BUSHELL ON THE BOX
Nov 30. How posh are you? Put it this way... If your butler runs your bath, if your colostomy bag is Gucci or if your kid's piggy bank has its own ATM machine you probably qualify.
You might even appear in Posh People: Inside Tatler, a series devoted to honking Hooray Henrys, sozzled Sloanes and braying toffs.
They're either Britain's "most eligible, most bed-able... " or a bloody good reason to invite Madame Guillotine out of retirement - you decide.
This strange tribe has its own rituals, including hunting, polo and side-saddle horse-riding, which comes, we were told, "from an era when it was unbecoming for a woman to have her legs apart."
Though that never seemed to stop Downton's Lady Mary...
It's a world fuelled by sex, money and narcotics.
According to Tatler magazine, cocaine is "a proper old town drug", while their slang guide offers various terms for shagging including "ware hole", "hold hard" and "whipper-in".
Or was that the fox-hunting?
All most of them appear to do for a living is inherit.
Sophia Money-Coutts (honestly) explained the differences between old town and old country types and minted aspiring newcomers from Russia and Nigeria.
To be honest, most of the people featured seemed likeable, particularly the 10th Earl of Glasgow and Tatler editor Kate Reardon who was pretty "fruity", to use their lingo.
They haven't found any jumped-up David Mellor-style twits yet, although the magazine's dozy style editor did manage a patronising trip to Poundland – life's not such a jolly jape on a tight budget, love.
Modern TV tends to humanise the rich and demonise the poor.
Working class people and benefit claimants are portrayed as thickos, scroungers or victims, while toffs get an easy ride – probably because most programme-makers are equally la-di-da.
The idea that they're a dying tribe preserved through the aspic of TV is suspect, though. Some aristos may struggle to pay their staff but Bullingdon boys still run/ruin the country.
They're not my kind of people. If I won the Lottery last night, you wouldn't find me sipping sloe gin with Placenta Fitzroy-Clunge at the Chelsea Jam Tree any time soon. But they're part of life's rich tapestry, more entertaining than the tedious middle class puritans who foam at the mouth about them.
Wouldn't it be a dull world if we were all the same?
IT WAS Torture Kendra week on I'm A Celebrity, which was a bit like pulling the wings off a foul-mouthed butterfly. Frustrating as surely we'd rather see Edwina Currie nose-deep in mealworms or downing crocodile egg cocktails with a side order of salmonella?
Currie copped a mouthful from Kendra, but not in the John Major sense. It was the highlight of an under-par week.
Edwina craves confrontation because she knows it means headlines, and the former bunny-girl obliged by effing and blinding like a chief whip with a cob on.
Gob aside, she's beautiful but weak, performing pathetically in every trial. Even using just her tongue, Kendra failed to get the required result – words I never thought I'd write.
Elsewhere Michael Buerk is looking so skinny you wouldn't be surprised if Ethiopia sent food parcels.
Jake had a crafty piss, unlike the show producers who took one by booking him. Bring on Steve Brookstein!
Edwina will surely be first out. And there is no logical reason why Nadia is even there. Jimmy should win this; he'd find fun stuck in a lift.
MOANING that C4 distorts reality is like complaining Black Friday is a bit commercialised. Distortion is the nature of the beast.
The second instalment of It Was All Right In The 70s (Lily)-savaged the era for portraying gay men as camp.
So unlike these enlightened times full of butch-as-Xmas Alan Carr, Louie Spence, Antony Cotton, Gok Wan and the Sugar Dandies...
Gay US fans revived the reputation of loveable and harmless sitcom Are You Being Served?, after it was banned here by po-faced PC bores.
Odd that C4 can be infuriated by Mr Humphries while happily overlooking last year's Vicious which claimed one female character was "too ugly to rape."
HOT on TV: Trine Dyrholm, The Legacy (Sky Arts)... Nicolas Dalby, Cage Warriors... Gotham (C5)... The Walking Dead (Fox).
ROT on TV: Nadia Forde – useless, get flirting or get lost... Louis Walsh – as much use as the Bob Geldof guide to hair-brushing.
GIANT George Bell and "indestructible woman" Brianna are the real-life stars of Freakshow.
The LA outfit has extreme circus acts, a hairy wolf-man, a two-headed lizard and a three-headed dog (or was that the Sugababes?)
Imagine a Walford version: sword-swallowing Kathy, pinhead Phil, bearded lady Tiff, pygmy Peggy... pwoper fweaks!
Then there's Alfie the fire-cheater, Ben the amazing face-changer, and Deano Wicks, the wild man of Horn-io.
For a two-faced snake, see Aunt Babe.
*JANE can't forgive Ian for shagging Rainie for money. Has she forgotten she shagged Grant Mitchell for free?
*ON Strictly Craig told Jake Wood "Your bottom went off like a jack-hammer, darling", which must explain why Darcy's nose is permanently in the air.
*BBC1 subtitles spelt Barrack Obama "Erica Barrow" and "Iraq Obama." The weatherman predicted "sunshine north of the mullahs" into December – no doubt followed by an icy Jihadi.
*ON Corrie, Steve's doctor asked if he ever felt "down, depressed or hopeless" failing to add "cos there's a writing job going on EastEnders."
*JAMES was fired from The Apprentice, shame – I wanted to see Claude & co tear the cocky berk apart before he got the boot. Brace yourself, Daniel...
*SKINT charts life for Grimsby's long-term unemployed without once mentioning the reason behind the town's decline – the EU's Common Fisheries Policy. Odd.
SMALL Joys of TV: The Simpsons' Clockwork Orange parody. Jimmy Bullard. Doc Brown. Mod legend Eddie 'Acid Jazz' Piller playing a cop on Toast Of London. Carrie's psychotic breakdown on Homeland and Brody's slight return.
RANDOM irritations: pointless CBB-style twists on I'm A Celeb. Edwina's attention-seeking, sub-Partridge yell of "Melllll!" Skint's patronising voice-over. The gaping hole at the heart of BBC1's Xmas schedules where the laughs should be.
SEPARATED at birth: Craig Charles and fat Ronaldo? One's gone to pot... the other preferred crack.
WITHOUT comment: Suzy Perry was talking about Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when she said:
"There's Nicole kissing Lewis's helmet, I'm not sure he felt it."
See today's Daily Star Sunday for a chance to win a signed copy of Al Murray's new Pub Landlord DVD, One Man One Guv'nor.
Nov 23. Gemma Collins quit the ITV jungle, presumably because there was no spa and Domino's wouldn't deliver. A shame. It means we'll miss our chance to torture the lardy nightmare. You're hungry? Eat a wallaby's whanger! You don't like the shower? Try a downpour of rotting fish guts.
No campmate was ever more deserving of a cockroach enema than Gemma. Self-centred and lazy, all she did was moan, bang on about her bowel movements and claim to have contracted malaria.
Two days of being cooped up with the hefty Essex heifer was enough to drain the joy out of Craig Charles. It also stole camera time from more entertaining campmates (everyone else). Jimmy Bullard was hilarious in the Tunnel Of Terror, giving an East End running commentary on the trial that included him saying "Easy, son" to a water dragon and "Sorry, son" to a crab he stepped on.
"Aargh, what's that?" he yelped. "Jesus Christ! Come on Jimmy! All right, all right! You bastard! Happy days... "
Some of the castings are nuts. Nadia introduced herself as "an Irish TV personality" – so why would we know her?
Kendra is from the Playboy mansion, but unless you watch the E! Channel you wouldn't recognise her. Besides, how do you scare a woman who's seen 88-year-old Hugh Hefner naked?
You can't tell me her parachute arrival was the first terrifying jump she's experienced.
Better bookings are cool and fearless Carl 'Foggy' Fogarty, wise and peerless Michael Buerk, and the ever-lovely Vicki 'Yvette' Michelle.
Mel Sykes has already proved she has more guts than jumpy Jimmy while as ITV2's Rob Beckett pointed out Tinchy Stryder moves like a Thunderbirds puppet. He jerks about as if he's on strings.
Good old Craig Charles tried to lift spirits in the Celebrity Slammer until Gemma's negativity overwhelmed him.
Sadly Craig left after a family bereavement. His prediction that the jungle will be "like Glastonbury without the music" seems optimistic.
It's more like Carry On Abroad without a bar and with a new panto villainess, Evil Edwina Currie replacing Collins (is her own tunnel of terror still open for business?)
Hey ITV, She's Not A Celebrity – Leave Her Out There!
*MEL Sykes quote of the week: "I deboned the wallaby and let the boys do a bit of stirring." Blimey. Well I suppose it beats cooking...
*JAKE Quickenden has replaced Craig Charles. How does that work? Was Wagner unavailable? If some bloke who lost a TV talent show is a 'celebrity' the term is more devalued than the Indian Rupee. Jake keeps referring to himself as an "X Factor finalist" – the final hasn't happened yet! How will he cope out there without mirrors?
*IS it too much to hope Edwina's first trial will involve being buried in a pit filled slowly with the bright yellow fluorescent "malaria" poo Gemma was so proud of?
CHANNEL 4 savaged 1970s TV, targeting brilliant Benny Hill and The Professionals for "sexism" and non-PC attitudes. Po-faced media gits were wheeled on to agree that the past was appalling and telly is so much better now. The specific complaints were about beauty contests, rape jokes and "dirty old men."
How very different from modern TV. These days we see naked women mostly on crime show mortuary slabs. On Homeland, it was dirty old woman Carrie who'd been "f***ing a child" (a teenager).
While Mock The Week suggested a follow-up to Snog Marry Avoid called Stalk Rape Murder. They also broadcast this unlikely weather forecast: "Why not head down to the beach you might see some tits?"
Apparently none of C4's smug talking-heads have noticed Keith Lemon.
Or Frankie Boyle mocking the disabled, or Jack Whitehall suggesting Subo "loves it in the arse" on, er, Channel 4.
To underline the hypocrisy, Matt Lucas narrates. That's Matt from woman-hating Little Britain, a show famous for its charmless incontinent old lady and Ting-Tong...
*BILL Oddie tut-tutted at older men fancying sixth form girls on Doctor At Large, while failing to mention he co-wrote the series.
*THE 1970s UK Shows We've Never Bettered: The Sweeney, Minder, Porridge, Fawlty Towers, The Benny Hill Show, Steptoe & Son (Britain's greatest ever sitcom; it started in the 60s but ran till 1974), Fox, The Comedians, Rising Damp...
MEL B's reputation for fearless honesty is looking as solid as Cheryl's good name for live singing after last weekend's X Factor shenanigans.
Consider the evidence. The previous week she informed Stevi Ritchie "You can't sing!" Last Saturday she told him "I just don't get it."
24 hours later she saved Stevi over Jay, who clearly can sing.
How does that work? Unless the whole thing is more rigged than Hornblower's HMS Hotspur...
HOT on TV: Mel Sykes... Homeland... Lilyhammer (Netflix)... Karl Howman (EastEnders)... Myleene Klass (The Agenda).
ROT on TV: Gemma Collins – all the charm of a blocked dunny... Puppy Love – dog's dinner... Atlantis – sink it... Sue Perkins – I don't mind us paying for her to go to Cambodia, but why the return flight?
IT'S a strange world when Charles Manson can find someone to marry him but BBC1 can't book a decent comedian for Live At The Apollo.
Sarah Millican hosted the first show, regaling us with lines like "I love my mam so much she makes me sh*t."
Tastes change of course, but it's hardly Marti Caine, let alone Dorothy Parker.
Russell Kane slagged off dated English stereotypes and called for sex education in kindergarten. It was like being harangued by the Guardian.
Is this really the best we've got?
*ON The Apprentice, Mark "put a firm pole in the ground" and got shot of Lauren. Not the sort of firm pole she reportedly enjoyed with James.
Pretty woman but if her bedroom chat is as dull as her pitch, you wouldn't need Nytol.
*CONFESSIONS Of A Copper? Not a patch on Carry On Constable.
SMALL Joys of the Jungle: Ant & Dec. Carl Fogarty's trouser snake. The zip-wire ride into camp. Dec starting the Terror Tavern trial by saying: "So Kendra, you're getting a large portion." (Wishful thinking?) Kendra informing us "I like cock, not roach."
RANDOM irritations: dreary Big Band week on X Factor. Chronic over-use of the word "iconic". Those Strictly judges, if they were any hammier they'd be banned from the Bermondsey Square Hotel.
SEPARATED at birth: Hull City's Steve Bruce and Jay Leno? One associated with a lame bunch of jokers, the other a US TV star.
Nov 16. The distant rumblings heard during The Mekong River With Sue Perkins were probably just Alan Whicker spinning in his grave. But noises punctuating Micky Flanagan's Detour De France were more likely to be the great man's mortal remains spontaneously combusting.
This Sky One series is the ropiest celebrity travelogue yet.
It's lazy and shallow, as informative as a Joey Essex guide to quantum mechanics, and worst of all only occasionally funny.
I don't begrudge the likeable Cockney chancer getting paid to go on a champagne-guzzling jolly-up, but make an effort, mate.
They've even nicked the title from a book by Michael Simpkins. That compared Edith Piaf's voice to "someone gargling with wood preservative... " – which is funnier than anything Micky's said so far.
Sue Perkins, loved apparently for her peerless ability to shout "Bake!" in a variety of silly accents, at least tried to give us some insights into everyday life in Vietnam and Cambodia.
We saw her work half-heartedly in a paddy field, fish and flog noodles from a boat on the dirty brown Mekong, which she bizarrely called "south east Asia's version of the M25" (try driving in Manila!).
Sue joked she got the job cos Michael Palin was busy, but the Python was amiable and charming, while Perkins has all the warmth of an Inuit's outside bog in a blizzard.
By her own admission, she's patronizing, she prattles, and at one stage confessed "I have absolutely no idea what's going on." So why not use someone who does?
Alan Whicker never patronised. He probed. He knew his stuff, and kept his back to the camera – it wasn't about him.
His asides were subtly satirical. And he charmed his way around the globe, bagging world-class exclusives with the likes of Haitian dictator Papa Doc. Whicker wrote beautifully too, noting sadly that the ruins of Florence "looked like a beautiful woman with her teeth knocked out."
We could approach travel shows with wit, research and insight again, or just make do with "this'll do" Mick and Sue. I know which I'd choose.
*CELEB travel shows I'd like to see. 1) Sailing The Somali Sea with Louie Spence. 2) Janet Street-Porter's walking tour of the Serengeti.
3) Michael McIntyre's North Korea – to see if they think he looks like Kim Jong-un too...
*WAS this the first time Sue Perkins has got taken up the Mekong? Answers on a postcard to Keith Lemon.
*PERKINS covered Pol Pot's genocide without once mentioning his politics. Three million Cambodians – a quarter of the population – were slaughtered in the name of a sick, Maoist perversion of Marxism. Why are the woolly old Beeb so shy about telling us that?
THERE were heart-breaking stories on How Rich Are You? Few won't have been moved by the plight of poor Benjamin Slade.
"I can't afford jets, I haven't got a racehorse," Baronet Ben complained. "So things are a bit rough at the moment."
I know the feeling, pal; I've had to sell my yacht. And that was an authentic Dinky.
It wasn't all glum though. Sir Ben's home, Maunsel House, set in 2,000 acres of grounds, has been in his family since 1772, so at least the mortgage must be paid off.
Richard Bacon tried to explain how capitalism works.
He'd have done that better by sacking half the production crew, replacing them with Romanians on two-bob salaries and putting the runners on zero hours contracts.
The show was loaded to make viewers fume. But you don't have to be Russell Brand to despise the status quo.
We used to manufacture stuff – ships, cars, steel. Wasn't that preferable to a system where fortunes are trousered by bent traders and bankers get bonuses for failure?
IT was board-game design week on The Apprentice. Less Scrabble, more Squabble.
Pamela Uddin, whose name really should rhyme with pudding, ignored the market research to opt for The Relationship Guru.
Daniel wrote the questions, presumably because Dapper Laughs wasn't available. Sample: 'Women dislike which food the most – pizza, carrots or chicken salad?'... What a ker-planker.
*MARK insisted "I'd like to give Pamela a go." Really? Lauren and Roisin do it for me but each to their own.
*TIFF Stevenson on James: "He's like a puppy, at the beginning it's cute, now it's 'Oh, he's sh*t all over the carpet again!'"
HOT on TV: Ripper Street (Amazon Prime)... Robin Lord Taylor, Gotham... Elementary (Sky Living)
ROT on TV: Children In Need – of better entertainment...Babylon – badly done... C5's Saturday – seven ruddy hours of Xmas-themed films in November.
HOT not on TV: The Backhanders, the spirit of Manchester reborn.
*ON Downton Abbey, Carson warned that drunken Miss Denker might be "taken away by the men in white coats." Nobody said that until the 1960s!
Other out-of-time phrases used on the show include "big girl's blouse", "shafted", "steep learning curve", "As if" and "Beam me up, Scotty."
*WHY the fuss about an imposter on The X Factor? The judging panel is full of 'em.
*LEE Nelson sparked fury by crashing the Stereo Kicks performance. He didn't bring tear gas...
*FUNNY, we can land a probe on a comet millions of miles away but we still can't land a decent female comic on Have I Got New For You.
*KAT to Stacey: "What are you looking so miserable for?" Duh! She's on EastEnders.
SMALL Joys of TV: Sandra's bling (Gogglebox). Tiff Stevenson. John Nettles as a poacher (Toast Of London). Toast calling Calendar Girls: "a bunch of middle-aged tarts hiding their tits behind flower pots."
RANDOM irritations: X Factor judges who can't make decisions. Strictly songs with no relevance to the dances. Sue Perkins using kilometres rather than miles – why? We're not bloody French.
SEPARATED at birth: Judy Murray and Beavis from Beavis & Butthead? One a preposterous nitwit with a fixed grin, and by a remarkable coincidence...
TV Maths. The Hood from Stingray + Ken Campbell = Downton's Lord Sinderby.
Let's hope Phil Spencer was talking about an industrial chimney on Secret Agent Down Under when he said: "I'm hoping this unsightly erection won't mean any hopes of a happy house go up in smoke."
Nov 9. What is it about Downton's Lady Mary that gets all the toffs drooling? Seriously, what excites her snooty suitors so?
Is it her coldness, her selfishness or just her complete lack of feeling for anyone else?
Po-faced Mary appears to have all the erotic charge of a spinster's prayer book. The woman's as stiff as a duke's upper lip.
Yet Pamuk the Turk perished in her bed, she made Matthew rise again and left Gillingham swooning. Smarmy Blake is next in line.
She must be something really shocking under the sheets. Like a KKK Klavern...
Some write off Downton Abbey as cosy Tory propaganda. I'm not sure why. The aristocrats are mostly hopeless or loathsome.
The Earl is a blundering curmudgeon, his kids are a nightmare. While Lord Merton's upper class twit of a son is a raging anti-Semite with the social skills of an orang-utan.
After putting Isobel down for being too middle class to marry his Dad, despicable snob Larry turned on the Crawleys, sneering: "in this family you already claim a chauffeur and soon you will boast a Jew."
It's a wonder he didn't then rip off his starched collar to reveal a top with the slogan 'This is what a proper posh bastard looks like.'
If Larry had known that Lady Edith has had a kid out of wedlock and that Mary's more slapper than flapper, his stuffed shirt might have exploded.
No wonder class war is rearing its head below stairs.
Daisy the maid – I forget her surname, possibly Scargill – sounded off about the limpness of Ramsay MacDonald's 1924 Labour government.
"We're trapped in a system that gives us no value and no freedom," she moaned, accurately.
Hey Daisy, if you think MacDonald is two-bob, be thankful you won't live long enough to see Miliband.
To her, "F*** the Establishment" is a slogan, to Mary it's a way of life.
Back then, the upper crust really knew how to screw, I guess; whereas our current ruling class only seem to screw up...
Elsewhere, the Green murder inquiry endlessly festers and dying Isis is bringing more sadness to Downton. Look at the poor thing, we cried. It's old, flabby, and clearly sickening for something.
But I reckon ITV will string it out for at least two more series.
LAST weekend's TV served up Droopy Dog lookalike Stevi Ritchie murdering Phantom Of The Opera and a tennis player's mum walking about a bit.
"You deliver what's expected from you," Bruno told Judy Murray. "Nothing." Unfair! She delivers that fixed rictus grin week in week out.
Judy is like John Sargent on Lord Falconer's diet. Nice woman, but as graceful as a Cyberman, if stiffer and less fun.
Strictly and X Factor both combine abysmal performances with more padding than Broadmoor's top security cells.
On ITV, Cheryl F-Z proved once again that she is just a pretty face, by part-miming a pre-recorded performance.
BBC1 brought us Alison Hammond on a trapeze. Dressed in white, the former Big Brother loser looked disturbingly like a dancing Alp.
But she can rumba and tango. Her swing is strong, and in fairness it needed to be to take the weight.
Strictly used to be called Come Dancing; Alison looks like she's been on five series of Come Dine With Me.
When opportunity knocked for her, she was disappointed it wasn't the pizza delivery boy.
*LOUIE Walsh had two nuts in his neck for Halloween. Insert your own Tulisa joke here.
*ONE poor sod had a fit watching Cheryl perform. Me too. A giggling one.
ON Doctor Who, The Master is now a Missy – see what you've started Kellie Maloney?
In a nice touch the dead were being resurrected as Cybermen. Good news at last for Cannon and Ball.
It was a decent end to a frustrating series. Capaldi is potentially a great doctor, but you suspect that Malcolm Tucker's take on the writing would fill a swear box on the Planet of Giants.
Kill The Moon, the episode where our moon was reinvented as a giant egg, was more Mighty Bosh than credible sci-fi.
It's time for show-runner Steven 'The Moff' Moffat to flutter off and take the Doc's sonic screwdriver/magic wand with him.
HOT on TV: The Great War – An Elegy... Peaky Blinders finale... Matt Berry... Dara O'Briain... Michelle Gomez, Doctor Who... Michael Chiklis, AHS: Freakshow (Fox).
ROT on TV: Masterchef: The Professionals – over-cooked... Jake's X Factor rendition of Bleeding Love – bleedin' racket... lightweight Newsnight – it needs heavyweight presenters, bring on Nick Ferrari!
JEMMA Bird lost her perch on The Apprentice, but not before providing one of the funniest quotes of the series. Discussing Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Jemma said: "It seems to me Henry wanted to move on."
Move on? He had her head cut off! What's Jem's take on Cromwell? That he was just a bit allergic to crowns?
*THE Passing Bells was cliché-ridden with dire dialogue and duff music. The budget would have been better spent on exposing the way politicians turn a blind eye to our injured ex-servicemen.
Too many are homeless, jobless and forgotten.
*WHY don't the Beeb re-screen and update their 1983 Paras series? Wouldn't you love to know what became of them?
*BRIAN Cox's Human Universe fizzled out like a damp catherine wheel. "What next for the apes who went into space?" he asked.
Good question! Are we still evolving? Will we "terraform" and colonise new worlds? Will we travel vast distances via wormholes? Sadly Coxy never said.
*WE could watch Masterchef: The Professionals three times a week for 21 episodes, but on balance isn't it slightly more tempting to walk a tightrope between two Chicago towers blindfolded in a strong gale?
*GEMMA Collins in the jungle? They're gonna need bigger hammocks.
*THEY had a man with two faces on American Horror Story. Or to use the proper medical name, Politician Syndrome.
SMALL Joys of TV: Gold-sprayed Andrea Faustini with his red devil dancers – crazy enough for Eurovision. Missy – Mary Poppins gone bad. Alex Jones telling Jimmy Carr: "My sister shaved my Girls' World"; apparently a styling head, but we can dream...
RANDOM irritations: Comedians who think they're politicians; anyone who takes them seriously. Witless nitwits on panel shows. The BBC pushing English regionalisation. Louis Walsh's limited supply of recycled clichés – get a bloody scriptwriter!
SEPARATED at birth: James Randi and Gimli from Lord Of The Rings. One a hairy, magical dwarf who makes a formidable opponent... and so is the other one.
JEREMY Vine was talking about slicing vegetables on Eggheads when he asked Judith Keppel:
"Have you ever done it lengthways?"
You bet she has! And sideways, I shouldn't wonder...
Nov 2. THEY dressed up for a Halloween party on EastEnders.
Ronnie was a red devil, Fat-boy was Scream, Mick Carter was Franken-Geezer... And Billy had a knife through his head, although in this place that's not so much a costume as a premonition.
I thought someone had come as Lucy Beale but it was just a skeleton on the pub wall.
None were anywhere near as terrifying as actual Albert Square residents, like Lucas the killer preacher or Dr May, the deranged child-abducting GP. Not to mention Big Mo Harris on heat, a prospect that would make Freddy Krueger's blood run cold.
How do you frighten Walford folk? They have more killers per square yard here than you'd find on death row. Phil, Stacey, Ben, Ronnie, Janine, the scriptwriters - they've all got away with murder.
Nick Cotton even tried to top Dot, his dear old Ma, twice. Panto Nick was hanging around the Square all week like the stench of blocked drains; a hood in a hoodie. He was on good form, growling at Donna: "Where's Snow White and the six other six gold-diggers?" To prove he's still a bad egg he stubbed his fag out in a Swiss Roll, a scene that will have reduced you to tears ... if you were Mary Berry.
The plot seems as confused as Honey Mitchell on Mastermind. Why is Charlie still pretending to be an undercover cop? Everyone knows Phil hates the Filth, even though he married a real one.
Phil proposed a toast to "Ronnie's latest geezer and another disastrous failed joke of a marriage." This might have had more impact if Philth hadn't had his share of failed joke weddings himself, including one to Nadia, a Romanian bag-lady, and a near miss with psycho-solicitor Stella, his actual corpse bride.
A Groundhog Day vibe is driving the soap these days, with the same old story-lines and characters recycled, but faster in the hope that we don't ask awkward questions, like: Why didn't Charlie just tell Dot Nick was still alive? Wouldn't he have checked the money before handing it to his dad?
And why does no-one ask his mum Yvonne: "What are you doing here, Mrs. Doyle?" Feck!
*LAUREN looked hot as Catwoman. No wonder the Dark Knight rises. Her stalker turned out to be Abi playing pranks but what if she'd whipped off that mask to reveal Cora Cross? The horror! The horror! Cora doesn't need to dress up. To terrify people she just takes off her make-up.
* YOU want scary? Wait till Lauren s pumpkin dries out and it starts to look like Aunt Sal.
WE saw The Flash on TV this week, though mercifully not from Brooks Newmark. It's not as gritty as Gotham, but this new import is good clean comic book fun. The Flash is so madly fast he makes Usain Bolt look like he's sleepwalking through treacle. Sort of Insane Bolt.
And though I'm prepared to accept that a mix of lightning, chemicals and a particle accelerator could possibly transform you into a superhero, where does he get the energy?
To move so quickly for so long The Flash would have to scoff Tom Kerridge's entire pub grub classics menu and all of Gregg Wallace s favourite desserts every day. Or as Gemma Collins calls it, breakfast.
*WITH three US superhero shows on the go, and Constantine still to come, why doesn't British TV mine our comic books? They weren't all war stories and Roy Of The Rovers. British comics gave us Dan Dare (pilot of the future), Captain Britain, Spring-heeled Jack, the invulnerable Tim Kelly, Jack O Justice and The Steel Claw. Not to mention Dick Barton and Nemesis the Warlock. We should adapt this wealth of fantasy before the Yanks do.
*ANYONE remember Deadman, the ghost of a murder victim who took over other people's bodies to seek justice? Surely with that power, you'd be tempted to take over Mark Wright just as he was slipping into Michelle Keegan?
IT'S all coming on top for the Peaky Blinders. This week the cops and criminals caught the Midlands gang in a particularly bloody pincer movement.
Alfie Solomons called the Passover goat "Tommy" Shelby before cutting its throat and framing Mad Arthur for the murder of his own pal.
Yet despite his brother and his cousin getting nicked, Aunt Polly having to submit to Campbell's lust and Sabini's mob killing two Peakies, Tommy still found time to go off shagging Grace. (Well she was Jane Seymour.) That's what I'd call playing a Blinder, son.
So what next? Historians know the Shelbys can't beat Sabini, but given the writer's peaky blunders - like claiming the British fought at the battle of Verdun - mundane facts might not have any bearing on the way the series ends.
HOT on TV: Boardwalk Empire finale... The Missing... 24 Hours In A&E... Clive Owen, The Knick (Sky At)... Alice Roberts brains, beauty, baffling pronunciation.
ROT on TV: Evan Davis - weak and wet... Tess Daly -burbling bird-brain... Citizen Khan - still a comedy Khan't... Waterloo Road - bring back Angus Deayton (you too, Have I Got News For You).
SHOCK news on Downton: the old dog is sick, possibly pregnant or diseased. But enough about Lady Mary... Mary s more wrapped up in herself than a champion contortionist. On hearing that sister Edith's lover Gregson was dead, she snorted "She hasn't laid eyes on him for years," before discussing her new hairstyle. All heart, these aristos. She'll either end up in PR or the Gestapo.
*TOP Violet quote: "All this endless thinking, it's so over-rated."
*DON'T you feel for the Towie blokes? If only there was some way they could find out what their hard-to-please women really want from them. Say, for example a TV show where they constantly spill their hearts out that they could just turn on and watch. Frustrating, innit?
SMALL Joys of TV: Angela Bassett as three-boobed Desiree Dupree on Freak Show titillating. Goth at the BBC. Arrow (Sky1). Life Is Toff. The original TV Flash John Wesley Shipp playing the new one's dad.
RANDOM irritations: voice-over twerps saying shows contain "strong language and adult comedy" when you mean infantile jokes with lots of swearing. Stevi not even being the worst useless wannabe left on X Factor.
SEPARATED at birth: the Danio advert biker puppet and John Prescott? One a cloth-brained buffoon who can barely speak, the other a puppet.
CRAIG Revel Horrid on Strictly told Thom: "Your rhythm is very good and you're quite marvellous at grinding." Let's hope he was talking about his dancing...