In a fishbowl media/net stuff for the largely housebound in need of entertainment1.

Caught the first episode of Art Deco Icons today and it was as cheery as a champagne cocktail. This half hour from BBC4 was all about the architecture of Claridges Hotel in London. Nothing about celebrities, thank God, in fact Claridges is so keen on discretion that most of the filming was done in the early hours of the morning so as not to disturb its clientele. Every shot was a barrage of glittering luxury though, completely over-the-top and unselfconscious but somehow still stylish. The definition of luxury was the dual bell-pulls for valet and maid installed above the bath, which whisked me off to a world of Jeeves and Wooster.

The presenter stuck admirably to his topic (if, like me, you really enjoy architecture tourism) and pointed out in some detail how the place was a hybrid of real art deco and art-decoisation of the existing Victorian Hotel paint the classical columns silver, put plate glass and electric light everywhere, and suddenly you have dynamic, modern, lightfilled interiors rather than stodgy lumpen gloom. He couldnt resist one quote from a celebrity former guest, Spencer Tracey, who said When I die, I dont want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridges. And so do I.

Art Deco Icons Episode 1, available for download on BBC IPlayer to UK people until June 28 th (and maybe on the internet somewhere for everyone else)

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Yes I much enjoyed the programme too - OverTheHills - some lovely entertaining and informative stuff on BBC2/4 now I'm able to follow through and console myself with the the thought of widening my education - anything from the origins of the universe etc - and it makes sense at last !
 

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