Which witch hunt?

I’m not a great fan of Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live, which all too often aims low (last night’s sketch of ‘Abu Qatada’s Cribs’ was typically weak). Conversely, though, when it hits the right note, it really gets it right.

Also last night, newspaper columnist and TV presenter Charlie Brooker gave a poetic rant about all the various groups which The Sun has railed about, and now which make associate editor Trevor Kavanagh’s claims that its journalists are now being subject to a ‘witch hunt’ all the more hypocritical.

Copies popped up on YouTube instantly, only to be taken straight down again by Channel 4 claiming copyright on the clip. And quite right, too.

The clip in question is available on Channel 4’s own site, and they’ve made it available to embed in other people’s websites:

It’s a genius piece of writing. If Brooker was the author as well as the performer, then all credit to him: if not, though, whoever did write the piece deserves their place in the spotlight.

Screeny Todd

Last night I took Paul along to see Sweeney Todd at the Union Theatre, which I was reviewing. As someone whose musical theatre experience is much larger than mine, it came as something of a shock that this was to be Paul’s first Sweeney.

As it was, it was only half of his first Sweeney — as he was working nights, he had to leave in the interval in order to start work on time. However, he did say that he was looking forward to the second half, which is a marked improvement to some of the fringe theatre musicals we’ve seen in the past. At one point we did discuss the possibility of his staying for some of the second half, only for him to run out once the blood starts flowing, all to add to the sense of Grand Guignol. Luckily we decided against it, as there is very little blood (and a particularly ineffective barber’s chair) in this production.

It was a good production, all told. Although I did find it a little distracting that Sweeney was the spitting image of professional curmudgeon Charlie Brooker. Speaking of which, his TV criticism series Screenwipe finally returns to BBC4 next week after far too long being absent from our screens.