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feeding the octopus leaves

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Rupert Murdoch may not actually be the antichrist. That's the best I can say about him.

Recently our freeview digital channels disappeared. Turns out to be leaves interferring with the signal. Nothing we can do about it until autumn; fortunately just in time to watch The Daily Show's coverage of the presidential elections, including Jon Stewart's always welcome skewering of the media. (But no Stephen Colbert? That's just cruel.)

Strictly speaking there is something we can do about it: get a dish. The cheapest option by far would be to have Sky install it, with their "pay once watch forever" freesat scheme.

We can't. It's annoying enough seeing Sky News in public places, like train stations in London. I'm not paying one single p to feed the octopus if I can help it.


where's the clicker?

My only solace is that the cost of the equipment and installation couldn't have net them much profit. Their cunning plan to hook me on reruns of The Wire on FX will not come to fruition.

Fortunately FX is now superfluous to requirements. And the BBC continues to run Mad Men, for my money currently the best thing on the tube.

I've long been a fan of Armando Iannucci productions, the historical problem with them being that they usually run on the noncommercial BBC and there are few lulls for toilet breaks. Thank God for iPlayer and the ability to pause, seeing as my VCR refuses to talk to the skybox.

Lately I've been playing catchup with The Thick of It, featuring Peter Capaldi as the fearsomely spinning Malcolm Tucker. Here he is in the early 80s charmer Local Hero to the left of Peter Riegert:


His character Oldsen likes bunnies and falls for a marine biologist who could probably beat Malcolm at mud wrestling.

Iannucci describes The Thick of It as

Yes Minister meets Larry Sanders. Whenever I watched Larry Sanders it was very funny, but I also thought that it showed what it must be like doing a chat show in America. It was a sitcom but it didn't feel like one. The characters felt real.

In series 3, episode 5 Malcolm is given an appropriately decorated birthday cake: 

Episode 7 sees Malcolm and Secretary of State for Social Affairs Nicola Murray not very politely discussing candidates to put a public face to a health campaign.

The Beeb has come a long way.



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