CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night TV: Sorry Kevin, there is no way we can spot centipedes on a stick
Kevin McCloud’s rough guide for the future
A very British history
The beauty of the future is how clear and inevitable it seems afterwards.
For example, none of us expected the release of Phillip Schofield on Twitter last week, but now that the presenter of This Morning has been released, it all seems logical.
Kevin McCloud missed the benefit of retrospective insight into his Rough Guide To The Future (C4), so what he predicted was actually the present. All the innovations that he predicted now exist: they must or he could not show them to us.
Kevin McCloud (photo) missed the benefit of retrospective insight in his Rough Guide To The Future (C4), so what he predicted was actually the present
Nothing he had in mind resembled the futurism that James Burke and Raymond Baxter used to explore Tomorrow’s World. This was Channel 4, so Kevin had two basic questions: will we have to eat insects in the future and will we have sex with robots?
And because it was Channel 4, the answers were yes and yes.
Kevin sent comedian Phil Wang to a market in China, where he put fried spider and centipede on a stick. Delicacies such as these used to exist only in Monty Python (do you remember their chocolate-covered “crunchy frog”?) And Terry Pratchett’s Discworld (where street vendors do a hefty trade in delicious rat-on-a-stick in public executions).
According to Phil we will eat them all soon.
Or maybe we won’t, because in the aftermath of the corona virus no one with common sense would visit a Chinese market, let alone hide a potentially ill spider. But the viral pandemic was still in the future when this show was filmed, and unfortunately Kevin didn’t see it coming.
Alice Levine from Radio 1 stayed in a micro apartment in Tokyo, so tight that the only place to sit was in the shower cubicle. After the next population explosion, she implied, everyone will live like this.
Alice Levine from Radio 1 stayed in a micro apartment in Tokyo, so tight that the only place to sit was in the shower cubicle
If we become “digital”, at least we don’t need space for a double bed. Alice met a shy young man, Mr. Kondo, who married his pop star wife Miku in a £ 13,000 ceremony last year.
Miku is a cartoon character, visible as a hologram in a pot on Mr Kondo’s table. Alice tried to talk to her, but the hologram could only swing back: apparently her personality was accidentally deleted in a software update. And she was so young. . . it’s tragic.
Speaking of predictions, I wonder if Kevin, as an emerging TV star, ever foresaw that one day he would present such a lens?
Musician Angela Moran looked back when she explored her Irish roots on A Very British History (BBC4), but what she discovered offered real hope for the future.
Her father was born in Birmingham, shortly after his parents had left their rural holiday home in post-war Ireland. Angela visited the ruins and wondered about family stories about dancing in the living room – it was hardly bigger than a Japanese micro apartment.
Musician Angela Moran looked back when she explored her Irish roots in A Very British History
Her grandfather found it difficult to shake off rural roads. He followed the milkman’s horse and wagon with a shovel to collect manure for his rhubarb.
An old boy remembered how his landlady in the 1950s did not want the other residents to know that she had hired Irish tenants – so he had to stay in the pub all night and come home after midnight. That was his excuse anyway.
The documentary took a dark turn with IRA recruitment in the city during the problems, and the horror of the bomb attacks in the pub.
But two generations later, “Brummagem” loves his Irish families and celebrates St Patrick’s Day with enthusiastic partying. Divisions are healed.
This is the hope that the real future will always look like. Slainte!