Tag Archives: BBC



WELL,  there you go. Picked up from Storrington today and drove back to Southampton with Alex for a slot on the Katie Martin Show on BBC Radio Solent. Which made me absurdly nervous and forget most of the things I wanted to say. Katie Martin is very nice, and certainly onside, besides, celebrity media likes positive, but I guess you always feel you’ve a bigger story to tell! Not only that but with one contribution today, perhaps it ain’t about a Media rush at all, but me! Hey oh. You can hear it all, here and now, which exactly like the project is up On Line only for the next seven days:


Which is partly why it was so great to walk it all off again and rejoin the South Downs Way, at the Chanctonbury Ring beyond little Washington. I’m afraid I owe the way a few miles. If you can find some dragon of storytelling here though it’s at these strange, rare ring mounds, and the track that winds up through knotted, tangled and ancient forest, back to the escarpment and the effort to rise above it all. They are either barrows, hill forts or just strange eruptions that curl up the land itself and in them you can see all the power of ancient myths and storytelling, like Mary Stewart’s dragon in The Crystal Cave. But after scrubby Southampton it was a joy to get back up there, under sun and cloud and set off again. Only a two hour straight walk, with no breaks, but always more surprises. So now you realise you’re getting closer and closer to the sea, after that clear, straight chalk path, with such beauty around, and quite a shock then to come over the brow and look down all the way to Brighton. Like the huge scar of a chalk quarry, that looks like a vast, white and unattended bowling alley, Brighton from the hills is frankly a blot on the landscape. Just because it’s man made and the memorial up here to someone’s “beloved South Downs” is so true, all about a love affair with the Downs growing in me too. Oh why, oh why though, did the song just before my little spot have to be Hewey Lewis and the bloody News, with The Power of Love – “makes one man cry and another sing.” If only they knew! That’s it though, it don’t take money, it don’t take fame…what will this take?

It was the stiff sea breezes gusting over the tops, in a glowing early evening, that made me feel I was already on a beach, or the downy, blowsy gentleness of it all, touched of course by the threat of power plants and Brighton Pleasure Pavillions that made everything seem at sea. But then, when the light moves and the clouds are high, when beetling track suddenly tumbles into mown pastures, these Downs not only become beloved, and feminine, and gentle, but you see entirely why England was always a part of the sea beyond and all is one. To get more real, I thought of Orwell and Animal Farm, as I came through a piglet farm, with sweet new snorters nudging the mud, then huge sows squealing in the wind, as crows lined the fencing and got a bit depressed again. So to another tip into a river valley, as the river Arun follows the Downs to the East, the strangely unnerving sight of a sign saying Eastbourne only 40 miles.  I was making for The House of The Rising Sun!

So here I sit, amazed by the beauty of the hills and light above the wimpy homes, across the car park in Upper Beeding, at The Rising Sun pub, bemused that Miss Martin’s show hasn’t made the breakthrough either, pleased by the warmth of my hosts Sue and Barry, who are preparing for their three day beer festival, in the most popular of the three pubs here, because it’s all about people, and wondering why a posh bloke like me is chatting to a geezer about selling kitchen units, next to saucy postcard wallpaper, courtesy of a certain Dupenny down in blousy Brighton. Still, with all I know since coming to the country about real pub life, I must just have more fun. They’re a nice lot here, salt of the beeding earth, tattooed and all, and I am turning to comedy, as I chat to a guy with a cocktail business in Brighton called Mixology and try to mix it up. I have mucked up the route tomorrow, having travelled further than I thought, so will keep you posted. Sue does a cracking walker’s breakfast and the son of the house, going on about writers, how he isn’t educated or a reader, but loved The Shadow of The Wind, thanks to his ex girlfriend, may have saved my life in reminding me what it’s really about – writing and weaving inspiring stories. A girl at the bar who had gown home for a bit to watch a Bake Off moved me too in talking about Children’s Books and how people just don’t read any more.

You can crowd fund Dragon In The Post, right now, pronto, by going to Indiegogo.com and looking it up!

You can also sponsor my walk for the RNIB at JustGiving.com/David-Clement-Davies

The Rising Sun pub does good value pub grub and simple b&b, singles at £35 and £70 a double, with ensuite bathroom. Telephone 01903 814424

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Have you seen the news that Mr Masterchef himself, the ever charming and supremely talented Michel Roux has just fallen out with the increasingly tasteless and cynical BBC over continuing tv culinary delights. He has our sympathy, especially because we can’t afford to eat at his restaurant and would love to, but perhaps he needs some heartening words about the rich biting back.

Michel might like the taste of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, in Horrid Heroes and Crazy Crooks below, which contains both him and a feast of TV Masterchefs.

To see the poem just CLICK HERE MICHEL

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Culture, London, Poetry


Oh dear Lord, if the cancelling of the tremendous and brilliantly written and acted Ripper Street is one sign of the corrupting cynicisms at the BBC, tonight’s Death Comes to Pemberley (pointless conclusion tomorrow) is the final proof. This loosely drawn and badly mocked up take on a future beyond Pride and Prejudice is exactly the corruption of awful commissioning editors and cynical writers, jostling for place and getting together to muse on what will sell. So they mix a take of now ‘popular’ characters, Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet or Mr Whickham and cobble it together with a supposed detective drama, hence the introduction of decent actor Trevor Eave as the sleuth, like Shoestring in a wig.

It is so bad, so boring, so totally unrelated to the depth of Jane Austin’s marvellous characters and deep social understandings too, not only should the great lady be spinning in her grave but the creators should be hobbled together and pelted with copies both of Persuasion and Hercule Poirot. It aches with the tragic infections of Downtown Abbey too in the search for successful Christmas TV and is so full of anachronisms, cheap attempts to be ‘period’ and hollow references to the ‘duty of great ones’ or ‘I will not be constrained by place, Sir’ that all the actors should be shot or moved to an episode of Dr Who. There is no character, certainly any reflection of Austin’s vividly living people, no script and no point. It is empty prejudice that has none of the pride of Ripper Street and it, like its creators, should be garroted at source.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Education, The Arts, Thrillers



The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead — his eyes are closed.”

Not the words of Professor Brian Cox, who just gave his charming and brilliant TV lecture at the Royal Society on The Science of Dr Who, but the words of the scientist at the heart of his physics, and the Dr’s too, Albert Einstein. Cox’s programme, including inserts of his mistaken entrance into The Tardis, in confusion over BBC make-up and his witty interaction with Matt Smith’s Dr, was both beautiful and filled with rapt awe, that sings out of Cox’s endlessly clear and accessible voice. A hugely popular voice, much enjoying the show too, not unreasonable for a former small-time rock musician, but never a populist or dumbed down either.

Beginning with Michael Faraday’s nineteenth century lecture at the Royal Society on the chemistry of candle light, he asked the question of whether Time Travel is possible. With the use of celebrity entrances, doing experiments explaining the point and wave movements of light, the spectrometry of elements, with Charles Dance squirting colourful, flaring things into flame, and the relationship between Space and Time, viewer and viewed, he effortlessly opened the box on Relativity. So proving future time travel possible, in fact always happening, in small ways, depending how fast you are travelling, since we move in relative space and time to one another. But clearly mapping the issue of travelling into the past, since the Cone of the Future is defined by the Universe’s ultimate speed limit, the big no-no, travelling faster than the speed of light itself.

He also ventured towards the Dr’s great opponents, Aliens, discussing the paradox that in an infinite Universe we should be being visited by Aliens all the time. They might have brought in a Sontaran or a Cyber Man, but on the other hand it would have been creaky, and Cox went back to wonder instead, to the journey of imagination, when he described how far the radio waves have travelled into the Universe, since the first broadcast of Dr Who in 1963; beyond the reaches of the Milky Way.

Of course we all travel back in time in our heads, through the physical notes that Faraday left of that lecture, through memory too and the accumulation of knowledge, the discarding of what is proved false. What we leave behind too, when we are gone. But Cox always has his eyes clearly set on the future, and the future of teaching science too. So, grasping that ultimate ‘speed limit’, he explained what happens when you touch the edge of the Future Cone. You only can if space-time-bending matter implodes, a Red Dwarf, creating a Black Hole. Of course a Black Hole, in the very smart and very modern reality behind the poetry of Dr Who, is what powers The Tardis, The Eye Of Harmony.

Cox’s words were beginning to sing, filled with harmonies, as he described both the reality and beauty of the Eye of Harmony, a point in time always frozen for the viewer, where you get very strung out indeed, if you are passing beyond that Event Horizon yourself, until you are crushed to a point of Infinite Mass. But as to traveling back in time, he also explained how no one knows if it is possible, because it might theoretically be possible to bend that entire and limited Future Cone around on itself and change the current map of physics, so effectively coming up behind yourself, and everything else, though never in this case up your own backside.

It left open the continuous possibility of wonder and discovery, worthy of all that poetry and imagination in Dr Who. So to a quiet nod to that Universe engine inside the Tardis, something bigger on the inside than outside, like the Human mind itself, with an eye on the limits of reality and discovery, but still in Einstein’s world of open-eyed awe. It was brilliant from start to finish, and unites what the BBC does best, passion and invention, with the time travel of creativity. Another thing it did was stress what is behind the Dr’s character itself, the freedom and courage of imaginative creativity and extraordinary adventure. We need more of this, but perhaps the excellence of Dr Who leads the way.



Filed under Culture, Education, Fantasy, Science, Science Fiction


All right, already, after the Phoenix Ark essay on the need for two languages, Professor Brian Cox and the BBC rather win the field with all their marvellous star-gazing. Just as talking to a believer the other day had us wanting to throttle them for their ignorance of Science, their arrogance, and their talk of supposedly overturned theories, that do not discredit great scientists, but which they simply use to inhabit their own prejudice or ignorance again. Like Creationists simply ignoring the fossil record, the age of the Earth and Universe, and precisely what people are physically looking up at now. Cox’s approach to the Apollo Mission astronaut and last man to walk on the Moon, Eugene Cernan, was awe wrapped and as charming as he was himself, unlike rather dismissive Darah O’Brian, while Cox captures the ‘miracle’ of it even in talking of the way we used to build Cathedrals, like kinds of imaginative spacecrafts, or powerhouses to the heavens. Could he speak about the power and mystery of the human mind too though, language itself, evolving out of nature, and all those crazy scientific ‘realities’ that make it all as extraordinary as talking of any God? What above all, in being facetious about Mayan Calendars, has he to say of the great human journey, that in a Billion years or two will be ended by the death of the Sun, and end any concerns about environmentalism or Global Warming too? A sense of perspective can be both useful and impossible, so keep looking up and out, but inside as well, and keep telling stories.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized