ON THE BOX - 2010
28. Chris Moyles is back with a second series of Chris Moyles
Quiz Night. The toughest question is why? Every Moyles TV show
to date has gone down like Christine Pratt leaping naked from
the PM’s birthday cake.This quiz doesn’t work on
any level. The questions are pathetic, the guests are as funny
as a Downing Street bollocking, and blustering, witless Moyles
remains a smug big-head in a dull suit. He’d have to dumb
up to qualify as stupid.
thought Nelson’s greatest naval victory was the Battle
of Waterloo. The brightest thing he ever said was “Good
morning.” The smartest thing C4 could tell him is “Good-bye.”
The only pleasure in the whole show was watching the gormless
spud-faced git being reduced to incoherence by David Walliams.
(Although he’s another over-rated buffoon who mistakes
being loud and camp for humour). Ordinarily I wouldn’t
get worked up about such minor irritants, but British TV is
rapidly being taken over by the forces of hell ((c) Alistair
Darling). Everywhere you look mediocrity is on the rise.
live in an era where Live From Studio Five is deemed suitable
for broadcast, Loose Women wins awards and telly execs think
Danny Dyer is a documentary maker.
involved in running TV comedy knows what they’re doing.
Last week, Amanda Holden’s circus flop-com Big Top got
the big chop, but you can bet your last fiver the clowns who
commissioned it are still in place. BBC drama series are no
better. Survivors was such a mess I’m amazed any viewers
survived at all. While our minds are indelibly scarred by disasters
like Bonekickers (“Don’t mess with me, I’m
an archaeologist”) and the diabolical Apparitions (Judge
John Deed as an exorcist).
TV once led the world in quality. Now the Beeb prefer to piddle
our dosh away on BBC3’s relentless cascade of cack. Yet
we’ve living in a golden age of TV drama. Shows like The
Sopranos, The Shield, True Blood, The Wire, Boston Legal, Lost,
24, Nurse Jackie...have you spotted the link yet? They’re
all American. Sure the BBC made Life On Mars and State Of Play
but what have they done for us lately? TV bosses need to try
harder and C4 needs to take risks again. Give Frankie Boyle
his own live show and knee him in the nuts thirty seconds before
it goes on air. That my friends would be dangerous television.
death on EastEnders raised a lot of questions; unfortunately
no-one is asking them. For starters, motive. WHAT made this
mild-mannered, law-abiding kid turn killer? No-one asks, no-one
cares. The clueless cops just assume Brad dunnit. WHY did Plod
pursue him around that roof to his death? If this had happened
in real life, Max would be suing the Met. There’d be a
public outcry and an official investigation. And HOW did Brad
manage to plummet to his death, land face down and emerge without
a scratch? The make-up required to conceal the mess of bumps,
gashes and bruises would have shot off the scale, past ‘Barbara
Cartland’ and in to basecoat plastering.
dish on the Masood Masalla menu: Masood Placenta.
Cole has got more chance of finding a woman prepared to trust
him than ITV has of producing an original must-see drama series.
Married Single Other is their latest lame attempt to re-do Cold
Feet. It’s Colder Feet. Or in this case Lukewarm Arse.
I have no idea who these people are, where they are supposed
to exist or why we should give a monkey’s toss about any
of them.The men are all working class Northerners, their women
are middle class Southerners, their children speak like no kids
you’ve ever met in your life. One precocious brat of about
ten described his Mum as “35 – nearly old enough
to carry off the word spinster with aplomb.” Stephen Fry
didn’t talk like that at his age, let alone an ambulance
is about living your life with a giant cock. It’s the
Cheryl Cole story.
on TV: new True Blood (FX)... sizzlingly sexy Anna Paquin...
Archer (Fiver)... Damages... Brian Cox (On Expenses)... Nurse
on TV: Married Single Other – televised oestrogen... The
Day The Immigrants Left – more one-sided than a Möbius
Strip... Instant Restaurant - instant turn-off... Moyles...
Above Their Station – like The Thin Blue Line without
jokes (so just like The Thin Blue Line, then).
Baftas were a tense experience. There's always that air of anticipation
as the audience wait nervously to find out... will Jonathan
Ross ever get around to cracking a half-decent gag? (No).
*WHAT the hell has happened to Woss? If the subversive young
whippersnapper who fronted the Last Resort could see what he’s
become he’d be on the phone to Ray Gosling.
irritations: JR’s joke-free script. Vanessa Redgrave’s
speech – it curled more toes than the Spanish Inquisition.
Commentators having more to say about Carey Mulligan’s
dress than the state of the British film industry...
If you missed Vanessa Redgrave’s acceptance speech at
the Baftas, don't worry. She's still talking!
Corrie, Joe was found sleeping with the fishes. Which made a
change from his married life, sleeping with one cold one.
is devastated about her Dad, and Jason is gutted too - just
thinking about how long he’ll have to wait until she’s
up for a shag again.
Cole is 5lbs lighter. That’ll be the wedding ring.
Michael Ball is now so huge he has to squeeze himself into a
thin suit to play Edna in Hairspray. He’s so fat he sweats
next after Gerry Adams on Jesus (The Bible), Rose West on Mother
Theresa? John Terry on fidelity?
joys of TV: Michael Burke’s voice-over on Pineapple Dance
Studios. Peter Mandelson, even if his tongue’s so forked
it could open wine bottles. And Angula Matanda on How To Get
What You Want. I’m watching the whole series on the off-chance
that there’s an episode on How To Get Angula.
Wolfman was a let-down. A movie about a raging, semi-human beast...
and Gordon Brown doesn’t even get a walk-on.
19. EASTENDERS just about got away with it, which is more
than can be said for the Brannings. Tonight’s live episode
saw Bradders splattered, Jack fluffing his lines and Stacey
confessing to Archie’s murder. Yep, the nutter dunnit.
show was full of wild accusations, iffy camera work and more
red herrings than the Chinese fishing fleet. There was one truly
disturbing scene – Minty with his shirt off. And many
unanswered questions. Like, how did Brad fall backwards and
land face-down? Why did none of those dozy coppers bother to
check his pulse? And why weren’t the Star Trek fanatic’s
last words: “Beam me up, Scotty?”
is rapidly catching up with Midsomer as England’s corpse
capital, with four brutal deaths in six months. Short term shock
has replaced characterisation as the soap’s driving force,
with plots endlessly recycled. Archie’s biggest crime
originally was to make Peggy dress her age. Enders made him
more and more evil. By the end, not only had he raped Stacey
(Why? She’s anyone’s for a bottle of plonk), he’d
also incestuously ravished Ronnie. So will Stacey go down? (Yeah,
for wine; see above). And will the writers remember that Big
Mo was running a book on the killer’s identity?
big Enders twist amazed me. Archie was the best character the
soap has had for years; naturally I’d assumed the killer
was a hit-man dispatched by Corrie.
THE UK has produced some of the world’s all-time greatest
pop stars and wildest rockers. So it came as some surprise to
see manufactured muppets the Spice Girls honoured for their
‘performance skills’ at the Brits (rhyming slang),
and tired old panto turn Liam Gallagher wheeled out as token
‘rebel’. Still, it was Pancake Day. When better
to find a tosser?
Cole was the biggest let-down. Was she taught to mime by the
people who dub kung fu films? We know singing live is too much
for you, pet, but how hard would it be to sign up for lip-synching
classes? Chezza missed a golden opportunity to dump her cheating
bum of a husband live on air. Although she did appear to be
wearing his flasher’s mac. Kasabian played their song
‘Fire’ on a stage of flames. If they’d performed
‘Cunny Grope Lane’ they could have had Ashley Cole
and John Terry on backing vocals. If only Jonathan Ross’s
dresser had heeded their advice and steered clear of the brown
acid... What made JR think it’d be funny to come on dressed
like a gangsta version of a PG chimp? Wossy (rap name: Dozee
Pwat) flopped so badly he must have wished he’d worn Lady
Gaga’s mask instead. I’m amazed he hasn’t
claimed that Mossad stole his identity.
had the best costume, of course. If there was ever a porno version
of Great Expectations, she’d be a shoe-in for Miss Havisham.
(Miss Havin’-some?). She makes Bjork seem frumpy and brightened
up a ceremony that was flatter than Lilly Allen’s unnaturally
Brits is a tough gig for a comic, and Peter Kay (rap name 6-Pac)
didn’t try too hard. He had a nice line he’d nicked
from Billy Connolly. But describing Kasabian as “Leicester’s
answer to Aswad” made no sense. Peter got the best response
for calling Liam Gallagher a “knob-head”. True,
but hardly Oscar Wilde... Besides, if Liam is a knob what are
Geri Halliwell, Fearne Cotton and honking Florence? The opening
scene from Macbeth? (That Flo is a big girl. Any taller and
she’d be an avatar.) With retro gongs for Robbie, Oasis
and the Spice Girls, the night felt like I Love The 90s. But
yesterday’s stars and 70s references won’t make
The Brits watchable. What the show needs is 1980s TV anarchy.
And proper rockers.
irritations: Geri Halliwell having two shots at her acceptance
speech. Geri’s constant use of the phrase “I have
to say” – no love, you really don’t. And Robbie
getting awarded for his “outstanding contribution”
to pop when he hasn’t contributed anything worth a light
since he split up with Guy Chambers.
Kay’s best line: “If you’ve just turned over
from Ice Road Truckers, why?”
fact: Gaga’s wig had a higher IQ than Liam.
Cole texted a model a picture of him in his pants. I’d
like to see Keith Chegwin do that, and hear the startled girl’s
reaction: “Who is this woman?”
Winter Olympics and Clare Balding is on hand to pose the big
questions. Like “Is it difficult out there?” What?
The Luge, at Olympic level? No love, it’s a piece of piss.
Unasked questions include: who designed these costumes, Lady
is curling really an Olympic event? It’s half-sport, half
housework. The only reason women like it is they get to see
a bloke sweeping up.
biathlon sounds like Caligua’s life-style but it actually
involves cross-country skiing and shooting. I believe it was
invented on the practice slopes of Peckham.
on TV: 24 (Sky1) – hits like Kevin Mitchell’s right
hook...The Mentalist (Five)... Road Warriors (ITV)... Life’s
Sarah Shahi (FX)... CSI Trilogy (Five)... and new King Of The
on TV: Pamela Connolly (Shrink Rap) – makes Des O’Connor
look like Torquemada... Material Girl - I’d rather watch
a fridge defrost... Dancing On Wheels...and the Piers &
Gordon love-in – as stage-managed as a party political
broadcast, but marginally less honest.
Greer told BBC4 about Skippy, a dumb but endearing grey creature
making unintelligible noises... and Skippy wasn’t much
course pregnant Denise Van Outen should be allowed on TV. But
only if she promises to breastfeed on The One Show...
matter how cheery he tries to seem, Gordon Brown still comes
over like a hung-over butler in a Hammer horror film.
kept in a bubble, shut off from the real world... how exactly
does that differ from their normal hermetically-sealed celebrity
Joys of TV: Lillian’s brothel voucher (Shameless): ‘I
promise to lay the bearer’. Louie (Pineapple Dance Studios)
– so camp he makes Dale Winton look like Grant Mitchell.
Shirley Carter in that hat, looking like Jacko’s ghost.
at birth – Matt Preston (Masterchef Australia) and Mr
Toad from Wind In The Willows. One a fat, pompous buffoon, the
other a cartoon toad.
14. THERE was a man over-board on Corrie - Peter Barlow drowning
in a lake of cheap plonk. He's like the Toyota of drunks, he just
can't stop himself. If he was showering daily in absinthe, Peter
would still insist, "I can cope! Now just top up my meths with
some anti-freeze, there's a love." The only shame is that Blanche
isn't there to provide a snide commentary: "He were that plastered
he thought he had a 3D telly" and "What's wrong Peter, has someone
taken the cork out of your dinner?" Elsewhere, Gail lost her little
man in a boat. Insert your own filth here. Joe McIntyre fell into
a freezing lake and drowned while attempting to fake his own death.
Goodbye sailor. And good riddance...
McIntyre, aka Joe the Jonah, was bad luck in human form. In rapid
succession he lost his tools, his business, and his marbles. He
became addicted to painkillers, smashed up the clinic and worst
of all, married Gail. He was the only person on earth Billy Mitchell
felt sorry for. Frankly it was easier to like Rick the wide-boy
debt collector. Monday's episodes ended with a double tragedy:
Joe died and Gail survived.
After telling his shocked wife about his cunning plan, McIntyre
sailed out onto Lake Windermere, ignoring umpteen calls from daughter
Tina and several suggestive texts from Vernon Kay.
But the plan went completely Rosie Webster (tits up); he lost
his life boat and plummeted into the icy waters trying to retrieve
it. Joe, like his finances was not buoyant. For him death was
a release; for the rest of us, a disappointment. He didn't suffer
enough. I was hoping for a Great White, or at least the loan shark
on a jet-ski, followed by Audrey on a log flume to nag him some
more. Still it does raise the possibility of a very happy ending:
Gaol for Gail.
*HOW the bad news should be relayed back in t'Rovers: "Joe's drowned!"
"The big sea?" "No, only Joe. Gail survived." It never occurred
to either of the chumps that they could have sold the boat, paid
off Rick and had enough left for a fortnight in Florida.
*WHAT Joe's Valentine's card actually said: Oh darling Gail, accept
this card, it comes with love and kisses. I hope you can forgive
me now I'm sleeping with the fishes.
*CAN'T Corrie try a bit harder to find Asian actors? First Dev's
Dad turned up as Prem Mandal and now his Auntie Maya is back as
Sunita's aunt... and he won't even notice. I think I also spotted
Uncle Umed in the butchers playing a giant ham.
AMANDA Holden went country last week and surprisingly there wasn't
a long-horn gag all night. Hardly anyone was watching. Why? Well,
few of us care about the conceited cow, and even fewer believe
her life-long ambition was ever to be a country singer. Up until
making the show she probably thought bluegrass was something they
smoked on porn shoots and that "the Judds" was Dolly Parton's
nickname. ITV's Holden obsession is baffling. Her shows are duds
- she's been involved with more bombs than Hezbollah - and her
voice is just OK. She couldn't have looked less comfortable on
stage if someone had given her an angry rattlesnake to juggle
with. Amanda got away with it, but wouldn't it have made better
viewing to find an aspiring British country singer who genuinely
deserved this kind of break? Or let Les Dennis sing a suitable
country classic. Like, She Got The Gold Mine & I Got The Shaft.
*IMAGINE Les's reaction when Amanda was buying that cowboy hat.
"Beaver felt? Not again."
BBC3 went to the Upper Xingu region of Brazil for Last Woman Standing.
Although frankly if they'd wanted to see a load of half-naked,
over-painted tarts grappling it would have been a damn sight cheaper
to buy in cctv footage from Barking high street. Mind you that
blonde was fit. And few men would refuse a chance to explore Upper
HOT on TV: Six Nations Rugby... Desperate Housewives - bitch pickings...
Neil Dudgeon (Midsomer Murders)... Leverage (Bravo)... and Lost
ROT on TV: Kim Jong-il's Comedy Club - mentally-ill... Superbowl
- sixty minutes of excitement squeezed into four hours of telly...
We Need Answers - wrong, BBC4, you still need shows... What Katie
Did Next - why not try surprising us by shutting up and going
away? (And I cleaned that up).
*BIANCA'S EastEnders hen-party looked like a holding pen for the
Jeremy Kyle show. Fat Heather told the unlikely gathering that
as a kid she'd looked "like a Yeti with clothes on." Nothing changes...
Lucy Beale was the real shocker, though. What a disgrace to Walford.
She's sweet sixteen and never been in labour.
*WHEN Tess Daly found out Vernon had been sending text messages
to glamour models, she was irritated, fed-up and distinctly un-amused.
Which by coincidence is exactly how the rest of us feel whenever
the gormless gurner is on telly.
*WE asked 100 blondes if they'd had a sexy text from Vernon Kay
and the answer was: uh-ha...
INFINITY, says Horizon, means that anything that could happen
is happening. So somewhere in the Universe EastEnders is happy,
Jo Frost's naughty step is electrified and another Garry Bushell
is banging January Jones. Let's hope she's enjoying it as much
as I am.
*RAB C. Nesbitt on haggis: "In other countries they'd scrape it
off their shoes."
SMALL joys of TV: Elvis Costello and the kidney song (30 Rock).
Tool Academy. And Roy Hudd on Celebrity Cash In The Attic - roll
on the Ken Dodd episode, Cash In The Shoebox.
RANDOM irritations: faecal matter expert Jason Gardiner - ITV's
Revel-Horrid; a third-rate clone of a second-rate Cowell. The
BBC's endless devotion to self-pitying arse Alastair Campbell.
Robson Green turning Extreme Fishing into Extreme 'Kin Swearing,
the walleyed Pollock. And the endless idiots who are too "embarrassed"
to show their bodies to their doctors, but merrily drop their
kecks for C4's cameras.
BILLIE Piper says she is "the face of prostitution." Well, she's
certainly got the lips for a good (Cut! Ed)
Feb 7. A TRYING time for newly-wed Amira on EastEnders.
She’s a sexy girl, as hot as any woman who looks like a
cross between Marina from Stingray and an attractive horse could
ever be. Yet she came back from honeymoon a virgin, having discovered
that husband Syed was as dead as Lou Beale in the y-fronts department.
Amira has yet to learn that he’s secretly as gay as a Lady
GaGa stage-show. When it comes to sex, his favourite position
is deep in the closet. She couldn’t turn on the gormless
caterer if she stripped off on his kitchen work-top, opened her
legs and said “How about this for a spread?” Mum Zainab
advised Syed to “trust in God” although trusting in
Viagra might be a surer bet. Either that or persuading his missus
to wear a Christian face mask...
and rejected, and in the lamentable absence of John Terry, a desperate
Amira ended up playing tonsil tennis with Danny Mitchell. And
only when he found out about that, did furious Syed finally rise
to the occasion - no doubt thinking of Danny. So how will he cope
next time? This problem won’t go away; their marriage has
all the long-term future of Roxy’s new-found wealth. Especially
as Amira’s take on the Muslim faith is looser than Vanessa
Perroncel. Last week as well as snogging strangers, she was working
in a bar and sipping cocktails. I believe her mentor is Mullah
the soap displayed its usual masterful take on the realities of
East End life when dirt-poor Bianca chucked a £10K cheque
in the bin. On the plus side, Billie is back. Remember him? The
cute cherub of a kid who had to flee Walford after witnessing
an armed robbery... This always struck me as strange – he
wore his hair over his eyes like a curtain so it was hard to see
how he could witness his own hand in front of his face let alone
desperate blaggers. But going by the way he knew Tiff was in that
bin, he must have had x-ray vision all along.
the Silver Surfer, Billie’s arrival heralds the coming of
a greater evil. In this case, Bianca’s Mum, Carol –
played by the brilliant Lindsey Coulson – and the entire
unwelcome Jackson clan. Yeah. That would be the same Carol who
completely disowned Bee for shagging her fella, Big Dan Sullivan.
Why would she bother?
book, 1,001 Reasons Why EastEnders Is Pony is out now.
dozy MPs are living in drug-riddled crap-holes on Tower Block
Of Commons. It’s like The Secret Millionaire, only without
the secret, or the millions. The MPs swiftly emerged as naive
and unworldly. When yobs took the mick out of Mark Oaten over
his sordid rent boy scandal, the Lib-Dim berk wept face down on
the grass, where, we can only hope a dog had recently relieved
itself. Although Oaten might have enjoyed that... It was hell;
there were discarded needles, turds on the stairwells (Ordure!
Ordure!) and no Telegraph in the shops. But most of the MPs had
a go, kipping on settees and living with tenants. Only Labour’s
Austin Mitchell insisted on bringing his missus, and demanding
a flat to themselves. That there’s a gaping chasm between
MPs and the underclass they’ve created is no surprise. But
the show still raises big questions. Like, how long before one
of them puts methadone on their expenses? And claims the lift
as a second home?
admitted selling her body for drugs. You’d have to be on
drugs to want it.
a Matrix-style version of Second Life where anything was possible:
sex, drugs, violence, even human sacrifice... It’d be like
playing for Chelsea. Daniel on Caprica made his fortune by inventing
a headset portal to this outrageous digital playground. After
his daughter Zoe was killed by a suicide bomber, he found her
avatar, with all of her memories, living on in virtual reality.
So he loaded it up into one of his Terminator-style robots and
created the first Cylon – setting humanity on course for
a titanic battle against the machines... 58 years later in Battlestar
Galactica. It’s a bit solemn, but watchable. Sci-fi with
on TV: The Vampire Diaries (ITV2) – love at first bite...
Caprica (Sky1)... The Good Wife (C4)... Lost (Sky1) – bafflingly
brilliant...and January Jones (Mad Men)
on TV: Hotter Than My Daughter (BBC3) – because your arse
is burning in hell, act your age!... Embarrassing Bodies –
how to look crap naked... The TV Book Club – puerile and
patronizing... and Grumpy Old Women – not old, rarely grumpy
and barely feminine.
John Terry scandal has been a result for comics. Stewart Francis
on Mock The Week joked: “I feel sorry for his Mum. When
his Mum read the stories in the papers she stole...” While
Alan Carr noted: “The problem with Terry is that he’s
got more money than sense, although that statement would also
be true if he only had £2.60.” But let’s not
forget Vanessa Perroncel who’s had more players on her than
the Stamford Bridge pitch. She should get her own show: Snatch
Of The Day.
do ITV4 and FHM call amateur comics Stand-Up ‘Heroes’?
I suppose it takes guts to get on stage with such crap material.
I don’t get TV’s obsession with novice comedians though.
Or with that posh PC poltroon Marcus Brigstocke. Let’s hope
he’s on Top Gear next, taking a nice long drive in a defective
was a bloke with a cock shaped like a horseshoe on Embarrassing
Bodies. Do you think he finds it easier to toss?
You Think You Can Dance has lost another 1.2million viewers. Suggest
new title: so you think we give a stuff.
world’s most dangerous place is Afghanistan’s Khost
province (Sky News). The 2nd most dangerous? Gail Platt’s
irritations: TV professionals who can’t pronounce the letter
‘H’. (That’s you, OJ Borg). English teams being
lumbered with the British national anthem – let us sing
Jerusalem! Live From Studio Five in general; Kate Walsh in particular.
She is the most self-obsessed TV presenter since Madeley.
joys of TV: prairie dogs (Natural World). “More brains than
a service station pastie” (Shameless). Roy Cropper on his
lemon drizzle cake: “Due to an unfortunate spillage in the
baking process, it’s more of a downpour.”
I learnt from TV this week: no-one on How To Look Good Naked actually
looks good naked.
at birth: this bloke at the Groundhog Day celebrations and Noel
Edmonds. One faking excitement at doing the same thing, year in,
year out. The other some Yank in Pennsylvania.
the groundhog heard about John Terry he groaned and said “Not