Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on a TV drama, a pub's new name and turning summer into spring for the cameras

In a column for the Daily Telegraph a few days ago, Clive Aslet declared that it would be folly to build a replica of the burnt-and-bulldozed Crooked House pub near Dudley. He says any replacement should be “standing foursquare, equipped with a decent modern kitchen and broadband.” Now, call me a wet blanket but if the Crooked House's replacement is not crooked, what will it be called? The House? I can't see that working.

Simply The House?

On a day trip to Leamington Spa, we found filming in progress for an ITVX drama Joan, due to be screened next year. It seemed the whole centre of Leamington had been cordoned off for the event. Hordes of bright young things in hi-viz jackets politely kept the gawping public at bay for what looked like the shooting of a really significant scene.

And yet it is typical of film-making that a day's hard work can end up as a split-second interlude or, just as likely, the digital equivalent of a snake of video tape on the cutting-room floor.

I recall some years ago driving into the Yorkshire Dales village of Burnsall where a film crew was busy transforming the green into a cricket pitch. Thousands of plastic daffodils were being planted, turning a summer day into spring, and workmen were busy building a cricket pavilion. It took them all day. We decided this vast enterprise was probably for an episodes of All Creatures Great and Small but a few weeks later it popped up on telly. All that building, planting, digging, hammering and filming had gone into making a single 30-second advert for a bank.

Incidentally, a sticker on your car declaring “film crew at work” seems to have much the same effect on traffic wardens as that old favourite “doctor on call.”

In my recent item on research into so-called “portion distortion,” I failed to mention one of the snippets of advice offered by the diet gurus. It is to limit a portion of Pringles to no more than 13. Alternatively, as 13 is a most unlucky number, it might be worth sticking to your usual 50.