Sunday evening found me shouting at the television. Again. I'm actually not going to go on about it, much, but Britain's Secret Heritage (not anymore it isn't) on BBC1 was a masterclass in how to show pretty pictures, prance about in and around them in inappropriate clothing and then dub on tracks from the My Hundred Best Tunes CD box. With a lowest possible common denominator script, Cragside in Northumberland (above), saw Paul Martin, off something called Flog It, flog every hyperbole he could find in the manual, every two minutes. He did it in the obligatory puffa jacket, ill-matched with bright strawberry pink trousers, and was book-ended at Jervaulx Abbey ('this magical hidden gem") by the ubiquitous Clare Balding in a big bright blue dressing gown. Cragside was this week's 'host' location, which meant that we also had Charlie Boorman grinning on a rubber dinghy and a bloke pretending he'd slept all night in a Lincoln prison. Now, before I rant further, I must say that picking through all the debris I did manage to scavenge some titbits of interesting information. But what I will never forgive the producers for is not telling Mr.Martin that the architect of Cragside, brought in by owner Lord Armstrong to develop his Northumbrian shooting box, was none other than the brilliantly talented Richard Norman Shaw. He wasn't even mentioned once. Shame on you BBC. Next week Britain's X Factor Heritage.
Rethinking Civil Society
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