Jan 27. The coldest place in Britain last Tuesday? The Brannings’
bedroom on EastEnders. The wind chill factor coming off Tanya
would have withered the nuts of a Bake-Off squirrel.
Tan’s fall-out with Max ended with her splitting their house
in two. She kept the inside. Unfortunately, to make the big
bust-up work the soap had to completely rewrite Max’s character.
Firstly he aroused Tanya’ suspicions by turning down sex. Men
like Max do not turn down sex. The old Mekon would have cheerfully
shagged Kirsty and Tanya and then popped out for a pint. What
women see in a bloke who looks like Heinz’s 58th variety is
beyond me; but on past form, given half a chance he’d be stiffer
Secondly, even more ridiculously, he told Tan the truth! This
bloke has been a serial adulterer for decades; he’d never make
the schoolboy error of taking what a woman says at face value.
“I wanna know everything,” said Tanya. And instead of replying
“Look I got her to sign the divorce papers, what more do you
want, you daft mare?” he owned up to fancying Kirsty and let
Tan kick him out. At no point did he mention her fling with
his brother, or psycho Sean Slater, or remind her of their own
affair when she was briefly married to Gormless Greg. At no
point did he bring up the small matter of her BURYING HIM ALIVE,
which in my experience is the sort of thing you tend to recall
in the course of a relationship-busting tear-up.
Kirsty has gone, for now, and Tanya leaves shortly. But the
soap has other unfeasible love triangles to baffle us with.
Ayesha, the Asian Cheryl Cole (also known as Wye-Ayesha) has
the hots for Masood, the multi-tasking middle-aged postman-teacher
and occasional restaurateur. And Miss Piggy will get it on soon
with alcoholic ex-crack fiend Phil. Again. Quick catch-up: Phil
once stole Sharon from his bruv, but she’s now with Jack who
had a kid with Roxy while dating her sister. Confused? Don’t
be. All you need to know is that in Walford, your marriage will
fail, your spouse will cheat, your business will go bust and
there’s a higher chance of violent death here than in Algeria.
BBC1 has been preaching this message of hopeless despair for
28 years. And we wonder why the country’s so ruddy miserable...
*IS Tanya being unreasonable? I mean, Kirsty is gorgeous.
You wouldn’t wait five years for an In/Out referendum...
IN the grand tradition of stars who can’t dive, dance or skate,
BBC2 served up celebs who can’t bake, and in many cases, couldn’t
be recognised. These “well-known personalities” included the
little-watched Watson & Oliver (aka Watson The Other Side?)
and Stephen K. Amos whose own series was so lousy even the Beeb
didn’t re-commission it. Amos said he wanted to annoy the others.
He should have tried telling them some of his jokes. Pun-loving
Mel Giedroyc was worse, though. Taking people “into custardy”
Mel? Really? No wonder Sue Perkins stayed at home.
*WITH its back-biting, bitching and bust-ups, Celebrity Big
Brother is a far better use of scarce celeb resources than Comic
Relief’s take on Bake-Off. CBB shows the real person behind
the TV image. Why, who would have thought winner that Rylan
is actually a sulky, self-centred show-off? Oh, hang about,
there must be better examples. Ah yeah, who knew that when he
wasn’t laying about with his hands down his pants, Razor would
take so enthusiastically to dragging up? Talk about lardy boy.
Even Ugly Sisters were traumatised. It was as disconcerting
as catching Rylan in slippers and a sensible cardigan reading
the Telegraph while smoking a pipe.
HOW is Splash holding its audience? Well, BBC1’s opposition
Britain’s Brightest is a lot duller, and it’s possible that
the cold is playing havoc with TV remotes. But isn’t it more
likely that viewers quite like seeing celebs in swimming costumes?
I mentioned this in my local, and Old Col got so worked up about
Linda Barker’s posterior that he spilt his pint. Talk about
“lock hands for a dream entry”. If ITV sign Holly Willoughby,
Mel B and Kaplinsky for series two, this thing will run and
HOT on TV: The Following (Sky Atlantic)... Louie (Fox)...
Natalie Gumede (Corrie)... Fringe finale.
ROT on TV: Mr Selfridge – a store of snore... Haunted Highway
– it wasn’t... Richard Hammond’s Secret Service – Beadle without
the magic... Blandings – flushes Wodehouse down the khazi of
CHARLIE Brooks snubbed the National TV Awards to watch a mate
give birth. Wise choice, it was probably less agonising, better
produced and over a damn sight quicker. These awards are awful.
They don’t reflect quality or popularity. Is TOWIE more entertaining
than TV Burp? No. Was Planet Earth Live a better-made documentary
than 7/7: One Day In London? Never. Was the Ab-Fab Olympics
special really one of 2012’s finest sitcoms? Of course not.
The categories are ludicrous, the voting is suspect, and TV
companies decide the contenders. What’s the point?
*ACCORDING to ITV’s gong show, Alan Hansall out-acted the
great Larry Hagman, R.I.P. And Merlin outclassed Sherlock (and
Homeland) as drama... despite it doing to the Arthurian legends
what Eden Hazard does to ball-boys (and Gaius wearing specs
centuries before they were invented... )
*DANCING On Ice? Bah, open your curtains, the whole country’s
slipping on it.
*I’M not saying Pasquale’s bad, but the only thing that could
improve his skating is a gritter.
*ROB fancies Tracy Barlow on Corrie because she’s a evil,
violent psycho-bitch. Has he not met Kirsty?
CLASSIC exchange on Mrs Brown’s Boys. Cathy: “If you were
going on a first date nowadays, a man would expect you to perform
fellatio.” Mrs. Brown: “Me? Sing opera?” (Beat) “He’d have a
better chance of getting a blowjob.”
SHOWS I’d like to see: Too Fake To Bake – when breast implants
make cooking a challenge. Too Smashed To Splash – major league
drunks including Shane MacGowan and Denise Welch are sent tottering
along the 10metre board with hilarious consequences.
RANDOM irritations: a BBC weathergirl using the made-up word
“slizzle” for sleet. Clare Balding – great at the Olympics,
grating in primetime. PC air-heads censoring Fawlty Towers.
Jo Brand’s Splash ‘gags’. Mel Giedroyc failing to use the baking
slogan, “Let’s Get Ready To Crumble!”
SEPARATED at birth: Max Branning and the Mighty Mekon? One
an scheming emotion-free genius, the other a cartoon. Runners-up
Lorna Watson’s Sue Perkins Cake and Frank Sidebottom.
SMALL Joys of TV: Nigel Havers (Corrie). Joe Pasquale. Speidi
– perfect reality show villains. The giggle heard after the
words “a nice little rise to that” on Bake-Off. Jo Brand’s novel
way of softening butter.
Quote of the week, Countryfile’s Julia, who was talking about
flyball racing when she asked Matt: “Are you up for the full
Jan 20. The Tesco horsemeat scandal sparked off an unbridled
wave of text gags: they give you the trots; you get them over
the canter. They’re low in fat, high in Shergar. Sales are stable.
The hottest brand? My Lidl Pony... If we had nightly topical
TV comedy shows here, like the Yanks do, the hosts would have
gone to town. But no broadcaster thinks they’re worth it. And
besides, it seems most stand-ups are too busy doing corporate
Ricky Gervais gets £25grand – that’s more than a band four
nurse earns in a year - for doing one twenty minute spot at
a company conference. Michael McIntrye pockets £40K a time!
Poor old Max Wall would have turned up for a pie and a pint.
Like Charlie Drake and Ben Warriss who also died in poverty,
Max was born in the wrong era.
Funny Business shone a light into the lavish world of corporate
comedy, which Jo Brand likened to “high end prostitution without
the sex.” (And without the sex is just how I like to think of
Jo). Business audiences rarely know which comedian they’re paying
through the nose for. Brand admitted she often goes out to “an
audible sound of despair.” Welcome to my world! The woman’s
as much use as an HMV voucher; rarely funny, a rotten judge
and she can’t adlib, yet she’s on every show going.
Corporate dos aren’t easy though. Rhod Gilbert recalled an
FA dinner when Alex Ferguson chatted throughout his act. But
then a man who has been entertained by the country’s classiest
comics, and Bernard Manning, was never likely to be impressed
by an angry Welshman hollering about duvets and potatoes.
Many US comics see stand-up as a route into the movies; here
it’s a way onto the business gravy-train. I’ve nothing against
performers coining it in, but the gap between worth and reward
seems absurd. It’s Emperor’s New Clothes time. Between them,
TV and the ad industry have created a breed of comics in their
own image: smug, right-on millionaires sneering at anyone they
can look down on. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer my stand-ups
warm and down-to-earth. And funny. Funny definitely helps.
Mark Thomas, an anarchist comic, rightly said that no-one
could reasonably object to a hard-up turn sucking the industry
cheque-book; but if you’re already coining it in on TV panel
shows millions why whore yourself?
*HAS anyone seen Celine Dion since the horsemeat scandal broke?
Or Audrey Roberts? Just asking...
A BRITISH Prime Minister finally told the truth about the
EU this week. Unfortunately it was in a TV sitcom. “Dealing
with Europe isn’t about achieving success,” Jim Hacker told
policy adviser Claire on Yes Prime Minister. “It’s about concealing
failure.” The classic comedy is back, sadly a shadow of its
former glory. That line aside, the gags were weak, the production
stagey, the laugh track irritated and the “dago” lingo felt
horribly dated. Reality was funnier. Politicians spent all week
debating a speech on the EU that the PM still hasn’t made. Cameron
will demand things he knows he can’t get, and promise a referendum
for when he won’t be in office. (But not an in/out one, which
is apparently “a false choice.”) Sir Humphrey? “Power abhors
a vacuum... and we’re currently led by one.”
FRANKIE Dettori became house dictator on Celebrity Big Brother,
a role George Galloway was made for. Rylan was the rebel leader,
kind of Fey Guevara. In fairness, the boy has form - he has
murdered hundreds of tunes.
*JUST as well Razor isn’t playing anymore. Imagine how the
terraces would have reacted to that Tragedy routine: ‘He’s old,
he’s fat, he dances like a twat... ’
*WE can’t be sure what Speidi got up to in bed, but Gillian’s
reaction was priceless. Why couldn’t they wait and find a lay-by
like decent folk?
*HEIDI’s a helpful woman; she definitely lent Spencer a hand.
*CLAIRE Richards: is she called “Claire Steps”, cos she’s
never more than ten steps from a cake?
HOT on TV: Tankies... Sisde Babett Knudsen (Borgen)... Dave
Legeno (Ripper Street)... Utopia... Hell On Wheels (TCM).
ROT on TV: Splash – water torture... Tom Daley – way out of
his depth... Blandings – just bland... Jason Gardiner – never
funny... Paddy’s TV Guide – no likey, all sh*tey.
KYLIE didn’t want David’s baby on Corrie, which makes sense
as she already has David. How many whining brats can one woman
cope with? Now she’s pregnant with his brother’s sprog and “in
a really awkward position.” You can say that again! Almost as
awkward as the position she was in when she conceived... hanging
off a hotel chandelier wearing a horse’s bridle with a champagne
bottle in both hands. I like to imagine.
THE US has been fighting a “war on drugs” for forty years.
Drugs appear to be winning. The House I Live In showed its drug
law is draconian but ineffective. David Simon called it “a holocaust
in slow motion.” OTT? Maybe, but the trillion dollar crack-down
hasn’t made the problem go away. It’s just swollen the prison
industry and diverted cops from tackling the more winnable war
on thieves and killers.
ONE of the show’s expert was Dr. Gabor Maté, who was the most
tired-looking human being ever seen on TV. The bloke looked
like sleep in a cheap suit. I wouldn’t normally advocate drug
use, but someone should chop him out a fat one. Comatose lizards
look more lively.
MUCH confusion on Splash last night; celebs were told to jump
off the wooden board and two of them started to climb up Vernon.
CAPRICE wanted “to get through to the semis”. Ohhh, so close.
Just one more swimsuit shot...
THE kindest thing to say about Blandings? The pig was good...
MICHAELA was thrilled that a bearded tit had been spotted
in London (Winterwatch). Was it Justin Lee Collins?
PEOPLE give Miranda stick but she has given us “clacker” as
a new word for a woman’s privates (it’s actually Aussie slang
for arse). She’s also revived the career of Sally Phillips as
Tilly who no doubt had a cracker of a clacker in her day.
SMALL Joys of TV: Razor waxed. The Eggheads team losing Only
Connect. Janis Joplin (Sky Arts). Pandora’s peaks (AHS: Asylum).
Victoria Coren’s décolletage (posh bird, posh word, obviously).
That elephant’s, ahem, second trunk on Africa - that pachyderm
RANDOM irritations: ITV claiming that Richard Bacon and Louie
Bloody Spence constitute an “All-Star” edition of Family Fortunes.
Janet Street-Porter being on Room 101 instead of in it. Brian
Cox talking only in kilometres, despite this still being Britain
the last time I looked.
WASN’T it cold last week? On EastEnders, Kat was bedding gangsters
just for the body warmth. It was so cold, Lauren the Lush switched
from vodka to Irish coffee. Cold? Future murder victims were
queuing up at Walford crem...
TV Maths: Errol Flynn + Praying Mantis = Rylan
*AFTER ten weeks of Cornwall with Caroline Quentin, will there
be any pasties left?
*HOW about an all-Chinese snooker final: Ding Junhui vs. Dong
Dong... it’d be a right old ding-dong.
A SURPRISE moment on Bargain Hunt; Tim Wannacott, who I hope
was talking about a woman’s teddy bear on Bargain Hunt, told
her: “First up is your old growler.”
Jan 13. WHO voted Paula Hamilton out of Celebrity Big Brother?
You nitwits! She was brilliant! Ex-model Paula has more tall
stories than the brothers Grimm. She drops names like a drunken
clown juggling ID badges. Mel Gibson taught her to use a long
bow (“I almost took my nipple off”). She was trained to smell
“by Zulus”. She cooks like a pro because Marco Pierre White
and Anton Mosimann have been “dear friends for 27 years.” Paula
was a racing driver (“only at Silverstone”), she has a pet coconut
and thinks a penis is “the most beautiful thing you can give
a woman” which suggests she never saw Razor’s.
OK, her angry exercise work-outs would put the wind up Rocky;
but she says “I’ve never hurt anyone, I can’t, I’ve got a karate
license.” Yet hints of a darker side to her, a Bad Paula, were
also in evidence. It was Bad Paula who said of Frankie: “You’re
a jockey, what the hell do you know?” Tricia Penrose alleged
she once called her “a Scouse bitch.” You don’t kick out a woman
like that! You give her a long bow and pin a target on Rylan’s
With Paula gone, the show is top-heavy with underperforming
soap stars, although it was fun reliving Gillian Taylforth’s
A1 slip road controversy. Asking for a G&T never meant the same
after that. “Everyone’s done it,” shrugged Lacey. Good girl.
I like her even more now we know she can treat pancreatitis.
Big Bro persuaded Spencer and Heidi to fake a walk-out; an
inspired twist. The odd couple had seemed dull before, and entirely
wrapped up in themselves; but they returned like avenging angels,
putting Claire and an outraged Rylan up for eviction. She’ll
go off course. (Claire, not Rylan.)
So who will win? Hopefully Razor. He’s big and funny, a proper
geezer; not to mention a great loss to London Fashion Week.
Although his part in last night’s row – he got a red card from
show bosses for loudly defending Toadfish from what he saw as
Spencer’s bullying - might damage his chances.
Frankie’s okay, but weepy Rylan, the camp praying mantis,
is Razor’s biggest rival. Perhaps they could settle it by arm-wrestling?
Rylan? No? Okay, how about poker? Pool? Press-ups? Chess? Where’s
*FUNNIEST moment? Rylan speculating about being married to
David Beckham, reckoned “He could do worse.” Razor replied:
*PAULA was fine about being first out; but her coconut was
WHEN a show as bad as Splash! hits Saturday night TV, you’re
tempted to think the commissioners must just be clueless nitwits.
But what if it’s deliberate? What if there’s a secret competition
among broadcasters to come up with the worst entertainment format
ever? Touch The Truck, Naked Jungle, Sing If You Can... it’s
easier to believe they’re the result of some private joke at
our expense than the product of over-paid graduates brain-storming.
Could someone at ITV really have thought that 150 seconds of
bad micro-celebrity diving was worth padding out to a 90 minute
show? And that the term ‘celebrity diving’ could be stretched
to include obscure comic actress Helen Lederer flopping off
the three-metre board like a tranquilized manatee? (Not so much
diving as oozing). Splash! is either ITV’s biggest cock-up since
Red Or Black or a magnificent first shot at Turkey Of The Year
*SPLASH! is bad, but could we do worse? Ladies and gentlemen,
I give you Sewerage Wars: Two teams of camera botherers led
by Shami Chakrabati and Cillit Bang legend Barry Scott are bombarded
with 10,000 tons of steaming horse shit. Will any survive? No?
*IT took guts for Omid to bomb off the ten-metre board. But
it took brass balls for him to go on TV days earlier with an
act consisting of years-old football chants.
ALL You Can Eat covered extreme food contests, or as they’re
known in Africa: more reasons to hate the West. In Kent, Sue,
who apparently has “a gift for swallowing”, demolished rock
oysters. Elsewhere, crazed gluttons chomped through 72oz steaks,
chilies, stinging nettles and, in Florida, chicken wings – sponsored
by leg and breast specialists, Hooters. The winner noshed 144
in ten minutes. 144! Diane Abbott must have been pelting the
screen with alfalfa. This wasn’t so much Man Vs Food as Man
Vs Heart Disease... But Brits are made of sterner stuff. Step
forward Peter Dowdeswell, 72, from Northamptonshire who smashed
the world record for eating hard boiled eggs. Come on Heston,
build an egg old Pete couldn’t swallow.
*MAN Vs Food is fronted by Adam Richman; not to be confused
with Woman Vs Sausage. That was Gillian Taylforth.
HOT on TV: new NCIS (Fox)... Borgen (BBC4)... Ripper Street...
Tankies: Tank Heroes Of World War 2.
ROT on TV: Mr. Sainsbury – dull in every department... Splash!
– the audience will dive-bomb... Jo Brand – judge dreadful...
The Undateables – mocking the afflicted... Britain’s Brightest?
Not even close.
SHOCK news from Dancing On Ice. Pamela Anderson’s boobs fell
out and the judges voted her off the show. Idiots. I’d have
voted her into a lower-cut top.
*ROBIN Cousins on Pamela: “I can see there’s a skater insider
her ready to come out.” Lucky bastard.
*A PSYCHIC was murdered on Lewis. He didn’t see that coming,
a million viewers said as one. Ah, but he was a fake psychic
(Is there another kind?). The killer is stalking phony clairvoyants.
Let’s hope Robbie doesn’t nab him until after his session with
Derek Acorah, Sally Morgan, Colin Fry...
PRIMEVAL seems as hard to destroy as the prehistoric beasts
they battle. It’s back as Primeval New World, set in Canada.
The CGI dinosaurs are still here, but there’s one shocking oversight.
Where’s Hannah Spearritt? Abby dancing in her pants was the
greatest joy of the original series. Come on Crystal Lowe, it’s
a tough job but we know you can do it.
*ON Corrie, Leanne told Nick: “I love you and I can’t find
a way of saying it that’s not words.” What, with your track
*GAIL Platt assured Lewis she’s “not just a pretty face.”
Sometimes this job is like shooting fish in a barrel.
*EVERYONE is gutted about Derek on EastEnders, but it could
be worse. He could still be alive.
SMALL Joys of TV: Bobby George. New American Dad (FX). Tony
Gubba pointing out that Pamela Anderson had “a couple of wobbles”
I’d say. We’ll draw a discrete veil over her rotating fish lift.
RANDOM irritations: Room 101 - one opinionated guest is ten
times better than three pretending to be. Numb, more therapy
than comedy. Only Joking - if John Bishop really wants to “recreate
The Comedians” why use amateurs?
SEPARATED at birth: Frankie Dettori and Fred Astaire? Fred’s
Three Little Words involved dancing, Frankie’s were: “I used
ADVICE of the month – Kevin McLoud, giving building repair
tips on Grand Designs: “You should only worry about a crack
when you can get your hand in it.”
Jan 6. IT WAS the year of Olympics glory, soggy bottoms and
Tulisa demonstrating the first swallow of summer. The Savile
scandal shocked the nation – who knew that ‘BBC’ stood for Better
Beware Children? Kate became the first topless Royal since Charles
1st. And The Voice made a star of an absolute nobody... Danny
O’Donaghue. Against the odds 2012 also saw some brilliant television.
Here’s my guide to TV’s winners and losers.
TV Event Of The Year: The Olympics - the BBC at their best.
Turkey Of The Year: BBC1’s dismal Diamond Jubilee omnishambles.
Top 2012 TV Images: JR’s eye-brows. Boris on a zip-wire. Ilithyia
in the bath (Spartacus). Lara Pulver, Sherlock’s dominatrix.
Pam St Clement on screen with the caption: ‘Problem – Humping’.
Worst Idea: Planet Earth Live, in the dark. Runners-up: Stargazing
Live, through the clouds. Drugs Live, which induced a pleasant
rush... to change channels.
Best New Drama: Line Of Duty. Worst: Titanic – before it sank,
it stank. Runner-up: Hunted. Top Import: Homeland – series one;
series two was so bonkers you wouldn’t have been surprised to
see Carrie riding into action on a unicorn.
Top Cops: Braquo. Top Hood: Steve Van Zandt (Lilyhammer).
Worst pirate: Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver (Treasure Island),
comprehensively out-acted by his parrot.
Top soap: Dallas. Worst soap affair: Sunita & Karl (Corrie)
– she was better off under the rubble. Least Surprising (and
dullest): Kat and Derek (Enders); a real Beauty & The Beast
coupling. Derek was the beauty.
Best Celebrity Booking: Julie Goodyear (CBB). Runners-up:
Ken Morley, evil bitch queen Jasmine Lennard. Most irritating
Celeb: Helen Flanagan. Her encounter with an ostrich was hilarious,
though. The excitable feather-brained bird really freaked out
Best Reality: Celebrity Big Brother. Worst: Live TOWIE - fluffed
lines, missed cues, mumbled dialogue... At one stage, the cast
even got their strings tangled.
Small Joys of 2012 TV: Megan singing Zou Bisou Bisou (Mad
Men), Ali G’s ‘Savile’ tracksuit. Madness at the Jubilee. Ryder
Cup come-back. Top Joy: women’s beach volleyball, a sport notorious
for wrist injuries... among viewers.
Top Tranny: Sean Bean as Tracie (Accused). Top Gurner: Claire
Danes, Homeland. Runner-up: Jessie J. Top Disease: Ash Dieback;
scientific name: Chalara Fraxinea (who I believe once dated
Spencer on Made In Chelsea.)
Best comedy: A Touch Of Cloth. Runner-up: Moone Boy. Worst:
The Royal Bodyguard. Runner-up: Citizen Khan. Best Comedy Drama:
Girls. Best Documentary Series: Secret History Of Our Streets.
Best Doc: Knuckle, Bare-Fist Fighting. Worst: Jo Brand On Kissing.
Best sci-fi newcomer: Jenna-Louise Colman (Doctor Who). She
played a deranged Dalek who saw herself as a stunner. Think
Samantha Brick in space.
Worst ‘Medical’ Show: Embarrassing Bodies Live. Rarest medical
condition: This Morning’s woman with two vaginas (it was like
Kelly-Anne Lyons and Dick & Dom all over again).
Hottest new talent: swim act Aquabatique (BGT) – brilliant
and sexy in a small tank; just think what they could do with
a full length. Most cheated talent show contestant: Ella Henderson.
Runner-up: Carolynne Poole, she had a lovely country twang...
and from where Louis was sitting he could nearly see it. Worst
talent show judge: Geri Halliwell.
Best Performance by an Inanimate Object: Nicole Sherzinger’s
mic. Runner-up: Joey Essex. Sexiest Brunette: Jessica Paré (Mad
Men). Top Blonde: Rachel Riley. Top Lookalikes: Jessie J/Mystic
Meg; Micky Flanagan/Billy The Fish; Linda Robson/Nick Nolte.
Most misleading quote: “Stimulating your ferret by hand is
very important” – Pam St Clement.
Biggest Mystery: Paddy Docherty (Paddy & Sally’s Excellent
Gypsy Adventure) asking: “How am I meant to ride a skanky old
bike?” Dunno. Ask John Bercow?
Irritations of the Year: TOWIE spin-offs, Claudia Winkleman,
Louie Spence, Sinbad disappearing up ship creek without a paddle.
Top Chat: Graham Norton. Top Actor: Lennie James (Line Of Duty).
Top actress: Julie Bowen (Modern Family). Top Child Actress:
Maisie Williams (Game Of Thrones) Best Celeb Behaving Badly:
shop-lifting chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson: first take some
cheese, then some more cheese...
Best Names: Tiny Kox (election observer) and Kum Sok (North
Korean weightlifter). Man of the Year: Wiggins! Woman of the
Year: Jessica Ennis. TV Series of The Year: Game Of Thrones.
Star Of The Year: Felix Baumgartner.
TWO hours into Celebrity Big Brother and we already knew far
too much about Razor Ruddock. He’d told us about his gonads,
“the biggest Niagara Falls in the world;” and his “winkle” which
“ain’t the best, I think I’ve worn it out.” No wonder Frankie
Dettori and Rylan Clark banished him straight to Big Bro’s basement.
Worryingly Rylan could nick this. He delivered most of the laughs
on the opening night, asking “Where the f*** is the basement?”
(Dunno mate, try the loft.) And telling Frankie “If they’re
horrible, f*** ’em off.” He’s got a catchphrase, too: “Drop
me out.” I love it. I’d even hire the helicopter. They had to
send half the housemates to the dark, damp basement. Naturally
they got rid of all the blokes – even Toadfish from Neighbours.
Plus barking mad Paula Hamilton, who looks like Mr Punch, and
Heidi from The Hills cos it was either her and nitwit hubby
Spencer or them. Paula brilliantly mistook Toadie for a show
runner. Upstairs went Gillian Taylforth (voiced by Barry White),
Lacey Banghard and Tricia Penrose who’s seen more action than
Claire Richards’s chip pan. My tip? Banghard to win. Whoever
*CELEBS had to go up or down. Surprisingly Gillian went up.
RIPPER Street is set in 1889, just months after the mutilated
corpse of Jack The Ripper’s final victim was found. We’re in
Whitechapel, East London, where men are men and prostitutes
are unfeasibly gorgeous. Rose, Long Susan... blimey. You got
a lot more oats for your groats back then. Although the only
Shades Of Grey they had was the London fog. A fresh body troubled
our heroes DI Reid, his bare-knuckle boxing sidekick Drake,
and seedy Captain Jackson (Yank detective, surgeon and in-door
diving enthusiast). Together they deduced it wasn’t the work
of the Ripper but a copycat killer - a twisted toff who made
snuff films in his back garden... eight decades before Charles
Manson made the first one. As daft plots go this was up there
with Spike Milligan’s The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London
Town... But at least Ripper Street is a rock of testosterone
in BBC1’s soggy sea of soap. It mixes Sherlock, CSI and Garrow’s
Law and is as watchable as Rose and Susan sharing a loofer.
*THE fake Ripper scrawled ‘Down On Whores’ above a corpse,
rather than the more grammatically correct ‘Down with Whores’.
Going down on whores is more Jackson’s predilection.
HOT on TV: Africa... Galapagos... Ripper Street... Natacha
Lindinger (Hard)... Jade Ewen.
ROT on TV: Splash – wetter than South west England... Waterloo
Road – Mange Hill... Joey Branning’s grief (EastEnders) – made
Paula Hamilton’s CBB ‘pain’ look Oscar worthy... Room 101 –
dumb oh dumb... Big Fat Quizzz Of Year – big, fatuous waste
NEW Year’s Eve and C4 offered us the chance to “see it in”
with Melanie Sykes, a cheerier thought than having to watch
her on telly. At least Jools puts some effort into his Hootenanny,
booking class singers like Bettye Lavette and Ruby Turner; and
for comic relief, Adam Ant who now looks like Alan Carr playing
Johnny Depp. Carr’s own Specstacular felt longer than The Hobbit
and relied on C4’s standard jaded formula: book the same old
faces and get ’em sloshed. Jonathan Ross, Rylan Clark, Gok Wan,
Jack Whitehall... you spoil us! No really, you don’t. Minutes
on screen: 125; memorable jokes: zero.
*WHY does Jools insist on playing with so many guests? If
Cradle Of Filth came on, Jools would be up tickling the ivories
with ’em. Dirge Inferno? Yeah, stick some boogie woogie piano
on it, it’ll go down a treat.
*ON Corrie, Fiz was knocked unconscious by a poisonous boiler.
(Not Kirsty.) Leaking gas might have damaged her brain, though
docs admit it’ll be hard to tell.
*WILL Sharon wed Jack or Phil on EastEnders? She’s not that
bothered as long as she gets custody of the cake.
THE mystery of Peggy’s text to Phil revealed! She said: “Ere
Phil, this Lexi storyline’s as Poxy as Woxy. Hahahaha. Get outta
*THE Spice Girls musical? It’d make a change.
*WERE contestants on Dale’s Great Get-away chosen by the ghost
of Benny Hill? The Manloves, the Pycocks (a bit crusty)... I
liked the Smiths, Steph and Janet - the sexiest daughter/mum
combo this side of Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn. Tune back next
time when the Pellow-Byters take on the Joys of Upper Dicker.
SMALL Joys of TV: rucking giraffes (Africa). The darts. Classic
Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter clips. Bear Grylls revealing:
“I took Miranda Hart up the Matterhorn.” Milton Jones on Mastermind,
specialist subject: potatoes; and Adele Silva beating him.
RANDOM irritations: BBC1 lecturing us about the papers exploiting
crime, in a series called Ripper Street. C4 claiming their Big
Fat Quiz was “adult humour” - Jack Whitehall sniggering about
“bumming” was as puerile as it gets. Is he 12? EastEnders recycling
the booze-smuggled-into-party plot again. Why would drinkers
go to a party where you can’t drink?
SEPARATED at birth: EastEnders Kirsty and a young Dave Lee
Roth – so Max, jump, go ahead and jump (her again).
All-Star NY Resolutions. Jonathan Ross: to act my age. Stephen
Fry: to tell agent ‘no’ occasionally. Helen Flanagan: more me