The New Year lull saw acres of newspaper hype devoted to a blog that records the experiences of an English World War One soldier. The grandson of Private Harry Lamin posts his letters and experiences as they happened exactly 90 years to the day, providing readers with a developing narrative of events. Now in early 1918, we can't wait to hear how the story ends and whether Harry makes it home safely. To join in, go to the blog at http://wwar1.blogspot.com/2006/10/private-harry-lamin.html.
THE RETURN OF FOYLE'S WAR
Now that the fallow Christmas season is over, ITV1 is wheeling out its big guns in the battle for ratings. So far the return of the immaculately acted, produced and scripted World War Two detective drama has stood out. On Sunday night, it attracted an audience of 6.7 million, a healthy 28 per cent share. Unlike many dramas we can think of, Foyle's War doesn't play the past with fond nostalgia, but shows instead the harsh realities of war and human nature.
THE 'BURGER WARS'
It's great to watch McDonald's and Burger King participate in a promotional battle for the nation's stomachs. In a dastardly exercise to lure those intent on a healthy January regime into their restaurants, both companies are offering daily "buy one, get one free" vouchers in the national press. In theory, you could bounce between the two: eating a couple of Big Macs for the price of one at McDonald's, before devouring two Aberdeen Angus steak burgers at Burger King. In practice, one visit to Burger King was sufficient.
The BBC's launch of its iPlayer video-on-demand service has been controversial, with commercial rivals crying foul that it is investing in territory beyond its remit. However, the iPlayer (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/) is an easy-to-use service, offering viewers any content from the past week on BBC TV. Commercial broadcasters could learn something from the service's clean presentation, reliability and compatibility with Macs. Who needs a TV any more?
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
What the devil was Tim Burton thinking with his adaptation of Sweeney Todd? The film is abysmal. As a musical it is everything that the excellent Corpse Bride wasn't. Dull, poorly written and filled with a set of boring songs that sound no different from each other at any time. We'd like to say it's totally dull from beginning to end, but we can't because we were so bored we left the cinema with half-an-hour still to go. The script is just as bad as the score, but neither are as bad as Johnny Depp's accent. Burton should have left his muse alone for this one.