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David Goldie: Morecambe and Wise

15 April 1999
Morecambe and Wise 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 416 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 1 85702 735 3
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... Nearly 29 million people watched Morecambe and Wise’s Christmas Special in 1977 – over six and a half million more than had watched the Queen’s Speech earlier in the day. GrahamMcCann proposes that this popular endorsement of Morecambe and Wise as de facto national comics is also a vindication of what were then the public service ideals of the BBC. As national broadcasting ...
6 March 1997
Cary Grant: A Class Apart 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 346 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 1 85702 366 8
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... By the time ‘Cary Grant’ was fully formed, the man had to give in to his creation: ‘Everybody wants to be Cary Grant,’ Grant said. ‘Even I want to be Cary Grant.’ This is the Cary Grant GrahamMcCann is interested in. He confronts his subject as if he were less a person than an effect – the self-referential hero, endlessly, classily ironic. McCann has not just written the story of how ...

Our chaps will deal with them

E.S. Turner: The Great Flap of 1940

8 August 2002
Dad’s Army: The Story of a Classic Television Show 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 304 pp., £7.99, August 2002, 1 84115 309 5
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... at work or at home, I just stay put.’ At the end, in bold black type, was: ‘Cut this out and keep it.’ What if one heard the news of invasion while engaged in sport? The verses by Captain Harry Graham in an earlier day may have come to ribald minds: ‘I was playing golf the day/That the Germans landed;/All our men had run away,/All our ships were stranded;/And the thought of England’s shame ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger: Ten (More) Days in America

25 October 2018
... rule of law – opposes Dr Ford’s request that there should be a further investigation by the FBI as part of its routine background checks for important government nominees. The evangelist Franklin Graham and various Republicans claim that since Kavanaugh did not actually rape Ford, but merely assaulted and groped her, and then stopped, his honourable character is evident.Because of death threats, Dr ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore

10 August 2000
Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist 
by Denis Sampson.
Marino, 344 pp., IR£20, October 1998, 1 86023 078 4
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... astonishing creativity for Friel. Although Faith Healer did not win critical acclaim when it was first performed in New York with James Mason as Frank Hardy, a later production in Dublin with Donal McCann in the part made clear that Friel had created one of the most subtle and memorable male characters in Irish writing. But it was his play Translations, first performed in 1980, which seems to have ...

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