Wednesday, 27 August 2014


There were 25 Jennings novels written for children by Anthony Buckeridge between 1950 and 2004. It seems slightly odd to me that the author's political sympathies lay with the Left but he chose to write about the humourous antics of private schoolboy J.T.C. Jennings and his chum Darbishire. It also seems unusual for Armada to have staged photography for the covers of these 1970s reissues, rather than standard issue artist illustrated covers such as Richmal Crompton's contemporary Just William books did. 

Photo covers were usually reserved for television or film tie-in editions, and unlike William Brown, Jennings never made the jump to TV. My warped view of the world can't help wondering about the erotic possibilities of the imagery for those of a certain persuasion. Operation Yewtree have been informed.

Also, why Tippex out the book prices if you've got nothing to hide?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Well All White

Thinking about the genius of Bruce Lacey over a cup of tea the other day, I recalled the strange automata featured in the Godley and Cream directed video for Herbie Hancock's Rockit. (No, that wasn't intended as a subtle dig at Herbie's wooden performance style, though I did see him play once and it was a decidedly underwhelming experience). The spastic humanoid figures are reminiscent of Lacey but their designer was British artist/inventor Jim Whiting, who appears to have had a brief period of popularity in the mid-80s in the UK before finding greater success abroad, not the first time the British have failed to appreciate their creative talent.

Here posh nob Hugh Laurie interviews Whiting for ITV's South of Watford arts programme in 1986 (replacing common man Ben Elton in the second series of SoW). Neither Elton nor Laurie are natural interviewers; their 'talents', such as they are, lay elsewhere. 

Watch out for the pervy men and a brief sticky pubic hair situation, enough to make you wince.

Whiting is clearly somewhat deranged but rather likeable, and has apparently become a big name in 'Extreme Arts', which is apparently something to do with scaring drugged people festivals. Perhaps working in the margins is the safest place for artists.

Gluttons can see a live version of Rockit with some of Whiting's kinetic characters on Channel 4's The Tube here.