JUNE 24. Killjoys and misery junkies are raging because the World Cup is playing havoc with the soap schedules. Have they seen the viewing figures? A mighty 18.3million watched England beat Tunisia – that’s three times the audience for DeadEnders and more than double Corrie’s biggest draw this year. In fact pretty much the only people not watching the football are soap characters... There wasn’t an England flag to be seen on Corrie. Yet Weatherfield County – the Roosters – have been mentioned off and on since the 60s – David Barlow played for them; Martin Platt was their chicken mascot; Candice Stowe was their first WAG... Why wouldn’t County fans Tim and Geoff be glued to the action?

Enders had some token pennants up by Thursday, but have a similar sporadic relationship with the beautiful game. The Vic had a pub team once – Real Walford. They only played on a Thursday afternoon, had three matches in total, and their best player was Roxy Mitchell! Still it was nice to see her on her feet for 90 minutes...

Mick and Billy are supposed to be West Ham loyalists but neither said a word when the Irons left Upton Park. Alan Jackson was a gooner; Martin Fowler too, although he switched to Spurs about 18 years ago and never mentioned ’em again. (Never trust a bloke who changes teams... even if his missus is the real switch-hitter.) Walford Town play one game a decade and have never surpassed the giddy heights of 1993 when Aidan Brosnan came in as an apprentice. True to form, Aidan didn’t sparkle on the pitch, marry a WAG and party on Krystal. Instead, like so many gifted young players he got bogged down in homelessness, drug abuse and attempted suicide... On Xmas Day, natch. This diabolical old cobblers can’t hope to match the drama and delights the World Cup has to offer. Mexico beating Germany! Poland losing to Senegal! Japan stiffing Colombia! Brazil failing to thrash Switzerland! Russia rampant... this is epic stuff. And remember, moaners, it only happens once every four years.

*SHIRLEY Carter would make a terrific football hooligan. Fill her full of Red Bull and vodka, nick her fags, remind her she abandoned her kids and voila! She’s already as welcoming as a lift full of Russian midges.

*FOOTBALL terms mean different things in soaps. Hit the crossbar = drink in Vic. Hand ball = Kat’s on the pull. Wobbly front two = here’s Stacey...

TOP Of The Box reminded us of the great laughter avalanche of 1978: Rising Damp, Sykes, Reggie Perrin, George & Mildred, Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em... glorious stuff. Skip forward forty years and disgracefully there are no sitcoms in TV’s Top 20. BBC comedy boss Shane Allen has a lot of things to say but very little to show for his £208K-a-year salary. When commissioning a new series he says his department now asks: “What’s the diversity story?” Wrong question. They should be asking: Where are the laughs? And: Why are we so useless? In five years Allen hasn’t commissioned a single decent mainstream sitcom or sketch show. But he is responsible for stinkers like David Walliams & Friend, Boy Meets Girl, Monks and Mountain Goats. Not to mention the safe “satire” of The Mash Report and Frankie Boyle’s New World ordure. Sure some BBC comedies click: Inside No 9, Flea Bag, Car Share, Detectorists... but those last two were gentle joys rather than proper rib-ticklers. Comedy isn’t about box-ticking, Shane. It’s about entertaining the viewers who pay your exorbitant wages. It doesn’t matter if writers are black, white, straight, gay, male, female or self-identify as yellow-bellied sap suckers as long as they’re funny.

ON Versailles, prim and proper Madame de Maintenon was exposed as a shameless hussy who’d got her “boulettes” out for an artist. Talk about You’ve Been Framed. It’s the 17th Century equivalent of Love Island revenge porn. Louis XIV (Sun King, serial adulterer, three-in-a-bed enthusiast and very much the Adam Collard of his day) was so appalled he dumped her. The pious twerp bangs on about God and the glory of France while taxing the hell out of his citizens to pay for his fancy hall of mirrors, and locking up dissenters. You can see why future generations chopped off his grandson’s head. Elsewhere ex-soldier Guillaume saved his brother Philippe’s life, so Louis appointed his firm shoe-makers to his court. Or cobblers to the King... as the revolting peasants should’ve shouted.

HOT on TV: Harry Kane... Holly Earl, Humans... Katja Herbers, Westworld (SkyAt)... Derren Brown: Miracle (Netflix).

ROT on TV: Snatches – vagina moan-alogues... Channel 5’s Double Life of George Michael – careless twisters... Rebel Women: The Great Art Fight Back.

VIDEO Assisted Referees have flopped at the World Cup, but could they help our soaps? Imagine experts freezing the action to ask pertinent questions, like why has everyone on EastEnders forgiven Sharon for the chaos she caused by nicking Aiden’s loot? Why would Max want to live in a Square where three of his kids have plummeted off the rooftops? Why was the library open on a bank holiday? And chess? Really? Enough already!

*SECRETS Of McDonald’s told the company’s incredible rise from a hamburger stand in San Bernardino to 37,000 outlets worldwide... Their delicious patties have kept the world’s heart surgeons in gainful employment for decades. McDetractors – “anti-capitalists” and vegans – should come back when they find an alternative economic system that works, and anything that tastes better than a McRib...

*EVERY single episode of Doctor Who since 2005 is available on the BBC iPlayer. So we can watch and wonder afresh how shocking old tut like Aliens Of London and Daleks In Manhattan ever got past the execs.

*WHO should replace David Dimbleby on Question Time? How about Nick Ferrari? He’s smart, even-handed and doesn’t suffer fools. The show’s problem isn’t the host, but the bookings. Neither the panel nor the audience ever reflect a genuine cross-section of public opinion. Too many are dull political stooges there to parrot the party line.

*CELEBABILITY? Micro-celebs, zero ability; Iain Sterling’s funny though.

SMALL joys of TV: Mark Lawrenson. Helen Chamberlain, World Cup Catchphrase. The Super Squirrels. The Late Late Show with James Corden: UK Specials. Atlanta. Heida Reed, Poldark. Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix). Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

RANDOM irritations: VAR. Vuvuzelas. Stuart Halfway, DeadEnders. Everyone on Bake Off The Professionals – indecipherable Benoit Blin, braying Tom Allen at his most grating, hard-faced Cherish claiming “I’m very passionate about croissants” – bake right off.

SEPARATED at birth: Stuart Halfway and Uncle Fester? One hairless, deranged and laughably “dangerous”... the other was in the Addams Family.

TV Maths. Owen Wilson + young Tommy Steele = Luka Mordric.

June 17. Ross got his chest out in the opening seconds of Poldark, striding manfully out of the sea in a pair of snug-fitting H&M shorts. Sadly he walked slap bang into the Sand Dunes of Betrayal... This was where his wife Demelza mugged him off, as the youth of today say, with Hugh Armitage, the ungrateful bum Ross rescued from a French prison. The ravishing red-head is still picking the sand bugs out of her bloomers. And Hugh is still a-wooing her with lines like: “Lips to my lips unfold/Tale of our love is told/Hallowed by sea and sand/Beauty was in my hand…” (We all know what was in her hand... )

Dear me. Hugh’s words made Dom’s poem to Jess Shears on last year’s Love Island sound like Wordsworth. Jud Paynter would have done better: “T’int right, t’int fair, t’int proper, come ee again and ride my chopper... ”

In fairness Demelza only let Hugh turn her head because she suspected Ross was at it with his first love Elizabeth, the beautiful brunette now married to Dastardly George Warleggan, MP. Our hero’s motto was always: marry red, pole dark. Their controversial leg-over means Dastardly George is raising Ross’s son... Telly snobs might dismiss Poldark with its pretty people, pounding gallops and panto villains as lightweight froth; but it’s perfect Sunday night telly with one foot firmly in late 18th Century history. Cornwall then made EastEnders looks like Disneyland. 40,000 men worked in perilous tin and copper mines, coping with collapsing shafts and lung disease. On the show, mines are closing, grain is exported while the people are starving and their MPs treat them with contempt. (Ring any bells?) When a protest at Truro docks results in accidental death, Dastardly George demands hangings. Poldark’s passionate plea saves Demelza’s brothers, but not poor Jago Martin. Enjoyable as it is, I still miss great characters like Jud and Aunt Agatha who popped her 98-year-old clogs last series. A terrible shame. With his failing eyesight, it’s possible Hugh might have written a sonnet or two for the old girl, gawd rest her soul.

*POLDARK star Aidan Turner rides a small horse to make him seem bigger. It’s the same reason Robbie Jackson bedded Donna Yates.

*ROSS isn’t getting any yet. Maybe he should try revolting Rev Whitworth’s sweet talk – “Close your eyes and submit!”

*THE poem Hugh didn’t send: “There was a fit bird called Delmelza/Who was always a bit of a belter/I gave not a toss/She was married to Ross/As in the sand dunes I done felt ’er... ”

THE human body has more flaws than Southern Rail. Knees conk out, the back goes, ears stop working... and that’s just me. On Can Science Make Me Perfect, TV boffin Alice Roberts worked out how to side-step our evolutionary flaws. She gave herself the shock-absorbing legs of an emu, a chimp’s shorter, stronger spine, and lug-holes so big she could hear sign language. She also chose the lungs of a swan, octopus eyes for night vision and, for easier child-birth, a kangaroo’s pouch. Hmm. This meant losing her breasts giving the resulting Alice bulging eyes, Nosferatu’s ears, bird legs and a flat chest. Efficient, maybe, but perfect? Strewth. Even Billy Mitchell would pie her off. This wasn’t science, it was Alice’s imagination. Someone else might have chosen the speed and grace of a cheetah, the relative strength of a dung beetle, and the sex drive of a lioness on heat. In mating season, lions get it on more than twenty times in a day. Top that Love Island!

*MY own perfectly evolved woman wouId have Alice’s brains, Boudicca’s guts, Rachel Riley’s looks, Joan Rivers’s wit, and... well, there’s just no getting away from that lioness...

THE World Cup Opening Ceremony was more Harry Hill than Danny Boyle: dancers with footballs for heads, a bloke in a wolf costume, Brazil’s Ronaldo, random jugglers and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina who arrived on a giant fire-bird... But mostly it was Robbie Williams. “According to the Fifa hand-out, he’s from the home of football – Stoke-On-Trent,” said Clive Tyldesley, adding: “And Port Vale went down... ” Even so who didn’t feel a glimmer of pride that our Robbie kicked off the global tournament? Looking like a Morrissey tribute act, the Robster belted out a quick greatest hits medley with Aida. The cameras cut away before he flashed what may have been a friendly finger message to Jimmy Page... Then Putin spoke and the football started with Russia delivering an unexpected goal-feast. It didn’t take Tyldesley long to mention Borat and Stalin’s ’tache...

*IT was a terrific week for football memories. The History Channel gave us vintage footage of Pele, Gazza, David Platt’s wonder goal against Belgium, Cruyff’s turn, cheating genius Maradona... Who can match El Diego today? Maybe no-one but with Messi, Kroos, Sterling and Harry Kane in play spell-binding action is guaranteed. Portugal's Ronaldo has already raised the bar. The smart money says Brazil will win. But don’t bet the house on it.

HOT on TV: Elvis Presley: The Searcher (SkyAt)... Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath (AmPrime)... Ray Romano, Get Shorty (SkyAt)... Outlander (More4).

ROT on TV: Flowers – pluck ’em... Blind Date – even the great O’Grady can’t rescue this dated cut-price reboot... Fury v. Seferi – the fight in the crowd was better.

LOVE Island was dominated by the beta-male rivalry between lonely loins Alex (A&E doctor) and Eyal (drippy hippy Mr Tumnus lookalike). Both are infatuated with Meghan, or possibly hypnotised by her magnificent lips. She looks like she could suck the Hammerite off a tow bar. Eyal crushed Alex’s chances with her and then had a pop at him for talking to her “behind my back” – just to prove that even “new age” nitwits do possessiveness. Last night Ellie arrived, smuggling in Rob Beckett’s teeth. Hayley was axed. She’ll return to Blighty as Theresa May’s most clued-up Brexit advisor.

*TOP Of The Box reminded us that EastEnders star Christopher Timothy started life as James Herriot in All Creatures Great & Small. Big Mo too. She was third heifer from the left.

*RUTH Langsford says she’d take husband Eamonn Holmes to Dignitas if he was terminally ill. Now Eamonn has revealed she snores “like a warthog”, she’s probably thinking why wait?

*I RARELY agree with her, but Germaine Bloody Greer was a joy. Aussie Greer has always been fiercely intelligent, funny and unafraid to rock the boat. We need more free-thinkers on TV.

SMALL joys of TV: THE History Channel’s World Cup docs. Victoria, Russia’s football ambassador. Terry Flanagan’s seventh round. Atlanta. Chas & Dave on Later. Nile Rodgers too. Kimberly “Viper” Beason. Long Lost Family – What Happened Next.

RANDOM irritations: TV’s rose-tinted portrayal of Suffragettes. Broadcasters forgetting most working class men got the right to vote for the first time in 1918 too. Our Girl troops calling their captain “Boss”. TV’s obsession with dysfunctional families.

SEPARATED at birth: Kendall from Love Island and Gollum? One a heavily made-up creature of hidden depths and darkness, the other one is Gollum.

TV Maths. Kem + Harpo Marx = Eyal Booker.

June 10. ON Love Island Samira pummelled a melon to pulp with her buttocks. Blimey. And you thought Jess Shears had cornered the market in smashing melons last  year.

It’s just a wonder Adam Collard didn’t make an instant move on her. Adam, who has more abs than a cartoon strongman, could be the new Muggy Mike. Of the 200 condoms in stock, 199 are believed to have his name on them.

Niall was Adam’s first victim when he plucked Kendall from his arms. “He’s got a big fat sledgehammer,” complained Niall. “I’ve got a little pickaxe.” For the nut-crackers, see Samira who dropped A&E doctor Alex like a hot scalpel. And Laura who seemed a whole lot keener on Wes after learning he’d once spent £1,000 on a first date. And keener still when they’d shared a bed and she realised his “thing” as she called it is “actually ginormous... I’m scared of it a bit.”

Elsewhere there’s Eyal, who’s like a drippy hippy version of Kem, and Scouse Hayley, with her pout – think budget Bardot. Dishy but dim Hayley claims to only have slept with one boyfriend. Though it's possible that's all she could count up to. Lovely woman but it’s odds-on she’ll never walk away with the Mastermind glassware. I’m rooting for Jack and Dani. She’s Danny Dyer’s daughter and as Jack pointed out their names are (polite) Cockney rhyming slang for a woman’s privates... (Mustn't grumble). Jack, whose teeth are so white they’d dazzle an Osmond, sells pens for a living. “I didn’t even know that was a fing,” said Dani, who’s so dim she probably thinks Mykonos was one of the Three Musketeers. “Trust me, it’s a massive thing,” replied Jack who may still have been talking about pens.

It looked like they’d clicked and that a crafty Donald might be on the cards... until the Excess Baggage round, when barmaid Dani learned Jack had cheated on all of his previous girlfriends... “There were only two of them,” he protested. Oddly she wasn’t reassured. Dani had what Mick Carter would call “a little pipe” and pied Jack off without even sampling his ballpoint. Now they’re back on again, like a proper soap couple... . Love Island may be as deep as a toddlers’ play pool but it makes Take Me Out seem tame and Big Brother completely redundant. Granted it’s morally repugnant – islanders are encouraged to swap partners and shag virtual strangers for money. But in fairness, last year’s series did produce one enduring couple... Chris and Kem. Missing you already, guys.

WHEN Jeremy Thorpe went on trial for conspiracy to murder Norman Scott, the presiding judge demonstrated an unusual take on impartiality. Justice Cantley called Scott “an accomplished sponger... spineless, neurotic, a crook, a fraud, a whiner, a parasite... ” And these, M’lud failed to add, were his good points. If anything Cantley’s summing up was even more biased in real life than it was on A Very English Scandal. Peter Cook’s brilliant parody is still on YouTube with the conclusion: “You are now to retire carefully to consider your verdict of not guilty”. The biggest scandal wasn’t the murder plot but the establishment cover-up – detailed in Tom Mangold’s BBC4 investigation. Cops sat on evidence, other murder bids were hushed up, witness statements were altered... And Thorpe blamed the press for his demise, as wrong’uns always do.

*THE trial was shocking but it inspired some terrific gags. After Scott said he’d “bit the pillow” when Thorpe sodomised him, Bernard Manning joked: “If it had been Cyril Smith he’d have swallowed the f***ing mattress.” Bob Monkhouse dubbed Norman “Scott of the arse antics”.

*IT’LL be a while before BBC One get round to Mandelson and the Hinduja brothers or Campbell’s dodgy dossier. Given their jokey take on Thorpe maybe they’re working on David Kelly the Musical.

THERE’S more chance of Corrie’s Kirk Sutherland topping the Sunday Times Rich List than of hearing a funny acceptance speech at the Soap Awards. I only tune in to watch the false smiles of the losers, with their faces greener than Jessie Wallace’s liver. Still it was nice to see Michael Jackson making a surprise appearance on the red carpet disguised as Emmerdale’s Sally Dexter. The rest was one long bombardment of Botox, fake tans and cosmetic surgery – Britain’s Got Implants. What are we celebrating? The same grim plots recycled in ever decreasing circles.

*KAT Moon star Jessie started boozing at 4pm. Lightweight. I’d have been on it from breakfast if I had to sit through that bum-numbing ceremony.

HOT on TV: Chris O’Dowd, Get Shorty (SkyAt)... Adrienne Warren... The Americans finale.

ROT on TV: Hello Stranger – goodbye credibility... Frankie Goes To Russia – lazy and half-hearted, shame he came back.

ON Hello Stranger, Aaron Calvert claimed to have hypnotised George and Lucy into forgetting they were a couple. They dated other people but ended up picking each other. Sweet. Even if you were dumb enough to believe this tripe would it really have helped their relationship? Isn’t it more likely that after the first row George would be straight on the blower to Calvert demanding “Put her back under! Bring Paris back from Newcastle!”

*MARTIN had a big choice on EastEnders – his bipolar love rat ex Stacey or his bisexual love moose ex Sonia. He opted for Stacey but it wasn’t an easy decision. Sonia blows a mean trumpet.

*MARTIN and Stace had allotment sex. It brought new meaning to pricking out in the potting shed.

Garry Bushell On The BoxR.I.P. Glynn Edwards AKA Minder’s Dave the barman. Let’s drink a large V.A.T. in his memory. On the slate of course.

*COMEDY was king at the BGT final – despite Cowell packing the show with singing acts. Will ITV take the hint and invest in more mainstream humour: sitcoms, sketch shows and Audience Withs for stand-ups? What do you think?

*LOST Voice Guy: “I used to be in a disabled Steps tribute act. We were called Ramps.”

*ROBERT White: “I come from a musical home. I live in A flat.”

*THE X Factor is coming back. Why? How much more karaoke crap do ITV think we need? Sharon Osbourne is getting paid full whack and isn’t even turning up at the auditions.

Garry Bushell On The Box*MANY thanks to BBC News for alerting us to this border town in County Donegal. A shame they can’t spell dive.

SMALL joys of TV: Bill Maher describing Roseanne’s tweets as “presidential”. AJP Taylor’s history lectures, BBC Parliament. The Queen’s Coronation In Colour. Wicked Tuna (Blaze). Nigel Havers back in Corrie. Romper Stomper (i-Player).

RANDOM irritations: The dialogue on Our Girl. The Postcode Lotto advert. The Purple Bricks ad. Our irrational belief in the efficiency of things like wind turbines and BBC weather forecasts. Netflix’s Jack Whitehall special – another comic dud.

SEPARATED at birth: Blake Harrison as Andrew Newton in A Very English Scandal and Eric Idle’s character in Python’s Nudge Nudge sketch, one an absurd figure of fun... and so was the other one.

LUCY Cooke was talking about a fledging nest on Springwatch when she said: “Those tits will be out come Saturday.” 

June 4. Britain’s Got Talent has given us many joys – Paul Potts, Pudsey, that posh bird who pelted Simon Cowell with eggs... but few made me cheer as much as Marty Putz, the klutz who soaked the judges and bombarded Cowell with bog rolls. Granted his routine stank, but the puffed-up berks had it coming. ITV claim a storm forced their first live episode off-air. I prefer to believe it was an act of God; that the Almighty was so revolted by this appalling charade that he put a stop to it. Once brilliant, BGT has become a mess of lazy bookings, sob stories, cute kids and naff acts. There was more chance of seeing Amanda’s face move than of throat singer Olena Uutai ever making the final. New Faces broke household name comedians, Cowell gave us naked Japanese “entertainer” Mr Uekusa sticking a hula hoop on his nipple.

Simon looked a state at the start of the week – unkempt, unshaven and decidedly unglamorous. He found his bite occasionally but persists in playing a dumb rube when it comes to magicians. “That was real right?” he asked Maddox Dixon. Yeah, like the Tooth Fairy. And Brexit. The other judges just gush. They didn’t hear the precocious kid sing off key or spot technical cock-ups. Alesha watched Matt Johnson nearly drown and said “I find you really funny.” Eh? They adored Robert White because his act was all about them. The camp comic had some nice lines but needs to work on his gabbled delivery. Lost Voice Guy was funny. “I’m not just in it for the parking space,” he quipped. But has his act got legs? Micky P. Kerr was a breath of laid-back air and I adored sassy madcap magician Mandy Muden who should have been tonight’s wild card.

There are still way too many singers and imported professionals. The overseas turns were all better in their auditions than the semi-finals. A cynic might conclude ITV had told them we’ll give you prime time exposure, if you throw the live shows... Only Friday’s show-closers the Giang Brothers got through. (Running order is key; Kerr is the only one of the finalists who appeared in BGT’s first hour this week). Maddest act was spaghetti-gobbling, opera-singing contortionist Sarah Llewellyn – a natural for Eurovision. The best turn we didn’t see was comedy impressionist Jonathan Clark. He stormed his audition but bizarrely never made the screen. A shame. He’s world class. Next year’s winner? Here’s hoping.

*NAKED Mr Uekusa covered his modesty with a cup and saucer... Blimey. Liam Neeson would need the whole tea service. And a picnic basket, allegedly.

UTILISING Big Mo’s psychic powers, I’ve managed to channel the Soap Awards ITV should have brought us last night: Worst head transplant: Michele Fowler. Worst criminal mastermind: Aidan Maguire. Worst spin-off: Kat & Alfie: Redwater. Most tedious sub-plot: chess club. Most drawn-out storyline: Pat Phelan. Most unlikely recovery: Pat Phelan. (Runners-up: Mick and Johnnie Carter – both shot at point blank range). Most laughable disaster: Abi and Lauren plummeting off a two foot wide ledge. Worst romance: Michelle and Preston. Biggest mystery: how Andy got a sun-tan in Phelan’s cellar. Most tiresome political bias: EastEnders. Most cowardly re-writing of history: Corrie’s sex gang story “based on Rochdale” with all white groomers. Biggest Plonker: Ian Beale (33 years running)

*ITV’s Soap Awards would be so much better if the actors came in character. All those randy love rats and evil head-cases eying each other up and slapping their rivals down... We’d have Pat Phelan squaring up to Aidan Maguire, Lachlan White trying to top them both, Max Branning masterminding a crafty ‘business merger’ with Carla Connor in the cloak room... Maybe Phil Mitchell could knock up Tracy Barlow in a bid to produce the most toxic brat since Curly Simon.

SOME lovely moments on the last Car Share, not least the advert for Beaver Liquors on the side of a bus and the billboard message: “Don’t drive like a” followed by a picture of a cockerel. There was a transit van with Jean-Claude Van Man, a bus stop poster for C4’s My Big Fat Undateable Bake Off and signs like “Buy 3 for the price of 3” and “The Lost Boys – have you seen them?” Best of all, Peter Kay gave fans the ending we wanted – John and Kayleigh loved up and holding hands. Granted they were on a bus as his Fiat 500 had had its door knocked off, but you can’t have everything.

HOT on TV: Mamadou “Le Spiderman” (TV news)... Conor McIntyre, Corrie... Helene Vivies, Missions (BBC4)... Fauda (Netflix).

ROT on TV: Tracey Breaks The News – great makeovers, shame about the script... King Lear – a pig’s ear... Mona Chalabi – witless... The Handmaid’s Tale – man-hating, Christian-baiting misery porn.

Hot NOT on TV: comedian Shayna Ross, the rock’n’roll Joan Rivers.

STABLE boy Norman Scott became a pretty unstable man on A Very English Scandal. Is it any wonder? Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe wanted him topped. He told his co-conspirators “Shoot the bugger stone dead” and dump his corpse in an abandoned tin mine. True their clueless hit-man cocked up, but would the Beeb have played the story for laughs if they weren’t broadly sympathetic with Thorpe’s “progressive” politics? A homicidal Rhodes Boyson would’ve been presented as irrefutable proof of Tory evil. The acting is first class. But the tone is off-kilter and facts are wrong. Scott didn’t call Caroline Thorpe, triggering the turmoil that led to her death. They’ve also missed one crucial aspect of Thorpe’s character – his meanness. He didn’t get Scott his National Insurance card because he’d have had to pay for it. His tightness sparked the whole toxic debacle.

*FOUR Men, 174 Babies was about sperm donors like white van man Clive who cheerfully drove miles to ahem hand deliver the good stuff. Not so much Hermes as Spermes. What a business that would make! Speedy Seed! Spills On Wheels! Clive’s wife had no idea; he told her he was going to BNP meetings. Anyone else thinking The Boys From Brazil?

*ODD isn’t it, humanity can orbit Pluto and eradicate diseases but we still can’t stem the misery on Coronation Street.

*WAR on sugar update: Pooh bear now has type 2 diabetes.

SMALL joys of TV: Peter Kay’s final Car Share. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflex). Magical clips on ITV’s Palladium show. Gareth Bale’s wonder goal. The stray stage-hand caught on camera during Acrocadabra’s BGT routine. Beadle wind-ups on Top Of The Box.

RANDOM irritations: Talent show judges who can’t make decisions – that’s your job! Amanda Holden’s freakishly frozen face. Putz not making the BGT final – show us the votes! Dr Who fans getting ripped off at Comic Con – £230 for a selfie and a mug? We fund the BBC, they rob us blind. Exterminate.

SEPARATED at birth: Matt Johnson and Rancid’s Tim Armstrong? One recklessly pushing boundaries for our entertainment, the other’s an escapologist.

TV Maths. Stewie Griffin + Eddie Munster = Marc Spellman.


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