BUSHELL ON THE BOX - 2010
31. SELF-inflating blow-up dolls, shattering chandeliers, Tony
Angelino “cwying”...Only Fools & Horses was always
going to be a hard act to follow. So you can’t blame Rock
& Chips for not trying. Once you accepted that the show wasn’t
a sitcom but a warm, nostalgic comedy drama, there was much to
enjoy in John Sullivan’s Del-Boy prequel. Not least the
Gloria Ming gag. Del’s Mum, Joan, booked into a family planning
clinic using the name of a Chinese actress. “Are you Minge?”
the clerk asked loudly. “I’m looking for Minge.”
As were Del and his 14-year-old mates...
its heart Rock was a love-story. Joan, played by Kellie Bright,
was a pretty but neglected wife, trapped in a loveless marriage
to workshy pig Reg Trotter. She flogged ice cream at the local
fleapit where her pervy boss accurately likened her to “Venus
rising with a tray of Mivvis.” No wonder Freddie Robdal
took a shine to her raspberry ripples. Art-loving crook Freddie
(Nick Lyndhurst) was fresh out of Dartmoor. Compared to the Nag’s
Head regulars, he oozed charm and sophistication. Knowing he’d
romance Joan into bed didn’t spoil the pleasure of the chase.
joys included Robert Daws as Joan’s creepy cinema boss,
fag machines at the clinic, Phil Daniels as Grandad, sly nods
to future stories, outside khazis and old London slang (like “brahma”
for gorgeous, “decko” for look and “mooey”
for boatrace). On the downside, Del and co looked far too old.
The term ‘rock star’ wasn’t used in 1960, and
a security guard would’ve been a night watchman. And okay,
it wasn’t a patch on OF&H, but what is? It was Britain’s
most cherished sitcom and there’s no sign that the Muppets
running BBC comedy will ever commission anything like it again.
Fools ended superbly in 1996. Then, Sullivan cocked up twice 1)
he brought the Trotters back and made them poor again –
ruining the perfect 1996 ending; and 2) he wrote Green Green Grass
as a thin lame farce. At least Rock & Chips felt real. Few
Del-Boy fans would object to another outing next Xmas. Especially
if it comes with a young Marlene...something most Peckham teenage
boys would like to have done. And probably did.
drama defined: it wasn’t funny enough for a sitcom, so we
made it longer...
a result on Celeb Big Brother. Alex Reid did what Tony Blair at
the Chilcot Inquiry couldn’t – he changed people’s
minds. Reid went in a joke and came out an OK bloke. Unlike his
other half who’s as pleasant and trustworthy as the Taliban,
there’s no side to Alex. The “likeable prat”
is also loveable. Well, almost. Besides, as Avatar, Shrek and
Dale Winton prove the public like people of peculiar colouring.
The real joy of the series was Vinnie Jones. Some moaned that
Vinnie was a bully. I couldn’t see it. His banter was funny
and usually spot on. Snooty Steph was the real assassin, accurately
describing Sov as “a despicable non-entity who hasn’t
been brought up right.” Even thick, poo-obsessed Nic excelled
herself for the Tree of Temptation, telling Ivana she looked like
“a big fat orange” and Jonas that he resembled Roland
Rat. I could have done without her squeezing Alex’s spots
though. The week’s big flop was Davina going into the house
disguised as a chicken (Wot? No Colonel Sanders?) Vinnie rumbled
her immediately. This series never hit the heights scaled by the
2006 run, but CBB still works brilliantly. C4 are nuts to end
the biggest thing Alex and Dane will ever be in. Apart from Jordon.
god-botherer Stephen Baldwin has been sober for 21 years; how
irritating would he be pissed?
Bauer, a man more hard-bitten than Evander Holyfield’s ear,
is a grandad talking about retiring at the start of the new run
of 24. Yeah right. Within minutes there’s a wounded informant
at his door, and a fresh threat to world peace to take care of.
Hostiles are out to top a Middle Eastern leader, the CTU have
a new pig-headed boss and their high-tech HQ looks like the inside
of a star-ship. (By coincidence Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar
Galactica is here as a sexy CTU analyst with a pesky red-neck
ex.) Two hours in and there are seven dead – in Jack’s
world, a slow start. But this show’s like an out-of-control
rollercoaster ride, and it’ll get a whole lot scarier before
grandad Jack gets a chance to nap.
on TV: 24 (Sky1) – Jack’s back... Kellie Bright (Rock
& Chips) ... Mad Men (BBC4)... Leverage (Bravo) – Hustle
crossed with Mission Impossible.
on TV: Belle de Jour – hell de bore...David Harewood as
Mandela (Mrs Mandela) – so wooden I’m amazed he didn’t
take root... Danny Dyer: I Believe In UFOs – oi Dyer, no,
SUSAN Boyle found an intruder in her house. How unsettling would
that be? You’re alone in a darkened room, you hear a noise,
you’re scared, and then suddenly you come face to face with
SuBo disturbed an intruder. Apparently he looked like Gordon Brown
in drag. She found him in the mirror.
Joe and Gail’s row on Corrie. Can you imagine them at it?
She’d have to go on top. Joe can only screw up.
IF Ugly Betty has been axed why is she still making hotpots in
ITV’s new boss used to the head of Royal Mail. Presumably
they’re hoping he’ll push the envelope.
If Adam Crozier does for ITV what he did for Royal Mail, Coronation
Street cast will be on strike by Easter (memo to Rosie: one out,
both out!). This guy does for industrial relations what John Terry
did to his best mate's wife.
I learnt this week from watching TV: Meat Loaf is largely ham.
irritations: another non-Cockney in EastEnders. Two and a half
bleedin’ hours of ice-skating. C4 flogging Shameless to
joys of TV: sixties stockings on Mad Men – how to look good
clothed. Great British Rail Journeys. Sir Patrick Moore –
now the size of a small asteroid. Steve McDonald’s amazing
shape-changing sausage (Friday’s Corrie).
mysteries: Was Roxy Mitchell dressed for her Dad’s funeral
or a bad pop video? What millionaire party-girl would want to
live in Albert Square? How could Peter Barlow and blonde Lucy
have had a son who looks Mediterranean?
Titchmarsh’s exec producer is called Annie Sweetbaum. Sweetbaum
must be German for ‘sweat-bread’ cos the show is complete
at birth: ITV’s opera mentor Rolando and Mr Bean, one a
weird, socially awkward nitwit and... aw, you know where this
is heading. Runners-up: Creepy Ernie on Rock & Chips and creepier
Attila The Stockbroker.
28. The operation to make The Girl With Eight Limbs normal caused
upset in India. And if you thought Hindus were outraged you should
have heard the guy from the National Twister Association.
WISH of the day: to live long enough to see the Apple iPad on
the Antiques Roadshow.
24. THE Blue Planet, Civilisation, The Ascent Of Man... these
crown jewels of Factual TV have finally found an equal. Step forward,
Loose Women. Yeah, ITV’s daily dollop of oestrogen-driven
dross was named top Factual Programme at the National Television
Awards. Which is a bit like giving Wild At Heart a gong for Best
Zoology series, or congratulating the Met Office for the accuracy
of their forecasts. Entertainment-chat show Loose Women isn’t
‘factual’ in any sense. Neither is it remotely entertaining.
The chat largely consists of man-bashing or man-ogling with a
side-order of menopausal moaning.
wonder the night was sponsored by Crabbies.
claim that all these awards are “decided by you”.
Yet they decide which shows we can vote for, and how and where
we can vote. It’s the kind of democratic set-up that would
delight Mugabe, Ahmadinejad and the Electoral Commission of Florida.
By happy coincidence, the gongs ended up split equally between
ITV and the BBC. Again.
was the order of the night. Stephen Fry won the newly-created
Star Travel Documentary category with In America, a series broadcast
in October 2008 that even Lady Sov would have found lazy and self-indulgent.
Typical of the show’s wit and insight was the scene where
the sainted Stephen sampled Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
and declared it “quite cold.”
went to Dr Who, whose Christmas show was a badly-written mess,
and Gavin & Stacey which started as a sitcom and ended up
a soap with smiles. Corrie’s Craig Gazey won best new-comer
despite first appearing in the show in April 08. Corrie took best
soap too, after a mammoth trailer was shown during the ceremony
while voting was still going on... Ant and Dec scooped two awards:
one for their entirely original Saturday Night House Party, one
for entertainment. Yeah? Put ’em on stage for half an hour
with Paul O’Grady or Harry Hill or Michael McIntyre and
see who entertains us most... ITV struggled pointlessly to make
Dermot funny and wrung more lame mileage from one-joke Jedward,
who made the most welcome come-back since rickets. They need a
comic at the helm, urgent voting reform and categories that make
sense. And it would help dispel viewer cynicism if they also showed
us the voting figures. If Loose Women really is our finest Factual
Programme, then British telly is more doomed than Cadbury’s
Davies on Stephen Fry: “Stephen’s a big giver.”
Woah. Too much information.
Women, factual? On Thursday it described Jane McDonald as a “glamour-puss”
and Sherie Hewson as “bubbly.” Nuff said.
great to see a fat bloke from a Reading council estate with Hollywood
at his feet. But Ricky Gervais’s gags at the Golden Globes
made Dancing On Ice seem well judged. He started well “just
looking at all the faces here reminds me of some of the great
work that’s been done this year... by cosmetic surgeons.”
And went on to do knob and masturbation gags in the first two
minutes... fine at a Comedy Central Roast, but not so smart in
an industry accustomed to Billy Crystal at the Oscars. If Ricky
had just wanted to shock why not give Avatar’s award to
the makers of Fern Gully?
glad Mad Men won. Christina Hendricks just screams golden globes.
And if she’d swapped dresses with Mariah Carey we might
have seen them.
can Corrie be our top soap? Its big stories grip like a greased-up
waif, its continuity is all to cock, and the comedy is now so
woeful it’s a wonder Jesse’s parrot hasn’t flown
down to Weatherfield KFC and turned itself in. Street puzzles
include: Why wouldn’t Joe tell the cops about that greasy
loan shark? How-come Michelle has forgotten her other son? And
will Status Quo’s world tour ever end? Les Battersby has
been on the road with them for two and a half years. And knowing
him, he only took one pair of pants.
storyline Corrie’s big chest-beating trailer should have
included: Goodbye Hayley, welcome back Harold, brace yourself
POINT of order, reader Mike Plowman reminds me that Les now roadies
for an Irish ZZ Top tribute band called ZZ Top O' The Morning.
But I stand by the one pair of pants...(Mike also reminds me that
dozy Joe told Gail his boat would be worth £12grand when
it was restored. So why the hell doesn't he flog it?
on TV: Milton Jones and Patrick Kielty (Mock The Week) –
but Frankie Boyle is missed... CSI... Modern Family... Gretchen
Mol (Life On Mars USA).
on TV: Wild At Heart - couldn’t be cheesier if it were taken
over by Kraft... Sinitta caterwauling on Titchmarsh – she
sings as well as she skates...Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape
– grating... and Hilary Jones – stiffer on ice than
he was when he gave Josephine Buchan The Full Treatment.
drama tonight on Dancing On Ice, when observers spot an unpleasant
crack on the ice. Mercifully, Holly has a quick word with Heather
and she crosses her legs. Memo to Davro: you were robbed, Bob.
curse of “this’ll do” is afflicting Heroes.
Once Hiro fought to save the world; last night he tried to stop
a bloke from photocopying his arse.
Hustle, the grifters worked a con with an ice statue (as seen
on Jonathan Creek) to hand Czech Charlie £500K. If they’d
been really smart they’d have set him up for a six stretch
and kept the dough.
Swash had to spend a night with a sex demon on I Believe In Ghosts.
That Janine Butcher gets around, doesn’t she?
had a ghost barmaid on Being Human. Leonora Crichlaw is lush,
but I’d prefer the spirit serving my spirits to look more
like Dawn Swann. Ghost-bustier, you might say.
Ramsay met a tribe of head-shrinkers in Nagaland. He was safe
though. With his head, that’s too big a job. Charmless nerk.
irritations: Mo’Nique’s OTT speech at the Golden Globes.
How about a little Less’Nique? Bellamy’s People –
so well-observed they forgot to make it funny. And old women getting
IVF. Have they thought this through? It means Audrey Roberts could
have another Gail.
joys of TV: Barry Fry (Celeb Big Brother). The Tree of Temptation
(ditto). The “Piers Morgan Assisted Suicide Fund”
(Rab C. Nesbitt). And Neytiri (Avatar clips) – she’s
9ft 9 and worth the climb.
at birth, BDO darts player Dave ‘Cheza’ Chisnall and
Sloth from The Goonies; one large and deformed but strong in a
struggle, the other a character in a 1980s film.
Obama first year verdict in full: can he fix it? No he can’t.
17. WHERE would Dancing On Ice viewers be without Tony Gubba?
I thought the “frog lift” was something Sarkozy wore
in his shoes and that the “rotating double stag” was
one of services Heidi Fleiss used to provide. But no. Gubs knows
them all. Tone can distinguish between the “turkey tail
feather ruffle” and the “Isle Of Man spin combination”,
something you’d think would require a 500cc Triumph Tiger.
At times, when he waxes lyrical about “booty bumps”,
“teapots” and “combo Serpentine fish lifts”
it’s tempting to believe he’s making it all up as
he goes along. But then you remember that this is ITV, home of
GMTV and Saturday Night Take-away, and realise probity is their
watchword. They’re as likely to indulge in deception as
Alastair Campbell is to tell lies about Iraq.
know; the very idea.
Gardiner is the show’s minor point of interest. Last week
he cruelly but accurately pointed out that Sharron Davies looked
like she was “possessed by a tree.” (Not in the Evil
Dead sense). His verdicts are as harsh as Heather’s new
Shirley-from-EastEnders haircut. So I wonder what he makes of
Phil Schofield? This creep has been getting away with his nice
guy act for years, but every now and then the mask slips and you
spot the satanic intensity in his eyes. If his path to stardom
hasn’t involved the selling of his soul, then Sinitta wasn’t
robbed on Sunday...
did the sultry ‘So Macho’ songbird lose to Sharron,
I nearly care enough to ask? The ex-swimmer was stiffer than a
CSI corpse. We might take issue with ITV describing Sinitta as
a pop star – the last time she had a hit Emily Atack wasn’t
even born. But she easily out-skated Shazza. She also very nearly
performed the show’s first live vasectomy when her blade
ripped through Andrei Lipanov’s strides. Disappointingly,
Bobby Davro didn’t immediately christen this manoeuvre a
“snip-and-off”. The fellas start tonight and much
is riding on Davro’s performance. If he can’t out-zing
Jason or out-bungle Todd Carty, then the likelihood of me watching
another episode is on par with the chances of Wallander cracking
a joke. What else has Dancing On Ice got to offer geezers? Holly’s
curves, the remote chance than someone will beat Hayley Tamaddon,
and the even remoter chance that a minor celebrity will be hospitalised...
It’s just not enough.
TECHNICAL note: the teapot should not be confused with the pan-handle.
That’s an effect caused by skating with Emily.
Ramsay on the show: “I love a challenge and this is a massive
one”, which by coincidence is what Jason told Barrowman
in the showers.
Tree of Temptation told Alex Reid to “kick the sh*t”
out of the snowman. It was hilarious. And close too; I had a tenner
on the snowman to win, but Alex nicked it on points. Just as well
the tree didn’t tell him to beat up Frosty, or the big dim
lug might have gone for Ivana instead. Reidy gives it the biggun
constantly. “I’m Alex f***ing Reid,” he said,
“you either love me or hate me” – discounting
the more likely possibility that none of us actually give a stuff
about him. On Friday, viewers activated the Nonentity Ejector
kicking out Kat. And Heidi Fleiss. A shame as Heidi showed promise
when she called Lady Sovereign a “really dumb bitch”.
So how did Sov survive? Simple. There are thousands of dumb bitches
out there and they need someone to follow.
Human’s Nina is now a werewolf, so once a month she becomes
violent, irrational and barking mad. So far, so normal. She also
gets hairier than Anjem Choudary, so it’s no wonder the
girl’s as cheerful as Wallander with toothache. I like new
girl Daisy, a swinging vampire who makes Iris Robinson look like
Emily Bishop. All together: “Daisy, Daisy, give us a neck
on TV: Bradley Walsh as DS Ronnie Brooks (Law & Order UK)...
Leonora Crichlow (Being Human)...Monday’s Nurse Jackie –
hilarious and moving in equal measure.
on TV: Take Me Out – take it off...Material Girl –
flimsy... Su Pollard murdering Back In The USSR (Sings The Beatles)
– as pleasant as Gulag gruel... Popstar To Opera Star -
Toscas... andThe Persuasionists – bring back Big Top. No,
The Simpsons is 20. To celebrate, here are my all-time favourite
quotes: 1) “If you don't like your job, you don't strike;
you just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the
American Way!” – Homer. 2) “Beer – the
cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
- Homer 3) “Me fail English? That’s unpossible”
– Ralph Wiggum 4) “Honey, just because I’m not
interested doesn’t mean I don’t care. Good night.
Zzzz.” – Homer to Marge.
furious that a One Show editor called Ronnie Corbett a “little
c***”. I know Ronnie and the correct way to refer to him
is a “tight little c***”.
says a mystery object shot past our planet last week. They don’t
know what it was, but as it missed the Earth by 80,000 miles,
it’s a safe bet that Maureen Rees was driving it.
IN Walford conditions are treacherous and frosty, with depression
imminent. No word yet on the weather. I’m just amazed Archie
forgot his yacht and his Dorset mansion in his will. And that
no-one thought of trading in Shirley under the government’s
boiler scrappage deal. Even more puzzling: why weren’t BBC2’s
USA docs called Schama’s Obama? With the theme tune ‘Pyjamarama’.
NEW spin-off show for Myleene Klass: Desperate House Knives...
ON Survivors, Abby has been locked up by dodgy scientists, cos
they need her immunity. Scary yes, but on the plus side it’ll
stop her from making a second series of Bonekickers.
irritations: Titchmarsh at teatime. Paddy McGuinness’s drivelling
catchphrases – “Likey?” Crikey. Not likely.
Mark Benton on Hustle, playing the bloke from the Nationwide ads
again; he’s really cornered the market in stupid fat slobs.
There are breeze blocks with more acting range.
Joys of TV: Freddie Frinton clips (QI). Vinnie Jones. Sean Lock.
Pawn Stars (History). Nigel ‘down with the kids’ Lythgoe
mentioning Wilson Keppel and Betty – either a 1930s sand
dancing act or the firm of solicitors he’s brought in to
sue his gag-writer.
at birth? Knicker-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Gus from
EastEnders. One a gormless twerp obsessed with rubbish who couldn’t
do a thing right, and so’s the other one.
10. ON Celebrity Big Brother, a blindfolded Alex Reid rubbed his
face into some large, over-inflated latex balloons. Insert your
own Katie Price bedroom punch-line here. Especially as it got
sticky very quickly... I’m sorry to lower the tone, but
frankly you’d have to go some to get down to the level of
conversation in the house. Basshunter spends most of his time
talking about breaking wind and self-abuse. He claims his teenage
record for pleasuring himself was 25 times in one day. Dear God.
Good luck finding someone willing to shake your hand after that
mate. It’s just a relief no-one asked him to ice Vinnie’s
was too much for the wonderfully snooty Stephanie Beecham who
exited gracefully, dubbing the revelations “slightly less
than fascinating.” The same could be said of many of the
housemates; a number of whom are also considerably less than celebrities.
There’s Ronnie Wood’s ex-girlfriend, Jordan’s
ex and current boyfriends, and former Hollywood pimp, Heidi Fleiss
who hasn’t been in the news since 1997 and looks like a
partially paralysed Steve Tyler with all the air sucked out of
him. Heidi seemed as high as Dubai’s Burj tower when she
arrived. But her bored expression whenever Stephen Baldwin does
his Ned Flanders bit almost makes up for it. Fleiss proves that
C4 don’t know the difference between ‘celebrity’
and ‘notoriety.’ In Alex’s case, make that desperate
nonentity. For pity’s sake put some clothes on man, it’s
January and it’s frostier than Jonathan Ross’s last
meeting with the BBC.
questions hang over this show: when’s it going to kick off,
and who’s going to have it off? The real ag happened before
it started. Dane Bowers turned up with a bruise above his eye
– it was the only hit he’d had in years. But sexual
chemistry is fizzing between cute-but-dull Katrina and horny Ass-Hunter,
Jonas. If she doesn’t oblige, I reckon those clowns with
the Monica Lewinsky mouths will be on his to-do list. Baldwin
is good value; he has the same creepy grin as the Mad comics boy.
They should send in Dawkins to counter-balance the preaching.
Why be born again? Why not just get it right the first time? Sisqo
is this year’s Verne Troyer but not as funny. Lady Goblin
is Mel C’s mini-me. And Nicola is pretty dumb; a foxy moron,
you might say. She’s looks like Lucie Jones, without the
talent. It’s a good mix, even if it does fall well short
of the classic 2006 series. Favourite to win: Vinnie Jones, if
he doesn’t walk.
once pleasured himself 25 times in a day. And you thought George
Galloway was the biggest wanker in CBB history...
quotes? 1) Steph: “Stephen did me at 3 o’clock in
the morning.”(She meant a massage.) 2) Sov: “I used
to be a chav.” Used? 3) Heidi saying: “Have I got
to spread my legs a lot further?” Not for the first time...
joys of CBB: the diary room Waltzer chair. Davina’s boots.
Ivana Trump coming out of the closet. The celebs not knowing each
other (although in fairness, who’d recognise Alex Reid in
York hospital drama Nurse Jackie is a black comedy, light on laughs
and heavy on the black. Eddie Falco - Carmela from The Sopranos
- plays cranky, pill-popping smart-arse Jackie. Part Saint, part
slapper, the married nurse cares for her patients, but shags the
pharmacist to feed her addiction. Jackie steals from a rich jerk
and gives the dosh to a pregnant woman whose boyfriend has died.
She flushes a severed ear down the pan so it can’t be re-attached
to its owner – an unrepentant scumbag who cut up a hooker.
If Jackie had a salute it’d involve her middle-finger. She’s
the Robin Hood of the ER; tough and watchable. But likeable? Forgedaboudit.
production credits for So You Think You Can Dance drag on like
the list of Hollywood dead at the Baftas. There are 27 different
producers, directors and researchers...all to make one crap dance
show. More people work on it than watch the bloody thing.
on TV: Nurse Jackie – scrubs up narky... Tim Minchin Live
(E4) ... Kelly Reilly (Above Suspicion) – sexiest cop since
Anna Lee... Ken Branagh as Wallender... and Britain’s Biggest
on TV: Adams v Fleet (BDO World Championships) – worst darts
match this side of the Queen Vic... any ITV show with ‘All-Star’
in the title... Hustle getting lazy - even the stumbling crowds
on Day Of The Triffids could have seen that final twist coming.
tough-guy Steven Seagal secretly works as a real life cop. Imagine
if more stars followed his example. Billie Piper could be sitting
on a fortune.
Brooker “has a large cock”, according to Popbitch.
Has, or is?
someone asked you to cut the grass in Walford, you’d be
spoilt for choice. Phil, Peggy, Sam, Shirley – they’re
all at it. Is Bertie Smalls writing the soap these days?
week’s ‘EastEnders Pair Split’ headline worried
me. Mercifully it was about Hannah Waterman’s marriage,
not Lacey Turner’s boob job.
Stewart on the pants bomber: “Even if the bomb works there’s
going to be 72 very disappointed virgins.”
BAG from Prison Break is the new villain on Heroes. His psychic
tattoo power might even make Jodie Marsh seem interesting.
irritations: the complete absence of mystery in The Mystery Of
The Nevada Triangle. The avalanche of naff dance shows –
almost as annoying as the gluttonous over-load of diet dross.
You want to lose weight? Eat less and exercise more, it’s
not rocket (salad) science.
joys of TV: Steve Seagal, Lawman (Crime). Elvis clips (most channels).
Poirot’s penguin waddle. And Joan Holloway’s curves
on Mad Men; memo to McDonalds: Joan’s the real Big Tasty.
at birth: the new Doctor Who and Jonn Penny from Ned’s Atomic
Dustbin; one made you want to ‘Kill Your Television’
the other sings in a band. Runner-up: loony protestor Ibrahim
Anderson and Joe Swash with his head on upside down.
John Lydon wants another butter-based ad campaign, how about ‘Anchor
is an energy’? (One for PiL fans there.) I’m here
all week, folks.
2. IT WAS the year of swine flu, moats and cross-dressing cage-fighters.
Jordan’s big split was on a thousand lips. She also broke
up with Peter Andre. Talk about a marriage going tits up... Tragically,
they still got TV bookings.
of 2009 was Susan Boyle. Sumo-sized Su-Bo lumbered onto the Britain’s
Got Talent stage looking like she was about to perform a Maori
rugby hacker. Instead she blew us away with her perfect mezzo.
Turkey of the Year: edging ahead in a crowded field was ITV’s
All-Star Impressions Show, so shockingly poor I can only assume
the people behind it are either mentally defective or have been
driven mad by the advance stages of venereal disease. Runner-up:
of the Year: Derek Acorah for his farcical ‘Live Séance’
with Michael Jackson - the biggest car-crash this side of Collision.
Jacko’s message from beyond the grave turned out to be:
“Say hello to Quincy Jones for me.” Deranged fans
of the year: True Blood, a sexy vampire drama with real bite.
Top drama: The Take. Worst: Demons – wetter than Randy Jackson’s
sweat patches on American Idol. Top new drama that didn’t
star Anna Paquin: Sons of Anarchy – Hamlet on Harleys.
sex scandal: Tiger Wood. The golfer’s unique approach to
holing six footers was a boon for comics. Runner-up: David Letterman
who apologised for “putting the staff in that position”
(over his desk?). Worst chat: Fearne and Peaches - Frost/Nixon
for feckwits. Best: Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately). Worst excuse
for a news show: Live from Studio Five.
Comedy: Curb Your Enthusiasm. Worst Comedy: Horne & Corden
(Yawn & Boredom). Top sitcom: The Inbetweeners. Worst: Big
Top. Commended in dispatches: Modern Family. Top Lookalike: Graham
Norton and Dr Crippen, but only one of them murdered Saturday
casting: David Harewood as Friar Tuck, a grumpy fat white bloke
reinvented as a black martial arts expert. Runners-up: Horne &
Corden hosting the Brits. Worst game-show host: Anton the Burk,
Hole In The Wall. “Bring on the wall”? Bring back
soap star: Larry Lamb as Archie Mitchell. Worst soap episode:
Heather and Shirley stalk George Michael. Runner-up: Darren knocking
up Heather (for the mechanics of how he managed it, see Inside
Nature’s Giants). Top soap lookalike: Walford’s unhappy
hooker Marissa and Fergal Sharkey – one sang Teenage Kicks,
the other charged for them. Top soap mystery: why Corrie's deaf
woman insists on doing sign language to people who can’t
double act: Jedward. Best double act: Sophie’s cleavage
(Big Bruv). Top joy: Stacey Solomon (X Factor). Top X Factor irritation:
Cheryl Cole, a professional singer, being described as “brave”
for singing live. Most impressive celeb performance: Robert Webb’s
flash-dance. Runner-up: Todd Carty (Dancing On Ice). Best Performance
by an Inanimate Object: Aretha’s hat at Obama’s inauguration.
Runner-up: Amanda Holden’s face.
of the Year: Noel Edmonds (Noel’s HQ). Woman of the Year:
Joanna Lumley. Gent of The Year: Gordon Ramsay, who called an
Aussie woman a pig. “Ironic when his face looks like crackling,”
– Sean Lock. Dick Cheney Diplomat of the Year Award: Kanye
West. Greatest TV innovation: The ‘Sucker Punch’ wall
of boxing gloves on Total Wipeout. All the fun of a date with
Chris Brown with none of the slurping.
Annual Peter Mandelson Award for Slipperiness: Nick Griffin on
Question Time. Star of The Year: Harry Hill Villain of The Year:
Katie Price. She had more trials than the Krays and, like Gordon
Brown, still hasn’t worked out it’s time to shut up
and sod off.
Gear was the greatest TV show of the Noughties, say C4. What a
wonderful v-sign to the po-faced drips who run our networks. Top
Gear is laddish, opinionated, competitive and defiantly un-PC
– everything modern telly isn’t supposed to be. So
it’s a shame C4 got it wrong, cos the decade’s greatest
show was actually The Sopranos. This sparkling Mafia drama, criminally
scheduled after midnight, didn’t even make their Top 20.
But then neither did Lost, 24, or The Mighty Boosh – all
more deserving of celebration than Grand Designs (No. 14).
my Top Ten of Noughties TV: 1) The Sopranos. 2) The Office. 3)
The Shield 4) Phoenix Nights 5) Life On Mars 6) Harry Hill’s
TV Burp 7) The Wire 8) 24 9) State Of Play 10) Battlestar Galactica.
Noughties were a golden age for US drama: The West Wing, Entourage,
Lost, Rome, Band Of Brothers, Deadwood, Mad Men, season one of
Heroes – all brilliant, and most of them buried away as
carelessly as Owen Turner’s corpse. (The greatest UK drama
series? Bodies, Spooks and the first two seasons of Shameless).
shows were the decade’s run-away hit. And yet telly execs
used to scoff at me for saying they’d catch on. Viewers
would flock to modern variety shows too, and blue collar comedy
shows. But trend-chasing, demographics-blinded TV commissioners
are too clueless to see it.
on TV: The World’s Strongest Man: Giants Live (Bravo)...
Dizzee Rascal (Hootenanny)...the Thames fireworks display...and
Joe Pasquale (Celebrity Mastermind).
on TV: New Year’s Eve scheduling – putting the hogwash
in Hogmanay... Take Me Out – yeah, and use a rifle... Sleep
With Me – zzzzz...and Three Men Go To Ireland – a
shame they took cameras.
plants and a big-name cast meant The Day of the Triffids should
have been ultra-scary. I chained up the geraniums as a precaution.
Sadly the Triffids had more bite than the human stars. Eddie Izzard
played the villain (presumably the budget wouldn’t stretch
to a more menacing one, like say James Dreyfus or Syd Little.)
The dialogue was Bonekickers daft: “Do not enter the orchard
without back-up.” And the plot had been got at by mildew.
How did a solar storm blind most of humanity simultaneously? Half
the world would have been a-kip. It needed less CGI, and more
Izzard stumbled off a plane and caused chaos trying to rule the
world...yeah, the writer got the idea from George W. Bush.
humans should have fought back: flame-throwers, napalm, pesticide
crop-spraying, suicide pruners, Mike Reid face-masks (Day of the
Triffics – sorry). PS. If it was the Day of the Triffids,
how come all the action happened at night?
Greatest Tracks of the Noughties over-looked 2009’s most
talked about ditty: ‘Dance In Your Pants’ by Philip,
off The Apprentice. And for that, many thanks.
tunes C4 did miss: Dry Your Eyes – The Streets, Hurt –
Johnny Cash, All The Small Things – Blink 182, Fall Back
Down – Rancid, Can’t Stand Me Now – Libertines,
Better Things – Bouncing Souls, Boulevard of Broken Dreams
– Green Day...not to mention Sarah Silverman’s rather
tasteful Matt Damon song...
HOW exactly did Amira “charm the snake” on her big
Walford wedding night? Without a Christian face-mask, her honeymoon
must have been like something out of the Kama Stupor.
MATE texted me during Corrie to say that Molly looks like a podling
from The Dark Crystal. Unfair! Podlings may have Molly’s
cheeks but they definitely have Gail’s chin.
Doctor Who finale had something in common with that sicko plane
bomber. The plot just screamed explosive pants.
joys of TV: Michael McIntyre claiming Clarkson’s pin number
is 0-2-60. ‘Suddenly’ by Angry Anderson – Scott
and Charlene’s wedding song - playing at Nessa’s nuptials
(Gavin & Stacey). WPC Naomi Ryan (Enders) Freddie Starr’s
second Audience With (ITV3). Biggest laugh? The Jordanaires’
hair. Talk about Three Syrups and a Comb-over...
Year TV irritations: Myleene dying on her Klassy arse on BBC1,
Jools struggling with the pitiful witless banter of the ‘comedians’
in his Hootenanny audience (the same ones every year and they
never even try to be funny). The cross-channel bombardment of
Graham Norton, Alan Carr and fat Bore George, aka Boy Gorge...
ring out the old, ring in more of the same old cobblers.... I’d
cheerfully wring the necks of everyone involved.
THOSE wishing to make their own ‘see it in with Myleene’
jokes should get to the back of the queue.
C5 at 7pm: Studio Five's Best Bits; followed at 7.02 by...