Alex Higgins, the genius who popularised snooker on TV, takes his final curtain call.

July 26, 2010

Alex “Hurricane” Higgins died over the weekend, but his legacy will last well beyond a few days of media tributes. This genius and enfant terrible brought snooker to the attention of the masses, and helped popularise the sport on television.

Although the advent of colour television and the the BBC2 programme “Pot Black” made the sport of snooker accessible to television audiences, it was Alex Higgins’ flamboyance and flair that engaged them. His genius for breathtaking shotmaking and showmanship excited audiences and left them spellbound. Few sportsman have the ability to do this, but the fiery Irishman was able to captivate an audience like no other in his chosen sport. (more…)

Hold the front page of your so called declining local weekly newspaper: rumours of it’s death are greatly exaggerated!!

July 24, 2010

To bastardise Mark Twain, rumours of the death of the local newspaper are greatly exaggerated, as this week two local rags secured scoops and exclusive interviews with Paul Gascoine and Mick Jagger. At a time when the local and regional press  is reportedly greatly threatened by the dynamic immediacy and fastmoving rolling TV news channels, internet and social media, this week two local newspapers in the South fought back with national “Red Top” / tabloid style celebrity interviews.

One regional newspaper reporter scored an exclusive in-depth interview with England football legend Paul Gascoine after tracking him down at a local rehab centre; meanwhile another put her local rag centre stage with an interview with Mick Jagger after keeping  him in detention in the Headmaster’s study at his old school. What this demonstrates is that the traditional newshound, a fusion of sleuth and scribe, is still very much alive and well and living in close proximity to the chip shop, off licence and dry cleaners on a high street, in a provincial town near you. (more…)

Jonathan Ross’ fall from grace and favour has parallels with his alter ego, Oscar Wilde!!

July 17, 2010

As Jonathan Ross took his leave of the stage for the final time on his BBC1 chatshow last night, I thought at least there is one final Radio Two show tomorrow morning. For me, as entertaining as his TV appearances have been, his natural habitat has always been radio. From now on, there will be a massive void on a Saturday morning where there was once wit and warmth, humour and imagination.

Jonathan Ross is a rare breed of broadcaster. I never felt that the medium of television did his talents full justice: he always seemed slightly stilted, heavily scripted and generally a little ill at ease. However radio, commonly referred to as the “Theatre of the Mind”, gave him the perfect vehicle to fully exercise his marvelous imagination and voluminous streams of consciousness. Ross is a natural raconteur, and radio unlike television gives you the licence to tell a story. His mastery of the English language, combined with his ability to weave a witty yarn really do make him the contemporary Oscar Wilde: exemplified by his physical appearance; the foppish hair, the sartorial elegance with the dapper suits all add to the image of a modern day “Dandy”!! In an earlier blog article, I suggested that he would dovetail perfectly into the role of Dr Who. However his work on Earth as a chatshow host is not done yet, as he will be returning to ITV next year. (more…)

How the Government, retailers and marketeers must wish that they could bottle the essence of good will generated by the World Cup and the Flaming June heatwave.

July 16, 2010

Marketing Week magazine this week reported that “UK retail sales were boosted by hot weather and the World Cup in June, according to the latest British Retail Consortium figures. Total sales increased 3.4% compared to the same month last year and like-for-like sales rose 1.2%”.  Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC commented in the article – ” ‘In the food sector, barbeque products, salads and ready meals were in demand but very significantly sales slowed following England’s exit form the World Cup. In non-food areas, sales of TVs were considerably boosted by the World Cup and outdoor garden products buoyed by the hot weather’ “.  Since both heatwave and World Cup came to an end simultaneously last Sunday evening, it begs the question how will this impact on public morale, and therefore on consumer spending? (more…)