Peter Rhodes: A worm in your ear

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

MISSING the big stories, a worm in your ear and a very British disaster

Jenna Coleman is Victoria (Picture: ITV)

MEXICO has its earthquakes, the Middle East its wars and the Caribbean its hurricanes. Meanwhile, a news website in Coventry has the headline: "Flooded garden means OAP has to put wellies on to hang out the washing." A very British disaster.

THANKS to the reader who tells me the Falkland Islands issue is solved irrevocably for all time because the Islanders have voted overwhelmingly to remain under the control of the UK. So the Falkland Islanders want to remain British. I want a convertible Bentley. So what? Nowhere in this wide world (with the obvious exception of Disneyland) is there any promise that just because we wish for something, we get it.

AN earworm is a catchy tune, song or random word that gets stuck in your mind. Try as you may, you cannot get rid of it. And has there ever been a more inescapably earwormy theme tune than Martin Phipps' anthem Alleluia for the ITV drama, Victoria, as performed by the group Mediaeval Baebes? At what stage in the creative process does an everyday tune become an earworm? Do composers see the magic developing as they write the score, putting those tadpoles on telephone wires, or are the worms magically born when the music is first played?

I TOOK a break from mending the gutter, mowing the lawn, rodding the drains and replacing the bath plug to read a feature about how grossly over-priveleged my babyboomer generation is, and what a hard time the younger Millennials are having. At that moment a text arrived from a young friend of the millennial generation. Apparently the flight was wonderful and the weather in Mauritius is lovely. Back to the drains.

HOW much of the allotted time on the latest Any Questions (Radio 4) was taken up by Jonathan Dimbleby's blathering? His job description as question master is presumably to introduce the questioners, ensure each panellist gets a fair crack of the whip and move on to the next question. Instead, Dimbleby seemed to regard himself as the fifth member of the panel, banging on endlessly about the small print of Brexit and demonstrating his vast knowledge of all things EU. It might have made a fascinating seminar for a room full of EU lawyers but, my goodness, it was tedious radio.

AND so was the News Quiz (Radio 4). Once again a panel of Remoaners set out predictably to demonstrate that each was more anti-Brexit, anti-Boris and anti-Theresa than his or her neighbour. It was a case of: look at me, folks, I adhere more loyally and enthusiastically to the London-elite line than anyone else. If North Korea is ever short of newsreaders, the News Quiz could help them out.

AS we focus all our attention on the EU, North Korea and Strictly Come Dancing, is there a chance we might miss a much bigger story? Tucked away down the news schedules is a report that a drug-resistant strain of malaria in Cambodia is in danger of becoming untreatable and then spreading from Asia into Africa. One expert told the BBC it could kill millions of people a year. Meanwhile, the really big news: Debbie snogs Giovanni.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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