Friday, August 05, 2005


Earlier this week, we decided to indulge in a little televisual light entertainment, so we watched "The New Al-Qaida". This week's programme assessed the Madrid bombings, and filled in details of the lives of the Moroccans who carried out the attacks.

I think I took in most of the information, despite being a bottle blonde, but there was something which was distracting me ... ah, yes, it was the English voiceover, which sounded disturbingly familiar. Then the scales fell from my eyes. Bugger me, it was David Jacobs, wasn't it?

The older readers of this blog may be familiar with David's stellar work on Radio 2, for years and years. I was not aware that he was still disc jockeying, as he must surely be about 140, but a search of the BBC site reveals that he is indeed involved in a Radio 2 programme called "The David Jacobs Collection" which sounds highly promising. I will probably give the most recent show a listen later. It only lasts for an hour which is probably all he can take before being wheeled back to the BBC Home For Retired Broadcasters at Westcliffe-on-Sea.

Still, fairly disconcerting to find him turning up in a serious investigative programme about international terrorism. How was I supposed to concentrate? Particularly during an interview with the elderly father of one of the bombers. His son phoned him to announce that he was locked up in a flat surrounded by police and that he was going to commit ritual suicide. David Jacobs adopted the voice of a wheezy old Cockney geezer when the bloke's dad was speaking.

Much of the dialogue between father and son was edited out of the documentary, but is retrieved here for the first time.

The son's voice is provided by Beppe off of "Eastenders".

The phone rings.

Dad: Son! Bleedin' 'ell! How long 'as it been? You've 'ad us all worried!

Son: Dad, we've got to talk. I'me going to do meself in, NAH, this minute. It's an honour thing.

Dad: Son, you're 'avin' a larff! Stop messin'.

Son: No, straight up. The coppers is ahtside.

Dad: Son, son - what are you talkin' abaht? 'ow could you? Fink of me, fink of yer old mum - what wiv 'er 'avin that stroke only a few munffs back - you're bein' a right silly bollocks, in't yer? Don't family mean nuffin' to yer?

Son: Dad, I wish I'd never called. You never understood me. This is the only family I 'ave nah - right? Just shut it dad. This is abaht respect.

Dad: I'm gettin' yer mum on the dog. Perhaps SHE can knock some sense into yer.

Son: Bleedin' 'ell ... they've bust the doors dahhn ...


"The David Jacobs Collection" is on Radio 2 on Sunday nights at 11 pm.

Disturbingly, Robbie Williams cites The David Jacobs Collection as one of his inspirations for murdering Sinatra.

That was a figure of speech. In no way was Robbie Williams involved in the death of Sinatra. Just the desecration of his memory.
I noticed the lovable cockernee Arab dad too. Kinda broke the mood. I commend you for spotting David Jacobs, though. Wish I could watch it again to check...
Wyndham - I got all excited for a minute there. I thought Robbie Williams' murder of Frank Sinatra was the ultimate revelation from "Sinatra: Dark Star" which we've got recorded on Sky Plus. If the self-styled "Robster" is going to imitate Sinatra, I quite like the idea of him being controlled by the Stoke mafia for the rest of his days.

Mark - I'm sure someone will pop up with a comment informing me that, actually, it was not David Jacobs, it was Sir Harold Chatterton Potts, the veteran actor whose 1961 turn as Macbeth was a revelation. Not that I would have heard of him.
'H' Potts? 'Potty', as we knew him in the Lower Fourth? Good Lord, I haven't heard from him in years. Of course it was his performance in the Scottish Play that thrust him into the limelight (and oh so sadly precipitated his extended decline) but I prefer to remember him for his extraordinary turn as Lady Bracknell in the Upper School Experimental Drama Club rendition of The Importance of Being Earnest. The word 'handbag' never carried more weight, or spoke with such sonorous resonance...
It's saturday morning, and I have too much time on my hands...
Actually, it wasn't David Jacobs. It was Harry Enfield 'doing' David Jacobs. He still owed the BBC one last favour.
An even older reader remembers David Jacobs introducing Juke Box Jury.
Indeed Tony - a further Google search reveals that (a) at 79, he is younger than I'd assumed, and (b) he has been in numerous broadcasting roles on radio and tv for 59 years, man and boy.

I still think Desmond Carrington is the top man on Radio 2, though.
Pete Murray.
Is he still with us? Was a little disturbed to see Pete Murray Ringtones on offer, then realised it's a different Pete Murray.
Well, boggins, I looked at the Other Pete Murray's website - he is an Australian singer songwriter. Apparently, "when he lets rip, the emotion crackles like a storm". I think this is too much information. As for the Real Pete Murray, I saw him on a history of pop tv programme recently - a very good head of hair for a man of his age, it has to be said.
You sure he's not a petomane? (The other Pete Murray, that is).
Geoff, it's a good job that audiences don't hold their cigarette lighters aloft much these days - he could be a potential fire hazard.
David Jacobs' one remaining hour is part of the Redlands-style last outpost of What Radio 2 Used To Be Like All The Time; see also The Organist Entertains (where Mark Radcliffe got his start as a producer) and the dismayingly demoted Desmond Carrington (the person I always thought John Peel would become), shunted sideways to Tuesday and cut in half to make way for Elaine Paige's STRIDENT show tunes show, most of which, funnily enough, appear to be sung by Elaine Paige...
I've always rated the somewhat melancholy Desmond Carrington and his genuinely eclectic choice of music, and was miffed to see him moved to the Tuesday evening slot. I only listened to one of those programmes, and he seemed to have been advised to shoehorn in lots of Michael Buble and Katie Melua with a bit of Sinatra - because that's what you have to do to stay on Radio 2 these days. No doubt the controllers thought that his target audience was dying off (literally) and that 35-55 year olds only want to hear music made in their lifetimes. They are probably right, unfortunately.
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