Wednesday, August 31, 2011

alive? would that I were, mr charteris, would that I were

The latest of the many tributes to recently demised broadcaster Robert Robinson was this programme broadcast in the 9am post-Today slot on Radio 4 this morning, called, and why not, A Tribute to Robert Robinson. Much gushing about Robinson's unmistakable voice, tremendous erudition and love of language and wordplay, and rightly so; all the more regrettable then that the first clip they chose to illustrate this, a bit of typically Robinsonian preamble about shop and pub opening times and the rituals surrounding them from the long-running radio programme Stop The Week, contained a snippet about the unacceptability of these places opening up "one parsec too early".

Unfortunately the parsec is an astronomical unit of distance (equal to about 31 trillion kilometres) and nothing to do with time, as anyone who's shared in the (so far) 34 years of geeky ridicule heaped on this bit of dialogue from Star Wars will know. Note also that the second clip features one half of celebrity couple Harrison and Calista Fordhart.

Also no mention (in the bit of the programme that I listened to, anyway) of Robinson's ownership of one of the world's more spectacular combovers, one which, moreover, he only started to sport relatively late in life, thus requiring anyone who'd been paying attention to his TV career to believe that he'd got less bald as he got older. Furthermore no blog post mentioning Robert Robinson would be complete without a link to the legendary Fry & Laurie Robert Robinsons sketch. Here's the real thing on Ask The Family just for comparison purposes.

Unfortunately the programme isn't available on iPlayer for some reason so you'll just have to take my word for it. At least one other person noticed though. An extra mark for being so clever!


Emma said...

See the Star Trek Voyager Season 4 episode 'Waking Moments' for correct use of the term 'parsec'. Not that I know it well or anything. Someone told me about it.

electrichalibut said...

Far be it from me to doubt the word of someone who used to own (and perhaps still does?) a Star Trek Voyager alarm clock.

Emma said...

And who wouldn't want to be woken every morning by Janeway shouting. Sadly I don't still have it though - seemingly it wasn't built to last a lifetime.

Chivas said...

thank for this post, i know so much about Star Trek Voyager