TV and Radio

Top marks for the Class of 92

Programme Name: Class of 92: Out of their League - TX: n/a - Episode: Class of 92: Out of their League (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: - (C) BBC - Photographer: Rachel JosephWARNING: Use of this copyright image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture

The View BBC1 - Thursday 10.35pm

BETWEEN Mark Curruthers' red socks, and Sammy Morrison's red, white and blue tie, it was a very colour co-ordinated episode of BBC's The View this week as they discussed the impromptu singing of God Save the Queen at a service of remembrance up at Stormont.

Now while we all might have views on the appropriateness or not of hijacking the service with a sing-a-long, you have to admit the TV footage of the politicians differing reactions is pretty compelling. So it was a good job they showed it again on Thursday night's show.

Martin McGuinness had a look on his face that would curdle milk, Theresa Villiers joined in and then realised she maybe shouldn't have, then sort of stopped and then started again, then looks bewildered, and not for the first time in her career as Secretary of State, had that 'why am I here' look about her.

I wonder how many times a week she tries to ring David Cameron to convince him to let her come home - 'Give Boris the job, please anyone but me, haven't I suffered enough'.

Up against Sammy Morrison in the BBC studio was independent unionist John McAllister who added some reason to the debate in his own baritone way. I imagine that's how Barry White would have sounded had he been born a south Down farmer.

The View as a political debate programme took a while to grow on me. For the first year I still yearned for Hearts and Minds with Tim McGarry in a black hack. I couldn't watch it and always felt as though I was cheating on Noel Thompson.

But I was eventually won over and that's really down to Mark Carruthers and his persistent style of questioning that gets the job done without going all Paxman-like.

This week's show has thrust Morrison into the public spotlight, who as a press officer for Jim Allister's TUV would have been virtually unknown outside of political circles until now.

What was meant to be a solemn occasion at Stormont instead ended in a school choir type effort but it's clear the TUV man has no regrets. In his book it was a job well done.

All that was missing was for Carál Ní Chuilín to shout 'take a redner wud ya'. Now that really would have made good TV.


Class of 92 - Out of their League - BBC iPlayer

I'm in deep mourning at the passing of the last episode of the magnificent Class of 92 - Out of their League.

At just two episodes long it was far too short and surely there has to be more made in the future.

Following five former Manchester United players and all time soccer legends as they buy a non division football club and try and turn it around may not sound that facinating but it was magical viewing from start to finish.

Salford City FC volunteer fans who keep the club alive by giving their time along with the semi professional players and their trials and tribulations have all become overnight celebrities in what must have been one of the most watched and talked about series of the year.

The dilapidated ground has been slowly transformed thanks to the investment of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville.

'Star striker' and part-time male model Gareth Seddon was hilariously vain but the boy can also play. It's only a matter of time when he shows up among the cast of Celebrity Big Brother.

There's a heartwarming moment when a young Salford lad discovered in the team ends up signed for Manchester United thanks to Phil Neville.

But it was the small glimpse of the players at home that really helped make Class of '92 one of the best things I've watched in such a long time.

The Neville brothers come across as top blokes with incredibly understanding wives.

Paul Scholes is completely unassuming, not at all changed by his own superstar status. He looks like the kind of person who always has a look at what's on offer in the supermarket reduced aisle.

And yes I know I'm a shameless bandwagon jumper but I really want to go and watch Salford City play now.

If the BBC have any sense there'll be a follow up and if you haven't yet watched it you can still catch up on the iPlayer.

I loved it so much I've watched it twice.

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