Yesterday, on the train back home after a weekend on the other side of the country, I caught the end of Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, discussing anger management with Rabbi Julia Neuberger. Discussion over, he segued into 'Fairground' by Simply Red. Now, there's very little more likely to make me want to punch holes in brick walls than the sound of Mick Hucknall. All of the good work done by the interview and phone-in was unravelled just outside Stowmarket. I thought Jeremy Vine was meant to be a music lover?
In the profit column, we're living through a golden age of archive television repeats. BBC4 dug out Magnus Magnusson's rather wonderful preview of the 1972 Tutankhamun exhibition, and cobbled together a half-hour of the greatness that was Sir Mortimer Wheeler (who should be played by Simon Callow, if a biopic is ever made). Elsewhere, More4's 'Channel 4 at 25' season has thrown up some real gems, including the 1986 production of Mervyn Peake's 'Mr Pye' and a complete 'Tube' from 1983. The latter made for both joyous and sad viewing. Paula Yates, Big Country's Stuart Adamson and Tyne Tees studio 5 - designed by Richard Rogers, as it happens - all went long before their time. OK, I know that studio 5 is still there as a church, but it should be a TV studio.
Talking of which, the BBC's decision to sell off Television Centre strikes me as the worst kind of short-sighted, cost of everything, value of nothing, horsepiss. The main block - as good a bit of New Elizabethan/Festival of Britain-style design as you'll find away from the South Bank - is as fit for purpose as it was when it went up in the late 1950s. Any short-term financial gain will be spunked away on hiring in facilities of the same type as those sold off. Even though far less is made in studios nowadays, if TC closed, there would not be enough capacity in the UK to meet current peaks of demand. The cost of moving to new premises will be lower on paper, but, in reality, it will spiral. The great money-saving manoeuvre of BBC Birmingham from Pebble Mill to the Mailbox ended up costing far more than staying put and renovating the existing site. But, hey, what do I know? I only help pay for the Corporation.