My Yiddishe Mother Tongue

books-thecatinthehat-yiddishSholem-aleykhem! Which is Yiddish for hello…

Not really a video this, but a couple of extracts from a documentary I did for Radio 4 about my mother’s parents – a Yiddish playwright and actress – and my general obsession with the language and culture of Yiddish.

First extract is where I take my mother back to the site of the Grand Palais Yiddish theatre in the East End of London where my grandmother was an actress and my grandfather a playwright.

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The second is part of an interview about Yiddish with former head of ITV Michael Grade, sharing a couple of his favourite insults.

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Want a bit more Yiddish? Well, here’s a link to an article I wrote for the Jewish Chronicle…

Yiddish kvetches

And, whilst we’re at it, here’s a nice review from the Guardian that I’m postingĀ  here so my family can kvell, which means glow with pride. In a Jewish way…

The Guardian: My Yiddishe Mother-tongue

Mr Bean judo class

Some dodgy German posted some of the Mr Bean I did on youtube, taking care not to leave in the punchline or the bit at the start where I showed off my top judo skills throwing a couple of blokes about. Still, you get to learn the German for “One deep bow and then the throw”…

The Church of Michael Jackson

Here’s a thing we did on the Friday Night Armistice. Bear in mind it was in 1995 when, from the look of us, we were still about 2 years away from our GCSEs…

The Day Today Newsdance

I like to think it was seeing the Newsdance that inspired Madonna to make her Vogue video. 4 years earlier.

Election Night Armistice: Posters and Sleaze Cock

Here’s a thing from the Election Night Special. It was live on BBC2 right after polling closed on the day Tony Blair swept to power. “Things could only get better” was the Labour anthem, though perhaps their initial rewrite of “Things can only get bogged down in half-reforms and a brutally unpopular war which ultimately eclipses any real achievements” would have been more appropriate.

It was only after we finished that we could actually watch the results come in and share in the euphoria (most of) the country was experiencing. I watched the Michael Portillo moment sat on a floor next to Valerie Singleton. Seems right somehow.

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