Saturday 21 February 2015


One of the things about being a 'BBC bias obsessive' is that you remember what other 'BBC bias obsessives' predict - especially if it concerns someone you actually like.

I've always found comedian Reginald D. Hunter a hoot. However, after expressing his admiration for Lady Thatcher following her death and after backing another comedian who denounced BBC comedians for being predictably left-wing, predictions were repeatedly made at our progenitor blog (Biased BBC) that Reginald would never be heard on the BBC again.  

And, funnily enough, he has rather fallen off the BBC's guest list for comedy programmes in the past couple of years, hasn't he?

Well, here's some good news. Reginald D. is back on the Beeb tonight at 9pm on BBC Two. He's presenting the first episode of a major new series entitled Songs of the South

The first episode will apparently show him going behind the stereotype of poor, white hillbilly folk music to see how their old fiddle tunes trickled down into the melting-pot of American popular culture. Dolly Parton will be appearing and the previews sound enthusiastic. 

Here, while we're waiting for it to begin, is a (mild) Reginald D. joke:
If women ran the world, there wouldn't be any wars, but there would be entire nations that wouldn't speak to each other.
Update 9pm: The BBC announcer introduced the series with the words, "There's racial language which some may find offensive". I'll get the smelling salts ready.

Update 10pm: Well, that was NOT a typical BBC programme. Very open-minded, and open-hearted. Praise the Lord that Reginald was given the job.

Cue Hank Williams...


  1. Yes, I've always liked Reginald - especially like the way he cuts through the BS. Laughed out loud when he identified that key English failing: pretending that you know more about some subject than you actually do...virtually everyone here does that, of whatever class, and so we hardly ever notice it.

  2. Don't we just. That said my deep understanding of hillbilly music will soon be on show.

  3. A historian on the programme, talking about the historic red light district in Knoxville, referred to its workforce as "ladies of negotiable affection". That's good!

  4. Mid-programme comment:

    Were I writing one of those reviews that appear on book covers, 'Songs of the South' is "warm, informative and funny." I'm enjoying it a lot.

  5. Reginald isn't warming to square-dancing. "Old-time speed dating", he calls it.

  6. Very interesting and fair-minded on minstrelsy and Stephen Foster. (Foster wrote some beautiful songs).

  7. "I've never been happier to be wrong" - Reginald on how the white South hasn't lived up to his pre-programme apprehensions.

  8. Much as I like Reggie, (I do, I do) I thought the programme, in the end, lacked substance. I do like Dolly P and I could have done with a bit more of her. No wonder he didn’t like square dancing. He was a square kind of dancer, from the Greg Wallace school of dance I think.

    Saturday night is for BBC Four as far as I am concerned. Even though I couldn’t understand much of the plot, I enjoyed Spiral.

    Because of Reggie I missed the first part of the Israeli drama, Hostages. Will have to catch up if it’s on iPlayer, but I understood what I did see of it. It reminded me that I’ve forgotten 99% of what little Hebrew I once knew.

  9. Andrew Billen in the 'Times' was a bit disappointed too:

    Saturday’s first episode of Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South set the comedian on a journey back to his native America, whose southern states, with their residual racism, he hated by the time he left for Britain. It suffered from there being little hint that Hunter knows much about the musical genres he explored: bluegrass, minstrel or hillbilly fiddle.
    His phobia about dancing — demonstrated in a sweaty square-dance session — was not a good sign. Yet some very articulate interviewees were lined up for him, notably the singer Rennie Sparks from the Handsome Family, whose exegesis of Knoxville Girl (“the woman has no body till she has been killed”) will stay with me.
    What is so delightful about Hunter, however, is his quaint, insightful turn of phrase. Aboard the Chattanooga choo-choo, he admired its windows just for opening. “I cannot begin to tell you how many hotels and trains I have been in,” he said, “where you cannot be trusted to regulate your own fresh air.”

    He thought 'Hostages' was very good though.


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