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It's a funny old game

FOOTBALL! Mike Bassett: Manager, ITV1, 10.00pm
To be honest, our hearts sank a little when we started to see trails for this show. Programmes about football, according to the ethos of lowculture, either need to centre on the workings of a generally aesthetically-pleasing football team who have a lot of topless locker room scenes (Dream Team) or their airheaded spouses who steal babies, accidentally set alight to their breasts, and indulge in semi-pornographic airbourne copulation (Footballers' Wives), but nothing else. Plus, this was a fair enough idea when it was about an old-school manager getting a chance to run the England team, but when it's about an old-school manager getting to run a small division team generally run by an old-school manager, well, we can't help thinking that the particular fish that's out of water might be a little less thirsty. We will, however, throw caution to the wind and recommend this anyway because it stars Ricky Tomlinson and Amanda Redman, both of whom would be utterly watchable if they were to merely sit in front of a green screen and eat lettuce sandwiches for two hours. Anyone who saw them on the celebrity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? recently will hopefully understand where we're coming from with that one. We're not expecting this to turn into a lowculture favourite, but it might just be that little bit better than we originally predicted.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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