Letter to Private Eye
30 October 2003
The tv critic in Private Eye confused Philip Schofield (for the benefit of American readers, an obscure British TV presenter) with Paul Scofield (for the benefit of American readers, one of the leading actors of our time).
I am obliged to “Remote Controller” (Eye 1092) for reminding me that Paul Scofield used to host the National Lottery Programme on BBC1. This splendid tradition of combining the talents of the cream of British Thespianism with family entertainment has been a feature of Saturday evening schedules on the terrestrial channels for so long that I can scarcely remember when I felt it appropriate to stray from my sofa on that day.
Perhaps we can have reviews of similar programmes. May I suggest “Noel Coward’s House Party”, “The Generation Game”, hosted by Larry Olivier and later Ralph Richardson, “Jacobi’ll fix it”, and my favourite, Edith Evans’ “Blind Date”, where we sat enthralled waiting for her to utter her timeless catch-phrase – “A handjob!?”.
Perhaps your readers can recall the time when I had my moment of fame, nervously saying “Tonight, Matthew, I am going to be Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Mahler’s 3rd Symphony”.
Love and peace
Your proofreader might take note that Pauly, dear Pauly, prefers his name spelt without the 'h', as in my text above.