BUSHELL ON THE BOX
April 24. Must-see dramas, shows that grip like Mistress Kate's hand on her whip, are as rare as hen's teeth. The BBC scored gloriously with Line Of Duty, ITV shot right over the net with Marcella. On paper HBO's Vinyl had everything going for it: Scorsese, Terence Winter and a 1970s rock 'n' roll subject matter. It was the year's great drama hope. But even with a budget the size of Dicky Roper's pension pot, they couldn't deliver characters we cared about or a credible storyline.
Vinyl's leading man, US record company boss Richie Finestra is completely charmless, a self-centred coke-fiend who helped kill radio network boss Buck Rogers and whose bored wife bored me rigid. Tony Soprano was a bad man, too, but he had charisma and a code of honour. Irritatingly Vinyl also rewrote rock history by having James Jagger invent punk in New York before the Ramones. Yeah, right.
Drama is TV's biggest battlefield. The stakes are higher than Izzy Armstrong sampling Leafs by Snoop. But the once dominant HBO haven't had a break-out hit since Game Of Thrones launched in 2011. In the same period Netflix delivered House Of Cards, Daredevil, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos and Jessica Jones. Amazon Prime produced the marvellously original Mr Robot. (The Man In The High Castle started well but tailed off.) Other US networks delivered Fargo and The Americans. We've also seen Euro-drama surge with The Bridge, Braquo, Deutschland 83 etc. But most of HBO's greatest moments – The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, and the under-valued Carnivale – are behind them. They gambled fortunes on Vinyl, £20million on the opening episode alone, and it was their biggest let-down since season two of True Detective.
Here, the Beeb bounced back from their low point (Bonekickers, The Deep), rising to the challenge with a string of hits including Peaky Blinders, Doctor Foster and Happy Valley. I won't mention them axing Ripper Street if you don't. ITV set the pace for decades but what have they done for us lately? Broadchurch worked well for one series, but Beowulf stank like Phil Mitchell's underpants after a three-week bender. Most modern ITV drama is either soapy or soppy. The less feminised joys of The Sweeney, Minder and Cracker are sadly behind them.
*THINGS to love about Vinyl. 1) Juno Temple, Susan Heyward & Birgitte Hjort Sørensen 2) Andrew Dice Clay as Buck Rogers 3) Lester demonstrating the blues backbone of classic rock 4) Ray Romano 5) More iffy rock star lookalikes than Stars In Their Eyes.
R.I.P. Victoria Wood, a down-to-earth comedy genius. If we lose any more stars this year the next Bafta obituary roll-call will last longer than the awards. At least clips of Acorn Antiques and Let's Do It brightened up the news. Wood's combination of wit, warmth and gentle satire made her a hard act to follow, as TV's woeful roll-call of current women comedians confirms. Shazia Mirza is about as funny as getting trapped in C4's Sex Box with a rampant Aunt Babe for a fortnight. Some blokes might warm to Julia Davis's nymphomaniac character Fay on Camping, a strumpet so hot no-one would criticise Colonel Bob for calling her totty. But Julia's comedy is so black-hearted, the characters so wimpish or disagreeable that the show is hard to watch let alone like.
*DID you clock Barry Cryer at Ronnie Corbett's funeral? Hardly worth him going home, was it?
BY heck, Corrie nearly combusted with sexual chemistry this week, and not just when Jason promised to "go round and fix Rita's drip". Michelle McDonald, Manchester's most magnificent MILF, came close to succumbing to Wet Will's dubious charms. If she had, it would have been Steve's fault. He's neglected his wife as badly as his looks. When he rocked up with a straw donkey under his arm there was no doubt who the biggest ass was. Even heavy make-up can't disguise the fact that Steve's got more bags under his eyes than the Kardashians on holiday. That Grandpa Munster hairstyle doesn't help. If his barnet recedes any further he'll be combing his arse. Corrie has hit a rough patch lately. You'd have to drink Carla Connor quantities of red wine to find any merit in Shariff's chickens, Marta the martyr or Maria's fake marriage. So let's give thanks for scheming Pat Phelan. Yes, he's crooked, and as trustworthy as a George Osborne referendum fact. Pat's so dodgy his selfies should be done by a police sketch artist. But he's a far better hate figure than Tracey Barlow, who's been caught out more times than Curtly Ambrose. Judging by his community centre makeover he'd also have been a natural for Changing Rooms.
*HOW come Izzy can't operate machinery 'cos she has the odd puff when most of those factory girls down pints of plonk every dinner-time?
HOT on TV: Ciara Renée, Legends Of Tomorrow... Mafiosa (All4)... the First Dates waitresses.
ROT on TV: I Want My Wife Back – I want real sitcoms back... Seann Walsh – milligrams of fun... Drive – clamp... Hidden Britain By Drone – and the drone is Tony Robinson.
DUMB answers are one of the many delights of The Chase, and last week we had three doozies: Q. Which actress was asteroid 4238 Audrey named after? Marina's answer: "Kim Basinger" (rather than Audrey Hepburn). Q. Which Prime Minister did Geri Halliwell call "the first Spice Girl"? Alison replied: "John Major". (It was Maggie). Q. Which member of the crow family has a bare face? Hannah: "Russell Crowe"...
WHY does Sex Box claim Europeans have better love lives than us? Surveys suggest the French bonk less than Brits. Most "Italian stallions" climax in less than two minutes, while Germans were recently voted the world's worst lovers. As for Belgians, prudish Poirot doesn't inspire much hope. Clearly the opposite is true. European blokes need to learn from great British studs. Come on down Jim Royle, Stanley Odgen and John McCririck.
*I WANT My Wife Back is billed as a romantic comedy. There have been episodes of the Jeremy Kyle show with more love and laughter.
SMALL Joys of TV: Peter Kay's classic misheard song lyrics. The Everlys: Harmonies From Heaven. Michael McIntyre. Lori Petty, Gotham. Fierce. Contestant Jim answering "Don't know, don't care" to a question about the Kardashians on The Chase.
RANDOM irritations: ITV's bizarre belief that watching people play crazy golf constitutes "Super Saturday". Those obnoxious Durrell sons. Home Fires' rose-tinted view of public attitudes to conscientious objectors. Masterchef – over-cooked.
SEPARATED at birth: Gregg Wallace and the Go Compare taxi driver. I'd tip both... off a cliff.
WALFORD Maths: Linda Carter + Vanessa Gold = Patrick Stewart in drag.
April 17. Tonight At The London Palladium is a real breath of fresh air. With brilliant Bradley Walsh at the helm, the show is upbeat, fast-paced and easy to love. Brad is TV's new king of variety. He has warmth, charm, and something you can't be taught, the likeability factor. Audiences feel safe with him. As a bonus, he also has the best-looking dancers on telly.
There was nostalgia of course. Brad opened with the hand-clapping, thigh-slapping routine that Barrymore nicked from the Will Rogers Follies. Yet it still felt bang up to date. And wasn't it refreshing to find an oasis of irony-free family entertainment delivered by people with real performance skills? We got Motown The Musical, iffy puppets, daredevil motorcyclists... Brad even brought back his old comedy partner Joe Pasquale ("Release the squeak!"), who dropped from the ceiling to pick an audience member to share the Royal box with Peter Andre. He then got to stand inside Planet Circus's motorbike Globe Of Death while the riders whizzed around him like malignant bingo balls. It's just a shame the producers didn't let Squeaky or Bradley do some gags.
Stand-up is always a problem on these shows. TV execs have been trying to stamp out variety comics for decades. There's more chance of Gemma Collins headlining on the Vegas Strip than of seeing Cannon & Ball do a turn here. Instead Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan got the call. He had some terrific lines, particularly on obesity which he claimed was caused by boredom. "Bring excitement back into obese people's lives," Tiernan said. "By hunting them!" But his hectoring political material felt wrong for this format. It was also sloppy to cut the top of the bill for the closing credits. Why not cut the kiss-cam or some of the repetitive banter with Andre?
There were three musical acts besides Motown: Andrea Bocelli, Birdy, and guitarist Toby Lee, 11, who came on to play McFly's Five Colours In Her Hair only to be joined by McFly themselves to his obvious surprise and delight. Like Michael McIntyre's new mishmash of a show on BBC1, the emphasis was on fun, escapism and performance. That's a good thing. But is it too much to hope that one week someone in television entertainment will remember what a superbly talented all-rounder Brian Conley is – rather than wasting him on a dull afternoon clips show?
THE gee-whizz act on Britain's Got Talent was magician Richard Jones who poured a cup of tea out of a can of fizzy orange. How the... ? It even beat Princess Margaret's old trick of pouring Scotch from a teapot. Less impressively, Rich read Amanda's mind and revealed that she'd been thinking about David Beckham, which was probably true of half the women in the audience. Some acts were so tortuous John Whittingdale might watch them on a loop-tape for fun, like that one-man-band on stilts and oddball Jake who could clear a pub quicker than Billy Bragg on the jukebox. The hot turns were acrobats Katy & Paul, Sinatra-loving Wayne and 100 Voices Of Gospel who had no need of Alesha's golden ticket. Imports included Polish dancers, a Mexican juggler and those Dutch performance artists. Hmm. If Cowell must look overseas, how about booking awesome opera singer Lys Agnès, US comic Tom Cutter, or inspired close-up magician Smoothini?
*MY ambition is to go on Britain's Got Talent with a Taser, discharge 50,000 volts into Amanda's face to see if any of it moves...
JAKE Epping's mission in 11.22.63 is to go back in time to stop Lee Harvey Oswald killing Kennedy. It starts with Jake's dying pal Al persuading him to step into the closet in his Maine diner. Instead of Narnia, the easy-going English teacher suddenly finds himself in 1960. Each trip sends Jake (James Franco) back to exactly the same moment. No matter how long he spends there only two minutes have elapsed when he returns to the present day. The past hates change however and although he can alter events if Jake then time-travels again events reset themselves. It's Goodnight Sweetheart meets Groundhog Day. A lesser man would have used this gift to pull Marilyn Monroe, or patent the internet. But Jake is fundamentally decent. The only people our dashing hero upsets are bookies – he funds his sixties lifestyle by betting on races he already knows the winners of. Let's hope he succeeds, because a tombstone reading: "Born 1978, died 1960" wouldn't half confuse people.
HOT on TV: Line Of Duty... Undercover... Sarah Gadon, 11.22.63 (Fox)... Jack Irish: Blind Faith (Fox)... Blue Eyes (More4).
ROT on TV: Marcella – it's called a police procedural because when it starts you proceed to hunt for the remote... dithering Alex, Made In Chelsea... Camping – less Nuts In May, more Holidays from Hell.
EUROPE: Them On Us showed how politicians blatantly hoodwinked voters about the nature of the EEC and secretly plotted to get us in. Tony Benn called it "a coup d'état by a political class who didn't believe in popular sovereignty". Yet Nick Robinson's report suggested that our biggest mistake had been not joining this crumbling disaster zone sooner. Hmm. The Beeb have pocketed £3mill in EU funds since 2012. We should probably approach their "impartial" documentaries as warily as we might the pu-pu salad in a Swindon Indian.
*TOTAL strangers David and Anna shagged on Sex Box. And they say romance is dead... Steve Jones called them "sexual astronauts". Does that mean they burned up on re-entry? I wonder if they risked the black hole. Insert your own Milky Way gag here.
*SEX Box revealed that 16per cent of us have slept with only one person. They didn't name her.
*THE AMEX ad promises "If you fall ill abroad, we'll help you find a doctor that speaks English". If only they could do that here...
TV questions: did Paloma Faith's voice inspire the Haribo adverts? If Stephen King could travel back in time, would he stop flogging his books to TV? Why didn't anyone explain Kyle to Jean in terms she'd understand on EastEnders? That's got to be the ultimate sausage surprise.
SMALL Joys of TV: Billy Connolly. Joe Pasquale. Tommy Tiernan's wonderfully poetic description of the smell of whiskey as "anger trapped in a glass". Hogan's Heroes (Forces TV). Anthony Joshua's right hook – bring on Fury!
RANDOM irritations: Bert Patterson's jailing. The BBC treating Alistair "dodgy dossier" Campbell as a celebrity. Alan Carr's increasingly feeble opening monologue. The new even wetter Johnny Carter on EastEnders and the fact that none of his family noticed his new head.
SEPARATED at birth: this Tyrion Lannister toy figure and Noel Gallagher? One is small, lairy and fuelled by cigarettes and alcohol... that's Noel; as far as I know Tyrion doesn't smoke.
FATHER & Secret Son: Captain Bertorelli from 'Allo 'Allo! and Maigret's Judge Comeliau?
April 10. The most breathtaking act on last night's Britain's Got Talent slid down a pole topless and swallowed a sword. ITV hasn't seen action like that since Belle de Jour. Surprisingly it wasn't one of the judges. The dashing daredevil was Alex Magala from Moldavia, winner of Russia's Got Talent, finalist Italy's Got Talent, semi-finalist America's Got Talent... Yeah, why bother scouting for new acts when you can just recycle other country's hits?
Nowadays BGT even outsources the crap, like accordion-botherer Vitaly, the "musical superhero" who fell flat, man. Cowell's got more embarrassing off-shore action going on than David Cameron's Dad. Blighty hasn't run out of rubbish wannabes though, oh no. Step forward Peter with his "handmade sonic machines" who sounded like Brian Eno after a lobotomy. An obvious turkey, Pete even performed in a tinfoil mask. Natalie Hunt, a "vegetable entertainer" (turnip in), did a Star Wars tribute with Leek Skywalker but was buzzed off before she could get to Maz Kanata's kumquat.
Cute kids abounded, like break-dancing Paisley, 10, and singer Beau, 13, who wowed the crowd with a powerful rendition of Defying Gravity. Daft Amanda gave her a golden ticket. Why? She's an obvious finalist. George, 11, delivered weak jokes with supreme confidence – so naturally David Walliams loved him. The best home-grown adult acts were impressionist Darren, Lucy and her trick dog Trip Hazard, and those foot-juggling brothers.
As usual ITV snubbed grown-up comedians completely. If British entertainment talent is drying up, then TV bosses are entirely to blame. They neutered variety, deliberately slammed the door on blue collar comics and in the process all but killed the clubs.
As a result TV has stand-ups who run marathons or front science shows but can't manage the basic business of making families laugh. Yet many viewers prefer their comedy to have the creak of the pier, the punch of the working man's clubs, or the down-to-earth joy of the holiday camps. Either the BGT producers don't know where to look or they just don't want to find them.
AFTER sex do you a) go to sleep b) go home to your spouse or c) go to the front of the bus? If you answered c, you're perfect for Sex Box, C4's bad taste vehicle for attention-seeking exhibitionists. Couples enter the box, enter each other and then chat about it awkwardly. It's cheap voyeurism thinly disguised as education, but it's not without joys. Courtney gave Julian a naked massage but wouldn't allow penetration. "I think he found it really hard," she confided. Can you blame him? While Faye said losing her lesbian virginity to Kayleigh put her "in the deep end"; which sounds like the best end to be in. Not that the shallow end is to be sniffed at, I'm sure. But what if a bloke does a Tavares and it only takes a minute? They can't leave straight away, that'd be embarrassing. They could kill time playing games, but there's not much scope for I-Spy in that box. Once you've done bed, pillow and duvet, that's pretty much it. Mariella's Sex Box was disappointingly dry. The new series, fronted by Goedele Liekens and smirking Steve Jones is looser but fails to grip.
*TYPICAL, when these bums bonk in a box it's "bold and progressive". When I do it, it's a life-time ban from Hobbycraft.
*I STILL say Mismatched Celebrity Sex Box is the way forward: "Megan McKenna, meet your ride for tonight... John McCrirrick... "
TV quiz. Can you tell which of these quotes are from Drive and which are from Sex Box? 1) "Shall we make a pact we don't bang each other?" 2) "Angus is coming up the inside fast." 3) "It's so uncomfortable." 4) "You've got to get stuck in." 5) "What they will be able to feel is a whack up the back." Trick question! They're all from Drive.
*DRIVE is yet another show where celebs risk life, limb and dignity for a scintilla of air-time. It can't be long before we get All-Star Mercenaries where desperate has-beens join real dogs of war in global hot-spots: "That's Russell Grant there boarding the Somali pirates' vessel... and oh I don't think that was in the stars... "
*DRIVE has banger racing, F1, autocross... if it's recommissioned, I hear celebs will face the ultimate motoring challenge: to get through London's Blackwall Tunnel at rush hour averaging more than 2mph.
*WHAT'S muckier, Drive or the contents of Vernon's hard drive?
HOT on TV: Sophie Okonedo, Undercover... Amazing Allison, Penn & Teller: Fool Us... Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead.
ROT on TV: Drive – car crash viewing... Cherish Finden, Bake Off Crème de la Crud... Stewart Lee – a humour tumour... Home Fires – no spark... The Aliens – beam it off, Scotty.
MARCELLA started with Anna Friel naked and then went downhill. The cliché-ridden show has two fresh twists. DS Marcella has black-outs during which she goes violently nuts... kind of bad cop, worse cop, not much cop. And the serial killer suffocates his victims with a plastic bag – a 5p murder weapon for a two-bob script "London Noir"? More London Nah.
*NEGAN beat one of our heroes to death with his baseball bat, Lucille, on The Walking Dead. There hasn't been such unpleasant squelching and screaming since Nessa got off with Smithy on Gavin & Stacey. We don't know who copped it, but is there any chance Negan and Lucille could nip over and sort out Tracy Barlow?
*LOVE is in the air for Liz on Corrie. Hurrah. Normally it's just her legs.
SMALL Joys of TV: comedy magician Mac King's guinea pig eating trick on Penn & Teller's show. Frankie Boyle claiming he has a body "like a dropped lasagne". Milton Jones. Plebs' Ska soundtrack. Bella Dayne's smile. The "spies' goodbye" on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
RANDOM irritations: a dull, smug 2014 Mock The Week series billed as "the return of the topical comedy". EastEnders holding a half-marathon on a working Monday. Vernon Kaye pronouncing banger as "ban-ger". Newsnight blowing thousands to debate Justin Bieber's hair. BGT's "Rainbow Elvis" – return to sender.
TV questions: when people say Amanda Holden has film star looks do they mean Frozen? Had BGT's belly-dancers been micro-chipped? Why hasn't Corrie's bistro got a dishwasher? Could Michael Ball's jokes at the Oliviers fallen any flatter? Only if he'd sat on them... FATHER & Secret Daughter: Gordon Ramsay and this rather butch female detective on Marcella? (NOTE: ABOUT 13MINS IN) THEY were talking about an Albanian iron dish on Saturday Kitchen when the voice-over said: "After 20 minutes the pecker had done its job." S.James of Romford wins £35 for that howler. Keep 'em coming to the address at the top of the page.
April 3. We lost an hour last weekend, and another two if you watched Maigret. Rowan Atkinson made the French super-sleuth seem about as inspiring as Troyes AC away. His miserable Maigret looked permanently on the brink of tears. But then he had read the script...
Maigret Sets A Trap opened with the Chief Inspector on the ropes. A serial killer had plagued Paris for five months, downing tall brunettes like Russell Brand on a bender. With four murders and everyone on Maigret's back, the pipe-puffing detective hatched a plan that even Baldrick would struggle to describe as cunning. He faked an arrest and sent a dozen tall dark-haired WPC decoys wandering the streets of Montmartre after dark until the fiend struck again. And he did, nearly topping Marthe Jusserand who mercifully fought him off, tearing some fabric from his suit in the process.
This was enough to narrow the search down to mummy's boy artist Marcel Moncin who Maigret seemed to identify by instinct alone. "You sure this is the man, chief?" asked a cop. "Yes," Maigret replied. Yeah, thanks for that. But another woman was killed while Moncin was banged up. Was he innocent, or was there an accomplice? Maigret suspected Moncin's domineering mum, but it turned out to be his tall, brunette wife... who, having undermined the charges, oddly just confessed.
Maigret's shtick is he gets inside the mind of the criminal. His cases are intellectual puzzles... which don't translate into gripping TV that easily. He has no Watson to play off. He just sucks his pipe and ponders. Ponderously. So his appeal resides largely in the actor playing him. Michael Gambon brought subtle humour to the part, the very quality that Atkinson goes out of his way to avoid. Like Rupert Davies before him, Gambon's burlier Maigret was affable and authoritative, just as he is in the original Georges Simenon novels.
I'm not sure why ITV booked our most elastic-featured clown for the job and then made him play him so po-faced and sullen. But then I'm not sure why they're hooked on snail-paced detective sagas either. If they can go back to '50s Paris for Maigret, why not '70s London for Regan and Carter? When the BBC did that with Gene Hunt, their Regan tribute act, they had a monster smash on their hands.
TO cash in on the US election race, Comedy Central resurrected their 2011 Roast of Donald Trump. Yank comedians treated the Republican hopeful's ego like Phil Mitchell treated the Walford car-lot. Trump was "the second worst tragedy ever to hit New York City"; he'd put up "more worthless hotels than an autistic kid playing Monopoly" and "disappointed more women than Sex In The City 2". Larry King dubbed him "an American success story", who "put his shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone... borrowed $6billion from his father and started a career". Ouch. No wonder the TV debates didn't faze him. Donald may come across like Mussolini with the world's worst comb-over, but he's electrified this election, galvanising millions of disaffected voters and outraging liberal opinion. The downside is he's made Hillary Clinton, the chief cheerleader for the Libyan disaster, seem electable.
IS there a worse cooking show on TV than Gok's Lunchbox? If you have to ask you can't have seen Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. This joyless spinoff does for baking what Pine did to Jed all night long in The Night Manager finale. Over-wrought and over-done, the show has less warmth than Vernon Kay's marital bed last week. It serves up charmless chefs, an incomprehensible Frenchman and nearly as much swearing as The Island. No wonder Mary swerved it. The ridiculous voice-over doesn't help. One team were described as "an elite unit", "secrets agents of the pastry world" who'd "honed their dazzling skills in secret restaurants none of us will ever enter". How exciting. Where, chaps? Bilderberg? Hogwarts? MI6 HQ? Nope. Just some faceless finance firms in the City. Gertcha.
HOT on TV: Line Of Duty – more twists than Quasimodo's braces... The Night Manager finale... Louise Peterhoff, Blue Eyes.
ROT on TV: Jeremy Kyle... Maigret – mais non... Can't Touch This – can't watch this... Two Doors Down – two fingers up... Stewart Lee – self-indulgent tosh.
HOW did Pine's strides dry so quickly after he drowned Freddie on The Night Manager? "Coz he's super-hot!" a thousand female fans answer as one. The finale was on fire, even if the Beeb did nick the new ending from The Long Good Friday. In the book, Roper loses Jed but keeps his millions and his freedom; which seems a more likely outcome. Followed no doubt by a seat in the Lords...
*POSSIBLE spin-offs for Pine & Jed: From Roper With Love. Missionary Impossible. Eyeful. Dr Yes. Tinker, Nail-Her, Todger, Thigh...
*ISN'T there a whiff of hypocrisy about the BBC axing Beth Morris from The Voice for cocaine use when a) Boy George is on the panel b) most classic rock bands were bang on it (and worse) and c) they know full well that a sniffer dog would throw a fit backstage at their British Music Awards?
*MORE top tunes on The A Word from Elvis Costello, Julian Cope and The Damned. I'm not convinced a 5 year-old boy (or even his middle-aged parents) would love such antique gems, but one thing's for sure: he'd clearly make a better X Factor judge than Louis Walsh.
*A NEW band on EastEnders. Gawd help us! The last one spawned Something Outa Nothing, a 1986 hit that was as horrifying as Phil Mitchell's liver scan.
*IS Lisa Lampanelli called "a shock comic" because of her gob or because of the trauma caused when some poor sod accidentally saw her naked?
SMALL Joys of TV: ITV subtitles celebrating the Queen's marriage to the "Duck of Edinburgh". The Snooker Mavericks (ITV4). Billy Connolly's Tracks Across America. Rob Beckett. Leon Etienne's legs on Penn & Teller Fool Us – magic. Seeing my own picture on Pointless... and not being pointless.
RANDOM irritations: EastEnders ruining Mick Carter. Izzy's Reefer Madness on Corrie. Dynamo's dismal lack of stage presence. And misunderstandings... when I prayed for Katie to keep me awake all night I meant Price, not a poxy storm. It could've been worse, though. It could've been Hopkins.
TV questions: who decided Sue Perkins was funny and does any evidence exist? Donald Trump has sold steaks; wouldn't Trump candyfloss make more sense? It'd be like eating his hair. How does the Lake District, with 16.5million visitors a year, qualify as "Secret Britain"?
TV Maths. Phil "The Power" Taylor + Tweety bird = Corrie's Phelan.
SEPARATED at birth: Denis Leary and Guy Martin? One recklessly risks his life (by chain smoking); the other rides a motorbike.