Friday, June 17, 2005


'Well You Know I'm Sorry But, If I Live To See The, Seven Wonders, I'll Make A Path To The Rainbow's End, I'll Never Live To Match The Beauty Again'*

Ok. I admit it. I did sort of write this post because I love those lines. I heard 'Tango In The Night' again today, and I'd forgotten just how much I used to enjoy it.

There is another reason, however. You quite often hear various bloggers complain how left-wing the BBC is. Well, maybe, I don't know. What I do know, however, is that it is still filled to the brim with any number of parochial, I'm-a-little-Englander type programming.

A glorious example of this genre was just on my screen. It was called 'The Seven Natural Wonders Of The West Of England', and was presented by a middle-aged lady called Amanda Parr who wore checked riding trousers throughout. She seemed pleasant enough in a country-bumpkin sort of a way. She certainly had an affable manner, even if she did seem a little too likely to shout 'TALLY HO!' at any point. The programme simply showed her travelling to each of these 'wonders' and commenting a smidgeon about each. For those who are undoubtedly desperate to know, here are said 'seven wonders:'

1) The Severn Bore
2) Cheddar Gorge
3) Bath
4) Exmoor
5) Symonds Yat
6) Glastonbury Abbey/Tor
7) The Standing Stones Of Wiltshire/Stonehenge

The last two seem somewhat unfair since they appear to make nine wonders. Never mind, that is what the west has to offer. I suppose I'm being a bit cruel, taking the piss - none of them are the Pyramids of Giza, but then she never pretended they were. My point, however, is that programmes like this, presented by ladies like Parr, who was succeeded on BBC2 by 'Gardener's World', presented by Monty Don, hardly himself an icon of modernity, show that the BBC does not spend its entire budget producing daring leftwing statements, or funding apologias for terrorism, or whatever else they are frequently accused of. Little-Englandism lives strong yet.

Go West. And then 'Call me!' How witty am I? Sometimes, just sometimes, I even make myself smile.

*Fleetwood Mac, 'Seven Wonders'

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