Media: Things we like

Absolute 90s

Given that the digital radio station Absolute 90s launched nearly a year ago, we know that we're a bit late with this one. But it's taken us that long to be convinced that Absolute 90s isn't going to develop that slightly grating "wacky" tone that some of the shows on Absolute's mainstream parent station possess. In fact, it's rather uncluttered, with a brilliant playlist - including Live Forever by Oasis and Sit Down by James - and its existence shows that Absolute Radio is more than doing its bit to help get the frustratingly slow DAB switchover to eventually happen.

The Sunday Times Rich List

Times are hard, things are tight and all that, yet it seems that while we barely have enough to pay for a pint, we can't get enough gossip about the filthy rich. So last Sunday's "Rich List" in The Sunday Times didn't disappoint. An entertaining awareness campaign from CHI & Partners had whetted our appetites and it was fascinating, once again, to find out how much the likes of Simon Cowell and Elton John had coined in last year. Good business, too, for News International, which pulled in a healthy chunk of extra circulation, with the publisher estimating a 150,000 sales uplift on the back of the supplement.

Strangeways on ITV1

There was a documentary-fest on TV on Monday night. While we couldn't quite face the literally titled Children's Cranio Surgery on BBC Two, ITV1's Strangeways caught our attention. We're always suckers for a prison documentary, and ITV's look at life within the Manchester jail, which gained notoriety in 1990 when a riot broke out, was, at once, more downbeat and incisive than its US equivalents. There was an air of menace and violence in the background but, mostly, the show conveyed a sense of sadness as it explored issues such as drug use and suicide in prison. ITV deserves credit for exploring beyond the red-top cliche of prisoners living a life of luxury and messing around on games consoles all day.


City scare stories

One swallow does not a summer make (well, unless you are a teenage boy, as the old joke goes), but why is the City so quick to pounce on negative advertising revenue figures as evidence of long-term decline without looking at them in their wider context? We refer, of course, to scare stories that have affected the share price of ITV after it emerged that its May and June ad revenue figures will be down on last year. Given that, last year, ITV was showing the World Cup, no-one should be surprised by this - but, apparently, those that look after our pension funds are.

It's a bit like people getting weather and climate confused. The City must try harder.