Robert Hampton

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31st December 2010

Twenty Ten – again. Again

July brought big changes to the newspaper industry, as The Times started charging for access to its web site. This was supposed to ensure a steady income stream for the newspaper, putting it on a secure financial footing for the future. However, it also resulted in the Times being completely removed from the online chatter of the blogosphere, as its news coverage and columnists were no longer accessible to the internet hoi-polloi. Still, I’m sure this decision made sense to someone somewhere.

The Supreme Court ruled that gay people facing persecution are entitled to claim asylum in the UK. I welcomed the decision, although my blog post is curiously vague about precisely why I welcomed it. Hmm…

In other gay-related news, I reviewed, with sadness, a booklet from the US Military discussing its anti-gay don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

Elsewhere, health and safety went mad as one person suggested banning rugby scrums. I felt uncomfortable on a train full of Orange Lodge marchers and I defended the traditional sitcom from an onslaught of criticism from trendy TV reviewers.

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28th December 2010

Posted by at 9.32pm | Television | No responses

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, the plug will be pulled on Bravo, a TV channel deemed surplus to requirements in the new bountiful Sky-dominated future.

These days, channels come and go with regularity (did anyone shed a tear or even notice when UKTV Bright Ideas disappeared?) and a closure usually gets little attention beyond three paragraphs on Digitalspy. Bravo is slightly different, however, as it is one of the few channels to survive from the very early days of cable TV.

Bravo launched in 1985, predating even Sky by about four years. The channel was very different to the Bravo we know and “love” in 2010. My family got cable installed around 1991, so I can just about remember the first incarnation of the channel, which showed nothing but old black and white movies and TV shows. Several relaunches later and all that is long gone, but perhaps for old times’ sake they could get out the tapes of Torchy the Battery Boy to fill the gap between Sexcetera episodes?

A quarter of a century later and it disappears with a whimper at 4am on January 1st. It’s a shame, but still not as sad as when TCC closed down in 1998. I still miss that channel.