Garry Bushell
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MAY 26. The Soap Awards and Eurovision dominated last weekend. So, horrendous squawking, bizarre voting decisions and ludicrous costumes... and Eurovision was nearly as bad. The Soap Awards had their moments, the best being the faces of the EastEnders cast as Corrie pretty much swept the board. They looked glum, irritated and in desperate need of a drink – it’s pretty much how I feel whenever I watch their show. Here’s how bad it’s been – Enders’ entry for Most Spectacular Scene of the Year was Billy Mitchell carrying the Olympic torch (narrowly beating Masood smashing up his water feature.) In fairness, those live scenes were the only time we’ve seen the cast smile.

If only he’d used the flame to torch last year’s scripts... Month after joyless month was dominated by Who Shagged Kat, a storyline no-one gave a rat’s arse about because the bigger question is who wouldn’t Kat shag? Even Alfie Moon couldn’t have been surprised. She’d already had another bloke’s kid. Cue what felt like several trillion scenes of the Branning brothers checking their phones and smirking simultaneously while big wuss Alfie moped around tormented by heart-ache and suspicion.

Enders is as great an advert for Londoners as George Michael is for carefree driving. It won one solitary award this year - a Lifetime Achievement gong for Adam Woodyatt, the chief achievement being that he turned up for work every morning. He probably deserved it for being Ian Beale for 28 years. Ian is a bore and a tightwad, a rat in human form. The writers have always had it in for him because he wanted to make a few bob and better himself, and for the BBC working class aspiration is a cardinal sin. So Ian has lost every business he’s ever had, including the long-forgotten bric-a-brac store. Even in the boom he went bust.

They gave him a break-down last year, leaving him wandering the streets in his Barack Obamas before he finally resurfaced looking like a moth-eaten Dr Zaius from Planet Of The Apes. The biggest fiasco was when he pretended to have a butler and wore his granddad’s war medals to try and impress some posh bird he didn’t know – all at home in his East End hovel! What tosh! At least Hollyoaks doesn’t claim to be “real life.”

*THE best soap storyline nominations were: spousal abuse, depression, suicide, death... it’s being so happy as keeps them going.

*MICHELE Keegan is a beautiful woman – far too beautiful for her storylines. She deserved to win Sexiest Female again. It’s just odd that ITV producers assume that sexy stops in your twenties. Kym Lomas is nearly 37 and you wouldn’t kick her out of bed for breaking wind. For breaking into song, maybe...

MICHELLE left simple men aghast when she told the audience: “I’m going to get these out in fifty years and be the coolest Gran ever.” Although in all likelihood she was talking about her gongs.

UZMA was kicked off The Apprentice. It’s sad for her, and also for that painting donkey from Britain’s Got Talent who I believe was doing her make-up. The bad news is this means Luisa is still in Sugar’s “process.” The teams had to set up a farm shop this week, even though they’d clearly never set foot in one (or a farm.) Rather than selling freshly-grown produce, they flogged jacket potatoes and milkshakes. No-one came over well. Alex the Vampire struggled with simple mental arithmetic and failed to recognise a carrot. One nitwit thought Satsumas were locally-grown. Natalie mistook a cow for a horse, while Doctor Totty asked how many potatoes there were in a kilo. D’oh! Luisa’s team cornered the market in buffalo steaks (two for a score, bargain!) and foul-tasting breakfast soup. Luckily for Lu, Kurt’s milkshake obsession brought down rivals Endeavour. At one point he was buying cartons of apple juice from that well known inner city farm Costcutter. Tsk. Business brains? You wouldn’t trust this lot to sell life-boats on a sinking ship.

HOT on TV: Banshee (Sky Atlantic)... Zlata Ognevich (Eurovision)... Mad Men finale... history hottie Suzannah Lipscombe.

ROT on TV: the British Soap Awards – a load of old flannel... Holby City – one hospital closure I’d campaign for... Jay McInerney on Sincerely F Scott Fitzgerald – sincerely, eff off.

JOEY Essex’s new haircut means you can now actually hear the wind whistling through his ears. He looks like the love-child of Shemp from the Three Stooges and a shop window dummy. Joey and fiancée Sam went on All Star Mr & Mrs, despite not being married, or stars. He said that her favourite animal was “a mouse, she loves mouses.” Honestly, we’re talking pot-plant dim. It’s a wonder the kid can summon up the brain power to keep breathing. Yet incredibly he’s won awards. Someone asked Joey what it was like to go down on the red carpet and he said he’d never even dated Amy Childs.

*ON Jeremy Kyle, a refined, cough, lady admitted she’d once pleasured two men on a bus. And there was still room for one more on top... Apparently she waited for twenty minutes and then two came at once.

*NOEL Edmonds spends most of his time with a full-size dummy called Candice. Imagine having to put up with such dismal company. I don’t know how Candice manages it.

*MORE fascinating Noel facts: he is exactly the same height as his celebrity garden gnome; his bottom really is crinkly; the Universe told him to axe Blobby...

*THE Doctor Who finale had whisper men, dream conference calls, John Hurt, the giant Tardis tombstone. The biggest stretch of imagination, though? The alleged chemistry between the Doc and River Song...

*JOHN Hurt is the Doctor? Hmm. I was hoping it would turn out to be Dr Legg. It would explain his many long absences from Albert Square in the 90s... and Clara could so do with a Legg over.

SMALL Joys of TV: Cannon & Ball at the Soap Awards. Victoria Coren’s cleavage. Porridge repeats. The Last Days Of Anne Boleyn. The latest special offer in Defiance’s sci-fi brothel - the “six-legged monkey crawl!” Any complaints, see the gorilla on the door.

RANDOM irritations: BBC1’s perverse initial reluctance to mention that the Woolwich killers were Islamists. Bold satirists 10 O’Clock Live ducking the big story. Anjem Choudary, the real swivel-eyed loon, getting far too much airtime.

TV Maths: Martin Freeman + Rick Astley = Neil Clough (The Apprentice).

SEPARATED at birth: Phil Mitchell and Uncle Fester – one a badly dressed, bald lunatic with a weirdo family, the other a character from a US sitcom.

*AM I alone in finding Phil Schofield slightly creepy? There’s a deadness in his eyes, a whiff of sulphur about him... what has he sacrificed to climb the greasy pole? Besides poor forgotten Gordon the Gopher...

May 19. ROMOLA Garai’s vagina remark split the audience at the BAFTA TV awards. Some laughed, some were aghast; the stiff upper lips wobbled... but Romola kept that bit to herself. The actress had needed 23 stitches after giving birth. “I didn’t think I’d be laughing at anything for a long time,” she said. Which is presumably why Graham Norton’s opening monologue had been surgically stripped of anything resembling a decent gag.

Vagina isn’t a word you’d normally associate with BAFTA, although their judges have been called worse – often deservedly. Like Romala’s poor pulverised privates, this once prestigious ceremony has been stretched and pulled out of all recognition. Critical faculties have plummeted like a prolapsed pelvic floor. How can we to take the BAFTAs seriously when their trailer of “great British TV” included BBC1’s disastrous Diamond Jubilee coverage? When BBC2’s forgettable Hitchcock hatchet job The Girl was up for four gongs? And when some of the nominated shows were such flops that they’ve already been canned?

BAFTA even had the front to give an award to BBC1’s soap on the ropes EastEnders whose ratings have done more diving recently than Tom Daly.

Other undeserved gongs went to Made In Chelsea and Twenty Twelve, a limp satire not nearly as funny as Aussie show The Games which inspired it. Somehow Anne-Marie Duff was persuaded to state straight-faced that “British drama has never been better” as if Last Tango In Halifax could hold a candle to House Of Cards, This Life or The Sweeney. A whiff of box-ticking hung over the results; worthiness trumped quality. C4’s Paralympics coverage triumphed, the actual Olympics got zilch. Clare Balding got a special award, probably not for Britain’s Brightest. Best Comedy went to BBC 3’s The Revolution Will Be Televised (but not watched, or talked about). But the biggest upset was ITV’s The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile losing out, which reeked of behind the scenes damage limitation.

These awards meant something when British TV was bold, brilliant, creative and funny. But these days they’re just an annual farce, an excuse to slap the same old backs and kiss the same old arses. The BAFTAs need new, independent judges, fresh writers and a new host. I wonder if Romola’s available.

*BAFTA highlight? Well, Romola’s vagina monologue takes some licking. Should it have made the edit? I’m told it was a close shave. And neatness counts for a lot these days.

THE Fall is moody, brooding, and bloody dull. They’ve got an underwear model as a sadistic middle class serial killer. Like so many demented murderers, by day he’s a grief counsellor. By night he stalks and slaughters beautiful brunettes. Isn’t it perverse that BBC1 choose to show naked women almost exclusively on mortuary slabs? Do TV bosses ever worry about the long-term effect of portraying attractive females as butchered victims? In real-life, Nilsen, Dahmer and Ireland preyed on men. Like Fred West and Peter Sutcliffe, they were no pin-ups.

THE dozy women lost again on The Apprentice, despite offering buyers a large multifunctional box – which I believe was Leanne’s sales pitch on Corrie back in her escort days. The task was to dream up a new space-saving product. The men’s ugly chair turned into a table; the women had the Tidy-Sidey – a box on wheels. I’d have used the box to burn the chair. (For the tidy bit on the sidey, see Eva Price.)

*Alternative uses for the Tidy-Sidey: 1) Storage space for Uzma’s daily cosmetics requirements 2) Folds out into a coffin for vampire Alex 3) Throw in a phone and an LCD screen and it could be a mobile Amstrad emailer... (You’re fired – Lord Sugar)

FROST On Sketch Shows was oddly disjointed. Frosty included his own programmes, but over-looked Spike Milligan’s ground-breaking Q series which paved the way for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Inevitably he blanked Benny Hill, our biggest-ever TV comedy export. The way Frost told it, we went from Python to Fry & Laurie via Not The 9 O’Clock News. Mainstream sketch shows were written out of history. Dick Emery? Nope. Russ Abbot? Forgotten. Little & Large? Non-people. Their show ran for 13 years and attracted 15million viewers! Granted a fair bit of it was cack, but watch their clever, funny Alphabet Man sketch again, because if the Two Ronnies had done that instead of Syd and Eddie we’d still be seeing it in compilation shows.

* FROST’s famous class sketch had three blokes representing the upper, middle and working classes. Things were simple then. Today you’d need three more fellas in the line-up representing corporate tax dodgers, benefit cheats and the feckless underclass.

HOT on TV: Olivia Colman – Colman’s mustard... Banshee (Sky Atlantic)... Band of Voices (BGT)... Dara O’Briain (You’re Fired).

ROT on TV: Honey Boo Boo – Honey bye-bye... Frankie – nurse, the screens!... The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – too long, clichéd and convoluted; Whicher? It’s a ditcher.

HERE Comes Honey Boo Boo is another chance to laugh at poor folks. Cue women bobbing for pigs’ trotters, mud-hole belly-flops, disturbing child beauty pageants and cheese balls for breakfast. The redneck Thompson clan has charm, though. Mama, 32 (stone) has a language all of her own. Her slang word for vagina is “biscuit”, which made me choke on a half-chewed flapjack. Flip her over for the party ring. No jammy dodger jokes by request.

*SO Nigel Farage visits Edinburgh, heads straight for the pub, starts a row and leaves in the back of a police van. How can they say he doesn’t understand the Scottish way of life?

*SURPRISES on Ian Beale’s Le Square menu: Abi’s char-grilled chinchilla and chips. Sharon’s secret pills a-popping pasanda (very addictive). The soup? Cream of gristle...

*EASTENDERS Spoiler Alert: it won’t get any better.

*TV questions: why hasn’t Duncan Norvelle appeared a celebrity edition of The Chase? Will Embarrassing Bodies ever spawn a pop-up book of penises?

HARD to see anyone beating shadow-dancers Attraction on Britain’s Got Talent, but Steph from the Luminites is a star and Band Of Voices were terrific last night. As were Aliki and Stevie Pink... ITV need a proper variety spinoff series to build the best of Cowell’s discoveries into household names. We should see much more of sit-down stand-up Jack Carroll, ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and marvellous mimic Francine Lewis.

RANDOM irritations: Luisa, The Apprentice. Celebrity-fronted travel shows. Tuesday night medical show over-load. The Voice overkill. The lack of laughs at the TV Baftas – the only one in stitches was Romola.

AT BAFTA, nice Michael Palin praised the BBC saying “No other broadcasting company would have given me the freedom to do what I’ve done for 48 years.” After you with the Savile/Stuart Hall pay-off line.

SMALL Joys of TV: The Dambusters 70 Years On. Jaime rescuing Brienne from the bear pit on Game Of Thrones. Jurgita’s talking bum (Embarrassing Bodies).

SEPARATED at birth: John Lynch (The Fall) and Eric Cantona (the Kung-Fu Kick).

EMMA on Come Dine With Me was discussing cooking when she said: “Be careful not to over-stuff it otherwise you’ll get a leaking loin.” Never a problem for Kat Slater...

May 12. Do you think The Apprentice producers sit the contenders down before they start and tell them “Try your best to sound like a massive plonker”? Why else would they introduce themselves with lines like “I’m half-machine”, “I took inspiration from Napoleon” or “My effortless superiority will take me all the way”? Unless of course the format just attracts deluded nitwits the way Gail Platt attracts wrong’uns.

The puffed-up contestants do for business what Nick Hewer is doing for Countdown viewing figures. Jason is so gratingly posh it’s hard to believe that he’s not already a Cabinet minister. Eyebrows Alex looks like a young Ray Reardon with his face jammed into a Freddie Mercury mask. Then there’s Neil with his werewolf neck, Zeeshaan who boasted that he was “here to conquer” but will conk out instead. And Jaz, a patronising “educational entrepreneur” – or teacher as they’re sometimes called – who was the first one fired. Sadly not out of a circus cannon – although she did have Sideshow Bob’s hair.

Jaz was the half-machine woman, the machine in question possibly being a Dictaphone stuck on playback. Her bright idea was to try and flog tacky Chinese lucky cats in China Town when a) the shops weren’t open and b) they were already well supplied with felicitous feline figurines as, umm, it’s China Town.

BBC1 has sexed up the show to fight drooping ratings. Most of the women could have been press-ganged in the Take Me Out holding pen. Francesca resembles Sugar’s arch-enemy Stella English, so she’s got no chance. Blonde GP Leah Totton looks more like Dr Totty... but is Dr Dolittle so far. Luisa is poison, while Bratz reject Uzma could come to blows with whining Rebecca, with any luck.

Task one was to shift a container full of tat: bog rolls, Union Jack mugs, ukuleles, the lucky cats, cat litter, two smuggled Somali refugees (I may have dreamt that bit). The loo rolls sold, we’ve got the mugs for another ten episodes. Task two was beer. Francesca’s bad maths turned Evolve’s rhubarb and caramel ale into super-strength gut-rot. So she isn’t all bad. Jordan advocated nettle flavour, but men’s team Endeavour stung drinkers instead with an over-priced, chocolate orange brew. Yuck. It’s all baloney of course. Sugar isn’t based in the City, his office block is in Essex. These twerps aren’t “Britain’s brightest business brains” and winning is a poisoned chalice – ask Stella. Still, they’re good for a few laughs.

*ALL-time Top 5 Apprentice Beauties: Michelle Dewberry, Laura Moore, Melody Hossaini, Kate Walsh, Gazal Asif.

*TV Maths: Captain Jack Harkness + David Mitchell = Eyebrows Alex.

HANNIBAL is Sherlock meets Dexter with a side order of cannibalism. Will Graham, a detective with Asperger’s, hunts serial killers with his evil side-kick, the man-eating shrink Hannibal Lecter. What next I wonder, Fred West Investigates? By day a hard-working builder/murderer, by night Super-Fred! Their first target was a nut who bumped off women by impaling them on deer antlers. Kind of “Dancer, meet Prancer.” That’s what I call a stag do. (The killer was easy to spot... with hindsight.). But how long can this police procedural run before it gets daft? If Will and his FBI boss Jack don’t spot Hannibal’s creepy secret soon they’re not much cop as detectives.

*HANNIBAL would brighten up Masterchef. Imagine Torode choking on his bacon and Gregg pie... with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

*ON the news we learnt that evil Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro is on suicide watch – presumably to make sure he goes through with it.

HOT on TV: new Justified (5USA)... Floyd Mayweather... Grant Bowler (Defiance).

ROT on TV: Nick Grimshaw – just grim... Long Island Medium – ‘psychic’ cobblers courtesy of the so-called Learning Channel... Murder On The Home Front – bombed... The Politician’s Husband finale.

SCI-fi wiz Neil Gaiman made the Cybermen scary again on Doctor Who – although the re-booted brutes owed a lot to the Borg from Star Trek. The image of the Doc with a part-cybernetic face recalled the time Picard was assimilated. The episode – Gaiman’s second – was packed with twists and neat ideas. Why not invite Terry Pratchett to have a go next?

HOW about an Embarrassing Bodies Live celebrity special? Eamonn Holmes would take his shirt off and just spread... And imagine those awkward Skype moments. Dr Christian: “So I’m seeing a vast, swollen and wrinkled testicle... what’s that? It’s your face? Sorry Lord Sugar... ”

ON Vicious the performances and the audience laughter are perfectly matched. One is pure ham, the other is canned. Vicious certainly delivers stinging lines. “All that money and the nicest present she ever gave us was breaking her leg last Christmas,” bitched Freddie. Shame there’s not more of them.

*CAN Mary Portas save the High Street? Not unless she can drive down rents and rates, paint out yellow lines, and close down a few supermarkets.

*STELLA and Karl got engaged on Corrie. Bah, the only time I want to see that creep on one knee is when he’s been hit by a police Taser.

*ODD, The Village ended with more living in it than watching it.

WOAH! What’s this? Iron Maiden on the Queen Vic jukebox! There’s a turn-up. The song was ‘Run To The Hills’ – which is exactly what anyone sane would do if they washed up in Walford. I think ‘Charlotte The Harlot’ worked in Gilly’s massage parlour.

RANDOM irritations: Paul O’Grady – again with the dogs? Put some slap on and make us laugh you big soft lummox. Helen ‘Feckwit’ Flanagan. EastEnders trying to paint serial love rat Kat as a victim. The complete absence of decent storylines in soaps. The dreary voice-over on BBC4’s The Joy Of Country, and the way it ignored facts and sales figures to push its flawed ‘country is dead’ thesis.

SMALL Joys of TV: Diana Rigg, Game Of Thrones. Ed Byrne. The West (PBS). ‘Kiss my ass’ Kelly (BGT). Star Trek: The True Story. Alex’s Vulcan eyebrows (Apprentice).

THE best thing about Greggs: More Than Meats The Pie? Calendar girl Kay (Miss August) appetizingly adorned with Empire biscuits – definitely the cherry on top of the cake of crap that is Sky’s latest reality show. Manager Nicola’s Belgian buns looked tasty too. How did the photographer get through that shoot without a cream horn?

*MELVYN Bragg says he’d kill himself if he had dementia. Understandable, but would it work? “What are you doing with that razor blade, Melvyn?” “The what?” “The razor blade in your hand.” “Oh this? You know, I really don’t remember... ”

SEPARATED at birth: Adrien Brody from the King Kong movie and Alistair McGowan. One’s associated with a hideous make-believe monster... but enough about McGowan’s Louie Spence impressions.

DAVID Goldstrum, commentating on the Eurosport weight-lifting, announced: “Finland’s Anna Everi, a trained masseur; she’ll be hoping for more than 82 kilos in her snatch.” Well, a girl can dream.

May 5. It didn’t sound much cop, two old gay men trapped in a love-hate relationship bitching about the world. But Vicious delivered more sting than a nest of wasps carelessly agitated by a slow-moving streaker caked in strawberry jam. “Your mother looked well for someone who doesn’t have a heart beat,” Freddie told Stuart, whose unseen Mum is the first to know when anyone dies. “Is she getting the news direct from Satan?” he boomed.

The bitter odd couple are played by our finest theatrical knights. Ian McKellen is flamboyant ham actor Freddie, Derek Jacobi is former barman Stuart, still waiting for the right time to come out to mater. “It’s been 48 years!” moaned an exasperated Freddie. So Gandalf and Claudius! Proper stars in an orgy of put-downs – what’s not to like?

Well, the production is very stagey. Some of the laughs reside in the delivery rather than the writing – “I’ve been to Oxford”, “Yes, for lunch.” And two ageing queens bickering about milky cataracts in a dingy apartment can go from fabulous to tedious pretty quickly. Which is why there’s Frances de la Tour as ‘fag hag’ Violet and young neighbour Ash for them all to lust over...

It’s an old-fashioned show. It felt like Mr Humphries could have minced in from Are You Being Served at any minute, for Freddie to snipe “She could drop ten pounds by losing the blusher.” All of which works for me, but it’s hard to keep up with PC thinking on these vital matters. For decades we were told that Mr Humphries was an insulting caricature, yet now ITV, the gayest of all networks, has decided he’s funny again. Newsflash: He always was.

Not all gay men are flamboyant and shallow, but enough are to make him recognisable, as Rylan Clark would surely agree. There was a throw-away rape joke (is Frankie Boyle script consultant?). But in Vicious, most of the damage is friendly fire. With death in the air, Freddie moaned: “I don’t know which would be preferable at this point, if you woke up dead or I did.” Stuart waited a beat and then hissed: “I know which I’d prefer.” That was when I knew I wanted to see more.

BANSHEE bites like Iain Duncan Smith chomping on a fresh pair of balls. In the opening minutes a guy gets out of nick, shags a barmaid, escapes a shooting, survives a car chase and smashes up a hairdresser’s... What’s he going to do for an encore? Cage-fight Grant Mitchell? He’s a jewel thief, scouring the Pennsylvania town of Banshee, to find his ex-lover and accomplice Carrie. After a deadly bar brawl, he assumes the identity of new town sheriff Lucas Hood. There are mobsters, hit-men... It’s all a bit livelier than the Hairy Bikers.

*I’M so jaded about sex on TV these days that when he was banging the barmaid, I was debating whether her nipples were uneven enough to merit a Skype call to Dr Christian.

*GENUINE newspaper headline: ‘ageing comedy legend in new sex abuse quiz.’ It sounds like Celebrity Juice for wrinklies.

AIDEN rudely buggered his more successful wife on The Politician’s Husband. Normally MPs just do that to the country. Backstabbing is standard in politics, this was more brutal. Anal rape was Aiden’s revenge for Freya shafting him on Newsnight. Are political marriages really like this? Did Bill punish Hillary by breaking out whips and a gimp mask? If I were Yvette Cooper I’d want separate bedrooms.

HOT on TV: Dave Allen, God’s Own Comedian... Denise Harris (The Following)... Sons Of Anarchy finale (5USA).

ROT on TV: EastEnders – bring back the Luftwaffe... The Job Lot – The Office-lite, or more precisely shite... It’s Kevin – like someone reanimated Spike Milligan’s brain but drained all the wit and inspiration out of it.

THE Following was too long and too crazy. How many blood-thirsty disciples could one Edgar Allen Poe-quoting, red wine-guzzling, barking mad novelist realistically have? Joe Carroll had more deep plants than Alan Titchmarsh. The show ended with Carroll presumed dead, and Ryan and Claire stabbed – perhaps fatally, depending on wage negotiations for series two.

*IMAGINE a killer cult inspired by Jeffrey Archer. The followers would beat you to death with rolled-up copies of a faked c.v.

IF Corrie loses any more actors there won't be much point rebuilding the Rovers. Shame they can’t lose the current plots, though. They’re as appetising as lukewarm hot-pot. It’s hard to care about Trumpton reject Paul and Eileen, or the bookies with the miraculous over-night make-over. Tina and Gary? Bah. A girl this hot would be dating a Man City player. You’d find more life in Norris Cole’s y-fronts.

*NATALIE on Masterchef said she was “doing small little individual tarts” - a lot like Joey on EastEnders. He dumped Lauren last week. What a girl! If you could wring her out like a dishcloth there’d be enough booze in her to fill a Jacuzzi. Scheming stick insect Lucy is no better. Her body double’s a broom in a blonde wig.

*SHARON is knocking back pills and vodka now – but so would anyone lumbered with Phil. Their love is like his scowl: ugly and constant.

AN S&M hooker was giving a punter a good seeing-to on Defiance when a Hell-bug ripped out of his chest, killing him dead. You don’t get that with Madame Jezebel on The Sex Clinic... What a perfect death for a masochist, though: screaming in agony, in extreme pain, minutes from satisfaction.

*HOW can you avoid seeing Embarrassing Bodies by accident? I just put a towel over the bathroom mirror.

*THE right way to deal with The Wright Way? Axe it! Right away.

RANDOM irritations: India Fisher’s patronising voice (Masterchef). The BBC pretending only crusty reactionaries hated Dave Allen’s clever comedy. I once saw him at a left-wing rally where various posh po-faced twerps repeatedly interrupted his act. The same kind of nitwits denounced Carry On films as “sexist”. They were wrong about both.

TV questions: precisely how neat is Anita Rani’s Rani?

SMALL Joys of TV: fantastic sale items like the mirrored Vespa scooter and pencil tip sculptures on Four Rooms. Bradley Walsh on The Chase, cracking up at the suggestion the sound-hole on a violin might be an A-hole. Phil Spencer saying: “It’s amazing what you can find under an untamed bush.”

SEPARATED at birth: Sandi Toksvig and Peter Noone? One sang ‘A Must To Avoid’, the other one is...

SPORTS presenter Colin Murray was talking about a winning horse when he told a startled jockey: “Let’s talk about that fine thing that’s been between your legs today.”