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Saturday 23rd January 2016


I watched the BBC drama “The Rack Pack” on the iPlayer today. They’ve just taken Me1 Vs Me2 snooker and made it two people instead of one. Absolutely outrageous plagiarism. It’s an enjoyable drama, funny, but also exploring the contrasting personalities of Steve Davis and Hurricane Higgins and also the way that snooker became commercialised, largely through the efforts of Barry Hearn. Neatly it doesn’t really come down on either side of the argument. We sympathise with Higgins, too edgy and unpredictable to be taken into Hearn’s stable of snooker players doing adverts, TV shows and terrible novelty records, and yet he’s a drunk and a poor husband and father. But his temperament and his shortcomings were what made him so attractive to the snooker audience, unconcerned that he was heading towards self-destruction. He hates Hearn and what he’s done to snooker, despite the fact that he benefits from the celebrity, TV appearances and increased prize money, and in the end (spoiler alert) has to go on his knees to him to ask to be represented. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s cracking drama. And kudos to the writers for making sure that everyone is fairly represented - no heroes or villains really. Hearn is likeable, despite being driven by money above all else and Davis’ boringness is, in its own way, as exciting a personality quirk as being unpredictable, though it’s clear Davis will never self-destruct. Who is the better snooker player? Who is the better man? Or are we all just flawed and competing in an ultimately frivolous, ridiculous and pointless competition? I am not the only one to have realised that snooker is the perfect metaphor for life and that ultimately our main opponent is ourself.

Worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

My wife was out tonight and usually that would be a cue (get it) for some snooker myself, but I wanted to try and press on and finish my script before we go away. A glass or two of whisky has helped me push through the Rasputin sitcom script and Hurricane Higgins didn’t mind a drink and it never did him any harm, so I thought I’d have my first alcoholic drink of the year and cracked open one of my Christmas presents, a very decent bottle of Glenmorangie Extremely rare 18 year old malt. I only had a couple of small glasses, but it was a very nice way to spend the evening. I still have about 10 pages to go on the script and have no idea how I am going to wrap things up, but hopefully tomorrow I can get close.

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