Charlie Catchpole column; Saeed case of over-reacting.ENGLISH actor Sid Jeffries hit out last night after being sacked from the country's favourite soap, Curry Nation Street.
Jeffries - who starred in the acclaimed TV series Duel In The Rose And Crown and The Far Cricket Pavilions - joined Curry Nation Street only six months ago as van driver Ronnie Dipstick dipstick /dip·stick/ (dip´stik) a strip of cellulose chemically impregnated to render it sensitive to protein, glucose, or other substances in the urine. , head of the programme's first-ever English family.
The decision not to renew his contract was taken after a series of behind- the-scenes problems, which included him spending a night in police cells after a drunken row with two women on a train, and arriving late on set after watching a cricket match.
Last night, an angry Jeffries said: "Would they have treated an Asian actor like this?"
His wife, and agent, Doris added: "At last, Curry Nation Street had found a character who was popular with the English community.
"Ronnie Dipstick wasn't stereotyped. He was an educated man, not just a white-van driver.
"English people Noun 1. English people - the people of England
nation, country, land - the people who live in a nation or country; "a statement that sums up the nation's mood"; "the news was announced to the nation"; "the whole country worshipped him" will take this as a big rejection, a big snub to them.
"Sid is particularly concerned about the message his treatment sends out to young English actors.
"He has opened so many doors for them and, with this unexpected and inexplicable dismissal, it will look as if they are being slammed shut again."
Nonsense, isn't it?
Yet, if you substitute Asian for English, and change names and programme titles, you've got a near-enough verbatim report on Coronation Street's axeing of actor Saeed Jaffrey by writing out the character of shopkeeper Ravi Desai Ravi Desai was the founding Editor in chief who became the CEO of TheStreet.com, a post he held for 4 months before being fired by Jim Cramer for myriad reasons, including blackmail. .
Jaffrey's sacking has been subtly, and not-so-subtly, portrayed as a race issue.
Respected Asian actor (My Beautiful Laundrette laundrette launder (Brit) n → Waschsalon m , Jewel In The Crown) joins top soap in blaze of publicity, with headlines about popular TV finally reflecting face of multi-cultural Britain, etc.
Then he gets the elbow, following a spot of difficulty off-screen, and the Asian community is supposed to take it personally. Snub to multi-cultural Britain, etc.
What a lot of rot.
Some might say that Saeed Jaffrey is an actor of extremely limited range who should count himself lucky to have landed as many major roles as he has.
I wouldn't say that myself (mainly because m'learned friends in this newspaper's legal department wouldn't let me).
But I will say it's blindingly obvious that Jaffrey's skin colour is completely irrelevant, and Ravi's departure is almost entirely down to his wildly over-the-top performances.
All that eye-rolling and arm-waving. All those lip-smacking exclamations of "Good day, dear lady!" Fred Elliott Frederick "Fred" Handel Elliott was a fictional character on the soap opera Coronation Street. He was played by John Savident. The character
Fred first came into the soap as an associate of Alf Roberts and always had a soft spot for Alf's wife, Audrey. must envy such high-quality ham.
Maybe the relentless pressure of filming a four-times-a-week soap is also to blame.
The brutal truth is that some people can cut it, and some can't.
That's why new cast members are brought in on short-term contracts - so the producers can see how they shape up.
For every Barbara Windsor or Jacqueline Pirie Jacqueline Pirie (born 10th October 1975 in Stirling, Scotland) is a Scottish actress best known for appearing in ITV's popular soap operas Emmerdale, as Tina Dingle from 1994-1996, and Coronation Street as Linda Baldwin from 1998-2001. who triumphantly make the grade, there's a Tina Hobley Tina Hobley (born 20 May, 1972 in Mill Hill, London) is an English actress. Early life
Hobley was born and raised in London. Very shy as a child, Hobley was sent to speech and drama classes in an attempt to counter her introversion. or a Matthew Marsden who doesn't.
Before spouting spout·ing
n. Chiefly Pennsylvania & New Jersey
See gutter. See Regional Note at gutter.
a. off any more, Saeed Jaffrey and his friends should study the performance of one of the Street's youngest and brightest talents, Georgina Taylor - who has handled the transformation of Toyah Battersby Toyah Laverne Battersby (née Lee) was a fictional character in the television soap opera Coronation Street, played by Georgia Taylor. Toyah left the Street in early 2003 after being betrayed by her latest boyfriend John Arnley and her best friend Maria Sutherland. from lumpy, sulky sulky
horse-drawn, ultra-lightweight, single-seater, two-wheeled vehicle used by Standardbreds in races. Called also bike, gig. schoolgirl to confident, radiant young woman with skill, subtlety and a depth of emotion which takes your breath away.
Now there's a real jewel in the crown.
JACK'S ECLIPSE OF THE SON
THE Street's latest pair of star-crossed lovers, Toyah and Spider, missed the eclipse. But they did feel the earth move.
"How was it?" asked Emily when Spider came home.
"Er, it was..." said Spider, sheepishly sheep·ish
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
2. Meek or stupid.
sheep . "Brilliant!" squealed Toyah.
Just as well they were zipped up in a tent. One good gust of wind would have blown Spider's hilarious apology for a beard clean away.
In the Rovers, everyone was toasting Jack Duckworth's health - except Les Battersby, who thought it was a dodgy dodgy - Synonym with flaky. Preferred outside the US day to be going under the knife ("What with the eclipse going on. Bad omen, is that!").
While Jack waited for his op, you could clearly see the scar on his chest from actor Bill Tarmey's own quadruple heart bypass in 1986. Whoops.
Jack's convalescence convalescence /con·va·les·cence/ (kon?vah-les´ins) the stage of recovery from an illness, operation, or injury.
1. won't be helped by the untimely turning up of the Street's perennial bad penny Bad Penny was a CBBC sitcom written by English comedy writer Dean Wilkinson. It ran for two series (13 episodes) from 2003 to 2004.
It starred CBBC presenter Anne Foy as the happy and sweet, yet troubled, Penny Dreadful, who was constantly trying to thwart the surreal , his good-for-nowt son, Terry. Already, the poor bloke's memory seems to be going.
"He's your son! He wanted to come!" said Vera.
"Only because he thought I might not pull through, and he'd come in for a bit of summat!" growled Jack - only to repeat the same sentence, word for word, ten seconds later.
And another thing ... Jack told the hospital staff he had two grandchildren, Tommy and Brad (or R. Tommy and R. Brad, as Vera will have it).
Er, what happened to his first grandchild, the result of Terry's fling with a neighbour's daughter about 15 years ago?
Wasn't the girl called Andrea Clayton? And wasn't her father a milkman, played by Johnny Leeze - who went on to become Ned Glover Edward "Ned" Glover was a fictional character on ITV's Emmerdale from 1994-1999, 2000. He was played by Johnny Leeze. Family
Or is it MY memory that's going?
Larry pops up and pops off
BECAUSE The Larry Sanders Show was a top-class comedy from the States which laid bare the flabby tissue flabby tissue,
n See tissue, hyperplastic. of television and poured salt into the wounds, the BBC BBC
in full British Broadcasting Corp.
Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. never knew what to do with it.
Sometimes they showed it on a Tuesday, just after 11pm. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, just before midnight. Keeping us guessing till the last, they ran the final two episodes on Sunda, 11pm to midnight.
Jim Carrey came on the show and delivered a ghastly, over-the-top tribute song. During the ad-break, he hissed: "Let's cut the crap, Larry. I'm here for three reasons. Last show, big ratings, new movie coming out." Earlier, Sanders (Garry Shandling) had run across the studio car park to beg Warren Beatty to appear on the show to say goodbye. "I could say goodbye to you now" said Beatty, getting into his car. Sanders pleaded. Beatty thought, turned the ignition and murmured: "Goodbye." It never happened to Parkinson.
WHAT A RIP-OFF, ULRIKA
NOT content with gobbling up and regurgitating almost every successful BBC format, ITV (1) See interactive TV.
(2) (iTV) The code name for Apple's video media hub (see Apple TV). has now resorted to cannibalising itself.
Mother Knows Best (Saturday), the latest showcase for Ulrika Jonsson's amazing range of talents (i.e. smiling prettily, showing off and, er, that's about it), began by raiding Changing Rooms.
Lippy Lorraine, who could walk into an empty room and start an argument, complained that her son John and daughter-in-law Tara had no taste, and supervised the redecoration re·dec·o·rate
v. re·dec·o·rat·ed, re·dec·o·rat·ing, re·dec·o·rates
To change the appearance or furnishings of; refurbish.
To change a decorative scheme. of their living area.
This involved putting up maroon flock wallpaper and hunting prints, and laying a pink shagpile carpet.
"I like the feel of a nice shagpile!" cried Ulrika, pulling a face at the camera. If this was a joke, nobody noticed.
Not surprisingly, John and Tara were appalled. So Ulrika promised it would all be changed back again. A completely pointless exercise, then.
Next came a feeble attempt to graft Style Challenge on to Blind Date.
Colleen, a different John's mum, attempted to find Miss Right for her lump of a son by firing inane questions at three girls perched on stools.
Then she decided that John, who appeared to have been sleeping rough in a skip, needed smartening up - and he was dragged away to have a haircut and be crammed into a suit before dinner with his luckless date.
Time for a Stars In Their Eyes segment, with schoolteacher Jane coming on to embarrass her son and daughter by singing Dancing In The Street (unfortunately, her style owed more to Vic Reeves than Martha Reeves).
Finally, it was the turn of Surprise Surprise to be ripped off. Jan believed in white weddings, and was naturally disappointed that her daughter Anita and husband Mark had opted for a Star Trek theme.
All expense was spared as the couple and their guests were kitted out in formal gear and placed in front of a blow-up photo of a church, before - surprise, surprise! - Uncle Somebody arrived after being flown in from Kansas (where the corn comes from).
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. , the team which cobbled cob·ble 1
1. A cobblestone.
2. Geology A rock fragment between 64 and 256 millimeters in diameter, especially one that has been naturally rounded.
3. cobbles See cob coal.
tr. together this putrefying pile of garbage included no less than three producers and someone billed simply as a "consultant". What - if anything - he was consulted about, I can't imagine.
The Sopranos (Thursday, C4)
MORE everyday dramas in the life of a typical New Jersey Mafia family.
Tony's little boy, Anthony Jr, has been stealing sacramental wine from the church and hints that he knows what his dad does for a job.
This gets Tony talking about his own childhood to his sexy shrink.
SQUARE GOES IN
EASTENDERS threw a spanner in the works of the astronomical clock, by bringing the eclipse forward to Tuesday.
Melanie pursued Ian to Devon, and asked him to marry her. Ian hummed and hawed and thought not really.
Mel came back to Walford (which was bathed in a brilliant sunshine which passed the rest of Britain by) pursued by Ian, who had changed what passes for his mind.
Beppe told Grant he'd done a deal with Steve and was buying into the E20 club. Don't ask how he raised the money.
Since being booted out of the police Beppe has been a waiter in a restaurant on the brink of bankruptcy and is now a minicab min·i·cab
A minicar used as a taxicab, especially in England.
Brit an ordinary car used as a taxi
Noun 1. driver who's such a soft touch that he gave Sam a free ride across London.
Bianca went to Manchester for her art college interview. She made a big impression, despite having no qualifications.
She told the interviewers that what she loved about the market was "seeing people buying stuff that's gonna look good on them".
What? No one has ever bought anything from Bianca's market stall that would look good, even on a scarecrow Scarecrow
goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
See : Ignorance
can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am. .
When desperate Dan turned up at her hotel last night, she wailed: "I don't even know who I am any more."
The scriptwriters don't seem sure either.
Snide by side
HYPOCRISY Watch latest: On the BBC's main evening news on Sunday The News on Sunday was a left-wing British tabloid newspaper. It was launched in April 1987, but failed to take off. Publication ceased in November 1987. Origins , Fiona Bruce reported sniffily that Charles and Camilla had started their holiday separately "to avoid the attentions of the world's press".
So who had exclusive film of the couple stepping ashore together in Athens and sitting side by side in a bus to the airport? Why, the BBC!
Charlie's Clanger clang·er
n. Chiefly British
A blunder; a faux pas.
drop a clanger Informal to make a very noticeable mistake
MOST moving performance by a corpse - Maud's late fiance Sidney in Coronation Street. His body keeled over on the back seat of Fred's car, but in the next shot the dead man was sitting bolt upright again.
Like Hayley Paget, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, you could win pounds 30 by writing (postcard or back of sealed envelope only) to: TV Clangers, The Mirror, One Canada Square One Canada Square, a skyscraper in London; it is the tallest habitable building in the United Kingdom, at 235 m (771 ft) and 50 storeys (reduced from original plans for 60). Designed by the Argentinian-American architect César Pelli, construction was completed in 1991. , Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP. Or fax me on 0171 293 3544.