Garry Bushell
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Feb 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.

Chris 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.

We 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.

Nobody 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).

British 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.

BRADLEY’S 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.

*NEW dish on the Masood Masalla menu: Masood Placenta.

ASHLEY 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 driver’s son.

*HUNG is about living your life with a giant cock. It’s the Cheryl Cole story.

HOT on TV: new True Blood (FX)... sizzlingly sexy Anna Paquin... Archer (Fiver)... Damages... Brian Cox (On Expenses)... Nurse Jackie finale.

ROT 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).

*THE 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.

*BAFTA 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!

*ON Corrie, Joe was found sleeping with the fishes. Which made a change from his married life, sleeping with one cold one.

*TINA 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.

*CHERYL Cole is 5lbs lighter. That’ll be the wedding ring.

*FACT: 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 gravy.

*WHAT next after Gerry Adams on Jesus (The Bible), Rose West on Mother Theresa? John Terry on fidelity?

SMALL 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.

*THE Wolfman was a let-down. A movie about a raging, semi-human beast... and Gordon Brown doesn’t even get a walk-on.

Feb 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.

The 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?”

Walford 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?

*THE 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?

Cheryl 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.

Gaga 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 squashed boobs.

The 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.

*BRITS 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.

*PETER Kay’s best line: “If you’ve just turned over from Ice Road Truckers, why?”

*BRITS fact: Gaga’s wig had a higher IQ than Liam.

*ASHLEY 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?”

*THE 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 Gaga?

And 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.

*THE 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.

HOT 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 Hill (E4).

ROT 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.

*GERMAINE Greer told BBC4 about Skippy, a dumb but endearing grey creature making unintelligible noises... and Skippy wasn’t much better.

*OF course pregnant Denise Van Outen should be allowed on TV. But only if she promises to breastfeed on The One Show...

*NO matter how cheery he tries to seem, Gordon Brown still comes over like a hung-over butler in a Hammer horror film.

*STARS kept in a bubble, shut off from the real world... how exactly does that differ from their normal hermetically-sealed celebrity existence?

SMALL 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.

SEPARATED at birth – Matt Preston (Masterchef Australia) and Mr Toad from Wind In The Willows. One a fat, pompous buffoon, the other a cartoon toad.

Feb 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 Xingu.

HOT on TV: Six Nations Rugby... Desperate Housewives - bitch pickings... Neil Dudgeon (Midsomer Murders)... Leverage (Bravo)... and Lost (Sky1).

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...

Hurt 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 Lite.

Elsewhere 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.

Like 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?

*MY book, 1,001 Reasons Why EastEnders Is Pony is out now.

FOUR 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?

*SELINA admitted selling her body for drugs. You’d have to be on drugs to want it.

IMAGINE 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 a brain.

HOT 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)

ROT 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.

THE 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.

WHY 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 Toyota.

*THERE was a bloke with a cock shaped like a horseshoe on Embarrassing Bodies. Do you think he finds it easier to toss?

SO You Think You Can Dance has lost another 1.2million viewers. Suggest new title: so you think we give a stuff.

THE world’s most dangerous place is Afghanistan’s Khost province (Sky News). The 2nd most dangerous? Gail Platt’s bed.

RANDOM 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.

SMALL 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.”

THINGS I learnt from TV this week: no-one on How To Look Good Naked actually looks good naked.

SEPARATED 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.

*WHEN the groundhog heard about John Terry he groaned and said “Not again.”