Sideways look

17th November 2000 at 00:00
BBC in trouble for too much sex

OUR old friends The Teletubbies have not been forgotten in the flurry of Furbies and cyber-pets. Anne Wood, creator of La La et al, has been honoured with a lifetime award in this year's British Academy Children's Film and Television Awards.

The BBC is hoping for another hit with its adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. But critics are enraged that his tale of dinosaurs and empire-builders will be rid of its "tone of racial superiority" with references to "sub-human natives" expunged. Philip Webber, president of the Arthur Conan Doyle Study Group, said the book was a classic that should not be altered.

The poor old Beeb, in this era of family values its governors are to be stripped of many of their responsibilities for regulating programme content. The corporation has been attacked for explicit sex scenes in its drama The Lakes, and for broadcasting sexist pop songs. If the Government has its way, it will have o answer to a new super-regulatory body dictating standards to all broadcasters. Sound familiar? It might even be called Ofcom.

Will Newcastle University stand accused of lowering standards by launching England's first degree in traditional and folk music? Students will learn a variety of instruments, from the fiddle to the Northumbrian pipes. The course is said to be an academic recognition of the cultural value of traditional music, usually much mocked despite the genre's contenders for the Mercury prize.

And finally, for those of a certain age, a new name for those moments when suddenly the word you need fails to trip off the tongue. American psychologists Dr Lori James and Dr Deborah Burke say that freezing moment is caused by people forgetting sounds they use irregularly; not by the correct word being mentally blocked by a similar one. In homage to those who supposedly suffer most, they have named the condition a "senior moment".

Diane Spencer

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