CMC Blog week 3

The CMC Blog 3 dated Friday 10th April 2020

This week I promised you that I would recommend films and TV box sets. I am concentrating in the Blog on TV box sets.

I had thought I would start by recommending the new offering from BBC and itv – BritBox. The concept of the ‘Best of British’ television is quite interesting. For those of us that that grew up with two or even three channels, the introduction of Channel 4 in 1993 and Channel 5 in 1997 were something to be excited about! In theory, BritBox should be right up our street.



Since the late 1990s, of course, we have followed the US in having hundreds of channels to choose from. The interesting thing today is that we, the people who watch television, are no longer customers or viewers, we are ‘consumers of content’. More and more people access VOD (video on demand) choosing to watch the programmes they enjoy on their smart phones, on their tablets and laptops/PC at a time that is convenient to them. It is no longer the case that we look at the TV schedule to make sure we don’t miss our favourite programme, which brings me back nicely to BritBox.

A great idea, particularly for those of us who miss many of the programmes we enjoyed back in the day. The pity of it is that the launch of BritBox has been dogged by technical issues – poor sound quality and not iPad compatible, for example – and, a much bigger problem, poor customer service. The 30-day free trial requires you to give your credit card details and, naturally, if you fail to cancel, the card gets charged. These sorts of issues are surprising when one considers the BBC/itv pedigree: both companies make excellent programmes and the library of available content is impressive. Where the concept fails is that this content is available on other TV channels (e.g. Sky Gold). Perhaps, it is best to avoid BritBox until it addresses these teething problems!

Box sets may have been considered, once upon a time, the viewing of choice of your average student who, rather than go to lectures, would binge on Breaking Bad knowing that they could go online later to the university learning portal to watch the lectures they had missed. So, now is the time for us all to revisit our university days, or if we went into the world of work, and we currently can’t work or are WFH (working from home) and can be flexible, to have a look to see which Box Sets are currently ‘trending’. A few episodes a night or day can be quite uplifting in these difficult times!

On Sunday last The Queen addressed the nation for only the fifth time in her reign (outside the annual Christmas message) so why not sign up for Netflix to watch The Crown, which is a drama re-enacting the early part of the Queen’s reign. A lavish, spectacular production, the first two series (of three) take us from the Queen’s accession to the throne up until the end of 1964, and stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith as the Queen and Price Philip. The acting and the story-telling are both first-class bringing to life some of the most interesting aspects of life in the UK during the 50s, 60s and 70s, although some episodes have been criticised for historical accuracy. Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies, with Helena Bonham-Carter taking the role of Princess Margaret, take over for Series 3, which ends in 1977 with the Silver Jubilee. Series 4 has been filmed and is said to focus on the period up to the births of Princes William and Harry.

Why should you watch it? Putting aside the events that have been ‘re-imagined’, it is a fascinating journey through a period of recent history, one through which a good number of us have lived. More to the point though, the acting is brilliant and the production itself outstanding. It’s also true box set fare: ‘one cannot wait to see what happens next’.

Available on the internet there is an enormous amount of content. Just type in ‘YouTube golf funnies’ on your browser, for example, and you will find lots of short video clips, some less funny than others. Try ’10 Most Awkward Moments at the Open’ if you want to be reminded of one or two of those moments when our heroes had a ‘moment’. One of the members of the Sunday fiddle in which I play forwarded me a clip ( from our own European Tour caddy Steve Brotherhood ( It shows Bro caddying for a teaching Pro – Rick Shiels (who is one of the top YouTube golfing influencers) – and the difference a caddy can make. Perhaps something to try when we get back on the golf course?

This week our Spotlight feature introduces our Chairman, John Rimmer, and a member of the CMC, Simon Bean, which I hope you will enjoy.

My final thought for the week is the impact COVID-19 is going to have on charities. The predictions of many charities losing up to 50% of their revenue in donations and sponsorship is quite frightening – the postponement of the London Marathon alone if it ends up being cancelled will cost charities somewhere in the region of £70m - which is why it is nice to be able to report that the Saturday Fiddle has raised £443 which they are donating to the Children’s Bereavement Centre. Thank you, gentlemen – a most generous donation, one which for a small local charity can be translated into real action: this donation can pay for 45 children to attend an activity or workshop, or 18 children to attend play therapy or two children to be given eight one-to-one support sessions.

And to end this week’s Blog: Baggy’s Tip of the Week. This week Paul has kindly volunteered a video on the art of Chipping! See it here...

He also says that the USGA has released some films of past US Opens and PGA Championships on YouTube which might be worth viewing.

Stay safe one and all: happy viewing!

Best wishes.