BBC News themes – the good and the hilarious – and the breathtaking cool of Sue Lawley

Apropos of very little, I have been mossying around on YouTube.

A BBC look-back at the studio invasion of the Six O’Clock News in 1988 whetted my apetitite. This video above is the gallery talk-back version of the incident. It shows how the staff did extremely well to keep the bulletin on the air in all the confusion and noise. Quite extraordinary. And Sue Lawley’s cool composure is breathtaking. What a star she is! I think I have been a little in love with her since, in the 1960s, she opened the fete at Bude’s Ebbingford Manor and said “Would you like want one?” to me. She was giving out ice creams or something similar.

Well, that got me fishing around. The news theme of that broadcast of 1988 was one of the best the BBC have ever had. Fantastic music with superb “bread slice” graphics. Just wonderful. And I should give a shout out to Patrick Lunt, whose wonderful bass voice blasts out the introduction. He is sometimes referred to as “the voice of God”:

In sharp contrast, there is this intro from the Nine O’Clock News from around the same time, circa 1985. The music is excellent. I can see what they were trying to do with the graphics. But, looking back at it, it all comes across as a rather naff game of space invaders. Oh dear. It makes me giggle out loud every time I see it! It must have seemed like a good idea at the time:

The guests on "The Last Leg" have been 33% female @caronmlindsay

last-leg204The guest list for The Last Leg’s episodes is here on Wikipedia. True to my “I heart spreadsheets” mug, I have done a spreadsheet for the guests. Counting repeat guests, in the six series so far of The Last Leg there have been 23 female guests and 47 male guests. I make that a 33% female guest rate.

Sorted by female, then male, here are the guests from the programme, including repeat guests, with the series they appeared in on the left. You will notice that there was a higher proportion of female guests in the earlier series:

1 Christine Ohuruogu
1 Rachel Latham
1 Jody Cundy
1 Jacqueline Freney
1 Rachel Latham
1 Diana Mann
1 Jody Cundy
1 Liz Johnson
1 Charlotte Henshaw
1 Claire Cashmore
1 Nicola Adams
1 Rachel Onasanwo
2 Jenna-Louise Coleman
2 Jo Brand
2 Jody Cundy
3 Gabby Logan
4 Clare Balding
4 Claudia Winkleman
4 Hannah Corkcroft
4 Jennifer Saunders
5 Carrie Fisher
6 Kathy Burke
1 Hannah Cockroft
1 Andrew Flintoff
1 Jimmy Carr
1 Nkegbe Botsyo
1 Sean Lock
1 Warwick Davis
1 Jimmy Carr
1 Jonnie Peacock
1 Jason Smyth
1 Dominic West
1 Giles Long
1 Iwan Thomas
1 Lee Pearson
1 Jonnie Peacock
1 Jamie Oliver
2 Idris Elba
2 Brian Cox
2 Rafe Spall
2 Jack Dee
2 Jonathan Ross
2 Duncan Bannatyne
2 Kevin Bridges
3 Russell Brand
3 Micky Flanagan
3 Alan Carr
3 Dara O’Briain
3 Boris Johnson
3 Jack Whitehall
3 Eddie Izzard
4 Tinie Tempah
4 Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards
4 Warwick Davis
4 James Corden
4 Richard Ayoade
4 Frank Skinner
5 Simon Bird
5 James Buckley
5 Blake Harrison
5 Noel Fielding
5 Daniel Radcliffe
5 John Bishop
5 Nick Frost
6 Richard Ayoade
6 Dara O’Briain
6 Alan Davies
6 Nick Clegg
6 Stephen Mangan
6 David MItchell