Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Idiot Lantern

Until recently I could go several days without switching on the idiot lantern preferring to listen to the radio. That was until three new free to air channels arrived on Freesat. Two of them, Drama and Yesterday, I find interesting as they broadcast some of the types of television programmes I like to watch - comedy and documentary. It's been great to watch some of the old Open All Hours and Last of the Summer Wine along with nature and history documentaries. As these channels are funded by advertising I record the items which interest me. I don't object to advertising as such but find modern ads so silly, nay stupid and annoying, they put me off more products than attract me.

Last night I watched a programme which was broadcast on BBC Channel 4. For once it kept my attention as I usually find I nod off during long programmes. I have never seen a circus live and found it fascinating watching The Golden Age of Circus. Seventy five minutes of old silent film some of which looked as though it dated back to the late 20s or early 30s. The beauty was there was no soporific voice over, just music. There was a warning before the film that some people might be upset by some of the subjects. This probably alluded to the section which showed many of the performances involving animals. I must admit I skipped a few of those parts myself. While the dogs playing football with a balloon seemed to be having the time of their lives acts like the seven performing Polar Bears and some of the wild cats and monkeys didn't look so contented.

Actually there was more to it than just the traditional circus. Included was some rodeo, high wire acts between skyscrapers or across ravines and outdoor escapologist acts. It seemed to start with some amusing stage acts so I guess it was showing the development of travelling entertainment.

The last five minutes or so concentrated on the audience reactions. I wonder how often young children in the age of XBoxes and Nintendos show such expressions and emotions of wonder, amazement and pure joy or even what opportunities they get to experience such feelings.

Having bored you silly here are a couple of photos of this morniing's Sunrise:



  1. I don't have a television but do remember these programmes with fondness. I also love the smell of the circus though I'm happy that the animals are spared the worst of it these days.

  2. I am old enough to remember Blackpool Circus in the days of performinganimals, and although I was very young I do remember being quite distressed at seeing things like lions and polar bears completely under the domination of the whip.

    Those sunrises are amazing John - hope the redness of the sky does not predict bad weather, it is quite pleasant here, but we didn;t have a sunrise that like - in fact it was rather a watery show.

  3. The Yesterday channel often has interesting programmes on John.
    I don't agree there being a Circus. I don't like the Zoo either.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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