If you have 10 minutes to spare when you're next in New York, go to the Jewish Museum on the Museum Mile on 5th Avenue and watch a fascinating set of TV clips about antisemitism and American TV, from sitcoms like All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the early 1970s to more recent shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey (a huge hit in the US on PBS).
Many years ago, I had a testy conversation with a commissioning editor for what was called Religion and Talk. He is now a famous clergyman-broadcaster but at the time was at the helm of programming at one of the British television networks.
So ubiquitous have the stories become of Sherlock Holmes and his pipe-smoking, deer-stalker profile, that many tourists visiting London believe that the fictional detective did actually inhabit 221b Baker St.
Bill Freedman really cannot see what all the fuss is about. He is, after all, a distinguished theatrical producer, a cinema boss and a former owner of West End theatres. He has staged productions in the West End, on Broadway and in plenty of other countries around the world. So why would anyone be surprised that he is now producing his first television series on national TV?
In the quarter of a century since Birds of a Feather first became a massive TV hit, Lesley Joseph has become well-known to viewers as Dorien Green. And whereas many actresses would rail against being typecast, Joseph has no problem with it. In fact, every now and then she even dresses up as her sitcom persona. “If I’m going to a function I might occasionally go as her,” Joseph reveals.
It is just over 20 years since, armed with a degree in film and television studies from Tel Aviv University, a fresh-faced Alon Aranya landed in California, determined to make his mark. Many other young Israelis followed the same path, but for Aranya it really paid off.