BUSHELL ON THE BOX
*This is an edited version of my TV column. The real thing, plus contests, goofs, lookalike pictures and more, can be found each Sunday only in the Daily Star Sunday.
May 2. IT WAS a perfect “Teddism” and a classic Line Of Duty moment. Superintendent Ted Hastings, exasperated beyond belief by Jo Davidson, let rip with a mighty “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and the wee donkey... ” He looked ready to chew glass. We’ll all feel exactly the same tonight if we don’t finally find out the identity of H – the corrupt senior copper in league with organised crime. I’ll bet good money it’s not DCS Patricia Bloody Carmichael, even though she has been deliberately thwarting AC-12 at every turn. And my gut tells me there’s more chance of H being Harry Hill, H from Steps or the late Harry H. Corbett than turning out to be our Ted.Sure, he’s had wobbly moments, but the gaffer has been the moral core of this great show from the start.
The prime suspect is surely Chief Constable Osborne. It can’t be Buckells – he seems barely qualified to cut it as a traffic warden. (Unless that blundering buffoon persona is misdirection... ) And it can’t be ex-DI Marcus Thurwell because he’s dead... isn’t he? Come to think of it, we didn’t actually see the corpse’s kisser. (Or even that distinctive Axminster thatch). Is Osborne too obvious, though? He could be being manipulated by someone smarter. Say DCC Andrea Wise... I can’t pretend to know. But then I’m still waiting to find out what role Darren Hunter (Jo’s cousin-brother) has in the OCG; whether cute DC Chloe is all she seems, and whether Gill Biggeloe ever sunbathes topless near her seaside bolt-hole. Line Of Duty can be maddening – why did Kate go on the run with Jo? Why not just nick her and call for back-up? But boy I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
*WHAT about Kate driving that Mazda MX5? One a formidable machine that’s still a great ride, I’d imagine; the other is a car.
*FICTIONAL characters who’d make great TV dramas: 1) Conman-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn (created by Steve Cavanagh) 2) Dublin cop Bunny McGarry (Caimh McDonnell) 3) Victorian magician-turned-detective Michael Magister (Colin Edmonds).
THEY had the Oscars in an LA train station. You half-expected Best Supporting Actor to go to the platform announcer. God, it was dull. True, Regina King nearly fell arse over tit at the start. “Live TV, here we go,” she joked. But the dreariness set in quickly. “We are mourning the loss of so many... ” she began, forgetting that Hollywood’s job is to enchant, enthral and entertain us – not to rub our noses in reality. There’s enough misery on the news. The films were uniformly grim. No wonder ratings sank to an all-time low. “How can something so woke put so many people to sleep?”, asked comic Jimmy Kimmel. It was awful, with rambling speeches and cringeworthy moments like Daniel Kaluuya exclaiming “My mum met my dad, they had sex!” What is he, 12? His poor mother looked mortified.
POLICE surveillance officer is the perfect job for a Peeping Tom. You’re not perving, you’re working! On Viewpoint, DC Martin Young was watching Greg – controlling boyfriend of missing teacher Gemma – but got drawn to two-faced Kate next door. Either because she liked shagging on her settee (sofa, so hot)... or because he recognised her from Corrie. It seemed unlikely he’d trust boozy blabbermouth Zoe (whose flat he’d commandeered), let alone bed her. Just keeping on top of the asset I suppose.
*ITV’S Viewpoint could be the last time we see Noel Clarke on telly – if the seedy allegations (which he denies) turn out to be true. ITV pulled the final episode but you didn’t miss much. Viewpoint had affairs, money-laundering and deceit; but the most important thing this casserole-slow potboiler taught us was: 1) Buy curtains. 2) Fit them. 3) Keep ’em closed.
HOT on TV: Kelly Macdonald, Line Of Duty... Susannah Fielding, This Time with Alan Partridge.
ROT on TV: Oscars 2021 – and the winner is, anyone who didn’t watch... Viewpoint – less Rear Window, more rear end.
THEY had one good gag on This Time with Alan Partridge. Co-host Jennie said of a kid who’d written in to their TV show, “He’ll be running the BBC one day.” Alan, looking at his notes, replied, “Oh no, no, no, he attends state school.” Ain’t that the truth! Partridge was always a great character, a deluded has-been so unlikeable he couldn’t get a lift in a driverless car. But he made more sense as a falling star on local radio than on this hit-and-miss One Show spoof. Partridge wouldn’t last a week on TV now. Besides, he’s trumped constantly by reality – Madeley on GMB, Piers doing The Great British Walk Off etc. Sadly the laughs dried up when Armando quit.
*THERE was talk of “a drink” on Bent Coppers, but that barely scratched the surface. As Arthur Daley knew, there are six orders of drinks (bribes) ranging inside from “a little drink” to a handsome one. For corrupt cops in seventies Soho, it wasn’t so much a large drink as an entire Olympic swimming pool.
*AFTER Bent Coppers should the Sweeney be renamed the Lying Squad?
*NANCY Carter wants to be sterile on EastEnders. Like the scripts. Yeah, she looked at all of Walford’s psychos and losers and realised the world doesn’t need more of these.
*RE Detective Mare Sheehan on Mare Of Easttown: is that the first known example of arresting bitch face?
Small Joys of TV: Glenn Close doing Da Butt (Oscars). Suzanne Stokes as a dream plumber on Frasier. Starstruck. Fred Buckle. Leona Mayor, ITV Racing – giddy up!
Random Irritations: the terminal decline of Have I Got News For You – the box-ticking, unfunny guests, the laziness, predictability and bias... it has all the satirical bite of a toothless Care Bear.
*RANDOM questions: when exactly did Martin sleep on Viewpoint? Was Corrie gossip Hilda Ogden the original chatty rat? And why didn’t Boris just call in Nick Knowles? Downing Street SOS.
Separated at birth: Mastermind winner Jonathan Gibson and Flanders & Swan star Donald Swann? The Music Hall pair were Jon’s specialist subject. Stick Brian Blessed in a wheelchair and they could start a tribute act.