Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's a spooky day

Ever get one of those days when a particular word gets repeated wherever you go? Same with topics. Today is a supernatural day. Everywhere I turn is preoccupied with the spooky, the beyond, with matters metaphysical.

I turn on GMTV and there’s the hairdresser-turned-medium Gordon Smith having a séance on the sofa with Phillip Schofield and Fern Brittan. He says: “There’s no such thing as a haunted house, there are only haunted people.”

If true, where does this leave Yvette Fielding and her Most Haunted show on UKTV which explores haunted abodes? I could believe Yvette herself is haunted. Her goggle eyed countenance – especially her infra-red Mrs Werewolf look - might suggest permanent alarm at something. Or perhaps Preparation H is the answer in her case.

Then I learn that Colin Firth is to make contemporary ghost movie Genova. Firth will play a widowed man who travels to Italy pursued by apparitions from his past. Michael Winterbottom to direct. Ghosts have a penchant for Italy – Don’t Look Now is one of the most effective chillers I’ve ever seen: a Canaletto of spirits. And Rome's Dario Argento is a byword for gothic spookery.

The BBC has just commissioned a load of spooky dramas to run next year: in Empathy for instance an ex-con helps a murder enquiry with his paranormal visions. I can’t wait. Doubtless the success of ITV1’s Afterlife will be behind all this – last Saturday’s episode was particularly good I thought, as the medium’s past and present climaxed together in her living room.

My favourite news story of the day has to be the “unholy row” at the Pope’s TV station Telepace. Journalists there are furious at the monitoring of their phone calls and an attempt to find out if some female staffers are virgins.

Perhaps the channel’s director, Monsignor Guido Todeschini, is a man possessed (or haunted) in the Gordon Smith mode. Send Yvette to the Vatican's TV station with her infra-red camera. She’ll give the place good scream, as they say.

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