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