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Oct 26. They were selling scented candles on The Apprentice. Anything to blot out the stench of bull... It was a remarkable episode for two reasons. Firstly because before the boot, Lindsay actually admitted she couldn't hack it rather than just blaming somebody else. And secondly we saw James blow-drying his armpits. Call me old-fashioned, but Chewbacca aside who would use a hair-dryer to dry their pits? Personally I only use scented candles.


It didn't take long for Sarah to get on everyone's wicks, this time by moaning that £25 a candle was too much. Yeah the same Sarah who'd tried to flog a bucket of bog-brushes for £250. Sugar stirred up the teams, transferring Felipe, Steven and Daniel to Tenacity; "the three weakest links," scoffed Sanjay, sealing Summit's karmic fate. Lyndsay, Bianca and ravishing Roisin joined Summit, with Roisin as project manager. Katie, voiced by Sarah Millican, led Tenacity. Choosing fragrances, Summit opted for "Beach Dreams" – the sweet smell of the English seaside... so presumably stale candyfloss, seagull crap and fire-damaged piers.


Tenacity choose lemongrass, green tea and aloe vera, all imported, which they bizarrely called British Breeze. I'd have pitched Fire & Brimstone. Perfect for Sugar. Can't you just picture the old goat soaking in a tub lined with hot, sulphurous pots? Probably pointing a gnarled finger at his ducks and snarling "I don't like quackers" before sinking them one by one. Or setting 'em alight, with a perfumed candle, and grunting "You're pyred"?


In this show missed opportunities matter as much as margins. One bulky hotel manager put in a bulk order for Summit's candles and diffusers. He looked like he'd have used them as hors d'oeuvres. Summit then dumbly sold his diffusers on the cheap, the mistake cost them the task. The format's main flaw is that being able to flog things off a stall doesn't necessarily make you a business brain. If Sugar wants barrow boys, why not use teams of market traders? If he wants innovators, think up smarter challenges. At the death, Roisin brought back cocky James and nice but ineffective Nurun to the boardroom, which meant Nurun was doomed. Shame but she'd have never come up with a product as hot as the Amstrad emailer.


HITLER was secretly addicted to crystal meth, according to C4. That's proper Breaking Bad. Hitler's Hidden Drug Habit had other shocks. For starters, the Fuhrer's sex organs showed "no indication of abnormality." So contrary to earlier theories, one testicle wasn't missing and in the Albert Hall. Still no word on whether Goebbels had no balls at all, though. Adolf had "mushy" dumps, bad breath and broke wind like Jim Royle on a curried egg diet... which must have made those last days in the bunker a real joy for Eva. There's your scented candle market, Apprentices – up the price and aim for nutty dictators. There are enough of them about.


*AS chaos reigned, Adolf guzzled cocaine, crank, vitamins, tranquillisers and bull's semen. Much like the MOBO awards after-show party... if you leave out the bull.


AMERICAN Horror Story serves up chills, mental illness, sleazy sex and mismatched misfits. It's like This Morning but slightly less scary. Fourth series, Freak Show, is set in a washed-up 1950s carnival run by Madame Elsa Mars, a low-rent German cabaret singer free with her sexual favours (Marlene Dirt-track?) who is as desperate for stardom as any X Factor wannabe. Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities includes a bearded lady and her son called "Lobster Boy" because of his abnormally large fused fingers. These make him a huge hit with the ladies at bedtime. Well, think of the shadow puppets. Elsa's latest recruit(s) is a two-headed woman – actually conjoined twins who murdered their mother. This literal double headliner could revive the carnival's fortunes; which is why Lobster Boy tops the cop who comes to nick them. The carnie folk think nothing of murder, or doping local girls with opium for sexual kicks. But there's a bigger menace on the loose... a killer clown called Twisty. You wouldn't have to be Renee Zellweger to want to change that face. He's the creepiest clown since Barroso.


*GUNPOWDER 5/11 used plot ringleader Thomas Winter's confession to re-tell the Guy Fawkes story. It was gripping stuff, urgent and fresh, although I wasn't happy with the way Fawkes was portrayed. We all know that Guy was a proper lightweight in shabby clothes, prone to flare up. And that his head was just a load of old newspapers stuffed in a mask.


HOT on TV: Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story (Fox)... Robin Lord Taylor, Gotham (C5)... Charlotte Riley, Peaky Blinders... Lauren Platt, X Factor.


ROT on TV: Stereo Kicks – monotonous divs... Give Out Girls – give up... You Can't Get The Staff – aristo-crap... BBC2's Sewing Bee – worse than so-so, who could possibly care?


BRIAN Cox asked the big question on Human Universe: Are We Alone? The answer? Maybe we are, maybe we aren't. Gee, thanks Smiler. To reach this logical but dull conclusion, Cox hopped from Easter Island to Peru via the USA and the Bahamas. I'm chuffed he's seeing the world, but there was nothing remotely new in this show, so why make it? Wouldn't you rather the BBC invested our dough in David Icke? Now there's a bloke who knows his aliens. Come on, Beeb, less random swimming pigs, more scheming humanoid reptiles.


*OF course aliens are aware of us. That's why they'll never come. They've seen EastEnders.


*ON Homeland Quinn got smashed and pulled his 19stone landlady. They call that Sesame Sex – Big Bird on top.


*THE Great Fire is set in 1666. They avoid 1665 like the plague.


SMALL Joys of TV: The Earl of Downton decking Bricker. New Big Bang Theory (E4). Cannibals on The Walking Dead, bringing new meaning to finger food. Elsa's belting if anachronistic version of Life On Mars (AHS: Freak Show).


RANDOM irritations: Brian Cox's simpering smugness. Those naff Newsnight trailers. Bad TV excused "for charity". 70s and 90s hits on X Factor's 80s Week. Dermot's dodgy dad-dancing.


SEPARATED at birth: ITV weather girl Manali Lukha and Balok... one a startled-looking creature in an eerily-lit control centre who turned out to be a puppet, the other is from Star Trek.


*MISTAKES on the Palladium: Rob Brydon said Mary Poppins was staged there. It wasn't, that was at the Prince Edward theatre. While Lennon made his famous "rattle your jewellery" remark at the Prince of Wales. But ITV's biggest Palladium mistake was ignoring our brilliant, home-grown variety stars.


*FORGET Jack Whitehall. They need someone really masculine and tough to front the next Feeling Nuts campaign. How about Ruth Badger?


*A BBC weather forecaster, discussing the wind, announced: "We could be touching gale in places." All together: lucky Gail.



Oct 19. On The Apprentice, Sarah tried to flog a bucket of bog brushes, gloves and sponges for the knock-down price of £250. "Reduced from £300," she lied shamelessly. If the woman doesn't land a job with Southeastern Trains after that there's no justice in the world. She'll get sod-all from Sugar, though. Some moan that Shugs is too grumpy, but can you blame him? He's after a partner with "business brains" and the Beeb have lumbered him with a camp social worker, a pub quiz promoter, a burlesque dancer, a hypnotherapist, a lawyer and a "fitness entrepreneur". Hardly the cream of Harvard.


Most of these puffed-up saps are as gutless as supermarket salmon. Robert, a 6ft 7 bow-tie wearing snob, spent so long choosing "edgy" guacamole and organic cheese to ruin the hot dogs his team were supposed to be selling they missed most of the lunch-time trade. The self-styled fashion expert then bottled out of project managing the wearable technology task because it wasn't posh enough. He crashed out quicker than a drunk in a bar-room brawl, taking his "arty-farty Shoreditch bollocks" with him, and no doubt moaning because he was leaving by taxi and not a chauffeur-driven Bentley.


Next out was "global strategist" Scott who billed himself as a cross between The Wolf Of Wall Street and Ghandi. Sadly the vision this conjured up of cons, cocaine, chutzpah and hookers followed by assassination never happened. That's more the CBeebies Christmas party.


Sugar must have felt like firing half of these deluded, drivel-spouting divs after the first task. The margin in the products he'd asked them to knock out was all in the t-shirts. Men's team, Summit didn't even pick theirs up, while the women sold theirs back to the printer for £60 (including a tenner for the hangers). They called themselves Decadence, without knowing what it meant, and then Tenacity. Lucky Bastards makes more sense. They only survived because the blokes spent most of their time running about like headless chickens in suits – much like politicians reacting to Ebola. No wonder Shugs looks increasingly like an angry prune. Why, if it wasn't for his handsome fee and the way BBC1 magically relocate his suburban operation to the shadows of the Shard he'd be out of this format like a shot.


*DANIEL said "There's no 'I' in team but there are five in individual brilliance." Yeah, and another five in irritating nitwit.


*RE wearable technology, how about a top that changes colour to indicate a woman's interest in you? They'd be no mistaking a red or green light. For amber, see Judy Finnigan.


GOTHAM is the Batman story before Batman, set just after the young Bruce Wayne sees his parents brutally gunned down by a mugger. It's more gritty graphic novel than kids' comic book. Gotham city is a dark, foreboding metropolis where good cops are losing the war on crime. Not a city for nice guys, as bad cop Harvey Bullock warns his new rookie partner, war hero and the future Commissioner James Gordon. Bullock prefers Gotham to be run in the interests of dodgy club owner Fish Mooney and mobster boss Carmine Falcone who grease palms and break necks at will. We also meet the lowlife who will become the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and the Riddler. For Two-Face see Nick Clegg. Some day young Bruce will become the dark knight and clean up this crime-infested hellhole. But not too soon, let's hope. Right now, Gotham has more legs than Hoverboy (ask a nerd).


*THE Penguin killed a man for his sandwich. Even Gregg Wallace ain't that hungry. It must have been love at first sight for Jo Brand.


*BRIAN Cox considers extra-terrestrial life this week. I for one would welcome an alien invasion. Next to Ebola, Isis and Janet Street-Porter, it'd classify as light relief.


IS ITV's Palladium show getting better? There's little evidence to back up the claim. This week they served up the Catwall Acrobats followed by the caterwauling Art Garfunkel, whose top register has gone for a Burton. Art needed that stage-hand with the ladder to reach the high notes on Sound Of Silence. How I wished he'd been Homeward Bound... Bradley Walsh was good of course, but the writers didn't give him much to play with. The audience loved Tarby, but his spot was lazier than a Corrie subplot. He didn't crack jokes so much as refresh the memory. Only Sarah Millican's material was weaker. Yes, she's likeable and down to earth but where are the gags? ITV's long-standing prejudice against variety comedians is hard to justify if Millican't and Jimeoin are their alternative. Someone like Lee Mack would bring fresh jokes and attack.


HOT on TV: Gotham (C5)... The Walking Dead (Fox)... The Knick (Sky Atlantic)... Game Of Arms (Dave)... Fleur East... Homeland... Peaky Blinders.


ROT on TV: Points Of View – a pathetic sop to viewers' understandable frustration... Judy Murray on Strictly – there are zombies on Walking Dead with more natural rhythm.


*THE BBC had a lame pop at Nigel Farage, but can you recall the last time Panorama investigated the widespread corruption, waste and iffy accounting at the heart of the European Union? Me neither. Interestingly the EU slipped the Beeb close on £20million in funding between 2007 and 2012. A cynic might suggest they've been bought off.


*THE Knick is olden days ER, with a drugged-up surgeon and an operating theatre that looks more like an abattoir. But it's still a damn sight safer than Stafford Hospital...


*LORD Grantham was furious that Bricker was back at Downton, fuming "Hasn't he seen what he came to see?" Judging by how the rascal looks at Cora, not yet! The Earl hates tiny teacher Miss Bunting too. Understandable. She turns up every week, eats his grub, kicks off and doesn't even bring a bottle. The freeloading madam. At least these days, the Bolsheviks swig Bollinger.


*GEORGE Harrison is the hottest woman on TOWIE. There's something in the way she moves...


*I'M not writing about the Corrie trial. If Tina's Mum couldn't be bothered to turn up and watch it, why should we?


*ROY went to Blackpool to scatter Hayley's ashes, but stormed off when someone mentioned a knacker's yard. Understandable. Hayley left hers in Amsterdam.


*THE Great Fire? Lukewarm.


*WONDERS Of The Moonson revealed that at its heaviest, more than three feet of rain can fall in one day. So think Skegness with sloth bears...


SMALL Joys Of TV: Jada Pinkett Smith as sultry villainess Fish Mooney (Gotham). Robbie Williams's dad Peter on the Buzzcocks; John Cooper Clarke claiming "I'm only here for the company." The Apprentice informing us "the girls secure a tasty deal on their bangers."


RANDOM Irritations: lightweight Saturday night shows that last longer than most great movies. Strictly judges singing. Drawn-out fake tension on dull shows – it doesn't make us care, it makes us angry (see also auction room heckling on Celebrity Antique Road Trip.)


SEPARATED at birth: Downton's Count Rostov and Leon Trotsky? Maybe Miss Bunting will find an even bolshier ally... Runners-up: PC Cheryldeen Liversidge from 24 Hours In Police Custody and the Bo Selecta Craig David...


*IF Fleur East got off with Kanye West would her votes go South?



Oct 12. Towie is all about pretty but dim orange people flirting and fighting. In their big Ibiza special, Lauren had it out with Lewis, while Dan had it out for Georgia. That's right, the big lug did a Brooks Newmark and sent Georgia a snap of his manhood which was variously described as "a salami" and "an elephant's trunk." He was "like a proud monkey going around showing off his banana," observed Lydia. Some banana! Apparently it's bigger than Arg's gut, Chloe's lips and Gemma's ego combined. How Dan's pregnant girlfriend, actress Jacqueline Jossa must have laughed...


Ibiza meant we got the usual old cobblers plus sunshine... and a glimpse of even older cobblers as Bobby, Gemma and Jess took in what looked like a gay pensioners' nudist beach. The producers had obviously decided the show needed a whiff of Noel's House Party, because everything about it screamed Crinkly Bottom. They can't be paying the cast much either cos Bobby couldn't afford any shorts – the poor bloke was forced to preserve his modesty in what appeared to be a child's glittery purse. It looked like he'd been short-changed as well.


Towie itself has jogged on from ITV2 and is now the mainstay of brand new channel ITV Be. You can make your own mind what the "B" is short for. And whether they'd fit in Bobby's purse. The target audience is people who are into glamour, love stories and heartbreak – women, in other words. We got the requisite tears on cue, with Lauren sobbing over Lewis, who'd cheated on her at international level ("I kissed a girl in Marbella... I slept with a girl in Dubai...") "Did you use protection," she asked, aghast. "Well I had a baseball bat in the room," he chortled before walking off saying "Who wants to sleep with a 40-year-old anyway?" What a gent.


Lewis then mugged her off by flirting with George Harrison. Blimey, he's changed, we thought. But no, it's some new blonde trollop. Danni was also blubbing, because Lockie had neglected her after her miscarriage (by going to work). There are two potential love triangles – Georgia, Dan and new stud Tommy Mallet, who may or may not be Timmy's dippier son. And Italian rapscallion Mario who is back sniffing around Chloe. Naturally her current beau Elliott is making him as welcome as a Liberian who's just swam ashore from HMS Ebola. I'm only watching in the hope that Elliott chins the big-headed git.


HUNDREDS complained about the EastEnders rape scene. But if rape is unsuitable in a family soap, what about the rest of it? Are they saying sexual assault is bad, but we don't mind a spot of murder and arson? The show is trying to shock its way out of decline by shoveling on the misery and recycling its most talked about plots. Result? Enders is all horror and no heart. It lacks believable characters who love, laugh and aspire for themselves and their kids. No-one's in a union, no-one goes to football or cracks jokes. They've upped the ante by having Dean up his auntie and in the process ruined the Square's only rounded family.


*IN that position, can we be sure Dean didn't actually force himself into what medical experts call "trap two"? And if so, will he fall back on the historic defence of "one up bum, no harm done?" (See the case of Hampton vs Khyber, 1873).


THE Bake Off final combined all the thrills of the Lib Dem conference with the heady excitement of Emily Bishop's undergarments. This series has been dubbed "controversial" because someone took a baked Alaska out of a freezer, and seven po-faced nitwits complained about innuendos... So now if your French stick fails to rise and you can't frost Mary's buns you'd be better off going on Embarrassing Bodies. For real controversy, book Bez next time. If Paul doesn't like the taste of his ingredients he could always smoke 'em.


HOT on TV: Tom Hardy (Peaky Blinders)... Charlotte Spencer (Glue)... Jimmy Carr (Palladium)... The Code (BBC4)... The Strain (Watch).


ROT on TV: Ladies Of London – capital punishment... Scrotal Recall – utter balls... Dermot O'Dreary (The X Factor) – I'm not saying he lacks presence but I saw an empty cab pull up once and he got out of it.


THE oddest thing about The X Factor's "judges' houses" wasn't the decisions, which were as crackpot as ever, but Sinitta's knees. They looked like they had little faces on them. Both seemed to wince when deluded Stevi Ritchie slaughtered I'm A Believer. His wretched karaoke performance made Cowell groan "What was that?", apparently forgetting that he was no better when he'd put him through at boot camp the week before. Bizarrely Stevi's eyes vanished as he sang. You could have blindfolded him with dental floss. If the bloke went to a freak show they'd let him in through the staff door.


*IMAGINE having little faces on your knees. You could never kneel down. It'd certainly cramp Tulisa's style.


*THEY studied an infected vampire corpse on The Strain and found that its heart had shriveled up and it had no genitals. So pretty much the same effect as marrying Katie Hopkins...


*ON Downton, Violet defended Lady Mary's honour by claiming she'd been in Liverpool for "a conference on land management." Well, Gillingham definitely left with a couple of acres.


*BBC4 re-ran The Secret Life Of Bob Monkhouse for about the ninth time, including the great man's last-ever performance in front of a room full of fashionable young comedians. "I'm not saying death isn't terrible," he told them. "The trouble is the next morning you're so bloody stiff." The standing ovation said it all. Two questions: if the Beeb now love Bob so much why don't they repeat his two blistering On The Spot series? And which idiot director lit his last-ever show so badly?


BRIAN Cox's Human Universe tried and failed to answer the big questions: Why are we here? He doesn't know. Are we alone? No clues yet. Who are we? Baboons apparently, though Coxy isn't qualified to say. He's an astrophysicist not an anthropologist. At least Brian got a good holiday out of it, popping up in Russia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Tanzania (all on "uz"). Well you could hardly make a doc about human IQ in the Brentwood Sugar Hut.


*GREGG Wallace says the "stress" of Strictly drove him to therapy; watching him didn't make me feel too good either. (Get Judy out!)


*JIMMY Carr: "We've got the winner of last year's Voice in the theatre this evening; she's in the foyer selling choc ices."


SMALL Joys Of TV: Jake Wood's salsa. John Lydon on Loose Women. Justified, Sky Box-Sets. Tommy Tiernan. Transparent (Amazon Prime). Jimi Hendrix Night. Ed Stafford (Marooned).


RANDOM Irritations: 8 Out Of 10 Cats on a Monday night – they were cracking jokes about stories that were eight to ten days old. Cry-baby Cheryl's indecision and Louis's wrong decisions (X Factor).


SEPARATED at birth: Stevi Richie and ALF – one a loveable comedy alien... and so's the other one.


**ITV have reinvented New Faces and Upstairs Downstairs, rebooted quiz shows and had a go at variety. If only they'd remember why The Sweeney, Fox and Minder worked so well... And how about The Comedians? Blue collar comics still exist. We just don't see them.



Oct 5. Brummie gangsters the Peaky Blinders are back and expanding their criminal empire with disastrous consequences. The swaggering Shelby brothers hit a 1920s London jazz club run by Sicilian gangsters and kicked off like Liam Gallagher. Jazz has that effect on me too. It was by far the scariest thing seen on a British dance floor since Anne Widdecombe’s salsa.


Unfortunately the London-Italians’ return visit to Small Heath left top dog Thomas Shelby more battered than a deep-fried Mars bar. The pay-back scene was the worst advertisement for amateur dentistry this side of Marathon Man. Tom clocked gang-leader Darby Sabini. “Take that name out of his mouth,” the crime boss ordered as his henchman ran a cut-throat around the inside of Tom’s cheeks. Ouch. If it hadn’t been for secret policeman Major Campbell he’d be as dead as Brooks Newmark’s career.


Ulsterman Campbell believes that Shelby has been destined for the end of the rope since birth. He’s probably right, but they won’t dampen our enjoyment of this excellent BBC series (and how often do you see those words written down in that order?)


The Shelbys are Great War veterans descended from Irish tinkers. Their determination to get rich quick would turn Gordon Gekko green. Tom’s master plan is to team up with the capital’s Jewish gangs against the Eyeties. But back then London, as sister-in-law Esme warned, was “all trouble and smoke.” So nothing much has changed... except for the ethnic backgrounds of the trouble-makers. This is quality drama of the sort the Yanks do so well, and we’ve neglected since the BBC sold its soul to melodrama and ITV decreed that male drama was too difficult to get right.


It’s a family saga too, with Tom as the brains, Arthur as the unhinged muscle and John as potential rebel. Peaky Blinders is our Boardwalk Empire – stylish, superbly shot, and a few iffy accents aside, just as superbly cast. Cillian Murphy sparkles as blue-eyed Tom, Helen McCrory impresses as clever aunt Polly. Not quite sure why the Beeb think period drama needs a modern soundtrack. But few fans of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey will complain.


LUSTY Lady Mary sent maid Anna to buy her an old-fashioned Dutch cap contraceptive on Downton Abbey. The poor woman is so unworldly it’s a miracle she didn’t come back with a bottle top from Holland & Barrett. Anna bolted from the chemists without the instructions, stoking hopes that Mary might end up wearing the antique device on her head at a jaunty angle. She’s certainly game, which is dangerous to admit in posh circles - somebody might shoot her. Her lover Tom Gillingham is an obvious cad. That’s Gillingham with a hard ‘G’ and an even harder... job explaining himself if Lord Grumpy finds out what they got up to. The Earl will be furious - but only because diaphragms are so confoundedly modern. At least with good old-fashioned pig bladder condoms you could always eat the evidence. The posh pair are canoodling in Liverpool. So odds are he’ll get to take her up the Kop as well.


AS newly-weds Phil and Sharon arrived at the Vic on EastEnders, a heart-broken Shirley aimed a handgun out of the upstairs window. She had two bullets, two clear targets, and a face that would turn milk sour (so no change there). And like a million other viewers I was shouting at the screen: “No, Shirl, NO! Think, woman. This is madness... two bullets ain’t nearly enough. You need an Uzi.” She could have taken out all of the deadwood in one go - Alex, Charlie, Fatboy, Aunt Sal, Dexter, Roxy, Abi, Cora... dead, dead, dead. Not the sort of shots normally enjoyed at a wedding but it wouldn’t half have cheered me up. In the end only Phil got shot. Even Ian groaned “Not again!” But why think of new ideas when you can recycle old ones? It works for ITV...


*A HUGE ‘P’ and ‘S’ were on the wall at the reception in memory of how Phil spent most of the noughties – pissed and shocking.


HOT on TV: Peaky Blinders... 24 Hours In Police Custody... Forever (Sky1)... Nikki Runeckles (Bad Education)... new Blacklist (Sky Living).


ROT on TV: Made In Dagenham – died at Palladium... Cheryl (X Factor) – she’s about as decisive as Mavis Wilton... Richard E. Grant (Downton) – a preposterous chump, and his character isn’t much better.


HAVE I Got News For You has lost its bite and its charm. Like tax discs and Lib Dem MPs the show is yesterday. Its satire is muted, its stars underperform and guest hosts lost their appeal years ago. Mainstream politicians are largely interchangeable and most have the financial nous of Tesco. This show should be tearing them apart, but how can the Beeb challenge the establishment when they’re part of it?


*ON The X Factor, Tulisa emerged from the Atlantic Ocean like some exotic sea creature. Possibly a blow fish. She joined Louis in Bermuda. Screeching pilchards Blonde Electric were there too. “We’ve got nowhere to go from here,” claimed one irritant. Really? Try home. “Get down, girl, go head,” they squawked. Hey Tulisa, they’re playing your song.


*WAS last weekend’s audience chanting “seat-seat-seat” or “cheat-cheat-cheat”?


*IS your brain male or female, asked Horizon. Here’s how to check – if your favourite shows involve baking or ballroom dancing, if Jo Brand makes you laugh, if you say you “hate sexism” but keep banging on about David Gandy in his pants, you sure as hell aren’t Ray Winstone.


*I’M loving The Driver, but the writing stretches credulity. A minicab driver who showers? That doesn’t happen in Lewisham.


*STALLS confirmed for the next Weatherfield fete: guess Eileen’s weight (to nearest ton), guess the number of pills Kylie is on today, guess why the writers forgot “illiterate” Tim could read well enough to contact Faye via Facebook...


SMALL Joys Of TV: Pixie Lott’s gusset-skimming miniskirt (Strictly). Luton CID’s celebratory motto “squeeze the cock of justice” – also a Gene Hunt chat-up line. Raign (surname: O’Terror) on X Factor. Mel B. Peggy’s wedding message (EastEnders) – even if the writers did forget she made her piece with Sharon yonks ago.


RANDOM Irritations: X Factor’s Six Chairs ‘fix factor’ fiasco. It’s either completely bent or Louis and Cheryl just can’t judge (or both). Dumbed-down BBC science. The Palladium’s Lionel Richie lookalikes, only one of them might have half-worked... in a dimly-lit coal mine.


SEPARATED at birth: Gregg Wallace and sinister Mr Gristle from the Boxtrolls, one a black-hearted, cheese-loving git... the other a character from an animated comedy film.


*AFTER Cilla, will ITV give Ken Dodd’s life-story a make-over? I’m serious. Only the Beatles sold more singles in the 60s than Doddy. His Tears was the third best-selling hit of the decade. Ken out-stripped the Who, the Kinks and even the Stones. He’s still tattyfilarious. Well, tatty at any rate.


CAROLINE Flack might have been talking about her Strictly partner’s charisma when she said: “When I met the dancers, there was something about Pasha that stood out... I gave a squeal of excitement.” They then danced to Can You Feel It... Bit old for you, love, i’n’e?









Garry Bushell