violence for the respectable viewing classes, or a cheering reminder that Nature's still carrying on doing its thing - kicked off (if that's not too vigorous a term) last night. The ineffable Bill Oddie and his long-suffering minder Kate Humble are now based in Norfolk - yes Bryan, while you were away they came and and turned your spread into the Springwatch production village, sorry about that.
It's a rum do, is Springwatch, and getting rummer with the passing years... Oddie seemed to be spending his time practising his facial tics - yes, okay, he's a twitcher, but this is ridiculous - watching the monitor and grumbling at length about the cold, while poor old Kate humoured him and kept the show afloat. As ever, the sights to be seen on the various feeds vary from the amazing to the no-show - but what is striking is the disparity between all the state-of-the-art high-tech electronic wizardry being put to use in the filming side of things, and the utterly ramshackle presentation.. No doubt it's part of Springwatch's strange charm, but a similar mismatch between presentation and what we're seeing on screen pervades nearly all wildlifee programming. While the camerawork is dazzling, state--of-the-art stuff, the commentary is more like out-of-the-ark - a succession of off-the-shelf clich├ęs, lashed together and served up against a background of portentous, equally off-the-shelf music. What we see is astonishing, what we hear is, as often as as not, dross.


  1. Cutting-edge technology vs. ramshackle presentation - oh, I remember those Open University programmes. It must be the same production team - the beard is a big giveaway...

    mind you, that Kate Humble, eh? I'd share a hide with her any night of the week.

  2. I was going to watch a recorded video of The Prince and the Showgirl,last night, but settled for Springwatch instead. Well, part of it, as I was called away. Nor was I let down by Bill Oddie and Kate Humble standing in for Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Both quick-witted and resourceful. Though I didn’t notice the facial tics. Instead I saw some tits - quite unlike Bill Oddie, with delightfully cute yellow patches on the tops of their heads.

    Above all, what I realised once again was, that my one true love affair is with the British Isles.


  3. As I sat watching last night I thought I bet you know who is furiously jotting down Oddieisms, the programme is like an airborne version of the fortsythe saga, sort of avian Galsworthy, ahhh Nyree Dawn whatshername, I remember her well, she was a skinny burd, like poor old "can't get a word in" Kate Humble, why doesn't she just thump him. Re "wildcats" we used to climb in Glen Brittle in the 1950s and stayed with a man whom Neil Munroe must have used as the model for Para Handy, they had a moggie I swear was a half tamed wild cat, used to catch and eat rabbits, big ones, mean bitch it was, got in the car and peed once, took 18 months to get rid of the smell.
    ian, OU, why did they all look like Kenny Everett?