Bagpuss – back to save the ’70s

Issue 1123

Bagpuss – back to save the ’70s

Smallfilms made a good deal of the most cherished TV of the ’70s and ’80s – from Ivor The Engine to Bagpuss and The Clangers. As a number of its creations get set for a revival, we look at whether these shows can stop memories of that era being poisoned forever. Stewart Lee insists they say much about a real national identity and should be frequently hailed. Dry your eyes, says Adrian Lobb, TV for kids has never been better or more interesting – stop moping.

Also inside…

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with bare-footed legend Sandie Shaw. She reveals early focus combined with a certain loneliness, and details of that putative, but collapsed Morrissey, collaboration.

John Bird this week tackles Serco and their growing web stretching into so many of the areas of life – such as health and prisons – that are said to be public service. Where does outsourcing end – and what is its real value?

The government has a bee in its bonnet about the European Convention on Human Rights. Even big Tory beasts like Ken Clarke warn that binning it is a bad idea. So we went looking for some clarity and asked human rights lawyer Phil Shiner to outline what the Convention does and the impact of getting rid.

Jack O’Connell is about to become a very big star indeed. He broke through to a degree in Starred Up and now Angelina Jolie has chosen him to star in her forthcoming big release Unbroken. Before that there is the Troubles drama ‘71. He talks identity, Tulisa and sleeping rough.

Also, Adam Forrest looks more at the Newham Focus E15 movement – and what next for anything approaching affordable housing in London; Lawrence Bee, a real spider man, explains why we’ve had so many of the critters around over the last little while. There are 650 species of spider in Britain, you know.

Our featured vendor telling their story in My Pitch is Darren Collins, who works in Birmingham. This is a great piece about companionship and hope. And there is one moment, a quite casual remark, that will knock you sideways.