Danny Leigh, a Guardian guy, was the main co-host for most of her run (it was even called Film 20xx with Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh for most of the run), but he left shortly after her.
Leigh was good, he turned me on to a few things.
It’s ridiculous that a slot like this was open and Kermode didn’t have it, he’s moving towards being the next Roger Ebert. He’s also been with the BBC for as long as I can remember, 20 years I’d say at least. He has presenting chops too. Maybe he didn’t want it.
There were kind of hints to that effect when Ross left the role, it could just have been modesty at work but Kermode ruled himself out quite quickly.
Yeah, I vaguely recall that too.
Looked it up:
I can kind of see why he said that, but it’s not been a problem for Wittertainment nor his film reviews on the News channel, so I don’t see why it would have been for the Film Programme (and Ross certainly didn’t shy away from slating mainstream things or indulging niches).
I do wonder if there’s some bad blood there, given his reaction to the news:
Maybe not the most mainstream but did you ever hear his absolute panning of Clerks 2? It was up on Youtube but I can’t find it now. It was one of the harshest reviews I’ve ever heard and he basically accuses Smith of being unable to write, act or direct.
I mean, Mallrats I can understand.
But Clerks 2?
He seemed to have a really visceral hate for Smith’s stuff as he was never generally that rude about other films I can remember. The video long gone the best I could find was his final summary:
It’s a real tribute to the man’s shrewd use of the Internet to keep his profile alive, that he has managed to sustain a career in the movie industry. As he has no detectable talent as writer, director, editor, or actor.
Since they have some mutual friends around comics and film circles I did wonder if they’d ever bump into each other. Smith knows about the ranty review as he was asked about it when on another BBC show as a guest.
This was the era of ratings-grabbing, controversy-baiting Top Gear, why on Earth would they have shied away from giving Kermode the film show based on that?
Well, it wasn’t very good for a start.
Kermode is a very good presenter but that looked like self-sabotage.
My wife is very happy with this. She really is a great fit for the show.
This is a nice retrospective.
I used to love Desmond’s, and as trite as it sounds to talk about a sitcom as being culturally significant, I think it actually was a pretty important part of breaking down some social barriers (in the same way as people talk about with Goodness Gracious Me and Asian communities a decade later).