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What Jessie did next

CULTURE! Miss Marie Lloyd: Queen of the Music Hall, BBC4, 9.00pm

Miss Marie LloydYes, we know that we promised last week that our brief foray into high culture would be over as soon as it began, so why are we pointing out stuff on BBC4 again? Well, we could hardly let Jessie Wallace's transition into Proper Acting go unnoticed, could we? (And no, A Class Apart doesn't count).

It's odd, actually. We remember the days when you could be as popular as anything in a soap opera, but unless you were incredibly lucky (or Sarah Lancashire), you were inevitably screwed when you tried to throw off the shackles of your four-to-five-nights-a-week character and convince the unforgiving British public that you could play other roles too. Now, frankly, casting directors everywhere appear to be getting alarmingly open-minded, with even Hollyoaks not being the career death knoll that it used to be (which is good, because we hope that one day Roxanne McKee will break free of the rut they've thrown her character into and land herself a role in something that's more appreciative of her considerable acting chops).

Anyway, Jessie Wallace is off to an excellent start by getting cast in a BBC4 drama in the first place, because that's about as far from appealing to your key EastEnders fanbase as it's possible to get, we should think. However, we feel that we should deduct some points for her playing a larger-than-life cockney sparra with an outrageous and complicated love life. Doesn't seem like much of a stretch, after all. However, there will be singing, and period costume! We're convinced to tune in for that alone. And if this trend continues, we look forward to the biographical drama of Gustav Klimt, late at night on Channel 4 starring Richard Fleeshman.

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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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