Peter Rhodes on a scary bridge, a superb Western and the serious side of the second Covid jab

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Helena Zengel and Tom Hanks in News of the World, alongside Mare Winningham
Helena Zengel and Tom Hanks in News of the World, alongside Mare Winningham

It is reported that children are now watching more streamed TV than BBC programmes. No surprises there. How many times have you flipped through the BBC schedules, found nothing worth watching and switched straight to streaming?

That's how, a few nights ago, we gave up on both BBC and ITV and discovered News of the World (Netflix), a Tom Hanks movie set in a dirt-poor and achingly believable Wild West. A superb night's entertainment.

News of the World co-stars an 11-year-old German actress, Helena Zengel. According to the publicity machine, when she was offered the part, she had no idea who Tom Hanks was. It's one of those astonishing little Hollywood titbits that, on closer inspection, is not really that astonishing. Why would any under-12 would know who Hanks is? When you're that young, anyone over 20 is not only ancient but invisible.

Behold, I am twice-jabbed . The second Covid-19 injection was quite unlike the first, in February. Back then, we skipped out of the injection bays like young bullocks gambolling into the spring pasture. Since then, a few folk have developed blood clots and it's all a bit more serious.

The second jab involved a lot of reassurance about clots from the jabber (“You're more likely to be hit by a bus”) and a brief exchange with another person (senior nurse, lawyer, who knows?) who asked: “So you're quite sure you want this?”

They seemed very eager to get our consent. I can't think what else to report except that, at the time of writing, I am still alive.

Portugal has just unveiled the stuff of nightmares. Arouca 516 is the world's longest pedestrian bridge which spans 516 metres above the Arouca Geopark at a height of 175 metres.

It's made of steel mesh so visitors have a clear view to the canyon of the River Paiva far, far below. Local residents were allowed on the bridge before the official opening and seemed impressed, if scared.

The key thing is that everyone behaved. But the world is full of loonies, especially on holiday. Imagine trembling your way across Arouca 516 as a bunch of lads decide to see if they can make it swing. I deeply distrust lads. I used to be one.

So much fury has been poured into the issue of decorating Chez Boris in Downing Street that you might assume the epicentre of all the nation 's croneyism, corruption and dishonesty is to be found in one small flat, while a great silence surrounds the affairs of an entire city. Much been happening in Liverpool?

You couldn't help but notice that among the placards at the Kill the Bill demos at the weekend was the hammer and sickle flag of Communism. Because Communist bosses were always pretty relaxed about street protests, right? Unless you happened to live in Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Beijing, in which case they sent in the tanks and machine-gunned you.

Does nobody do history any more?

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