Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
When I was young, two of my favourite programmes were 'Mad Movies' hosted by Bob Monkhouse, and 'The Golden Silents' with Michael Bentine, which instilled in me a lifelong love of the classic silent comedians such as Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Keaton, and Lloyd. I got that same wonderful feeling again watching Paul Merton in this excellent B.B.C.-4 series. His enthusiasm for the subject is unmistakable, and he managed to convey it to the audience. Seeing children laughing out loud at silent comedy was the most wonderful sight on television in years. The feature on the painstaking restoration work on the films in the 'Keaton' edition was fascinating too. The cherry on the cake was the screening in each edition of a complete movie, my favourite being 'Safety Last' starring Harold Lloyd. Now we know at last how he did that scene on the clock! Forget today's 'cutting edge' rubbish, it'll soon be forgotten. Silent comedy, on the other hand, will live forever. Let's have another series soon, Paul!
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