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Top of the brass

TOMSCHOOLERY! A Class Apart, BBC1, 8.30pm

It's always an emotional moment when they strike out on their own for the first time. Clinging to your hem as you approach the entrance gate, nervously surveying the unfamiliar faces scattered before them. Some hang back timidly; others meet the challenge head-on and charge into the crowd with a whoop and a whistle and a look of steely determination. You can't help but worry about them too, of course. So much learning to be done! So many facts to discover! Will they flourish in the new environment? Will they achieve their full potential? Is there any potential to achieve? This is Day One; where will they be ten years from now?

But they can't stay tied to the soapron strings for ever, so today it's Jessie Wallace's Day One, with BBC1 screening the heavily-trailed A Class Apart, her first post-EastEnders lead-role project. Jessie plays Candy, a brassy single mum who stages a protest after her teenage son is refused entry to a decent local school, prompting Anthony (Nathaniel 'I was Inspector Lynley and that manipulative bastard from Bleak House' Parker) to accept the lad into his public school as part of a frivolous Walnut Whip-staked bet with his deputy. Cue a complete metalworkclassful of social contrasts and cross-culture collisions, with brassy Candy's down-to-earth heart of gold and balls of steel winning over silver spoon-mouthed Anthony, while young Kyle, torn between class and brass, finds himself thinking back longingly to the days when his mother was still his sister and life was so much simpler.

Education issues aside (and presumably there are some in here somewhere, once you've got past the bit where where the toffs play fiddle with the lives of the commoners), the real question here is whether Jessie Wallace could be the next Sue Johnston, Sarah Lancashire or Amanda Burton, or whether she'll look back in ten years and realise that after the initial post-EastEnders career boom it all went a bit Elaine Lordan (sorry, Elaine). As long as she does't run home during morning playtime, pee in the sandpit or end up in detention in a slutty schoolgirl outfit with her sisters again, we're sure she'll be fine.

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Nice article, this is the sort of blog that should be listed in my directory.. I'm a big lover of soaps although i use to watch eastenders, home and away;dont ask why.
I prefer some of the old sitcoms... Only fools and horses, gameon, one foot in the grave, that sort of thing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 pm  

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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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