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Switch On; Scot's silent fame.

Calling someone "one of the most recognised people on the planet" is a staggering claim to make.

But in the case of Eric Campbell, from Dunoon, it was no exaggeration.

With bushy eyebrows and flowing beard applied, he was the big, bruising bad man opposite Charlie Chaplin in a string of silent comedies that were hits all over the world.

Yet today, mention of Campbell's name would be unlikely to raise an eyebrow, bushy or not.

This illuminating documentary went some way to putting that right, as it recounted how the 20- stone Scot had gone from the music hall stage to become one of the hottest properties in the movies.

Sadly, his success was not mirrored by domestic bliss.

His first wife died suddenly. Marriage No2 ended in a matter of weeks in bitter acrimony.

And after 18 months of silver screen super stardom, Eric Campbell died in a high- speed road accident after a boozy party.

It was all the more fascinating because it wasn't an often-told story.

The film was full of interesting titbits - like how Eric's ashes remained uninterred for years, because of lack of cash for the funeral.

Now the big man has an honoured plaque at a Hollywood cemetery and Brenda Bull has this TV proof for cynics who doubted that the baddie in the Charlie Chaplin classics really was her grandad.

Today's Top Film

SHALLOW GRAVE: A must. A gripping little thriller from 1994 about a bunch of flatmates whose relationships are drastically affected by the discovery of a suitcase packed with cash. Great performances from Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox, right, and Christopher Eccleston. Ken Stott is a scene-stealer as the investigating copper.

Channel 4, 10.00pm

Right to Differ

It was no laughing matter when comedy man Phil Differ filmed this series about religious experiences.

But the brains behind the hit show Only An Excuse was unprepared for what happened when he investigated the spiritual quality of parts of Scotland. Phil witnessed a bizarre occurrence just outside St Andrews - at a place where ancient Celtic ceremonies had been held.

Phil said: "One of the film crew freaked out. She was so terrified she had to be led away from the area.

"It was very strange and I have to admit I felt a sort of twinge as we walked over that bit of ground."

Phil's debut as a TV presenter begins with a look at the phenomenon of speaking in tongues.

He said: "The people I watched seemed to go into a trance-like state. Later they told me that what they went through was like a pouring forth of emotion."

Watchdog Entertainment Special

HAIL! hail! rock 'n' roll as the Watchdog team investigate the lucrative business of Sixties pop revival concerts.

They discover that when you go to see a gig featuring former chart bands, you might not see many of the original line- up.

In fact, you can bill yourselves as one of the legends of pop without having a single original member in the group.

That's how reporter Jonathan Maitland and other members of the Watchdog team happened to appear in a pub, billed as The Move.

The programme features some of the groups on the revival circuit, plus clips of the original golden oldies in action.

The programme also takes a close look at some of the extra charges made if you book a concert ticket by credit card.

There's also an intriguing look at the attempts of some mega-stars to manipulate the media, plus an examination of the work of a film extra.

Pick of The Box

A beastly encounter

THE X-FILES: If you don't like creepy crawlies, you might have a problem with tonight's episode. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny, left) has a skin-crawling encounter with killer cockroaches. Scully better watch out that they don't put the bite on her, too.

BBC1, 9.30 pm

Comedy

3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN: This alien comedy is consistently funny, as the Solomon family discover more about the behaviour of earthlings. Tonight John Lithgow, right, comes to grips with the business of telling whoppers.

BBC2, 9.00pm

Nature

SURVIVAL - ELEPHANTS OF THE DUNES: Since an elephant never forgets, you'd imagine that they wouldn't have too much difficulty tracking down water. But the wet stuff is particularly scarce in Africa's Namib Desert.

ITV, 7.30pm

Factual

NIGHTMARE: THE BIRTH OF HORROR: Time for a howl at the moon as Christopher Frayling follows in the footsteps of The Hound Of The Baskervilles. John Nettles, left, appears as Sherlock Holmes.

BBC1, 11.45pm

Chat

VANESSA: The colourful Miss Feltz, left, invites folk who have had affairs to come clean about their indiscretions in Britain's answer to the more down-market American talk shows. More daytime titillation.

ITV, 2.20pm
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Millar, John
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 9, 1997
Words:794
Previous Article:IT'S GOOD TO ROCK; SEASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: SCOTLAND'S GREATEST RECORD AND GIG GUIDE ... EVER.
Next Article:Sorry Babs, but you lost the plot; THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (15).


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