97. Sin

Tapehead no 97

It’s not often that Tapehead gets to be the bearer of glad tidings but he can announce a new series of Adult Ricki starting this week. 

Never mind Euro 96. Get out the bunting and let’s have a street party. 

Up-coming episodes include: ‘I let Him Cheat Because I’m Fat’ and ‘I’m A Prostitute And Proud Of It’. (Sugar, as a freelance writer for The Guide, Tapehead knows how you feel.)

The series kicks off with the relatively restrained ‘I Have Aids And I’m Out There Spreading It.’

Meet Gwen. An object lesson in bitterness, Gwen is HIV positive and having the time of her little life trying to wipe out as many men as possible.

“I really enjoy doin’ it. The Lord ain’t gonna punish you ? Guess 

what ? Gwen gon’ punish you !”

We also meet three men who make a point of advertising they have Aids, including one man who has HIV+ tattooed on his shoulder, although having it on his penis would surely have been more helpful.

Wheel on three people who caught Aids from someone like Gwen, and you have what is known in the trade as ‘A Pandemonium Special.’

“I know they can’t get rid of it,” Gwen sighs, exasperated. “That’s why I’m gon’ give it to ’em. That’s my gift to them.”

“After watching this programme,” says the press release, “you won’t dare even think of having unprotected sex with a stranger.”

Not with Gwen, anyway.

From one feminist role model to another.

Screen One’s Killing Me Softly is based on the trial of Sara Thornton. Ultimately, this is a strangely un-dramatic and unconvincing adaptation, probably because Thornton looks absolutely nothing like Mandi Jordache.

Much is made of the time Thornton “woke up in a police cell in the middle of the night with no clothes on, clutching a teddy bear.”

“You’re hardly a very modest person about your body area,” says the prosecution. (At least actress Maggie O’Neill could identify with her subject.)

The moral is: never trust a woman who drinks Cointreau and ginger.

The face of evil really does appear in The Day That Changed My Life.

In 1969, East End gangster Christopher Lambrianou was sentenced to life for helping Ronnie and Reggie Kray get rid of Jack “The Hat” McVitie.

Lambrianou describes his life leading up to the trial.

“Burglary, wage snatches, safe-blowing, some protection money, and blue-movie distribution.”

Illegal yes. But certainly not dull.

“People got cut up, coshed, ammonia sprayed in their faces…”

“He finished up doin’ the borstal,” remembers his brother fondly. “There’s fings that’ can’t be said, ‘cos he’s gone a bit over the top.”

“He was a very worrying person to have around you,” another geezer says. “A raving out-and-out bloody lunatic.” (And this is one of his friends.)

The night of his conversion, Lambrianou recalls, someone in the cell below him was playing this record over and over and over again. 

“I felt this cloud over me. It weren’t depression. It was something more than that. It was almost intensely evil.” 

Yes, it was Bob Dylan (Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door to be precise – a case of Chris gliding the lily if ever Tapehead heard one.)

Not surprisingly poor Chris had a total nervous breakdown, which turned into spiritual breakthrough when he “saw the Devil in the mirror” (and, on this evidence, very funny he looks too).

Twelve years after his release, Lambrianou is a devout Christian with children.

(He had twins, but didn’t call them Ronnie and Reggie). 

He works in a rehab centre and looks like John Virgo, with a penchant for wearing red Grandstand jumpers and spreading the word wherever he goes. 

Frankly, Tapehead preferred him as he was.


Adult Ricki: Thurs, 11.35pm, C4

Killing Me Softly: Sun, 9pm, BBC1

The Day That Changed My Life: Mon, 8pm, BBC2