It's not every day you go to a one hundredth birthday party. It's not often you go to a birthday party for a building either, but that's what Chig is doing this afternoon. Our local swimming baths, Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath, are 100 years old today. They were opened by the mayor on 30th October 1907, so today the current mayor of Birmingham is retracing the route taken by his predecessor and walking from Birmingham city centre, out to Balsall Heath. We'll be joining in. Then we'll be going to an afternoon tea dance opposite the pool.
This magnificent Edwardian building needs millions of pounds spent on it, because Birmingham City Council has neglected the basic structure for years. However, they are considering closing it instead, which just cannot be allowed to happen. Today's centenary celebrations are just the beginning of a year of events to raise the building's profile and hopefully save this local legacy.
It was a deliciously brilliant piece of timing for the BBC to show Matthew Pinsent's family history adventure tonight, on the day when the BBC itself is one of the main news stories, as people begin to digest the cutbacksannounced yesterday. In 'Who Do You Think You Are?' tonight, BBC One played one of its trump cards, by showing just how brilliant BBC factual programming can be.
I've been hooked on WDYTYA? since it started (and this is the end of series four), but tonight's was one of the best. It sent shivers down my spine and made me very jealous that I have only traced my family tree back eight generations in one direction to one person born in the 1770s. I don't want to spoil the programme if you didn't watch Pinsent's story tonight, but let's just say he was able to go considerably further back and uncover some rather famous connections. (I haven't had a team of BBC researchers and genealogists to help me though, and he hasn't put in the hours at the Family Records Centre that I have, which is half the fun.) I strongly recommend you catch it when it's repeated. The repeats are currently running a few weeks behind the first showings (with Carol Vorderman's programme on after midnight tonight and Alistair McGowan's next week), but they're shown again, with signing, late on Thursday nights.
Pinsent's quest is the family history hunt to end them all, and will either encourage thousands more to start investigating their own family trees, or make people give up, because they know they will never...
No, enough, I'll say no more. Just look out for it when it's on again. If you are going to watch it, DON'T read this - it gives away too much information. If you happened to catch it tonight, what did you think?
[17:35] Chig is currently listening to Five Live's commentary on the crucial Russia v. England European football qualifier. The BBC apologised for the sound quality before they handed over to their commentators in Moscow. They started the match commentating down their mobile phones, moving to a landline after about twelve minutes. They haven't explained why the Russians haven't provided proper broadcasting facilities. I'm sure we'll find out when the BBC team gets back home. In the meantime, we are having to strain to listen to commentary which sounds like it's coming from outer space, with cotton wool over the microphones.
All is not lost though. As several listeners have mentioned, it's just like the olden days. Football commentary always used to be like this when I was little, so I'm feeling quite nostalgic.
On the downside, England are losing 2-1, having taken an early lead on the artificial pitch.
UPDATE: England have lost, 2-1. There is now a very real chance that they won't be in Austria and Switzerland next year for the European Championships. The maths are complicated, but we may have to hope that Israel beat Russia and FYR Macedonia beat Croatia; two very unlikely results. Suddenly, despite the fact that there's not a drop of Scottish blood mingling with the English, French, Welsh and Irish blood in my veins (as far as I know), I'm feeling very Scottish. Off to watch their game with Georgia now. At least this one's on the telly.
Eurovision fans are in shock today, not to mention most people in the Balkans. TošeProeski (Тоше Проески), who represented the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in Eurovision 2004 in Istanbul, was killed at 06:25 (BST+CET) this morning in a car crash in Croatia, at the tragically young age of 26. It seems he was a passenger in a vehicle which crashed into the back of another. He was the only fatality. The driver and another passenger, Toše's manager, have survived the crash.
Toše and his dramatically presented song 'Life' (above) surprised quite a few people in 2004, by getting through the first ever Eurovision qualifier and finishing a reasonable 14th out of 24 in the final. More importantly, he was a multilingual megastar in the former Yugoslav countries, where this will be massive news today.
Today, we learn that Ronnie Hazlehursthas died. Not only was his name one of the most seen in TV credits of the 1970s, because he'd written the theme tunes, but he was also a Eurovision fixture. He was musical director for three Eurovisions and conducted the UK entry seven times. This clip, from Eurovision 1974 in Brighton, is possibly not Ronnie Hazlehurst's finest moment, but Katie Boyle does mention his name twice in the first minute, once in English and once in French. What more could anyone want?
Here's a better tribute. Hazlehurst is the one looking like Steed from the Avengers at the beginning of this 1977 Eurovision clip (Wogan-free version):
10th, 12th, 14th May
Semi-Final 1 – Tue 20 May
01 Montenegro - Zauvijek volim te – Stefan Filipović
02 Israel – The Fire In Your Eyes (Ke’ilo Kan) – Bo'az Ma'uda
03 Estonia – Leto Svet – Kreisiraadio
04 Moldova – A Century Of Love – Geta Burlacu
05 San Marino - Complice - Miodio
06 Belgium - O Julissi - Ishtar
07 Azerbaijan – Day After Day – Elnur Hüseynov & Samir Javadzadeh
08 Slovenia – Vrag Naj Vzame – Rebeka Dremelj
09 Norway – Hold On, Be Strong – Maria Haukaas Storeng
10 Poland – For Life – Isis Gee
11 Ireland – Irelande, Douze Pointe – Dustin The Turkey
12 Andorra – Casanova – Gisela
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina – Pokušaj – Laka
14 Armenia – Qele Qele – Sirusho
15 Netherlands – Your Heart Belongs To Me – Hind
16 Finland - Missä miehet ratsastaa – Teräsbetoni
17 Romania – Pe-o Margine de Lume – Nico & Vlad Mirita
18 Russia - Dima Bilan - Believe
19 Greece – Secret Combination – Kalomira
Semi-Final 2 – Thu 22 May
01 Iceland – This Is My Life – Eurobandið
02 Sweden - Hero - Charlotte Perrelli
03 Turkey – Deli – Mor ve Ötesi
04 Ukraine – Shady Lady – Ani Lorak
05 Lithuania – Nomads In The Night – Jeronimas Milius
06 Albania – Zemrën e lamë peng – Olta Boka
07 Switzerland – Era Stupendo – Paolo Meneguzzi
08 Czech Republic – Have Some Fun – Tereza Kerndlová
09 Belarus – Hasta La Vista – Ruslan Alekhno
10 Latvia – Wolves Of The Sea – Pirates Of The Sea
11 Croatia – Romanca – Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents
12 Bulgaria – DJ, Take Me Away – Deep Zone & Balthazar
13 Denmark – All Night Long – Simon Mathew
14 Georgia – Peace Will Come – Diana Gurtskaya
15 Hungary – Candlelight – Csézy
16 Malta – Vodka - Morena
17 Cyprus – Femme Fatale – Evdokia Kadi
18 FYR Macedonia – Let Me Love You – Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian
19 Portugal - Senhora do Mar (Negras Águas) - Vânia Fernandes
Final – Sat 24 May
02 United Kingdom – Even If – Andy Abraham
04 Germany – Disappear – No Angels
19 France – Divine – Sébastien Tellier
22 Spain - Baila el Chiki Chiki - Rodolfo Chikilicuatre
23 Serbia - Oro - Jelena Tomašević ft. Bora Dugić
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Chig66. Make your own badge here.
Chig's Gigs & stuff 2007-2008
11/12 Steel City Tour: ABC, Heaven 17, The Human League - Wolves Civic
21/01 Sing Live! - B'ham Symphony Hall
05/02 Mika - Berkeley Square, London
13/02 Shayne Ward - Nott'm Arena
21/02 X Factor - Nott'm Arena
04/05 Scooch-Nightingale, B'ham
12/05 Hosting Eurovision night @ The Nightingale
17/05 Jason Donovan-Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
25/05 Pet Shop Boys - Wolves Civic
26/05 Liberty X - Nightingale, B'ham
27/05 Scooch & Björn Again - B'ham Pride
16/06 Muse, The Streets, Dirty Pretty Things, Rodrigo y Gabriela & Zane Lowe - Wembley Stadium
28/06 Brotherhood of Man & Buck's Fizz - Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
14/07 Sing Live! - Summer in the '60s & '70s - Royal Leamington Spa Centre
14/09 Rise - Leek Wootton Village Hall
16/09 Erasure & Onetwo - Wolves Civic
17/09 The Twang & The Priory - B'ham Carling Academy 2 (private gig - Janice Long's Radio2 show)
20/09 Turisas & Abgott - B'ham Carling Academy 2
27/09 McFly - Wolves Civic
10/11 Buck's Fizz & Futureproof (The X Factor), Nightingale, B'ham
17/11 Vengaboys & Andy Williams (The X Factor) - Nightingale, B'ham
01/12 The Human League plays Dare! - Hammersmith Apollo
10/03 Gary Numan Replicas Tour & Daggers - Wolves Wulfrun
15/03 David Gray - Symphony Hall, Brum 18/03 Russell Howard, Alexandra, Brum
20+22+24/05 Eurovision Song Contest, Beograd, Srbija
10/06 Eurobeat-Almost Eurovision, B'ham Hippodrome
12/06 Yazoo - Wolves Civic
14/06-16/06 Bingham Cup, DCU, Dublin
24/06 Westlife & Hope - Nottingham Arena
07/07 Duran Duran & The Duke Spirit - NIA, B'ham
01/08 kd lang - Symphony Hall, B'ham
Who is Chig? Contact me: chig at cmdh dot freeserve dot co dot uk
Chig is Nicki French's official stalker...but she doesn't seem to mind.
Chig's life can sometimes be a right pain in the balls...
Dogtown, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Robin Hood, The X Factor, Spooks, Extras, Mock The Week, Popworld, Ideal, Deal Or No Deal, Eggheads, Hollyoaks, Never Mind The Full Stops, Doctor Who series 2 repeats on BBC3, The Bill, Match Of The Day, Ant'n'Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
Chig has failed at two attempts to watch the whole series of Invasion, so if you have it on DVD...
Chig still fancies Jesse Metcalfe...
...and Brandon Flowers, Roman Sebrle, Jonas Armstrong, Matthew Fox, Stefan Booth, Stuart Manning, Gary Lucy...
Chig is directly descended from the following families. If you have one of these surnames, we're possibly related, so feel free to get in touch:
Crowe, Harborne/Harbourne, Higgins, Hutchins, O'Sullivan/Sullivan, Talliss/Tallis.
Above: My Gran with her Gran. Snitterfield, Warwickshire, c.1930.