Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Diana Gabaldon at Edinburgh book festival 2022


Diana Gabaldon in Edinburgh

     NEW BOOK – Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

(we must tell the bees if something important is happening.) 

 About rebuilding the house on the ridge – with a third floor as a refuge.  She said this book is like a snake – she only knows where it is going a third of the way through. To  preserve what they love, and loop through the woods and time, always back to the Ridge. About “Loyalty”


She spoke of  keeping the Gaelic culture alive. 

For her first two books she was getting Gaelic from a dictionary. Ian Taylor got in touch with her and did translations. They were afraid Gaelic would be a dead language in ten years – “It would not be because we didn’t try.” She said, and Gabaldon was quite emotional over this. 


She has been in recent times one of the most significant people for Scotland’s soft power on the world stage.  She hopes there has been a Gaelic culture revival.

 (She would certainly enjoy Niteworks, who perform with beautiful Gaelic singers, I highly recommend.)


She is now writing book ten, and perhaps the last in this long running saga. While the first books were set in Scotland , the more recent seasons have been set in America, on the Mackenzie Ridge. In this way she has melded her own unusual roots – Mexican and English - with the important contributions  the Scots made in the early years of  European settlements in America before the wars of Independence. .


Her books are on the Number One best sellers list.

 As a child she read Disney comics and later thought, I could write better stories – so she wrote to the magazine editor. – Her first comic book was Scrooge McDuck.

G spoke of her writing process - ‘who is this character and what do they want.” The people are real for me she said. She enjoys the research process too and walking on battlefields, which are very spiritual. The research plus what appeals to me. 


After the fact storylines and shaping. She references her earlier books with delicate engineering, picking up the threads and little bits of the pattern.


130K book sales of her first edition. – and she has managed to stay ahead of the TV show. 

She is now writing on a prequel, of Brianna and Allan, Jamie’s parents and the Jacobites. 


She worked in research Arizona state university. 

Gabaldon studied Zoology, marine biology, and a PHD in behavioral ecology. Later she wrote

software reviews and technical articles for computer publications, as well as popular-science articles and Disney comics. She was a professor with an expertise in scientific computation at ASU for 12 years before leaving to write full-time.


And yes the Kilt inspiration!  

Season 6 Outlander

Saturday 30 April 2022

Privatization of Channel Four


The Tory party has plans to privatize channel four. Its been widely reported that the broadcaster has supported more local innovative and independent productions and that the is Tory revenge for their perceived anti-Tory reporting. CH 4 is a highly successful broadcaster.


Nadine Dorries is a lightweight embarrassment as the tory culture minster and in interviews was not aware that while ch4 is publicly owned, it pays for itself with advertising – a unique model. 


The loss of legend broadcaster Jon snow last December was felt keenly. – after his 32 years with the broadcaster ,he said “its been the greatest privilege of my life to bring you the news.”

According to reports a privatized CH4 would face possible 50% cuts to its £660m program budgets - – spent on content such as news and current affairs, Gogglebox and It’s a Sin – to force its model into that of a commercially-focused broadcaster. This is likely to mean cuts to content that does not bring in much income from advertising, which Channel 4 relies on for more than 90% of its £1bn annual revenues, such as news.


CH4 has set up offices in Leeds and Glasgow which would probably have to close.


Who owns Channel 4?

Channel 4 was established by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1982 to provide a culturally challenging alternative to BBC One, BBC Two and ITV. It is publicly owned but commercially funded. Unlike the BBC, which is funded through the £159-a-year license fee its viewers must pay, Channel 4 has no financial support from the taxpayer.


In 2017, the culture secretary Karen Bradley formally ruled privatization out, saying Channel 4 was a “precious public asset” that would “continue to be owned by the country”. Instead, the government pushed for Channel 4 to relocate significant parts of its operations and staff out of London. About 300 of its 800 staff have now moved to new “national” headquarters in Leeds, as well as “creative hubs” in Bristol and Glasgow.


Ultimately, it was decided that the benefits of a cash windfall to the government were outweighed by the scale of the detrimental impact on the independent TV sector.

"Jon Snow will have 'honorary citizenship in independent Scotland', says FM Nicola Sturgeon

Tuesday 19 April 2022

To set up Scotland’s very own media


worldwide success of Outlander

Scottish Media and Broadcasting. To set up Scotland’s very own media! Yes


When the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, was set up 1933, its strange that Scotland, an ancient nation begun 9th century, did not insist on its own media – when Scotland has always kept its church, Scots law, education and with its four ancient universities. 

Its been a cultural disaster for Scotland writes Paul Scott Henderson in his book on the Scottish Enlightenment. 


After recommendations by the Advisory Council for Arts Scotland 1981, initiated by the Saltire Society - some arts councils have set up here – The Scottish Arts Council (Creative Scotland), National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, (nearly closed), 


Nearly all Scottish arts councils have been run by English directors. Andrew Dixon, who ran the National galleries wanted to remove all Scottish art as he believed it was inferior and close the Scottish National Portrait gallery – but there was such an outcry and protest in Edinburgh, instead the historic building in Queen street was refurbished and reopened in 2014.


Henderson writes, “The problem is that many Scots children go through their entire time at school and learn nothing of their own Scottish culture, history or arts. This is shocking as most countries teach their national culture. Instead Scots learn about English culture which teaches them to feel second rate and inferior.” 


I have my own personal experience.

When I lived in the States, I had no idea I should be proud to be Scots – of the Scottish rich heritage – (even though I studied higher history)! I know Scots had made a few inventions. I knew of Robert the Bruc but I had no idea of the Scottish enlightenment. 

Brian Cox in Succession

James McAvoy

“Scotland’s government is responsible for Scotland’s culture, but has to ignore the most influential means of cultural expression. All the small, newly independent, nations of Europe have their own broadcasting and even the state of Catalonia has its own four tv channels.”


Are changes afoot 2022 – with the recent global successes of the series Outlander and at Cumbernauld studios; filming Batman Glasgow; Brian Cox in Succession; and several other well known Scots actors. And with Sam Heughan portraying Jamie Frazer a proud and principled Highlander.  #¥esScots



Jamie Frazer and Claire

Sunday 24 March 2019

Indyref Yes No vote 2014 documentary: BBC Scotland

The new BBC Scotland has been running a three part series on the Indy Ref Yes/No Vote 2014. 
‘We have made a vote for progress and change", spoke Alastair Darling, of leave of the Better Together campaign (of Lorretto 
school fame) after the 2014 vote. (45% yes, 55% no) How hollow his words ring....  We were promised all these increased powers; protection of our pensions; being in Europe,.

England must now also be heard. The day after the No vote result Cameron announced English votes for English laws. It was a dark forces of the blatant ignoring and side-lining of Scotland that was to come. Its hard to watch without feeling a sense of shame.  

One young man felt the NO side had more to offer – which suggests 2 things – their control of the media and press, and also the lists of promises. The wise amongst us saw from past performances and that promises or vows are actually Lies dressed up in fancy clothes and we listen to the MSM with questioning ears. 

Does this mean in a future ref the indy side, rather than have vague outlines, needs to have clearer promises? Perhaps? What would these be exactly – control of our resources, improved infrastructure, investment in R & D and education, a fair welfare system, business opportunities and investment… 

According to Osborne, ‘SNP were put back in their box.’ ‘Lib Dems were a spent focre.’ This also ruined Labour in Scotland – who barely got a mention in this series. Except for the very funny video shot in Glasgow of the Labour Mps descending to the music of Darth Vadar, " Our imperial over lords are here to rule us.’"! Or the blustering speeches of yesterdays man, Gordon Brown making promises he had no way of ever keeping!

Monday 6 March 2017

Scottish Broadcasting channel

Well, this is a shock! – announcement that the "Scottish Six" will not happen and then a few days later an announcement of a "Scottish BBC TV channel!"

I assume this is to keep the Anglicized Scots Yoons happy who love the union.

For 20 years a Scottish Six has been discussed, planned for and pilots made. There is a wealth of creative and journalistic talent here in Scotland. The BBC spends Scotland 55% of license money raised here – which compares to 75% for N Ireland, 100% England, 100% Wales. It’s been a scandal quite obviously!! This will increase License spend here to around 68%. There has been a dearth of Scottish Arts and Review programs.

The English news programs talk of BRITAIN as meaning England or Brenland – there is never any mention of the Scottish NHS or education being any different. Scottish news is totally ignored (such as the junior doctor strike).

The English-based national news does not serve Scotland – it is full of English only relevance on Brexit etc. The BBC ethos has been primarily is to promote the idea of a “united” UK and the concept of “Britishness”. The BBC often appears to be an Arm of the State. The Anti-Scotland Unionists are of course up in arms over the news! STV were also planning a Scottish news program. Why on earth can't we in Scotland be good neighbours without being run from London?

I read that the region of Catalonia has 4 TV channels, at a spend of £300m! A 24 hour news channel, a culture channel, a sports channel and a children's channel!!

As the InyRef looks likely it is very telling that the SBC will not start until autumn 2018!
Will we have NO media to cover IndyRef.

Saturday 31 May 2014

Reality Bubble

I was googling for info online and found Bo Bruce, a finalist on The Voice UK
She said the BBC spent no money on promo by The Voice, by comparison to the money spent by ITV on its shows – such as X factor. That acts appearing on The Voice UK are likely to fail once the show comes to an end.

The finalist stated that the BBC has too many restrictions when it comes to promoting acts in comparison to other channels. Leanne Mitchell’s debut album only reached no 134 UK album chart, and her single 'Run To You' peaked at 45.
"They just put out a single and didn't really advertise the fact that it was out there and available to buy..Normally you would have a huge marketing campaign before a big release. But you can't do that when you have won The Voice."
"Being part of the BBC, they can't be seen to do that. They have far more restrictions. If you look at The X Factor, they are allowed to heavily promote an artist or a singer. Because of that, they almost always have at least one number one single."

"BBC producers are not able to take control of the winner's career in the same way Simon Cowell does for his shows. I'm really glad I didn't win because it meant I could take my time.  Personally, it is better to be runner-up as there's less pressure to have an instant hit." Danny O'Donoghue said: "That's not the fault of the BBC. you can take an artist like that and question their work ethic." 

The reality of course is that the BBC can't be seen to spend money on things like the media hype for a contestant ( the BBC has no revenues from advertising).

Entrants to these Tv show should view them as a platform or showcase. for some exposure. Reality shows are intense short-term spotlights and anyone searching for a longer term career in music should look for other opportunities to showcase – such as the slow burner approach online and those at the small venues.

These shows create a false bubble for young people's expectations and therefore it can often be hard to deal with let downs, and with some entrants being as young as sixteen. It is necessary to be aware of these limitations and have your eyes open to the artificial nature of these reality tv spotlights.

The slow down in sales of CDs has affected these shows with money now in the live shows and song royalties

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Kris Drever and Lau on Jools Holland

Kris Drever, Aidan O'Rourke and Lau on Jools Holland this week - it is good to see folk and indie music is alive and well! Folk/Blues Chart  - Mumford No 1. - plus Kate Rusby, Bellowhead, Paul Simon, Laura Marling, Chieftains, Neil Young. Good chart! : ))

Lau -
Kris Drever PHOTOS - 

Thursday 15 December 2011

Good Reviews for Rebecca Fergusson and for X Factor Runners-Up

On a different note - Both Olly Murs and Rebecca Fergusson’s albums have had good reviews in the Sunday Times, even though both are X Factor graduates and Runners-up! 
I went to listen to Rebecca's album and it is really rather good and authentic. She was a favourite of mine in the show in 2010. 
Rebecca's debut album 'Heaven' has been receiving top ratings and reviews in both the press and radio. The Independent gave Rebecca a very positive review, claiming "By the law of averages, talent-show telly has to throw up at least one genuinely serviceable talent every ten years or so, and Rebecca Ferguson is surely that one." I thought this review somewhat poignant and are these 'experts' realising at long last that their prejudices against Reality artists are in fact based on ignorance?  Interestingly she insisted on writing her own songs so she might be authentic and Syco let her!

For the winners of these 'reality' shows the label fixate on the 'demographics' that slot people into a 'Type' and  the importance of targeting who their music will supposedly appeal to . By contrast the 'Runners-up' have less pressures on them from the label and from the controlling voice of Simon Cowell. 

It is all too easy to slag Reality tv off and it does have many flaws, while many bands and artists are 'put together' behind the closed doors of the industry and this 'developing' artists has gone on for decades, ever since the recording industry started.  I prefer some fresh raw talent to the 'over-polished formula' of the Guildford school graduates. The mantra should be about hard work and effort. 

The X Factor is another Promotional Tool for the Music Business.  
Rebecca Ferguson Review -  Telegraph,"After 12 years, reality TV has finally turned out someone who not only has the hallmarks of a real star, but is also an artist in her own right." Quote Rebecca, "Syco have been really brilliant – as soon as I put my foot down they back off completely. I just wanted songs I'd written on the album. At first I was going into sessions with writers who'd pretty much got all of the songs done already. But I told management they needed to let me write it because otherwise no-one's going to think I'm a credible artist. Then they let me just go into sessions on my own – I couldn't believe it.

What does scares me with music today is the ‘big American Media Conglomerates’ such as Warners and the damage they inflict on real music. Those XFM American radio Playlists and their cheap mindless sounds – all about gimmicks, dancers and pyrotechnics….

Saturday 15 October 2011

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

She has a haunting and beautiful voice.  Lana has been a big internet hit with her video on YouTube 'Video Games' now at over 2m hits.
There has been controversy on the web over her reincarnation from Lizzie Grant, and comments over her new image being put together by the Label guys... What's the big deal here? - Dylan was Mr Zimmerman and never rode boxcars. Many artists reinvent themselves, that's the whole point!
There appears to be a community online of those who wish 'put down' those in the creative industries. It is easy to criticize, harder to actually put yourself out there.
(Woody Guthrie rode those box cars though...)