For those who have seen the film Good Night, and Good Luck, the name of Edward R Murrow will be a familiar one. The man christened Egbert Roscoe Murrow was not just the greatest broadcast journalist of his generation but purported to be the best there has ever been in the US, and few if any would argue otherwise. As the example below shows from the CBS show See It Now, he was supremely eloquent and learned, testament to the time he put in to his research and scripts. This effort was never better exemplified by the clip we see here, in relation to the Joseph McCarthy anti-communist witch hunts of the early fifties.
Although he will forever be remembered for his part in bringing down McCarthyism, his work throughout the years was always exemplary. Additionally, those in Britain are indebted to him for his ability to communicate to large audiences. It was Murrow, broadcasting from London at the time of the Blitz who helped bring the horror of war home to the American public thousands of miles away through the medium of radio. Of course it wasn’t he alone who convinced the American administration that the US should enter the war but he did inform millions and in no small way facilitated support for the allies and disgust of the Nazi regime. Today, the view that many Americans lack sufficient knowledge on the rest of the worlds social and political situations is still prevalent but this is an accusation that could never have been leveled at Murrow. His extensive travels and genuine interest in other countries and cultures both pre and post World War Two saw to that.
In later years Murrow did in fact have direct influence on the US government when he took a job aiding the Kennedy administration. His legacy however will of course be down to his skills as a broadcast journalist, something he would have preferred. His sign off wasn’t half bad either.
Amidst the protests occuring due to the Pope’s visit to the UK, it was most refreshing to see someone using the influence of Father Ted to get their point across. You can see the original piece from Father Ted here and see it’s prevalence in 2010 below. Superb. While we’re at it, this is pretty funny as well.
I do enjoy a good sports commentary and I recently met and indeed worked with Barry Davies who was guest hosting Fighting Talk on BBC Radio 5Live. He was, as I was unsurprised to discover, a thoroughly charming and friendly gentleman and I made sure to tell him that I thought his commentaries over the years have been in my opinion some of the best, if not the best. They were always delivered with the right mixture of information, intelligence and on many occasions, wit. He also knew that sport can speak for itself at times and didn’t overload the viewer with too much verbal assistance, a skill not shared by all in the field. He will undoubtedly always be remembered for such lines as “Interesting, very interesting… look at his face… just look at his face” which can be heard here as well as other such classics including “You have to say that was magnificent” after Maradonna’s second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup here and the summation after Great Britain’s third goal against Germany in the 1988 Olympic Hockey final of “Where were the Germans?… and quite frankly who cares?” found here. While some of his contemporaries would be content with just one moment of memorable commentary, Barry has a barrel load so here are a couple more. Firstly, there was the Gazza free kick for Spurs v Arsenal in the 1991 FA Cup semi final here and if you fancy more than a quick sound bite, here is five minutes of Barry doing his thing again at the 1986 World Cup during England v Poland. There are many more examples of course, and that is testament to the man and his talent.
So here it is, The Belle & Sebastian TV Show which I hosted and also played the role of the band’s pragmatic managerial type person. It’s not often I have more than one role in a TV show but it was thoroughly enjoyable to have the opportunity on this occasion. Alas, I’m still somewhat lagging behind Sellers‘s four roles in Dr Strangelove although I do own the soundtrack for After The Fox containing the superb title track written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and performed by Peter Sellers and The Hollies. You can hear that masterpiece here and indeed watch the opening credits to the film. That is really somewhat of an aside however, here is the televisual spectacle Belle & Sebastian Write About Love (with yours truly). Enjoy.