BUSHELL ON THE BOX
*This is an edited version of my TV column. The real thing, plus contests, goofs, lookalike pictures and more, can be found each Sunday only in the Daily Star Sunday.
July 30. THE British Miracle Meat was about lab-grown grub made from humans, and not Ken Barlow’s sex-life. Or at least it pretended to be. The Gregg Wallace fronted “documentary” had the feel of a poor man’s Black Mirror within minutes. In fairness, it started well. The filming mirrored Inside The Factory, and US food authorities have just given the go-ahead to chicken made from lab-grown chicken cells. But alarm bells sounded when a foreman told Gregg it was all thanks to Brexit. “Under EU law we couldn’t possibly operate like this.”
Then came the absurd twist that the meat wasn’t farmed from cells but surgically removed from people.
D’oh! It was a spoof. A meat-beating mockumentary, without brains or wit. A stunt to con us into thinking hard-up folk could soon flog their flesh for cash.
Gregg, who has the acting range of a Barnsley chop, human-steaks with Michael Roux. One, from a middle-aged nurse cum part-time delivery driver, was extra chewy because of stress of her work. Another, which was melt-in-mouth tender, came – you guessed it – from the flesh of small children. We saw half-dead paupers queuing up to flog bits of their decaying bodies for cash. “It’s pain subjective,” CEO Tamara parroted gormlessly. In the boardroom she offered Gregg some succulent “toddler tartare”. By then, you’d have sussed that it was all about as real as a politician’s promise. So what was the point? It wasn’t funny or believable. It wasn’t even original. The writer took the idea from a 1729 Jonathan Swift satirical essay. The heavy-handed messages – EU good, Tories evil – misfired. And nothing was gained from trying to trick us other than viewer resentment.
*QUESTIONS arising: would clown meat taste funny? Would Carlton Palmer make a dodgy ticker masala? And how hammy would leg of Gregg be? For a mouthful of old game bird, try Sharon Watts.
STACEY called her seedy webcam work – “just knickers and natter” on EastEnders, forgetting the side order of knockers, nutters and creepy Theo’s knackers which will hopefully end up in a vice. If intrepid ITVX reporter Laura Whitmore really wants to investigate “rough sex”, she should could do a lot worse than check out Walford. They don’t come much rougher than ex-crack-addict Phil. The wheezing hardman’s love-life is like one long wife-swapping party. He’s worked through every woman in the Square, even poor Denise whose interest in French films has long been forgotten by the writers, along with the book club, McKlunky’s and Billy’s stolen post.
*NOT saying Keanu’s dumb, but when he leaves a room the average IQ shoots up ten points. Even in the funeral parlour.
THE COUTTS scandal stoked a wave of outrage. How dare banks cancel people for not sharing their achingly trendy views? But hasn’t the same pox plagued TV for decades? ITV axed Benny Hill in 1989 for “outdated” jokes, even though millions loved his show. Little & Large and The Grumbleweeds quickly followed. Classic sitcoms are censored by humourless jobsworths, or blacklisted for crimes against modern bourgeois groupthink. Councils ban blue-collar comics like Chubby Brown from venues for having the “wrong” kind of humour. Cancel culture commissars control TV comedy. So mainstream laughs are as rare as rocking horse crap. How long are we going to take it for?
*WHY are Russ Abbot’s shows never repeated? Who could twinkly-eyed Russ upset?
HOT on TV: Good Omens (Prime)... Julia Brown, World On Fire... Dial M For Middlesbrough.
ROT on TV: The British Miracle Meat – tasteless tripe... The Riches – pretty damn poor.
I CAN’T get past that invented working-class woman spook in “true drama” A Spy Among Friends, or her equally fictional black doctor husband. Vera, set in the rural northeast, is even more ridiculous with multiple diversity boxes ticked. ITV’s desire to be inclusive is well-intentioned, but constantly distorting reality irritates viewers and inevitably backfires.
*OLD joke. A toff, a communist and a gay spy walk into a pub. Landlord says: “What can I get you Mr Burgess?”
*WHY is carpenter Aidan back with love cheat Carrie on And Just Like That? While he was sanding her floor last year, she was polishing Mr Big’s wood. For tongue-in-groove see Miranda.
*RACHEL was hunting for her dad on Long Lost Family. Jamaican Errol was known as “Limpy” in Hampshire, but in Liverpool, where he’d sired Rachel’s half-sister, he was known as “Sleepy”. Must’ve been all that shagging.
BRILLIANT but grim, The Sixth Commandment ended with killer conman Ben Field banged up for 36 years. Evil Field relished attention. He must have loved watching Eanna Hardwicke portraying him on TV. Shame we couldn’t rob him of that pleasure with a length of rope.
*GAVIN & Stacey star Joanna Page was covered in ragout stew on Dial M For Middlesbrough. “Lick me anywhere you like,” she said. No wonder Gavlar loved her.
*AMOL Rojan is way too wet to replace Paxman on University Challenge. Bring on David Starkey, he’s bright, he’s combative and he’d make Twitter implode.
Small Joys of TV: The Ascent Of Man (BBC4). Futurama (Disney). Jamie Foxx as Slick Charles, They Cloned Tyrone (NFLX). Yellowstone. The Power Of Parker.
Random Irritations. The dismal state of Saturday night TV. It used to be alive with unmissable entertainment, now it’s a choice between stale drama or quiz repeats.
TV maths. Ray Mears + glasses & beret = Benny Hill’s Fred Scuttle
Classic clanger. Mark Chilton was commenting on the women’s luge when he said, “Anna Orlova is sloppy in the thrust chute, good at the right-hander.”
JULY 23. THIS column began 36 years ago tomorrow, so I’ve been watching TV as a job for over half my life. Money for old rope, you think? Maybe – if you only watched the good stuff. But for every Minder there was a Minipops, and for every Cheers a Kate O’Mara’s Triangle (not as promising as it sounded). 80s TV was another world. Who could forget Del-Boy Trotter, JR Ewing and Daisy Duke’s shorts? British TV punched above our weight. The Yanks had The A-Team, but we had Auf Weidersehen, Pet. They had Dynasty, we had Arthur Daley. Even EastEnders felt authentic then. And no US late night host got close to Spitting Image’s savage wit – 80s satire had proper teeth.
My memories of 90s TV are a kaleidoscopic blur – Gladiators! Blind Date! Getting gunged by Noel Edmonds... many, many times. We made classics like Sharpe, Cracker, House Of Cards One Foot In The Grave, Prime Suspect, The Royle Family and An Audience with Freddie Starr. America had The Sopranos, Seinfeld and The Simpsons, plus Frasier, Friends, NYPD Blue, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Letterman & Leno... all solid-gold gems.
HBO’s The Sopranos kickstarted TV’s last great golden age: The Wire, The Shield, Game Of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Boys, Curb, Breaking Bad... (Include The West Wing if you like, I thought it was a liberal wet dream). Noughties Britain had The Office, Phoenix Nights, Life On Mars, Gavin & Stacey, Black Mirror, Peep Show... as well as the endless pox of Big Brother bequeathed ‘reality’ TV. TV’s Holy Grail is the next must-see series and I’m on the hunt for it like Ryan Giggs on Viagra. Something tells me it’s not 1000lb Sisters.
*MY TOP 80s UK shows: Minder, Only Fools & Horses, Inspector Morse, Lovejoy, Yes Minister, Blackadder, The Bill, The Young Ones, ’Allo ’Allo!
*US 80s classics: Cheers. Star Trek: TNG. Married... With Children. Hill Street Blues.
THE Sixth Commandment is beautifully-made with a cracking cast. It’s also unbearably grim. It tells the true story of two good-hearted souls who were duped and murdered by evil scrote Ben Field. In a sensitive Bafta-worthy performance Timothy Spall brought depth to gentle, closeted Peter Farquhar, a brilliant lecturer who had never reconciled his sexuality with his religious faith. Ex-student Field played him like a fiddle, conning his way into Peter’s lonely life before gaslighting, drugging and killing him. He then preyed on Ann, 83, bamboozling her with “holy” messages on her mirrors. It’s brilliant, but why make it? The full harrowing story was told in C4’s 2020 documentary Catching A Killer. And why were we watching it? How often do we need television to break our hearts? There is a ghoulish element to true-crime which, even with the best intentions, this couldn’t shake. TV pumps out too much misery. Invest more in escapism, and we’d be a lot happier.
I LOVE half the cast, but DeadEnders won’t improve while they keep recycling antique plots – unlikely blackmail stories, yet another gambling addiction, the latest doomed marriage... The scripts couldn’t be dozier if Putin’s stooges were mixing the writers’ cocktails. The politics suck. Those ham-fisted, right-on messages could come direct from Coutts. And the dialogue is bonkers. Do BBC bosses really believe “heteronormative” is used in everyday East End conversation? The soap used to reflect reality, now it’s as true-to-life as Barbie. In Walford the dead rise and every Cockney has a cheeky £50K tucked down the back of their settee.
*QUESTIONS: who choreographed Jo and Kaff’s cat-fight, Paul Chuckle? When Lily’s kid is born will Stacey move on to Only-Grans? When will the writers remember Walford Town FC, Kat’s son Dermott, McKlunky’s etc etc?
HOT on TV: Zak Crawley... Tim Spall, The Sixth Commandment... The Bear (Disney+).
ROT on TV: Couples’ Therapy... Rob & Romesh in Vegas – more tragic than magic... Shopping With Keith Lemon – shocking.
HOT not on TV: Nicole Lily Baisden, 42nd Street.
ROB & Romesh Vs Magic in Vegas ended in abject failure. They didn’t even pull a rabbit out of a hat, although frankly on this showing you wouldn’t trust Rob to pull a hair out of his aris. How could two bungling amateur chancers hope to wow a Vegas crowd with half a day’s rehearsal? Punters have seen David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, and brilliant Penn & Teller who gamely played along.
*WHY Sharks Attack revealed that tiger sharks are “as different from white sharks as a kangaroo is from a bat”. Or indeed, as Adam Hills is from a comedian. Experts say that if you’re attacked by a shark, you should poke it in the eye. So, chaps, never swim in the sea without first popping a Viagra.
*PLEASE note: World On Fire is a WW2 drama and not yet more weather hysteria (BBC pants on fire). Coming soon: A Place In The Sun twinned with Towering Inferno.
Small Joys of TV: The Wimbledon men’s final. Jane McDonald’s Secretions ad on Death On The Tyne. Jennie Silfverhjelm, Beck. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Prime).
Random Irritations. BBC1’s multi-stranded World On Fire coming back after a 4-year break without a recap and deciding to hate Britain just as much as it hates the Nazis.
TV maths. Yevgeny Prigozhin + hat & scarf = Alistair Sim’s Scrooge.
Goof of the month. Todd Woodridge, talking about king Carlos at the Wimbledon Men’s final, said: “He’s out ready to go, balls in hand.”
July 16. COULD Channel 5 make a worse mini-series than Ross Kemp’s recent Blindspot? Could anyone? The plot had pot-holes the size of bomb craters and a lip-reader with the uncanny ability to interpret speech through the back of someone’s head. Aussie melodrama Heat had a go but just couldn’t out-do it. Danny Dyer played ex-pat Steve Cameron, a Cockney geezer up to his Jacobs in stress. He acted shiftily – no change there – but so much so teenage daughter Mia accused him of being over the side. The Camerons were staying with filthy-rich family friends, the Fishers. But whereas Dad Brad had really made it, with a dream home that Mick Carter would call “a gaff of a gaff”, Steve had only made lousy investments – the bloke made Jeremy Hunt seem almost economically competent.
In true pot-boiler style, a tangled mess of secrets unfolded against the backdrop of disaster. In this case, raging bushfires. Steve’s furtive phone calls weren’t from his bit of fluff, but a dodgy loan shark. Guilt paralysed his libido. For three agonising (for us) minutes he tried and failed to, ahem, slip wife Sarah the didgeridoo. Loadsamoney Brad offered to lend him half a mill. Nice guy? Nope. He was a creepy voyeur with the sexual restraint of a drunken Queen’s Dragoon major. He broke Steve’s son Tom’s wrist, ogled Mia (covertly filming her at it with boyfriend Jet), and enjoyed “the full bush experience” with Sarah. Big bad Brad was such a wrong’un it was a wonder he wasn’t on the BBC payroll. By Thursday he’d been rumbled by Tom and Sarah as the fire closed in. We waited in vain for Dyer to holler: “Pipe down, you’re doing me swede in.” Still, at least it gave him the chance to broaden his acting palette. He’s narrowed his eyes in Australia now.
*WAS Jet called that because Mia loved him taking off?
STALIN’S crimes were well known by 1963, so it’s hard to have any sympathy for the toff traitors who sold Britain out to the Soviets. Two of the Cambridge Five fled to Moscow, followed by MI6 turncoat Kim Philby, whose spook pal Nicholas Elliott let him escape. ITV’s dreary A Spy Among Friends imagines Elliott being interrogated Ted Hastings style by Lily Thomas, a working-class MI5 agent from Durham who never existed. “Is that Northumberland I hear?” asked Elliott of Anna Maxwell Martin’s wavering accent. Not even close, mate. But wasn’t the story strong enough without inventing people? The drama exists in a murky world of semi-darkness, much like the characters. We had light bulbs in 1963, honest guv.
*MI6 was riddled with traitors. Even the cleaner was a sweeper agent.
*ONE small joy: the song about a cat sung at a toffs’ men-only club: “There’s one pet I like to pet, and every evening we get set, I stroke it every chance I get, my girl’s pussy... ” More? Okay: “Seldom plays and never purrs, and I love the thought it stirs, but I don’t mind because it’s hers, my girl’s pussy... ”
NEW quiz idea: What’s My Perversion? Five seemingly respectable celebs face a Line Of Duty style grilling about their lurid love-lives. Whoever cracks first has their depravities exposed to an astonished nation. Alternatively, bung in some music and call it The Masked Sinner...
*THE Kinks At The BBC aired last night, but for real kinky stuff see the staff...
*NEXT celeb reality show: Huw Used To Be A Millionaire.
HOT on TV: Murder On The Blackpool Express... Chris Woakes... The Traitors Australia (BBC3).
ROT on TV: Darren McCullen, Heat – more ham than a deli counter.
FLATLINING viewing figures prove soap opera bosses are killing the geese that laid golden eggs for decades. Only drastic action can save the soaps – cut ’em back to two episodes a week, call time on unlikely killers and calamity, stop the tedious right-on preaching and bring back warmth, reality and working-class wit.
*RUSSELL Kane was told “you’re literally cooking your balls” on Celebrity Save Our Sperm. Blimey. Best served with fava beans?
*ITVX say The Effects Of Lying is “hilarious & heartwarming”. Yeah, in the same way Joe Biden is youthful and coherent.
*TOP 3 TV titles that let us down: Cooking With The Stars – no cannibalism. Extraordinary Birder – wrong kind of birds. And Just Like That – not a hint of Tommy Cooper.
*FACT: there is nothing extraordinary about Extraordinary Escapes except the chutzpah of producers thinking anyone wants to suffer an hour of Rosie Jones and smug Sandi Toxic.
*IS Arfur Daley running ITV? We’ve got a blatant Celeb MasterChef knock-off, Stephen Fry’s Attenborough tribute, Lumley reminding us how good Palin was...Their ideas department is a photocopier.
*HOW about some Long Lost Family spin-offs? Families you wished you’d lost. Families who didn’t want to be found. Families who were happy to be re-united until they got hit with back-dated child support bills...
Small Joys of TV. Sian Gibson in a tutu snogging Johhny Vegas. Danny Dyer vs kangaroos. Lily Savage, Blankety Blank. Charles ‘Jim MacDonald’ Lawson on GB News for The Twelfth, so he was.
Random Irritations. The slow creep of privacy laws. Irksome ballads on Heat. Tennis overkill. Disney’s Secret Invasion ignorantly branding war hero Winston Churchill a coward.
QUESTION of the week: what needs root-and-branch reform most, the NHS or the BBC? (See also piss-taking banks, C4, the tax system, political parties... ).
TV maths. Danny Baker + Bernie Winters = Francois Hollande.
Classic clanger. Sophie was talking about eating lamb on Come Dine With Me when she said: “I just put it in my mouth and swallowed. I think that’s a real bonus.” Me too.
July 9. PARTS of Long Lost Family must wind everyone up. The story splitting, the mournful piano, the way hosts Davina and Nicky Campbell drip-feed info... But the show still pulls the heart-strings like a tug-of-war team on steroids. Last week’s opening story revolved around London-born boxer Paul Connolly, 60, whose Irish mother put him out with the rubbish – literally – when he was two weeks old. He grew up in children’s homes, suffering sexual abuse and physical beatings. Where most kids have a teddy, Paul’s comfort was sleeping under the bed with a kitchen knife. “I held on to that for dear life.”
There was a reason Paul wasn’t pale and freckly. DNA revealed that his real Dad was a randy Maltese shop-keeper known as Pino. ITV’s crack genealogy team traced three half-siblings Pino Gigolo had fathered with another Irish Catholic woman. Paul’s half-brother Frankie recalled their dad beating him savagely with a leather belt at six years old for the crime of buying him the wrong brand of fags. Both bros had attended the same Dagenham school two years apart. Both had flirted with crime but came good. Their joy at finding each other was tangible. In the second story, school site manager Shaun was reunited with the parents who’d given him up for adoption and the younger sisters he didn’t know he had. “Forgive me,” said his Dad, choking back tears. Mum just beamed and said, “My son.” Shaun learnt why he’d been abandoned, but realised he hadn’t been unloved and had never been forgotten. It was a ten-tissue job. Is the show manipulative? Of course it is. It makes adults weep as surely as bereavement, mortgage rates and The Last Leg. But what a force for good. It’s life-changing for the participants, and the stories melt the heart.
WHO was stitched up worse this week? Ellie Taylor, forced to dress as a three-tier wedding cake on Bake Off: The Professionals... or Ross Kemp who was done up like a despondent kipper by the Blindspot script? He played Tony Warden, the world’s most depressed detective – a role that allowed him to use all three of his facial expressions. Kemp hasn’t looked this glum since Frank Butcher mowed down Tiffany on DeadEnders. Demoted and deserted, Tone wept softly in his car. People kept telling him he was hopeless, which he was. He worked about as hard as a tennis-loving WFH civil servant. Tone was hanging on for his pension; tip-offs and leads just cramped his style. One episode of the unlikely C5 potboiler was enough for me. But odds-on he found redemption, inspired by young Hannah who’d seen her friend get killed by a creep in a cheap mask and was actually trying to catch him.
COOKING With The Stars contestants served up pie & mash, toad in the hole and hearty dollops of syrup pudding. Of course not! ITV opted for Italian meals – chicken drowned in cheese sauce, lamb ruined in “white bean mash” etc. The show is Celebrity MasterChef with amateur cooks, backed by professional mentors who steam in whenever they flounder, which is often. But why do we care? And who’d want to scoff their duff grub?
*TV cooking cash-ins I’d like to see: Peter Andre’s Mysterious Gruel. Gordon Ramsay’s Alphabetti Touretti. Peppa Pig loin chops. And, from Peaky Blinders, Sir Oswald Muesli...
HOT on TV: Ben Stokes... Becki Newton, The Lincoln Lawyer (Prime)... Evacuation.
ROT on TV: The Idol finale – 50 shades of grim... Love Island... Queen Of Oz.
THEY were looking for “the correct size and thickness” on Bake Off: The Professionals. Just like Love Island, then...
ELLIE Taylor came dressed as a cake but seemed a bit manic. Coffee cake, probably. For impressive baps see fellow comedian Angela Barnes.
*DOES Ellie wear that outfit for romantic nights at home with hubby Phil? It’d give new meaning to having your cake and eating it.
WHAT a week for BBC comedy! We had everything from a 1957 Hancock’s Half Hour to the very first episode of The Fast Show (’94) via a classic Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads (’73). Plus Ricky Gervais’ under-rated Extras on iPlayer. Sadly, making scripted comedy this funny nowadays is a BBC Mission Impossible that even Tom Cruise couldn’t fix.
*IDRIS Elba sparkles in Hijack, but do his fellow hi-jacked plane passengers deserve to be saved? Maybe not lazy-arse parents who think it’s OK to let their brats play up like Spielberg’s Gremlins on a long-haul flight.
*HBO’S The Idol was set to be six episodes long but ended up as five. How much worse was that missing hour?
*ONE attraction of PopMaster UK is that the contestants aren’t famous. Just like Pointless Celebrities.
Small Joys of TV: Benoit Blin’s Allo Allo accent. Pete & Dud pub sketches on Not Only... But Also. Ellie Taylor. The Dry Your Eyes sketch show. Inside The Heist.
Random Irritations. Excess Wimbledon waffle – Andrew Castle & John Lloyd never shut up. Apocalyptic weather claims – June 1976 was hotter than last month.
TEEN rap drama Champions got 589,000 viewers for BBC1 on Saturday night. Anyone surprised? Everyone it’s aimed at is either out or stoned.
TV maths. Mr Magoo + glasses = Rupert Murdoch.
July 2. IT’S an iron law that most things changed in the name of “progress” make life worse. Parking apps, pub apps, “smart motorways”, wishy-washy policing... We used to have just three TV channels that managed to produce unmissable dramas, comedies and entertainers so remarkable we still revere them. Now we have nearly 500, not counting streamers, awash with repeats, “reality” and unremarkable rhubarb.
This week’s terrestrial highlights included ITV’s latest ITVX re-runs and Before You Die – a drama so wooden, it’s a wonder the cast didn’t take root. Sky had And Just Like That. Series two of the witless Sex & The City spin-off began with a montage of shagging (although Miranda appeared to be enjoying a kind of one-sided water-based sumo wrestling bout). Take away the gratuitous grunting and gasping though and what have we got? More meditations on the empty lives of over-privileged New Yorkers with Fendi Baguettes for hearts and calculators for brains. The show does for Manhattan what Mr Big did for Peloton bikes last series – comfortably the worst product placement deal of all time. Mind you, if you are going to die on a bike, you might as well do it on something slick and modern rather than the show’s over-painted alternatives. We get Carrie and Charlotte but where’s Samantha, the funny sexy one?
Telly sex was once the preserve of lofty dramas like I, Claudius and Bouquet Of Barbed Wire, now there’s The Idol – gormless soft porn from the once great HBO. The sleazy garbage centres on mentally-ill pop star Jocelyn who’s exploited by the industry (and HBO) and abused by her producer boyfriend Tedros – whose vibe is described as “rapey”. It’s graphic and shallow with sub-Chatbot dialogue, but fair play it’s still not as cringey as Carrie’s podcast.
*THE Weeknd plays Tedros. A weak end for his acting career?
MELVYN Bragg is right, the BBC do paint the white working class as “miserable, broke or in despair” – and worse. It reflects the view of the snooty snobs who run it. There are very few working-class voices among the Tarquins and Tristrams. But when a John Sullivan does slip through the net it makes a huge difference. If real Cockneys wrote DeadEnders, they’d inject humour and savvy into the joyless mix of junkies, layabouts and killers. Walford’s got more murderers per square yard than the Wagner Group. It’s as cheery as finding a cat-identifying child spraying your turkey dinner... probably this year’s Xmas misery twist. East London is full of self-made achievers. Yet Ian Beale has always been their biggest loser. Hope, brains and ambition are forbidden. The oi poloi must know their place.
BEN Elton has always been a hard bloke to like. A posh Professor’s son who grew up in Surrey making out he was a streetwise wide-boy... The Mockney accent, the baseless smugness, the endless “Thatch”-bashing... Hypocrisy hangs around him like flies round dog-poo. Ben was proudly right-on, but that didn’t stop him working with a band who broke the apartheid boycott. Neither did his open dislike of Cowell stop him singing (badly) on BGT I won’t mention his sitcom flops (Get A Grip anyone?) or his axed stand-up show (Live from Planet Earth). Yet despite all that, Elton’s Great Railway Disaster doc had some truth to it. John Major’s 1993 privatisation was a deranged cluster-fudge (although the rot started with Beeching decades earlier). And there is a case for re-nationalisation. All we need is a government determined to scrap our insane fares system, re-open closed lines and make trains run on time. Possible? Yes. Probable, no.
HOT on TV: Jonny Bairstow... Long Lost Family – heartwarming and life-affirming... Idris Elba, Hijack (Apple).
ROT on TV: Before We Die – crappier than river water... Matt Hancock – can’t we lock him down? Or up. Up’s better.
ELTON John’s legacy is amazing and the public love him. But he just can’t hit the high notes anymore. The Glasto crowd joining in made Rocket Man seem a bit like Les Dawson’s cack-handed piano playing routine. They aimed for the high note, Elt went low, then they tried to follow... He’s six months away from turning into Billy Connolly’s pub singer.
*EX-boxer Ron Russell saw Princess Anne’s would-be kidnapper shoot a cop, thought, “No, that’s a liberty” and knocked him sparko. True grit.
*A WOMAN’S voice is arousing to men, says a study. Three words that disprove it: Janet Street-Porter.
*VAN Der Valk, a British show about Dutch cops, lectured us on “cultural restitution”. Irony, anyone?
*LOVE or loathe Nigel Farage, he richly deserved his TRIC award. Farage’s GB News show is honest, hard-hitting and more open to opposing views than any BBC newsroom.
*ONE day, when everyone who can sing in tune has been on a TV talent show, do you think maybe they’ll start looking for people with other skills?
*YOU thought the Wagner Group were scary now, but wait till they start singing.
Small Joys of TV: Lee Mack’s gag ratio on Not Going Out. Ken Bruce’s Pop Master TV, but it’d work better in half hour chunks. John Krasinski as Jack Ryan (Prime).
Random Irritations. TV nepotism, enough dad and son shows! Everyone from ad makers to Sky Sport via ITV dramas trying to tell us what to think. Celeb Googlebox.
TV maths. Roland Rat minus hat = Rishi Sunak.
Classic clanger. Steve Leonard was talking about vegetation on Vets In The Wild when he told Trude Mostue: “There’s something big growing between my legs.”