Oct 30. Lee Thompson from Madness had his saxophone nicked from
a TV studio when the band performed on The Xtra Factor on Sunday.
Lee is appealing to mates and fans to help find it. He’s
had it for years and is utterly gutted. Lee’s sax is a
Selmer Silver Mark VI, serial number M108370. If you have any
info please email the great man via email@example.com
Oct 28. ALICE Roberts, Britain’s sexiest scientist, brought
us three nights of Prehistoric Autopsy last week. It was deeply
unsettling. In show one, she unveiled a reconstructed Neanderthal
man who looked the dead spit of Justin Lee Collins. Previous
reconstructions had put Neanderthals much closer to John Inverdale...
The stone-aged JLC was based on a 70,000-year-old skeleton.
But he and his kind were much more than mere ape-men. They used
tools, made art, and went hunting with sharpened rocks. “It
must have taken great bravery to take on something the size
of a mammoth time and time again,” said co-presenter George
McGavin. As any of Lisa Riley’s ex-boyfriends could tell you...
Our genetic cousins were long-haired and ginger with protruding
brows and skinny willies. Hang about, how did BBC2’s experts
know that? They didn’t, of course, but if they’d given their
model a mighty great chopper no-one would have talked about
anything else. It was fascinating, even if theories, like the
claim early humans mated with Neanderthals, were presented as
fact. (Tsk, only in The Valleys... ) We might have learnt more
about Neanderthal culture if they’d hired an archaeologist rather
than McGavin, an expert on insects and crabs.
Pausing to consider Homo Erectus, who wasn’t particularly,
Alice ended up reconstructing our 3.5million-year-old aunt ‘Lucy’.
She was tiny, a kind of proto-human monkey-girl with large hands,
a hairy face, a tiny brain and shrivelled breasts... whose descendents
can be seen most days on Jeremy Kyle. Primitive man invented
the wheel to get away from women like her. Women like Alice
Roberts are rarer, and her evolutionary assets are worth serious
scientific consideration. Homo Robertus has pleasing features,
a mighty mind, and fulsome mammary glands (not cheap sexism,
this is anthropology, pal). In genetic terms she is almost perfect.
Her only defect is a puzzling inability to pronounce words properly.
In Alice’s peculiar accent, now is “neow” and ground is “greound.”
By studying other humanoids we know that prolonged exposure
to this verbal tick would drive a potential mate completely
“reound” the bend.
*BOFFINS synthesised Neanderthal speech in the lab. How long
after filming stopped did it take for someone to make him say
*MORE amazing facts about Neanderthal Man – he spoke, he bartered,
he did the Gangnam dance...
*THE BBC couldn’t have made this show while that creep Savile
was alive. If he’d seen old bones laid out on a table, he’d
have jumped them.
*SEEN on Homeland: the George Bush Centre For Intelligence.
Wow. That’s up there with ‘Oldham Athletic’, ethical politician
or ‘BBC Trust’...
*SOME good news at last for the Beeb: Halloween sales for
Jimmy Savile masks are through the roof.
* UNRELIABLE X Factor Facts: 1) District 3 took their name
from sci-fi film District 9 and are precisely one third as creepy.
2) Louis Walsh is a satanic mastermind who pretends to like
Rylan solely to make our lives hell. 3) Christopher’s tan? Dulux
Volcanic Splash. 4) Punch ‘MK1’ into your SatNav and it actually
replies: “Hello losers.”
THE Crime Thriller Awards were criminally concealed on ITV3,
but hosted well by Bradley Walsh. Brad made out he was miffed
that Law & Order UK got no nominations. I actually was miffed
that Braquo didn’t. Missing awards included Top Naked Dominatrix:
Lara Pulver, Looniest Detective: Luther, Grumpiest Tec since
Taggart: Vera... Sherlock cleaned up, but is it really as bold
and different as everyone thinks? Isn’t Sherlock just The Mentalist
spiced up with Doctor Who’s verbal diarrhoea?
*HOUSE was Holmes in a hospital. Monk was Holmes with OCD.
Now there’s Elementary which is Holmes in Manhattan. Jonny Lee
Miller sparkles as the recovering drug-addict genius. Daddy
wanted him to go to rehab, he said “No, no, no.” Instead he’s
a consultant with the NYPD; with Lucy Liu as his slightly bored
looking Watson. Cumberpatch has the edge, but Miller may have
better stories. TV is big enough for both of them.
*HOW about a tight-fisted moneylender who solves murders?
GIRLS is as charmless as a Damien Hirst statue; it’s caustic
and sharp, but utterly depressing. Who are we supposed to like
here? Listless spoilt brats cope with life and bad sex in recession-blitzed
Brooklyn... the heart bleeds. Maybe you have to be a whining
rich-kid who thinks the world owes you a living to get it. Sex
& The City minus the camp and the warmth (and the smugness).
HOT on TV: Chas & Dave: Last Orders (BBC4)... Hatfields &
McCoys (C5)... new Fringe (Sky1)... Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary)
ROT on TV: George Entwistle – there’s more life in John Entwistle...
Switch (ITV2) – ditch... House Of Lies... Brazil with Michael
Palin – Brazil nuts; I love Palin, but why are we paying for
NEW telly pin-up Oliver Queen sounds like he should be a judge
on Strictly. He’s actually the hero of Arrow. Based loosely
on Mort Weisinger’s Green Arrow, playboy Oliver is shipwrecked
on a desert island and comes back as Batman with a bow for good,
clean, escapist fun.
*MY guide to top British comic book creations TV should make
more of: 1, Dan Dare. 2, Jenny Sparks. 3, Halo Jones. 4, Alan
Moore’s John Constantine. 5, Neil Gaiman’s Dream. 6, Viz’s late,
lamented Bushell the Bear (cough).
*WHEN a continuity announcer says, “Next it’s Homes Under
The Hammer” does your heart sink when you realise it’s not Eamonn?”
* PIPPA Middleton’s new book includes the recipe for Royal
Pudding. It starts: ‘First inherit one egg... ’
SMALL Joys of TV: A Wolf Called Storm. Richard E. Grant’s
Hotel Secrets. The Crime Thriller Awards having three of The
Bill washing up and waiting tables. Len Goodman telling Jerry
Hall “Downstairs you’re quite neat and tidy” (unlike Ann Widdecombe
who must look like she’s got Brian Blessed in a headlock).
SEPARATED at birth: Brazilian cowboy meeting Michael Palin,
and an evil elf from Second Life?
RANDOM irritations: Claudia ‘Squinting’ Winkleman. The line-up
for the Royal Variety Show: 90 per cent music plus David Walliams
and a comic who didn’t work the last time he was on. Where’s
the variety? Where are the entertainers?
*LEXI’s prospects were bad on EastEnders, but at least now
her violent alcoholic, recovering crack-head ex-con grandad
Phil looks set to adopt her.
*FIDEL Castro is still alive, but he can’t live forever. He’s
no Bruce Forsyth.
*BRUCIE had to take time off; the Strictly band keeps being
drowned-out by the creaking of his joints.
*BRUCE takes a break and suddenly we have Prehistoric Autopsy.
*TV maths: David Essex + DLT = Russell Crow as Noah.
GREAT goof from June, talking about a rival’s fishing rod
on Come Dine With Me: “I felt a little bit violated by Cyril’s
rod tonight to be honest.”
GOOD to see all those light entertainment faces on Pointless
Celebrities last night. Would it hurt to give Cannon & Ball
a Christmas show this year? They couldn’t do any worse than
last year’s ‘specials’.
Oct 21. Debbie Dingle gave birth on all fours while screaming
the house down on Emmerdale Live... which, by coincidence, is
exactly how she got pregnant in the first place. See also Gennie
bouncing on the settee and moaning like a wounded bison.
Guests stood around Gen chanting “Get it out!” which could
have caused all kinds of problems down the Woolpack. Drunken
Paddy tried to call her an ambulance, but rang the speaking
clock instead: “At the third stroke, it will be legs at 4.40...
Emmerdale’s live episode out-classed EastEnders’ 2010 effort
hands down, which on balance was a crying shame. Few recall
the plot on the live Enders show, but we can all remember Scott
Maslen losing it. “You’ve helped the flack from the plack, Bradley,”
the great thespian yelped. Eh? It was the like the good old
bad old days of Amy Turtle on Crossroads (ask your nan).
’Dale fans hoping for something really bold - a live plane
crash, field-ploughing, Kathy Bates stepping out of the shower
Dallas style - were disappointed. But ITV did deliver two weddings
and a murder as well as the two births. For a moment I thought
Katie was a goner. Mean Megan shoved Katie’s face into her own
wedding cake, and her eyes glazed over. (Sorry). But it was
dirty no-good, blackmailer Carl King who copped it. The weasel
had it coming. Carl told Chas he’d killed his own Dad. She told
him: “I can taste you in my mouth and it’s making me feel sick”
- which makes you wonder what exactly was going on during the
Chas smashed him over the head with a rubber brick, and then
Cam finished him off with the same lethal prop. I’m not sure
what Amos Brearly would make of it all. Some of us are old enough
to remember when most Emmerdale men-folk, and some of the women,
had mutton chop whiskers. Back then, the show had ‘Farm’ in
its title. These days, their only crops are shock and disaster
in heavy rotation. The soap has become Yorkshire’s answer to
Sodom and Gomorrah, with dairy fields given over to lying, cheating
and sexual intrigue. Drive down the country lanes here and the
only sign you’ll spot is ‘Pick Your Own Bastard’. No wonder
Zak Dingle blew his beard-dye budget on booze.
*THE title Emmerdale Live brought Springwatch Live to mind.
They’re two very different entities. One is renowned for its
great tits... and for the rest of this appalling gag, see the
*POOR Katie. What bride wants her face all white and sticky
at her wedding breakfast? That’s for the honeymoon.
R.I.P. Downton Abbey rebel Lady Sybil who died in a medically
dubious plot twist last weekend, leaving her family as crushed
as Jimmy Savile’s gravestone. If Fellowes can do her in, no-one
is safe. So here are my runners and riders in the Downton Death
3-1: The Earl. Shunned by grieving Cora, he finds solace with
Ethel the fallen woman, and perishes from an unmentionable disease.
(Carson: “Might I have a word, m’lord?” Earl: “What is it now,
Carson?” Carson: “Syphilis m’lord, please stop chewing the carpet.”)
10-1: Dowager Duchess. Martha Levinson’s brothers Joe Pesci
and Robert De Niro aren’t impressed by Violet’s snobbery and
introduce her to a ‘Chicago typewriter.’ Her last words are
“How frightfully common.”
60-1: Strallan. Edith catches the cad in bed with Thomas,
finding out exactly why he’s called the footman. Unable to cope
with the humiliation, she batters both to death with a highly-polished
100-1: All of ’em. O’Brien discovers evil Vera’s recipe for
poisoned pie and serves it to the family before running away
to join the Bolsheviks. Now, that’s what I call a bake off...
ITV bosses are heading back to the future faster than Michael
J Fox on double-time. It’s understandable. Red Or Black was
the priciest flop in broadcasting history. Other new ideas –
The Door, Sing If You Can – stank like a fishmonger’s bin. So
they’re recycling old hits instead. After Mr & Mrs. there’s
Surprise Surprise, Catchphrase and Play Your Cards Right to
come. Celebrity Squares would make sense too (celebs are cheap
and plentiful these days; some are even recognisable). And 3-2-1,
with its clues as indecipherable as anything Bletchley ever
decoded, was always popular. The one thing ITV won’t consider
reviving is variety. Presumably creating a vehicle for highly-skilled
professional entertainers who are good at what they do is against
everything these clowns hold dear.
HOT on TV: Fearless Felix Baumgartner... new Walking Dead
(FX)... Homeland... Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On).
ROT on TV: Hunted – Mission Unwatchable... Spy – O-O-Dear...
Louis Walsh – I love what he brings to X Factor: punch-ability...
SEAN Lock got worked up about things the US can have back:
Trick Or Treat, the phrase “can I get” to mean “can I have”,
the Easter Bunny... I’d throw in the Kardashians, ‘fanny-packs’,
‘candy’ meaning sweets, and ‘bathroom’ for toilet – a room which
frequently has no bath in it. Although we can’t get too sniffy
about Americanisms when in terms of drama and comedy output
they’ve been kicking our, ahem, asses for decades.
*BBC1’s latest wet sitcom Me & Mrs Jones goes out straight
after Have I Got News For You. And so do I...
*THINGS that keep me awake at night: what if Scotland breaks
away and we still get Andrew Marr?
*TULISA called Melanie Masson a MILF. Ridiculous. Jade is
the MILF. Mel’s actually a RPLOCOC: ‘Robert Plant Lookalike
Over-qualified for this Contrived Old Cobblers.’
JANET Street-P’aw’er, Liz Kershaw and Sandi Toksvig all claim
they were victims of foul sexism at the BBC. The culprits should
be named, shamed and made to hand over their ten-foot barge
*BRUNO was talking about Colin Salmon’s height on Strictly
when he gushed: “You’ve got plenty of length to work with.”
Well, so it’s said...
SMALL Joys of TV: Gloria (Modern Family). Miss Diane from
Crossroads on Corrie. Angel Coulby. Hebburn. Horrible old git
Mr. Morris (Friday Night Dinner). Crazy-eyed Carrie on Homeland
– when she orgasms her eye-balls must spin like a Vegas fruit-machine.
(Insert your own ‘hold the plums’ reference here).
NO-neck Lucy Ewing reminded John Ross of his teenage drinking
on Dallas: “You were half-past gone on the floor.”
SEPARATED at birth: Graham Linehan and Lotney ‘Sloth’ Fratelli
from Goonies; one a weird potato-headed abomination, the other
a film character.
RANDOM irritations: BBC apologists trying to play down Savile,
the worst celebrity scandal in living memory. 8 Out Of Ten Cats
on a Monday. Bloated, bum-numbing Saturday night formats. EastEnders
– all the gritty reality of the unicorn preservation society.
QUESTIONS: Has Cheryl Cole taken to wearing that gold panto-style
costume because her career’s behind her? Are these loopholes
for millionaires we hear about connected to the wormholes on
*THOUGHT: If Charlize Theron can fall for Modern Family’s
Eric Stonestreet, there is hope for all of us.
Oct 14. WE’VE learnt a lot from TV antiques shows. We’ve learnt
that jugs are best in pairs, that knobs can be “magical”. And
that “traditional Pooh is always very collectible” (probably
a reference to Winnie, but you never know... ) Arthur Negus
once told a fat bloke with a porcelain ornament: “I’ve just
checked your bottom and noticed an unsightly crack” which tickled
me for weeks.
Yet the greatest joy of antiques TV is the suffering – when
some greedy git from Smugton-on-Sea has to keep smiling through
gritted teeth when told his priceless family heirloom would
fetch about two bob at a car-boot sale. One generation’s junk
is another generation’s cash in the attic, of course; but a
lot of it is just junk. Most Antiques Road Trip “finds” are
as much use as a rain-damaged brolly... An old biscuit tin,
a broken cello, an ancient chest filled with clapped-out tools.
Yeah, thanks guys.
At least the Antiques Roadshow unearthed genuine curiosities
– like that cast iron spittoon shaped like a turtle. Imagine
going on Dragons’ Den with that. “What? You lift up its shell
and gob in it? Get out of here!” They’d fry you alive. Yet sit
on it for a century and it's worth thousands, which is what
I intend to do with my patented portable pelican pouch urinal.
Some fans stopped watching Roadshow when Michael Aspel left
- Mike was so old that whenever he turned up at an auction people
tried to bid on him. But it still delivers surprises: an old
clock left in a wardrobe for 15 years, £3K; a stoneware tree-effect
garden chair, as comfy as the average Bushtucker trial, £4K...
And it proves my rule of thumb that anything hard to dust is
almost certainly an antique.
Our generation are lucky. The Victorians loved stuffing anything
that moved. They also liked taxidermy. But how many of the things
that we hold dear will end up as collectibles? Fast-forward
to Antiques Roadshow, 2097: “These gems made up the actual vajazzle
as worn by Chloe Sims of TOWIE, later Queen Chloe the First
for the duration of her brief marriage to King Harry the Flasher...
*GIVEN TV’s fascination with crime, it surely won’t be long
before the Antique Fencing Show gets commissioned. “This is
a lovely ring, has it been in your family long?” “Oh, about
25 minutes, but it’s still on the original finger... ”
SUE Ellen’s lips used to have more quiver than Green Arrow.
They moved in more directions than spilt soup in a space shuttle.
Her gob’s not as mobile as it was, but Swellin’ still manages
to mangle the language on Dallas. A problem is a “prarlm”, disgusts
is “disgersts” and it’s easy to see why someone “shart” JR with
a gern. The old devil was in Vegas to ruin Cliff Barnes’s day
(and perhaps sublet his eyebrows as roller-coasters), so Swellin’
had to rescue their hot-headed dwarf-son John Ross by charming
truck magnate Harris Ryland. Randy Ryland has the hots for Bobby’s
wife Ann too – so what will start pumping first, him or the
oil well? Bobby is quick on the quip these days. He called John
Ross “all hat, no cattle” and observed “an eye for an eye just
makes both people blind.” Not that it stopped him from chinning
Harris... The youngsters get the screen-time but the oldies
steal this show.
*DALLAS was developed by Cynthia Cidre. Unlike Emmerdale which
is clearly written on shed-loads of cider.
LOVING Downton, but isn’t Lady Mary a bit dull now that she’s
not topping Turks with her killer clunge? And surely there’s
more chance of catching Dowager Countess Violet in a yard of
ale contest than of these awfully-awfully aristos putting up
with Branson? The Earl should have Carson drop Mrs. Hughes’s
new-fangled electric toaster in the upstart’s bath. And then
send the tall footman to batter the granny out of the gormless
Strallan for jilting poor Edith. No surprise that he got Cold
Feet... Come on Fellowes, fast-forward to the General Strike,
free Bates, and have the Earl start knocking off Ethel. All
a bit livelier than Edith writing a newspaper column, what?
HOT on TV: The Great Train Robbery... Moone Boy (Sky1)...
Ella (X Factor)... Modern Family (Sky1)
ROT on TV: Friday Night Dinner – indigestible... Hunted –
shunt it... DCI Banks – Tompkinson looks constipated... Rylan
– TV’s lamest-ever advert for undeserved fame... Me & Mrs Jones
– got nothing going on.
THE prospective new Leeds FC boss reckons the team are “like
Pamela Anderson.” On the Sports Tonight Fan Zone, Cockney Rejects
singer Jeff Turner quipped that his team, West Ham, were more
like Jackie Stallone: “Nothing up-front, wide in the middle,
and very loose at the back.”
WAS it odd that so many contenders for Jewish Mum Of The Year
were divorced or separated? Having watched them, no - those
poor schmucks must be still running for cover. The unedited
version of this must have been better: “Again with the cameras?”
*THE Plane Crash was a great advert - for British Rail. I’d
have enjoyed it more if the crash test dummies had all been
painted to look like Jimmy Savile. *THE safest place to be in
a plane crash? In the khazi, joining the Mile High Club. (Not
true but spread the rumour, we might as well die happy).
*ALL the first class passengers died. Welcome to Lenin Air.
SMALL Joys of TV: Bradley Walsh (The Chaser). Alan Carr. Billie
Faiers’s smile. Deirdre Barlow’s anguished cry of “Wendy Flamin’
SEPARATED at birth: Sharon Osbourne and boss vampire Rosalyn
Harris on True Blood - one ancient evil dressed up as respectability,
the other some dumb vampire.
RANDOM TV proposals: Question Time – Tourette’s Special, finally
echoing the words we’re shouting at home. Celebrity Plane Crash
(not to be confused with Hotel GB; that was a celebrity car-crash).
RANDOM irritations: The BBC being a haven for tax dodgers
and child-molesters, Lord Reith would be so proud. Louis Walsh,
Fix Factor. Darcy on Strictly, enough with the “yahs”, okay,
yah? Bruno banging on about Sid Owen’s “erection”, not so much
a goof as wishful thinking.
DAVID Cameron’s story is inspirational. It shows how one man
can start at the top and stay there.
OCT 7. HOTEL GB coincided with the release of new animated
film Hotel Transylvania. It’s easy to tell them apart. One’s
dull, time-wasting nonsense full of tired two-dimensional characters,
the other’s a cartoon...
Hotel GB was a proper Frankenstein’s Munter of a show; a bastardised
hybrid of Hell’s Kitchen and Jamie’s Dream School, mashed up
with Celebrity Apprentice. Channel 4’s line-up of alleged talent
included Gok Wan behind the bar, iron-jawed Mary Portas as general
manager, Kim Woodburn as general man-eater and one-trick Gordon
Ramsay as head chef. “I’ll spot bullshit a mile away,” Ramsay
claimed, although he clearly didn’t get a whiff when he signed
up for this shower of it.
Dr Christian was in the gym, cast adrift from his natural
purpose in life, which is to show us exhibitionists with wandering
nipples and withered genitals on Skype. Property expert Phil
Spencer experienced post-charisma meltdown as a spectacularly
useless maitre d’. While Jimmy Carr arrived on day two, not
to tell jokes but to oversee a dog fashion show where a pooch
pooped on the floor – be still my aching sides. Next time, try
giraffes. Then I’d laugh.
VIP guests included Jackie Collins visiting us from the 1970s,
David Gest (at least Paris Hilton would have made sense), and
Hilary Devey who may have come runner-up in dog fashion. Only
cleaner Kim was value for money, straddling Christian like a
refugee from a McGill postcard and telling Jimmy Carr “I would
take you for a gay but I know you’re not.” Of course not! He’s
actually a ventriloquist’s dummy given a semblance of life by
The resulting mess was so tedious, C4 should set up a victims’
fund for anyone who endured it. Two kids got jobs at the end
– that’s the public service remit covered. But how many more
jobs would have been created if C4 had invested the show’s huge
budget in making something worth watching?
What is the point of C4 anyway? At least in the days of Brookside
and The Word it had a reason to exist. But it’s been a mighty
long time since it commissioned anything as hard-hitting as
GBH or Brass Eye - or created stars as inspired as Ali G. Without
Big Brother, it’s all sniggering prurience, property prattle
and gypsy weddings.
Where were the tinkers by the way? At least ‘Travellers’ Lodge’
might have had a bit of grabbing. This was the first hotel where
the vacancies were all in the heads of the nitwits who commissioned
*HOTEL GB missed the obvious celebrity booking. Where the
hell was Lenny Henry?
I’M backing Denise Van Outen to win the glitter-ball trophy,
of course, but not even Iveta’s legs can tempt me to suffer
another series of Strictly. Here are seven good reasons not
to watch: 1) Brucie’s tired old schtick 2) The lame panel banter
3) Appalling decisions (like the time they eliminated Ali Bastian
and Brian Fortuna, easily the year’s top dancers). 4) Tess Daly’s
gushing. 5) Dances that rarely relate to the music. 6) The show
having more padding than Hannibal Lecter’s cell. 7) Dancers
who can’t dance – as much use as actors who can’t act, singers
who can’t sing and comedians who aren’t funny; which is pretty
much what passes for entertainment on TV these days.
*Denise got three 6s and a 7 on Friday – for some Essex girls,
that’s a slow night out...
TOWIE is back, which came as a big surprise to those of us
who hadn’t realise it had ever ended. Like a herpes sore, the
series keeps returning, even though it’s given us nothing decent
since the vajazzle. ‘Coffee cup reading?’ Give me a break. Even
these orange morons wouldn’t buy that. It’s easier to believe
that cocky Mario will stay faithful. Or that large Arg’s life
was really changed by a One Direction song. Although I understand
he always requests ‘More Than This’ in his local pie shop. Who
are we supposed to like here anyway? Gobby nuisance Gemma, spoilt
rich-kid Kirk? Gertcha. The show is rudderless without Mark
Wright. Bring back Nana Pat!
HOT on TV: the Ryder Cup come-back... new Modern Family (Sky1)...
Jenna-Louise Coleman... The Middle (Sky1)
ROT on TV: Hotel GB – Hotel Badly-Done... Red Dwarf – abort
mission ... The Valleys – wallies... House Of Lies – if we want
an unpleasant bunch of self-absorbed, self-serving bastards,
we’ll watch Westminster Live.
IS Rylan Clark really worthy of TV exposure? The wretched
X Factor wannabe rolled on the floor and sobbed into a pillow
after Nicole put him through to the live shows, even though
he can’t sing. Are we meant to be amused by this limp nitwit?
Compare and contrast with the young men featured in C5’s Heroes
Of The Skies and tell me this country isn’t going down the gurgler.
*LOUIS took the groups to Las Vegas last weekend to show them
where one day they could all proudly perform... as waiters,
croupiers and bar staff.
*DUNCAN Bannatyne had a heart scare. This was shocking. Who
knew he had a heart? It wasn’t anything serious; just palpitations
brought on by accidentally catching Hilary Devey out of make-up.
(Dunc had his dying words all planned, though: “I’m out.”)
*THE BBC has dropped all shows featuring Jimmy Savile. They
also shut some stable doors after the horses bolted.
*THE Story Of Wales: starts boldly with Owen Glendower, ends
tragically with the shame of The Valleys.
*THE first sign that Autumn’s here – Bruce Forsyth’s gag-writers
have gone into hibernation.
KEN Barlow and Wendy Crozier? Gee thanks, Corrie. In the ‘things
no-one wants to think about’ stakes, that’s right up there with
Jimmy Savile naked and Lembit Opik’s orgasm face. Imagine Ken’s
love nest. Instead of silk sheets and bearskin rugs, every inch
of the bedroom would be covered with non-slip bathmats.
*DAVID Walliams tried to hang himself. I felt like that after
sitting through six episodes of Little Britain USA.
*PHIL Schofield asked Des O’Connor what song he would chose
to duet on with his wife Jodi. How about ‘Dick-A-Dum-Dum’?
*IMAGINE being a Dad at 80. Whenever Des and Jodi go shopping
they have to look for a Mother & Dodderer parking space.
RANDOM irritations: the BBC covering up for sicko Savile.
Mrs Biggs rewriting history. Domestic products asking us to
‘like’ them on twitter. Celebs who charge to appear at charity
events. Citizen Khan getting a second series. Why? Paddy McGuinness,
Take Me Out: ITV’s challenge to snipers.
SMALL Joys of TV: Carson singing (Downton). ELO Night (BBC4).
Victor Spinetti (Magical Mystery Tour). Eyebrow twins J.R. Ewing
and the Grinch - JR’s the Grinch that stole Southfork.
*WAS that some kind of alien on Merlin last night? Bizarre,
but still easier to believe in than that black knight and the
6th century waxed chests... Even the dragon said “I’m not buying
*DOCTOR Who is fifty next year. Any chance it could start
SEPARATED at birth: Nigella and Russell Brand? One a saucy
minx with exotic tastes, famous for over-indulging; the other
Oct 2. Eric Hobsbawn’s death upset the BBC as much as it did
the Guardian. He was a brilliant historian, as the first three
books in his ‘Age Of’ series proves. Unfortunately he was also
a long-time apologist for Stalin’s crimes. Should this matter?
Yes, actually. Hobsbawn’s hatred of capitalism blinded him completely
to the evil of Iron Curtain communism. He’d believed all his
life that the Soviet Union represented a golden dawn for humankind.
He stood by it when Stalin was murdering his own people by the
million; he stood by it when Russian tanks rolled into Hungary
and Czechoslovakia. He stood by it when it executed dissidents
and stamped an iron heel around the globe... In fact, Hobsbawn
once said that that the deaths of millions would have been “justified”
if Communism had worked. His ‘radical socialism’, praised last
night by the BBC, was actually an unashamed ideological endorsement
of mass murder and tyranny. The end, you see, justifies the
means. Except it didn’t. The end was an illusion, a beautiful
dream that could never be - because Lenin falsified Marx as
much as Uncle Joe falsified Lenin. Even after the Soviet system
collapsed, Hobsbawn clung to the belief that capitalism’s demise
would soon follow. Ironically, the great historian, like his
fan club on the public pay-roll, never learnt the true lesson
of 20th century history. Not even when Stalin wrote it in blood.