A Perfect Branestawm

I have rarely, if ever, seen such a perfect, spot-on and generally whiz-bang, tally-ho and ram-jam lickety-split adaptation of a book as the Beeb’s recent Professor Branestawm. I loved Norman Hunters books as a child: illustrated by the illustrious, not to say splendiflicate Heath Robinson, they were children’s comedy classics, and this adaptation everyone and everything is perfect, from Harry Hill’s Prof with his seven pairs of glasses on his forehead to his housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop spouting malapropisms and his best friend Colonel Dedshott of the Catapult Cavaliers (Simon Day) being thoroughly military all over the place.  There were squeedles of Pagwell-based fun including an exploding but ultimately fire-extinguishing automatic tea-maker, the wild waste-paper which brings photographs to life and oodles of other stories.

It was an excellent start to Christmas Day, though later on I thought the Dr Who episode was not the best.  The dream idea was a bit drawn-out, and it was somewhat light on action.

We did have a great day, however, with Peter coming over for a thigh of turkey while we had the traditional nut-roast with sausages; all accompanied by pots, parsnips, sprouts, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce and washed down by Rioja.  Then there was Prosecco to go with the pudding and mince pies.

Yesterday I did little but slump in front of the telly and eat cheese: I watched Victoria Wood’s prog; very funny and featuring just about every British actor still living:


then in no particular order, ‘Chicken Run’, a couple of ‘University Challenges’ in which I scored well over a hundred points, Rory Bremner’s review of the year – brilliant – and before deciding that my eyes were square and I’d better read a book instead, we all watched ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’. This turned out to be a cracker.  There’s an unusual role for Ewan McGregor as a civil servant asked to assist in a rich sultan’s project to dam a river, irrigate the desert and bring salmon from Scotland to populate it.  It sounds like a rich man’s folly, but all his – and our – assumptions are overturned in this understated and engaging film, the best feature of which is that the two protagonists are attracted to each other but maintain a respectful distance and do not instantly fall into bed together.


Apparently Ewan McGregor had to learn fly-fishing for the film.  There are some amazing shots of salmon leaping, and also a scene where he makes a fishing-fly, which reminded me of J R Hartley.  Now, who can tell me who J R Hartley was?  Anyone?  Ms Vanilla Rose, I bet you can.  Or Tottnm.  Come on now, no googling…

Kirk out

4 thoughts on “A Perfect Branestawm

  1. well of course we know J R Hartley………he finally found that book wot he rote…………..yellow pages helped him i think, let his fingers do the walking. I saw salmon fishing in the yemen at the cinema and loved it, the other things you mentioned past me by…….although i did see Robbie Williams wearing a skirt whilst entertaining on the Michael Macintyre Christmas Show……………..something which nobody in my family has mentioned, even now, hahahahah talk a bout elephants in the room. Sounds like you had a lovely xmas day………..I did………..my mum made a real effort to engage with Agnes mum (who usually has the day alone but I insisted this year that she came to us) and so we had a really lovely day……….Hope the rest of your Yuletide winterfest revelry goes as well, Love to you and yours LIz.

    1. Thanks and well done for identifying the Yellow Pages man From: “Lizardyoga's People” To: grayure@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Saturday, 27 December 2014, 16:20 Subject: [Lizardyoga’s People] Comment: “A Perfect Branestawm” #yiv6104127712 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6104127712 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6104127712 a.yiv6104127712primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6104127712 a.yiv6104127712primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6104127712 a.yiv6104127712primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6104127712 a.yiv6104127712primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6104127712 WordPress.com | | |

    1. LOL, don’t know why it did that From: “Lizardyoga's People” To: grayure@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Monday, 29 December 2014, 1:14 Subject: [Lizardyoga’s People] Comment: “A Perfect Branestawm” #yiv1845712452 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1845712452 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1845712452 a.yiv1845712452primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1845712452 a.yiv1845712452primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1845712452 a.yiv1845712452primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1845712452 a.yiv1845712452primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1845712452 WordPress.com | | |

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s