I have almost stopped watching television altogether, it has been a long and slow withdrawal process but I believe I will emerge from this addiction a stronger and wiser person. I wonder how many hours of my life I have wasted watching inane programmes and thinking I enjoyed them.
However last weekend , apart from the obligatory ‘Casualty’ on Saturday night, I had a feast of T.V. viewing. It was an ‘Alan Bennett’ weekend on the Beeb and what a joy it was. I love that man. His sense of humour, his observations of Northern English life, particularly his finely drawn Northern women. Class. I love reading anything by Bennett, he makes me laugh out loud. And cry too occasionally. And I usually learn new words when I read him. Lovely words, unusual words - ‘glabrous’ (look it up yourself!)
Then on Sunday evening there was another treat in store for me - a dramatization of Andrea Levy’s ‘Small Island’. Great book, well adapted. What is it about England and wartime? They seem to do survival in straitened times so well. All chins up, shoulders squared and tally-ho.
So I started to think about all the good programmes I have seen over the years. David Attenborough’s canon of wildlife programmes. ‘Inspector Morse’, ‘Boys From the Black Stuff’, ‘Father Ted’,’Last of The Summer Wine’,the divine ‘Only Fools and Horses’. BBC adaptations of Dickens, Hardy, Austen. Paul Scott’s Raj quartet – ‘Jewel In The Crown’. Anthony Andrews and Jeremy Irons in Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’.
Ah, maybe I shouldn’t give it up altogether, just ration my viewing. And no contrived ‘reality’ shows (what an oxymoron!) or endless bloody ‘talent’ shows. None.