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.
March 29. THE Nest is the everyday story of a hard-nosed multi-millionaire and his dippy missus choosing the world’s least likely surrogate mum. Emily, married to loaded Dan Docherty, meets Kaya when she accidentally bumps into her... in her Range Rover. She then sees her smash a bottle to warn off an older bloke, who turned out to be her social worker James... The girl rings more alarm bells than a pyromaniac, so who better to entrust with your last embryo?
The seriously minted couple live in a dream house somewhere on the Firth of Clyde (Sea View Jimmy?). Emily has everything she wants in life, except a baby. Kaya is 18, fresh out of care, and has a shaky relationship with the truth. The would-be surrogate goes from telling Emily “I’m not after money” to demanding £50K hours later. Dan is a canny, Bentley-driving Scot from a troubled background who “owns half of Glasgow”, and is understandably suspicious. He correctly tells Emily “you’re not thinking straight” when she insists on going ahead with this lunacy – despite social services ruling that Kaya is too young. And yet episode one ended with all three of them in Eastern Europe with Kaya carrying the baby and her pesky next-door neighbour Doddy drowned in the Clyde. I get that Emily’s desperate, but why did Dan change his mind? (Possibly because his wife was immediately up for his suggestion of “shagging under a waterfall” in Brazil. Viagra Falls, perhaps). We don’t know who killed Doddy. It could’ve been Kaya, or Dan’s sinister fixer Souter – David Hayman generally plays wrong’uns. Maybe even James who Kaya described as having “a face like a ripped flag”. The show is an odd mix of unlikely plot, umpteen coincidences and property porn, but that shock ending made me hungry for more.
STAR Wars goes spaghetti western in The Mandalorian, the highlight of new streaming service, Disney+. Set between the fall of the Empire and The Force waking up, this space equivalent of the Wild West is hotter than the Kowakian monkey-lizard we see roasting on a spit. Unexpected joys include Baby Yoda and the “blurrg”, ugly, grumpy beasts who eat their males, possibly inspired by Jo Brand. Old Manda himself is a taciturn bounty hunter who lets his fists do his talking. The closing gunfight was worth waiting for.
TWO mums dominated Mother’s Day telly – snooty Lady Brockenhurst and nouveau riche upstart Mrs Anne Trenchard in ITV’s fast improving Belgravia. Lady B’s late “b” of a son, Edmund, had tricked Anne’s daughter Sophia into believing they were married so he could have his wicked way with her decades before. But when Anne broke the news, Lady B was so outraged she branded Sophia a “slut” out to trap him and had Anne escorted from the premises. Not quite Ena vs Elsie on the Corrie cobbles but entertaining all the same. Both their children are now dead, but the warring women share a grandson in humble cotton trader Charles Pope who has no idea who his parents are (although Anne’s husband has known about him for years). This makes Charles the real Brockenhurst heir, which will put their caddish nephew James’ toffee nose nicely out of joint. Anne’s daughter-in-law is the one to watch. What a trollop.
HOT on TV: The Mandalorian (Disney+)... Thandie Newton, Westworld (SkyAt)... Mirren Mack, The Nest.
ROT on TV: Hitmen – way off target... The Great British Urine Test – p*** off.
AN unusual week, the first in nearly two months when we haven’t had to endure Nicola Walker with her face crumpled in perpetual misery. Modern telly can do gloom. But for belly-laughs, you’re better off with Sunday Night At The London Palladium. They’ve had Frankie Howerd, Arthur Haynes, Pete & Dud, Tarby and classy but forgotten stand-up Frank Berry... bliss. Last Sunday Spike Milligan supplied limericks and lunacy. What a shame one main channel won’t clear their dreary schedules and show nonstop comedy.
*I’M glad the subtitles were on when Duncan Campbell was talking about his “Wang hing” box on Antiques Roadshow. My ears heard something completely different...
*COULD Mel & Sue cut it as Hitmen? They’ve already killed off the Generation Game. This show is so lousy it gives murderers a bad name.
*ISN’T Homeland terrific? It grips like Susanna Reid’s hands around Piers’ neck... in her dreams.
*ON Catchphrase Stephen Mulhearn told Dr Ranj that he had “one in the bank”. Standing next to Bhavna, so would I.
*THE Last Leg ended without an audience. The hosts didn’t need one, they’re entirely self-amusing.
*WHEN the Coronavirus hits Holby it’ll change everything. The “dirty doctor” will be coughing over patients; the “naughty nurse” never washes her hands.
*ISN’T Boris doing well? More proof that every great clown secretly wants to play Hamlet.
FIVE more classic shows to help you through the lockdown: Call My Agent! (Netflix). Life On Mars (BritBox). Fargo (Netflix). The Americans (AmPrime). House Of Cards (BritBox).
SMALL Joys of TV: Man vs Bear (Discovery). Brad Garrett. Lady Brockenhurst (Belgravia). Sharks (Netflix). The Game of Thrones show-runners’ cameo on Westworld. Mr Winner and his piano.
RANDOM Irritations: Liar’s endless flash-backs. The Great Celebrity Bake Off running out of celebs. Madonna. Trigonometry – so sluggish the plot could be over-taken by a sedated garden snail.
SEPARATED at birth: Russell Tovey and Pob? One an odd-looking creature often seen on telly... the other is Pob.
March 22. WHO could we turn to if artificial intelligence turned on us? Don’t ask Alexa, she’s one of them! Westworld’s second season ended with a full-scale robot revolution. Now smart, sexy theme-park android Delores is out for vengeance in the real world. Or, more precisely, a cool but scary near-future with flying cars and self-driving motorbikes, where the bad guys are big tech companies plundering our data.
The last series tried so hard to be complicated and deep it made Only Connect feel like Tipping Point. Mercifully, season three comes with less waffle and more action. The rebooted robot saga felt more like a spy thriller as dishy but deadly Delores infiltrated Incite Inc, the parent company behind Delos who run the parks. She seduced Incite boss Liam Dempsey Jnr only to discover he’s a clueless figurehead before she was clobbered and corralled by corporate thugs. New character Cal, an army veteran with PTSD, came to her aid after a brutal shoot-out with her callous captors left Delores close to the scrap-yard. Cal’s an odd bod. He takes advice from an automated version of a fallen comrade and gets by in dead-end jobs, but to support his addled mum, he does extra work via a kind of petty crime app – illicit deliveries, cash-machine robberies etc. Not quite Robin Hood but his heart’s in the right place.
Elsewhere Arnold/Bernard has invented a way to turn off his robot side and is heading back to Westworld – now run by an android version of Charlotte. And magnificent Maeve has come round in the previously unmentioned Nazi World, where I’d imagine the guests will be an unsavoury mix of masochists, sadists and Twitter malcontents. There’s talk of “real gods” – but will they be rebel robots or ruthless replicants with human brains? Either way, it’s a relief to watch a drama that isn’t living in the past.
WHEN Double Acts Fall Out reminded us that Mike & Bernie Winters were once household names, but they weren’t universally popular. Bernie famously followed his brother on stage at the Glasgow Empire to be greeted by a shout of “Good God, there’s two of them.” Asked what Morecambe & Wise would’ve done if they’d flopped as comedians, Eric replied: “We’d have been Mike and Bernie Winters”. Author Colin Edmonds recalled that Bernie replaced Mike with a St Bernard dog who proved more popular. Bernie’s catchphrases included “Eeeee” and “Choochie face”. And yet as Edmonds, once Bob Monkhouse’s gag-writer, “They could get laughs with this stuff – go figure!”
*THE C5 show surprised missed out Monkhouse’s bust-up with his double act partner Denis Goodwin, a man so twisted with envy at Bob’s solo success that he once followed him to Brighton to spy on him with a dancer. The snake then rang Bob’s first wife posing as a “shocked” Italian waiter to impart details of the affair.
HOW do you make Waterloo dull? ITV managed it with Belgravia. With wooden dialogue and shallow characters, their latest costume drama isn’t so much Downton Abbey as downright shabby. Except... we saw grim-faced Anne Trenchard before the battle and 26 years after and she hadn’t aged a day. Is that down to witchcraft or one seriously ancient portrait in her attic? Turned out that Anne’s daughter Sophia had died giving birth to the much posher Lady Brockenhurst’s illegitimate grandchild. The matriarchs met over new-fangled “afternoon tea” but even this potential clash was disappointingly guarded. Julian Fellowes has given us all the snobbery and detail of Downton but so far none of the latter’s wit, warmth or soul. No notable downstairs characters either.
*TO sum up ITV’s latest costume drama: There was a young girl from Belgravia/Who gave in to wanton behaviour/After bedding her first/She died giving birth/But the show is a bit of a failure...
HOT on TV: Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld (SkyAt)... Jennifer Hosten, Miss World 1970... Homeland... Julie Graham, Penance.
ROT on TV: Celebrity Mastermind – most contestants are neither... Liar – whodunit? Don’t care; I can’t lie...
SOAP filming is being cut back and Eurovision is cancelled. Some good has come out of the crisis then. I’m waiting to see how it’ll effect Love Island. Will we see couples relocated to the glamorous Isle of Dogs wearing hazmat suits, holding gloved hands and kissing each other gingerly on the gas mask?
*MEL Sykes, talking about bowls on The Great Pottery Showdown, said: “They’re looking for three different sizes and a good rim.” Whatever floats your boat...
*IN Penance, Julie Graham plays a grieving mum who dreams of bedding a lad the same age as her dead son – and the vivid dreams come true. By coincidence Julie was in my dreams last night... apologies in advance for the inevitable disappointment.
*PEOPLE ask me what they should watch during the dark days in lockdown. Here are five solid gold classics: 1) Minder (ITV Hub) 2) Porridge (BritBox) 3) The Sweeney (ITV Hub) 4) The Sopranos (Sky). 5) The Shield (AmPrime). Five more next week.
*THE Trouble with Maggie Cole? Zzzz. Try making The Trouble with Maggie: Coal – Scargill’s worst nightmare.
SMALL Joys of TV: The English Game, Netflix. Jon Hamm, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Five Guys A Week. Westworld vehicles. Super Duper Alice Cooper (SkyArts). The Story Of Ready, Steady Go! (BBC4).
RANDOM Irritations: The alarmist nature of most rolling news Coronavirus coverage. The tiny acting pool used by TV casting directors, we get the same actors all the time. Shallow celebrity travelogues.
SEPARATED at birth: Ian Hart, Noughts & Crosses, and Steve Ignorant? One caught up in a violent world of unconvincing propaganda... the other sang for anarchist punk band Crass.
March 15. LOUIS Theroux has taken on some nutcases in his time – murderers, Scientologists, Christine Hamilton. But how would he cope with the gruelling challenge of… The Great Celebrity Bake Off? Pretty well, to be fair. TV’s deadpan documentary-maker was funnier than the comics. He even mocked Paul Hollywood’s “ridiculous name” which takes some front when his own surname inspired a thousand puns and he’s married to a woman called Strang…
Louis scoffed at Jenny Eclair’s claim to be a baking novice, branding her a “consummate hustler…she’s probably got her own chain of bakeries called Jenny’s Eclairs”. He had a point; the Grumpy Old Woman was on a roll. Jen aced the mille-feuille technical challenge, claiming “It’s a fluke – guides’ honour”. (Russell Howard thought mille-feuille was “the guy trying to kill Harry Potter”; it’s actually a vanilla slice). And her biscuits, modelled on Mexican surrealist artist Frida Kahlo, won her a Hollywood handshake. Russell’s Showstopper looked more like something from Picasso’s nightmare. It was supposed to show him and his missus in their sitting room, but he joked: “Vandals have broken in and I’m furious.”
Howard proved he was a genuine rookie by serving up raw pastry and a peanut butter cookie with more icing than a crate of McVitie’s Iced Gems. His presentation was akin to “Edward Scissorhands with a Spirograph”. True he got two Hollywood handshakes, but only for supporting Liverpool FC. Sandi Toksvig was on good form, standing on a box to chat to easy-going basketball ace Ovie Soko. She’s 4ft 11, he’s 6ft 7… easily the biggest star to come out of Love Island. If they ever dated she’d have to stand up to go down. Nice guy Ovie finished third with Louis, who you suspect had been training hard, a creditable second. But Jenny was always going to be Star Baker. She had the biggest cake-hole.
*You can donate to SU2C via standuptocancer.org.uk
MIRIAM Margolyes claims she’s “disgusted” with her body, yet still eats like a caffeinated Pac-Man. She described herself as “fat and f***ed” on Miriam’s Big Fat Adventure. Fat yes, f***ed? Hardly. She’s always on telly – largely because she’s as prickly as a Death Valley cactus and is guaranteed to swear like a sozzled squaddie, which passes for risqué in these shallow times. “Would you f*** a fat girl?” Miriam, 78, asked one poor fella who politely spluttered “Yes, if she was a nice person”. (Not much of a question; some men would f*** a frog if it stopped hopping.) When a wobbly woman said that a man had mocked her weight, Margoyles hoped she’d squeezed his testicles “until his eyes watered.” Women bashing blokes is okay in the Beeb’s brave new PC world, then.
*MIRIAM reckons we’ve become “a nation of humungous arses” – but enough about the patients on The Sex Clinic.
DOES Noughts & Crosses have a vital message to impart about racism in Britain, as we’re told? Or is it a kids’ book that the BBC haven’t bothered to develop properly for a grown-up time slot? Like White Man’s Burdon, it imagines a world run by black people. An African empire colonised England 700 years ago and continues to rule us with an iron fist, imposing Apartheid-like segregation on the native “Noughts”. But hold on, unlike South Africa or America’s Deep South, Britain has never had segregation. And if this system has lasted for centuries why aren’t there any mixed race people? Why are there no other immigrants? Where are the black anti-apartheid reformers, the white protest singers, the sensible civil rights leaders? The main narrative is Romeo & Juliet re-imagined for the umpteenth time. There are some fine actors involved but the whole enterprise is flimsier than a Carry On negligee.
HOT on TV: Lucy Beaumont, Meet The Richardsons (Dave)... The Walking Dead (Fox)... The Outsider finale (SkyAt).
ROT on TV: David Walliams, Sandylands (Gold) – hammier than a hog farm... Breeders (Sky1)... Dawn French’s Maggie Cole – as loveable as an agitated wasp swarm.
TV questions: if Gentleman Jack were around today, would she be quite so keen on “going to Italy”? Should the postponed Bond film be renamed Diamonds Are For Later? Was the 24-hour gap between part one and two of Miriam’s Big Fat Adventure designed to give her a dinner break? Given her past form, shouldn’t it have been Miriam’s Big Fart Adventure?
ANT and Dec get flack for product placement. It’s the curse of commercial TV, I said as I dipped my gluten-free Nairn’s Oatie into a mug of Tetley’s tea. And my friends in the Darjeeling Indian restaurant agreed.
*MATT Lucas is replacing Sandi Toksvig on Bake Off. One short, witty and cutely masculine... the other is Matt Lucas. Matt eats cakes, samples biscuits and cracks jokes. Not sure what he’ll do on Bake Off.
*PAUL Martin told Flog It! viewers: “We’ve got three Cs on today’s programme”. Sadly, he meant candlesticks, a concertina and a cameo... and not as widely assumed the presenters.
*JAMES Corden’s Coronavirus festival booking suggestions: Miley Virus. Justin Fever. The Flu-Fighters. Pandemic At The Disco. And “yet to confirm, The Cure”.
SMALL Joys of TV: Arthur Haynes and Rita Webb, Palladium (TPTV). Metal Britannia (BBC4). The Best Little Band from Texas (SkyArts). Michele Austin, Meet The Richardsons. Miles Davis: Birth Of Cool.
RANDOM Irritations: Evan Davis still telling us what we’ve just seen on Dragons’ Den. Lips over-pumped with filler – they don’t look sexy, they look daft. BBC4 repeating their rotten Till Death Do Us Part remake.
IF They Mated: Les Dawson + Ursula The Sea Witch = Sara Davies, Dragons’ Den.
March 8. THESE days you can watch TV all week without ever leaving the scene of a crime. ITV are pushing mismatched coppers McDonald & Dodds as Columbo reborn in Bath. In their dreams. Tala Gouveia, last seen dating a teenager on Cold Feet, is now Lauren McDonald, an ambitious DCI fast-tracked from that London. In contrast, DS Dodds (Jason Watkins) is a meek and modest soul whose boss thinks he’s deadwood and whose wife left him years ago, possibly because he dips his chips in butter. He’s a desk copper who solves crimes in a library. His notebook is battered, his accent is uncertain, and his parka looks way too new.
Like Columbo, Dodds has no first name, everyone underestimates him, and his criminal opponents are played by well-known actors. Step forward Robert Lindsay exhibiting more prime ham than a Wiltshire butcher. Unlike Columbo, the plot was nuts. It felt like a lame week on Death In Paradise, without the benefit of a reggae soundtrack. ITV love these gentle murder mystery marathons, but this is no Morse (neither was the last Endeavour which felt hastily written and was lumbered with daft errors). Is it only me missing Gene Hunt?
Elsewhere Liar asked: Who killed Andrew Earlham? But other than Bill Cosby, who could possibly care? The dodgy doctor was a serial rapist who drugged and sexually abused multiple women. When his throat was cut at the end of the 2017 series, most viewers probably thought he had it coming. Oh dear, what a pity, never mind. But Liar was such a ratings winner, ITV have revived it with more desperate flashbacks than a perverts’ outing, and Katherine Kelly as an irritating, loudly gum-chewing DI, who collars Earlham’s victim Laura for his murder. Several dead horses raised their heads mid-flogging to yawn.
WITH virus panic keeping millions indoors at night, Britain urgently needs more belly laughs on mainstream TV. So why not re-launch Comedy Playhouse? The original produced Steptoe, Alf Garnett, Up Pompeii, Are You Being Served and many more. Think what joys a new series could unearth... as long as no current TV comedy executive had anything to do with it. Open it to new writers of any age and class, have veteran comedy scribes chose the six funniest scripts, cast actors not celebs and let’s go.
THIS series of Doctor Who was so lousy it almost made me nostalgic for Sylvester McCoy. Problems included the deluge of ishoos, incomprehensible stories and plot holes you could park the Tardis in. The Doc seemed to morph into Peggy from Hi-De-Hi every time she got excited... so pretty much every week. Her new powers puzzled me though. She’s been mind-melding like Mr. Spock and tracking the Master just by thinking about him. Her sonic screwdriver (magic wand) is now an all purpose Star Trek tricorder. How’s that sonic? Other questions: when the Master turned Gallifreyans into Cybermen who could regenerate when they were killed, how come all of them only died once at the end? And where did Obi Wan Kenobe come from? (I might have dozed off for Ko’s back-story). The biggest irritation is the way writer Chris Chibnall mucks about with Whovian history for no good reason.
SEPARATED at birth: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ko Sharmus? One a much-loved, bearded sci-fi hero who sacrificed himself for the greater good... the other’s a clone from Doctor Who.
HOT on TV: War Of The Worlds (Fox)... Alin Sumarwata, Strike Back: Vendetta (Sky1)... I’m Not Okay With This (Netflix)... Cynthia Erivo, The Outsider.
ROT on TV: The Trouble with Maggie Cole – curled more toes than dystonia... Ready Steady Cook – under-done... Noughts & Crosses – nought worth watching.
SPITTING Image is coming back! Hurrah! Imagine their Boris, a spluttering buffoon whose strides fall down every time a woman under 70 walks past. They could have Priti Patel in S&M leather gear... or is that just me? And Corbyn in an IRA armband with his dirty dibber in his hand. Luckily Soubry is yesterday’s news. It’d be hard to make her look any madder.
SUBTITLE cock-up of the week: the MOTD2 commentator on the Watford v Liverpool game apparently saying, “It’s gone over DNA, the curry is there... ” He actually said, “It’s gone over Deeney, Doucoure’s there.” Although the way LFC played maybe they were weighed down by a hefty Ruby...
*ISN’T the coronavirus depressing? It makes you nostalgic for the days when the only super-spreader on TV was Roxy Mitchell. Who else saw Five Guys A Week in the schedules and thought of her?
*WHAT’S happened to EastEnders? For months the soap’s only highlights have been in Jessica Plummer’s hair.
*BAGHDAD Central? It’s bad, dad.
SMALL Joys of TV: The Righteous Gemstones (SkyAt). Rob Brydon. Buster Keaton clips, Age Of Imagery. Wild Cuba. Narcos: Mexico (Netflix). Bored To Death. Passport To Pimlico (TPTV). Barbarella (Sky Cinema).
RANDOM Irritations: The heavy-handed background music on The Split, and needy creep Christie – send the Dutchman flying, Nathan! Obscure dimwits on Celeb Mastermind. Dan Bigger whining and moaning.
CAMPAIGN CORNER: viewers with hearing difficulties are missing out on a lot of great shows because they lack subtitles. Will the History Channel get this fixed?
March 1. A RETIRED marine has set a new world record for the longest plank. For the shortest planks see Celebs Go Dating... or as I like to call it When Idiots Collide. Step forward Dean Gaffney, the former EastEnders star who was frequently out-acted by his dog. Deano hit the “mixer” like a pound shop Don Juan, impressing almost nobody. Meeting Liver-bird Louise, the nitwit quipped “Do you like chec-ken?” in the worst Scouse accent this side of John Bishop. He told a puzzled woman from Devon “Get off of my land” in a voice that was more Larry Grayson than Littlehempston. Honestly, Wellard had more sense. But even when he got “pied off”, the Walford Romeo just shrugged and said “Obviously a Corrie fan”.
This is TV’s best dating show. It has Rob Beckett’s hilarious voice-over, cringe-making encounters, Olympian levels of delusion and the presence of Tom Read Wilson, a man who makes Clary sound butch. Tom was impressed by James Locke, gasping: “I’ve heard the rumours about Lockie but by golly, nothing quite prepares you for all that girth in the flesh.” Blimey.
Lockie is cockier than a poultry farm but this was his chance to look sophisticated. Could he do it? The odds were against it. “It’s full of fanny in here,” he said, like he was auditioning to play Jack Harper from On The Buses. But Malique from Hollyoaks was worse. The bloke is as charmless as he is shameless. The female celebs were better value. Posh beauty Liv Bentley just wanted “a bit of rough”. (Form an orderly queue, lads, half a mile behind me... ) Will Liv go from Made In Chelsea to Laid In Essex? Amy Childs may not be the brightest crayon in the pack but at least she brought a rhyming catchphrase “If he don’t dazzle he won’t be seeing my vajazzle.” What would Deano’s be? “If I make a pass don’t think I’m an arse.”
WE knew a dastardly crime had been committed on Flesh & Blood, but not by who, to who or why. Nice widow Vivien had a new fella who her charmless kids didn’t approve of. In fairness, few blokes look shiftier than Stephen Rea’s retired surgeon Mark. He has the best hangdog face since Droopy. This enjoyable tale – think Big Little Lies meets Gold Digger – was unreliably narrated by Viv’s nosy and, it transpired, murderous neighbour Mary, who liked sneaking into her house and helping herself to gear, including Mark’s Viagra. Poor Mark endured such hostility being pushed off the balcony must have been a blessed release.
THE Windsors goes where The Crown fears to tread, doing a “Spitting Image” number on Royal woes. Prince Andrew copped it first, with Harry Enfield’s Charles calling Epstein “your nonce chum”. “I only used to go to his parties, fly in his jet and stay in his house,” protested Andy. “I was never his friend.” The savage comedy was written before Megxit but foretold it with the young royals at loggerheads and the Sussexes talking about emigrating. Harry is portrayed as a yoga-loving drip while a dozy Meghan campaigns against avocados. Scheming Camilla, unfairly reinvented as a nastier Lady Macbeth, convinced Megs that Kate had written “that nosey Yank should shut her gob” about her on a banana. (She’d actually told Wills she wasn’t wearing pants…) Could the show be better? Only if they could shot it nearer transmission and made Meghan more ego-driven and grasping.
HOT on TV: Imelda Staunton, Flesh & Blood... Jeri Ryan, Star Trek: Picard (AmPrime)... Inside No 9... Fury v Wilder – just glorious.
ROT on TV: Last Tango In Halifax – now a charmless cha-cha... The Twilight Zone – Cack Mirror... The Split – still s**t.
BBC drama boss Piers Wenger defends his string of duff commissions saying the Beeb “need to speak to a contemporary audience”. Trouble is, under him their dramas are struggling to speak to any audience at all. Never mind “woke” casting, BBC adaptations of The War Of The Worlds, The Golden Compass and A Christmas Carol either stank or tanked. The Pale Horse was ruined, World On Fire was ridiculous. Even Dracula, which started well, was holed by its unnecessary “contemporary” instalment. It’s all about the story, Piers. Get the plot right and viewers of all ages will come.
*ALPHA and Negan copped off on The Walking Dead. Blimey. There hasn’t been a coupling of such pure evil on TV since Speidi.
*DEV lost out on MasterChef. Shame. He should have used those hamster cheeks to smuggle in extra spices.
*I’M not saying McDonald & Dodds is poxy but Google the title and the first thing that comes up is a link to syphillis side-effects.
*WHAT does Carol Vorderman look like these days? Not like Carol Vorderman that’s for sure.
SMALL Joys of TV: Billy “On behalf of the working classes” Russell on Sunday Night at the London Palladium (TPTV). Eric Burdon: Rock ’n’ Roll Animal (BBC4). Meet The Richardsons. Altered Carbon (Netflix). Every episode of The Shield on All 4.
RANDOM Irritations: The BBC reviving Ready Steady Cook – Why? Is there a TV cooking shortage? Over-long “dramatic” pauses on MasterChef. Leave it out you plums, it’s not the X Factor final.
SEPARATED at birth: Antoine DuPont and Rodrigo Alves? One honed their body to perfection to take on the ultimate challenge – Celebrity Big Brother. The other plays rugby.
*EVERY day is Pancake Day for Marilyn Manson. (Confession: I wrote this make-up gag about Barbara Cartland in 1987, but I’m happy to recycle it to help the environment).
TV questions: Why do TV news bosses make reporters stand outside in storms? Do they think we don’t know what wind and rain look like? When Deontay Wilder chose his ring-walk costume was he channelling Knight Fight or auditioning for the Masked Singer? Men, if you were arrested by new telly tec Tala Gouveia would you come quietly?