John Spencer has died

Sad news for West Wing and LA Law fans: John Spencer has died. He was a fantastic actor and he will be missed.


Existential Space Cadets

I love this guy’s mum’s comments:

“So they’re not really in space?” “No, mum, that wouldn’t be funny.”

“But they don’t know they’re not in space?” “No.”

“So which one is the actor?” “Charlie. That one there.”

“Does he know he’s an actor?”

There’s a whole world of Jean-Paul Sartre in there, struggling to get out.


Charlie from Space Cadets reveals his secret identity online (and gives us a drinking game)

Charlie Skelton, astronautI’ve not been watching Space Cadets much. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s rubbish. However, I’ve kept an occasional eye on it because of Charlie Skelton, one of the undercover moles sent to infiltrate the “space cadets”. Why? He runs a blog with my sister about cats.

Before he went in, Charlie left the world a Space Cadets drinking game. If you’re still actually watching the show by the final, I exhort you to try: it should relieve the pain.


The quest for a decent breakfast radio station

Lauren Laverne

My wife likes Radio 1. We wake up every morning to the sound of Chris Moyles and his hired friends being professionally stupid and offensive. I used to find him bearable, amusing even, but when you have to be clever in your stupidity every day for years at a time, sooner or later you’re just going to cut corners and end up being stupid. But she likes him, so that is who we listen to. Even when (shudder) Scott Mills stands in for him.

So I’ve been trying to get to grips with Lauren Laverne. Now XFM is my preferred radio station, normally. This isn’t because I think it’s fantastic. With airwave polluters like Magic, Kiss FM, Capital and all the other tranquilliser stations occupying most of the available spectrum, XFM is the best of a poor bunch. Only Virgin comes close, but since I’m not a middle-aged guitar-based rock obsessive, I can only listen to that if I’m feeling retro.

No, XFM simply has a tolerably good selection of indie bands and reasonably unannoying DJs. They’re best in the evening, when most of the new bands get a play, but Lauren Laverne was still an acceptably entertaining afternoon DJ before she moved to the morning show.

It would be great if I could switch to her new breakfast show in the morning. Now, theoretically, I should like it. But I don’t. I’ve just had to listen to two Kaiser Chiefs tracks in a row, interspersed with The Farm hits and a Moby track from 2002. I don’t need to be put to sleep by a breakfast show and whenever I listen to the Kaiser Chiefs, I want to happy slap their stupid pretentious faces while simultaneously getting annoyed with them for making me quite like their music. They ruined it for me.

So up your game, Lauren. Listen to your station’s tag line: “the best for new music”. Hear that? That was new music.

Until she gets with the programme, I’m going to have to be breakfast-showless. Can anyone recommend any good Internet radio stations with good shows that air between 7am and 10am?