March 30. The fight of the week wasn’t Keno v. Kaovichit or
even Bloor v. Elliott ‘Goodnight’ Wright on Towie. It was Nigel
‘Crazy Frog’ Farage v. Nick ‘The Android’ Clegg on the LBC Leaders’
Debate. The hour-long catch weight bout, shown in full on Sky
News, was a two-man Question Time with Nick Ferrari refereeing
and the audience firing loaded questions. There was no purse,
but both men had everything to play for. Clegg’s Lib Dems are
on the ropes, staring electoral wipe-out in the face; UKIP’s
Farage was having his shot at the big time. The leader of a
party with no MPs was getting in the ring with the Deputy Prime
Minister. It was the political equivalent of Rocky, except Apollo
Creed (Cameron) had bottled it and sent his sparring partner
Clegg is an old-hand at these things, having out-boxed Gordon
Brown and Cameron in 2010. At times, his experience showed.
He stuck to stats (some iffy), and landed big blows by questioning
Farage’s figures and his scare tactic immigration claims. Nige
soaked up the punishment and counter-punched, bringing up Clegg’s
broken referendum promise – Nick said we should have read the
“small print”, making him sound like a slippery insurance salesman.
Clegg’s own scare tactic was to assert without a shred of evidence
that three million jobs depended on Britain staying in the EU.
If Farage courted controversy over Ukraine, Clegg seemed economically
By the bell, both men were still standing. Farage looked sweaty,
but had clearly been arguing from the heart. Clegg stayed calm
- androids don’t perspire – and gained momentum as the debate
went on. But his peculiar body language made him appear as stiff
as a showroom dummy. He also drank water the way Farage knocks
back pints at last orders, prompting opponents to note that
his bladder must be significantly stronger than his backbone.
It went to points, and the judges – viewers polled by YouGov
- gave it to Farage 57 to 36. The underdog had truly arrived.
How long can Miliband’s glass jaw stay untested?
*THAT big debate in a nutshell - Farage: close the borders,
open the pubs. Clegg: make this a Greater Britain by, umm, giving
up border controls, sovereignty, economic powers etc, etc.
SNOBBERY underpinned Martin Amis’s England, a rambling hotchpotch
of class prejudice, ignorance and clichés. Amis claims to love
old Albion but isn’t too keen on the lower orders. Apparently,
we’re a bunch of hopeless lager louts drinking to “forget our
glorious past.” He’s clearly forgotten that his own father Kingsley
was one of the most famous piss-heads of the 20th century, along
with Churchill and Woy Jenkins. Maybe drunks are nobler if they’re
necking Grand Marnier rather than beer. Amis worked through
cliffs, cricket and Morris dancers. He even threw in spanking
– something we never see in soaps, although you suspect Norris
Cole would appreciate it. He managed to miss science, invention,
manufacturing, art, architecture, pop music and Parliamentary
democracy. The football hooliganism he detests peaked in the
80s, much like his writing.
*DO the English drink more now? The 18th Century had Gin Lane,
the 19th threw up the horrified Temperance Movement. Nothing
much has changed.
CORRIE love rat Peter Barlow has got away with so much, the
thought must have occurred to him: how much Cabernet would Carla
have to sink before he could talk her into a threesome with
Tina? (Ask Rita!) Crazy, yes, but still not quite as daft as
Tina hiding under that restaurant table, a scene which inspired
a million base male viewers to chortle: “While you’re down there...
” Peter is used to having two women on the go, of course. All
the time he was off the wagon, he was seeing double...
*FACT: Tina is now so orange that kissing her actually counts
as one of your five a day (and I cleaned that up).
*LES Dennis made his Street debut as robber Michael Rodwell
breaking into Chateau Platt. He got away but will be severely
punished – they’re making him Gail’s boyfriend. And if he can
Rodwell after that...
HOT on TV: Annet Mahendru, The Americans... Great Escape Day
(C5)... Klondike (Discovery)... True Detective (SkyAt)... Believe
ROT on TV: Louis Theroux – gone to the dogs... Martin Amis’s
England – no wonder he lives in Brooklyn... Joanna Meets Will.i.am
– nice for her, but why involve us?
WHAT will Gregg Wallace get his chops around next – a pie,
a tart, another much younger woman? Masterchef has all the big
questions. Like how does the cake-guzzling greengrocer stay
so thin? Why does contestant Holly bleat like a lamb and wobble
like a puppet? Could Robert be Alec Gilroy’s love child? And
what was that funny black mark in Sumera’s eye all about?
*ONE great joy of The Americans is the ropy disguises. It’s
like a KGB version of Beadle’s About. I’d love to see ’em get
mixed up and for Elizabeth to go on a mission in Phillip’s fake
*SECRETS Of The Vatican revealed that the Catholic church
is rotten with corruption, cover-ups and child abuse – no surprises
there. How about some less familiar Vatican secrets, C4? Like:
3) Pope watches Rev just to laugh at the size of Anglican congregations.
2) That gag about the two Nuns in the bath? It actually happened.
1) Every Friday in the Sistine Chapel it’s beer and bingo night!
*WHO was the stiff in Nick Cotton’s coffin? It’s Walford’s
second biggest mystery of week (the biggest being Charlie’s
accent). The big manly arm that fell out brought Fat Pat to
mind. But my money is on the soap’s continuity editor; he’s
been gaga for donkey’s years.
*OTHER E20 mysteries: did Janine just forget her daughter
Scarlett? Did the writers? And why are they trying to make Nasty
Nick younger? He was born in ’54, not ’59.
*CONSCIOUS uncoupling is all the rage. For unconscious coupling
see Gem and Arg on Towie.
*WOMEN become invisible at 51, says a survey. So explain Janet
Small Joys of TV: The Greatest Knight. Carla and Michelle’s
funeral clobber on Corrie, they looked like Goth hookers. Louis
Theroux’s Zen dog-trainer, and the stroppy LA dog-owner telling
him “Take your bitch ass back to London, n*gga”. Tsk, we don’t
want the gangly creep.
Random Irritations: Masterchef over-load: too many chefs spoil
the telly. Wandering accents on Shetland. Paxman giving Paul
Flowers an easy ride on Newsnight. TV news, or anyone, taking
Met Office predictions seriously.
SEPARATED at birth: Berna on Missing and Julie Burchill, one
searching for her sister, the other for her career...
March 23. Spitting Image was so vicious it made Mock The Week
seem like In The Night Garden. The ITV show, ramblingly celebrated
by Arena, rained latex hell on politicians of all parties, changing
the way viewers saw them. Thatcher was a cross-dressing tyrant,
Kinnock a slippery windbag, while Liberal leader David Steel
was a pathetic pipsqueak staring up adoringly at David Owen.
His public image never recovered.
Tebbit aside, the Cabinet were always portrayed as spineless
wets, as worthless as a referendum guarantee from David Cameron.
In one classic sketch a waitress taking Maggie’s dinner order
asked: “What about the vegetables?” “They’ll have the same as
me,” the PM replied. The show didn’t just hate the status quo,
though. Like all true satire it was powered by outrage and a
sense of justice.
Some say modern politicians are too samey for this formula
to work today. Really? We’ve got William Vague posturing on
Crimea, Cameron tweeting selfies, dithering Ed Miliband, blundering
Ed Balls... with frog-faced Nigel Farage nipping at their heels.
Boris, Michael Gove (who looks like ventriloquist’s doll Archie
Andrews brought to life) and Alex ‘Braveheart’ Salmond are all
crying out to be sent up.
I can see Katie Hopkins already – big gob, rubber brain, twisted
features... and as for her puppet...
Barely a day goes by without some new absurdity. The Bercows
are a sitcom on their own, Mandelson would be perfect as a whispering
serpent in the garden of deceit and self-interest... Granted
Nick Clegg is pretty bland but he is European Union middle management
and they’re all like that. Imagine what Spitting Image would
have made of Merkel, Rompuy and Barroso; not to mention Putin,
Obama and talking tree John Kerry. Imagine the fun they’d have
had with Reverend Flowers.
Unlike most modern comedians, satirists believe in something
more than tax dodging and a lucrative career on TV panel shows.
Their job is to puncture the pompous and powerful. You could
argue that twitter and YouTube fill the gap. But Spitting Image
hit harder, felt sharper and reached millions. Trouble is TV
bosses, particularly at the BBC, only employ comics who share
their prejudices. It’s been years since clapped-out Have I Got
News For You filled politicians with dread.
BILLIE Porter visited a seedy sex club in Prague where punters
can eat grub off of a naked woman. This raises all sorts of
issues, for starters where do you leave the tip? Ordering pie
and mash must cause confusion. “You want liquor? 30 Euros!”
It’s even more if you want to chew her grits. Or lay the table.
But on the plus side, the washing up does itself... The show
was called Prostitution: What’s The Harm? (Cos if it had been
called ‘What’s The Damage?’ some wag would’ve quipped £80 an
hour.) I hear they did try it with naked blokes, but that caused
problems... there was the unfortunate sausage incident... the
meat and two veg were undercooked... and one customer complained
about the knob of butter. Billie didn’t ask if the women came
in different sizes. If you were hungry a light snack Lucy Beale
would be no use at all, you’d want the full Nessa Jenkins. Back
in Britain, she met ex-madam Becky who wants brothels legalised
to drive out crooks, making the world’s oldest trade safer,
healthier and taxable. Or in language George Osborne can understand:
ON EastEnders, Aussie Nicole flew to London with a deal for
Alfie: she’d write off the £15,000 he owes her if he slept with
her. Once. Really? £15K for a shag? With Alfie, a middle-aged
man with two shirts to his name... This storyline seems even
dafter than Alfie at Southend airport. But let’s not be too
hasty, perhaps the writers know a greater truth. Perhaps Oz
is full of well-off attractive Sheilas with low standards and
bad eye-sight bored with poor quality locals like Shane Warne
and Hugh Jackman. And if that is the case I’m available for
the considerably lower price of two pints of lager and a packet
of three. Nicole eventually settled for Alfie’s burger van,
she’s happily defrosting the jumbo sausages in a unique Down
HOT on TV: Line Of Duty finale... Turks & Caicos... Reece
Shearsmith (The Widower)... Christina Marie (The Voice)...
ROT on TV: Educating Joey Essex - like trying to bottle sunlight...
Max (The Voice) – flatter than a filleted flounder... W1A –
all the bite of a toothless Care bear.
THE moral of The Widower is clear: never open a Scotsman’s
bills. Newly married Claire complains about husband Malcolm’s
spending, and he responds by lacing her tea with Tamazepam (memo
to Mary Beard: how about that for Oh Do Shut Up Dear?) An extreme
over-reaction, even for a control freak, but based on a true
story. Reece Shearsmith is suitably creepy as the kilted killer
with a passion for pricy antique clocks. No cash in his attic,
*IN Africa, Joey Essex was amazed to see a male beetle push
his female around on a massive ball of crap. Bless, it was just
like watching Lockie and Danni on Towie.
*WHAT next for globe-trotting Joey? Rio Thicko... Pillock Of
The Caribbean... Or how about a walking tour of Crimea wearing
an ‘I Love Brussels’ t-shirt?
*MARIA’S world fell apart when she found Marcus enjoying “one
last bash” with the predatory Todd. The low rumbling sound heard
in the background was Albert Tatlock spinning in his grave.
*FOOTBALL managers telling jokes? Bah, where was Arsene Wenger
with his great comedy catchphrase “I never saw it”?
*DUNNO about telling jokes, but Gareth Southgate knew how
to sign ’em. Anyone remember Afonso Alves? And if so, why?
Small Joys of TV: Beckham in Peckham. Vinnie Jones, The Musketeers.
Tom Jones’s floral jacket, he looked like a homage to Max Miller.
Tony Parsons – The Art of Boxing. The relief on finding that
TB: Return Of The Plague wasn’t about Tony Blair, Ted Bundy
or worse Tracey Bloody Barlow.
Random Irritations: pointless bookings on 8 Out Of Ten Cats
– a conveyor belt of lightweights. Arena’s confused and overly
pretentious Spitting Image doc. Kylie talking about her “journey”
on The Voice – you’re spinning round in a chair, love!
SEPARATED at birth: jailed animal rights fanatic Debbie Vincent
and Ed Byrne – one a genuine hot-head... the other only sounds
CELEB maths: Vladimir Putin + Merida from Brave = Dave Mustaine
March 16. Michael McIntyre is loud, jolly and bubblier than
Barbara Windsor’s bath tub, so it’s easy to see why some people
find him as irritating as thrush. And just as easy to see why
he packs out arenas. But why would the BBC pay him a reported
£500,000 of our money to host a six week chat-show? That’s more
than £80K a show for a job he can’t do.
Chat-show hosts need certain easily identified qualities including
the ability to listen to what someone else is saying. McIntyre
had no time for that. His guests were just props for pre-planned
material. He talked over Wogan, laughed at his own jokes, and
rushed through conversations as if he had somewhere better to
be. You could have timed an egg with his Lily Allen chat.
True Michael got laughs with his familiar lookalikes, Kim
Jong un and Samir Nasri, but the business with a mobile phone
felt like something Graham Norton had done years ago. An unwise
comparison to invite because he’s so not Graham Norton. The
smart, chatty Irishman brings out the best in people, rather
than trampling all over them. McIntyre could have booked a cardboard
cut-out of Alan Sugar, or Meg Ryan, for all the interest he
had in actually getting a conversation going. Giving him a chat-show
is like asking an orang-utan to bake cakes. It’s mildly diverting
but as much use as Joey Essex on Countdown.
TV bosses seem to think that anyone can do a chat-show. This
deluded belief has produced more turkeys than Kelly Bronze.
Davina, touted as the new Parky, had her show axed after one
dismal series, Antony Cotton took two weeks to lose half his
audience and OMG with Peaches Geldof was one of the worst TV
shows ever made. And that’s another problem. We really only
remember chat-shows when things go wrong or when the hosts lose
control. Think of Parky wrestling Rod Hull’s Emu, Grace Jones
slapping Russell Harty or Des O’Connor trying to cope with an
unhinged Freddie Starr. There’s no danger of that with McIntyre,
because he never relinquishes command, every moment is planned,
every laugh anticipated. The result is watchable, but not memorable.
*WHY can’t we have topical talk shows every night like the
Yanks do? Try out different hosts: one week Frank Skinner, the
next Alexei Sayle in a really bad mood. Someone will click.
A NEW menace was spotted on EDL Girls: Don’t Call Me Racist,
a Kingsmill loaf with the word ‘Halal’ on it. It was a strange
thing to get het up about. It just means that Muslims can eat
it, not that the bread had been ritually slaughtered. (I prefer
my cobs pre-stunned). Amanda thought going on an EDL demo was
“romantic.” Really? Most experts agree that it’s not a patch
on a dog fight... Or for that real Barbara Cartland style chemistry,
a bare-knuckle traveller bout. Not saying she’s dim, but Amanda
thinks a power vacuum is a type of Hoover. She would have joined
the Conservatives but EDL was easier to spell. Of course shows
like this set out to make the subjects look daft, deluded or
dodgy. If BBC3 spent months filming anti-fracking protesters,
Marxist dinner parties or Lib-Dem quiz nights they’d also uncover
spectacular loons. They never do though, do they? Odd that.
PETER Barlow gets two women pregnant this month! Forget fertility
supplements, fellas, if you want kids just spend twenty years
smashed out of your skull on Smirnoff. Condoms in Corrie seem
as forgotten as Steve’s college course. Maybe that’s why Liz
announced “I’m taking Tony in the back.” The minx! What fresh
sexual twist will the soaps delight us with next? We’ve already
seen brother-on-sister, girl on girl, man on beast (Heather
Trott), and with Peter and Tina middle-aged mess on nubile goddess.
But no swingers. That’s just off camera.
*AS a small act of revenge, Owen and Gary should get the other
builders to strike up a chorus of that old Walker Brothers’
song: You’ve Lost Your Hairline, Phelan...
HOT on TV: Line Of Duty... The Americans... The Blacklist...
Famous, Rich & Hungry... Aisling Bea.
ROT on TV: The Musketeers – there are better written food
labels... Ray Quinn skating topless, make it legless and I’d
THE first rule of TOWIE is no-one wants to be mugged off.
James Lock cheated on Danielle, mugging her off, so he had to
jog on. “I’m not a mug,” she insisted, in case we missed the
point. Some mystery bint had been texting Bobby claiming she’d
shagged cocky Lockie in Brighton; this made him “a cheating
mug.” Egged on by the poisonous Gemma, Bobby blabbed. Lockie
denied it, but added that he hadn’t been serious about Danni
back then. Uh-oh. The girl was so shocked her roots turned black.
Furious, Danni drenched him with her cocktail. Lockie was lucky
she wasn’t drinking a flaming sambuca; and luckier she didn’t
try and wring his neck. She’s got hands like a stevedore. He
wooed her back, called Bobby “son” (“’E son-ed me off!”) and
got soaked again by Gemma, “a two-faced slag”. Previously, Ferne
had mugged off Charlie by bedding Frank the Plank; both blokes
branded each other, you guessed it, “a mug.” This show has more
mugs than a transport caff. But the ‘drama’ remains as convincingly
authentic as Chloe’s jugs.
*FRAN has really fallen for nice-guy Diags. It’s fair to say
he’s made her whole week.
*I LIKE to watch The Voice with the back of my chair pointing
towards the screen, and my feet making swiftly towards my local.
The show is more stretched than the Octomum’s privates. It’s
also fundamentally flawed. Your chances of getting through plummet
as the judges fill up their teams (and it’s the same with the
‘saves’). It can’t even produce stars. Pointless.
*MORE shocks on Holiday Hit Squad. Honestly, you spend thirty
bob on a family break and end up in a glorified knackers’ yard.
Who’d have thought it?
*SUE Perkins and Bruno Tonioli on Room 101? Irony just died.
*RE You Saw Them Here First: We saw it all first on The Way
Small Joys of TV: Insane Fight Club. Breaking Magic. Ventriloquist
Steve Hewlett. Theo Paphitis. Alex Jones flashing; the rest
of the show was also pants. Next? Mary Berry’s cami-knickers...
Random Irritations: X Factor hype. Cheryl Cole’s pointless
return. The stark contrast between the funky drama of the Homes
Under The Hammer theme tune and the show’s actual content.
SEPARATED at birth: poisoner Luca Sastini on The Musketeers
and Eric Cantona, both knew how to deliver a vicious kick...
March 9. Ellen DeGeneres made a decent fist of hosting the
Oscars. She mocked the elaborate tenting outside the Dolby Theatre,
saying: “It’s been a tough couple of days for us. There’s been
rain. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.” Ellen claimed
that the frighteningly bra-less Liza Minnelli was actually “One
of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve seen in
my life. Good job, sir.” And praised Jonah Hill for appearing
starkers in The Wolf Of Wall Street and “showing us something
I’ve not seen for a very long time.” She even had pizza delivered.
Shame DiCaprio turned it down, it was the only thing he got
offered all night.
Okay, Ellen’s Somalia/sommelier gag flew over more heads than
the Red Arrows, but she was a safe pair of hands. And that obviously
set-up selfie will be all anyone remembers of the 86th Academy
Awards... except maybe the size of Robin Roberts’s bonce...
What a noggin! You’ll see smaller heads on Disneyworld characters.
As usual the Oscars delivered stars, glitz, glamour, and faces
as stretched as the waiting limos. It wasn’t an exciting night.
There was no danger, risks, nor monumental berks – although
Jared Leto tried. The speeches were as dull as the England/Denmark
game. Cate Blanchett did raise a few smiles telling Sandra Bullock
that she could watch her performance in Gravity “till the end
of time... and I sort of felt like I had.” I felt like that
watching the ceremony.
The nearest we got to controversy was when John Travolta called
Idina Menzel “Adele Dazeem.” Shame he didn’t introduce Lupita
Nyong’o. Later he condemned President Putin for invading IKEA.
Jennifer Lawrence (or as Travolta probably calls her General
Lauriston) tripped up yet again, making her a contender for
Best Supporting Actress and Worst Performing Stuntwoman. So
if Miranda ever needs a stand-in... Hey Jen, maybe try a trouser
suit next time?
*THE best-ever Oscars hosts: 1) Chris Rock 2) Billy Crystal
3) Steve Martin. The worst? James Franco, James Franco, James
NEWLY-wed Peter Barlow has got the energy of a hundred milkmen,
and the sex-drive to match. He bedded Carla, then Tina, and
then went back to Carla for another go... Not bad for a middle-aged
chain-smoking alcoholic. I bet the lucky bastard eats sugar
too. It’s a wonder he doesn’t make a play for Eva, to notch
up the ‘hottest women in Weatherfield’ set. He must be on Viagra,
surely? (Lord knows what are the writers were on when they came
up with this Phelan storyline). Peter’s plans to slip away for
a crafty bunk-up with Tina were scuppered when the hotel rang
to say his room had been upgraded - like hotels never do – and
Carla answered his phone. She dumbly assumed it was a romantic
surprise for her. But then a woman’s suspicions must be deadened
when she’s knocking back red wine by the goldfish bowl. Tina
was fuming. She felt that he was treating her like the other
woman. Newsflash: you are the other woman, you dozy bint. Soap
infidelity is always entertaining... until someone gets their
heart broken. And then of course it’s bloody hilarious.
REGAN and her rack were back on First Dates, impressing Jon
with her brains and subtle banter. “What the f*ck’s a coq au
vin?” she squawked. How we laughed. Shame she couldn’t trade
places with poor love-starved Zizi on Strippers, Regan might
feel more at home on a pole. Elsewhere charmless big-head Mostafa
told date Cara: “You’re quite good-looking. I’d give you a four
or five out of ten.” “What’s a ten?” she asked. “You’re looking
at one,” he replied. Git. The only couple to hit it off were
Jackie, 61, who wanted “to have sex before I die.” The way she
clicked with Colin she could easily have managed it before dessert.
I felt for Corinne, made to eat oysters by date Zane. “What
if it like comes in my mouth?” she asked. We all know how Mostafa
would have answered that.
HOT on TV: 37 Days... Brian Conley’s Timeline (Challenge)...
Greg Kinnear, Rake (Universal)... Zizi (Strippers)... The Blacklist
ROT on TV: Kristin Cavallari on E!’s On The Red Carpet – like
booking a performing seal to comment on Match Of The Day...
Silk – jilt... Jonathan Creek – starting to creak... Man Up
– belt up!
*ODD that the Yanks have no trouble finding funny women: Chelsea
Handler, Joan Rivers, Whitney Cummins, Ellen... They don’t need
quotas. So how-come the Beeb find so few? Could it be they’re
just not looking in the right places?
*WHITNEY couldn’t be anything but a comedienne with a name
like that. How many times at school did she hear “Is that Whitney
Cummins?” “No she’s just breathing heavily... ”
*EVERYONE is so het-up on EastEnders they haven’t noticed
Roxy has come back from Ibiza with a different kid. Is it one
Ronnie stole earlier?
*I WAS tempted to ring the soap’s phone-line at the end. “Yes
I’ve been affected by your storyline. I manufacture chicken
nuggets. You goons have ruined my business!”
*THEY had alpacas on Dragons’ Den: dumb, wide-eyed creatures
waiting to be fleeced... just like all the other mugs.
*THE wages on Strippers are dire. These women need to unionise.
Come on girls, one out, both out.
*AN odd confession from Mary Berry this week: “I’m getting
decidedly sticky,” she said. “There’s a lot of finger licking.”
Steady on, old girl.
*YOU know what I never knew about Britain? That we have historians
as hot as Suzannah Liscomb...
Small Joys of TV: Best Actress Oscar winner Cate Blanchett
telling Julia Roberts to “hash-tag suck it.” Samantha Bond (Outnumbered).
Toni Collette’s ears – so big she could hear sign language.
Random Irritations: Jared Leto’s ludicrous Oscars speech.
The Voice’s ridiculous battle rounds. Question Time loading
the audience in Barking – they’re the only barking ones if they
thought we wouldn’t notice. Kat Moon: Call the Mad Wife. EastEnders:
one downer after another. “It’s not good news,” said Carol’s
doc. Of course it’s not. It’s Walford!
THEY’RE re-running old Celebrity Squares on Challenge. I did
four in the 90s, and met Dale Winton for the first time on one
of them. Unfortunately it was the same day I’d branded his series
the worst on daytime TV... We did become close friends though,
which reminds me: Kristen Bell hasn’t half done some crap lately...
SEPARATED at birth: Sally Barker’s son Dylan on The Voice
and Benny Hawkins from Crossroads.
March 2. The women on Strippers wanted to open up about their
lives, hopes and dreams. But if you pressed mute and put ZZ
Top on in the background, it still did the trick.
The C4 show focused on three bright girls barely working for
cash in Glasgow’s Diamond Dolls emporium. There was Kim, a former
champion gymnast, drama graduate Danielle and Laefena, a qualified
nurse from Estonia. Shelley, their “house mother”, was the real
star, though. Asked if she exploited young women, she snapped
“Away and open your eyes – the only ones being exploited here
are the ones with the money.”
Too true. Most blokes leave clubs like this drunk, skint and
frustrated. Of course the dancers do get screwed, but only financially.
They don’t get paid a penny for their pole work, just the private
dances. Some of these girls are so poor they still have their
original breasts. Most have tattoos too, presumably so if the
customers get bored they’ll have something to read.
Widower Colin loved the place so much he came six nights a
week, bestowing gifts – largely Maltesers. He kept his Chunky
to himself. Shelley took no prisoners, promising to “break every
finger” of any groping customer. It was different in Greece
though, Laefena confided. Touching was allowed there – “only
of breasts”, and she saw a girl “making blow job.” You didn’t
get that on Blue Peter.
Kim was stunning. She’d rebelled against her dad’s Olympic
dream in her teens although her athletic performances still
involved stag leaps and, ahem, pole vaulting. Danielle, 20 didn’t
want her parents to know what she did for a living – so good
call talking to the cameras. By the end, all three women had
moved on. Kim got a job in a bank (not a sperm one); apt as
she’d already inspired many a ‘Barclay’s.’ And Danielle confessed
to her horrified mother and then quit immediately.
Laefena, who is working around Europe to pay off her college
debts, warned that lap-dancing for too long can change your
personality, but isn’t that true of traffic wardens too? Clubs
like Diamond Dolls keep busy, though. So ladies if your fella
rolls home reeking of cheap perfume, as amorous as a 70s sitcom
milkman with body glitter all over his flies you’ll know exactly
where he’s been...
THEY were talking about Kim’s commitment to stripping when
the voice-over woman claimed, “The cracks are starting to show.”
That’ll cost extra.
*SOME women would worry if their bloke had erotic dances from
Kim, but that’s daft. If he could pull a bird like her why would
he be with you?
THE week’s big TV row was about World War One, and involved
actual historians. No-one thought to consult White Dee or Katie
Hopkins. Britain had to fight, insisted Max Hastings, because
Kaiser Bill’s army was brutal, slaughtering 6,500 civilians
in the first week of the war alone. And a Hun-run continent
would have been on collision course with the British Empire.
Making the opposite case, Niall Ferguson argued that we’ve ended
up with Europe dominated by the German economy anyway, so the
terrible sacrifice was in vain. He argued that by entering the
conflict we prolonged it, turning it into a global conflict
that paved the way for Hitler and Stalin, and leaving ourselves
broke, knackered and demoralized. No Great War would have meant
no Russian Revolution and no Third Reich. We’d have been spared
two psychopathic hells. Will we ever have the same debate about
World War II? We certainly need one about the doomed campaigns
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
*MEMO to documentary makers: 2015 sees the 200th anniversary
of Waterloo and the 600th anniversary of Agincourt... A good
time to cheese off the French, mes amis.
FLAPPY bird Ferne had a stand-up row with Charlie on Towie.
She couldn’t sit down – she’d lied her arse off. Ferne got off
with new boy Frank Major while they were still together. She
initially denied it, before owning up to a “slight over-lap”
– which made it sound like she’d been thirty seconds away from
a three-some. Charlie, already a regular ray of hail stones,
was devastated. Frank resembles posh comic Miles Jupp but is
probably funnier. Grace, another new arrival, looks more like
a Luisa Zissman waxwork with its cheeks pulled square. Mario
and Lewis are already competing for her attentions. Of course
they are. These relationships are as convincingly realistic
as Chloe’s boobs. Lockie and Danielle have the shelf-life of
fresh cream. We’ll never care about them like we did Amy and
her vajazzle or Joey and his brain-cell. Elsewhere, Sam has
Crohn’s but Gemma is still in the feverish grip of Mad Cow Disease.
She also appears to have eaten the rest of the herd. What a
girl! Gem is 18-stone of stroppy, wrapped in delusion.
HOT on TV: Line Of Duty... Inside No 9... gymnast Kim (Strippers)
– Vulgar Corbitt... Suspects (C5)... Laura Kuenssberg (Newsnight).
ROT on TV: Silk – Sinkhole of the Bailey... The Taste – still
tripe... Party Wright Around The World – wrong anywhere in the
world... Revenge Of The Egghead – revenge of the viewer, click.
IF Silk were competing with Rumpole Of The Bailey who’d get
custody of the audience? Not Silk, it’s nuts. Maxine Peake plays
QC Martha Costello, a middle-aged Sally Bercow-style rebel.
We know she’s wild; she gets drunk on half a lager, snogs blokes
and dances to Joy Division - all at a party in the Royal Court
of Justice entrance hall! Unlikely yes, but easier to swallow
than what passes for legal practice in the BBC drama.
HOW will EastEnders kill Lucy Beale? 50/1 Burning – on a running
machine, her stick-like legs rub together sparking a horrific
blaze. 15/1 Drowning - after Phil flushes her head repeatedly
down the khazi in an age-old Albert Square ritual. 2/1-on: Vanishing
- when the real Lucy, Melissa Suffield, returns and quantum
leaps her into a parallel universe.
*THE Dalai Lama says watching telly is a waste of time. But
what if we made more shows aimed at him? Craig Ferguson suggests:
Two & A Half Monks, Big Buddha, CSI Tibet...
*ANOTHER horrible sub-title howler: Angelina Jolie apparently
had an operation called “a double mistake to me.”
*RE Michael Portillo in Bavaria: was that really the first
time he’d sampled white sausage?
Small Joys of TV: the nitwits on First Dates. Nanny Pat (Towie).
Moone Boy. Ant & Dec’s I’m A Celebrity Get Out Of My Ear. Jonathan
Creek spoofing Sherlock’s contrived deductions. Piers Morgan
going down like the Belgrano.
Random Irritations: agony aunts. Rigid fake boobs (Towie).
8 Out of 10 Cats on Mondays, Seann Walsh any day. The Voice’s
battle rounds. CJ de Mooi – winning gold at the W*nker Olympics.
SEPARATED at birth: Ferne McCann and a young Barbra Streisand;
one sang Send In The Clowns, the other dated them.
*AN independent Scotland might not keep EastEnders, we’re
told. That’s all of David Bowie’s good work undone, then. “Och,
I’m nay bothered about the poond, but losing the Jacksons that’s
a real bonus, hen.”