June 27. ON Wednesday, England turned the tide and spanked
Slovenia. Was there a pub in the land that didn’t erupt with joy
and relief? Why yes. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Queen
Vic, Walford. One of the few East End boozers that didn’t show
the match, and certainly the only one not festooned in glorious
red and white. Would it have hurt them to splash out on a bit
Probably yes – Enders has form for despising England, English
culture and traditions. To the BBC’s right-on creeps the cross
of St George is like garlic to a vampire. But for a soap that
always claims to reflect ‘reality’ this seems a major deviation
from life as it’s actually lived. Instead, in BBC1’s god-forsaken
alternative universe, Ryan, the murderer, dumped Janine, the
murderess, after watching Stacey, the bi-polar killer, give
birth to the daughter he doesn’t realise is his.
Elsewhere, as light relief, sleaze-ball Adam was demanding
sexual favours from a school-girl in return for stolen exam
papers. Nice. (We’d know if he’d got his evil way; he’d have
left tread-marks on the bed.) Two old biddies, either side of
70, were lusting after young fellas; a 69-year-old woman was
pestering a seventy year old for a portion, conjuring up unwelcome
images of mating walruses on the Discovery Channel. And Lucas
the homicidal vicar told Patrick he couldn’t have sex in his
In realistic Walford mullahs exude tolerance and understanding
while preachers kidnap and kill at will.
Returning stars include Trina’s Tree – the tree of damnation
– and Tania who looks pretty chunky considering she’s got a
new man. Who is this Greg bloke, by the way? If it’s the baker
it explains everything. I’m not too sure why Max the Mekon is
still obsessed with the ex who buried him alive. Or why rich
bitch Vanessa wants hot portakabin sex with him. Or why no-one
remembers that Patrick and Liz lived next door to each other
in Love Thy Neighbour. You dread to think what Eddie Booth would
make of it all.
On the plus side, Iron Maiden were on the jukebox. Lacey Turner
sparkled and Libby must surely see through creepy Adam soon.
We can’t expect new EastEnders supremo Bryan Kirkwood to inject
any hope or humour into this grim, joy-less world. But with
luck he’ll give us less bonkers melodrama and more everyday
characters we can care about.
*WALFORD mysteries: has Max forgotten Oscar? Why has no-one
got an umbrella? Where did Adam get stolen exam papers from?
You can’t picture him shimming up drain pipes. And why does
even Jean refer to Big Mo as Stacey’s Nan? Charlie is Stace’s
great uncle; Mo is his mother-in-law. She’s as much her Nan
as Winnie Mandela is.
THEY’RE having it too easy on Big Brother. If this were a
proper circus the only food available would be popcorn, hot
dogs and candy-floss. On eviction night they’d be shot out of
a cannon. Shabby’s clown braces would be twanged twice daily.
And judging by her love handles, Josey would be wearing the
tent. Govan had to go, man, but BB is fixing it for Shabby to
stay. As a childish middle class show-off, she’s C4’s kind of
gal. And Keaver is under her skin like a splinter, much like
me and Emma Willis. In fairness, Shabs is more of a man than
most of the weeping wimps in here. Memo to Ben: to last longer,
try winding it back a bit from posh berk to gormless twerp.
IN V’s gripping finale, Erica wiped out evil Anna’s soldier
eggs, triggering her first human emotions – grief, followed
swiftly by rage and a burning desire for vengeance. Reaching
for her Apple iPlot, Anna summoned her armada and filled our
skies with crimson clouds. (Red sky in morning, drunk too much
Warninks...) She bumped off Val whose baby was born with a green
tail, just like Stacey Slater’s. And good alien Joshua was killed
only for Anna’s flunky to resurrect him. Don’t ask. I’m still
trying to work out how Erica took a phone call on the mother-ship.
That’s some network. I can’t get a signal in the Shadwell Basin.
HOT on TV: Defoe delivering... Mongrels (BBC3) – animal magic...
Matt Berry (The I.T. Crowd).
ROT on TV: James Corden’s World Cup Live – laughs as rare
as an Englishman at Wimbledon... Kerry & Me – must-flee TV...
Fat Families Second Helpings – no thanks, I’m full.
CUTE blonde Ellashaye was the star of Best Undressed. Miss
Nude Tasmania had a smile that would bring out the devil in
most men. Ella wowed the Miss Nude Australia judges with her
sexy bath routine, saying afterwards that she hoped that the
sponge would still respect her in the morning. Naturally she
won. The pocket-sized beauty grew up just a few miles from Fannie
Bay. By coincidence this was also the nickname for the girls’
*ONE good thing about the budget – for once the words ‘battered
box’ and ‘media frenzy’ didn’t involve John Terry. *A FOX dated
a chicken on Mongrels. “There's a Nando's around the corner,”
he told her. “Oh, sorry; I didn't think.”
*BECKY disappointed on Tribal Wives, refusing to go topless
as is the custom on Kitova Island (short for kit-off, leg-over
- probably). BBC3 should have told her, either they’re out or
*BRUCIE will appear in a future Who Do You Think You Are?
By coincidence, Matron will be asking him that same question
by the time it transmits.
*ON Spartacus, Crixus turned down oral sex with his mistress
Lucretia cos he had a fight the next day. Bah. If I were Lucy
Lawless’s slave I’d do what I was told and be gladiator.
RANDOM irritations: C4’s indigestible daily Come Dine With
Me marathon. BB’s Big Mouth not having a comedian host. ITV
needing to watch ten hours of David Dickinson’s chat show to
realise he can’t interview. It took most of us five minutes.
SMALL Joys of TV: Hamish, Andy and the art of ‘ghosting’ (Graham
Norton Show). Maria Kirilenko’s skirt (Wimbledon). Maradonna.
Lee Nelson: “I hated school, man, they were the worst three
days of my life.”
20. WELL it was a frustrating first week made worse by all
that constant bloody droning. But enough about Sunshine on Big
Brother. The World Cup meanwhile brought millions of viewers
to the beautiful game. So here, as a public service, is my guide
to the strange new lexicon thrown up by the tournament.
Vuvu: a loud, horny object which is anyone’s for a couple of
bob – the Roxy Mitchell of the trumpet world.
Capello: either a footballing genius, or, more likely, an over-paid
over-rated Italian berk; the modern day Bertorelli from ’Allo
’Allo: “4-4-2 – what a mistake-a to make-a.”
ITV Sport: a contradiction in terms, like care-free North Korean.
Jabulani: a round but utterly lightweight object that flies
far higher than it should; see also James Corden. Actually it’s
best not to see Corden’s World Cup Live. The thinking behind
the show is as fragile as Ledley King’s groin. It’s TFI Football,
without much humour, brains, or crucially football. The series
is so in love with itself and its minor running gags (they’re
growing beards, they’re brought in Ireland, their producer likes
Glee, snigger) it’s overlooked the need for substance. Like
Emile Heskey, ITV has missed an open goal. Fans want passion,
post-match debate and belly laughs. Corden supplies just the
belly, and a few pointless celebs.
Renowned soccer experts Katie Perry and Simon Cowell brought
less to the party than the French squad. Even Jimmy Greaves,
who has wit and insight in abundance, struggled to be heard.
A shame because the opening games were so feeble they needed
to be mocked. Corden’s guests on Friday must have been the only
fans in England not ripping the team and Crapello apart. It’s
not good enough. We want the attack of Chile, the heart of Jong
Tae-se and some wag asking Pixie Lott to blow his vuvuzela.
The studio pundits aren’t much cop either. On ITV, nice-guy
Chiles tries and fails to inject some energy into Keegan, Viera
and Davids whose sole contribution is inertia. Gary Lineker
got off to a good start announcing that the whole England team
“is behind Robert Green – in retrospect that's a good place
to stand”; stealing the joke from Russell Brand as shamelessly
as if it were an unguarded packet of Walkers crisps. Mick McCarthy
hits the mood just right. Mick couldn’t be more miserable if
the Korean team had just barbecued his dog.
*I FEEL for Robbie Earle. He’s not the first bloke to be duped
by an untrustworthy orange woman, as students of Kat Slater’s
love-life could tell you.
*VUVUS: annoying, plastic, monotonous and they make TV viewing
an ordeal – it’s like Nikki Grahame never went away.
*SARAH Jessica Parker has suffered many a cruel jibe about her
horsey looks, which must have upset her as well as her late
father Arkle. But her past held bigger upsets. Who Do You Think
You Are found that one of SJP’s ancestors had been nicked for
alleged witchcraft. The case against Esther Elwell, who was
said to have killed while in spirit form, never came to trial.
Could it have been true? Unlikely you’d think but surely only
the blackest magic could explain the worldwide popularity of
tripe like Sex & The City? I’m not saying SJP should be forced
to take a ducking stool test with her three cackling mates.
That is obviously a matter for her. But the least we should
do is flash pictures of Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz at her
and see if she flinches.
& The City: these days it’s like the Golden Girls with dildos.
*THE Donald McGill postcards were the best thing about Rude
Britannia. Like the sales leader who tells a shopper: “Gentlemen’s
Requisites? Yes sir, go right through ladies’ underwear.” Shockingly
McGill spent a night in the cells at the grand old age of 79
for offending prudes with his genius. He pleaded guilty over
a postcard of a skimpily attired nurse which was described here
in all seriousness as “the little crack the prosecution could
force open.” Donald would have approved.
HOT on TV: Mexico 2, France Nil... Maicon’s wonder goal... Spain
spanked... Uruguay’s Forlan silencing the vuvus.
ROT on TV: England – dismal... Jacques Peretti – the biggest
pants this side of Peaches Geldof... Accidentally On Purpose
– a mirthless waste of Jenna Elfman... Kimberley Walsh (Blue
Jean Girl) – as wishy-washy as the Venables version of ‘If I
*FROST On Satire? Don’t make me laugh. If Frosty had any teeth
they would never have given him a knighthood. What kind of satirist
pretends that Uri Geller has supernatural powers? We don’t do
satire any more. Nothing challenges Brussels, where the real
power lies; we don’t send up the over-paid lawyer caste, toothless
courts, the sanctimonious new puritans, H&S zealots or PC ‘liberals’
in thrall to Islamic extremists. Mock The Week and HIGNFY can
occasionally be funny, but when I hear them described as satire
I want to dig up Hogarth and Swift and see who is spinning fastest.
*RE: Tiger Woods. According to his girlfriends the gap between
his fall and rise is about 15 minutes.
*TV questions: If soaps can be re-shot to avoid causing offence
after tragedies, why can’t the scripts be re-edited to avoid
offending common sense? In that Cadbury’s flake ad why is her
dress made of tripe?
*CLASSIC Corrie line; Mary to Gail: “And when that jury came
back in, and we heard those magic words, 'Not Guilty' ... I've
never been happier to lose a fiver in my life.”
RANDOM irritations: Kirsty Wark’s dress sense. Crabby Shabby
(BB). The Loose Women world cup anthem; and the thought of any
of these harridans “going all the way.”
SMALL joys of TV: The ending of last night’s Dr Who – at last
he stops fidgeting. The Adidas Star Wars ad. The Nationwide
Little Britain ad. Kate Humble saying: “It’ll be cold in Norfolk
tomorrow but our tits will be snuggled up nice and warm.” (Springwatch).
*CURSE of the week: “May the gods shrivel your cock.” (Spartacus)
*SEPARATED at birth: Miroslav Klose and Odo? One an odd-looking
alien who isn’t quite what he seems, the other a character in
Deep Space Nine.
*NATALIE Cassidy’s stint on The 5 O’Crock Show made Peter Andre
look like Larry King. Can you believe Lenny Henry is involved
in this car-crash? What was his agent thinking?
13th. IT’S Wednesday night and the circus is in town. Tired
old ringmaster Big Brother flung open his gaudy doors one last
time for a brand new carnival of clowns. Roll up, roll up and
try not to throw up as we decide who we’ll hate, who we’ll loathe
and who we’ll really despise. Big Bro works best when it shows
real human emotion. At its worst it’s a freak show for weirdoes
and wannabes. So well done BB for choosing God-botherer Dave
who came dressed as Friar Tuck - he’s Friar F*ck-wit. Corin
who claims she gets mistaken for Jordan (in her dreams) but
is more like Lorraine Chase with boobs. Katie Cut-Price. And
middle class squatter Shabby, an alleged “film-maker”, who came
as Charlie Chaplin and “takes myself seriously”. No-one else
Contenders were selected live from a clearly stagnant “talent
pool” of 81 nitwits top-heavy with deluded lookalikes. Big-headed
Beyoncé clone Rachael loves herself so we don’t have to. Hair-dresser
Rach won’t be adjusting any lengths in here but I’d pay her
to sort out Nathan’s mono-brow. Aussie Becks-double John calls
himself Achilles. Let’s hope he enjoys his next stand with dopy
‘Sunshine’ (born Yvette), and then dumps her so she can change
her name to Downpour.
Posh, punch-able Ben will prove as popular as a BP boss in Washington.
Govan reckons he has a big dick and probably is one. Dancer
Ife is cute but catty. She says she’s performed with Cheryl
Cole but not in a way that would interest Ashley. Irish Caoimhe
(pronounced Keaver) is up herself and claims she may be up for
So far I like blonde Josie, a sales rep from Bristol, who lives
on a farm with chickens and says she “likes a cockatoo”. And
Mario, picked at random and dressed up as a mole (shouldn’t
he have tunnelled in?). But best is Steve, a cheery can-do ex-soldier
horribly injured in a Belfast bomb blast who’s only here to
raise money for a good cause.
Will anyone be as magnetic as Pete, as funny as Brian, as infuriating
as Nikki, or as dim as Jade? I doubt it. The inmates have a
lot to live up to. This show has already done love, lust, open
air masturbation and demented rage (missing you Charley). There’s
nothing left that doesn’t come with a jail sentence. Here’s
*CORIN thinks she’s Katie Price’s doppelganger. With a natural
30G bust she’s more like a topple-ganger.
*SMALL joys of Big Bro: freaky Bob Righter, the tree of temptation’s
re-birth as a sweary chest of drawers, and ‘Davina McCaw’ proving
a mechanical parrot could do Davina’s job (with less squawking.)
CHEERIO Jack Bauer, TV’s toughest cop. After the worst eight
days this side of a Middle East cruise on a Turkish aid ship
with Maxxie Oliver as cabaret, 24 has called it quits. It was
one hell of a ride. In the last episode, Jack bit off a bad
guy’s ear and almost topped the Russian president. Two hours
earlier he’d slit open a conscious man’s guts to retrieve a
SIM card. Talk about hard to stomach. Imagine trying that with
James Corden. You’d need a chain-saw. This show has seen traitors,
double agents, murder and a nuclear bomb going off in LA. They
saved the most far-fetched twist for last: a US President acting
GOD’S cock! The helmets were out again on Spartacus; and the
horns were on proud display. They even managed to squeeze in
some fighting. Crixus is bedding Lucretia and her hand maiden
Naevia; bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘slave uprising’.
And the writers are having a blast cooking up classy exchanges
like “I will f*** your corpse”, “With what cock?” It’s odd to
spot obvious boob jobs in Ancient Rome. But this isn’t history,
it’s Up Pompeii with bigger spears. Titter ye not. Lay, lay
and thrice lay.
HOT on TV: 24 finale – bring on the movie... Sons of Anarchy
(Bravo)... Elizabeth Mitchell (V)... new Lie To Me (Sky1).
ROT on TV: The Baftas – laughable, unlike Norton’s script which
was utterly laugh free... Mary Queen of Flops... the Corrie
trial – no forensics, no eye-witnesses, a trumped-up case built
on straw and lies, and after all that Gail gets off. Where’s
I’VE had it with Doctor Who. That giant chicken was bad enough,
but last night the Doc was transferring his memories with head-butts;
he also became a football wiz and had a chat with a cat. So
suddenly he’s Mr Spock, Yosser Hughes, Georgie Best and Dr.
Doolittle all in one. No-one could Dr. Do-Less than the lazy
writers. But in fairness I would feel a lot happier with Who
in the England squad.
*JUDE Cisse took Come Dine With Me from wags to bitches. Shame
the WAGs special didn’t feature Vanessa Perroncel’s French dishes.
I know we’d spot something tempting between the frogs’ legs.
*ON V, Anna had her daughter’s legs broken. Even Jackie Dobbs
thought that was harsh. But in the light of previous celeb winners,
I understand Anna is still in with a shot of getting mother
of the year.
*TASTY Opal Bonfante was the adjudicator of the 5 O’Crock Show’s
less than riveting Spelling Bee. She clearly had more idea of
what was going on than host Peter Andre or question master Julian
Clary. Earlier pea-brained Pete had fed Julian the first line
of a dirty joke and then moaned when he finished it off live
on air. D’oh! Though I bet he moaned more when Katie used to
finish him off. Peter should get back to what he’s best at on
TV – chewing on kangaroo cobblers in the outback.
* DOES working with Bonfante make Clary an Opal fruit?
RANDOM irritations: Rob Green’s Hand-of-Rob schoolboy error.
ITV turning Millionaire into a chat show. Saskia Reeves’s ‘Cockney’
accent (Luther).The BBC having the temerity to debate Big Brother’s
“impact on our morality” while churning out amoral junk like
EastEnders five nights last week.
are the Beeb blowing £2mill on Christine Beakley? She only worked
as half of a double act and Chiles has gone. Someone had better
call the spending cuts suggestion hotline.
6. SO who was the worst act on Britain’s Got Talent? That
loopy leprechaun, the gormless berk who thought he was Madonna
or the two clowns who insulted viewers by putting most of this
garbage through? Amanda and Piers wouldn’t recognise talent
if it tap-danced down a star-lit staircase eating fire with
a cast of Busby Berkley dancers behind them firing rockets out
of their backsides. Holden loves any deluded dragged-up freak.
Morgan seems to think his chief function is to wind up Simon
Cowell. Why else would he have attempted to justify a man chopping
wood badly to music as a suitable act for the semi-finals?
Amanda claimed Sean Seehan was “bringing back a dying art.”
Even Stevie Starr couldn’t have swallowed that.
Other embarrassments included Kevin Cruise, the fat fake-tanned
creep who stripped off during a tuneless rendition of ‘Agadoo’.
Looking like the love-child of Larry Grayson and a bucket of
lard, clueless Kevin performed under a giant anchor. The ‘w’
was clearly silent. But even he looked good compared to Maxxie,
the minimum-talent Lady Gaga wannabe. Neither of these two creeps
would have got past the auditions at the Phoenix Club but here
they were on prime time ITV with lavish sets and choreography.
What an insult to hundreds of genuinely talented pro and semi-pro
performers who can’t get a sniff of telly. And yes I know TV
talent shows needs nitwits and nut-cases to get us talking but
not at the semi-final stage.
Talent shows have been ratings winners since Op Knocks started
in 1956, and well done Simon for remembering that. But BGT isn’t
flawless. The real problem is the judges don’t know variety.
That’s why Cowell told Spelbound, “I’ve never seen anything
like that before in my life”, when Cirque du Soleil has been
in the West End for more than a decade. And why none of the
judges asked Tina Humphrey “Didn’t you and Chandi win When Will
I Be Famous in 2007?” Although they did happily blow Kev Orkian’s
secret, ruining his act. D’oh. No wonder proper turns won’t
go in for this show. There were some decent acts in the final;
proving Britain has got talent. It’s just a shame there was
too little of it on this series.
*COWELL called his side-kicks “Squiddly and Diddly.” Unfair!
The cartoon octopus was a multi-instrumentalist. What can these
clods do? Dull, witless and undiscerning, they’re about as much
use as Rio Ferdinand’s knee.
IT was time for gladiator school on Spartacus, where it seems
the blokes liked to strut around with their weapons on display.
So that’s what happened to Biggus Dickus... It was like this
on ITV’s Gladiators too but normally only in Ulrika’s dressing
room. This show stinks like a Thracian’s jockstrap on many levels,
and yet where else can you find John Hannah and Lucy Lawless
getting in the mood for love with the help of two sexy slave
girls? I believe their names were Filfia and Tartius. One fellated
him while the other touched up his missus. Talk about fastest
finger first. You don’t get marriage tips like that on This
Morning. The real Spartacus must be spinning on his cross.
JASON Cundy renewed his vows with wife Lizzie on Celebrity Four
Weddings. It must have been like marrying a new woman. I’m not
saying Lizzie’s a surgery addict, but a few more ops and she’d
be a Bogdanoff. Kate Hopkins’s wedding was like a fairytale:
Grimm - with Kate cast as the evil queen. She’s more of a bitch
now than she was on The Apprentice. Does not winning a reality
show qualify you for celeb status these days? At least David
Van Day has had hits. Prettiest bride by far was Francine Lewis,
a genuinely talented mimic who deserves better TV than this.
Her brilliant Jordan and Cheryl Cole impressions can be found
HOT on TV: Going Postal (Sky1)... Genius Of Britain... Haddy
N’jie (Eurovision)... Luther – barking mad... 24 (Sky1) – going
out with a bang.
ROT on TV: Philip Grimmer (Britain’s Got Talent) – he should
have been buzzed off; with a taser... Maxxie Oliver – lad’s
gone gaga... C4’s Five O’Crock Show – no O’Grady, no fun...
The Secret Diaries Of Anne Lister – not secret enough.
*JOHN Barrowman joined Desperate Housewives as evil killer Patrick.
And if you think he’s scary now, wait till he starts to sing.
*DID ITV drop Corrie because of the Cumbria shootings or cos
they realised lingering HD close-ups of Gail in half-term week
would traumatise a generation?
*TV mysteries: why can’t Spelbound spell Spellbound? On Corrie,
why aren’t Gail’s Dad and daughter at her trial? And on BGT,
was that the first time Amanda had to rinse her ring during
an ad break?
SOME of these England World Cup songs are lousy enough to be
Eurovision entries. Best is the Blades UK’s punky ‘Spirit Of
England’; and I like ‘Confidence’ by Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s
Dead. Sexiest contender is Chenille Steele, who popped up on
the ITV news. It makes a nice change to see a glamour girl opening
her lips for the England team in an entirely wholesome way.
RANDOM irritations: The England football team’s piss-poor friendlies
– as feeble as the UK’s Eurovision entry. TV news banging on
about “the peril of cheap alcohol”, as opposed to the perils
of the unscrupulous corner shops who sell it to kids. Hands
off our beer! And Bravo trying to be “female friendly”. Why?
All today’s TV is feminised. Why not give us one channel that
SMALL Joys: Lucy Lawless being Lucy Topless on Spartacus. Chloe
Hickinbottom (BGT) singing ‘Moon River’ like Crabtree from ’Allo
’Allo! “Moan river...” Clive Tyldesley warning of “dangerous
balls on a very fast surface” - unwise when said of Ashley Cole.
SEPARATED at birth: John Prescott and Butterball Cenobite? One
a hideous mutilated fat man seeking unusual pleasures, the other
a character from Hellraiser.