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Swinging with Tony and Cherie Are you a malingerer? Television and radio
The year that changed our lives
2 The Guardian 01.01.07
Are the Gibbs watching? . . .
a new year’s kiss for Cherie
Swinging with the Blairs
For some reason, G2 was not
invited to join Tony and Cherie
for NewYear’s Eve. But having
devoured every tabloid “revelation”
about the Blairs’ hosts, Robin and
Dwina Gibb, we have no trouble
imagining the party . . .

t is the last night of the
year, and all along Miami’s
North Bay Road, the festiv-
ities are beginning. Ricky
Martin is putting out the
bunting, Lenny Kravitz and Calvin
Klein are making sangria, while
Hulk Hogan presides over a whole
hog roast. At the palatial home of
Robin Gibb, former member of
the Bee Gees, the paying guest of
honour, Tony Blair, is on the bal-
cony watching Robin’s brother
Barry meander up the street from
three doors down, trilling a soft
falsetto as he goes. “Truly,” whis-
pers Tony to his trusty Fender
Stratocaster, “we are in heaven!”
Cherie sips her snowball and
surveys the mansion: 10 bed-
rooms, nine bathrooms, land-
scaped gardens, waterfront views
and fountain display in the front
yard. “This is even better than
Sir Cliff’s!” she breathes. Just
then, Robin and his Bisexual-
Wife-Dwina sweep into the room.
“Robin Gibb!” cheers Tony, and
punches the air. Robin smiles,
enormously. “Tony, Cherie, all
you little Blairs!” he declares,
“I can’t tell you howhappy I, my
Bisexual-Wife-Dwina, and the
Unnamed-Charity-To-Which-
We-Have-Donated-Your-Holiday-
Payment are to have you here
with us tonight. And what a night
it will be! As you may recall, we
once sang: ‘Listen to the ground:/
There is movement all around/
There is something goin’ down/
And I can feel it.’”
“Can we jam?” asks Tony.
“Tony!” hisses Cherie. “Jam-
ming costs extra! ” But jamthey
do, and as midnight approaches,
Tony recalls fondly his days as
lead singer of Ugly Rumours.
“Speaking of ugly rumours,”
says Robin, segueing seamlessly,
“as you may have read in the
Daily Mail, we like to cruise and
we like to watch.”
“We like to cruise too!” chirrups
Cherie, blithely. “Tony, remember
that time we borrowed Silvio
Berlusconi’s yacht?”
“Not that type of cruising,”
says Robin. “Are you unaware of
my unconventional lifestyle and
my open marriage to my Bisexual-
Wife-Dwina?” Cherie gulps. “On
that very sofa where you are sit-
ting,” Robin continues, “once sat
a group of leather-wearing lip-
stick lesbians.” Cherie turns pale.
Out on the balcony, the party
watches the newyear arrive in a
burst of fireworks, and as Robin
takes the opportunity to discuss
the economic restructuring of
Iraq with Tony, Robin’s Bisexual-
Wife-Dwina is deep in conver-
sation with Cherie. “I know how
it is to be married to an important
man; to have that overshadow
your own career, your own wants
and desires,” she confides. “You’re
a successful barrister, I’ma Druid
priestess, but all people remember
is the men we’re married to.”
“Yes,” says Cherie. “But your
husband has done something
truly important. He gave the
world Night Fever. In nine years
of governance Tony has never
achieved anything of that gravity.”
“Forget about that,” says
Bisexual-Wife-Dwina. “I remember
when no one wanted to know
about the Bee Gees, when all they
meant was big teeth and white
catsuits, not seminal disco tunes.
But like the Bee Gees, history will
be Tony’s judge. Come,” she says,
“sit on my lipstick lesbian sofa.”
Cherie hesitates and Bisexual-
Wife-Dwina smiles. “Don’t
worry,” she says, placing
a reassuring armaround the
prime minister’s wife. “It’s just
a friendly thing.”
Laura Barton
Shortcuts
G2 01.01.07
First Person
special

The events that made
2006 unforgettable for...
4 Carl Carter, who met a
wonderful woman, just
before she flew to the
other side of the world
7 Karina Kelly,
16 and pregnant
10 ParneshSharma,
a Hindu who fell in
love with a Muslim
13 Janice Ellis, 21 stone —
until she went under
the knife
15 Aman Samaei, who
escaped the Taliban but
left his family behind
Back pages
19 Last night’s TV
SamWollaston on
the final episode
of Robin Hood
20 Radio&Satellite TV
22 Television
24 Puzzles
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The Guardian 01.01.07 3

he news just before
Christmas that the
end of the world is
nigh was not, on the
surface, an edify-
ing way to conclude the year.
Admittedly, we’ve got 5bn years
before the sun first explodes
and then implodes, sucking the
earth into oblivion, but newyear
5,000,002,007 promises to be
bleak. With this and plenty of
other gloomaround — the Iraq
war, the imbroglio in the Mid-
dle East, the Ashes debacle, the
death of Charlie Drake — we see it
as our mission to produce a more
encouraging turn-of-year report,
highlighting some recent stories
that cheered us up and, we hope,
will do the same for you.
•The world’s forests are reviving.
After centuries of deforestation,
many countries —notably China
and the US —are nowreforesting;
the amount of forest in India is
said to be stable; and in Brazil and
Indonesia, the rate of decline is
slowing. Researchers at the Uni-
versity of Aberdeen predict that
within a fewyears the global net
loss of forest will be reversed.
Such a reversal would both pro-
tect endangered species and, by
absorbing CO2, reduce the danger
of global warming.
•On the subject of global warm-
ing, we recognise that it poses
all sorts of threats to the world’s
social and economic stability,
and the last thing we want to be
is parochial, but it has made for
a jolly mild autumn in much of
Britain. How lovely to be able to
walk around in early December
without a heavy coat.
•There were reports in Novem-
ber that leopards were making
a comeback. More prosaically,
we also have chapter and verse
for the return of salmon to the
upper reaches of the river Wye
after they were wiped out by acid
rain 20 years ago, and an RSPB
initiative to secure the future of
the aquatic warbler by buying
its marshy breeding grounds in
north-eastern Poland.
• Every cloud has a silver lining.
The political instability and threat
of terrorismin Indian-adminis-
tered Kashmir have given a boost
to local wildlife, with the popu-
lation of indigenous birds and
animals increasing by up to 60%.
This has come about because the
government, fearing disorder,
insists that local people hand in
firearms —a policy that has also
reduced their capacity to hunt.
• Things continue to look up in
Northern Ireland. Lonely Planet
has deemed it one of 2007’s
“must-see” destinations, visitor
numbers are increasing, and Bel-
fast is booming. Even the ante-
diluvian Orange Order has joined
in the feel-good mood, saying it
will hold face-to-face talks with
residents of the mainly nationalist
Garvaghy Road ahead of this
summer’s “marching season”.
• Uganda may also be back on the
tourist trail soon. The extended
truce between the Ugandan gov-
ernment and the Lord’s Resistance
Army has opened prospects of a
settlement of a war that has
caused more than 2 million people
in the north of the country to flee.
• Exploitative forms of labour are
under attack: former camel jockeys
in the United Arab Emirates are to
be compensated to the tune of
$9m, and Calcutta has banned
rickshaw pullers. That just leaves
the plight of journalists, threat-
ened by ever tighter regulations
on expenses, to be addressed.
• Bless you. A new vaccine pill is
to be offered to hay fever sufferers
who get no relief fromexisting
antihistamines and nasal steroid
sprays. It offers hope to more
than a million sneezers.
• Business news. The endlessly
written-off British car industry
is doing rather well, according to
the Society of Motor Manufac-
turers and Traders. Chief execu-
tives of leading companies are
optimistic, there is less talk of
relocating manufacturing plants
to other countries with cheaper
labour, productivity is improving,
production of the Mini is increas-
ing, sales of Bentleys are soaring,
the newLondon Motor Showwas
a huge success, and Top Gear’s
Richard Hammond has made a
remarkably rapid recovery.
• Good news for Max Hastings.
The Harris Tweed industry has
been saved. Yorkshire business-
man Brian Haggas has bought the
KMGroup, which is responsible
for 95%of Harris Tweed produc-
tion in Britain.
• Leaving the best till last, Welsh
chanteuse Charlotte Church has
said she is putting her singing
career on hold to concentrate on
TV. Now we just need a similar
announcement fromKatherine
Jenkins, aka the diva of Neath,
and joy in the Valleys will be
unconfined.
You see —it really is a happy
new year.
StephenMoss and
JasonRodrigues
Tourist draw . . . the Orange Order
The question
Are you really
too sick to work?
Or —and try to be honest here
— have you just got “party flu”?
According to the Institute of Pay-
roll Professionals, whose mem-
bers have to calculate employees’
sick pay, December 27 — the first
day back at work after Christmas
—and January 2 are the top days
for people throwing sickies.
Whether that is simply one
heck of a coincidence is a moot
point. You could indeed have
eaten undercooked turkey, set
your party hat (and your hair) on
fire, had your nose broken by a
close relative or caught a case of
proper flu while puckering up
under mistletoe. But did you?
Because of the extraordinarily
mild autumn and early winter,
conditions have been perfect for
nasty bugs to breed and infect
us all and, anecdotally, there is
evidence of coughs, sneezes and
sniffl es all around.
But according to NHS Direct,
which receives up to 28,000 calls
and website hits a day, there is
nothing unusual out there. It
appears that we are simply a
nation of wimps and slackers.
“The number one problemall
over the Christmas period was
abdominal pain,” says an NHS
Direct spokeswoman, “followed
bytoothache, vomiting, diar-
rhoea and sore throats, although
diarrhoea jumped up into third
place on Christmas Day. But the
figures are no higher than usual
and there has been no pattern
to suggest there are any nasty
viruses or bugs out there.”
Last year, 66mdays were lost
through sickness in the UK, with
14%of them— costing £1.2bn
—thought to have been bogus.
For the people in the payroll
department, illness over Christ-
mas and the new year causes
hours and hours of extra work.
So what can we learn fromall
this? Well, not much that you
didn’t already know. Except,
perhaps, this: if you work in the
wages offi ce, this is far and away
the best time to throw a sickie.
Steve Boggan
The world may be coming to an
end, but it’s not all bad news . . .
She’s not singing . . . Charlotte Church
4 The Guardian 01.01.07
Saturday
Eight weeks ago I spent £1,000 that I don’t
have on a flight to Australia. It was leaving
that night. I’mno jet-setter, just your average
twentysomething: single, flat-sharing and
overdrawn. But something amazing had
happened that left me with no choice.
It started in a nightclub when a girl called
Kat came up and told me I looked bored. This
was true — I’d been leaning against the wall,
seeking refuge fromthe sea of sweaty bodies
and crap music . The next night we went
for dinner. We fed each other dimsum,
talked for hours that felt like seconds,
marvelling at how much we had in common.
We’re both passionate about travelling. We
can both quote the entire script of Ferris
Bueller’s Day Off, giggling like schoolchildren
into our cocktails. I’ll spare you the mushy
stuff . Suffi ce to say, I’d been waiting a long
time to meet somebody like Kat. Kat was
lovely. Kat thought I was lovely. And Kat was
returning home to Australia in three days.
For the next fewdays, Kat moved in. I
cooked her breakfast; we ate on the balcony,
hands linked over the table, our breath steamy
in the cold morning air. We played Scrabble on
the lounge floor, then curled up and watched
rubbish DVDs in bed. I took her to
Heathrow on a rainy Tuesday night and
waved a mournful goodbye. Neither of us
talked about whether we’d meet again; I think
I was scared I might hear the words “good
I fell in love —
and she flew
to Australia
How was 2006 for you? For the five
people in our First Person special —
from a pregnant teenager to an
ill-starred lover — it was the year
when everything changed. The first,
Carl Carter, tells how he made the
greatest romantic gesture of his life
while it lasted”. “Hey, it’s just a day away,”
said Kat, reading my mind. I nodded, gave her
a long hug goodbye, and walked away.
Life stubbornly insisted upon continuation.
It was the same job, the same house, the same
routine, yet Kat was everywhere. She was the
discarded cocoa mugs in the sink, the long
chestnut hairs still in my bed, the DVD still
spinning in the player. I took the plunge and
phoned her the next day. I’ve always hated
long-distance calls, but we chatted for hours.
The next evening was spent doing the same;
this was becoming addictive. I lay on my bed,
staring at the same photos and wishing that
they weren’t of a person nowon the other side
of the world.
And that was when the idea occurred.
The next day, a week after we first met,
I was on a bus back fromthe travel agent,
clutching my plane ticket to Sydney. The flight
left in five hours. And I hadn’t told Kat.
Sunday
I arrived in Sydney after a torturous 26 hours.
All I could think of was howKat would react.
Had I made the right decision by turning up
unannounced? There was still time to call,
still time to avert disaster, but the romantic
in me wouldn’t allow it. What was the
point in spending a grand on the greatest
romantic gesture of my life, only to blow
the surprise?
On the drive to Canberra, the highway →
PICTURE SARAH LEE
The Guardian 01.01.07 5
Carl Carter . . . ‘I’d beenwaiting a
long time to meet someone like Kat’
6 The Guardian 01.01.07
The Guardian Review Book Club
Doris
Lessing
Join the author for a discussion with John Mullan
about her novel, The Golden Notebook.
Wednesday January 17, The Newsroom,
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA.
Doors open at 6.30pm. The talk will begin at 7pm.
Entry is £7 including a glass of wine.
Tobookemail book.club@guardian.co.uk
orcall 02078869281.
pushed south for a lonely 272km,
giving me plenty of time to play out the
following scenario in my head. I’d told Kat she
was meeting a friend of mine, who happened
to be passing through Canberra with a present
fromme. There was, of course, no such friend,
and the person standing outside David Jones
department store, next to the merry-go-
round, at 1pm, would be me.
After delighting her with my arrival, the
rough plan was to go for a drink, check
myself into a hotel for the first night, then
. . . at this point the plan end ed abruptly, as
did the highway.
I made my way nervously to Canberra town
centre 45 minutes early, and paced around,
obsessing over my opening words. I settled on
a casual, but jovial, “You’re right, it is only a
day away!” delivered frombehind her back, to
be replaced with a large grin when she turned
around. Time passed in an odd, juddering
way. At 1.02pmI was still pacing. And
suddenly there she was. Standing with her
back to me, peering around looking for my
friend, every bit as beautiful as I remembered.
When she turned and sawme, I forgot
everything. Her mouth dropped open and I
blurted an odd, weak greeting, as if all this
was perfectly normal. We had the briefest of
clinches, then she said, “My mumand sister
are here.” This was very bad news.
She led me to a nearby bench, where a
middle-aged woman sat with another in her
20s. “Mum, Hilary,” explained Kat (and I
could hear in her voice how freaked out she
was), “this isn’t Carl’s friend. This is Carl.”
They smiled politely. I realised, with fleeting
disappointment, that they hadn’t been fully
briefed. “We were just off to get some lunch,”
Kat said, and the four of us began walking.
This was not going to plan. All I wanted to
do was fling my arms around her and tell her
I really missed her, but, instead, I was being
forced to assume the role of a placid freak
who’d travelled the globe on a whimto “hang
out” with a mate. Kat, left to assume whatever
she liked, was looking increasingly alarmed.
We had a light lunch in a cafe that played
out like a Pinter scene with everybody
discussing the price of milk and nobody
daring to broach the topic of what this Eng-
lishman was doing at their table. The trickiest
part came when her mother asked, “So, how
did you and Kat meet?”
Mercifully, we were eventually left on our
own and I drove us to a nearby park where
we walked around, hands stuffed in pockets.
I tried to put my arms around Kat, but it felt
awkward and staged, like an over-eager date
trying to cop a feel in the cinema. I sat on a
bench and took a deep breath. Time to talk.
I began with a stuttered apology for turning
up out of the blue, a faltering explanation that
I’d not meant it to be this scary.
“I don’t knowwhat to say,” said Kat,
after a pause that felt like eternity. “It was an
amazing thing to do. It’s just . . . I don’t know
if things can be the same as they were in
London. I’ve only just got home after two
years abroad. I only just sawmy mother again.
I only just came out of a long relationship.”
These statements rained down on me like
meaty hailstones. I felt sick inside. It began to
dawn on me hownaive I’d been to assume we
could carry on where we had left off.
Kat took some of it back, sensing my
disappointment and reassuring me that she
was glad I was there. But then howcould
anyone reject me outright after I’d come
10,000 miles? What I had done was such a n
over-bloated gesture that any attempt at
honesty would seeminappropriate. “I’msorry
it couldn’t be how you planned,” she said. “I
think I just need a little time to adjust.”
I drove to a pokey motel on the other side of
town, and sat in silence on the edge of the
bed. Kat had half-heartedly invited me into
the family home, but I declined; I felt I’d
intruded enough already. I turned on my
phone and it began to fill with messages from
friends at home, tentatively asking howit had
gone. I considered my response, and began to
cry. A week suddenly felt like a long time.
Monday
I met Kat again. We had breakfast in a cafe
like two relatives waiting for bad news in a
hospital. After eating, we drove to Lake Burley
Griffi n and sat on a picnic mat, knees touching
our foreheads, a metre-wide chasmbetween
us. I asked myself: what have I done wrong?
I’mstill the same person she’d met in London.
Finally, I could bear it no longer and
declared I was going home. Kat looked
surprised, and for the first time I saw a flicker
of something behind the gloom. “I really do
want you here,” she said, “but to be honest
—what were you expecting?” The question
caught me off-guard. “What you’ve done is
incredible,” she said. “Nobody’s ever done
anything like that for me before. But what the
hell were you thinking, you idiot?” I smirked
at this absurdity. Kat laughed, too. The
tension was finally broken and we hugged
tightly for what seemed like for ever.
I postponed my escape, accepting instead
an invitation to lunch with the family and
then, unexpectedly, things began to look up.
The Englishman was a hit. Sitting at a
pavement cafe, I shared jokes with the
sisters and swapped stories with mum.
I sawKat looking proudly at me and hoped it
was a good sign. We spent the afternoon and
evening shopping together, but once again it
became diffi cult, alternating between com-
fortable conversation and strained silences.
I tried to play it cool, but I was trapped be-
tween Kat’s need for an easy life and my own
need for reassurance. The tension was driving
me mad. Eventually, I came up with a plan.
‘All I really wanted
to do was fling my
arms around her
and tell her how
much I missed her’

The Guardian 01.01.07 7
Karina Kelly was a teenage tearaway,
drinking, smoking, in and out of trouble
with the law. Then, at 16, she got pregnant.
Would she be able to clean up her act?

y name is Karina Kelly,
I’m16 years old and I’m
pregnant. In the years
running up to this
unexpected development
I had got myself involved in a lot of mix-ups.
I started smoking when I was 11 and drinking
when I was 12. I got kicked out of school at
14 and arrested a lot, for things such as
street robbery and assaulting a police
offi cer. I amashamed of my past. And I
knowthat, on top of all that, getting
pregnant may sound like a disaster to you,
but really it isn’t. In fact, it is helping me
turn my life around.
Pregnancy was one of those things I
thought would never happen to me, but
then in May I found myself weeing on
a stick and sitting on the edge of the bath
nervously waiting for the result. When it
came up positive, I didn’t knowwhat to
think. It didn’t feel real. So I didn’t tell
anyone because I didn’t believe it myself.
I waited a couple of days and then took
another three or four tests just to make sure.
I’ve always known that if I got pregnant
I would keep the baby. I’mreligious and
attend church. Some part of me has never
agreed with abortions —only as a last resort
—and a baby is not something to be given
up lightly. Even though I amyoung and don’t
have a lot of money, I think I can offer a child
a good life. After all, I grewup in council flats
and hostels and I didn’t turn out that bad
—apart fromgetting pregnant at 16, which
the world obviously sees as turning out bad.
So I guess that when I found out I knewwhat
decision I was going to make. There almost
wasn’t a decision to make.
The father of the child wasn’t just a one-
night stand. We were in a long-term, serious
relationship and I amvery much in love with
him, but he has had a lot of mixed feelings
about me being pregnant. I knowhe is most
likely to be around, but obviously I can’t
knowfor sure. So I will just have to wait and
see when the baby comes if he is going to
stick with us. This doesn’t worry me,
though. I see having a baby as less restricting
than being in a relationship that perhaps ulti-
mately isn’t going to work. My child
isn’t going to tie me down or try to change
me or control me, like many partners do.
A baby will be a huge responsibility and
very demanding, but it won’t hold me
back in the way that being in the wrong
relationship can.
When the doctor started booking appoint-
ments for me with a midwife, it came all in
a rush, like a brick in the head. Next thing
I knew, I was going to hospital for scans.
I saw my baby’s 10 little fingers and 10 little
toes on the screen. I sawit open and close
its mouth, as if it was yawning. Every time
I went for a scan, it became bigger and bigger,
turning into a real human, and I would hear
its heartbeat. I started to feel my baby move
and it felt like little bubbles, little pops,
inside me. I found out I was having a boy.
I put a scan picture inside my purse so that
every time I opened it I would see him.
Not that I could ever forget he was there,
M y second life
I’d head off to Sydney for a couple of days,
give her some time, and return for the week-
end. Maybe my second visit would feel more
normal than the first .
Tuesday
We grabbed some lunch at a pavement cafe
before my sojourn to Sydney. Confident of
my plan, I felt less pressure, and conversation
flowed easily. As I was talking, I noticed Kat
looking at me in a funny way. Then, without
warning, she leant forward, put a hand on my
shoulder and kissed me, tenderly and warmly,
on the lips. As soon as I relaxed and stopped
pressuring her, it all seemed to work.
Finally, I was feeling the moment again,
and Kat seemed to be, too. I kissed her a long
goodbye until the weekend and drove off.
I sawher face wrinkle into that cute smile
as it receded in my rear-viewmirror to a blur,
a white dot and then nothing.
And that’s the last time I saw her.
After two days in Sydney, I called, eager to
make plans for the weekend, but got a shock.
Kat sounded evasive. There would be family
staying. We might not get time together. It
might not be worth my while. I was about to
launch into a persuasive counter-argument
when something made me stop. And in that
instant, everything became clear. There I was,
miles fromhome, having emptied my wallet
and bared my soul. If this was to continue,
I would need a hell of a lot more back than I
was getting. I swallowed hard, then told Kat
I agreed. It wasn’t worth my while. Maybe
some other time. We’d stay in touch. With a
heavy heart, I hung up, dialled the airline, and
travelled home that same night.
Today
I’mback in London, wrapped in a woollen
jumper, gazing out over the bleak winter
skyline. It’s two months since I stood in that
manky nightclub and Kat walked over to alter
the course of my life. I’ve recovered fromthe
journey, but I haven’t spoken to her since.
She never did call, despite her promises. I still
think about her a lot, but my friends are their
usual brilliant, supportive selves. There’s only
been one embarrassing moment when I cried
in their kitchen but I maintain that it was the
tequila fumes.
In many ways, I’ve learned a lot . I don’t
regret going to Australia. If things had worked
out, I’d be writing a very different, very smug
story. Conversely, if I hadn’t gone, I’d regret
never knowing. I’ve always been an impatient
romantic, and I nowsee that it’s a selfish com-
bination. I fall for people quickly and then
make unreasonable demands on themto have
similarly strong feelings back.
My journey has definitely changed me.
Strangely, I feel more confident. It may not
have worked out this time, but at least I am
prepared to go to such lengths to answer life’s
questions. Would I do it again? Possibly. When
you’re loved-up, you make spontaneous
decisions. But at what point does a big gesture
cross the line fromromantic to foolish?
Maddeningly, I still don’t know. It scares
me that one person can make me behave so
irrationally and lay my heart open to such
massive damage. But the world needs some
craziness, otherwise it would be a very dull,
predictable place. Maybe I’ll just limit myself
to European flights next time. →
The Guardian 01.01.07 9
because once he started moving he didn’t
stop. But it wasn’t just that: physically,
I felt so different.
Obviously, my body changed. I got stretch
marks. I already had big boobs, DD, so they
got big and heavy like water balloons. I could
never take off my bra and my hormones went
crazy. Not only did I get spots on my face, I got
themon my knees, chest, arms — basically,
everywhere. I started crying over soaps on
television, when characters died, as if they
were real people. I became so tired in the
first trimester that I would fall asleep any
time during the day.
Most of all, though, getting pregnant made
me begin to really think about what I wanted
to do with my life. I went to the jobcentre for
the first time and sorted out my income sup-
port and started to think about decorating
the house. I’ve joined a maths course, a yoga
course, a cookery course and I want to do a
language course.
I knowwith a baby it’s going to take longer
to fulfil my ambitions, but pregnancy has
given me more determination to achieve
those goals, because I’mnot just thinking
about myself any more; I’mthinking about
what’s best for my child. I’ve got a life plan: I
want to go back to college, get a job, get a flat,
be financially secure. One day, I want to run
my own business and own a beauty salon (I
got an NVQlevel one in hairdressing frommy
pupil referral unit). I have gone to Connexions,
which gives advice to pregnant teenagers, to
talk to themabout going back to college when
my child is old enough to go to nursery.
My mentality changed. I started putting
my baby before myself with everything
I did. I stopped drinking and smoking and
started watching what I was eating. Obviously,
part of me is also scared —of the pain of
giving birth, generally of howI amgoing
to cope financially, of the stretch marks and
the worries of being a parent (will anything
happen to my son?). I amscared that
although a lot of my close friends will be
around for me, I amsure I will lose many too,
because at my age I understand that they all
want to go out and have fun and not sit
indoors all night with me.
So even though my son wasn’t planned,
I’mhappy he’s coming because he has already
changed my whole outlook on life for the
better. Without him, I knowI would be still
smoking 20 fags a day, sitting around doing
nothing, binge drinking on Courvoisier and
cherry Lambrini, getting arrested, arguing
with my family, just not leading a very
productive life. Whereas nowI have some-
thing to look forward to. I amtaking full
advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
It isn’t the end of my life —it’s a newstart.
‘Without my baby, I
know I would still be
smoking 20 fags a day,
sitting around, and
binge drinking
on cherry Lambrini’

Karina Kelly, 16. . . ‘My baby’s givenme
the determinationto achieve my goals’
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10 The Guardian 01.01.07
She was a Muslim, he was a Hindu — and one
of them was already promised to another. So
would Parnesh Sharma and the love of his
life overcome the obstacles in their way?
‘Ours was a
forbidden
relationship’

t was to the confluence of two great
rivers of western Canada, the North
Thompson and the South Thompson,
that I first travelled to meet her in
that summer of 1993. Aroaring and
tempestuous mass of glacial melt —in places
shimmering turquoise, in places grit muddy —
collides and rushes onward to merge with the
mighty Fraser river several miles away, cutting
a swathe through jagged rock, mountain
pastures and meadows ablaze with wild flow-
ers, pine and aspen.
My journey to Kamloops, a five-hour drive
frommy home city of Vancouver scaling high
mountain roads, ended with a descent into
a green valley, the late-summer sun glowing
against a twilight sky turned deep purple and
orange. Months of long-distance telephone
conversations had come to this —a meeting
I had yearned for but that I approached
with trepidation and haywire nerves. I was
in love —deeply, passionately, irrevocably.
Her name, Satara, Urdu for the stars that
seemed to her father to be even more
innumerable on the day of her birth. Our
first encounter, at the engagement party of
a mutual friend, had been painfully brief.
A brief glance and even briefer dismissal:
“Go away, and don’t talk to me,” was her
retort. I was 29 and never before had I been
so witheringly dismissed. And perhaps it was
that that so beguiled me, for I was fromthat
moment irretrievably hooked.
PICTURE GRAEME ROBERTSON
The Guardian 01.01.07 11
The initial telephone calls —her number
gained by a sleight of hand —were few,
but within weeks became almost daily as I
yearned to hear her voice. The awkwardness
turned to long conversations stretching into
late hours of the night; and, occasionally, to
the first light of dawn. Within a month or so I
told her I was in love. She laughed and called
me silly —but a fewdays later she said that
she, too, was in love. And my world changed.
For an urban dweller her world was a revela-
tion —slowwalks across forest floors carpeted
with bluebells, hikes up mountain pastures,
and long drives across the wilds of British
Columbia. And always in the background,
music (those hopelessly romantic Bollywood
songs) she recorded for me. Three years of
long-distance commuting fromVancouver to
Kamloops passed —years of longing, hoping
and fleeting moments spent together. But also
spent in concealment from prying eyes, for
ours was a forbidden relationship. I, Hindu, son
of a Brahminpriest, andshe a Muslim, promised
in matrimony to another, a person unknown to
her. Both of us raised in Canada but conscious
of the Hindu-Muslimdivide, the inexplicable
prejudices predating us by generations. Then,
finally, three years after we met, she moved to
Vancouver to start nurse’s training.
We moved in together, but for the sake of
appearances maintained separate residences.
A fewmonths later I introduced her to my
parents. Wary and disapproving, at first
they discouraged our relationship. But, as
the months passed, they surrendered to her
endless charms. My father, before his own
untimely passing, blessed her and welcomed
her into his house. My mother adored her and
they became fast friends. I met her parents
in turn, but she was fearful and convinced
themthat we were best friends. Her parents
opened their arms to me and no longer was I
a stranger. But I was never a prospective part-
ner for their only daughter. To break a family
promise of an arranged matrimony, for a non-
Muslimat that, was unthinkable. Her tearful
mother asked me to leave Satara so that her
choices were clearer. I told her I did not wish
to cause a fracture in the family, but I told her
also about my feelings for her daughter. The
message to Satara remained umcompromis-
ingly clear: her family or me.
Such conflict —a constant strain on her
heart —would tear the strongest to pieces.
Arguments with her family, about her arranged
marriage, left her dispirited. Her father and
mother loved her unconditionally, and they
wavered. They were prepared to sacrifice much
for the sake of their daughter’s happiness,
but in the end other pressures —notions of
honour and family obligations —proved more
enduring. We, too, argued, I unable to under-
stand why she could not simply choose me.
On one already so emotionally fragile, all this,
of course, took a heavy toll.
Why, she often asked, can I not choose the
course of my own life? But there were also
other demons, mood swings fromexquisite
contentment to deepest depression. She
fought these with my help, and, increasingly,
the help of medication. There were nights of
tears, of comforting, of visits to doctors. And
one dreadful night, a pointless argument, a
threat fromme to leave, an overdose. I was
frantic and rushed her to hospital, promising,
and crying, never to hurt her again.
She recovered. But I, too, despaired as the
realisation slowly came that it was beyond my
abilities to help. I struggled to help, not to give
up on her, to continue fighting the depression
that, though infrequent and kept in check
by medication, would surface now and then.
It was during these times, thankfully few,
that she became impossible to live with, so
erratic was her behaviour. But my love,
though severely tested, did not falter.
Three years later, there was another test,
when I received an offer fromCambridge
for graduate study. As I waved goodbye in
the winter of 2000, I was not to know that
I would never see her again.
It was during this time that the pressure
on her to marry became unbearable. I called
her several times fromCambridge and asked
that she wait for me. Each time she asked for
a promise that I would never leave her: a life
with me would mean being disowned by her
family. Perhaps the distance between us
imbued me with pragmatism— people →
‘Sometimes eventhe vaguest wisp of the familiar
brings back her world’ . . . Parnesh Sharma
12 The Guardian 01.01.07
do fall out of love, divorces happen —for
I offered no such promise. And then, on
that fateful day when she boarded her flight to
Pakistan to fulfil the wish of her family, a tear-
ful telephone call —she was still torn between
two stark choices. Help me decide, she said,
and asked again for a promise that I would
never leave her. But, life being what it is, I
could offer no such assurance. And I wept.
Even then, I later learned, her flight had
been planned to avoid a stopover in England,
so fearful was her family that she would flee to
me. I moved on — busying myself with work,
the academic rigour and numerous pubs of
Cambridge providing a welcome respite for a
heart in torment.
Years passedandnews of her wouldoccasion-
ally pass my way as I travelled betweenEngland
and Canada, and I shut it out. But she remained
always in my thoughts, as do memories of the
long journey to the confluence of the North
and South Thompson, and those wild and
distant places we once visited. I can no longer
travel those roads. And never will. Sometimes
even the vaguest wisp of the familiar brings
back her world. But no matter how much I
hide fromany evocation of her, she is always
there. She is there in the whisper of the wind
in the trees, the rushing waters, the haunting
of distant music (those Bollywood songs). And
sometimes, when I amalone, when shadows
lengthen and the world is awash in hues of
gold, I reach out to her, and the ephemeral
world of yesterday is again as it once was.
Then, this summer, a surprise midnight call.
She knewI had moved to Oxford for further
study, and we spoke briefly about her life,
about her spouse, a gentle man also seemingly
denied his true love for the fulfilment of famil-
ial obligations. She spoke, too, of her young
children and we talked vaguely of a platonic
meeting. But I sensed also unfathomable sor-
row. The sound of her tears reached across the
distance and a familiar ache in my heart rose
again. I told her that a life spent thinking about
the past cannot change the course of destiny.
What once was can never be again. But I also
told her that once she had meant everything
to me. And that I shall never forget her.
Two months ago, another late-night call. I
heard the sound of my mother’s breaking tears,
and I knew. My mother, who had maintained
her friendship with Satara, was heartbroken.
Only last Christmas, on my annual visit home,
she had expressed yet again her wish that we
had married. I called Satara’s home and spoke
to her younger brother, who had known about
us. She never got over you, he cried. I spoke to
her parents; the sounds of their anguishtold
of unfathomable torment and regrets.
Now I amwalking under a radiant sky along
the banks of the Cherwell. I shall never know
what caused her passing — an accidental or
deliberate overdose —but in the stillness of the
day, my soul is filled with an unrelenting ache
of loneliness and a feeling of absence. Could I
have helped her? It is a question I shall never
stop asking. In my heart I always knewshe
would battle her depression for ever. And, in
truth, I also knewthat one day she would stop
fighting. The faint sounds of a distant melody,
the whisper of the wind in the trees, and the
long day closes. And I weep inconsolably —for
her, for us, and for all those moments never to
come again. And for a realisation that comes
too late. I never stopped loving her.

Ellis in2006 . . . 8½st
lighter after her surgery
The Guardian 01.01.07 13

bout 10 years ago, I visited a
psychic fair, where mediums
were giving personal readings.
I was drawn to one in particular,
who held a piece of my jewellery
and went on to name all my children, my
ex-husband and my current husband. She was
so accurate about things she couldn’t possibly
have known that it was eerie. Finally she said,
“You’re going to lose so much weight that
people will cross the street because they
won’t recognise you.” I felt a bit defensive
then. “Go on,” I laughed. “I bet you say that
to all the big girls.”
I’ve been chubby since I was a child — my
birth weight was 51kg (8lbs 15oz). During
puberty I lost a bit of weight, but the small-
est I ever got was about a size 16. When I got
married, I grewbigger and bigger. I had three
sons and never shed the baby weight . It was
the start of an endless cycle: I’d put on weight,
get depressed, eat some more, and always
plan to start a newdiet on Monday. You
name it, I’ve tried it. The Scarsdale diet, the
cabbage soup diet . . . I’ve taken tablets that
made my heart race. I even signed up for
injections froma crank doctor.
My children were very worried, so they
sent me to a Harley Street GP, who said that
if I didn’t lose weight I’d be dead within 10
years. My father had suffered fromchronic
heart disease and had needed an open heart
bypass at 49. My grandfather had died of
a massive heart attack at 36. I figured I
was probably just next in line.
Society doesn’t like fat people and you
become indoctrinated in that hatred. I used
to look at myself in the mirror and think,
“You’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re repulsive.”
If anyone took a photograph of me, I’d try
to hide my 17 chins with my hand. I have
a great job as a primary school teacher, and
a great family, but still I just wanted to curl
up and die.
Meeting a friend of mine one day com-
pletely changed my life. I hadn’t seen her
for a while, and she looked entirely different.
Amazing, actually. She had lost around 10st
having had a gastric band fitted about eight
months before. By this time I was 54 and
136.5kg (21½st). I knewI had to bite the bullet.
My granddaughter, Elah, had just turned one,
and I had had a photograph taken with her
on her birthday. My face looked like a cube.
I thought I wouldn’t live to see her grow up.
My children agreed to pay for the oper-
ation, which would involve keyhole surgery
to place a small band around the top of my
stomach, if I could find an appropriate sur-
geon. The first one I saw was an eminent
doctor who put me through six months of
psychiatric screening and other tests. In the
end he said my best option was a gastric by-
pass, and that the mortality rate for someone
of my size would be one in 75. I knewthat a
gastric banding would be a less invasive and
risky procedure, so I insisted that that was
what I wanted, but the doctor didn’t think I
was capable of making such a big change to
my eating habits. “I’ll do the operation,” he
agreed, “but only if you’ll sign a formsaying
that it’s against my wishes.” I walked out of
the consultation.
I felt desperate then —even with money
on offer, no one would help me. Then I saw
an itemabout the Healthier Weight Centre
on TV and decided to go and see them. I met
the medical director, who said there was no
reason why I shouldn’t have a gastric band-
ing; the mortality rate would be about one
in 10,000. In a gastric bypass they have
to open you up and re-plumb you, but a
For 54 years Janice Ellis was overweight —
‘fat, ugly and repulsive’, she thought. Then 12
months ago, weighing 21 stone, she signed up
for the operation that would transform her life
Losing it
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The idyllic island of Tresco
Price includes
•Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Island Hotel, Tresco
•Return standard train fare fromLondon Paddington to Penzance (other main
line departure points and first class rail upgrades are possible on request)
•Return helicopter transfers to the Scilly Isles
•Entry to Tresco’s Abbey Gardens
Five day package to Tresco including the Eden Project and Heligan is also
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For aselectionof Reader Offer holidays visit: guardian.co.uk/travel/readeroffers
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Holiday organised by Brightwater Holidays Ltd, Eden Park House, Cupar, Fife KY15 4HS and is offered subject to availability.
Supplements apply to certain dates. ATOL 4498 ABTOT 5001.
Calls provided by BT will be charged at up to 8 pence per minute at all times. A call set-up fee of
3 pence per call applies to calls fromresidential lines. Mobile and other providers’ costs may vary.
gastric band can be fitted laparoscopic-
ally, and the surgeon doesn’t have to cut
into any of the organs, which naturally makes
it much safer. The band is just fitted around
the upper part of the stomach, forming a
pouch about the size of a golf ball. That
pouch becomes your newstomach.
When it came to the operation a fewweeks
later though, on January 20, I was incredibly
scared. I was bigger than ever, and fears that
I could die under anaesthesia were running
through my head. Fortunately, it went well.
Coming to, I just felt like someone had given
me a bit of a kicking. It was like having a baby,
really, in the sense that you quickly forget
about the pain because of the brilliant results.
My surgeon told me I should get myself a
breakfast-sized plate and use that for all my
meals. “If you decide, ‘ To hell with this, I’m
going to order a pizza’, you’ll be in big trouble,”
he said, which was good advice. If you eat too
heavily after a gastric banding you can end up
forming another stomach in your oesophagus.
The gastric band isn’t a miracle cure. There are
certain things that you can’t eat and it’s differ-
ent for every patient. One chap I met at a sup-
port group can’t eat sausages. Most can’t eat
bread. Pasta is diffi cult, because it swells in
the stomach, and I can’t eat bacon and shell-
fish, because you can’t chewthemenough. It’s
even possible to gain weight if you don’t treat
it properly. A friend of a friend liquidised
everything she would normally have eaten —
cake, chocolate —and ended up bigger.
But I changed my lifestyle completely after
the operation, and I’ve been losing weight
quickly and steadily. I clearly must have con-
sumed so much more than my body needed.
I never had fast food, but I might have sat
down and eaten half a small chicken. NowI
have a drumstick, and I’mmore than satisfied.
I was 127kg (20st) when the surgery was done.
Eleven months later I’mdown to 79kg (12½st).
My life has changed hugely. “Aren’t you
looking well?” people keep saying. They don’t
say, “Haven’t you lost a lot of weight?” in case
I feel hurt that they thought I was big before.
I’mnot crazy, though. I know how big I was.
It’s weird, because my psychological out-
look hasn’t quite caught up with my body yet.
I’ll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and
think, “Who’s that?” I look at photographs
and I don’t recognise myself. Last Saturday,
we went to a dinner dance and I bought an
evening dress with shoestring straps. I’ve
never worn anything like that before. I kept
saying to my husband, “I don’t look fat, do I?”
because, in some ways, I still feel really, really
big. I just can’t tell what I amat this stage.
Nicely rounded?
Some patients replace compulsive eating
with other compulsive behaviour, but I’m
the opposite. I used to have a couple of gin
and tonics and some wine with dinner most
nights, but now I only drink a little wine at
the weekends. I was drinking because I
was miserable before. My only compulsive
behaviour is buying clothes. For years,

Society doesn’t like
fat people. If anyone
took a photograph of
me, I’d try to hide my 17
chins with my hand
At her heaviest, Ellis
weighed 21½st
The Guardian 01.01.07 15
Aman Samaei was a doctor in Kabul when
he was arrested by the Taliban. He escaped,
and embarked on a journey with smugglers —
by car, lorry, and on foot through forests —
that would eventually bring him to Britain

was born in Kabul in 1969. The city was
much more liberal in those days. It was
not mandatory for women to cover
their heads and educated women often
went without a scarf. My father worked
as a civil servant and I attended the best
school in Kabul. When the revolution took
place in1976, I didn’t pay muchattention to it;
most of the fighting was in remote areas. All
I wanted was to continue my studies and to
avoid being called up to fight for the Soviet-
backed government at all costs. I completed
my studies at 17 —too young for the army —
and secured a place instead at university to
study medicine. I was lucky: some of my
friends had to go into military service and lost
out on their education. Some lost their lives
in the war against the mujahideen.
When the Soviets left in 1989, the situation
in Kabul worsened. Mujahideen targeted the
city and started firing missiles. By the time
I qualified and got a job at a big teaching
hospital in 1992, the fighting had intensified .
Sometimes it was too dangerous to go to
work; there were so many checkpoints to pass
through. I had married by this time; I met my
wife at a party and fell in love with her very
quickly. But as the capital became more and
more dangerous my family fled to Ghazni
province in eastern Afghanistan, where we
thought we would be safer. I got a job as a
doctor in a clinic, and when the whole country
came under Taliban control in 1996 I grewa
beard and wore long robes in accordance with
Taliban rules. But it was diffi cult to practise
medicine properly. I wasn’t allowed to examine
women and had to make a diagnosis just by
talking to them, or by asking a nurse to con-
duct the examination in another roomwhile
I called out instructions.
My wife and I longed to have children but
the situation was so unstable that we didn’t
feel it was a good time to bring a child into the
world. Education was important to both of us,
and we didn’t want our child, especially a girl,
not to be able to go to school.
A lthough I opposed the Taliban, I stuck by
the oath doctors make to deliver healthcare
to everyone. When I visited sick patients
in their homes we sometimes talked about
the regime. The people I visited often lived
in desperate poverty without electricity or
enough to eat. With patients I trusted, I gave
views about the regime and with those I
didn’t trust, I remained silent.
I still don’t know which one of those I
trusted betrayed me. But one day Taliban
offi cials came to the clinic and arrested me.
I was held in prison for 11 days and was beaten
on my back, feet and face with guns and
lengths of cable. I had said my usual goodbyes
to my wife and family that morning when
I left for work, assuming I would see them
at the end of the day. In fact, it was the last
I sawof them, and it would be more than
16 months before I sawdaylight sky.
Safe at last
I’ve been limited to shops such as Evans and
Ann Harvey, but nowI can go everywhere.
I’mgetting close to my goal weight, but I
must be carting around about a stone of extra
skin. I’ve got such lovely bingo wings that I’ll
never need to buy another plane ticket —I
could probably fly myself. I’m55, so my skin’s
not as elastic as it used to be and, having lost
so much weight so quickly, it does show. I will
have to have that removed.
I’ve heard of people who’ve had a gastric
band having negative comments made to
them—probably out of envy —but I haven’t
really experienced that. People have been
derogatory to my husband, though. About six
or seven times now people have said, “Watch
it —she’ll be off with somebody else”, which
is awful. It’s been the support of my husband
and family that’s made all this possible — that
and the support of the clinic. You hear some
horror stories about people’s experiences
with operations such as these, but I honestly
don’t think I could have found doctors more
caring and helpful.
Back in June, I had some blood tests and
they showed that my blood sugar is now nor-
mal, my cholesterol is normal. NowI’moff my
blood pressure medication and I can give up
my antacid tablets. One day recently, my mum
just grabbed me and said, “I wish your father
was alive to see you, because it was our great-
est dreamthat you would lose weight.”
The next step will be maintaining my
weight. It is possible to have the band let out
— otherwise you’d keep losing weight indefi-
nitely —and I will have that done, because
I’d like to be able to eat a reasonable-sized
meal again. I will have earned that. However,
I’mgoing to work hard at managing my size
—the friend who inspired me has had her
band for three years, and her weight is stable.
If she can do it, I can too.
I just pray that I’ll see Elah grow up and
get married, as well as my two other grand-
children, who are due this year. My kids, too
—please God —will have me around for
much longer.
Until January 2006 I felt as though I was
trudging up a huge hill, and since then it
feels as if I have been sliding down the other
side. By Easter, the weight problemthat has
plagued me my entire life should finally be
over. Already, many people don’t recognise
me. The psychic turned out to be right
about that as well.
As told to Kira Cochrane. For more information about weight
loss you can contact the Healthier Weight Centre at www.
healthierweight.co.uk, or call 0800 073 1146. →
16 The Guardian 01.01.07
I probably would have died in that
prison —as many others did before and
after me —but my father paid a substantial
bribe to a local Taliban commander. In the
middle of the night, a guard opened the door
for me, while another took me out of prison
into a waiting van. I had been praying that
my family would find a way to rescue me and
when my cell door opened I knew I had been
given a second chance at life.
The van driver took me to my uncle’s house.
I knewI had to get out of the country fast, and
my journey began a fewhours later when a
lorry arrived to take me over the border to
Pakistan. The lorry was carrying potatoes,
cereals, kidney beans and apples, and I was
hidden in a small compartment behind the
driver’s cabin. My heart began to beat fast
when Taliban offi cials peered in at the border
to ask the driver if he was carrying anything he
shouldn’t be. He shook his head and invited
themto check. Thankfully, they declined.
When we finally arrived across the border
in Peshawar, I laid lowand waited for the next
part of my journey to begin. Once you embark
on such a journey, there is no way back. You
have no money, no passport, no visa; the only
choice is to keep moving in the direction the
smuggler leads you. I and my fellowasylum
seekers were locked into houses during the
day with the curtains tightly closed, and
were fed the same monotonous diet of soup,
bread, butter and biscuits whichever country
we passed through. Sometimes we travelled
on foot through forests, sometimes in cars or
lorries, but we only ever travelled in darkness.
Everywhere looked more or less the same to
me. At each stage we were passed to another
smuggler. They barely spoke to us; we were
human parcels on a long production line.
They gave the orders, and we obeyed.
I didn’t mind which country I arrived in. All
that mattered was being safe and free. Some-
times, though, the journey was so hard that I
wanted to give up. The physical hardship was
immense, but the hardest thing to deal with
was the grief —for the loss of my country, my
wife, my family, my profession. I yearned for
peace in Afghanistan, so I would be able to go
home. It was impossible to make contact with
my loved ones; they didn’t know whether I
was dead or alive.
One day, the smugglers looking after us
said, “We’re going to send you somewhere by
lorry. Wherever it stops, claimasylum.” At
one point I heard a harsh sound —so loud
that I had to put my hands over my ears —and
realised we were in a tunnel. When the lorry
stopped, the driver opened the doors and
looked shocked to find us crouching there.
We had been told to say nothing and cowered
silently. I was dazzled by the sight of the sky.
I had lost all sense of time while we travelled
but I soon discovered it was August 2002.
I spoke good English, and assumed fromthe
language the police were speaking that I had
arrived in Britain. I was taken to an organi-
sation called Refugee Action and told howto
claimasylum. I was so happy to be safe at last
and certain that, after the torture I had experi-
enced, I would be given refuge in the UK.
I phoned a friend in Peshawar who travelled
regularly to Ghazni and asked himto let my
family know I was safe. I was shocked when, a
fewweeks later, my claimwas refused. I was
completely out of touch with the world on my
journey and did not knowthat September 11
had happened. Home Offi ce offi cials told
me that after the attack on the twin towers
Afghanistan had been invaded and the Taliban
defeated; it would be safe for me to go home.
When I asked my family, through the friend
in Peshawar, if it was indeed safe, the message
came back, “Amillion per cent no.” The Taliban
still control parts of Afghanistan and know
who their enemies are. I lodged a fresh claim
as soon as possible. Had I not had friends to
support me I would have had to do what other
destitute asylumseekers do, living a shadowy
life underground and taking a job on the black
market. Instead, I spent my days in libraries
studying for the exams I needed to pass in
order to be able to practise medicine in the UK.
When I found out earlier this year that my
fresh claimfor asylumhad succeeded, I felt
incredible joy. I was safe at last. I was given
leave to remain and a work permit so I will be
able to work again as a doctor and make a con-
tribution to society. The chains of anxiety and
stress locked around my brain fell away. But
my joy was full of sadness, too, because my
wife and family were not here with me. Every
day I yearn to see themagain. In more than
five years my only communication with my
wife has been brief messages —saying we love
and miss each other —sent through the friend
in Peshawar. NowI’mapplying for lots of jobs
as a doctor all over the UK. I hope that as soon
as I find work I will get permission for my wife
to join me. We long to be reunited and to fulfil
our dreamof having children at last.
There are many things I miss about my
country, most of all my family and friends,
but also our traditions and the eight or nine
months a year of sunshine. I have seen a lot
of British hospitality in the past four years
and have met many people who devote them-
selves to helping others. I feel I belong here in
the same way as other citizens. This country
has taught me the meaning of freedomand
human rights, particularly for women. But
half my heart is still in Afghanistan. I know
there are others tortured and threatened with
death, as I was, and I hope they too will get
justice and the same opportunity to experi-
ence freedomas I have had •
As told to Diane Taylor.
Every day I yearn to see
my wife again. Our only
communication has
been through notes
sent through a friend

AmanSamaei . . . ‘This country has
taught me the meaning of freedom’
PICTURE CHRISTOPHER THOMOND
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HAYMARKET 08704000626+bkg fee
CLAIRE BILLY
BLOOM ZANE
SIX DANCE LESSONS
IN SIX WEEKS
A new play by Richard Alfieri
'Funny & very moving' Sun Tel
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Thurs & Sat 3pm
No perf tonight
www.sixdancelessons.co.uk
Theatres London
APOLLO VICTORIA
0870 4000 751/0870 402 0180
www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk
'BLOCKBUSTER
ENTERTAINMENT.'
Sunday Telegraph
WICKED
'A WICKED & WONDERFUL
VISION OF OZ' Standard
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm
Day Seats £25 from 10am
HER MAJESTY'S
0870 890 1106 bkg fee/
0870 060 1765 + fee
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S
MUSICAL PHENOMENON
THE PHANTOM OF
THE OPERA
Directed by HAROLD PRINCE
Eves 7.30, Mats Tue & Sat 2.30
www.thephantomoftheopera.com
SAVOY THEATRE 0870 164 8787
* * * * *S.Tel
'Five Star Quality Performances
and Marvellous Music' Obs
CLARKE PETERS NICOLA HUGHES
THE GERSHWINS'
PORGY & BESS
'The Greatest Songs Ever Written'
Independent
'Trevor Nunn at his best' D.Tel
Mon-Sat 7.30, Wed & Sat 2.30
£20 day seats in person from 10am
ALDWYCH 0870 400 0845
THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN ES
DIRTY DANCING
THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE
Mon-Thu 7.45, Fri 5.15 & 8.30,
Sat 3 & 7.45
NEW SEATS RELEASED DAILY
www.dirtydancinglondon.com
PRINCE EDWARD 0870 850 9191
+ fee/ 020 7494 5048 (bkg fee)
MARY POPPINS
NOW IN ITS 3RD YEAR
Mon-Sat 7.30,Mats Thu & Sat 2.30
Best Availability Mon-Wed eves
www.marypoppinsthemusical.co.uk
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE
GARRICK THEATRE 0870 890 1104
FELICITY KENDAL
'A superb star performance' D.Tel
'The performance of a lifetime' IOS
AMY'S VIEW
BY DAVID HARE
DIRECTED BY PETER HALL
FINAL WEEKS MUST END FEB 17
FORTUNE BO & CC 0870 060 6626
18th SPINE-CHILLING YEAR!
Susan Hill's
THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt
'A VINTAGE THRILLER TO
CHERISH' The Times
Mon-Sat 8, Mats Tue 3pm & Sat 4pm
PALACE THEATRE 0870 890 0142
'LAUGHALOT'
The Times
MONTY PYTHON'S
SPAMALOT
Books & Lyrics by Music by
Eric Idle John Du Prez & Eric Idle
Directed by Mike Nichols
Starring Tim Curry
Mon-Sat 8, Tues & Sat 3
BEST AVAILABILITY TUES MATS
www.montypythonsspamalot.com
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
67 Day Seats from 10am on the day
Box office: 0207 304 4000
The Royal Ballet
THE NUTCRACKER
Today 2.00, 7.00 Wed, Thurs, Fri 7.30
The Royal Opera
CARMEN
Tues 7.00, Sat 6.30
Linbury Studio Theatre
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Tues 2.00, Wed 2.00, Thu 2.00, 7.00
Fri 2.00, Sat 2.00, 7.00
Book online: www.roh.org.uk
Ballet
ADELPHI 0870 895 5598
'Oh what a show!' Independent
Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber's
EVITA
'A sensational hit all over again'
Mail on Sunday
Mon-Sat 7.30, Mats Thurs & Sat 2.30
Some good seats available
www.evitathemusical.com
PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE
0870 850 0393/0870 264 3333
Book online: www.mamma-mia.com
MAMMA MIA!
THE SMASH HIT MUSICAL
BASED ON THE SONGS OF ABBA
Mon-Thur 7.30, Fri 5.00 & 8.30,
Sat 3.00 & 7.30
£27.50 day seats released from 10am
VICTORIA PALACE
0870 895 5577/0870 264 3333
WINNER 8 BEST MUSICAL AWARDS
Music by ELTON JOHN
Book & Lyrics by LEE HALL
Directed by STEPHEN DALDRY
BILLY ELLIOT
THE MUSICAL
With SALLY DEXTER
and JAMES GADDAS
Mon-Sat 7.30, Thu & Sat 2.30pm
Extra show Tue 2 Jan 2.30pm
£25 day seats avail daily from 12
www.billyelliotthemusical.com
COMEDY THEATRE 0870 060 6637
'Still the sexiest and funniest
show in town' Eve Std 2006
THE ROCKY
HORROR SHOW
Mon-Thu 8pm, Fri & Sat 6pm
Book online: www.rockyhorror.co.uk
NEW AMBASSADORS 0870 0606627
'ONE OF THE BEST NEW PLAYS
OF THE YEAR' (Daily Tel)
LOVE SONG
A new comedy by John Kolvenbach
Directed by John Crowley
Mon-Sat 7.45, Thu & Sat 3pm
LIMITED SEATS AVAIL AT £15 & £25
DRURY LANE THEATRE ROYAL
0870 890 1109, 0870 145 1130 + fee
Winner of every Best Musical Award!
CORY REECE
ENGLISH SHEARSMITH
THE PRODUCERS
The new MEL BROOKS musical
Mon-Sat 7.30; Mats Wed & Sat 2.30
LAST WEEK -ENDS SAT
SHAFTESBURY THEATRE
02073795399
DADDY COOL
Starring MICHELLE COLLINS
HARVEY, JAVINE
'A REAL GUILTY PLEASURE
THE FULL BONEY M
EXPERIENCE!' D Mail
Mon-Sat 7.30, Thurs & Sat 3.00
PICCADILLY 0870 060 0123
ALEX SAMANTHA
FERNS JANUS
AMY NORMAN
NUTTALL BOWMAN
'THIS HAPPIEST OF MUSICALS IS
A CONSTANT DELIGHT' S Exp
Frank Loesser's Classic Musical
GUYS and DOLLS
A Donmar Production
Directed by Michael Grandage
WINNER! Olivier Awards 2006
Outstanding Musical Production
"Terrific music, great fun" Times
Mon-Sat 7.30, Wed & Sat mats 2.30
Concerts
Noël Coward Theatre 0870 850 9175
WINNER
2006 Variety Club Awards
AVENUE Q
'The funniest show in town' SkyNews
Tickets from £17.50
Mon-Thu 8,Fri 5.45, 8.45,Sat 5 & 8.30
www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk
ST MARTIN'S THEATRE
0870 162 8787/0870 160 2878
55th YEAR OF AGATHA CHRISTIE'S
THE MOUSETRAP
Eves 8pm, Tue 2.45, Sat 5pm & 8pm
LYCEUM 0870 243 9000 (bkg fee)
Groups (15+) call:0870 152 1000
or Disney Groups 020 7845 0949
Disney Presents
THE LION KING
now booking to 29 July 2007
Best availability: Tue, Wed
and Thurs eves and Weds matinees
Check daily for returns
for all other Perfs
A limited number of seats & standing
room released daily at noon in
person at Box Office
Tue-Sat 7.30, Wed & Sat 2.00
& SUNDAY MATINEES at 3pm
Book Online: www.thelionking.co.uk
DUKE OF YORK'S 08700606623
'WINNER BEST PLAY'
Evening Standard Theatre Awards
FINAL WEEKS
ROCK 'N' ROLL
BY TOM STOPPARD
DIRECTED BY TREVOR NUNN
Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm
Sunday Matinees 3pm
DAY SEATS AVAILABLE
PLAYHOUSE THEATRE
0870 060 6631
MOTOWN'S GREATEST HITS!
DANCING IN THE
STREETS
Xmas Special until 6 Jan
Mon-Sat 8, Thu 3, Sat 4.00
'There is no excuse for missing it' Es
NOVELLO 0870 950 0940
RSC LONDON SEASON
MUCH ADO ABOUT
NOTHING
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2pm
www.rsc.org.uk/london
LYRIC 0870 890 1107
'***** GENIUS' Ind
'****WONDERFUL' Exp
CABARET
'****UNFORGETTABLE' Tel
'**** SENSATIONAL' MoS
Eves 7.45, Mats Wed & Sat 3
GIELGUD THEATRE 0870 950 0915
Frank Langella Michael Sheen
FROST/NIXON
'The best play of 2006' D.Tel
Day Seats from 10am
Mon-Sat 7.30, Mats Wed & Sat 2.30
FINAL 4 WEEKS
QUEENS THEATRE
0870 950 0930 + fee
THE WORLD'S LONGEST
RUNNING MUSICAL
LES MISERABLES
Eves 7.30, Mats Wed & Sat 2.30
www.lesmis.com
LONDON PALLADIUM 08708901108
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
'Beg, steal or borrow a ticket'
Sky News
Mon,Weds,Sat 7.30 Tue 7
Wed & Sat 2.30
Day Seats in person from 10am
NEW LONDON THEATRE
0870 8900141 Groups 0870 8993342
BLUE MAN GROUP
Theatre, Concert, Comedy
Tues 3 & 8pm, Wed & Fri 8pm
Sat 3, 6 & 9pm, Sun 3pm
KIDS 1/2 PRICE SAT & SUN 3PM
NATIONAL THEATRE 02074523000
www.nationaltheatre.org.uk
OLIVIER
CORAM BOY
Adapted by Helen Edmundson
From the novel by Jamila Gavin
Tonight, tomorrow 7.30
LYTTELTON
CAROLINE OR CHANGE
Books & lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Best musical - ES Awards
FINAL 6 PERFORMANCES
Tonight 7.30, tomor 2.15 & 7.30
Today 2.15 & 7.30
COTTESLOE
WAVES
Suggested by Virginia Woolf's novel
The Waves, devised by Katie Mitchell
& the company
Tonight 7.30, tomor 2.30 & 7.30
DOMINION 0870 169 0116/
020 7494 5493
'MAGNIFICO' The Sun
WE WILL ROCK YOU
by QUEEN & BEN ELTON
'UNMISSABLE' Capital Radio
Mon-Sat 7.30, Mat Sat 2.30
Extra show last Wednesday
of every month at 2.30
www.queenonline.com
CRITERION THEATRE 0870 0602313
'Dizzyingly entertaining' D Tel
John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock's
The 39 Steps
Mon-Sat 7.45pm, Tue 3pm, Sat 4pm
'Clever, very funny, imaginative' Gdn
COLISEUM 0870 145 0200 (24hr)
ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Until 7 Jan
GISELLE
From 10 Jan
www.ballet.org.uk
To advertise please call
0207611 9100
OLD VIC 0870 060 6628
5 Jan- 17 Feb
Two Shakespeare Comedies
TWELFTH NIGHT
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Wed & Sat 2.30pm
www.oldvictheatre.com
WYNDHAM'S THEATRE
087095009525 (24hr)
Alan Bennett's
THE HISTORY BOYS
'Superb, life-enhancing' Gdn
Mon, Tues, Thurs - Sat 7.30pm
Wed 7pm, Thurs & Sat 2.30pm
CAMBRIDGE 0870 890 1102
on-line chicagolondon.co.uk
CHICAGO
Aoife Mulholland Annette McLaughlin
Ian Kelsey Brenda Edwards
Mon-Thurs 8, Fri 4.30 & 8, Sat 3 & 8
New Year's Day @ 8pm
PHOENIX. BO/CC 0870 060 6629
20TH PHENOMENAL YEAR
WILLY RUSSELL'S
BLOOD BROTHERS
BEST MUSICAL
ALL MAJOR AWARDS
Eves 7.45, Mats Thu 3.00, Sat 4.00
VAUDEVILLE THEATRE
08708900511
The International Hit
STOMP
Tues-Sat 8 Thu, Sat, Sun 3
Extra perf 2 Jan 3pm
www.stomplondon.com
TRAFALGAR STUDIOS
0870 060 6632
'Brings the house down.
A REAL HOOT' D.Tel
RIK MAYALL stars in
The New Statesman
ALAN B'STARD'S
EXTREMELY SECRET WEAPON
Mon Sat 7.30, Sat mats 2.30
Strictly limited season until 27 Jan
www.bstard.co.uk
DONMAR 0870 060 6624
DON JUAN IN SOHO
By Patrick Marber
after Molière
Mon-Sat 7.30, Mats Thu & Sat 2.30
Opera
Barbican Hall 0207 638 8891
TONIGHT @ 7.30pm
GLENN MILLER ORCH
In The Festive Mood
With special guests
CI RKUS CI RKÖR & KALEI DOSKOP
THE ATRE CI RCUS DANCE MUSI C
0870 160 2519
www.rfh.org.uk
CHRISTMAS AT THE
SOUTH BANK CENTRE
IN WITH THE NEW
QUEEN ELI ZABETH HALL 23 DEC 2006–7 JAN 2007
Ends 16 December - final 8 performances
Love and Money
Dennis Kelly’s latest play
‘One of the best new
plays of the year.
A brilliant jigsaw
puzzle of modern life’
The Daily Telegraph
#### ‘Outstanding’
The Guardian
Until 27 January
The Enchanted Pig
‘Each Christmas the
Young Vic produces
one of the most
glowing and inventive
shows of the year’
The Observer
Under 26s £9.50 for
every performance
Book now! 020 7922 2930
www.youngvic.org
Young Vic, 66 The Cut, London SE1 8LZ
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The Nutcracker
8- 24 December
Alice in
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28 December - 7 January
Giselle
10- 13 January
Tickets from£10
Call 0870 145 0200
www.ballet.org.uk
Christmas at the
London Coliseum
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The Guardian 01.01.07 19
The weekend’s TV
Sam Wollaston So Robin Hood and Little Britain
are no longer with us? It’s probably for the best

No Marian, you idiot,
you got the wrong
one. Maybe Richard
Armitage’s Sir Guy of Gisborne is a
bad ’un, but he’s got a bit of swagger
about himand he dresses half
decently (if you’re into 80s pomp).
But then, just as you’re about to tie
the knot, you change your mind and
go running off with that irritating little
twerp Robin Hood (Saturday, BBC1).
So he’s quite handy with his arrers,
but he’s a moody bugger, and he looks
like Bambi.
“Do you take this man, and this
horse?” he shouts. See? I told you
there was something funny about him.
You can rob fromthe rich and give to
the poor all day long, but that doesn’t
make threesomes with animals accept-
able. But, of course, Marian does take
them, and they go galloping off into
the sunset. It’s not quite the end. The
king returns home fromthe Holy Land
(hurrah!). Then he turns out not to be
the king at all, but one of the sheriff’s
men pretending to be the king (boo!).
So guess who saves the day (hurrah!).
And Keith Allen’s sheriff is left dangling
by a rope fromthe roof (hurrah again!).
And that’s it, series over (the biggest
hurrah of all!). Because it’s been pretty
lame, to be honest. I gave up a while
ago, and just came back for the end.
The script was the problem—as clunky
as the Sheriff of Nottinghamin a full
suit of armour. With his seat belt on.
And in trying to make it modern and
appealing to today’s youth, they some-
howmanaged to strip any romance or
sexiness fromit. If the BBC’s drama
people think that Robin Hood in any
way filled the hole left by Doctor Who,
then they need their heads looking at.
Is that it for Little Britain, too? At the
end of this second festive Little Britain
Abroad (Saturday, BBC1), TomBaker
says: “For this really is the end of Little
Britain . . . Abroad.” Is that a hint that
there’s more to come, another special
next Christmas, perhaps?
I hope not. I think Lucas and
Walliams would do well to end it now,
rather than see it tail off slowly into
irrelevance. Actually, I was never a
big Little Britain enthusiast — it never
seemed clever or funny enough to
get away with its offensiveness. But
I realise this is a minority viewand
there was a peak, round about a year
ago, when it played a big part in the
country’s cultural identity.
That’s passed now—there’s less
yeah-but-no-but-ing in the nation’s
playgrounds. And these festive specials,
with a Who’s Who of British comedy
lining up to get in on the act, feel like
the final strains of some pompous
prog-rock anthemthat keeps almost
ending, but then there’s yet another
drumroll, you knowthe ones I mean?
Stop it, while you’re still (just) ahead.
The Spice Girls: 10Years of Girl
Power (Sunday, Sky One) is Modern
ReviewTV. Brainy women sit around
debating the role Sporty, Posh, Baby,
Scary and Ginger played in feminismat
the end of the 20th century. Did Greer,
Dworkin and Wolf lose their relevance
in the face of “I wanna, I wanna, I
wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really
really wanna zig-a-zig ha”?
I’d like to knowif the Spice Girls
themselves are watching. My guess is
that if they are, they’re dead chuffed
it’s happening but soon get bored and
switch over. Or go out — it is New Year’s
Eve, after all.
It does just about get away with it,
mainly by being presented by Julie
Burchill. She’s just so totally and
brilliantly different fromanything else
that ever appears on television. And
we get to see that clip of Geri Halliwell
goosing Prince Charles again — it’s
worth it just for that. Girl Power!
Careless Whiskers: The Unseen
George Michael (Saturday, Five)
certainly doesn’t get away with it. The
premise behind this showappears to
be that George Michael used to pretend
not to be gay, and most people, even
his close friends, didn’t know he was.
Then he came out, and now we all
know he’s gay!
There are some fascinating insights
into this —fromsome bloke who used
to knowGeorge, froma DJ at a club in
Haringey, froma lady in America who
used to really, really like Wham. And
then some idiot decided that this was
worth an hour of Sat-
urday night television.
Happy new year.

‘He’s quite handy
with his arrers,
but he’s moody,
and he looks like
Bambi’ . . . Robin
Hood (BBC1)
If the BBC think that Robin
Hood in any way filled the
hole left by Doctor Who, they
need their heads looking at
20 The Guardian 01.01.07
Radio marked the New Year with a
weekend of notable drama, the high-
light of which was Trevor Nunn’s di-
recting debut on radio with TomStop-
pard’s play, The Real Thing (Radio 4).
And it was, dramatically, the real thing:
a tautly directed cracker. Plays within
plays are hard to pull off on radio,
where you only have voices to guide
you to who’s who, and Stoppard’s
includes an extra trick, filling it full of
characters not quite telling the truth,
especially to themselves. Harriet
Walter as Charlotte, starring in her
husband’s play about adultery, was
especially impressive in the clashes
in the play-within-the-play with her
co-star, Max, played by Roger Allam.
Max finds Charlotte’s passport at their
house, and so realises she isn’t abroad
on a business trip. He had found it at
home once before, when she claimed
to be in Amsterdam. “I must say, I
take my hat off to you, coming home
with Rembrandt placemats for your
mother,” he says, spitting each word
out. “It’s those touches that lift adul-
tery out of the moral arena and make it
a matter of style.” Elisabeth Mahoney
7.0 Morning On 3. Purcell:
Incidental music: Dioclesian.
Rimsky-Korsakov: Concerto
for Trombone. Mozart: Six
German dances. Fauré:
Barcarolle No 1 in A minor.
Bach: Overture: Adriano in
Siria. Falla: Suite Populaire.
6.0 Do You KnowWhat
You’re Saying? (R) 6.30 Gift
Of A Goat (R) 7.0 Today 9.0
Start The Week 9.45 (LW)
Act Of Worship 9.45 (FM)
Book Of The Week: Books
To Change Your Life By.
Kerry Shale reads Howto
Win Friends and Influence
People, by Dale Carnegie.
6.30 Albert And Me 7.0
The Little Toe Radio Show
8.0 The Goon Show8.30
Knowing Me, Knowing
You 9.0 P Division —Code
Four One. Thriller by Peter
Turnbull.
10.15 NewYear’s Day
Concert From Vienna.
Zubin Mehta conducts
the traditional concert.
Including at 10.50 Twenty
Minutes: The Ormolu Clock
by Muriel Spark.
10.0 Woman’s Hour. With
Jenni Murray. Including at
10.45 Drama: Part one of
The Goddess, by Prabhat
Kumar Mukherjee.
11.0 Shopkeepers Of The
Nation. Hardeep Singh Kohli
investigates the corner shop.
11.30 Clare In The
Community
10.0 The Pallisers.
Dramatisation of the novel
sequence by Anthony
Trollope.
11.0 Centurions. Discussion
on American playwright
Arthur Miller.
11.15 Westway
11.30 Tales Of Beatrix
Potter
1.0 News; Lunchtime
Concert. Satie, John Cage,
Debussy, John Cage. (R)
12.0 (LW) News Headlines;
Shipping Forecast
12.0 (FM) News
12.04 The Unbelievable
Truth. Game show. (R)
12.30 Don Bradman —Myth,
Reality, Commodity (R)
12.57 Weather
1.0 News
1.15 Pick Of The Year. With
Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.
12.0 The Goon Show
12.30 I’m Sorry I Haven’t A
Clue. First aired in 2002.
1.0 Baldi. Murder mystery by
Simon Brett
1.45 Paradise Lost. By John
Milton.
2.0 Afternoon Performance.
Verdi: Overture: La Forza del
Destino. Mathias: Invocation
and Dance. Glazunov: Alto
saxophone concerto in E flat.
Elgar: Symphony No 1.
2.0 The Archers (R)
2.15 Afternoon Play: Attlee
Confidential. Drama-
documentary.
3.0 Rhapsody In Bohemia.
Queen’s best-known hit. (R)
3.30 Scottish Shorts.
Housework by Sally Beamish.
3.45 Owl Prowl. Newseries
with Chris Sperring.
2.0 Legal, Decent, Honest
And Truthful
2.30 Yes Minister
3.0 The Little Toe Radio
Show
4.0 Stage And Screen.
Edward Seckerson pays
tribute to Barbara Streisand.
5.0 At The Piano. Newseries.
Petroc Trelawny examines
the riches of the recorded
piano repertoire, beginning
by talking to Imogen Cooper
about the pianists she most
admires.
4.0 The Food Programme.
A group of villagers decide
to become self-suffi cient.
Presented by Sheila Dillon.
4.30 Beyond Belief. New
series. Ernie Rea explores
the place of faith in the
modern world.
5.0 PM. News headlines,
analysis and reports.
4.0 The Big Toe Radio Show.
Stories, competitions and
quizzes.
6.30 NewGeneration
Artists. Beethoven: Trio.
Bach: Sonata No 2 in A
minor. Gwilym Simcock:
Piano Improvisations.
7.30 BBC Proms 2006.
Rossini, Donizetti, Granados,
Falla, Menendez and Utrera
arr Pena, Monge arr Pena
and more. (R)
9.45 Belief. Joan Bakewell
talks to
Muslim
academic
and feminist
Professor
Haleh
Afshar. (R)
6.0 Six O’Clock News
6.30 Just A Minute. New
series.
7.0 The Archers. Tom has a
confession to make.
7.15 Front Row. With Oliver
Stone and Emilio Estevez.
7.45 The Goddess. By
Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee.
6.0 The Silver Chair. By
CS Lewis.
6.50 Stravaganza. Time-
travel fantasy by Mary
Hoffman.
7.0 The Goon Show. Classic
comedy sketches from 1960.
7.30 I’m Sorry I Haven’t A
Clue. First aired in 2002.
8.0 Red Nostalgia. Louise
Puck Hansen travels through
former Soviet countries.
8.30 Crossing Continents.
The conversion of thousands
of low-status Hindus to
Buddhism. (R)
9.0 Planet Earth Under
Threat.
9.30 Start The Week
9.58 Weather
8.0 P Division —Code Four
One. Thriller by Peter
Turnbull.
9.0 The Pallisers.
Dramatisation of the novel
sequence by Anthony
Trollope.
10.15 BBC Proms 2006.
G Gabrieli, Monteverdi,
Grandi, Rigatti, Cavalli. (R)
10.0 The World Tonight
10.45 Book At Bedtime:
The Ghost At The Table.
Suzanne Berne’s novel about
childhood memories.
11.0 (LW) Test Match
Special. Australia v England.
11.0 (FM) Word Of Mouth
11.30 (FM) Classical
Comedy (R)
10.0 Knowing Me, Knowing
You
10.30 Ed Reardon’s Week.
Ed’s agent tries to get him
a job.
11.0 Hamish And Dougal:
You’ll Have Had Your Tea
11.15 The Goldfish Bowl
11.30 Comedy Showcase
12.0 Composer Of The
Week: Mozart’s Vienna
Contemporaries. Including:
Paisiello, Salieri, Sarti,
Righini. (R) 1.0 Through
The Night. Grieg: String
Quartet No 2 in G minor.
Stenhammar: String
Quartet No 4 in A minor.
Plus, Varacini, Respighi,
Palestrina, Haydn and more.
12.0 (FM) News And
Weather 12.30 (FM) Book Of
The Week: Books To Change
Your Life By (R) 12.48 (FM)
Shipping Forecast 1.0 World
Service
12.0 Murderers And Other
Friends 12.15 Fever Pitch
12.30The SeventhDimension
1.0 P Division —Code Four
One 2.0 The Pallisers 3.0
Knowing Me, Knowing You
3.30 Ed Reardon’s Week 4.0
Hamish And Dougal 4.15 The
Goldfish Bowl 4.30 Comedy
Showcase 5.0 Baldi 5.45
Paradise Lost
Rest of radio Radio
Suzanne Berne’s novel The Ghost At
the Table feels like a fitting Book At
Bedtime (10.45pm, Radio 4) for this
time of year, dealing as it does with
far-flung family members thrust into
unwonted and unwanted intimacy
with a) one another and b) oversized
poultry. Sisters Frances (angular and
anxious) and Cynnie (astute but lonely)
have managed to sustain the appear-
ance of closeness as long as they were
on opposite sides of America. But now
that their estranged father has resur-
faced, they find themselves reunited
for a tense and chilly Thanksgiving. As
the day arrives, they discover the accu-
racy of a friend’s remark that “families
are toxic and blood is bloody”. The
reader’s Debora Weston.
Elsewhere, Kerry Shale has an
extract fromHow to Win Friends and
Influence People, one of five Books
to Change Your Life By (9.45am
and repeated, Radio 4). “Why not
study the technique of the greatest
winner of friends the world has ever
known?” Dale Carnegie suggests, with
a folksiness that is either endearing or
irritating. “Who is he? Why, you may
meet himtomorrow morning coming
down the street. When you get
within 10ft of him, he will begin to
wag his tail . . .” Phil Daoust
Pick of the day
Radio review
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz
BBC7
Digital
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
7.0 Fearne & Reggie 10.0
Chappers And Dave 1.0 Sara
Cox 4.0 Scott Mills Presents‘
One Night With Laura —The
Special” 7.0 Radio 1’s Tips
For 2007 12.0 The Radio 1
Rock Show2.0 The Radio 1
Punk ShowWith Mike Davies
4.0 JK And Joel’s My Tunes
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
7.30 Richard Allinson 10.0
Ken Bruce 1.0 The Great
British Battle Of The Bands
4.0 Old Radio 2’s Digital
Almanac 6.0 Tim Minchin
And Friends 7.0 The Record
Producers 8.0 Humphrey
Lyttelton 9.0 Big Band
Special 9.30 Mark Lamarr’s
Alternative Sixties 10.30
Mark Radcliffe 12.0 Janice
Long 3.0 Tim Smith
Radio Five Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 The Business Year 7.0
Breakfast 9.0 Happy New
Year With Phil Williams 12.0
Five Live Sport 7.30 6-0-6
8.30 The Weekend News
10.0 Five Live At The Ashes
1.0 Up All Night 5.0 Morning
Reports 5.30 Wake Up To
Money
6Music
Digital
7.0 Phill Jupitus 10.0 Gideon
Coe 1.0 Nemone 4.0 Steve
Lamacq 7.0 Tom Robinson
9.0 Theme Time Radio Hour
With Bob Dylan 10.0 Richard
Ashcroft In Concert 11.0
Dream Ticket With Joe Mace
1.0 Resolutions 07 2.0 Chris
Hawkins
Classic FM
100-102 MHz
6.0 Easier Breakfast 8.0
Simon Bates 12.0 The Classic
FM Most Wanted 1.0 Classic
FM Requests 4.0 Drivetime
7.0 Smooth Classics At
Seven 9.0 Evening Concert
12.0 Lisa Duncombe 2.0
Mark Griffi ths
TalkSPORT
1089, 1053 kHz
6.0 Keith Arthur 8.0 Ian
Danter And Jason Cundy
12.0 Football First 5.0 Final
Whistle 8.0 G’Day Sport
10.0 James Whale 1.0 The
Ian Collins ShowWith Chessy
1Xtra
Digital
6.0 Jason 9.0 Rampage 12.0
Nesha 3.0 Ace And Vis 6.0
Ronnie Herel’s Classic RNB
Anthems 10.0 Original Fever
With P And Skitz 12.0 1Xtra
Live In 2007 3.0 Bailey
AsianNetwork
Digital
6.0 Sonia Deol 9.0
Murtz 12.0 Asian
Network Report
12.30 Murtz
4.0 Yasmeen
Khan 7.0
Gagan Grewal
8.0 (East Mids)
Gujarati With
Mahesh Nathwani
8.0 (West Mids)
Mirpuri
Radio
With Zarina Khan 10.0
Bobby Friction 1.0 As Radio
Five Live 5.0 Devotional
Sounds
VirginRadio
1215, 1197, 1233, 1242,
1260 kHz, 105MHz
6.0 Ben Jones 10.0 Neil
Francis 2.0 Rock‘n’ Roll
Football With Dominic
Johnson 6.0 Greg Burns
10.0 Robin Burke 2.0 John
Osborne
BBCLondon
94.9 MHz
6.0 JoAnne Good 9.0
Vanessa Feltz 12.0 Robert
Elms 3.0 Danny Baker 5.0
Drivetime 7.0 Sport With
Steve Bunce 10.0 Jumoke
Fashola 2.0 Big George
Xfm
104.9 MHz
6.0 Lauren Laverne 10.0
Ian Camfield 1.0 Shaun
Keaveny 4.0 Richard Bacon
7.0 Music: Response With
Sarah Darling 10.0 X-Posure
With John Kennedy 1.0 Jon
Hillcock
Capital Radio
95.8 MHz
6.0 Johnny Vaughan 9.0
James Cannon 1.0 Chris
Brooks 4.0 Lucio 7.0 Paul
Gillies 9.0 The Vodafone Live
Hour 10.0 London’s Love
Songs 1.0 Tim Litchfield 4.0
Kam Kelly
WorldService
648kHz; 198 kHz after
R4
6.0 The World Today 8.30
Business Daily 8.50 Analysis
9.0 World News 9.06 Dirty
Business 9.30 Culture Shock
10.0 World News 10.06
Outlook 11.0 World Briefing
11.20 World Business Report
11.30 World Briefing 11.41
Analysis 11.50 Sports
Round-Up 12.0 World
News 12.06 Dirty Business
12.30 Health Check 1.0
Newshour 1.55 Sports
News 2.0 World News 2.06
Outlook 3.0 World Briefing
3.30 Culture Shock 4.0
World Briefing 4.20 World
Business Report 4.30 Health
Check 5.0 Europe Today
6.0 World News 6.06 World
—Have Your Say 7.0 World
Briefing 7.20 World Business
Report 7.30 Culture Shock
8.0 World News 8.06 Dirty
Business 8.30 Health Check
9.0 Newshour 10.0 World
Briefing 10.20 Analysis
10.30 Business Daily 10.50
Sports Round-Up 11.0
The World Today 11.30
Culture Shock 12.0 World
News 12.06 Dirty Business
12.30 Health Check 1.0
World Briefing 1.20 World
Business Report 1.30 World
Briefing 1.41 Analysis 1.50
Sports Round-Up 2.0
World Briefing 2.20 World
Business Report 2.30
Culture Shock 3.0 World
News 3.06 Outlook
4.0 The World
Today 5.0
World Briefing
5.20 World
Business
Report
5.30 World
Briefing 5.41
Analysis 5.50 Sports
Round-Up
Nile Rodgers, The Record
Producers, R1
New Year’s Day Concert
fromVienna, R3
Hardeep Singh Kohli, Shopkeepers of the Nation, R4
Emilio Estevez, Front Row, R4
Book At
Bedtime, R4
The Guardian 01.01.07 21
Singin’ in the Rain
3pm, TCM
(Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952) One of
the great Hollywood musicals, in which
stars, songs and sets meld into a joyous
celebration of . . . the Hollywood
musical. And while the Gene Kelly/
Debbie Reynolds romance is airy-light,
there’s a hard satirical edge to the
portrayals of the tough-nut studio
bosses wrestling with the arrival of
sound. Probably Kelly’s finest hour, too,
with his giddy, lovestruck pitter-patter
through the puddles.
KingKong
7pm, Sky Movies 2
(Peter Jackson, 2005) This remake of
Merian C Cooper’s 1933 classic was a
long-cherished ambition of Peter “Lord
of the Rings” Jackson. At nearly three
hours it’s too long, but a breathtaking
action-adventure none the less, with
Jack Black’s hard-up director enticing
penniless dancer Naomi Watts to Skull
Island to make a movie, where they
find a bigger co-star than they
expected. Amid the awesome set-pieces
a poignant relationship develops
between the monster and the showgirl.
SaturdayNight Fever
11pm, 2.50am, Sky Cinema 2
(John Badham, 1977) John Travolta
struts his Bee Gees stuff in the role that
Quentin Tarantino held dear when
reinventing Travolta-as-screen-icon in
Pulp Fiction: his Tony Manero, shop
assistant by day, disco king by night,
crackles with energy, his likable persona
disguising the laddismof his friends.
Television
Regional variations
Freeview
E4
6.0amE4 Music:
Uninterrupted 10.05
Sugababes: A Night At The
Dominion 10.55 Red Square:
Featuring Scissor Sisters
12.0 Gwen Stefani Live In
Concert 1.05 Girls Aloud:
Live And Lovely 2.05 Scrubs
2.35 Scrubs 3.05 Smallville:
Superman The Early Years
3.55 Switched Up! 4.25
Switched Up! 4.55 Friends
5.55 Wife Swap 7.0 Scrubs
7.30 Scrubs 8.0 Friends 9.0
Big Brother Most Outrageous
Moments 10.0 Stepmom
12.25 Shameless 1.25
Shameless 2.25 Stepmom
4.25 Smallville: Superman
The Early Years 5.05 Switched
Up! 5.25 Switched Up! 5.55
Close
Five US
4.0pmMission: Impossible
5.0 Happy Days 5.30
Happy Days 6.0 Pimp
My Ride 6.30 Pimp My Ride
7.0 Joey 7.30 Joey 8.0 Whose
Line Is It Anyway? 8.30
Whose Line Is It Anyway? 9.0
Stephen King’s Nightmares &
Dreamscapes 10.0 Conviction
11.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 12.0 CSI: NY
1.0 Close
ITV2
9.25amXtra Factor: Best
And Worst 10.30 Xtra Factor:
Best And Worst 11.30 Xtra
Factor: Best And Worst
12.30 Xtra Factor: The
Winner’s Story 2006 1.30
Coronation Street 2.0
Emmerdale 2.30 Emmerdale
3.0 Peter Pan 5.0 Small
Soldiers 7.0 Viewer Of The
Year 2006 9.0 Gone In 60
Seconds 11.15 Coronation
Street 11.45 Coronation
Street 12.15 Small Soldiers
2.20 The Mint: ITV Play 4.0
Teleshopping
Film
Film4
3.0pmHoppity Goes To Town
4.40 There’s No Business Like
Showbusiness 6.55 Local Hero
9.0 The Long Kiss Goodnight
11.10 Love And Sex 12.45
Flesh 3.30 Close
Sky Cinema 1
6.0amWest Side Story 8.55
Classics On Sky Movies 9.25
Barefoot In The Park 11.30
Lawrence Of Arabia 3.20 West
Side Story 6.0 Barefoot In The
Park 8.0 Lawrence Of Arabia
11.35 All About My Mother
1.35 Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
3.40 Coldblooded 5.30 The
Story Of The Weeping Camel
Sky Cinema 2
7.0amThe Lost Weekend
8.50 Sky Movies News 9.20
Island In The Sky 11.20 Bus
Stop 1.10 The Lost Weekend
3.05 Billion Dollar Brain 5.10
Bus Stop 7.0 Billion Dollar
Brain 9.0 The Hand 11.0
Saturday Night Fever 1.10
Gregory’s Girl 2.50 Saturday
Night Fever 5.0 Island In
The Sky
Sky Movies 1
6.0amClifford’s Really Big
Movie 7.30 Valiant 8.55
Nanny McPhee 10.40 Speed 2:
Cruise Control 12.50 A Pig’s
Tale 2.40 Valiant 4.0 Nanny
McPhee 5.45 Speed 2: Cruise
Control 8.0 The 40 Year Old
Virgin 10.0 Miss Congeniality
2: Armed And Fabulous 12.0
It’s All Gone Pete Tong 1.35
In & Out 3.10 Fat Slags 4.30
A Pig’s Tale
Sky Movies 2
6.40amThe Prince And Me
8.40 Raising Helen 10.40
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal
Engagement 12.35 Star Wars:
Shortened! 1.05 The Prince
And Me 3.0 Raising Helen 5.0
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal
Engagement 7.0 King Kong
10.05 War Of The Worlds
12.05 King Kong 3.15 A
Lot Like Love 5.05 William
Shakespeare’s The Merchant
Of Venice
Sky Movies 3
7.30amRacing Stripes 9.30
A Good Woman 11.25 Jack
Black On Camera 11.55
Duma 1.55 Racing Stripes
4.0 A Good Woman 6.0
Duma 8.0 Ocean’s Twelve
10.20 Beyond The Sea
12.25 UK Box Offi ce Hits Of
2006 12.45 Moonlight And
Valentino 2.55 Sky Movies
News 3.25 One Good Cop
5.30 Hello Again
TCM
6.35amBeau Brummell
8.30 Red Dust 10.05 The
Unsuspected 12.0 The
Bridge On The River Kwai 3.0
Singin’ In The Rain 4.50 The
Searchers 7.0 Elvis: That’s
The Way It Is 9.0 Body Heat
11.05 Bright Lights, Big City
1.15 Come Fly With Me 3.0
Teleshopping 5.0 Damon And
Pythias
Satellite &Cable
Artsworld
8.0amBalthus 9.05 Aida
11.30 Christmas Music
From Rosslyn Chapel
12.0 Paul McCartney In Red
Square 12.50 Sister
Wendy’s Grand Tour 1.0
Gabrielle Chanel —An
Immortal Style 1.55 Ballet
Rocks 2.0 Porgy And Bess
5.0 Simon Rattle: Berlin Gala
6.30 The Snowman 6.45 The
Cabinet Of Jan Svankmajer
7.0 The Unnamable Little
Broom 7.15 Liberace: Mr
Showmanship 8.0 21st
Century Garden Art 8.30
Clive James Talking In The
Library 9.0 Johnny Cash
Live At Montreux 10.0 Blott
On The Landscape 11.0
Tats Cru —The Mural Kings
12.05 Artsworld At The ICA’s
Alien Nation 12.15 Gallery
Tours 12.45 Renee Fleming
—Sacred Songs And Carols
2.0 Close
Biography
8.0amUltimate Manilow
9.0 Phil Collins Finally —
The First Farewell Tour 10.0
Cher: The Farewell Tour 12.0
David Bowie —A Reality Tour
1.0 Tom Jones Live From
Cardiff Castle 3.0 Ultimate
Manilow4.0 Queen: Live
In Budapest 6.0 Rudolph
Valentino 7.0 Marlon Brando
8.0 Warren Beatty 9.0
Shirley MacLaine 11.0 The
Hillside Stranglers 12.0
Rudolph Valentino 1.0 Marlon
Brando 2.0 Close
Discovery
6.0am- 5.30amDeadliest
Catch 5.30 HowIt’s Made
Hallmark
6.0amPerry Mason: The
Case Of The Lethal Lifestyle
8.0 Murder Times Seven
10.0 Jane Doe: Shaken &
Stirred 12.0 Columbo: Grand
Deceptions 2.0 Diagnosis
Murder: The House On
Sycamore Street 4.0 McBride:
The Doctor Is Out, Really
Out 6.0 Jane Doe: Shaken &
Stirred 8.0 Murder In Black
And White 10.0 Through
Naked Eyes 12.0 Law& Order:
Special Victims Unit 1.0 The
Shield 2.0 The Shield 3.0
The Shield 4.0 Murder Times
Seven
Paramount
6.0amQVC —Shopping
Made Easy 9.0 Two And
A Half Men 9.30 Two
And A Half Men 10.0
The King Of Queens 10.30
The King Of Queens 11.0
Scrubs 11.30 Scrubs 12.0
Everybody Loves Raymond
12.30 Everybody Loves
Raymond 1.0 Becker 1.30
Becker 2.0 Frasier 2.30
Frasier 3.0 Two And A Half
Men 3.30 Two And A Half
Men 4.0 The King Of Queens
4.30 The King Of Queens 5.0
Everybody Loves Raymond
5.30 Everybody Loves
Raymond 6.0 Becker 6.30
Becker 7.0 Scrubs 7.30
Scrubs 8.0 That 70s Show
8.30 That 70s Show9.0
South Park 9.30 South Park
10.0 The Odd Couple II
12.15 South Park 12.45
South Park 1.15 Comedy
Store: Best Of 1.45 Drawn
Together 2.15 Badly Dubbed
Porn 2.45 Sexy Cam 3.0 He’s
A Lady 4.0 That 70s Show
4.30 That 70s Show5.0 Sir
Leslie Quint: A Life In Film
5.05 Sir Leslie Quint: A Life In
Film 5.10 Mork & Mindy 5.35
Mork & Mindy
Sci-Fi
6.0amScariest Places
On Earth 7.0 La Femme
Nikita 8.0 Teleshopping
11.0 Ultimate Trek: Star
Trek’s Greatest Moments
12.0 Cowboy Bebop:
Knockin On Heaven’s
Door 2.20 The Flash 4.10
Spaceballs 6.0 Jason And
The Argonauts 8.0 Angel 9.0
Medium 1.0 Evil Dead II 2.35
Demon House 4.05 Scariest
Places On Earth 5.05 Scariest
Places On Earth
Sky One
6.0amDaniel And The
Superdogs 8.0 The
Curse Of King Tut
11.40 America’s Dumbest
Criminals 12.0 Malcolm In
The Middle 2.0 The Simpsons
9.0 Clueless 10.55 Bones
11.55 Ross Kemp On Gangs
1.50 Stargate SG-1 3.30
Guilty! 4.20 Taste 5.10 Dream
Team
UKTV Gold
6.0amThe Good Life
6.35 EastEnders 7.10
What A Carry On! 7.45
Doctor Who 8.40 Doctor
Who 9.35 Only Fools And
Horses Greatest Moments
11.35 Carry On Up The
Jungle 1.20 Carry On
Matron 3.0 Carry On
FollowThat Camel 4.50 Only
Fools And Horses Top 40
Moments 6.50 Sister Act II:
Back In The Habit 9.0 Meet
The Parents 11.05 Little
Britain 11.40 Dalziel And
Pascoe 1.50 Dalziel And
Pascoe 3.05 Only Fools And
Horses Top 40 Moments 4.40
The Good Life 5.10 Alistair
McGowan’s Big Impression
5.30 Starstruck Classics 5.35
Neighbours
Sport
British Eurosport
7.30amSki Jumping 8.30
UEFA Cup Football 9.30
International Football
10.30 Alpine Skiing 11.15
Ski Jumping 12.45 Live Ski
Jumping 2.30 Live ATP Tennis
5.15 Figure Skating 6.45 Ski
Jumping 8.15 Strongest Man
9.15 Fight Club 11.30 Boxing:
KOTV Classics —Top Five
12.30 Close
Sky Sports 1
6.0amFA Cup Classics 6.30
WWE: Bottom Line 7.30
United Strongman Series
8.30 Football League Review
9.30 FA Cup Classics 11.0
Soccer Special 12.30 Live
Football Special 3.0 Soccer
Special 5.10 Live Monday
Night Football 7.30 Live Darts
10.30 Sky Sports Classics
10.45 Sky Sports Classics
11.0 Live Test Cricket
Sky Sports 2
6.0amAerobics Oz Style
6.30 Shift Adventure
Snowriders 7.0 Aerobics Oz
Style 7.30 Shift Adventure
Snowriders 8.0 Ice Skating
9.0 Ice Skating 10.0 Rugby
Union 10.30 Ryder Cup
Special 12.30 Boxing Special
2.30 Live Rugby Union 5.0
Boxing Special 7.0 Rugby
Union 8.25 Football First
5.45 What’s On
King Kong, Sky Movies 2
Saturday Night Fever, Sky Cinema 2
Film picks
Paul Howlett
S4C 7.0amPlaned Plant
Bach (S) 8.0 Planed
Plant 9.0 The Rugrats
Movie (Igor Kovalyov,
Norton Virgien, 1998)
(S) Animation, with
the voice of Elizabeth
Daily. 10.20 Star Trek
IV: The Voyage Home
(Leonard Nimoy, 1986)
(S) Sci-fi adventure,
starring William Shatner.
12.30 Planed Plant
Bach (S) 1.30 Channel 4
Racing From Cheltenham
(S) 3.45 A Christmas
Message From Fonejacker
(S) 3.55 Y Clwb Rygbi
(S) 6.0 Proms Plant (S)
7.0 Rownd A Rownd (S)
(AD) 7.30 Dau Yn Un
—Patagonia (R) (S) (AD)
8.30 Pobol Y Cwm (S) 9.0
Cefn Gwlad (S) (AD) 9.30
Newyddion (S) 9.40 The
2006 Fame Review(S)
12.40 Nuns On The Run
(Jonathan Lynn, 1990)
(S) Comedy, starring
Eric Idle and Robbie
Coltrane. 2.20 Duratta
(Morshedul Islam, 2005)
Drama, starring Fahad.
4.05 Transworld Sport (S)
5.05-7.0 Diwedd
BBC1 North 4.40pm-
4.50 Look North (S)
BBC1 North East
4.40pm-4.50 Look
North (S)
BBC1 North West
4.40pm-4.50 North West
Tonight (S)
BBC1 Wales 4.40pm-
4.50 Wales Today (S)
Radio Wales (882, 657
kHz; 93.9-95.9, 103.7-
103.9 MHz) 6.0am
Early Breakfast 8.0 Good
Morning Wales 9.03 Roy
Noble 11.03 Owen Money
12.32 Philip Pullman And
Enid Jones 1.05 Doctor
Who —A Celebration
(R) 2.35 Sportstime
6.03 Who Could Ask For
Anything More 7.03 Cable
Rock 8.02 Adam And Mal
10.03 Chris Needs 1.0-
6.0 As BBC World Service
RTE One 6.30amHans
Christian Andersen
(Charles Vidor, 1952)
8.50 The Rockford Files
9.45 Fair City (R) (S)
10.15 NewYear’s Day
Concert 2007 12.45 RTE
News And Weather (S)
12.55 Home And Away
(S) 1.25-2.0 EastEnders
(R) (S) 1.25 RTE News
And Weather (S) 2.0
News ReviewOf The Year
(R) 3.05 Shortscreen
3.15-6.0 Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang (Ken Hughes,
1968) 3.15 European
Weather 6.0 The Angelus
6.01 RTE News: Six One
And Weather (S) 6.25
Gerry Ryan’s Top TV
Hitlist 7.30 Scannal! (R)
8.0 Test The Nation —The
National IQ Test 9.0
EastEnders (S) 9.30 RTE
News: Nine O’Clock And
Weather (S) 9.55 Test The
Nation —The National IQ
Test 11.15 City Slickers
(Ron Underwood, 1991)
Includes RTE News
followed by Weather
Forecast and An Evening
Prayer. 1.25 Spies Like
Us (John Landis, 1985)
3.10-6.0 EuroNews
RTE Two 7.10amAn
American Tail: The
Mystery Of The Night
Monster (Larry Latham,
2000) 8.25 The Loft
10.30-1.15 Wakey
Wakey: Wakey Wakey
10.30 Wakey Wakey:
Jam 11.0 The Memoriser
11.30 Drake & Josh
11.55 That’s So Raven
12.45 The Cafe 1.15
Parent Trap III (Mollie
Miller, 1989) 2.50 The
Jungle Book 2 (Steve
Trenbirth, 2003) 4.05
D2: The Mighty Ducks
(Sam Weisman, 1994)
6.0-7.0 TTV: TTV 6.0
TTV: The Simpsons (R)
(S) 6.30 Home And Away
(R) (S) 7.0 Ugly Betty 8.0
EastEnders (S)
8.35 Ugly Betty 9.30
True Lies (James
Cameron, 1994) 12.0
Shortscreen 12.15 Two
Sounds: Eminem: The
Live Show1.45 Cruel
Intentions (Roger
Kumble, 1999) 3.25 Two
Sounds: Other Voices
(R) 4.20 Reverb 4.45
Nightscreen 5.0-7.40
EuroNews
Singin’ in the Rain, TCM
22 The Guardian 01.01.07
Television
BBC1 BBC2
6.0 Breakfast (S) 9.0
NewYear, NewYou: What
I’d Really Like To Do (S)
9.45 City Hospital Winter
Health Special (S) 10.45
To Buy Or Not To Buy (S)
11.15 Bargain Hunt (R)
(S) 12.0 Cash In The Attic
(S) 12.45 The Archbishop
Of Canterbury’s NewYear
Message (R) (S) 12.50 BBC
News And Weather (S) 1.05
Keeping Up Appearances (R)
(S) 1.35 Diagnosis Murder
(R) (S) 2.20 Seabiscuit
(Gary Ross, 2003) (S)
Rousing, Depression-era tale
of a racehorse succeeding
against the odds. 4.30 BBC
News And Weather (S) 4.40
Regional News Programmes
(S); Weather 4.50 The Sarah
Jane Adventures (S) 5.50
Expedition Borneo (S)
6.20 The Wind In
The Willows (S) (AD)
Excellent live-action
adaptation of Kenneth
Grahame’s children’s
classic. With Matt
Lucas, Bob Hoskins and
Mark Gatiss.
8.0 EastEnders (S)
(AD) The residents of
Albert Square say their
goodbyes to Pauline.
8.30 EastEnders
Revealed: Goodbye
Pauline (S) (AD)
Wendy Richard looks
back on Walford life.
9.0 EastEnders (S)
(AD) Kevin’s not happy
at the arrival of an
unexpected guest.
9.30 The Vicar Of
Dibley (S) (AD) The
last-ever episode of
the sitcom. Dawn
French stars.
10.30 BBC News And
Weather (S)
10.45 Match Of The
Day (S) Highlights
from the NewYear’s
Day Premiership
fixtures, including
Newcastle United v
Manchester United.
12.05 Bronco Billy (Clint
Eastwood, 1980) (S) Warm
comedy about a wild west
show. Director Eastwood
also stars. 2.0 BBC News 24:
BBC News 2.30 The Record
3.0 BBC News (S) 3.30 World
Business Report (S) 4.0 BBC
News (S) 4.30 Hardtalk
(S) 5.0 The World Today
(S) 5.30 World Business
Report (S)
6.0 CBeebies: Fimbles (R)
(S) (SL) 6.20 The Story
Makers (R) (S) (AD) (SL)
6.40 Balamory (R) (S) (AD)
7.0 Lazy Town (R) (S) 7.30
CBBC: The SnowQueen (R)
(S); Raven 8.30 Animal
Park (R) (S) 9.30 Castle In
The Country (R) (S) 10.0
Churchill’s Bodyguard (S)
10.50 The Munsters (R)
(S) 11.15 NewYear’s Day
Concert 2007 (S) 12.50
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny
2006 (R) (S) 1.35 3:10 To
Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957)
(S) Powerful western with
Glenn Ford. 3.05 Ready,
Steady, Cook (S) 3.50
Weakest Link (S) 4.35 Final
Score (S) 5.15 The Great
Escape (John Sturges,
1963) (S) Classic POW
escape drama.
8.0 Top Wild Dives
With Tanya Streeter
(S) The world
champion freediver
on what it’s like to
swim in the ocean with
whales, dolphins and
sharks.
9.0 The Four Feathers
(Shekhar Kapur, 2002)
(S) Premiere. Good-
looking version of
AEW Mason’s novel
of honour lost and
regained. Starring Wes
Bentley, Heath Ledger
and Kate Hudson.
11.05 Still Game (S)
Trapped in a lift at
Hogmanay, Jack and
Victor get nostalgic.
11.35 The
Armstrongs’
Christmas Party (R)
12.35 The Falcon In
Hollywood (Gordon
Douglas, 1944) (S) The
Falcon’s LA holiday is
interrupted by murder. By-
the-numbers whodunit.
VideoPlus+TM Codes The numbers after each programme are for VIDEOPlus+ programming. Just enter the VIDEOPlus+ number(s)
for the relevant programme(s) into your video recorder for easy taping. For more details visit gemstar-videoplus.co.uk or email
webmaster@gemstar.co.uk. VIDEOPlus+® is a registered trademark of Gemstar Development Corporation, © 2005.
ITV1 Channel 4
6.0 GMTV: Wakey! Wakey!
7.25 Toonattik (S) 9.25
The Unforgettable Benny
Hill (R) (S) 9.55 Calamity
Jane (David Butler, 1953)
(S) Superb musical western
starring Doris Day as six-
gun-totin’ Jane. 11.50
Quincy ME (R) (S) 12.50 The
Price Is Right (S) 1.20 ITV
News And Weather (S) 1.30
Superman (Richard Donner,
1978) (S) (AD) Overrated
superhero adventure
starring Christopher Reeve
as the Man of Steel. 4.05
Creature Comforts (R) (S)
4.15 Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang (Ken Hughes, 1968)
(S) (AD) Fun musical tale of a
wacky professor who invents
a flying motor. Starring Dick
Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes
and Lionel Jeffries.
6.45 ITV News And
Weather (S)
7.0 Emmerdale
(S) (AD) Toni says
goodbye to the village.
7.30 Coronation
Street (S) (AD) After
complaining of a pain
in her shoulder, Violet
collapses.
8.0 Airline (R)
(S) Corrie’s Nikki
Sanderson flies to Paris
on a charity mission.
8.30 Coronation
Street (S) (AD) Violet
is taken to hospital.
9.0 Dead Clever (S) A
woman takes revenge
against her husband
when she learns of his
affair with her own
sister. Dark comedy
with Suranne Jones
and Helen Baxendale.
11.0 ITV News And
Weather (S)
11.15 The South Bank
Show(S) Damien Hirst
tells Melvyn Bragg
about his art collection
and his stately pile,
Toddington Manor.
12.15 The Mint 4.25 Dial
A Mum (R) (S) (SL) 5.0
ITV Nightscreen 5.30 ITV
Morning News (S)
6.10 The Hoobs (R) (S)
(AD) (SL) 6.35 The Hoobs
(R) (S) (AD) 7.0 Freshly
Squeezed 7.30 Friends (R)
(S) (AD) 7.55 Everybody
Loves Raymond (R) (S)
8.25 Will & Grace (R) (S)
8.50 T4: The Simpsons
(R) (S) 9.20 Friends (R)
(S) 9.55 The Simpsons (R)
(S) 10.25 Friends (R) (S)
10.55 Celebrity Predictions:
What Will Happen In 2007?
(S) 11.25 Friends (R) (S)
11.50 Robbie Williams:
Live In Cologne (R) (S) 1.30
Channel 4 Racing From
Cheltenham (S) 3.45 A Place
In The Sun (R) (S) 4.45 Come
Dine With Me (S) 5.15 Deal
Or No Deal (S)
6.05 Addams Family
Values (Barry
Sonnenfeld, 1993)
(S) The Addams hire
a nanny. Bad move.
Well-scripted comedy
sequel, with Anjelica
Huston and Raul Julia.
7.45 Channel 4 News
(S)
8.0 The Secret Life Of
Brian (S) The Pythons
reflect on Life of Brian
in a documentary that
also considers whether
the film could even
be made in today’s
political climate.
9.0 Life Of Brian
(Terry Jones, 1979)
(S) “He’s not the
Messiah, he’s a
very naughty boy.”
Brilliantly irreverent
comedy starring the
late, great Graham
Chapman.
10.45 What The
Pythons Did Next (S)
Encompassing Fawlty
Towers, The Rutles,
Brazil and Ripping
Yarns, a documentary
examining the solo
careers of the Python
team.
11.50 A Private
Function (Malcolm
Mowbray, 1985) (S)
Witty, Alan Bennett-
scripted tale of a
porker, social climbing
and rationing. Starring
Michael Palin.
1.35 Green Wing (R) (S)
2.40 Best Of The Worst (R)
(S) 3.05 World Cup Skiing
5.05 Men In White (R) (S)
Watch this Sarah Dempster
Expedition Borneo
5.50pm, BBC1
Some hunky biologists set
up camp in the rainforests
of Borneo for a nightly
conservation bee that’s a bit
like the duller bits of Planet
Earth only slightly longer.
Among the nature-related
revelations tugged from
the sodden undergrowth is
the boggling fact that when
gibbons sing they sound
exactly like the intro to
Hawkwind’s 1972 space-rock
anthem, Silver Machine.
“If you’re serious about
seeing gibbons, this is the
only place to be,” confides
the narrator —a life-long
fan, although he, like many,
never really forgave them
for firing Lemmy in 1975.
The Windin the
Willows
6.20pm, BBC1
New Year’s Day heralds the
arrival of many things — a
vague and patently futile
sense of purposefulness,
hangovers the size
of Dorset, the final,
blessed Caramel Keg
—but fewthings
are as welcome
as BBC1’s annual
teatime family
drama, in which
unthreatening
household names
wear period costumes
while overacting in
some unspoilt
idyll. This year’s example
is a particularly fine
concoction in that a) it stars
Matt Lucas as an amusingly
flamboyant Toad of Toad
Hall, b) its loving, lingering
shots of honking geese and
flapping twigs serve as a
paean to The Great British
Countryside in All Its Glory
and c) it’s got Mark Gatiss
in it, with a moustache, as
Rat. Frankly, the only thing
that could make it better is if
money and Chewits started
pouring out of the screen
during the “Toad crashes his
car on the lawn again” bit.
The Secret Life
of Brian
8pm, Channel 4
Excellent documentary on
the thunderous religious
ballyhoo that continues to
enshroud Monty Python’s
Life of Brian. “These
people are operating at a
very low level of mental
health,” says a narked John
Cleese of the comedy’s
vociferous denigrators.
Watching interminable
footage of said haters
— a sort of Stars On 45
megamix of rampant
idiocy, including a
bald man shouting
at Michael Palin
and a bit where
Mary Whitehouse
starts singing
outside a church
— it’s diffi cult to
argue.
The South Bank Show, ITV1
The Great Escape, BBC2
The Secret Life of Brian, Channel 4
The Wind in the Willows, BBC1
The Guardian 01.01.07 23
Five BBC3 BBC4
6.0 Milkshake!: Elmo’s World
(R) (S) 6.15 Rolie Polie Olie
(R) (S) 6.40 MechaNick (R)
(S) 6.50 Hi-5 (R) (S) (SL)
7.25 Rupert Bear (R) (S)
7.40 Little Princess (R) (S)
7.55 Make Way For Noddy
(R) (S) 8.05 Fifi And The
Flowertots (R) (S) 8.20
Peppa Pig (R) (S) 8.25
Thomas & Friends (S) 8.40
Roobarb And Custard Too (R)
(S) 8.50 Mio Mao (R) (S) 9.0
Britain’s Worst DIYer (R) (S)
9.30 Buildings That Shaped
Britain (R) (S) 10.30 Trisha
Goddard (R) (S) 11.30 Five
News (S) 12.0 Home And
Away (R) (S) (AD) (SL) 12.30
Half A Sixpence (George
Sidney, 1967) (S) Musical.
3.20 Clash Of The Titans
(Desmond Davis, 1981) (S)
Fantasy. 5.30 Five News (S)
6.0 Home And Away
(S) (AD) Tara tries to
frame Lucas.
6.30 In The Grid Les
Dennis hosts.
7.0 Kenneth Branagh
Films The Magic
Flute (S) A behind-
the-scenes look at
Branagh’s first world
war-set movie version
of Mozart’s opera.
8.0 World’s Strongest
Man (S) The beefcake
competitors head for
China, where they face
such unlikely events as
the giant log lift, lorry
pull and fridge carry.
Continues tomorrow.
9.0 Most Shocking
Celebrity Moments
2006 (S) Countdown
of the things celebs
have done to ensure
we don’t ignore them.
Featuring the likes
of Paris Hilton, Eddie
Murphy and Madonna.
12.05 Prison Break (R) (S)
Michael’s visitor brings
an important piece of the
escape plan. 1.05 The Great
Big Quiz 5.35 Wildlife SOS
(R) (S)
LivingTV More4
7.0 The Real Hustle
(R) (S) Another batch
of cons, including the
automatic teller card
switch.
7.30 The Real Hustle
(R) (S)
8.0 Men In Black
(Barry Sonnenfeld,
1997) Brash but
likeable sci-fi comedy
starring Will Smith and
Tommy Lee Jones as
the mismatched duo
tasked with protecting
the Earth.
9.30 Torchwood (S)
(AD) Cracking double
bill to finish off season
one. Jack and Toshiko
get stranded in 1941.
Owen has a plan to get
them back, but is it a
huge mistake?
11.05 EastEnders (R)
(S) (AD) The residents
of Albert Square say
their goodbyes to
Pauline.
12.05 Two Pints Of Lager
And A Packet Of Crisps (R)
(S) (AD) 12.35 Two Pints
Of Lager And A Packet Of
Crisps (R) (S) (AD) 1.05
Torchwood (R) (S) (AD) 2.40
Torchwood Declassified (S)
(AD) 3.0 Two Pints Of Lager
And A Packet Of Crisps (R)
(S) (AD) 3.30 Two Pints Of
Lager And A Packet Of Crisps
(R) (S) (AD)
7.0 New Year’s
Day Concert 2007
(S) Zubin Mehta
conducts the Vienna
Philharmonic in the
traditional annual
concert from Vienna.
9.0 Arena: The
Archers (S) More than
half a century after its
first episode, why is
Radio 4’s soap still so
popular? Arena goes
behind the scenes
as the showreaches
episode 15,000.
10.0 Cold Comfort
Farm(John
Schlesinger, 1995)
(S) Fine adaptation
of Stella Gibbons’
comic novel. With
Kate Beckinsale, Ian
McKellen and Joanna
Lumley.
11.40 Viking Fire
(S) Documentary
following islanders as
they prepare for the
Up Helly-Aa Shetland
fire festival.
12.30 The Cinema Show
(R) (S) HowHogmanay has
been celebrated on TV down
the years. 1.20 Arena: The
Archers (R) (S) 2.20 New
Year’s Day Concert 2007
(R) (S)
6.0 Home Shopping 6.30
Home Shopping 7.0 Divorce
Court 7.30 Divorce Court
8.0 Just Shoot Me 8.30
Just Shoot Me 9.0 The
Nanny (S) 9.30 The Nanny
(S) 10.0 Bewitched 10.30
Bewitched 11.0 Charmed
(AD) 12.0 Charmed (AD)
1.0 Grey’s Anatomy 2.0
Grey’s Anatomy 3.0 Grey’s
Anatomy 4.0 Grey’s
Anatomy 5.0 Grey’s
Anatomy
8.0 America’s Next
Top Model The
wannabes learn about
diffi cult interviews,
and travel to Thailand.
9.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation Part
one of two. When a
shootout leaves four
dead, Grissom tries to
discover what really
happened.
10.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation
Part two of two. Was
Offi cer Bell shot by one
of his fellowoffi cers?
11.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation
(S) An explosion in the
lab hinders the team
as they investigate a
school campus killing.
12.0 Most Haunted Unseen
(AD) 1.0 Will & Grace (S)
1.30 Will & Grace (S) 2.0
The Strip (S) 2.55 Father
Dowling Mysteries 3.45 Wild
Card 4.40 According To Jim
(S) 5.05 According To Jim
(S) 5.30 Home Shopping
10.20 Hill Street Blues (R)
11.20 Deal Or No Deal (R)
(S) 12.10 Countdown (R)
(S) 1.0 The Jungle Book
(Zoltan Korda, 1942) (S)
Unexceptional adaptation
of Rudyard Kipling’s tale.
Starring Sabu. 3.0 ER (R) 4.0
Oliver Twist (David Lean,
1948) (S) Made before his
movies got too bloated,
Lean’s brilliant take on
Dickens’ novel. Starring Alec
Guinness as Fagin.
6.05 Deal Or No Deal
(R) (S) With Noel
Edmonds.
7.0 Grand Designs
(R) (S) Kevin
McCloud revisits a
Buckinghamshire build
where things haven’t
gone according to
plan.
8.0 The Best And
Worst Places To
Live In The UK:
2006 (R) (S) Phil
Spencer and Sofie
Allsopp list Britain’s
most desirable and
undesirable areas.
9.0 The 30 Greatest
Political Comedies
(R) A countdown of
parliament’s favourite
TV comedy shows.
Contributors include
Iain Duncan Smith and
George Galloway.
11.10 Curb Your
Enthusiasm(R)
Larry’s the victim of
blackmail.
11.50 UK Music Hall
Of Fame 2006 With
James Brown, Brian
Wilson and Bon Jovi.
7.0 Will & Grace (S)
Jack’s determined to
help Elliot make the
cheerleading squad.
7.30 Will & Grace (S)
Jack regrets asking
Will to help draft his
graduation speech.
6.0 Extreme
Makeover Featuring a
one-time class clown,
who recently married a
younger woman, and a
career soldier.
Curb Your Enthusiasm. More4
Dead Clever, ITV1
Pippa Haywood plays sex-obsessed
Joanna Clore in Green Wing, which
ends this week with a one-off special.
Her previous credits include playing the
long-suffering Helen Brittas in the 1990s
sitcomThe Brittas Empire.
You once described Joanna as “a
ghastly, terribly old, slutty, egotistical,
angry whore”. Has she improved at all
for the final episode?
No, there’s just a descent into further
debauchery, I’mafraid. I’ve finally shed
my final inhibition doing this episode:
I get my kit off completely at the end
and walk off naked into the sea. It was
actually very liberating. I can quite un-
derstand what these naturists get into.
Will you miss Joanna?
I’mjust Mrs Nice But Dull in real life,
so playing a self-obsessed, drinking,
smoking nympho is a good antidote. I
have to get my excitement somewhere.
Was the atmosphere on set at Green
Wing as zany as the show?
It was just this anarchic place. There
are some very witty people who do
outrageous things, like walking down
the corridor with the bottomcut out of
their scrubs, as Julian Rhind-Tutt, who
plays Mac, was wont to do.
You’re still well known for The Brittas
Empire, even though it ended in 1997.
Yes, someone sidled up to me just
yesterday and said, “I hope you don’t
mind me saying . . . ” You can usually
tell whether they are going to be a
Green Wing person or a Brittas Empire
person, but I got it wrong with him—
he was a Brittas Empire person. People
still love it and are very loyal to it.
What television are you loyal to?
I really enjoyed The Amazing Mrs
Pritchard because it completely shook
up your ideas about politics; it totally
grabbed me. Also The Mitchell and
Webb Look. I love their quiet, left-field
humour. I’d stay in to watch them.
Interview by Elisabeth Mahoney. Green Wing
Special, Channel 4, Thursday, 10pm.
Screen life
Pippa Haywood
Kenneth Branagh Films The Magic Flute, Five
24 The Guardian 01.01.07
Puzzles
Countdown no 47
Fill in the grid so that
each run of squares adds
up to the total in the
box above or to the left.
Use only numbers 1-9,
and never use a number
more than once per run
(a number may reoccur
in the same row, in a
separate run).
For a kakuro table and
tutorial, go to puzzler.
co.uk/guardian.
Buy the Guardian
Kakuro book for
£5.99 inc p&p.
Call 0870 836 0749
or go to
guardianbooks.co.uk
Rating: easy
3 23
11 29
8 14 7
6 3 10
11 8
23 7
18 10
10 15 9
6 11 12
10 29
7 17
11
7
16
11
4
29
4
12
9
9
6
24
21
4
25
16
10
16
30
34
8
11
Solution to no 333
Letters game
Make the longest word you can from the nine letters shown.
You may use each letter only once. Target: 9
Numbers game
Make the larger number
by combining the
smaller numbers using
addition, subtraction,
multiplication and
division. There may be
multiple solutions.
H R S I U C N E C
Conundrum
Solve the nine-letter anagram. Answers tomorrow; for Friday’s, see right.
4 7 8
8 50 75
969
C A R Y O N D E S
Kakuro no 334
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8
9
10
11 12
13 14
15 16 17
18 19 20
21
22
23
24
Solution No 11,434
Want more? Access over 4,000 archive puzzles
at guardian.co.uk/crossword.
Stuck? Then call our solutions line on 09068
338 248. Calls cost 60p per minute at all times.
Service supplied by ATS.
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vol. 4, for £6.99 incl. p&p, call 0870 836 0749
Across
1 Tag vote (anag) — dance
(7)
8 Polish dance (7)
9 Dance, maybe military
(3-4)
10 Type of tooth (7)
11 Little (5)
13 Not battery farmed (4-5)
15 Balding (4,2,3)
18 Distress — surprise (5)
21 Rich, sweet little cake
(4,3)
22 Worcestershire town with
hills (7)
23 Big ape (7)
24 (American) item of
clothing (7)
Down
1 Entrances (for Bill?) (5)
2 Stringed instrument (5)
3 Style of play in which
defenders also attack (5,8)
4 Supreme sovereignty (6)
5 European country (5,8)
6 Place of incarceration (6)
7 Author of “Peter Pan” (6)
12 Network (4)
14 Strong wind (4)
15 West Indian island (6)
16 (American) hospital
doctor (6)
17 He seeks for a heart in Oz
(3,3)
19 Exhausted (5)
20 Trace of colour (5)
B O S S A N O V A G E
B U O A B R A N
C O R M O R A N T E U
E P M I B E A M
O A P A U S E N E
B E F A L L H A N G A R
J O O R A A
E R R A N D S L I G H T
C E K I T T Y E E
T E S T P A V T T
I A S P O T L I G H T
V E I L E U E O
E D C R O S S W O R D
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Quick crossword no 11,435
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