• James McGee

Random jottings...

You can tell Autumn’s here, can’t you? And I’m not just talking about the weather – excluding the recent late surge of sunshine - the fact that there’s a new series of Poldark on the box is sign enough. I did dip in and the first thing I saw was what’s his name pounding along that bloody cliff top. Doesn’t matter where he’s going – the next village up or a day trip to Llandudno - he’s still taking the scenic route. Is there any wonder there’s coastal erosion? It’ll be all those hoofbeats setting up vibrations. They do still all have great teeth, though. And talking of historical drama; well, sort of. I see there’s a new Ben Hur movie out: the sixth version, according to Empire - and they should know. Though, I think they’re including that awful miniseries from a couple of years back. The less said about that, the better. Any road, the new one stars Jack Huston – Who? I hear you cry – as Judah Ben-Hur, Toby Kebbell as Messala along with a bunch of other obscure thespians no-one’s ever heard of. It’s true to say that the reviews have not been favourable – only 2* granted by the aforementioned publication – but it does have Morgan Freeman as Sheik Ilderim – the one with the horses - sporting a cracking set of dreadlocks which, had there been any justice, should really have been given their own on-screen credit. I did hear someone refer to it as Fast and Furious with chariots. We should be so lucky. CGI looks impressive, mind you. Uh, oh, just seen the Guardian review which has christened it: Chariots of Dire along with a measly 1 * rating. Oh, well, at least we'll be spared seeing it in the Christmas TV schedules for a while...hopefully. Moving swiftly on...it's almost here...publishing event of the year...The Boss's autobiography, Born to Run, due out in a few days. I cannot tell you how much I've been looking forward to this...

He is set to take in some signing sessions over in the US, but no official word on when or even whether he’s heading over to this side of the Pond. Mind you, if I do hear anything, I’ll probably keep it to myself as there’s bound to be a big queue if or when it does happen. Watch this space… After that it's the Ryder Cup - I'm not sure I can stand so much excitement in one week. I'll have to watch it on Sky again but I'll persevere. Did manage to watch the British Open via my Now box, but gotta confess, for me, watching golf without Peter Alliss, Mark James and Ken Brown commentating was like watching Top Gear without Clarkson, Hammond and May. I could have done without those damned ad breaks, too. Can't believe I'm even mentioning this but it does make you wonder how that other commercial lot, Channel 4, are gonna showcase Bake Off now the BBC has lost that as well. I mean, the Open Golf and Bake Off? Some viewers are already hailing it as the end of civilization as we know it. Though, at the risk of being strung up, in my household Bake Off is up there with Strictly, and X Factor. I would rather cut off my own toes and serve them on a bed of pot noodles at an ISIS convention than watch any of those...but each to his or her own, I guess. All right, don't write in.

In fact, having said that, I did hear on the grapevine that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is also not at all happy with the planned transfer of Bake Off to Channel 4. Apparently, he's a keen viewer and often tries out the recipes in his secret hideaway, though it must be a bugger trying to produce a tray of bakewell tarts and a representation of a T55 Main battle tank made out of marzipan over an open fire using only a spatula and an old Jacob's Afternoon Selection biscuit tin.

On a more serious note and talking again of sport, I have to give C4 another mention as their coverage of the Paralympics has been brilliant. The athletes have been astonishing. No more so that the Egyptian table tennis player, Ibrahim Hamadtou, who has learned to excel in the sport using his mouth to hold the paddle and his foot to toss the ball up for his serve.

What an inspiration...that white blur is the ball...!

Watched the Great North run last week, too, and was blown away by the sheer guts of one remarkable lady, Claire Lomas. Claire was paralyzed from the chest down in a riding accident back in 2007. She began the half marathon, which runs from Newcastle to South Shields, on Wednesday and crossed the finish line on Sunday. She walked the 13.1 mile course using a bionic exoskeleton ReWalk suit along with husband Dan and her support team, raising more than £10,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Fund on the way.

Bloody fantastic.

Oh, and just to add...she's 16 weeks pregnant...