This week's Radio Times has one of the most devastatingly unfavourable reviews for an upcoming programme that I can ever recall reading. So explicit is the withering comment about what viewers can expect to see tonight at 9pm on BBC4 television that I felt I just had to reproduce it here. The preview is on page 82 of this week's print edition of Radio Times (at least in the Scottish edition) and can be found in the online Radio Times here. Marvel at its frankness:
How to Be Old with Nicholas Craig
Tuesday 14 July
9.00pm - 10.00pm BBC4
Third-division thespian Nicholas Craig is inexplicably given another hour of airtime to sound off on acting technique, a subject where his lack of expertise could not be plainer. This time, the precious gasbag delivers a footling, downright insulting bulletin on how to portray elderly characters, betraying his trivial outlook by advising on coughing, hobbling, falling ("into a coma or under a bus") and playing grumpy butlers.
It's hard to know what's most unbearable about Craig: his vain self-promotion (he plugs his dreadful Charming Walks for Older Actors book), his flagrant name-dropping or his evident bitterness at having been written out of Doctors when his salty sea-dog character went mad. In any event, Derek Jacobi, Patricia Routledge and Liz Smith are among those who'll be livid when they see this.
Radio Times reviewer - Jack Seale
No doubt Mr Craig and his agent (assuming he still has one after tonight) will have been overjoyed to read this write-up.
I can't record this easily, as I'm already recording two other programmes on my DVR at the same time this evening, so may end up watching as much of it as I can stomach, failing which I will have to try and rig up one of my rather ancient VCRs to record it on the now somewhat outmoded videotape so I may savour it later.
UPDATE: (Wednesday 15JUL09 14.30 BST) Well, it seems this whole show was a spoof by the actor Nigel Planer, a fact I was alerted to by James Higham in the comments. Well it is a fine conceit I suppose, one that I seem to have been completely taken in by. Doh!!