*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

TV review: Sunday Morning, Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams, and On The Morning You Wake (to the End of the World): Storyville

15 July 2022

BBC

Sajid Javid is interviewed by Sophie Raworth on Sunday Morning (BBC1)

Sajid Javid is interviewed by Sophie Raworth on Sunday Morning (BBC1)

AN ANSWER to prayer? As convalescence after surgery inhibited me from sharing corporeally in divine worship, I took this as a sign that, for once, I should engage in the dynamic of unfolding national events by watching Sunday Morning (BBC1). Sure enough, during the programme, an additional candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party had declared herself.

At the heart of the extended show were interviews with two leading contenders: Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid. How much did Sophie Raworth’s live interrogation add to our knowledge? Complete honesty and transparency were agreed by all to be crucial, but how trustworthy did they seem? Raworth pushed hard at Mr Hunt’s determination to cut taxes for businesses but not directly for struggling individuals; as for Mr Javid, why had he for years supported Boris Johnson’s leadership until finally turning, precipitating the avalanche of walkouts which forced Mr Johnson to resign as party leader?

The programme’s bombshell for me was Mr Javid’s revelation that the conviction that he must resign burst on him at the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, on Tuesday of last week. How gratifying to find religion playing a key part in national righteousness. All else did not proceed smoothly along the paths of godliness: both candidates stated their support for the policy to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda, setting them firmly against the Bishops of the Church of England and surely most of its members.

“It’s posh and boring.” This familiar accusation levelled by “ordinary people” as a reason for not joining in was for once not directed at the C of E — but at the game of cricket. Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams (1/3, Tuesday of last week, BBC 1) followed the great man: appalled by the fact that two-thirds of the England squad were privately educated, he returned to his roots in Preston, seeking to create a team from disaffected youth, none of whom displayed the slightest interest or enthusiasm.

It is a moving account of exactly how to engage with unpropitious material: non-judgemental, infinitely patient, wry, amused. He shared their stories and reinforced every positive spark. Already he has turned the tide; but how deeply will the new and foreign attributes of discipline and teamwork take root in these fragile lives?

On 13 January 2013, Hawaiians received an official mobile-phone message: they faced an imminent ballistic-missile attack. On The Morning You Wake (to the End of the World): Storyville (BBC4, Tuesday of last week) married virtual-reality production to personal testimony, drawing us into the panic, helplessness, and despair. The error was corrected after 38 minutes; but did staring mass annihilation in the face change people’s lives and values?

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

8 September 2022
Church Times Cricket Cup: North v. South
Join us to watch the match at the Walker Cricket Ground, in Southgate, north London.

26 September 2022
What am I living for? God
Sam Wells and Lucy Winkett begin the St Martin-in-the-Fields autumn lecture series in partnership with Church Times.

More events

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)