Garry Bushell
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BUSHELL ON THE BOX

Feb 23. James Corden kicked off the Brits with his sleeve on fire – the hottest thing he’s had on his arm since he married Julia. Only The Jam had better ‘blazers’. Sadly his hosting didn’t set the O2 alight. Stopping Prince for a selfie would have been a lot funnier the day after Obama and Cameron’s one, two months ago. Bereft of jokes, Corden resorted to snogging Nick Grimshaw, cracking weak drug gags, and pestering One Direction with prison rape remarks.

Alex Turner from the otherwise admirable Arctic Monkeys nearly out-naffed him though with his rambling acceptance speech. “Invoice me for the microphone,” he slurred before feebly dropping it and shambling off. Okay it was his third gong and he’d had a few but it wasn’t exactly Pete Townshend smashing his Gibson SG.

There were memorable moments, not least three of Ellie Goulding’s drummers taking a tumble mid-song. Lorde looked like Darlene from Roseanne styled by Rebekah Brooks. And almost everyone was upstaged by Pharrell Williams’s Mountie hat.

An under-par Jimmy Carr quipped that it was “the biggest night of the year for London’s drug-dealers” – not so much a joke as a statement of fact. No wonder Katy Perry went Egyptian on us. These record company boys put the toot in Tutankhamen.

Pharrell and Nile Rodgers whipped up real atmosphere with their show-closing medley of ‘Get Lucky’, ‘Good Times’ and ‘Happy’. Beyonce was on form too. Other live highs included Bastille and Rudimental mashing it up as “Bastimental”, with Ella Eyre nearly bursting out of the cat-suit she was almost wearing. Better luck next time.

One Direction won Best Video with the vid Corden co-wrote. Jimmy Carr asked the audience to “give it up” for James. After his desperate table chats, I’d rather he’d just give up. David Bowie’s “Stay with us” message to Scotland was a surreal high that went down with Alex Salmond like a poll tax arrears demand. Bowie won Best Male Artist but didn’t attend the ceremony (he doesn’t fly). “You maniacs didn’t think he was actually here,” said Noel Gallagher. “He doesn’t do this sh*t.”

*CORRIE’S Tina should borrow Pharrell’s Mountie hat. She always gets her man.

KELVIN MacKenzie says we need more immigration to make Britain “more like New York”. Is that the same New York where 1.4million people rely on soup kitchens and food banks? Gee, thanks Kelv. Of course it’s easy to be relaxed about immigration when you live in leafy Surrey, and perhaps tougher when your kid goes to a school where thirty-odd languages are spoken... It’s a potentially poisonous area, so well done The Big British Immigration Row for using such calm and rational souls as Amjen Choudary (on film), Katie Hopkins and Lee Jasper... Who next? On Skype, from his cell, Anders Breivik, and via Ouija board Osama Bin Laden? Natch, the audience was too busy shouting to properly discuss the strain mass immigration puts on schools and hospitals. Or the tragedy of our own people whose wages are undercut by cheap imported labour - “thickoes”, sniped Kelvin; he’s all heart. No-one mentioned New Labour’s deliberate reckless open door policy. No-one asked why the unions don’t demand quotas. They’ve clearly swallowed the big lie that limiting immigration is somehow ‘racist’. Yet other countries manage it successfully. Shared values, a work ethic and a commitment to integration help.

*THESE Big Rows have a lively turn-over of panelists, but wouldn’t ejector seats and gunge tanks add to the fun?

WERE those people outside Prince’s show booing Stephen Fry because he’d jumped the queue or cos they’d seen him host the Baftas? The bloke is so far up his own arse he could give himself a colonoscopy. Fry had one half-decent gag in his entire opening monologue. The rest was dire: a tidal wave of luvvie gush, delivered by an overpaid windbag oozing oil, smarm and self-adoration. Truly, he is the king of cringe, drooling over leading men and blowing smoke up every available backside. Fry’s arch, witless jabbering made a dull night worse. It didn’t help that this year’s movie contenders are pretty ropy. Or that the sloppy producers left James Gandolfini, Richard Griffiths, Mel Smith and Roger Lloyd Pack out of the memorial roll-call. Great films excite, amuse, thrill and inspire – everything Bafta can’t do.

HOT on TV: True Detective (Sky Atlantic)... Laura Mvula... Line Of Duty...Modern Family (Sky1)... Nurse Jackie.

ROT on TV: Jonathan Meades – pretentious pillock... Stephen Fry – big-head, brown nose, bad value... Doll & Em – dull and empty... Blandings – putting the woe in Wodehouse.

YOU’RE a widow, you’ve got a few bob but you’re getting on and you’ve piled on the pounds. Suddenly on a beach in The Gambia a young, dirt-poor hunk starts chatting you up... Uh-oh! Holiday Love Rats Exposed told the stories of four Surly Valentines who’d been had, and had over, by charming conmen. Alarm bells weren’t triggered even when their fella went missing for days on end or borrowed £15K to “buy a taxi”. Women of Britain, the message is clear: you’re much safer at Butlin’s.

*PEOPLE keep making cheap childish jokes about Andreas Wank. Tsk. It’s like they haven’t noticed Jayson Terdiman, Semen Pavlichenko, Luca Cunti, Jenni Asserholt and Serainer Boner. Enjoy A. Wank if you must, but don’t forget other Olympian contenders.

*DEFENDING ugly architecture, Jonathan Meades said “nightmares are more captivating than dreams.” Maybe so, but who wants to live in a nightmare? Oi Meades, put your theory to the test - move to Kiev.

*CLASSIC subtitle cock-up. When Andy Murray had a set-back at Wimbledon, we were told he “Mr Koppel Balls.”

*IN Vegas Ross Kemp entered a world of violence, sleaze, and deceit. But enough about his first marriage...

*E20 update: Ian Beale has turned into Wolfie Smith, Lily Branning looks strangely Mediterranean and Aunt Babe (the Slitheen) is a pot peddler. We might – might - just buy all of that... but Stacey walking out on Matt Willis? Yeah right.

*ENJOYED fire brigade drama The Smoke but it would’ve been much more realistic if Boris Johnson had turned up at the end and closed down the station.

Small Joys of TV: Moone Boy. Harry Enfield (Blandings). Vic & Bob’s mouth organ/vacuum cleaner scene. Straight-talking Pimlico plumber, Charlie Mullins.

Random Irritations: The Musketeers – so-what characters, piss-poor plots and a severe shortage of heaving bosoms. Jonathan Ross’s show having six writers and no laughs. Top Gear running out of fuel.

*SUPERSTAR Dogs? Bah! Where’s Kimberly Lee?

SEPARATED at birth: DLT and Great Uncle Bulgaria – one associated with novelty pop songs and wombling free, and so is the other one.

* ERIC Pickles, talking about the floods, said: “We need to get people back into their houses and do some serious pumping.” A motto Harry Styles lives his life by.

Feb 16. Most of the people on First Dates look more like cell-mates than soul-mates. Old-balls, show-offs, creeps... it’s Cupid in the community. Writer Christine hadn’t had a fella for months, although in fairness her offers probably pick up around Halloween. First dates are awkward enough without cameras. When they’re mismatched as hers was with poor stammering Paul they’re excruciating.

But even when couples click on this show it can make you squirm. Hot cop Angie, 45, fell for buff ex-squaddie Chris, 27 – the sort of bloke who’d get through Take Me Out without a single light going off. He wondered if she was a cougar. If she was, that would make him her “prey,” she observed hungrily. Somewhere in the distance you could hear Caroline Flack cheering. After a few sherberts, Angie was making playground shagging gestures – the kiss of death if a bloke had done it, but Chris didn’t seem to mind. In fact I’ve got a feeling her handcuffs came in handy.

Tattooed Regan from Manchester was a stunner, like a young Scary Spice without the class (cough). Regan was loud, sexy and full of herself, with a hint of vulnerability under the bluster. She towered over Hobbit-sized bank manager Ross like Mel B in that online bingo advert. She also lapped up his feeble gags, which suggests there’s hope for us all.

At the bar Regan unsettled him by ordering a Porn Star Martini. Would that be a Rum Jeremy? Or a Gin & Jamesons? Either way he seemed to be paying (how cheap are Channel 4, they invite a load of attention-seekers on their dating show and don’t even treat them to a free meal). Outside Ross tried to put his arm around her. She was having none of it. You got the feeling that if this relationship took off, Regan would be the one bending him over a desk, possibly while wearing a strap-on. At least she didn’t bring her dog along. What was Chloe thinking? The way date Mo looked at it, she was lucky that pooch wasn’t the first course.

*ONE unnamed blonde reckoned she’d “take ‘funny’ over ‘looks’ any day.” Of course she would. What woman wouldn’t clamber over David Beckham to grab hold of Ken Dodd’s tickling stick?

MOST of the people with bad things to say about Jim Davidson have said them... to the papers... for money... which serves him right for marrying them. But Endemol needed someone to rain on Jim’s parade and as Linda Nolan wasn’t available they dug up Nina Myskow instead. (Remember her? Briefly notorious for crushing dreams on New Faces in the 1970s...) Naturally there was more chance of catching Liz Jones playing Neknominate in her smalls than of sour-faced Nasty Nina giving him a break. Nina used Jim Davidson: At Least I’m Not Boring to trot out all the tedious old this-ism, that-ism name-calling. One question would have knocked Miss Cow off of her high horse though: when did you last see Jim live, cos he dropped the Chalkie character donkey’s years ago. Davidson’s style became more conversational in the 90s. It suited his natural gift for story-telling and mimicry. But his critics never forgave him for being a working class Tory, and the producers allowed that PC disapproval to set the tone of the show. A shame because there’s much more to Jim’s story, and his talent, than the resulting programme suggested. It skipped over his decades of dedicated work for British forces, ignored his rock links and lucrative adult pantos, and swerved any consideration of how his comedy developed and grew. When he started, as a whippet-thin speed-freak ex-drummer, Jim drew on the same pool of gags as older Cockney comedians – Jimmy Jones, Mike Reid and Pete Demmer. On TV, his naughty boy charm helped him connect with millions. The “Nick, nick” stuff worked on screen, while live he took smut to gynaecological levels. As he got older, Jim moved on from filth into PC-baiting mischief, drawing on his skills as a storyteller and natural mimic. Yet no matter how well he hosted the Gen Game, Davidson was never a good fit at the Beeb. Inevitably he joined a long list of comics axed by TV execs while loved by millions. I’m not pretending he’s perfect – who is? But the real Jim is funny, loyal and generous. There was always more to him than the crusty old reactionary imagined by media trendies. Celeb Big Brother allowed us to see the man behind the myth. And the crowds at the gigs that followed his win showed his cross-generational appeal. An Audience With Jim Davidson would be a ratings smash.

DO you ever look at TV subtitles just for the cock-ups? I do. I once saw Prince William’s wife described as the “badger of Cambridge” rather than the Duchess. Last weekend, Arsenal’s kit-man was called their “hit-man” - they certainly needed one to take out Skrtel and Sterling. Female rowers, coming third at the Olympics, were urged “Don’t give up on that sex offender” (the commentator had actually said “silver medal”.) While Dancing On Ice once assured us that lightweight celebs would be “toasted to their limits” – preferably over an open fire.

HOT on TV: Inside No 9... Line Of Duty... Walking Dead (Fox)... Suspects (C5)... Lara Pulver on Fleming (Sky Atlantic).

ROT on TV: Alan Davies’s Après-Ski - comedy’s winter blunder-land... Sexy Beasts... Babylon – over-hyped and under-cooked... Nina Myskow – yesterday’s zero.

CHANNEL 4 thinks we can learn something from the Scandinavian model, and if they meant Ida Segerhagen I’d agree. Instead we got Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall telling us the Danes are the happiest people on the planet – despite their sky-high taxes, massive debts and soaring cancer rates. On Scandimania, he raved about their pastries, eateries and ugly wind turbines, but didn’t even sample their stout, let alone the akvavit. He’s no Keith Floyd.

*THE BBC will stop making panel shows without women. Here’s a better idea: why not stop making ‘comedy’ shows that aren’t remotely funny? Their sitcom department has fewer hits than Dean Gaffney’s imdb page.

*CHERYL Cole worries that rejoining The X Factor will turn her life “into a circus.” Why? She married a clown... Simon Cowell has the trousers. And she’s inspired many teenage boys to enjoy the Cirque du Solo. No ringmaster gags by request.

*I HEAR Katie Hopkins is launching a range of footwear inspired by Benefits Street residents: cheap, lazy loafers. They come in all colours.

*ALFIE claimed to be wearing an “invisibility cloak” on EastEnders. Did he borrow it from Big Mo? We hardly ever see her. Mo’s skin must be made from the same material as stealth bombers. What was the “really bad” something Alfie did in Australia though? Buy a new shirt? Audition for Neighbours? If it was just getting his leg over, he’s got a long way to go before he catches up with Kat.

*DAVID Cameron wants a “new pumping strategy” but Peter Barlow seems perfectly happy with his old one... Lucky Tina, allegedly.

Small Joys of TV: Neil Sedaka: King of Songs. Troy. The Life of Rock with Brian Pern (especially the Judge Dread clips). Danny Baker’s Rockin’ Decades. The Japanese equivalent of Chris Tarrant barking “Final answah?” at contestants like a crazed POW commandant, but best ask Nina Myskow if we’re allowed to find it funny.

Random Irritations: Politicians using the floods as photo-opportunities. Danny Baker outrageously omitting Slade from his 1970s show. Clare Balding’s wild talk of “legends of the luge” – there ain’t any.

*THINGS I’d like to see: Death In Paradise welcoming new London cop John Luther – in his overcoat. He’d waste no time shagging Camille bandy. Trinny vs Nigella, preferably in a tank of mud...And new TV debate show: The Big Flood Row – Live, ending with Chris Smith falling on his sword... and not metaphorically either.

TV Maths: Paul McCartney + Derek Nimmo = Mark Ellen. (Spotted by Danny Baker).

Feb 9. IF Jeremy Kyle ran Question Time, the result would be a lot like The Big Benefits Row: Live. This was political debate fuelled by insults, resentment and tribal hatred – a proper shouting match. At one stage, some women who looked like a hit squad from Haringey Council broke into a chant. It’s a wonder punches weren’t thrown.

Unsurprisingly, Katie Hopkins was at the centre of Channel 5’s boisterous bear-pit. Looking like a wicked fairytale queen who’d just received unflattering news from her talking mirror, Hopkins claimed to represent hard-working Brits driven to despair by Benefits Street scroungers. The one-time Apprentice loser let rip at “people who take-take-take” and “have child after child and expect us to pay for it.” She berated “left-wing loons”, branded Annabel Giles “a failed model” and told an unemployed graduate to “clean toilets.” Ten more minutes and she’d have been demanding that the poor be forcibly sterilized, and that better-looking claimants should go on the game. (SB could be sitting on a fortune.)

Hatchet-faced Edwina Currie followed with a mix of abuse and contempt, provoking one chunky Doris from On Benefits & Proud to shout “Give me a job then, innit!” In this chaos, Red Ken of all people sounded like the voice of sanity. Manufacturing jobs have been wiped out, he said, and we need to create decent employment for working class men. It was a point so reasonable, we never saw him on screen again.

Shows like Benefits Street give human faces to statistics. It’s not Cathy Come Home – more Cathy Went Home, put her feet up, knocked out kids and smoked skunk while you mugs footed the bill. It doesn’t tell the whole story though. Most of us know people who abuse the welfare system, but not everyone on benefits is pulling a fast one. And the feckless tealeaves and addicts of James Turner Street aren’t the only social evil in town. The guys at RBS who trousered mega-bonuses after mucking up, the mammoth multinational corporations who swerve tax... aren’t they on the “take-take-take” too, Kate? We’ll never see Parasite Street on our screens.

EDNA and Simon were the stars of She’s 78, He’s 39: Age-Gap Love. It was almost necrophilia with consent. Organist Simon had reduced Edna to “trembling jelly” with his deft finger work, so she’d dragged him under a pier for a snog. Rumours that she’d then given him a love-bite and left her false teeth in his neck cannot be confirmed or denied. I’m glad they’re happy, of course, but gladder that she kept her clothes on. It could have put you off dried fruit for life. Joan, 69, was more like Bus-Pass Barbie. Ask most old biddies “are those real?” and you’d be talking about their dentures. Joan had a massive boob-job, worked out to look younger, and enjoyed a lively sex-life with toy-boy Phil. 29. Mercifully no-one asked if KY Jelly sufficed or whether they’d had to move on to Poligrip. Publican Mike, 74, had a new-born baby with wife Lyndsey, 33. Brave bloke – by the time that kid is out of nappies, he might be in them.

*LET’S hope the soaps don’t follow this – we don’t want Emily Bishop getting it on with Kirk, Rita rolling in the hay with Tyrone... or Norris Cole tempting Tina with a fistful of Wethers Original flavoured condoms. A prospect that’s only slightly dafter than her and Peter Barlow (the true champion of The Jump.)

MASOOD Ahmed on EastEnders has undergone the biggest transformation since Henry Jekyll got a taste for potions. Once a strict Muslim, the former postman-teacher-restaurateur is now a violent, drunken, thieving scumbag... like most Walford blokes. Down and out on Thursday he looked only days away from a syringe full of smack - you can’t spell Masood without OD. Things seemed so bad you half-expected to see Prince Charles come sailing up Walford canal. And all because Carol chucked him for David - for most fellas, reason to celebrate... Poor Carol. Fighting cancer is one thing, but the real big C is the bloke she’s marrying.

*UA famously invited customers to “fly the friendly skies,” randy airhostess Nikki Spraggan offered David a ride on her friendly thighs instead. Talk about welcome aboard! Not sure what airline Nik works for, but I’m guessing it’s Really easyJet.

*GOOD to see Stacey again. She looked happy, but don’t worry, get her back to Albert Square and they’ll soon wipe that smile off her boat-race.

HOT on TV: Salamander (BBC4)... Ross Kemp: Extreme World (Sky1)... Nashville (More4)... NCIS (C5)... Royal Cousins At War.

ROT on TV: Dan Snow – there are snowmen with more charisma... Extreme Beauty Queens... Mr Selfridge’s Poundland script... Dancing On Ice – make it melt.

JAY Leno said goodbye to The Tonight Show in the States for the second time on Friday. On both occasions he was canned by NBC despite great ratings – Jay was getting just shy of five million viewers a night in the last week of January. But he is 63 and TV execs can’t cope with that. Their god is demographics, and it’s a phony one. Jay got bumped in favour of Conan O’Brien in 2009, but Conan’s ratings dived and they brought Leno back. Now they’re replacing him with Jimmy Fallon who is younger but nowhere near as funny. He’ll be lucky to see the year out. TV’s obsession with age is driven by cynical ad executives who are desperate to hook the next generation. They forget that older working people whose kids have left home and who have paid off their mortgage have more cash to splash than a couple in their twenties, and they are wrong to think young people only laugh at other young people. Funny is funny, age is immaterial.

THE first series of The Following gripped like the Boston Strangler, but bringing killer cult leader Joe Carroll back from the grave just feels lazy. The new series is a barking blood-fest. Creepy twins play happy families with a couple they’d murdered; gangs slaughter innocents on the subway while chanting “Resurrect!” like the Hayley Cropper fan club on a rampage. It’s nuts. Hero Ryan is trying hard to be a professor again but his new squeeze turned out to be the twins’ equally twisted Mum. More mayhem will come, but credibility is down the gurgler.

BIG Ballet? Come on C4 if you’re going to make a show about plus-size ballerinas at least call it the Dance of the Sugar Plump Fairies. Or Buttcrackers - Sweet! Lack of interest means I can’t tell you whether they wear tutus or ten-tens, or whether the show is likely to unveil the next big D’Arsey Bussell.

*MORE big ballets: Swan Cake, The Sleeping Blobby, Romeo & Julie Ate...

*MARRIED Sally Bercow was pictured snogging a clubber. She’d done absolutely nothing wrong, according to her legal adviser Lee Ryan.

TV Maths: Lauren Harris + Nigel Farage = Matthew Dennison.

Small Joys of TV: comic songs on This Is Jinsy, especially Rob Brydon’s female badger ditty. Historian Karina Urbach. AHS: Coven finale. BBC4’s Everly Brothers night. Rachel Riley telling Chris Tarrant “Thirty seconds is my thing” – it’d work for me, Rach.

Random Irritations: Hugh Fearnley-Whatever using Scandimania as an excuse to sing badly and flash his arse. Millionaire petering out with lackluster celebrities. Hostages – all that free time and not one of the idiots has the sense to call the Feds.

SEPARATED at birth: Matthew McConaughey and Dean Gaffney – one was in Dazed & Confused, the other just is...

ROSS Kemp’s Northern Ireland report was surprisingly balanced. The standard BBC/TV line for the last 30 years has pretty much been to say: look at these crazy Prods forever oppressing Nationalists with their parades and drums and flute bands, why can’t they just shut the hell up (and roll over and cede Ulster to the South)? But even those uninterested in Irish politics might have watched this show and thought: well, okay, one side have parades, but extremists on the other side are still shooting unarmed cops and prison warders... so who are the real bad guys in this situation? They might even have thought: why have these people who object to the marches bought houses on the route? It’s not like they’re something new. Why don’t they just close their windows for the time it takes the parade to pass? It’s not like Notting Hill Carnival, they go on for minutes not days... And why must the Union flag – the flag of our country - be removed from public buildings to appease those who would rather live in another country? There is good and bad and much wickedness on both sides, and grievances that go back hundreds of years, but even so, it’s increasingly apparent that the ‘Peace Process’ was a myth that masked the cold reality of Britain surrendering to the IRA and hanging the Prods out to dry.

Feb 2. How are Celebrity Big Brother ever going to top that? Brilliantly cast, the latest series was packed with lust, rows, tears, betrayal and laugh-out-loud moments. Where else could you have found Lionel Blair in fetish gear shouting “Suck my d*ck”, before telling Big Brother “go f**k yourself”? It had the perfect winner too. Jim Davidson triumphed despite being “nominated more times than Gone With The Wind.”

“Bye-bye house” he said on leaving; and with his divorce record not for the first time.

This format shows people as they really are; which means the next fella to date Linda Nolan deserves a VC. Jim was grumpy, caring, open, often surprising and always funny. Dear old Lionel turned out to be two-faced and quick-tempered, while soppy Lee Ryan proved as trustworthy as a Peter Barlow marriage vow, flitting from Casey to Jasmine and back again. “I wear my heart on my sleeve,” he told Jimbo who quipped back “Thank god you’ve got two sleeves.”

Hardened male chauvinists felt Lee let the side down though - he pulled two women and failed to bang either of them.

Last week’s grandfather clock task, where housemates freeze like statues as loved ones invaded the house, was inspired. Jasmine stormed back and laid into Lee, Casey’s mum told her “Keep away from Lee, he’s mugged you off” before thanking Jim for looking after her daughter.

It was a rich, inventive, addictive run, littered with moments that stood out like Casey’s chest: Liz Jones’s misery monologue, “puppy treats”, Dappy’s IQ row with Luisa, “Frank Carson’s dressing room... ” And Jim’s “roll on death”, delivered at the height of Linda’s tireless campaign against him. The atmosphere changed as soon as she went, taking her small black cloud with her. Even Luisa sussed that Linda not Jim was the real grief generator; Luisa’s mum kissed his cheek to confirm it. Jim’s unexpected father-son relationship with dizzy Dappy was just one touching aspect of a show packed with unexpected highs.

*MY CBB casting tips: Buster Bloodvessel, Dynamo, evil Katie Hopkins, Eddie Large, Liza Tarbuck, Kelly Brook, Rodney Hylton-Potts, Jamelia, Brandi Glanville, Max Splodge, Bobby Ball, Denise Van Outen...

*LUSTY Luisa left for The Jump as soon as the show ended. I’m sorry, my mistake, she left for a jump.

ITV threw me and Linda Lusardi out of a plane once, but The Jump makes Drop The Celebrity look like a day at the beach. C4’s snow-down showdown ups the fear factor like a home visit from Freddie Krueger. For starters it could be twinned with Casualty. The Giant Slalom left Melinda Messenger concussed. Camp posh boy Henry Conway (no idea) broke a bone in his wrist. Darren Gough suffered two eye-wateringly painful skiing falls... No wonder Amy Childs piste off. Fashionable faces have no place here. The Jump is for people who are determined and sporty. Or those desperate for TV at any cost cos their careers have gone downhill faster than Rusty Lee on a Cresta Run (hello Anthea!). It’d be more watchable at twice the pace. But the prospect of Donal MacIntyre breaking his neck made it must-see for football hooligans.

*THE biggest let-down was the elimination jump. K15, which they had the sense to close, was barely bigger than a playground slide. Doctor Who’s K9 looks scarier. Nicky Clarke took part to “change people’s opinion of the hairdressing world.” He failed. Clarke managed a meagre 9.5metres and was first out.

HOT on TV: Hannah Waddingham (Benidorm)... Kacey Musgraves (Grammys)... SB (Benefits Street)... Uncle... Jim Davidson... best ever Celebrity Big Brother.

ROT on TV: Davina McCall – brings feck-all to The Jump... Ghost Adventure – hauntingly bad... Dragons’ Den – dragging on... Question Time – wetter than Somerset.

BRITAIN’S Great War started well enough, but it isn’t a patch on The Great War, the moving and painstaking 1960s BBC series narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave. That had vivid memories of veterans, extracts from diaries, a wealth of photographs and uncensored footage. It was epic television, edited superbly. Paxo can’t beat it, so why not repeat it?

*IT’S definitely getting colder. On Winterwatch I saw a weasel wearing a stoat.

*ISN’T it odd how many people on Room 101 should be in Room 101?

*SHOWS I’d like to see: The Jump with jet-packs, Dancing On Ice with paraffin heaters, Coach Trip On Ice, Splash! On Acid – “terrified Arg flees pool to avoid mermaid riding a shark... ”

*MICK Carter is supposed to be shrewd yet he bought the Queen Vic on EastEnders for £200K without getting a surveyor in, and gave Shirley a one-third share for £10K. With that kind of business brain he’d be a natural for The Apprentice.

HOW many Carters is Albert Square getting? Ten? Eleven? They’re breeding faster than Hugh Grant.

TO Dragons’ Den where a Bulgarian inventor wanted £1million for a device that runs your bath as hot and deep as you want it. I’ve got something that does that a lot cheaper – taps.

*I LIKED those pop-and-go knickers; perfect for Sienna Miller.

*WOULD the dragons go for my CBB-themed inventions? There’s the Virtual Sam – a Sam Faiers mannequin that does as much as the real thing (absolutely sod all). The Linda Nolan Miracle Wooden Spoon – it stirs constantly. And Dappy’s Pop-Up Book of Co... (Cut! – Ed)

THE Grammys make the Brits look lame. LL Cool J hosted with warmth and charm, Pink appeared to auditioning for Cirque Du Soleil, Metallica played, Steve Tyler came on with Smokey Robinson... Oh and 33 assorted couples got married which at least saved them the trouble of hiring someone to shoot a wedding video. All a tad classier than James Corden sniffing Justin Bieber.

HOW modern marriage works: wed at the Grammys, separate at the Oscars, divorce by the Comedy Awards...

Small Joys of TV: Jeremy Paxman’s bow-legs exposed on Britain’s Great War. Dick Emery clips. Hell On Wheels (ITV4). Outnumbered. Blue reminding Lee ‘Two Birds’ Ryan that the song says ‘One Love.’

Random Irritations: Tedious tension-building on live shows (all channels) – pregnant pauses are one thing, these are long enough to call the midwife and deliver the baby. Davina’s fake laugh. The ‘hate Davidson’ twitter brigade – far more prejudiced than Jim’s ever been.

SEPARATED at birth: D’Artagnan (The Musketeers) and Ollie from Made In Chelsea. One a dashing swordsman willing to stab out in any direction... the other a moody Frenchman.

JIM Davidson winning CBB, Mrs. Brown triumphant, jungle king Joe Pasquale a smash in Spamalot, Bradley Walsh great in everything he does... Maybe TV execs should stop telling us who we should laugh at and give more shows to down-to-earth performers people clearly adore.

*2014 is the 60th anniversary of Ken Dodd’s first gig. Worth a documentary, surely?

 

Previously...