Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Light Fun in Land of Make-Believe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Light Fun in Land of Make-Believe

Article excerpt


How To Start Your Own Country 10pm, BBC2

THE world seems to be filling up with people who, armed with a video camera, set about making their own little oddball programmes. (Okay, it may not be "the world", I admit - it's probably only BBC2.) Now here we have comedian Danny Wallace, filming himself as he goes about the slightly bonkers task of creating his own country. With himself as king, naturally.

He starts off by visiting a man on a wartime fort in the middle of the English Channel, who has declared independence.

After that, he takes advice from American Dennis Hope, who has claimed the moon by setting up a body called The Lunar Embassy.

You may think that the middle word of its title is just a syllable away from being more accurate, until Hope explains that he has so far "sold" 412 million acres of the moon in one-acre plots. So, even if he only charges one dollar a time, he will still have made what we Earth people call a fortune.

Danny wants to find somewhere to create his own state so, of course, he approaches some (e)state agents. "The agents all took my details and promised to call if they found a decent place for me to start my own country," he says. "Ideally, somewhere south-facing with a roof garden."

But lack of cash proves a problem, so Danny attempts an invasion and takeover of Eel Pie Island in the Thames. Not with complete success. It is all good-natured fun, and Danny is genial company.

But by the end of the first episode, it's clear that this whimsical idea is going to struggle to sustain a six-week run.

However, somebody has obviously fallen for it. Perhaps the title should really be: "How to Blag Your Way Into Getting Your Own TV Series."

Will I Still Love My Mum?

9pm, Channel 4 The title is, apparently, the question most frequently asked by children facing heart transplants. This delicate film follows two 10-year-olds, Hannah and Kayley, as they make the sort of life-anddeath decision no one would find easy. Both girls have cystic fibrosis, a degenerative condition that may be alleviated by a heart and lung transplant. …

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