Garry Bushell
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July 28. THE Royal birth was exhausting. You needed gas and air just to get through the TV coverage. Nicholas Witchell summed it up best on Monday evening. "To be honest," the BBC royal correspondent confided: "We have no idea what’s happening." Nobody did. But this couldn't derail the lunacy of rolling news. Schedules were cleared, programmes bumped. Speculation was intense but inane. "What do you think the mood is like in the Palace?... how is the Queen feeling now?" Take a wild guess.

Boy or girl, that was the big question. Paul Harrison, the Sky News equivalent of Witchell, was convinced we had a new princess and that she'd be called Margaret. He's still scraping the egg off his face. When the baby's gender was finally revealed, Kay Burley on Sky very nearly exploded. "It's a boy!" she yelled at passing Brazilians. "It's a boy, what do you think?" she asked a disinterested hombre who informed her he was Spanish. "You're very delighted at the news though, obviously," said Kay in desperation. She'd had had a long day.

The Beeb had crews all over the country, from Bucklebury, Berks, where the Middletons live, to St Andrews in Scotland where the royal love story had begun. They even interviewed local shopkeeper Hash Shingadia. Surprisingly he had no insider knowledge. "Carole was in last week, she was fine," he revealed. Kate's Mum not too posh to shop, sensation. Nobody knew anything, but at least the mood was positive. Back on Sky, poor Kay got metaphorically sucker-punched by a joker who told her the baby was black. She looked traumatised.

The birth was big news, of course, but what did this feverish time-wasting bring to the table? If Sky could they'd have had Kay shouting "How dilated is she?" through the delivery room door.

We don't want or need Simon McCoy at your cervix. The day's events could have been summed up in succinct newsflashes: Kate admitted, Kate in labour, birth confirmed: mother and baby doing well. It would have told us everything we needed to know. On Tuesday we finally saw the tot. Kate looked radiant, William proud. But now the tornado of speculation switched to the baby's name... Never, as grumpy McCoy observed, had so many people gathered together with nothing to say.

*IMAGINARY Monday night newsflash: Royal baby gender confirmed, jury still out on Gok Wan...

*A BABY born in the States last week weighed 13lb 12oz. That's too big, and you knew it was too big because when the mother passed out the baby picked her up and carried her home.

THEY played the Black Keys over the closing credits of Luther but it really should have been Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers. The script was as barmy as Mad Jean Slater in meltdown. First the lunatic Stark arrested Luther for Ripley's murder, without a shred of evidence or a credible motive. Later our daring DCI got shot in the leg at close range and yet still kept running around like Mo Farah in training. Afterwards, rather than get treatment, he stood flirting on Southwark bridge with Alice (his unhinged killer saviour) before taking her away for a shagathon, no doubt a bit wilder than a roll in the hay with girlfriend Mary Day. (Does Mary Day do merry nights? Discuss... ) None of this is to be misconstrued as criticism. Luther is crackers but it's also cracking comic-book entertainment. Joys? Alice channelling the spirit of Emma Peel, Stark's death, and Luther finally getting shot of that rotten coat. It's okay though, he's got a hanger full of 'em...

WOODY Allen once said "I don't want to become immortal through my work, I want to do it by not dying." But his bleak, brilliant comedy will out-live the veteran filmmaker. Allen's outlook on life was warped when he realised as a child that the universe would eventually vanish without trace. "I was never the same," he said. "What's the point? Deal me out!" At school he was writing fifty jokes a day. He hated stand-up but was magnificent at it, with sparkling one-liners like: "My grandfather on his deathbed sold me this watch." And "Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone you love." Robert Weide's film had unexpected insights but bottled it when it came to the thornier subject of Soon-Yi... Still it must save money when you can buy your Valentine's Day and Father's Day cards combined.

HOT on TV: Helen Bonham-Carter as Liz Taylor (Burton & Taylor)... Keri Russell (The Americans)... Ruth Wilson (Luther).

ROT on TV: Take On Twisters - bring back The Chase... The Secret Life Of Uri Geller - not-so-secret lies regurgitated... Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free - C4's 'fill your schedules with junk... and get beaten by C5'.

*LUISA from the Apprentice took part in a 30-strong orgy. Strewth. If Uzma had done that, it would have shaken half a ton of make-up off her face. It might even have made her eyes uncross...

*PLEASE note: Luisa, 30-strong orgy; Ruth Badger, 15-stone porgy.

*LOVED Una Stubbs's beret on Who Do You Think You Are. Was she investigating her ancestors or auditioning for 'Allo 'Allo?

* CHRIS O'Dowd is a talented guy, but in Family Tree he's the sap...

* SOME Vicars With Jokes? No wonder Jesus wept. Some Boffins With Jokes? Not clever.

ON The Secret Life Of Uri Geller, the old spoon-bender recalled the day he'd shot an enemy soldier dead. I'd have been more impressed if he'd used his 'power' to turn the bloke's rifle into a pretzel.

*URI claimed he'd worked for Mossad and the CIA. You can never have enough agents trained in the deadly art of bending cutlery... But if his military psychic programme was as successful as he made out, why was it dropped?

SMALL Joys of TV: Ozzy Osbourne on CSI. French women's footballer Luisa Necib playing against Denmark in full make-up (Rooney should try it). The Danes having a player called Harder... although odds are Roddik Hansen makes men hardest...

SEPARATED at birth: Dennis Waterman and Queen Mary 1st - one known as Bloody Mary, one knocked back a lot of them; one associated with the Tudors, the other with ye olde Winchester dynasty...

THE Returned ends tonight, but Les Revenants, the film that inspired it, is out on DVD tomorrow. I have one copy (worth £12.99) to give away to the first TEN correct entries drawn out of the hat. For a chance to win just tell me where the spooky series is set. Is it a) France b) Quebec c) Upper Dicker. Answer on a postcard by Wednesday to Garry’s Returned Contest, PO Box 10220, Sutton Coldfield, B76 1ZH. Daily Star Sunday rules apply.

July 21. You know those days when you wake up to find the woman you’d gone to bed with has over-dosed in the night? Me neither. But it happens to Ray Donovan’s clients all the time. Ray is a Hollywood fixer, like Mr Wolf in Pulp Fiction, a can-do guy who doesn’t waste words. Problem: film star Tommy Wheeler is sent footage on his mobile showing him receiving, ahem, lip service from a hooker who turns out to be a tranny. A massive blow... to his reputation. Solution: Donovan simply places the movie star in bed with the corpse. In LA’s glittering cesspit, oral sex from a drag queen is hard to swallow, but banging a tragic junkie is a PR plus. Hurrah for Hollywood... .

Ray is a family man from South Boston whose nagging wife Abby hates their new home in Calabasis (“the friggin’ Jersey Shore of LA”). Unfortunately his family is also completely frigged. Ex-boxer brother Terry runs a gym but has Parkinson’s. Addict bro Bunchy hasn’t been right since his paedo priest abused him. Their Dad, Mickey, played by Jon Voight on superb form, comes out of clink after twenty years and promptly kills the fiddling Father. He might consider getting DNA checks on his boys too because brothers haven’t looked this different since Arnie and DeVito in Twins.

Roguish Mickey is a compelling character, a lusty, coke-snorting ex-gangster who combines charm and menace in equal measure. Naturally he and Ray hate each other’s guts. Ray’s no saint either. He takes a baseball bat to the creep stalking former Disney star Ashley, only to realise that it’s his own stalk she’s after. You didn’t get that with Hannah Montana. Ray’s back-up are his fast-talking, foul-mouthed partner Lee, Israeli hard-nut Avi, lesbian PA Lena and Ezra (Elliott Gould) whose mind is turning to mush. Nuisances include Stu Feldman, an obnoxious married movie exec who’s over the side with Ashley and who tells Abby what Ray’s been up to... There’s more darkness, including why his sister died, still to come. Ray Donovan is like Entourage crossed with The Brotherhood; not as good as either, maybe, but more watchable than The White Queen.

THEY’RE tackling racism on Corrie, but haven’t got the nuts to take on actual bigots or militant Islamism. Instead, we’ve had a tedious row about miniature fireman Paul (not a racist) using an antiquated term. “Play the white man” he said. Hmm. Has anyone actually used that phrase this century? The result is as dull as Emily Bishop’s underwear. The other characters reacted ridiculously; Paul has been likened to the Klan! This is backstreet Manchester, not a Student Union. It’s all about as believable as a skint bookie... For a real scandal, look at Lloyd Mullaney. The poor sod hasn’t had a decent story-line in years. Now that’s what I call discrimination.

*SOAPS can’t ‘do’ racism because, to the frustration of black actors, the producers are too worried about ‘negative stereotyping.’ On EastEnders the white men are either thugs, mugs or pathetic losers; the black guys are saintly (see Sam, see Patrick). It’s been a long time since evil Lucas, and even longer since slippery Paul Truman. Soap Muslims are wonderful, tolerant people. They don’t have any in Corrie, but then they don’t have Skype either or we might hear from Ken.

*HAYLEY Cropper’s real health issue? In-growing testicles!

GREAT news on The Apprentice - the looker won (John Inverdale writes). Yes, Dr Totty and her Botox clinics beat lusty Luisa and her fondled, sorry, fondant fancies. It was close. Doc Totton wanted to call her shops ‘Niks’ – Skin backwards. It was only one up from Stop & Chop. Nips would have been more Lu’s style. She seriously considered calling her business Master Bake. Slogan perhaps: ‘For when you crave a spurt of icing’. Funniest line? Leah saying she hoped her pitch would “get the warmth of my personality across.” You’ll find more warmth in an Ice Warrior’s freezer.

*NIKS was written like SKIN back to front. That’s exactly how Sugar looks first thing in the morning.

*SHUGS will trouser bundles from this new enterprise. Shouldn’t some of it come back to BBC1 to invest in programming?

HOT on TV: Jon Voight in Ray Donovan (Sky Atlantic)... Luther... Georgia Taylor (Law & Order UK)... Lennie James (Run)... Top Of The Lake.

ROT on TV: Tipping Point Lucky Stars – unlucky viewers... Family Tree – axe it... Smash – trash... Count Arthur Strong – count me out.

*LUCY on The Returned has incredible clairvoyant vision, but only when she’s having sex. Kind of “Is anybody there? Knock me up for yes... ” That’s what I call a hot reading...

*WILL TV’s Sally Morgan follow suit and channel the thoughts of the stiff? After all, you can’t spell Morgan without organ...

*LUTHER is up against the most upmarket vigilante ever. The guy is so posh he’ll probably top his next victim with an actual Bullingdon club.

*HELPFUL tip: if the Your Face Sounds Familiar Randomiser picks you to be Liam Gallagher, don’t forget to request a Condomiser.

*RE DogTV, will Paddy McGuinness now front a dating show for sniffer dogs: Your Arse Smells Familiar?

*POOR Daley. Big Brother’s non-drinking boxer got drunk and just wanted to sleep. Hazel goaded him, grabbed his sheets, and then pulled down his pants. He over-reacted but it was a bit like poking a Rottweiler repeatedly with a stick and then being shocked when it growls.

*THEY had speed-dating on EastEnders, two decades after it started. They still haven’t got round to hospital closures... Or jokes, current London slang or caravans. Is there an actual Cockney alive whose family hasn’t got a caravan in Clacton?

SMALL Joys of TV: Bradley Walsh as Detective Sergeant Ronnie Brooks (Law & Order UK). Francesca’s dance (Apprentice final). The ITV continuity announcer reading out the Your Face Sounds Familiar website: “ slash your face”. Surely wrists would be more appropriate?

RANDOM irritations: Corrie going in for EastEnders-style ishoo-driven dross. The obvious spelling mistake in Count Arthur Strong. The big sexism row – hard to care much when TV has told us all men are useless or bastards for years (soaps, ads, Loose Women), and Inverdale looks like a stunned Neanderthal.

SADDEST show of the week: Panorama’s Broken By Battle on shock suicide rates among traumatised soldiers and veterans. The MoD’s callous, indifferent response was sickening.

TV Maths: young Elvis + Destiny from Mongrels = Leah Totten.

SEPARATED at birth: BBC sport reporter Andy Swiss and Alexandr? Compare these meerkats. Simples.

July 14. It was interview week on The Apprentice, or as I like to call it Goodbye, Suckers. Even the best candidate, Neil Clough went down like a slow-moving duck in a funfair shooting game. Nothing was funnier than the fall of Jordan Poulton, a little man with a big ego. Jordan, who is more up himself than a well-greased contortionist, said he’d realised he was brighter than most at a young age, and that he had “ability that sometimes I don’t know what to do with.” Sadly that ability didn’t include being able to think up his own business plan. Instead he tried pitching someone else’s. It was like me offering Sugar a slice of Virgin Atlantic on the grounds that I’d once had a beer with Richard Branson.

Jordan had boasted that he could solve a Rubik’s Cube in three minutes. Mike Sautar invited him to try. His failure was sweet but that humiliation was small beer compared to his encounter with Sugar’s hatchet man Claude Littner. “You’re a parasite,” Claude rightly concluded. “This interview is terminated.” Ouch. Ah well, he could always be understudy for Warwick Davies.

Neil’s problem was his idea stank. He was planning an online estate agency business where you’d sell your own house. Sugar’s advisers pointed out the flaws; Sautar even offered him an escape route, asking if he had any other schemes he could pitch. (A d-i-y massage parlour, maybe). Neil dumbly stuck to his guns.

Francesca’s dance centre plan was sound, except she made the schoolgirl error of making up her figures, plucking a £5million profit out of the air. “The number five came into my head,” she admitted. Apt as that’s how many minutes she lasted in the boardroom.

Luisa’s cake-based business plan was half-decent, annoyingly. But Sugar’s new girl Claudine Collins revealed that her former colleagues called her “manipulative and unprofessional”. And those are her good points.

Leah’s machine gun recitation of figures made Claude woozy. She’s “super smart” he told Sugar. Her business idea involved non-surgical face clinics. “What would you do with this?” asked Sauter, of his face. He seemed taken aback when she advised Botox and filler. Just as well Shugs didn’t ask. His crinkled old boat-race would need steam-ironing. So the final is: Dr Totty vs Luisa. Botox vs buns. I guess it’s all down to who Shugs would rather see in court.

A SAD moment on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, as Daley’s dishy girlfriend Katie broke down in tears over the way he’s been carrying on with Hazel. In truth the game-playing minx has made all the running. But for a boxer, Daley’s defence wasn’t up to much. He realised far too late that their full-on flirting might stain his reputation, as well as his sheets. The more they hugged and nearly kissed, the more the flatulent fighter pooh-poohed the very idea of him having a steady girl outside. Katie’s gutted, he’s dumped and Hazel would have paid the ultimate price if viewers hadn’t had more than enough of Wolfy sulking and spitting and ferreting in her squelchy gusset. The up-side is we now get to watch the hot Irish strumpet bursting out of her tops for another week. A lot more fun than seeing the Tweedle-dim twins topless. Or at all.

ARE you still watching Your Face Sounds Familiar? Me neither. Why would you? It’s Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes ruined, with the same five celebs every bloody week. Get us Richard Wilson as Bieber, Sandy Toksvig as Jay-Z and Len McCluskey as Bjork and then we’ll talk.

*CHERYL Fergison won show one as Dusty Springfield. Dusty Springfield? She’s bigger than the town of Springfield.

HOT on TV: Andy Murray... new Dynamo (Watch)... Charlotte Rampling (Dexter, Fox)... Sky’s Ashes coverage... Luther... Defiance (SyFy).

ROT on TV: Count Arthur Strong – awful weak... Some Vicars With Jokes – Father Turd... Your Face Sounds Familiar – it isn’t even over when the fat lady sings.

SO, Vicars With Jokes now? If the Beeb hadn’t blown so much of our dough on crazy executive pay-offs, and weren’t so painfully PC, they could bring us proper gag-telling comedians with jokes... Jimmy Jones used to do a lovely one about the nun on the bus who (Cut! – Ed).

*BEST vicars? Rev Geoff Davis, laughing at his own punch-lines; and Rev Dr Roy Catchpole who has the perfect face for sitcoms and once wrote a book about coping in prison. Possibly subtitled ‘Thy Rod and Staff they comfort me.’

*THE Zoo shared the problem of trying to breed rare Sumatran tigers. They might get it on, but then again they might kill each other. It’s a bit like Gemma and Arg on TOWIE.

*ODD. Rod Stewart wouldn’t let the BBC film his model railway, yet he let them film his wardrobe... and that’s the real train crash.

*ROD rocked, boozed, partied, bedded countless beauties - Britt, Susan George, Lumley etc – and still found time for football. Reprehensible maybe, but most blokes were probably thinking: lucky, lucky bastard.

* THE BBC has axed sitcom duds The Wright Way and Heading Out. Good. Get shot of Citizen Khan and Count Arthur Strong too, and we’ll be laughing. We’re certainly not laughing watching them.

*THE Beeb say their door “is always open for more AbFabs”. Why? The last two were excruciating, not so much flogging a dead horse as digging it up and whipping its bones.

*PEOPLE got chased by a giant ball on Korean show Infinite Challenge. So if you were wondering what that poor guy did with his ten stone testicles... Apparently AJ Odudu uses the other one as a gobstopper.

SMALL Joys of TV: Luther’s revenge. Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (Imagine). Claude Littner. Arg’s home-movie (TOWIE). When Albums Ruled The World. The White Queen’s ducking stool – can they lend it to Loose Women please?

RANDOM irritations: Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel. No, let’s do lynch with the berks who re-commissioned it. Tennis commentator clichés. ITV’s rigged ‘Randomiser.’

TV Maths: Phil Collins + Clint Eastwood = Luther killer Paul Ellis.

TV questions: how come the Corrie Bistro had a student night after all colleges had broken up? Why wasn’t Mark Wright at his parents’ 30th? If Nick Hewer keeps screwing up his face, how long will it be before it collapses in on itself like a black hole? Is Dawn French a judge on Australia’s Got Talent because she’s big down under? Who’d be brave enough to look?

July 7. How scary was Luther? All over the country, terrified viewers must have been tempted to hide under their beds but didn’t dare - in case a serial killer was already lurking there. Scary? Mad Maya from Corrie was in it and she was the normal one. You lay awake afterwards thinking is that the cat I can hear... or a crazed Midge Ure lookalike waiting in the loft to inflict carnage? Is that a new lampshade in the bedroom or the head of a dead loved one brutally shoved through the ceiling? No mystery about that odd mess on the floor, though; it’s the skin you’ve just jumped out of...

Luther is the sort of show Freddie Krueger would watch through the fingers of his metal glove. It’s a show where a man would rather stick his hand in a blender than have his prints taken. (A finger-smoothie!) But no-one could ever accuse it of being logical. Last series ended with Ibris Elba’s DCI John Luther – pronounced “Loofer” – drenching his overcoat with petrol. Hours later he was still wearing the same coat. And smoking! Luther’s suspects have a tendency to peg it before they reach trial. He cheerfully hangs out with low-life loan sharks - by which I mean he thinks nothing of dangling them from fourth floor balconies. The hard-nut maverick cuts more corners than a cowboy builder.

This time he’s got two cases on the go. There’s Midge murdering women and then dressing their corpses as Siouxsie Sioux from the Banshees. (Do fetish killers really hang out under plastic sheets in people’s attics?) And an internet troll who’s been throttled by the nice decent vigilante father of a girl whose memorial site he’d vandalised. Internal Affairs are on Luther’s case though. George Stark and Erin Gray have got John’s sidekick Ripley wired up to bring him down.

Erin even snogged Ripley to throw Luther off the track. Something a less honest man would have exploited more fully. “Yeah he’s still watching, best undo a few buttons and play hunt the truncheon... ” In the midst of this carnage, John somehow found time for new love interest Mary, the worst driver since Maureen Rees on Driving School. It’s a full-life, but the hours are good. Luther’s had two years off and he’s only back for three more weeks. Enjoy the madness.

A ROUGH week for Wolfy on Big Brother, who felt “physically possessed by demons of anger and rage”, and possibly pie... The fag row reduced her to tears of self-pity. But then so did the word: Fat. “I will not be made a fool out of,” she roared. Although in fairness, she gives housemates plenty of ammo, talking to insects, dressing like a dosser and complaining of “gunge in my vagina.” A lovely image redolent of Ingrid Bergman at her classiest. Thin-skinned ex-cop Dan had a bad time too, blubbing like a baby. Jackie was sympathetic, telling him “It’s good to get it out.” If he had done, Hazel might still be in his bed. Instead, disgusted by his weakness, she’s moved on to Daley. You can see why whiney Dan gets up people’s noses. He questions you as intently as a wife who’s found the wrong shade of lipstick on her husband’s y-fronts. But he’s still more likable than the shifty, “awkwardly nice” Callum, who has now downgraded his “200 lovers” claim to 9 – eight in his head, one in his hand... Lack of actual evictions saved Wolfy. Dexter and Gina were never at risk. Watching cockroaches are amazed by their indestructibility.

I UNDER-estimated Jordan on The Apprentice. He’s an even bigger cock than I thought. Sent out by Myles to locate one must-buy ‘big ticket’ item for the boys to flog in their pop-up shop, he came back with a “Zsa-Zsa” – a ludicrous £190 vase. The boys’ prospects melted long before their fancy candles. Team leader Myles, known as Mr Decisive by all students of irony, had pinned his hopes on ‘fun’ ceramic notepads, which naturally went down like President Morsi. The boys were so useless even the edit suite couldn’t make it look like they might win. On the ropes in the boardroom, Jordan dumbly stood by the disastrous Zsa-Zsa. As Sugar came in for the kill, he nearly threw up. But at the death Shugs sacked Myles instead. The last five contenders now face the inquisition from Sugar’s merciless advisers. And Myles Mordaunt will presumably return to the Harry Potter books from whence he came. Neil to win.

*LUISA’s ex was a pimp who tried to get her on the game. You wouldn’t pay £190 for her Zsa-Zsa either, but at least she’d have haggled.

HOT on TV: Idris Elba (Luther)... Timothy Olyphant (Justified, C5)... Banshee finale.

ROT on TV: 18-stone pole-dancing pavement-crusher Lulu (America’s Got Talent)... Cherry Healey’s Property Virgins – properly useless... Saturday night shite, all channels.

BAD enough that the fragrant Tanya left Walford without once modelling Gwyneth Paltrow’s stockings and suspenders set. Now we’ve got Max weeping (Man up! Hit on Lola!) and Cora – Endora from Bewitched – spying on Ava’s snatched sex life (Ava Sam-a that). For light relief, there’s Mad Jean, comedy fire, plus Janine/Michael locked in perpetual tedium... Strewth. There’s more chance of Derek Branning returning from the grave than of this soap ever improving.

*ARG and Gemma celebrated their tennis match in the bushes on TOWIE. He had a weak lob, but that’s hardly surprising.

*CHARLES and Camilla met a Dalek. She caressed his vile old plunger, and then they met the Dalek. A ferocious bad-tempered creature... it was much like meeting Philip.

*ODD. None of these Child Genius kids was smart enough to look in the mirror and work out they need a haircut.

*WHAT Makes Us Human, asked Alice Roberts. The off button?

*ARE we that great though, Alice? Pit a chimp against Joey Essex. My money’s on Bubbles every time.

SMALL Joys of TV: Kenny Rogers (Glastonbury). Marcel Lucont (Live At The Electric). First Dates – excruciating. Alan Sugar using the phrase “a mug’s eyeful” to describe tat. Rain lashing Gok Live – even the Almighty can’t abide his patronising prattle.

RANDOM irritations: The plinking one-note piano player on Long Lost Family. Brucie still trying (and failing) to be Sammy Davis Jnr at Glasto. Rich Hall’s voice – funny guy, but 90minutes of him yacking was like pouring red ants into your ears.

SEPARATED at birth: Lyn Kendall (Child Genius) and Carol Beer. Mensa says no!

TV Maths: Fred West + Tony Angelino = Davro as Tom Jones.