Garry Bushell
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Aug 28. WHAT a magnificent eviction on TV last week – but enough about Mad Dog Gadaffi (Big Brother, Libya). Back in the UK, Sally Bercow was the first out of our own celeb house, which was, on balance, a shame. Granted the Speaker’s wife was only there to dish the dirt on MPs which she comprehensively failed to do; but she did cause a stink of a different kind by allegedly breaking wind like a dray-horse on Guinness.

Apparently the stench was so bad it temporarily flattened Jedward’s hair.

Sal had real irritant potential, though. I couldn’t disagree with her politics more, but anyone who annoys the Coalition can’t be all bad. And at least she had the guts to confront people and stand her ground rather than bitch about them behind their backs like a gutless weasel.

That’s right, I’m talking about You, Bobby-Who. In fairness to the unknown model, he did accurately sum up big-headed Darryn as “a big fat f*** with abs on the outside... an absolute pr*ck... a total fake.” And if he’d done it to his face it would have been worth seeing. Ditto his thoughts on Kerry Katona (“a f***ing bonehead”), although fair and reasonable, were wasted when spoken solely to the camera. Katona is even more deluded than Darryn. She reckons she can’t find a guy cos men “can’t handle” her status; her status being that of a walking talking car-crash. The woman almost makes Amy Childs seem bright. Almost.

At least not winning this series might bring Kerry down a peg or two, because tragically the clear favourites here are Jedward. Kids and cretins love these talentless buffoons because they’re 19 going on nine. They run about like Thing One and Thing Two from the Cat In The Hat, spilling coleslaw, causing havoc, giving Amy a wedgie, sharing a bath-tub (that’s so wrong)... they’re a nightmare. Big Brother decided to electrocute them during the week – shocking, the voltage was far too low.

Tearful Tara and past-it Pam are as useless as Lucien. So is it any wonder that I find myself drawn to incoherent, two-fisted traveller, Paddy Doherty? In a rare moment of clarity, silly sausage Paddy provided the quote of the series advising Laviscount to “get a mare and service it.” He’s an outsider, but the big gypsy gets my vote. Come on Paddy! Chin someone!

*SMALL joys of Celebrity Big Brother: Amy persecuted by a giant pigeon. Tara Reid peanut-smuggling. And ‘Pharoah’ Al Fayed - just as well he didn’t slip Jedward Viagra. They’d have played hoopla with the ring donuts. There wouldn’t have been a cuddly toy safe.

I also take my hat off to long-legged, lantern-jawed self-publicist Sally for saying she wanted to “stick two fingers up to the Establishment” (that’s the Establishment she’s married to!) and proving she’s her own woman by riding to fame on her husband’s tiny coat-tails.

*PAM’S surname is Bach-Hasselhoff, or Bach-Hoff for short. Apt, cos when she starts banging on that’s exactly what people tend to do.

*DARRYN reckons his Mutant Turtle abs are “the male equivalent of a boob job”. Hmm. Aren’t insecure men more likely to opt for a penis enlargement? Darryn couldn’t have one of those, obviously, because there couldn’t be a bigger cock. To quote Bernard Manning: “there’s no end to this pr*ck.”

*NEW name for sweat-stunt Bobby: the Wizard of Ooze.

SOME strange parallels between Doctor Who and The X Factor. With the Doc you fear The Silence, in X Factor you’re often grateful for it. Then there’s the far-fetched scary monsters (Daleks, Kitty Brucknell); the fascination with by-gone tyrants (Hitler, Cowell), the sense that we’ve seen it all before... Last night’s Doctor Who managed to ‘sample’ Fantastic Voyage, Time Police and Batman villainess Poison Ivy, waste the whole Hitler storyline and still make as much sense as Jedward.

*TULISA is furious over a fake sex film. Me too. Why can’t she make a real one?

HOT on X Factor: The Keys, Misha, Biscuit Factory Boy, and Johnny Robinson - the geezer who looked like Charles Hawtry at the start. ROT: Bromance. They promised to be “fun”, you’d have more fun on bromide. And Duos – they thought they were “Jay Z and Beyonce”, and were actually more like Lay Z and Beyond-belief.

*Apt for Abs-crazy Kelly. Kelly Rowland is very nearly an anagram for Rankly Lewd LOL.

*I BET Caroline Flack liked the kid from Burger King. They’ve got something in common: double whoppers.

ON EastEnders, Heather’s banner read, ‘Heather 4 George 4 Ever I.D.S.T.’ Given the lesbian location, did those initials stand for ‘If Dyke, Still True’ or ‘I’d Do Shirl Too’? Lovely girl, Hev, a perfect ten – on the Richter scale. Somehow she pulled the equally gormless Andrew (the great Ricky Grover, reduced to this!) He wooed her at a Sarfend funfair. Apt. Humping Hefty Heather must be just like a funfair ride: you pray it’s over quickly, then you dismount and throw up.

HOT on TV: Strike Back Project Dawn (Sky1)... Mount Pleasant (Sky1)... Sons Of Anarchy (5 USA)... Harry’s Arctic Heroes.

ROT on TV: Fiz (Corrie) – Prisoner Cell Block Ham... Epic Win – a wet You Bet... Derryn’s ‘eight-pack’ – tum-thing stupid; he looks dafter with his shirt off than he did dressed as the Tin Man.

SHOW Me The Funny was badly cast and poorly paced, with more padding than a tranny’s bra. But the best man won. Pat Monahan finally showed that he’s got the gags to match his charisma. He has real promise. Be careful what telly you do, though, Pat. They’ll burn you up and spit you out. Success won’t guarantee loyalty. Look how ITV treated Benny Hill and Freddie Starr. Poor old Des O’Connor must sit at home watching Mel and Gino and weep. It’s a fickle business.

*I loved Pat’s gags about having an Irish Dad and an Iranian Mum: “We spent most of our family holidays in Customs. They met in Geneva... at an arms fair.”

*HOT at Edinburgh: Terry Alderton, barking mad Bob Slayer, Benet Brandreth – yeah, son of Giles, but don’t hold that against him.

*C4 say Londoners are most likely to have sex on railway trains, which brings new meaning to train horns. Talk about Merger on the Orient Express. No wonder season ticket prices are so high. I remember when the only thing that got blown on the railways was the station master’s whistle.

*THEY’VE got a new alien on Falling Skies – tall, lanky and stretched like an Alberto Giacometti sculpture. Experts believe they are Peters from the planet Crouch.

*IS Gavin Henson the best man to be The Bachelor? Giggsy would have bedded them all by now. And their sisters.

*FANTASY TV schedule: The Man Who Cross-Dressed Hitler, A Night Without Will Young, Epic Wind – the Sally Bercow Story.

Small Joys of TV: Bobby Ball (Mount Pleasant). Angela Griffin in stockings (pleasant mount). Trace Adkins’s voice (Celebrity Apprentice USA). Vintage Freddie Starr clips (My Favourite Joke). Tiff Stevenson. Late night Hill Street Blues re-runs. American – The Bill Hicks Story.

Random Irritations: Newsnight’s mean-spirited, muddle-headed attack on the England cricket team. The hidden snobbery behind the anti “junk food”  campaign.  My Family - doing for comedy what Hurricane Irene did for Branson’s holiday home.

SEPARATED at birth: Saif Gaddafi and Karl Pilkington – one an internationally-renowned moron, the other some dim-bulb from Manchester.

TV mysteries: BBC1 controller Danny Cohen has an annual budget of £1.1billion. Why can’t he make a decent sitcom? Why is it easier for crackpot Goldie Cheung to get TV exposure than a genuinely sensational singer like Saint Jude’s Lynne Jackaman? Why has there never been a British crime saga to match the depth and reality of The Sopranos? It’s not like we lack the acting talent.

*THE Truth About Cheryl Cole? So-so singer, rubbish taste in men.

*GAGS that deserved an airing on My Favourite Joke: Bob Monkhouse’s mating eagles. Bernard Manning’s Prince Philip and the pandas. Frank Carson’s “I think I’ll risk one eye.”

Aug 21. OVER on Big Brother, celebrity simpleton Amy Childs was filling in Jedward about fellow housemate Sally Bercow. “I think she owns the House of Commons,” Amy explained. “She owns it with her husband.” Ah, that’ll be Mr. Speaker, John Bercow, MP. “What’s an MP?” asked one of Jedward. (Good question. In my experience, Mostly Plasticine...)

There’s no mistaking this show for Great Thinkers of the 21st Century but it’s delivered more laughs in two days than the entire series of Show Me The Funny. Highlights have included Bonkers Bercow discussing feminism with Paddy Doherty, and poor befuddled Tara Reid trying to make sense of what anyone else was saying. She couldn’t have looked more baffled if she’d stumbled into the bar on Babylon 5 without a universal translator. After just ten minutes with Paddy and Kerry Katona, she was slurring like Kerry on This Morning - although that might just have been the tranquillisers kicking in.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any madder, Mohammad Al-Fayed rolled up yesterday dressed as a Pharaoh to give them all the (Cleopatra’s) needle.

Some viewers were puzzled by the booking of Bobby Sabel – yes, THE Bobby Sabel – and assumed producers Endemol were making like Gerald Depardieu and taking the piss in public. But surely booking Darryn Lyons is even more ridiculous. The self-styled ‘Mr Paparazzi’ looks exactly like Mel Smith when he dressed up to play a punk on Not The Nine O’Clock News. A bad joke.

This format is stronger than any questionable contestant, though. Statuesque Sally is a great wild card whose appearance could well scupper her marriage and her husband’s career. (A shame – he winds up the Coalition). Pam Bach-Hasselhoff looks likely to be loopy too. “I’m Knockers,” she told fellow housemates. (Hasn’t d-cup dimbo Amy got more right to that nickname?) And surely it won’t be too long before Kerry is telling Lyons to poke his camera where Kinga Karolczak didn’t stick her wine bottle? I’m not sure if Al-Fayed will inspire anyone to join the Nile High Club but there is more potential for meltdown here than in a d-i-y Sudanese power plant.

*JOHN Bercow wouldn’t do CBB. It’s beneath him. He’s hanging on for Seven Dwarves...

*Alleged celeb Lucien is described as being “from Waterloo Road”. Not the show, the bus depot.

*Flash Frankie was the first to audition on X Factor last night, and the first to my knowledge to show the judges his backside. The teenage Jack the Lad has tattoos of all of his conquests across his bum cheeks. He sang ‘Valerie’, who isn’t there yet, and was voted through immediately – not the first time Louis has eagerly said yes to a young hopeful baring his buttocks. Walsh is the only old-school judge left. Kelly and Tulisa are already better value than Danni and Cheryl; and Gary Barlow has slipped effortlessly into the Simon Cowell role. He has the same honesty, without the grating god complex. Gary alone was unimpressed by Chinese crackpot Goldie who draped a leg over his shoulder, and is known henceforth as Goldie No-Horn. Or Tina Stomach-Turner. She also showed the judges her posterior, bending over to do up her laces. So, on show one, we got two bums... and an arsehole. Take a bow George, a fog-horn voiced moron who abused Tulisa and provoked Kelly into Chelsea Shed ‘who-wants-it?’ gestures. And you never got that with Nina Myskow.

* BUM note: the hidden cameras ITV has set up in the make-up room. That’s just creepy.

EXCITING times on EastEnders where Vanessa was runaway winner of last week’s ‘Who’s Crazier than Mad Jean?’ contest. Cut-up over Max’s betrayal, the poor love screamed like a banshee and smashed up her home. What a performance! At one point Vanessa became so agitated her hair almost moved. I can’t have been the only one watching these extraordinary scenes thinking, “I wish Harry Hill was back on.” Or indeed, all this for a bloke who looks like a human baked bean? Max treated her with a degree of love and tenderness normally associated with the Gallagher brothers or Joey Barton. If she’d played join-the-dots with the freckles on his chest, they’d have actually spelt: ‘Piss off Vanessa.’ Now she’s taking cash to come on to Eddie. But why does she need money so desperately? Her old man was loaded. We can only assume her assets are frozen. It’d certainly explain why Max went back to Tanya.

C4’s Sex Education Show asked us to consider the practice of sexting. This is where people (teenagers, Ashley Cole, US politicians) text women they’ve just met naked pictures of their genitals. And they say romance is dead. I suppose in the old days they’d have just asked her to trace it. Let’s hope Richard Arnold never does this. No-one wants to see his vagina.

HOT on TV: Wilfred (BBC3)... Kelly Rowland (X Factor)... Celebrity Big Brother (C5) – the horror, the horror!

ROT on TV: Anyone For Demis? - NO... Lewis – DC Listless... Tonight’s The Night – we go out... Sue Perkins on Bake-Off – although in fairness there’s always been something about her that cried out master baker.

*MOST ideas on Dragons’ Den stink like that indoor toilet for dogs. But when a true visionary comes on – like Dan who wanted companies to provide unlimited booze for employees for £15 a week – they blank him. If only he’d got them tipsy first... I mean, how hammered must Peter Jones have been when he invested in Hamfatter?

*UNRELIABLE booze secrets of Dragons’ Den: Hilary’s shoulder-pads contain working optics and a fag dispenser. Evan Davis’s ‘Prince Albert’ is actually a bottle opener...

*EVERY hour spent watching TV takes 22 minutes off your life, a study suggests. At that rate, by my reckoning I died in April 1997.

*I’M shocked, I’m appalled. That’s 22 minutes I could have wasted on Twitter.

*THE Glorious 39. Not to be confused with Kelly Brook. She’s a glorious 34E.

RANDOM irritations: Sky’s lifeless football commentators – come back Andy Gray all is forgiven. Led Zep riffs on X Factor. Torchwood: badly-written, poorly-acted, pointlessly stretched out ham. Miracle Day? The miracle will be the day it ends.

Small Joys of TV: Max (Seven Dwarves). Dame Edna. Tess Daly’s “exorcism” (Shooting Stars). Guerrilla sportsmen on Concrete Circus – I haven’t seen anything this joyous, beautiful and potentially dangerous since Pamela Anderson jogged along Baywatch beach in slo-mo.

BOB Mortimer (Shooting Stars): “True or false, Cheryl Cole’s music is not as entertaining as her divorce.” True!

*ARE you liking Melanie Sykes’s boob job? She’s Melon-y Sykes now.

A BIG shock on Corrie: Roy Cropper's full English is still £2.95 and that includes a cup of splosh. How does he do it? Other mysteries: has there ever been a show that Jason Manford’s agent said no to? And why isn't Genesis P-Orridge ever on Psychic TV?

Aug 18. Amy Childs, Jedward, Paddy Doherty, Kerry Katona... is this Celebrity Big Brother or a Mastermind Convention? Brian Cox must be kicking himself for missing out on this. The show is like a cross between an A-list Hollywood party and the Algonquin round table. We can only imagine the complex issues they’ll be discussing - largely because most of these no-marks are in urgent need of subtitles. (And on-screen captioning to remind who they are). “Catastrophic success” is a term being used about the Libyan war, meaning we have no idea what fresh nightmares victory could bring. Similarly there’s no telling what effect prolonged exposure to these nitwits will have on the British public. You thought Tottenham was bad. Just wait for the Katona riots. Some viewers were puzzled by the surprise entrance of unknowns like Bobby Sabel and Lucien Who-he. I’m more annoyed that I had to listen to ‘Swagger Jagger’ as Kerry arrived. And that no-one thought to unsettle Jedward with the surprise addition of Barrymore in the pool. Or some hungry piranhas. With any luck, Paddy will tarmac them.

*I’D like to infiltrate the show and announce: “This is Big Brother, your new housemate is Anders Breivik. You have two minutes to hide...” Trouble is half of them would think he used to play for Arsenal.

Aug 14. THE Borgias has sex, violence, depravity and betrayal. It’s basically the IMF in fancy dress. These guys make The Tudors look like Girl Scouts. It kicked off in 1492 with suave but ruthless Rodrigo Borgia (bottom-patting enthusiast Jeremy Irons) as the man who puts the God in godfather. Rod has the ambition of Piers Morgan but isn’t quite as detestable.

Despite being a cardinal, he has a bird on the side, and four love children, including Lucretia (the poisoner). Sadly there is no Georgia Borgia. When he isn’t lusting and a-thrusting, he is bribing and bullying in a bid to become Pope. The old one, Innocent III, is dying in a sea of wickedness. “Which of you will wash it clean?” he gasps. (Dirty boy). Certainly not Borgia, who swiftly has rival Derek Jacobi topped. Those Ten Commandments, so passé don’tcha think?

Elevated to Pope Alexander, he immediately takes another mistress. Imagine that confession: “Father, I have sinned...and you were great!” You wouldn’t be too surprised if he opens the first Vatican lap-dancing club. But on the plus side at least no-one has molested a choir boy. Yet.

The Borgias are ruthless and powerful, a family who bend the rules, achieve much and are suspected of getting away with considerably more – a kind of 15th century version of the Murdochs. Under threat from holy rivals, Rod recruits his eldest sons to the firm. Sicko Cesare, who has a thing for his 12-year-old sister, Lucrezia, is made a cardinal, brother Juan gets to run the Papal armies. And poor Lucrezia is married off to horrible middle-aged Giovanni Sforza who rapes her. Nice. It’s the everyday story of utter bastards. It’s not Spartacus, but the show is already more gripping than wash-out Camelot with its drippy king, magic-free Merlin, ham acting and daft dialogue. And it’s ten times better than the Beeb’s ropy 1981 version, said to have killed off costume drama for a decade.

*JEREMY Irons says women like having their bums patted, but what they enjoy even more, Jel, is having their breasts honked like horns. Try it on Janet Street-Porter. She’ll love it.

EXPERT Joy got very excited about that sperm whale on Inside Nature’s Giants. “Look at the penis, it’s coming out!” she squealed. It was hard to miss - it was the size of a baby seal. “It’s completely flexible,” Joy enthused. “A penis that can penetrate from about any position.” Talk about Moby dick! We call it the Ryan Giggs, she sadly didn’t add. No wonder female whales do so much long, low moaning.

HAS TV comedy ever been as joyless as it is now? BBC1’s My Favourite Joke is about as much use as showing looters the Naughty Step. Viewing figures for ITV’s feeble Show Me The Funny are dipping like a champion pick-pocket. While John Bishop seems to have run out of material entirely and is coasting through his depressingly lazy show by remembering things. Vinyl singles, semolina, rickets...those were the days... Funnily enough I remember when Bishop didn’t need to rely on lazy nostalgia, a cranked-up laugh track, and the mundane memories of people we don’t give two hoots about. When Saturday night telly was worth watching. And Runcorn accents sounded less absurdly exaggerated.

*AT least Shooting Stars is back - a gloriously barking, laugh-out-loud barrage of nonsense with its roots in the Goons, cartoons and, judging by those tights, Max Wall. Let there be no end to your schtick, Vic.

HOT on TV: Shooting Stars... Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)... Soccer Saturday.

ROT on TV: Let’s Do Lunch – only if you use the Lucretia Borgia cook book... Camelot – yawn-a-lot... John Bishop’s Britain – the London riots erupted after show one. Coincidence?

BBC News continued referring to looters as ‘protestors’ long after TV footage proved otherwise. Like many an aging revolutionary, they were desperate to give “the uprising” (Lee Jasper) a right-on spin. But these opportunist thieves, arsonists and thugs – children of the dependency culture - were not interested in storming any Bastille. In his blue print for the Welfare State, Beveridge wrote of the ‘abolition of want’. It partially worked. Kids don’t want a job or responsibility any more but they still want a plasma screen telly, as long as they don’t have to pay for it.

*NO riot down my way – there’s nothing here to loot. There are so many boarded-up windows in our high street the window cleaners use sanders.

*ONE in four people has made love at work, according to The Sex Education Show. Must be fun in casinos: “I see that, and I raise it...”

*ONE of the judges on the Canadian version of Dragons’ Den is known as Mr Lube, which I believe is also Hayley Cropper’s bedroom pet name for Royston.

*LOVED Morgan on Camelot. Imagine being married to a shape-changer. You could bed a different woman every night without ever cheating. Problems would only arise when you fall out and she sentences you to spend a fortnight with Harriet Harman.

*JUNE Brown, 84, is the oldest person ever to trace her ancestry on the licence payers’ bill. Any older and they’d have had to have called the show, Who Did You Think You Were Dear? Have a word with Sister, she’ll remind you.

*MAX will break Vanessa’s heart on EastEnders. No surprise there. The man has let down more women than Sex & The City 2.

*WOULD Jack really object to Max’s affair with Tanya on moral grounds? And not, say, because the mad cow BURIED HIM ALIVE?

*IT was Cockney night in the Queen Vic. They had pie, mash and eels. But where was the pudding? No idea, Heather’s been missing for yonks.

*AFTER C4 celebrated some of the best of 90s comedy, let’s proudly salute the worst: It’s Ulrika, Brighton Belles, Eddie Izzard’s Cows...

*MAN Utd beat City because they wear red, claimed Horizon. OK, now explain Charlton Athletic’s last five seasons.

RANDOM irritations: Marcia, Corrie’s ‘comedy’ transvestite – make it stop! Sarah Beeny, cliché queen. My Favourite Joke. What kind of idiot commissions a show about jokes where the gags are constantly interrupted by talking heads? Clearly one who doesn’t know that the secret to comedy is. Timing.

Small Joys of TV: beach volley ball practice sessions. Max Branning always sounding like he’s wearing high heels. It’s Marty Feldman. James Martin being the butt of Vic & Bob’s jokes, or rather his butt being the butt.

SERIES four of Baywatch is out on DVD. What a show! A billion people watched it and the only production costs were sun-tan lotion, swimming costumes and a handful of silicone implants. Quite a handful though...

*MORE new names for Candy Bar Girls: Even Looser Women, Ate Out Of Ten Tw*ts, Butch Cavity & The Lap-Dance Kid...

Aug 8. By heck, it’s Cruella De Till! Hilary Devey’s debut on Dragons’ Den sparked 101 comparisons to the cold-hearted Disney villainess. All over Britain, blueprints for Dalmatian skinning devices and puppy-napping machines were hastily drawn up to pitch on future shows. But Hils isn’t Cruella at all. She’s easily the most human dragon here. When one woman got tongue-tied and flustered in the middle of her pitch, and the others started rolling their eyes and tutting like soap opera drama queens, Hilary was quick to encourage her. She actually cares about the poor sods and their small dreams.

Hurricane Hilary arrived sporting vast white Alexis Carrington-style shoulder-pads as big as Pete Jones’s head. She looked more interesting than James Caan had ever done before she’d even said a word. And when she did speak – in a voice like Jack Duckworth on sixty roll-ups a day – I liked her even more. She told one obvious time-waster: “Ooh, you would make my foot itch, you would.” And showcased her catchphrase, “Where there’s muck, there’s luck.” Hilary made her millions distributing pallets. Possibly manually. She seems as down-to-earth as she is warm and smart. It’s hard to imagine her blowing £75K on Hamfatter.

Most of the pitches stank like Fish Town. The lamest was the ‘sit and slim’ chair. You sit down, listen to a tape, and lose weight. Of course you do. But unless the message was ‘Oi, fatty, drop the chip butty and go for a run’ it was likely to work as well as the Euro bail-out. What next, smoke your way to full lung capacity?

I liked Chilean circus act Rodrigo, the human cannonball. “What are the projected figures?” asked Hilary. Sadly, he didn’t think to reply “Me!” (Even sadder, no-one else said, “You’re fired!”) Perhaps afraid he was being upstaged, Duncan threw a hissy fit when a roofer with a booming solar panel business tried to trade rival dragons off against each other – like any businessman would. The guy should count himself lucky that grumpy Duncy didn’t put a price on his head. Or even worse, his hair transplant.

*DUNCAN Bannatyne offered £50,000 to anyone who breaks the arms of an internet blackmailer. Shame Theo didn’t offer to split the money in return for 51 per cent control of the pain...

*THAT human cannonball, do you think he gets air miles?

*ALI pitched the Warm-a-horn covering for brass instruments. They could do with Warn-a-horn in Weatherfield, a device for drunken men that sounds an alarm if aroused in the vicinity of a passing transvestite.

THE Panorama booze special was disturbing; I needed ten pints of Stella to get to sleep after that. TV health warnings are now so OTT you’d think one sniff of a barmaid’s apron could make your liver implode ten years down the line. What tosh. Excessive drinking is a risk, of course, but puritanical scare-mongering isn’t the answer. The best way to encourage sensible drinking is to slash the duty on beer. That would hit spirit sales, revive our struggling pubs and boost the economy. Cheers!

GAIL was happily singing Firework on Corrie - until she realised her darling son had brought home an old banger. Becky and Nick were always destined to last as long as a Poundland Catherine wheel, but her brief ride on his pocket rocket was enough to light Steve’s touch-paper. He called up Beth, once a glamorous model, for a date. Ten years on, she looked more like Mimi Maguire, and her blob of a son was a malignant joy. Remember when the Street was always this much fun?

*CORRIE “reflects modern concerns”, claim ITV. Yes, but only when it suits them. We’ll see Jennie McAlpine on Inside The Actors Studio before we get a storyline about northern grooming gangs or the EU. Once the soap covered strikes and CND; now the only issue they care about is sexuality. They’ve had seven gay characters recently in one backstreet, plus ‘Marcia’ and Hayley. Obsessive, or what? Yet outside of media and political circles, experts estimate that only one in 100 people is homosexual – the same percentage as wife-swappers. More people have tried bondage. Imagine if today’s writers had got their claws into Ena and Minnie, happen things would have got a lot snugger in that snug. Tongues would wag. Probably.

*IF you have a Hayley-style operation and it doesn’t work, do you go off half-cocked?

*IMAGINE if she’d had a skin-full and woke up forgetting she’d had the op... I get flustered when I can’t find my car keys.

*THE BBC is accused of portraying a tribe as violent, sex-crazed savages. Well, that’s EastEnders for you.

HOT on TV: Hilary Devey (Dragons’ Den)... Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay (Entourage)... Mob Stories (Sky Atlantic).

ROT on TV: Summer telly – duller than Ed Miliband’s holiday reading... Sky One’s supermarket sitcom Trollied – eight jokes or fewer... The Hour – its ratings are collapsing like an asthmatic Meatloaf.

*SOOTY has apologised for dropping Paul Daniels with a pizza. But will Paul exercise his right to Soo? Izzy, wizzy, let’s get jiggy...

*WHY all the fuss? It was about time Sooty picked on someone his own size.

*YOU know what’s worse than seeing a skiving policewoman on Total Wipeout? Seeing your Gran naked on The Sex Education Show.

*HEATHER Mills is back! Falling Skies has probably convinced her there was room on TV for another terrifying predator with leg issues.

*THE USA has Cowboys & Aliens. C5’s Thursday night line-up trumps that: Cowboys & Lesbians.

*YOU lose 250 calories every time you make love, say C4. Not bad. If you’re Hugh Hefner that’s 125 calories a second. Allegedly. (Most fellas burn 50 calories making love and 200 calories begging for it.)

ON EastEnders, Janine has got more spare cash than Obama, Ian is lying like a William Hague press release and Roxy is snogging Tyler. Wooden acting must really turn her on. Am I the only one who cares about Frank the parrot? He didn’t even last as long as poor Corky. Will he end up in Masood’s massalla? Janine doesn’t seem that bothered. But then she’s no stranger to a cockatoo.

*GREAT Walford critters remembered: Wellard the dog, Baby the cat, Marge the hamster, Crush the snake, Chops the pig, Mercy the moose...

*PHIL on Marriage Ref said he ghost-hunts cos “it’s unpredictable”. Yeah, he hunts ghosts, he never finds one. Totally unpredictable.

Random Irritations: the Chicago Code getting cancelled. The laziness of John Bishop’s Britain. That My Life As A Turkey wasn’t the Nick Clegg story.

Small Joys of TV: Stephen King on Sons Of Anarchy. Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) – foxier than J-Lo’s fur coat. Gas men Kyle and Charlie (Undercover Boss) – funnier than most TV comics. Timeshift on funfairs. And this Sherlock exchange: “Meretricious”, “And a happy new year.”

FATHER & secret son: TV’s Charlie Slater and Peter Stead - one a fat waste-of-space with an iffy track record, the other a creep exposed by Crimestoppers. One most wanted, the other least missed.

*TV name of the week: Rudi Lickwood (wasn’t that also Gillian Taylforth’s nickname?)