Sally-Anne Stewart’s TV Preview: August 12, 2011

I’M going to coin a new phrase, readers – tragedy fatigue, or trag-fat for short. It occurs when a huge, terrible event takes place, somewhere in the world, and, naturally, coverage of it takes over the news media to the exclusion of most other things.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 10th August 2011, 9:30 am

The coverage of global events nowadays is a constant, relentless flow, thanks to 24-hour news channels and that there interweb. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but the endless rolling coverage can lead, in my case certainly, to reaching saturation point pretty quickly. There’s only so much tragedy you can take in before the impact starts to wane.

I say this because I’ll always feel a teensy bit bad about getting bored of the Chilean miners when they were rescued last year. Miner one rescued – yay! Miner two rescued – yay! Miner three rescued – yay! Here comes miner four – is it time for a cuppa yet? Ooh, and miner five... yawn. Suddenly housework started to look appealing.

To ease my guilt I’ll be tuning in to Chilean Miners: 17 Days Buried Alive (BBC2, Friday August 12, 9pm), where, a year on, the guys talk about what it was like being trapped 2,300ft underground cut off from the outside world, with their relatives not knowing if they were dead or alive.

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After 17 days they managed to establish contact with rescuers, but it would be another 17 before they were brought to the surface.

I’m not sure what percentage of the people who read this column are into hip hop, but there’s no harm in educating yourself about music, is there?

How Hip Hop Changed the World (Channel 4, Friday August 12, 10.25pm) is a two-hour exploration of the genre, presented by actor Idris Elba (of Luther fame), that takes us from early adventures with turntables to modern day hip hop spin-offs such as grime, and looks at how the movement became a political force for change.

I’m never really sure what to make of the Edinburgh Festival. Is it all about comedy? Or is there other stuff going on as well?

Perhaps I need to get to grips with this, so I’ll put myself in the trustworthy hands of The Review Show at the Edinburgh Festival (BB2, Friday August 12, 11pm). Kirsty Wark is joined by writer Hari Kunzru, comedienne Natalie Haynes and former Edinburgh International Film Festival director Hannah McGill to review some of the highlights from Edinburgh so far.

It quite often seems to be the case that, when a famous sort dies, I feel obliged to find out more about them, and then wish I’d done so earlier.

Not so with Lucian Freud, though, as I studied his work for my art A level. Still, I’m sure there’s plenty I don’t know, so I’m looking forward to Imagine – Sitting for Lucian Freud (BBC2, Saturday August 13, 8pm).

It’s a profile of the artist comprising interviews with people who have sat for him, including Andrew Parker Bowles and David Hockney.

I can’t really a worse way of spending time than watching our national football team.

Idon’t even know why people bother supporting them, given their generally unerring crapness in recent times. But apparently they could be worse. In England’s Worst Ever Football Team (BBC3, Saturday August 13, 9pm) pundits are joined by footie stars to select players for the worst England team imaginable.