Over the weekend, Judith told me that a feature-length adaptation of Brideshead Revisited is being planned. For this version, the Catholicism will be toned down. This is the sort of thing Evelyn Waugh might have written into a satire of Hollywood. [“Waugh’s a man? Is he some kind of faggot?!”] Maybe we can petition to get Mel Gibson on board and put the religion back in. In his version, at least two of the cast would be lashed to the Martyr’s Memorial in Oxford and we’d see their flesh being seared in close-up as a bonfire burns around them. John Hurt would stalk through the flames under five-hours’ worth of make-up, playing the Devil with a weary aristocratic drawl.
Via Socialism In An Age Of Waiting I belatedly note that Ivor Wood has died. (Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.) Amongst other wonderful works, he animated a children’s series called The Herbs which I watched with my mother as a child. Mum used to (and occasionally still does) call me “young-fellow-me-lion” after the catchphrase of a character in the show. Looking back, the whole idea of the programme was breathtakingly surreal, but made perfect sense to me at that age. This is, I suppose, applies to a lot of great children’s fiction. Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington (another childhood passion of mine), wrote the scripts, so he should take at least some of the blame for my damaged personality. Wood was also involved in the making of Postman Pat which has done much to plant the word “cat” firmly in my niece’s vocabulary.
The trippiest programme Wood contributed to was The Magic Roundabout, apparently a different show in French—not that I’ve ever seen that version. Guess what. There’s going to be a movie remake of The Magic Roundabout too. Tom Baker will play ZeeBadee. Bill Nighy will play Dylan. Jim Broadbent will play Brian. Sounds great, until you find out that Kylie bleeding Minogue will be Florence and Robbie bloody Williams will be Dougal.