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.
Aug 30. YOU don’t need to call a fight to find out if Harry Hill’s World Of TV is as funny as TV Burp was. It isn’t. The opening show lacked Burp’s irrepressible cartoon energy. But even so Harry’s montage of festive soap misery – played over The Wombles’ Wombling Merry Xmas – had me in stitches. As did Phil Mitchell setting the Queen Vic a-blaze to the Tales Of The Unexpected theme tune.
The show was driven by old clips, ranging from the spectacular to the plain dull. It seemed odd to feature Crossroads’ Amy Turtle without sharing her proud tradition of fluffed lines, or reminding us of the time she was accused of being Russian spy Amelia Turtlovski... We didn’t even get a glimpse of Benny Hawkins, whose hat was as woolly as his brain, or motel chef Shughie McFee who was referred to but never seen for three years after the producers dismantled the soap’s kitchen set.
Harry recalled antique innuendos, like “boning the quail”, and Corrie’s Frank Barlow asking son Ken, “How do you expect me to get me tackle out?” But he missed recent scripted gems like Claudia saying, of Ken’s swimming, “he likes to slip in a couple of lengths in the afternoon”. Also, Mary’s joy at “squeezing old plums” and Sally talking about her new carpet, “There isn’t a woman alive who doesn’t crave a deeper shag”. Similarly we got Mick Carter endlessly snarling “Shut your marf”, but no classic “Woss goin’ on?”, “We gotta tawk” or “Get ahta my pub.” The EastEnders “two teas” montage was sweet, though. Even Welsh soap Pobol Y Cwm got covered, but only so Harry could take the “pisiad” out of the lingo. There’s enough madness in modern soaps to justify a weekly mickey-take show. Or at least an episode apiece. Medical melodramas go under Harry’s scalpel tonight.
BLIGHTY is full of secret swingers, we’re told. Blimey. How awkward would it be bumping into your Gran at one of their parties? C4 doc Swingers featured the “Liberty Elite” club, near an industrial estate off the A5 near Rugby – the very epitome of elite... Think the Crossroads motel with a pinch less glamour. “We provide a good spread,” promised housekeeper Diane. Yes, cried a million viewers, but what about the grub? She did mention a prawn ring but I forget the context. Raver Siobhan, 67 – “florist by day, porn star by night” – played gooseberry as magnificent Malika and Martyn hit it off. In this topsy-turvy world, hot sex might even lead to dating. Most were damaged. They’d survived broken hearts, abusive relationships, even a gang rape. Once-bulled Hannah wept when she couldn’t pull in the orgy room. But Diane assured us their members were “as nice as the people you meet going to Asda”. Not Tesco’s. Nobody here ever said “Every little helps”.
*FLORIST by day, porn star by night? Blimey. No wonder Siobhan’s speciality is tulips on your organ.
BRITAIN needs the BBC to promote our “voice and values”, claimed Lord Hall, just as the Corporation neutered patriotic Proms favourites... The “impartial” Beeb constantly push a woke agenda. They branded Churchill “racist” in a news bulletin (!), cut Kipling from VJ Day for no good reason, and present hardcore political activists as concerned citizens. They won’t even let EastEnders celebrate St George’s Day. They couldn’t be more divorced from majority values if they tried. Hopelessly biased, the only “voice” the BBC promotes is our feeble elite’s rancid self-loathing. So why are we forced by law to fund them?
*TV question: why doesn’t BBC diversity include the over-60s and the working class?
HOT on TV: Jimmy Anderson... Harry Hill... L’Immortale (SkyAt)... Amanda Peet, Dirty John.
ROT on TV: I Hate Suzie (SkyAt) – I can’t stand a single one of them... A Suitable Boy – as exciting as a stale popadom... Fort Salem – fink again.
SELLING Sunset is property porn + hot women + standard reality TV bitching. I found it disappointing. My daughter told me “you’ve got to see the cute little twins”. Sadly she meant the identical estate agent bosses and not Chrishell in the shower.
*I DON’T mind Gone Fishing but am I alone in yearning for dramas that hit like Povetkin? If ITV re-ran The Sweeney in prime time, they’d clean up.
*LITTLE Birds looks terrific. Imagine how good it’d be if it had a plot. On Tuesday, virgin bride Lily finally got naked with a geezer... and he painted her. What a waste. Tracing I could understand...
*WHEN filming starts on EastEnders, characters will kiss through invisible plastic. Makes sense. You’d have to be sheet-faced to snog Phil Mitchell.
*THOSE clueless zombies on TV last night made me think Derren Brown’s Apocalypse was back. Then I realised I was watching Rolling In It.
SMALL Joys of TV: Cobra Kai (AmPrime). The Fast Show: Just A Load Of Blooming Catchphrases (Gold). Gary Delaney. Whitehouse & Mortimer: Gone Fishing. House Of Games.
RANDOM Irritations: deluded BBC bigwig Tony Hall. Afua Hirsch. That Sun Life ad repeated every ruddy morning. Vanessa Engle air-brushing Tom Watson from the Carl Beech scandal.
*WE’VE had the George Foreman Grill, how about the Greg Wallace Waste Disposal Unit? It’ll swallow anything.
SEPARATED at birth: the Statue of Liberty and Penny Dreadful’s Santa Muerte? One offered hope of a new life, the other shows up when you’re dead.
CLASSIC CLANGER: James Parrack was commentating at the 2015 World Swimming Championship when he said: “Koch out in lane four, Koseki hanging on to it for grim death... and remember, it's only a semi.”
Aug 23. I’VE always given Derren Brown rave reviews, which is worrying. Who’s to say the twisted genius hasn’t hypnotised me? You wouldn’t put it past him. Brown has pulled off more mind-blowing stunts than Evel Knievel. We saw the best of them on 20 Years Of Mind Control: Live, from fleecing the bookies at Walthamstow Dogs to convincing one poor soul he was caught up in a real-life zombie apocalypse. As well as genuine gee-whizz moments like Russian Roulette, Brown throws in “carny tricks” such as walking on glass (a technique); he turns the timid into heroes (hypnosis) and accurately predicts Lotto numbers (no idea). Some stunts feel like Beadle’s About with an A-Level, yet Derren is deadly serious when he exposes fakes – faith healers, “psychics” and other grief ghouls. He’s a world class showman whose performances are powered by intelligence and ambition. But perhaps the greatest magic trick Brown ever pulled off was to convince us he’s not a magician.
The self-styled “psychological illusionist” clearly relies heavily on misdirection, suggestion and sleight of hand... standard tricks of the magic trade. Derren used to do card tricks and upside down painting (like Joe Pasquale does). He closed Sunday’s show with the nail in the cup trick – a live “health and safety nightmare” he promised; but in reality another magician’s favourite, involving surprised charity worker Reanna. Like his pals Penn & Teller, Derren lets us in to some of his secrets – like subliminal messages – but never enough to spoil the fun. Audiences are awed. “F*** me sideways!” gasped a woman after he fixed her eyesight. But what impressed me most was the illusion that he once had a full head of hair. Just kidding. What really impressed me most was his home. With his stage props, devices and curiosities it must be like living in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
LIKE a soap writer on mescaline, Lovecraft Country swings between social realism and abject horror. It started in the trenches of Korea (yes, they had them) where warring Tic and his fellow soldiers are attacked by flying octopus monsters and Martian-style tripods with death-rays... But that was just a daydream Tic had on a racially segregated American bus in the mid-50s. His reality quickly becomes a far worse nightmare. Tic sets off on a quest to find his missing father with his Uncle George and feisty pal Letitia. En route to the forgotten town of Ardham they encountered scary racist cops. And if you think they’re bad, wait for the flesh-eating beasties... This mad and annoyingly uneven mix is brightened up by fifties R&B and a real feel for the time. The story is inspired by the works of pulp horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who would absolutely detest it, being slightly to the right of Hitler. Witches and Aryan cults to follow.
ON his latest show Jamie Oliver gives his ingredients “a good old toss”, before sticking sage “up the jacksie” of his big plump bird and shoving his sausage under the breasts. Soon “the juices are dripping”. And if there’s a better way to roast chicken I’d like to hear about it. He was roasting away in his back garden on Jamie: Keep On Cooking Family Favourites, with wife Jools and his army of kids buzzing around. It must be confusing there. If you hear a popping noise from the kitchen you wouldn’t know if it was Jamie shelling peas or wife Jools knocking out another sprog.
HOT on TV: VJ Day 75... Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country (SkyAt)... Derren Brown... new Lucifer (Netflix).
ROT on TV: Mandy – as funny as famine... ITV’s clapped-out schedules... A Suitable Boy – generates less interest than an easy access savings account.
IS Gavin Williamson running the BBC’s comedy department on the side? They’re almost as incompetent as BBC drama. Latest flop Mandy has Diane Morgan clumsily gurning her way through a lame script. The first episode got 700,000 viewers. “A promising start,” said a BBC spokes-plum who seems to have forgotten their comedies once dominated the Top Ten.
*TV “hides monstrous women” says Billie Piper. Hmm. Miriam Margolyes, Janet Street-Porter, Jo Brand, Gemma Collins... they haven’t hidden ’em too well.
*ON the news they said there’s an app that tells you when you’ve had too much to drink. I married mine.
*OUR screens are full of more old relics than Bargain Hunt and you don’t need Eric Knowles to tell you most are worth two bob. But Line Of Duty series one was priceless. How about re-running The Long Firm next, Beeb, and anything involving Gene Hunt?
*DARA O’Briain gave BBC bosses a rocket for axing Stargazing Live. Can you blame them? The last series I sat through, we couldn’t see a thing thanks to Cyclone Debbie. If only they’d tried it in summer.
SMALL Joys of TV: Space 1999, Sapphire & Steel and The Prisoner (all now on Brit Box). Babs. Grace Kennedy (TPTV). Shirley Bassey clips. David Blaine: Beyond Magic. Succession repeats (SkyAt).
RANDOM Irritations: Jeremy Vine on Eggheads. He blathers, he patronises. Even the way he sits behind his desk with his jacket buttoned up so it stretches the buttonholes and the lapels balloon out gets on my wick.
TV maths: Alex Salmond + horsehair wig = Justice Cunliffe on Harlots.
Aug 16. ELSIE Tanner! With her button-straining cleavage, lax morals and a constant fag on, Elsie was a siren for feckless men. And how Ena Sharples hated her. My earliest TV memory is of the two women having a slanging match on the Corrie cobbles. Ena – “Winston Churchill in a hairnet” – was scandalised by magnificent red-head Elsie, who was “no better than she ought to be”. She’d sit in the Rovers snug sipping halves of mild with Minnie and Martha, tut-tutting over Elsie’s short skirts and impressive libido. Happy days! The only problem with Coronation Street – Battle Axes is it reminded us soaps were once much more realistic and likeable than they are now. Although rough-edged and gossip-fuelled, they were happier and more welcoming places. You wouldn’t live in soapland now. Soap crime rates today make Midsomer Murders seem like The Darling Buds Of May.
Vera Duckworth, Poison Ivy Tilsley and Blanche Hunt also featured as battle axes; ITV forgot Red Ida Clough, the bolshy shop steward who made life tough for Cockney cowboy Mike Baldwin. Blanche was the last of Corrie’s great comic monsters. “Good looks are a curse,” she told daughter Deirdre. “You and Ken should count yourselves very lucky.” In soap’s golden age you could believe that Weatherfield and Walford actually existed. We cared about the likes of Stan and Hilda Ogden, and poor betrayed Cockney sparrer Angie Watts too. But soap characters aren’t three-dimensional or recognisable any more. They’re just interchangeable, ill-sketched ciphers there to suffer the latest misery or tedious box-ticking storyline; which is precisely why viewing figures have plummeted like Eva Price’s necklines. Stan Ogden leaving the bath running was more engaging than Geoff Metcalfe’s unlikely transformation into a violent, abusive monster. ITV are flogging the golden goose to death with endless anguish. Ena would have their guts for garters.
ON Little Birds, Juno Temple plays naive American deb Lucy who is shipped off to Morocco to marry an English aristo. The pastel colours are so vivid, and the shenanigans so sordid, the show could have been called Fifty Shades Of Azure. The action is in Tangier but it’s a fair bet that by the end more than one character will have been taken up the Casbah. We’ve already seen a bondage murder, golden showers and explicit scenes. In fact the only person not shagging is lovely virgin bride Lucy whose drippy husband Hugo is so far in the closet he could be riding Aslan. She’s just caught him at it with his Egyptian lover. So was their marriage a pyramid scheme? Actually her arms dealer dad arranged it so he could make Hugo flog weapons to the French. Lucy may wander about like a tranked-up Doris Day but she’s a dab hand with a pistol and nobody’s fool, except her father’s.
CLASSIC EastEnders screened the episode when Barbara Windsor joined full-time as Peggy, or “my little ’andbrake” as Frank Butcher used to call her. Mighty Atom Peggy was a breath of fresh air until the writers chipped away at her credibility. There were ludicrous boyfriends (Harry Slater!), her logic-defying friendship with Fat Pat, and daftest ridiculous of all, her 2009 transformation into Ma Barker demanding murders. Even Violet Kray didn’t order hits.
*THE TOP 3 maddest soap stories: 1) the Bouncer’s dream episode of Neighbours 2) backwards day on EastEnders, when everyone went into reverse 3) Fallon getting kidnapped by aliens on Dynasty (although if ET had seen her mud-wrestling Sammy Jo, could you blame him?)
HOT on TV: Once Upon A Time In Iraq... Perry Mason finale (SkyAt)... Nina Sosanya, Little Birds... Equator (Sky Nature).
ROT on TV: Total Wipeout: Freddie & Paddy Take Over – total washout, give over... Channel 5’s Diana week – the same stories regurgitated for no apparent reason.
THE questions on Rolling In It make BBC1’s dumbed-down Celebrity Mastermind seem like an Oxford University entrance exam. Like ITV’s Tipping Point, the show is lazily based on an arcade game. My question? If arcade game formats are all the rage, why not try Whack-A-Mole? Five irritating TV “celebrities”, one giant foam mallet, endless hours of fun...
*THE heat last week! It was so hot Stephen Mulhern became delirious and actually turned down a TV booking. So hot EastEnders’ Queen Victoria bust was wearing a boob tube.
WHAT has become of Cillit Bang ad man, Barry Scott? Has he been furloughed? Despite being fictional he’d be a better celeb booking than most of the contenders on Celebs Go Virtual Dating. Certainly more recognisable.
*HOW To Beat Pain? Avoid watching Gemma Collins.
*MEN, can Kate Quilton cure your pain? For all possible answers, see Keith Lemon.
*EMILY on Harlots calls herself “the Duchess of Quim”. Which reminds me, has anyone seen the Duke of Pork recently?
SMALL Joys of TV: The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse. Blackadder Goes Forth. Carol Kirkwood telling BBC Breakfast viewers “as you look around, you can see lots of doggers... I mean dog-walkers and joggers”.
RANDOM Irritations: Get Shorty shorty-changing us with just seven episodes. ITV apparently turning I’m A Celebrity into I’m Famous & Frightened. Those diabolical dirges on A Suitable Boy, and man-child Maan.
TV questions: Is every toilet in Legoland, a brick s***-house? Can you worship at Juno Temple? If two Dragons mated would they skip the christening and cut straight to registering the trade name?
TV Maths: Matt Hancock + clown slap = Pennywise.
Aug 9. THEY’RE at it everywhere on Harlots – in bedrooms, down side-streets, up back alleys... It’s like Geordie Shore with price-tags. Sam Morton’s ample charms are over-flowing as bosomy brothel madam Margaret Wells. Her gin-sozzled mother had sold Margaret’s virginity when she was 12 for “the price of a pair of shoes”. I’m guessing brothel creepers. So she’s put her daughters on the game. Charlotte is Soho’s hottest courtesan, and Lucy’s innocence has just gone under the, um, hammer. Charlotte is played by Downton’s Lady Sybil. If it'd been Lady Mary no-one would have batted an eye. Mercifully Violet Crawley isn’t alive to see her shame.
Margaret’s biggest rival is la-di-dah Lydia Quigley who thinks her own bawdy house is a cut above because her girls parlez francais and play the piano. Quigley quickly sets the law on Wells. Will her saucy strumpets come quietly? Only if you pay ’em to. Mercifully, Harlots isn’t the grim hoes-with-woes feminist tract it would have been had the BBC made it themselves (although most of the male characters are as thick as mince). These happy hookers enjoy their work. “I’ve ridden hard to be with you,” says one lusty toff. “Then I must ride harder,” grins Charlotte coquettishly. And when Emily is described “as looking for a position”, she replies “I’m never short of a position.”
The modern music on the soundtrack jars, and it all looks absurdly clean. Where are the chamber pots? The horse crap? London didn’t have sewers for another 100 years. It must have stunk like a butcher’s bin. Harlots was inspired by Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, a genuine 18th century directory which rated their bedroom skills and listed their prices. One review described fat Fanny as “a fine bouncing comely wench, not amiss in summer barring perspiration”. It was a regular Yellow Pages of Lust. One in five women was of easy virtue in the London of 1763. How things change. Nowadays on reality TV they give it away for a litre of cider.
ON The Deceived, naive/dull student Ophelia fell for her randy, charismatic English professor whose wife, a successful author, then perished in a mystery house fire. Cue echoes of Hitchcock’s Rebecca, possible ghosts, a heavy-handed soundtrack and a small part for Normal People’s Paul Mescal – a rare chance to see him with his clothes on. (After all the fuss, you’d expect his part to be larger but hey ho.) The pay-off? Ophelia was gas-lighted. The wife wasn’t dead and the Prof was a two-faced murdering plagiarist. The beard was the give-away. The oddest thing? A Charlton Athletic sticker in an Irish village boozer. Given the Addicks’ ownership issues, I think Charlton fans are the real Deceived...
HEROES, re-running on BBC2, pits a small group of mutants against the coming apocalypse... which is pretty much the plot of every Marvel movie you ever saw, not to mention The Umbrella Academy. High school cheerleader Claire is indestructible and self-healing. There’s a telepathic cop and a would-be congressman who can fly (our politicians can too, but only by the seat of their pants). Nice guy Hiro, who controls the space-time continuum, has been collared for a brutal crime he didn’t commit; while Niki is an internet stripper with a split personality and a violent other self (so, Stacey Slater with a webcam). The only super-hero challenge left is to dream up abilities that haven’t been done before. Like, say, the power to diffuse Twitter mobs... or to make sense of the government’s Covid advice.
HOT on TV: The Edge... Ali Larter, Heroes... Line Of Duty and Lennie James... new The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)... Chernobyl repeats (SkyAt).
ROT on TV: Joanna Lumley’s Unseen Adventures – unwatchable leftovers... clunking Corrie Covid scenes... A Suitable Boy – an unsuitable waste of £16m.
ONCE Upon A Time In Iraq is an outstanding documentary series that tells the tragic story of the Iraq war from the viewpoint of those involved – from US soldiers to the Iraqis themselves. It’s a heart-breaking catalogue of errors and ill-considered strategies. One jaw-dropping moment came when CIA analyst John Nixon revealed that Saddam Hussein had told him: “You people don’t understand what you’ve done. Iraq is going to become the playing field for international terrorism. You have created the conditions for more terrorism, not less”. He was right. Shocking US blunders bequeathed al-Qaeda. Then Isis...
*TV has gone all déjà vu (in Harlots case that’s déjà blue) but Jed Mercurio’s Line Of Duty is still absolutely stunning. Why not re-run Jed’s Bodies too?
*IN Prodigal Son poisonous snakes appeared out of the mouth of a murder victim. Cause of death? Reptile dysfunction...
*TEN of the TOWIE twerps are millionaires. Blimey. Imagine how rich they’d be if they had any talent.
THE BBC will “entertain” us this Autumn with “dancing, drag and dogs”. I wish they wouldn’t. This means: a copycat version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, televised dog grooming, and a Covid-restricted version of Strictly. On the plus side with that fringe and a facemask we won’t see Claudia at all.
SMALL Joys of TV: Rob Beckett’s Celebs Go Dating voice-over. The Go-Go’s (SkyDocs). Everything: The Real Thing Story. Long Lost Family. The Umbrella Academy sound track. Sam Morton’s heaving cleavage.
RANDOM Irritations: Muppets Now failing to hit the laugh ratio of the original – what would Waldorf & Statler say? Sky dramatising the sordid work of paedo-favourite Anais Nin. Ollie Ollerton getting axed from SAS: Who Dares Wins.
TV questions: how can a book as thick as A Suitable Boy inspire a drama so thin? Was the dirty dominatrix on Little Birds played by I.P. Freely? If Harlots was happening now would gimp masks be compulsory? (With 18th Century sanitation, gas masks would certainly be advisable).
SEPARATED at birth: Gareth Bale and Grom Hellscream? One had half a chance of playing for Real Madrid on Friday, the other is Gareth Bale.
Aug 2. WHAT an opener for A Suitable Boy! What a swirling kaleidoscope of colours! It was like an explosion in Michael Portillo’s wardrobe. If only the show had been that exciting. I’ve seen funeral processions move at a sprightlier pace. The “next week” trailer had more action than the first fifty minutes did. What we have here is a glorified soap set against mounting tensions between Hindus and Muslims in post-partition Indian. Sweet Hindu student Lata is pursued/stalked by Kabir, a secret Muslim; so a bit of Romeo & Juliet forbidden love. Feckless man-child Maan beds Saeeda, a singing courtesan twice his age. (Seedy boy shags Saeeda Bai... ) And Meenakshi, whose husband Arun gleefully fondles her boobs, is cheating on him. She also had his dad’s medals melted down for earrings. (The breast-kneading scene was inserted by adaptor Andrew Davies. Knowing his work we can expect plenty more, um, insertions along the way). The comedy comes from the roly-poly Raja, a charmless berk who can’t even sit down unaided. And bad-boy Maan who pushes the Home Minister into a fountain – a scene genuinely inspired by TV’s Dynasty. The heavy drama comes when Muslims protesting against a new Hindu temple are gunned down. The series is based on Vikram Seth’s novel which is not much thicker than an Indian elephant, and bloody hard to condense into six hours. In fairness, it looks terrific. But why exactly have the BBC spent £16million of our lolly on it? Surely not just so the self-loathing twerps can boast that it has no white actors? (Tsk, where’s the diversity now?) Davies needs to raise the pace drastically and flesh out the characters to justify that big spend.
*WILL we ever see Lata with Jools Holland?
*THEY need a Geordie in the cast, if only to say “Calm down Maan, man.”
ON French sci-fi thriller The Last Wave, surfers are swallowed up by a cloud formation so strange even Michael Fish would panic (ask your granddad). When they return they have super-powers. One kid has x-ray vision, one can cure sick animals by touch (Noel Fitzpatrick eat your heart out) and one is super-randy... so she’s already been booked for Love Island 2021. The unluckiest sap has super-migraines, which is like winning the lottery and having the cheque bounce. It’s comfortably the worst paranormal development since Stone Boy who could turn to stone, and, er, stand stock still. The creepy cloud is probably nature’s revenge for humanity’s ecological crimes. I believe it’s twinned with the dark one that hovers permanently over Janet Street-Porter’s furrowed brow.
WELL done BBC for the virtual Bafta ceremony. Against the odds it was almost as dull as the real thing. If only they’d thought to have an audience of cardboard cut-outs like football matches do, full of losing actors with fixed grins, their eyes blazing with envy and rage. As is now traditional, the host was wrong, the jokes were weak and some results were ludicrous. But surely we can agree Chernobyl was 2019’s greatest drama, Glenda Jackson was stunning in Elizabeth Is Missing, most TV comedies aren’t remotely funny, and Lee Mack is at his stonking best on Would I Lie To You?
HOT on TV: Shahama Goswani, A Suitable Boy... Ellen Thomas, In The Long Run.
ROT on TV: Fort Salem – more duffy than Buffy... Celebs Go Virtual Dating... Floor Is Lava – show is flawed.
ANVIL! The Story Of Anvil! wouldn’t have happened without This Is Spinal Tap, and in parts it’s almost as funny. The Canadian heavy metal band are 80s also-rans still attempting to make it big in their fifties. “Everything on the tour went drastically wrong,” admits lead guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow. “But at least there was a tour for it to go wrong on.” There’s a deliberate nod to Spinal Tap with a quick shot of an amp volume dial going up to 11. And an accidental one – Anvil’s drummer is Robb Reiner, while Tap was directed by Rob Reiner. Spooky.
*THE government is searching for a suitable spokesman to front their press conferences. Paul Chuckle could use the work.
*DO those “Escape to BBC2” trailers work? They make me want to escape from it.
*PERRY Mason has finally become a lawyer in the new Sky Atlantic series. All previous objections are over-ruled.
*PLEASE note: Get Shorty is a rather good US drama import, and not, as previously thought, Boris’ codename for his campaign against Nicola Sturgeon.
*WASN’T Anthony moving? Jimmy McGovern plays the heart strings like a Stradivarius.
SMALL Joys of TV: Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (Sky Docs). Norsemen (Netflix). Gospel According To Mica. Aretha Franklyn clips (BBC4). Elizabeth 1st exclaiming “I like my seamen” on Sir Francis Drake (TPTV).
RANDOM Irritations: C4 giving attention-seeking creep Steve Bergwall a platform. BBC4’s “summer TV classics” edition of What We Were Watching including Notting Hill riot footage. That’s entertainment?
SEPARATED at birth: Bernie Feldstein (How To Build A Girl) and Princess Beatrice? Not another Prince Andrew scandal...
TV QUESTIONS: why would a Master Chef do canteen cooking? If cycling is so slimming why has Boris got that blubber? If we’re serious about obesity why isn’t Bake Off on pay-per-view? And if it’s right to have “colour-blind” casting in Victorian England, why is it wrong in 1950s India?