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  1. #1
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    I have decided I am very shallow. I see David Starkey's about to come back with the next chunk of his take on history, I made a mental note to miss it. A little of David Starkey goes an awfully long way with me, as with Simon Schama and Peter Ackroyd. History presenters are interferring with a straight telling of the facts - Starkey is threatening his viewers with his latest theory on what it all means and dares you to argue with him. Remembering his rabid dog act on the radio programme "The Moral Maze" - I will decline.



    All this criticism of male history presenters but I am very shallow I have decided and will tell you why.



    I was listening to Simon Mayo interviewing Ray Winston I think when suddenly realised the guest had changed to some one feminine. Just as I learnt it was Bettany Hughes, historian – apropos nothing I had heard she asked Simon to look at her top garment and tell her if he could see her breasts? Boy if I hadn’t been sitting down already....! Anyway, Mr Mayo being the gallant gentleman he is demurred from undertaking the good Doctor's request for an examination. Me – I was off and running to get my stamp collectors magnifying glass (two bands of light helps with viewing thru it). I closely inspected my radio but am sad to report I couldn’t see Ms Hughes top half. Sigh!



    Yes I can say in 3 words one of the reasons televison history matters to me. “Doctor Bettany Hughes?. With the David Starkey’s, Simon Scharma’s and Peter Ackroyd’s shoving themselves into camera shot on every occasion they can – mostly when history programmes are on (which my missus loves)I find something more urgent to do. Like watching paint dry in another room, which hasn't been re-decorated in a decade. But then I saw one of Doctor Hughes' historical programmes and was hooked.



    As I said - what a shallow person I am as I usually yell at the men presenters draping themselves all over my view of the pyramids or the Tower of London or whatever.



    But ask me what subject each Bettany Hughes’ programme was on, be it an hour or even two hours long and I would no doubt only mutter incoherently “Bettany! Bettany!? I am a disrespectful viewer with Peter Ackroyd – his shows on The Romantics and London were wonderful but his constant presence on the screen looking moodily off into the middle distance irritated the heck out of me. But I consider it a frame of film wasted if Dr Hughes isn’t in it. Her head, just so, the sun glinting of that raven jet black hair. I'm weak. Hey, can someone move those damn pyramids out of the way?



    Ready for your close up, Dr Hughes!

  2. #2
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    I agree with your point that presenters should stay in the background and just concentrate on telling the facts wherever possible. I suppose it's all part of the 'cult of celebrity' which even applies to serious arts programmes nowadays. However, I'm a big fan of David Starkey's history programmes, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's first instalment on Charles II. He manages to get the blend between education and entertainment just right, and I enjoy his own interpretations even though I don't necessarily agree with them.



    Regards

    Phil Turner

  3. #3
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    name='faceoff']



    With the David Starkey’s, Simon Scharma’s and Peter Ackroyd’s shoving themselves into camera shot on every occasion they can.........






    You can add bloody Dan Cruickshank to that list. He continually thrusts himself into shots of said pyramids, and all his programmes convey the impression that the subject matter is him, and that the seetings are mere adjuncts.



    A bit like every other presenter on television these days really.

    An honorable exception for Attenborough, though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    name='faceoff']I have decided I am very shallow. I see David Starkey's about to come back with the next chunk of his take on history, I made a mental note to miss it. A little of David Starkey goes an awfully long way with me, as with Simon Schama and Peter Ackroyd. History presenters are interferring with a straight telling of the facts - Starkey is threatening his viewers with his latest theory on what it all means and dares you to argue with him. Remembering his rabid dog act on the radio programme "The Moral Maze" - I will decline.


    I quite enjoy Simon Schama and Richard Holmes but Starkey's past in talk radio often makes me suspect he's something of a revisionist historian. Don't think shows like The Last Word do him any favours although it's undoutably entertaining combative.

  5. #5
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    name='Jackdaw']You can add bloody Dan Cruickshank to that list. He continually thrusts himself into shots of said pyramids, and all his programmes convey the impression that the subject matter is him, and that the seetings are mere adjuncts.



    A bit like every other presenter on television these days really.

    An honorable exception for Attenborough, though.


    Ah yes - Sir David. All our history presenters, including Mr Cruikshank should share the screen with silver back gorillas. Said humans try pushing themselves to the fore against those guys? Well - we would need a whole new bunch of TV historians.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    My contempt for Dan Cruickshank is recorded elsewhere here, so I won't repeat it; but I was enjoying an otherwise excellent programme on the French revolution, centred upon the artist David, when Simon Schama gave us a priceless pearl of information; some countess, I forget who, survived the guillotine... not survived The Terror, or eluded or escaped the guillotine, but survived it....now that's a neat trick...but where would you put your wig??

  7. #7
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    I'm not really a fan of History programmes as such but after looking up Bettany Hughes i see what you mean









    If she had asked me to look at her Breasts i would have been in like a rat up a aquaduct.




  8. #8
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='sheriff_bart']... i would have been in like a rat up a aquaduct.


    What a strange expression. How does a rat get up to an aqueduct?

    "Like a rat up a drainpipe" is, I think, the more usual expression.



    How do you get down from an aqueduct?

    You don't, you get down from a duck



    Steve

  9. #9
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    name='Steve Crook']What a strange expression. How does a rat get up to an aqueduct?

    "Like a rat up a drainpipe" is, I think, the more usual expression.




    Ah - but they're posh in Cleveland!

  10. #10
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    name='Fellwanderer']Ah - but they're posh in Cleveland!


    Oh yes,we are posh - we get out of the bath to have a pee .



    I am going through the DVD of The World At War,and I applaud its approach to reliving history. Apart from Laurence Olivier's commentary,all the interviews are conducted without the sight and sound of the interviewer - it is the interviewees who are central to their recollection of the war years,thus making the programme more riveting to watch.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  11. #11
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    name='sheriff_bart']I'm not really a fan of History programmes as such but after looking up Bettany Hughes i see what you mean









    If she had asked me to look at her Breasts i would have been in like a rat up a aquaduct.





    Yeah - Dr Hughes is certainly easy on the eye. The trouble is if she stood in the Egyptian desert and instructed her viewers to "look at these wonderful pyramids, the workmanship, the skill that must have gone into them so long ago" - it would be quite some time before I realised which pyramids she wanted me in particular to look at (Oh - matron!).



    Bettany dresses to be noticed and although somewhat aged - I am not dead yet!



    Bless you Bettany; many a happy an hour I spent with you learning about the Spartans or Helen of Troy. Oh yeah and forget old Helen - she is long gone - anyway Brad Pitt was prettier than her in that recent film. Now it is Dr Bettany Hughes- the face that launched a 1000 quips.

  12. #12
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    I don't know how often we're presented with a "straight telling of the facts" concerning something that happened only yesterday, let alone centuries ago.

    History must be coloured to some extent by the views of whoever tells the story.

    I've long ceased to believe that Will Shakespeare wrote the works of Will Shakespeare; the "facts" of the Stratford gentleman's life barely cover a couple of printed pages but that hasn't prevented a legion of biographers presenting hefty tomes of conjecture as fact.

    I guess we need respected historians to present their various views on different periods of history so that we can start to make up our own minds on the matter if we're at all interested.

  13. #13
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    name='Ascoyne D'Ascoyne']I don't know how often we're presented with a "straight telling of the facts" concerning something that happened only yesterday, let alone centuries ago.

    History must be coloured to some extent by the views of whoever tells the story.

    I've long ceased to believe that Will Shakespeare wrote the works of Will Shakespeare; the "facts" of the Stratford gentleman's life barely cover a couple of printed pages but that hasn't prevented a legion of biographers presenting hefty tomes of conjecture as fact.

    I guess we need respected historians to present their various views on different periods of history so that we can start to make up our own minds on the matter if we're at all interested.


    Not David Irving though. Flat Earther that he is - he gave historians a bad name for a while.

  14. #14
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    Just when I was considering a different avatar, they pull the old magnifying glass routine on me-!

  15. #15
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    name='Marky B']Oh yes,we are posh - we get out of the bath to have a pee .



    I am going through the DVD of The World At War,and I applaud its approach to reliving history. Apart from Laurence Olivier's commentary,all the interviews are conducted without the sight and sound of the interviewer - it is the interviewees who are central to their recollection of the war years,thus making the programme more riveting to watch.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B


    Thanks Marky B - for the reminder of a great history programme - The World At War - was unmissable and I often was crying at the end of it - hence my dislike for the aforementioned David Irving. Hundreds of thousands of survivors - still to tell the tale and so many others dead and Irving would have us believe it never happened? No wonder his audience before his arrest consisted of nowt but neo-Nazis.



    The incidental music was just right for the serious subject matter as well (Carl Davis putting butter on his wife (Jean Boht's) "Bread" and Laurence Oliver brought his straight face to the narration which was perfect.

  16. #16
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    name='ChristineCB']Just when I was considering a different avatar, they pull the old magnifying glass routine on me-!


    "They", ChristineCB? Do "they" mean me?

  17. #17
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    name='faceoff']Thanks Marky B - for the reminder of a great history programme - The World At War - was unmissable and I often was crying at the end of it - hence my dislike for the aforementioned David Irving. Hundreds of thousands of survivors - still to tell the tale and so many others dead and Irving would have us believe it never happened? No wonder his audience before his arrest consisted of nowt but neo-Nazis.



    The incidental music was just right for the serious subject matter as well and Laurence Oliver brought his straight face to the narration which was perfect.


    The final episode of the series began as the series started,a cinepan of Oradour Sur Glane,the French town that was massacred after the D-Day landings. Then at the end ofthe final programme,we go back to the first scene again,but this time finishing with the small photographs on the graves of those who died in the massacre,young,old,and an angelic choir singing as the camera moves upwards to the sky. If that wasn't one of the finest tributes to those who killed in that war,I don't know what was. The programme surely must be compulsory in schools.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  18. #18
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    The episode I watched last night was about life in Germany under the Nazis,ad there was an interview with Christabel Bielanberg,whose husband was involved in the July plot to kill Hitler. She mentioned an episode in her life,when they were hiding Jews,and due to an unfortunate fate,she had to turn the Jews over to the authorities and,then trying to hold back the tears,she said:"Because of Hitler,I became a murderer."

    Mark

  19. #19
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    The World At War. I would have got this series if I didn't think I couldn't watch too much of it at once. Cowardly? Sure but as Clint (Dirty Harry) Eastwood said in "Magnum Force" - "a man has gotta know his limitations". But thanks again Marky B.

  20. #20
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    Whatever you think of Bettany Hughes' appearance - and she is without doubt an attractive woman, please do stop calling her Dr Hughes.



    She has no doctorate.



    She has not earned any postgraduate qualification of which I am aware.



    She has a second-class degree in Ancient History.



    She is a TV presenter who has convinced people she is an historian by asking them if they can see her tits. Nice work if you can get it.

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