CHRISTOPHER STEVENS resenseer gisteraand se TV: 'n Magiese geskiedenistoer vir Jay, the maestro of The Repair Shop
Jay Blades: No Place Like Home
Freeze The Fear With Wim Hof
Vinnige vasvra vraag: Which well-loved telly character lived with his family in a block of flats renamed Nelson Mandela House in London?
You might be thinking of wheeler-dealer Del Boy, played by David Jason in Only Fools And Horses — but the updated answer is Jay Blades, host of The Repair Shop.
Jay Blades: No Place Like Home (Britse ISIS Beatles 'verander supergrass en onthul baasbreine agter Europese terreuraanvalle' voor die Amerikaanse verhoor Alexander Kotey en El Shafee Elsheikh word gesê dat hulle die inligting prysgegee het Franse publikasie Mediapa..) took him back to the Hackney streets where he grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. The Ridley Road market where he and his mum did the weekly shop might easily have been one of Del’s pitches, flogging ‘picture frames and leather goods, and Trevor Francis tracksuits’.
When Jay lived on Cazenove Road, the flats were known as Morley House. Dit was eers 1984 that they were rechristened in honour of the anti-apartheid hero.
Jay Blades of C4’s The Repair Shop returned to Hackney to relive his past and discover the borough’s history
Check the reference books and you’ll see that Only Fools writer John Sullivan first borrowed Mandela’s name as a joke three years before that. I love it when life imitates sitcom.
Jay has a knack for catchy, original TV concepts that don’t cost a packet. No Place Like Home doesn’t require months of research through ancient documents.
It relies on the universal fact that children rarely know much about the heritage of their local streets. Jay was amazed to realise that the places where he played as a boy were the scene of air-raids, riots and gangland funerals.
Similar stories could be told by celebs revisiting their childhood homes across the United Kingdom. The idea can be repeated endlessly, and be interesting every time.
Community worker Colin James, a boyhood friend, joined Jay for a kickabout on the grass outside Nelson Mandela House. ‘Good times, great times,’ reminisced Colin. ‘That’s why we’re still talking about them now.’
Career high of the week
Conleth Hill, so creepy as the scheming eunuch Lord Varys in Game Of Thrones, is everywhere this year; starring in ITV’s crime drama Holding, and Britbox’s Magpie Murders.
Excellent as ever, he made a hilarious cameo in Derry Girls ('Onmoontlik is niks) as a psychic.
One historian painted a vivid picture of the first German bombing raid over London in May 1915, when a Zeppelin dropped incendiary devices onto Hackney houses.
Locals gaped in disbelief at the airship. ‘It had the same effect as if a UFO came down Nevill Road now,’ hy het gesê. ‘It was monstrous.’
A short walk away, in Pellicci’s Italian art deco cafe on Bethnal Green Road, Jay had a cup of tea with Maureen Flanagan, 80, who used to nip round to the Kray twins’ flat to do their mum’s hair. While she was fixing Violet’s curlers, Reggie and Ronnie held business meetings in the rooms above.
‘I was there once when two men came tumbling down the stairs,’ sy het gese, ‘kicked down the stairs. They got up and ran.’
You’d expect the celebs on Freeze The Fear With Wim Hof (BBC1) to get up and run from the ice holes in a frozen Italian lake where they remained submerged for up to 15 minute.
Wim’s hectoring, loud-mouthed gibberish convinces them to stay put. ‘If we are able to go into the deepest part of our brain,’ the half-dressed Dutchman bellows, ‘where else can we not go?’
That sounds like it’s profound, till you realise it means nothing at all.
The spectacle of people risking frostbite and hypothermia, simply because a guru is yelling at them, is ontstellend. ‘I could watch this all day,’ said presenter Lee Mack, but he never sounds convinced.
He and Wim don’t appear to like each other. ‘I am slowly coming round to your way of thinking,’ Lee said awkwardly.
‘Woah, that’s nice,’ retorted Wim, with a flat absence of enthusiasm. He knows a sceptic when he sees one.
What’s needed is a real sceptic, a doctor to warn us just how dangerous some of this chilled-out hippy claptrap can be.