Knott's Landing

Helen is away so our editor put his crayons away and attempted to put a few sentences together...

As the sun rises on 2017, what have we got to look forward to?

Will a giant orange orang-utan with an itchy tweeting finger tweet us into oblivion? Is Brexit actually a thing? Will the Foxes stay in the Premier League? And how many musicians, movie stars and TV performers won't make it till Christmas? Quite a few I suspect.

2016 did feel extraordinary, not least due to the number of unexpected celebrity deaths. 

Like the rest of us the famous pop off all the time, it's just this year they somehow seemed more relevant.

The scream of anguish in the press and on social media following Bowie and George Michael - I put down to the immediacy of audio visual media. Pop music videos basically and YouTube. 

Concert footage, music videos and the eternal clarity of movie digital re-mastering mean that Carrie Fisher will be a 19 year old Princess Leia for as long as we've got eyes to see her and George Michael will forever look cool posing in a leather jacket. Youth trapped in a bottle of bytes but we forget our heroes get older.

George MichaelFisher was 60, Quo's Rick Parfitt 68, Bowie was 69, Alan Rickman 69, Muhammad Ali 74, Terry Wogan 77, Gene Wilder 83, Debby Reynolds 84, Ronnie Corbett 85, Andrew Sachs 86. The list goes on. 

These were not young people but decades of work in the spotlight seeps in. Their images and sound gets trapped in a bubble for eternity and some of it becomes so iconic it embeds itself into our culture... But that seems only to work in colour, for about 35 years or a generation or two. 

There are exceptions. Gone with the Wind is nearly 80 years and it's still shown on TV, Andy Warhol's 55 year old Marilyn Monroe painting is still on T-shirts and Elvis is still swinging his hips through the ether.

Here's what you do. Grab a teen; then ask them who were Laurel and Hardy or Clark Gable? They won't know. Not their generation; mostly because it's all from black and white history-land with bad sound. 

They were never exposed to early 20th century media or even stuff from the 70's. If you're in your 40's or 50's would you recognise Gracie Fields or Leslie Howard? Possibly, but only if you had a passing interest in the culture of the time - and these people were enormously famous.

I suspect the quality of today's audio visual media means the iconic stars of the last 30 or so years will still shine for generations to come.

Richard Perry