Football free TV

Okay, it is hard to avoid the World Cup nonsense – taking care to change over before one of the sports programmes comes on is reasonably easy, assuming you can find another channel without something football related, but every second advert has some football theme (I’m just waiting to see Preparation H, the Official Piles Ointment of FIFA advert). Actually given the frequency of adverts for Believe choccy bars (formerly Mars Bars – I suspect they ain’t selling much in Scotland right now! – and the new MacCholesterol giant burgers to go with the footie I am wondering if there will be fewer football fans in the UK shortly as many succumb to clogged arteries (nothing like taking something healthy like sport and promoting it with fast food mega-sized lardburgers and FatAss choc-o-logs!).

Still, hidden away between multi-channel images of over-paid men playing with their balls there are occassional interesting programmes. French cop series Engrenages (Spiral) has been pretty cool so far – it looks very much like the French have been watching some of the better, a more quality-end US cop shows and thought, hey, we can do that but with a little more elan. Quite interesting (and rather brutal in the opening episode where the injuries on the body are displayed openly to great effect). And thank you for subtitling it instead of dubbing (I hate foreign language programmes or films being dubbed). The first three episodes get repeated this Friday apparently on BBC4, so if you missed it you have a chance to catch up.

Also tucked away on BBC digital (so no adverts by a man with a dodgy haircut which would make Top Gear’s James May blush extolling the winning power of belief in choc bars) two new series, one on the Enlightenment (first one in Edinburgh, mostly moving around David Hume and Adam Smith, fronted by Andrew Marr) and a return visit by Francesco da Mosto who brought us a brilliant series on his native Venice the other year (handily covering a lot of the art Mel and I went to see at the Titian exhibition in the RSA). He’s a very likeable, laid-back Venetian, abandoning the canals for the autostrada for a trip from top to toe across the country in Francesco’s Italy. So there you go, there are a few interesting programmes hidden away out there. Or you could go read a good book.

Meanwhile if you want a giggle, have you seen the new Tango spoof of the Sony Bravia LCD TV ad? The original ad which had thousands of brightly coloured superballs bouncing down a hilly street in San Francisco to the sounds of Jose Gonzales. Tango have spoofed it using what looks like some wee terraced street on a steep hill (looks similar to where they made the old Hovis advert Ridley Scott had a hand in years ago) and substituted oranges, lemons, apples and other fruit bouncing down the steep street instead of balls, to the same music, except of course the fruit knocks over things, smashes windows… I saw it shown on the ad break back to back with the real Sony one, which just made it funnier. The spoof has gone as far as this website which is supposed to be a community website complaining about the mess of fruit the advert people left in their street, although it is actually set up by the ad company, designed to look like the sort of website you’d see 6 or 7 years back as if it had been set up by poor yokels who know little of this internet thing, complete with a video of the ad they have ‘stolen’ to show.