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Press Ganged

LITERARY! Stephen Fry and the Gutenberg Press, BBc Two, 9.00pm

Stephen Fry and the Gutenberg Press may seem a slightly unusual lowculture billing, but bear with us (also: there is nothing else worth watching tonight that we haven't already previewed recently). It was first shown as part of BBC Four's Medieval season, but because it has Sir Stephen in it, it has made the leap to prime-time BBC Two.

This documentary follows Fry as he explores the origins of the Gutenberg printing press. In search of the man behind it, Gutenberg, he travels across Europe. He also gets involved with craftspeople, explores different printing techniques and is no doubt jolly fascinated by the whole thing.

So what is it about it that should make you watch? Well, Stephen Fry is always worth an hour of your time for starters. And if we didn't have the Gutenberg press, we wouldn't have books and newspapers and magazines, and if we didn't have those things, then all the LC-ers who work in libraries, academia, journalism and graphic design would be out of a job - and worst of all, we'd almost certainly have no internet. You owe Mr Gutenberg and his printing press a great deal of thanks, you know.

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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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