FROM THE DESK OF DOIG. Yup, this was another of Clive’s 1980s epics, only this bestrode the schedules like some corduroy collosus. Not once, not twice, not thrice, but four-weekly pupils v teachers grillathon based, somewhat lazily it has to be admitted, on plain old noughts and crosses. Pupil was “O”, their teacher “X” and “Board” was giant annoyingly clacketty tic-tac-toe grid, each space with four possible configurations – “O”, blank, “X”, blank. Answer a typically riddle-me-ree question correctly (sample: Is the day after tomorrow week the same as yesterday fortnight? How many legs does each contestant have in a three-legged race?), and get to turn squares a certain number of times by nominating positions, in a style later ripped off by Rob Curling’s TURNABOUT, with ultimate aim being, well, tic-tac-toe. First brought to us by HOWARD STABLEFORD before, and this order is correct, PAUL JONES (yup, out of Manfred Mann) then TREVOR “Bruno” BROOKES. Naturally it went downhill from there, Brookes’ arrival coinciding with the replacement of the half-decent Grange Hill-style opening theme with an annoying rap effort and lots of objectionable kids running about objectionably in the title sequence. Winners of first series, if you’re out there, were the pupils and teachers of Monk’s Wall School, Welwyn Garden City.
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Decadence and Downfall – The Shah Of Iran’s Ultimate Party
Sunday, 21.00, BBC4
Here’s a great example of hubris on an international scale in this fascinating sounding film, which looks back to 1971 when the Shah of Iran, the self-styled “King of Kings”, held the most incredibly lavish party the world has ever seen, spending billions of pounds in wining and dining dozens of Kings, Queens and Presidents. The aim was to cement Iran in general, and the Shah in particular, as a major player on the world stage, but in the event all this vulgar display of wealth did was piss off the Iranian public and put into motion opposition which led to a revolution. What a shame.
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