Silent Movie

Here’s the latest in my And Finally TV reports.

I met a group who compose and perform music for classic silent movies.
They’re called the Southwell Collective and the movie featured is the 1928 French gothic horror, The Fall of the House of Usher, based on the novel by Edgar Allen Poe.

In the story a man is painting his wife. As the picture becomes more and more lifelike, so her health fails. As he finishes the portrait, she dies. It all goes downhill from there, she’s buried in a fancy coffin, which takes ages, and then the house burns down and she comes back to life, and it’s all a bit of a nightmare for the boy Usher, to be honest.

Watch out for my hilarious ‘usher’ torch gag,with a nod to the Blair Witch Project.

Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

Victory eclipsed by Mr Moon

I’m never one to moan about a fellow West Ham fan, but there’s one chap who is getting on my nerves. This Mr Moon fellow has been arriving and leaving the stadium during games for as long as I can remember.

There’s nothing more annoying than people arriving midway through games is there? You’re in your seat in plenty of time to enjoy the action but have to keep getting up to let others reach their seats. Inevitably this happens just as a goal is scored. The new arrival turns to watch it, but as they are standing up, your view is completely obscured.

At yesterday’s game with Nottingham Forest the master of the late arrival, Mr Moon turned up well into the second half as I was announcing a substitution. To many in the crowd it sounded like Mr Moon came on for the last few minutes of the game.

He’s not the sort of person you’d want to throw on to help protect a one goal lead in a cup tie, because he’s unreliable. In all the years I’ve been coming to West Ham, I’ve never known him stay for a whole game. He’ll often not turn up for five or six games in a row. Mr Moon has been to a few games recently but we’ve had so many home games in January.

True to form on Sunday he sloped off just a few seconds after the final whistle. He didn’t hang about to clap the players after a hard fought FA Cup win. Fair enough he might have worried about getting home with the tube messed up again but he could have stayed a few seconds longer to applaud Obinna the winner and the rest of the victors.

I think Mr Moon is getting too big for his boots. He’s on FIFA 11 now you know. Just like in real life at Upton Park, his arrival and departure are announced over the PA. It’s a recording that is triggered when he arrives. I don’t know exactly how it works. Maybe he wears some kind of electronic tag which is read by a sensor at the turnstile. It’s my voice that announces his comings and goings, so rather embarrassingly, I appeared to be interrupting myself during the substitution.

At the end of the game, when he legged it out of the ground with indecent haste, it interrupted the traditional singing of Bubbles which heralds a home win. If I knew what he looked like, or where he sits, I’d have a word with him. That’s the trouble with Mr Moon, no-one has ever met the guy. He’s a mysterious figure who’s been haunting the Boleyn Ground for years, rather like Inspector Sands on the Underground.

I suspect Mr Moon is not even a proper West Ham fan, he’s just a glory hunter.

So if you are reading this Mr Moon by all means come along to the game on Sunday against Birmingham. Why not bring Mrs Moon, we’ve got a special Valentine’s package on offer, see the club website for details. And young Master Moon can get in for a pound as it’s Kids for a Quid. Make a day of it why don’t you? But please, for the love of God, stay for the whole match and stop getting in the way.

Jeremy Nicholas, London 31.1.11

The Rocking Piano

I filmed a very interesting feature today with the designer of the world’s first rocking piano.

Sarah Davenport created it from a 1900s piano once owned by the Hong Kong ambassador. It rocks back and forwards as you play it.

I should point out that there is some camera trickery at the start of the piece which involves my cameraman, who’s a gifted pianist, wearing my jumper.

Fashionistas may like to know the pink jumper is from Gant and I bought it at the Richmond branch during the January sales.

The tallest cricketer ever

As it’s Christmas week, I thought I’d create my own version of the advent calendar, but without the chocolate.
Like so many of many ideas, I’ve had it rather late, so instead of 25 days worth, there’s just going to be 5.

Each day this week I will post one of my favourite BBC TV reports from the past year. Kicking off today with the tallest cricketer ever to have played professional cricket. I caught up with him at Leicestershire for the start of the season, along with his rather smaller batting partner.

Click below to open the window. (He said trying to keep the Advent calendar theme going, even though you can clearly see from the YouTube clip who is behind that window!)

Blue Peter

When I was a kid, Blue Peter was a top programme full of educational features.

This week I have seen Dick and Dom making pancakes on Blue Peter, plus a song by the young pop combo who are so poor they have to share the single name of Jedward.

I should point out that I only watched out of the corner of my eye and with the sound turned down, because I was in an edit suite at the time, putting together a cutting edge TV feature.  However, most angry letters to the Daily Mail  begin with the phrase, ‘I didn’t see it myself, but I was outraged to learn……’  (I don’t read the Mail myself, as it outrages me, but I’m led to be believe in the existence of such letters.)

What is going on in the world? Blue Peter used to be educational.  If you wanted to muck about you turned over and watched Magpie.  That was what commercial television was for.

Are really going to produce the leaders from tomorrow by teaching them how to make batter based snack products?  It was hard to tell the ingredients with the sound turned down, but these looked a bit like French pancakes to me. They were certainly a bit crepe.

When Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, he knew he needed to carb up, like marathon runners do with a pasta meal the night before a race.  That’s what pancake day is all about.  Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, call it what you want, it’s all about stocking up for the long haul ahead. It’s about getting ready to make a few sacrifices in your life, like giving up chocolates for Lent or going camping in the wilderness.

It’s not about dicking about in da bungalow and seeing how much mess you can make by battering each other. It’s certainly not about putting a Jedward wig on a Blue Peter dog while the tuneless, high-haired, halfwits leap about scaring the rest of the animals.

I remember the days when Janet Ellis was sacked from Blue Peter because she set a bad example to youngsters by giving birth to a young pop star, Sophie Ellis Bextor.  Presenters have always had to be whiter than white. Richard Bacon was sacked for having a diet coke, I seem to half remember.

I’ve still got my Blue Peter badge from the day I made a film for the programme. I got into the last three to become a presenter, having made it through the rigorous and notorious trampoline audition.  But did I get the job?  No they gave it to Anthea Turner, who after a good start spoiled everything by selling her wedding for the price of a bar of chocolate.

So that’s what this is all about. It’s not about wigs on dogs or messy cooks, it’s about not getting a job back in the early nineties, when I still had hair.  Well I never realised that’s what was going on in my subconscious.  This blog may well be turning out to be a bit dull for you the reader, but I tell you what, it’s saving me a fortune in trips to my analyst.

(I should point out in case my Mum reads this, that I don’t have an analyst and this is poetic licence. Even if it doesn’t rhyme.)

Jem    19th Feb 2010   On the couch

All of my funniest ‘And Finally’ TV reports all in one place for your Friday amusement- Jem
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJeremyNicholas
(includes Stilton Elvis, Shark House, Rabbit Hotel and Little Britain)