8 16 JULY 2020
IN MY OPINION
The Radio 4 journalist airs her views
Two glories of the day job were worth noting this week.
The first was meeting Ashley Charles – known better as
Dotty, the host of the Radio 1Xtra Breakfast Show and
author of Outrage, about our current desire to be constantly
offended by things that may or may not touch our lives. It’s
so easy to shriek from the sidelines. We just press send,
tweet or add a like and we feel as if we’re part of a protest.
We don’t have to leave the house, prepare a placard, or put
down the cheese sandwich. The upside is that a collective
muscle can be flexed, as we’ve seen with the anti-racism
protests, but the side effect might be that we’re left in
a heightened state which becomes addictive and instead of
calming down, or channelling it into action, we seek out the
next thing to be momentarily but extremely offended by.
If you have time to read one book over the summer,
make it this one. Dotty writes particularly well about the
dangers of our ‘cancel culture’ – the notion that if you do
step into the limelight for the wrong reasons you lose your
‘Very few people are allowed to make
a mistake, learn from it, promise to be
a better person and carry on’
footing instantly. You might also lose your current job.
And your influence. Even some friends. You will certainly
lose sleep. You will be ‘cancelled’. Very few people are
allowed to make a mistake, learn from it, promise to
be a better person and carry on. For as long as there has
been a spotlight, there has been a backlash against those
who don’t perform well in it, but what is different now is
the speed with which you can fall from grace. And also the
age at which you can do it. You can’t use the excuse of
youth any more. It’s chilling to think about all the things
you once did that might have tripped you up, had you been
under such scrutiny yourself at the time.
But the second glorious thing has taken the edge off that
chill. Listeners Josh and Lara emailed in to say they had
just welcomed two new bundles of joy into their world.
“Fi Glover is a 12-week-old Netherland Dwarf rabbit with
a grey coat and soft white tummy. Jane Garvey is a caramel-
coloured Mini Lop rabbit. She is only nine weeks old but is
enormous compared to Fi.” Make of that what you will.
My career has had its ups and downs – and I’m grateful
earlier parts of it were not performed in a time of high
scrutiny. Perhaps, without meaning to at all, I would at
some stage have fallen prey to outrage. Should it all
crumble now on the basis of an ill-informed comment or
foolish aside, at least I know I will live on in bunny form.
A career high I wasn’t expecting.
@fifiglover Fortunately… with Fi and Jane, and
The Listening Project are on BBC Sounds
D i i b d th Illustration: Jackie Parsons
Drive-ins move beyond the
movies and into new genres
It’s time to get in gear for a summer of entertainment, with an old formula
that’s being opened up to new audiences, as Daniel Tapper discovers
Next week, stars, critics and film fans will gather to
attend the eagerly anticipated premiere of the new
British crime thriller, Break, starring the late Golden
Globe-winning actor, Rutger Hauer. Though such an
event would normally play out at a glitzy West End
theatre, this one will take place in the grounds of
a north London shopping centre, with guests swapping
the usual red carpet for an allocated car park space.
Touted as Britain’s first-ever drive-in premiere,
the screening in Brent Cross will accommodate up to
400 vehicles with food and drink delivered through
car windows and sound provided via a dedicated
FM radio frequency. But this is no one-off occasion.
Organisers have rebranded the once lacklustre car
park ‘The Drive-In Club’ and lined-up events ranging
from stand-up comedy shows by Reginald D. Hunter
and Luisa Omielan through to DJ sets by Edith
Bowman and live music from teenage pop twins
Max and Harvey.
They are not the only ones expanding the concept
beyond film. For the next couple of weeks, fans of
food and film will be able to pair classic and more
recent flicks with a menu curated by the chef Tom
Kerridge as part of Drive & Dine Theatre, which is
hosting drive-ins in Chichester, London, Marlow,
St Albans, Tunbridge Wells and Warwick. And in
August, Newark Showground is hosting a genrestraddling
drive-in evening with ‘the UK’s number
one tribute acts’, including Elite Elton, The Kopycat
Killers and Complete Madness.
One of the biggest events scheduled this summer
is Live Nation’s Live From The Drive-In, a travelling