BUSHELL ON THE BOX
*This is an edited version of my TV column. The real thing, plus contests, goofs, lookalike pictures and more, can be found each Sunday only in the Daily Star Sunday.
Oct 29. DEATH looked inescapable for the Cape fur seals as a hungry great white shark circled, trapping them tight against the South African coast. Then something amazing happened. Like wounded buffaloes rounding on a lion, the seals joined forces and drove the ocean’s apex predator away. Seals 1, Jaws nil. David Attenborough’s Planet Earth III is full of breath-taking moments. Like the captivating sea angels, glow-in-the-dark water slugs under two inches long which feast on smaller “sea butterflies” off Russia’s north-west coast. Blind and see-through, with “arms” like wings, they look like something Doctor Who forgot to cook. This is British television at its majestic best.
Attenborough’s third Planet Earth series looks stunning, while Sir David, 97, is now a kind of living god guiding us around unseen parts of the natural world. We saw flamingo chicks flushed out of storm-wrecked nests, incredible archer fish hunting insects, and Namibian desert lions paddling through water to snatch cormorants out of the air. There was also a right whale – a species just back from the edge of extinction – nuzzling her calf. Birth, death, violence, survival…all of life is here in its brutal glory. Visually, it’s perfect; sonically, less so – the background racket is OTT at times. Attenborough’s soothing and at times sombre commentary has blessed our screens since the 50s – vintage footage showed a scrawny, shirtless David on Australia’s Raine Island 66 years ago. Rising water levels could swallow it up – an existential threat to the green turtles who lay their eggs here, he said. It’d be a great injustice if Raine Island sank and Love Island didn’t. But it won’t. It’s growing in size. So enjoy the show but always fact-check David’s climate change asides.
*WAS it just me who thought the “wandering garter snake” was on loan from a Carry On film?
ONE species never endangered is the ever-hungry Greggosaurus Rex. Gregg Wallace must kip in the MasterChef kitchen; he’s rarely seen anywhere else. MasterChef: The Professionals dished up a fresh batch of young chefs chasing TV glory. Irish-born Dara was so nervous he almost fluffed it. Bless. It’s hard enough to contend with demanding tasks like deboning brill in 20minutes under studio lights without all that questioning and chit-chat. This format requires more skill than the micro-celeb version, and yet the finished dishes are often over-fussy and under-cooked. Delhi-born Himanshu’s lamb was so rare it probably bleated. Dara served his with raw turnip batons. Swedish Catrin settled for boiled eggs and pickled herring with “salad cream flavoured herring sauce”. Yum, said nobody at all, ever. Scot Cameron triumphed with crispy fried haggis. Yeah. Anyone fancy a bacon sarnie?
*REAL drama on day two, as Cristina retired hurt after her bisque erupted. Ouch. A clear case of super cauliflower cheeses, lobster bisque explosive.
AL Murray asked Why Does Everyone Hate The British Empire? Hmm. Nobody hates it more than English intellectuals, whose ranks include public-school-educated, Oxford graduate Murray. This series is Python’s ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’ sketch turned into a travelogue with fewer laughs and more politics. Likeable Al traipses around the globe in pursuit of colonial ‘controversies’. He throws in sub-par Pub Landlord gags then finds a local with a chip (or chapati) on their shoulder to put the boot in. Stand-up Anuvab Pal said the first British traders in India “stank”. Nice. In reality, Brits brought railways and established India’s first universities, courts, hospitals, and their state bank.
HOT on TV: Get Gotti (Netflix)…Bosch: Legacy (Prime).
ROT on TV: Six/Four – more of a “two-and-eight”…Al Murray – try asking why the middle-class left hate Britain.
ITV toasted Dudley’s favourite son in Lenny Henry – One Of A Kind. Lenworth found fame via New Faces and the brilliant Tiswas (remember Trevor McDoughnut and David “Gwapple me nuts!” Bellamy?). He then jumped ship to the BBC for The Lenny Henry Show, full of comic characters like Brixton wide-boy Delbert Wilkins and Theophilus P. Wildebeeste, the “one-man sex machine” soul singer, now sadly cancelled. Sir Len is rightly admired for his acting ability, screenwriting and his long support for Comic Relief (but maybe not the Red Nose sketches).
*BAKE Off dealt with “dauphinois pithivier”. I had that once, but the doctor cleared it up with cream.
*WILL the last episode of Doctors be filmed at Dignitas?
*LET down of the week? How To Be A Swinger. No Spiderman.
*KEEF Richards says modern music is a “one-way toilet”. Worse, it’s blocked and over-flowing. *BRIAN Conley angered Michael Ball by swerving his BBC show. That’s dangerous, Brian. (One for the over-45s).
Small joys of TV: The Simpsons Halloween special (Sky). Save Me repeats & Lenny James. Rumpole Of The Bailey (Talking Pictures). Weller At The BBC.
Random irritations. TV judges like Motsi on Strictly who start their verdicts by saying, “I have to say…”. Yes you do have to say, luv, it’s what they pay you for. Steve Coogan fashionably slagging off Israel but not Hamas. Eco-warrior Prince Harry popping up at the Grand Prix.
Separated at birth. JJ Burnel and Corrie’s Des Barnes? One a serial bad boy who bedded hot women and got messed up with drugs; the other plays bass for The Stranglers…
Oct 22. WHY is an ex-wife like a hurricane? an old joke asks. Because they start off wet and wild and end up taking your house. In contrast, Channel 5’s latest pot-boiler The Ex-Wife just took liberties with little things. Like credibility, characters, dialogue and geography. It started by flashing forward to calamity. We saw Tasha forcing rival Jen’s car to crash and burn. Jen was in the passenger seat, so presumably Tash’s husband Jack was driving. She’d met the married media exec when he knocked her off her bike in his Jag. A careless cyclist in London, distracted by a phone call, what are the chances?
If he’d taken her to hospital, it could have spawned a new reality format – First Dates: Casualty. Instead, Jack drives her to his home “15 minutes away”, cleans her wound, fixes her bike... and one dinner date later they’re, ahem, riding hard in tandem. But hold on. They collided in central London, so how was his stunning/sterile Grand Designs gaff surrounded by woodland “15 minutes away”? Was it in the fabled forests of Peckham? Or the lost Vale of Dagenham? Was it twinned with Narnia?
Jack said he was separated from wife Jen who was infertile. He then ditched her, wed Tash and knocked out a sprog. Bosh. So far we know, bitchy Jen has no idea of boundaries, and is probably out to get Jack back. Tash’s ex might be the baby’s real dad, and she could be a gold-digger. And Jack is either an insensitive clot or a conniving scumbag. My money’s on that, because what kind of birdbrain reminisces with his ex about their happy times together in front of his new missus? Also cos he told Tash he was going on a business trip to New York and she tracked him down to Jen’s... So is she even an ex at all?
*THIS show could well win a Bafta next year – Best Supporting Luxury Kitchen in a Far-Fetched Drama.
*IF Tash’s baby was sired by Jordan Stephens’s Sam wouldn’t she have felt its rizzle kicks? (Insert your own Mama Do The Hump gag here).
STEVE Coogan was magnetic as BBC paedo Jimmy Savile on The Reckoning, but the drama didn’t tell the full story. They devoted an entire episode to Savile and Maggie Thatcher. Yet there was little on his closeness to certain members of the Royal family, and even less on the BBC bosses who enabled him. They shifted the blame onto Bill Cotton. But which exec canned the Newsnight inquiry into Savile? Who failed Vera McAlpine when she reported that her 15-year-old daughter had been “seduced” on Top Of The Pops? Who cut Malcolm Tucker’s Sav-bashing jibe from The Thick Of It? Where were the clips of Louis Theroux failing to ask Savile tough questions? Or even a simple one like why had a self-styled “ladies’ man” never had a girlfriend? The BBC got off way too lightly.
COMPARE the glorious grub Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria samples on Searching For Mexico with the unappetising crap Jamie Oliver is pushing. How desperate would a housewife have to be to serve up cheesy pea pasta? In contrast Eva tucked into hearty beef birria (stew), street tacos and venison poached in garlic – cheap, tasty dished created by hard-up Mexicans. We did that too. Maybe search for England next, Eva, and take on a hefty plate of bubble & squeak, followed by a quick portion of forced rhubarb?
*EVA tackled menudo. Sounded intriguing. Sadly it’s just soup.
HOT on TV: France vs South Africa rugby... new Rick & Morty (E4)... Dark Winds (Alibi).
ROT on TV: Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story – duller than AFC Bournemouth... Interview With A Vampire – no bite.
NEW time-jumping saga Bodies disappointed. It showed us London in 2053 and there wasn’t a single flying car in sight. So either Tomorrow’s World lied to us or jet-cars met their mortal enemy – flying ULEZ cameras. The convoluted sci-fi tale revolves around a naked, eyeless geezer who’s found dead in the same East End street in four different decades. Conspiracy theories and heavyweight bad guys abound. It’s full of itself, but worth watching for Stephen Graham alone.
*TV shrink Frasier told his fireman son Freddy that their jobs were “equally important.” Freddy replied: “Let’s find someone with low self-esteem who is also on fire and see which one of us they run to first.”
*WHAT nightmare will inspire your Halloween party costume – Saw? Freddy Krueger? Coogan’s Savile? I’m going as the nightly news.
*DOCTORS has been cancelled. Tsk. You wait months to see a GP as it is, now you won’t even see one on TV.
*BOBBY Davro has developed a darts player’s physique on Proper Comedians. Or perhaps he’s just eaten a darts player. Or an oil drum. A woman asked if Bob has got an over-active thyroid. No, just an over-active knife and fork.
Small joys of TV: England 3, Italy 1. Man About The House clips (C5). Mike Yarwood clips (C5). Classic Frasier. Rolling Stones Night. Bosch Legacy (Prime). Miami Vice (FreeVee)
Random irritations. C4 giving Hamas a platform & BBC’s Jon Donnison regurgitating their propaganda. Alison Hammond singing. Big Brother Late & Live – light & trite.
Separated at birth. UNCANNY. Sylvia Anderson and Zelda from Terrahawks. Who’d have thought the master puppeteer would have grown into one of her characters?
Classic clanger. Chris Packham, talking about a bird scoffing a beetle: “That youngster has just had a cockchafer.”
Oct 15. THERE’S nothing wrong with Big Brother that an invasion of ravenous French bedbugs wouldn’t cure. Aside from AJ’s costumes – which are hotter than a Luton airport carpark – the show makes Keir Starmer’s conference speech seem almost entertaining. Launch night felt like a satirical spoof as ITV signalled more virtues than the fashion-crazed FA. First in was obese Bridgend bingo-caller Jenkin, saying, “I’m not the only gay in the village, I’m the best one”. Then came “very proud Muslim” Farida, last seen on Blankety Blank, followed by a giant woman from south London who, to nobody’s surprise, soon revealed “If I win, I’m going to get a vagina”.
Box after box was ticked, no doubt to the simmering fury of sacked GB News presenters everywhere. Trish, 33, is “very leftwing, a feminist, I hate the Tories” (big deal, even Tories hate these Tories). Then we got Dylan, a DJ with one foot; ditzy Welsh blonde Chanelle, and foul-mouthed Olivia (“I hate men... I find they’re all arseholes”). When Kerry, 40 (stone), a senior NHS manager arrived whooping in a mobility scooter, half the viewing public probably shouted “house”.
Celebrating diversity is all well and good but Big Bruv needs needle and real characters to work. Jenkin, who snores like a wounded warthog, is certainly annoying. And hot-headed Scot Olivia is an agent of chaos. Kerry v Farida though? I’m out. I like Yinrun. And Jordan, a council estate kid who nicked his accent from Downton Abbey and palled up with Tory-voting Henry who, surprisingly, is getting on with Trotsky Trish. We hadn’t seen much of Scouse Paul, Noky, handsome Zak, or hippy doctor Matty by the time I switched off. But we know that Tom the butcher doesn’t like the feel of meat. Unlike Jenkin. Welcome to Dullsville, UK.
*ON subtitles, Noky was introduced with a cry of “It’s nookie”. The girl has a lot to live up to.
*TOP 10 all-time Big Bro greats: Jade, Brian Belo, Aisleyne, Victor, Kate Lawler, ex-nun Anna, Nasty Nick, Makosi, Nadia, Alison Hammond.
I LOVED Frasier. It was smart, warm, and brilliantly cast with cactus-sharp jokes. Now it’s rebooted without most of the characters we loved. Media shrink Frasier Crane returns to Boston to hook up with son Freddy, a square-jawed firefighter who loves the Red Sox – shades of his late sport-mad grandad Marty (John Mahoney, RIP.) There’s a new local, called Mahoney’s in John’s honour. And new regulars: Alan (Frasier’s old whisky-loving Oxford buddy), Harvard psychiatry department head Olivia, and Niles’ awkward son David. It’s close to the original, but isn’t as witty, although there were one or two nice one-liners. Talking about mattresses, Frasier tells Freddy, “Once you go yak you never go back”. Some scenes are too contrived. And it’s hard to believe Frasier wants to be “a good father” to Freddy when he spent decades 3000 miles from him. Here’s hoping it gets smarter and funnier.
IT was the Ripper vs Jimmy Savile on Monday night. Winner to take on Fred West for the ultimate bastard crown. Steve Coogan was stunning as the BBC’s pet child-rapist Savile on The Reckoning. But the four-part drama about the Leeds DJ turned “national treasure” tells us nothing we didn’t know. Instead, it swerves a whole lot of things we should know, specifically how BBC bosses covered up for the creep. They even shelved the Newsnight investigation exposing him. The real Savile was smarter than this version. And all the more dangerous for it.
*THE Reckoning ends with Savile’s death, completely swerving any reckoning whatsoever. For him or the BBC.
HOT on TV: Peter Mullan in anything... Murderball, SAS:WDW...Toks Olagundoye, Frasier (Paramount+).
ROT on TV: Will Best – blander than Starmer... Big Brother – why bother... Chris Hughes, Don’t Look Down – or at all.
A STUDY has found that watching soaps makes you depressed. You don’t say. How much glummer will endless true-crime sagas make us all then? Watching the news is even grimmer.
*THE BBC call Hamas “militants” rather than terrorists. Or the more accurate baby-butchering war criminals. It’s like calling rapists “sex activists” or villains “alternative entrepreneurs”.
ANYONE else find it odd to see news footage of self-proclaimed pro-feminist “Marxist” far-left activists marching in support of ultra-reactionary clerical fascists who’d find The Handmaid’s Tale a tad too liberal?
*ON Gen V, Little Chicken shrank and clung to her date’s manhood like she was hugging a tree, bringing new meaning to “got wood”. Then she kicked his conkers.
*DAVID Walliams moans he “couldn’t be funny” after his vile BGT quips were leaked. Was he ever?
*RANDY Georgians used sheep gut condoms (Sex: A Bonkers History) but writer James Boswell still caught STDs 19 times. A mutton for punishment.
*MORE Welsh couples are applying to go on A Place In The Sun. Not for the weather or scenery, just for a chance to get out of second gear when they go for a drive...
Small joys of TV: Ghosts. Madness: Before & After (SkyArts). First Ladies Of Hip Hop. Scenery on Celeb Race Across The World. AJ’s hot clobber, Big Brother.
Random irritations. Sky News cutting from war-zone reports to cover the “breaking news” of Holly leaving This Morning. The ridiculous Fiona Bruce backlash.
*TV names: Embarrassing Bodies’ masturbation expert, Dr Tosin.
TV maths. Colin Paterson + growth hormone = the Twin Peaks giant.
Oct 8. GOOD news! US late night comedy is back after a five-month writers’ strike. Donald Trump called razor-sharp hosts like Bill Maher, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel the “low-rated creeps of late-night TV”. Kimmel retorted: “This from a man who buried his ex-wife on a golf course just so he could continue to cheat on her.” Ouch. On Real Time, Maher had tips for Trump’s future cellmate: “Don’t believe him when he says how many cigarettes he’s worth... explain to him he’s not allowed conjugal visits from his daughter” etc. Light relief came from a congresswoman getting slung out of Beetlejuice the musical for giving her date what few would mistake for a Hollywood handshake.
US TV has done late night well for 70years, peaking with David Letterman and Jay Leno in the 90s. Letterman’s show was more off-the-wall than an antique squash ball with inspired stunts, like strapping a camera to a monkey, and Dave’s legendary Top Ten lists. Big Foot’s Top Ten Peeves included his driving licence photo made him look like Greg Allman.
Leno was a joke machine with a nightly 12-minute opening monologue of fresh gags. Politicians of every creed copped it (less so today, predictably). Brits James Corden, John Oliver and brilliant Craig Ferguson did well there too. Our telly is poorer for not delivering nightly topical comedy. ITV tried and failed with The Nightly Show. They picked hosts who weren’t funny and had a producer with a humour bypass censor the jokes. Late night telly has to take risks and can’t pull punches. I’d commission five different hosts, with their own writing teams, to take a rotating night each – low budget but also low on interference from the suits. Competition would sharpen the jokes. Some would be ‘offended’ but these are miserable times and any channel that sent us to bed laughing would win the ratings war.
*LOW-rated creeps of late-night TV? Wasn’t that the working title for ITV’s Night Network?
BOILING Point was a dog’s dinner thanks to poor sound quality. Set in a restaurant kitchen, the dialogue was drowned out by crashing pots and pans. But once you acclimatised – and switched on the subtitles – the drama simmered away nicely before boiling into an angry outbursts worthy of Gordon Ramsey with a toothache. You felt for boss Carly whose opening night was nobbled by her mum, snooty investors, and unskilled new-boy Johnny who was more out of his depth than a Slater on Question Time. I back Stephan Graham’s fight to get more working-class actors on TV, and hope his part kicks in soon. But would a posh eaterie based on Northern grub catch on in the trendy part of Dalston? Good luck pitching that on Dragons’ Den.
YOUNGER faces brightened up episode two of Ustreme’s Proper Comedians – ep one felt like The Comedians meets Cocoon. “Jeremy Kyle, the only show in the world where a six-month-old kid had more teeth than his mum and dad,” quipped Danny Posthill. “Covid ruined my Xmas, cos I’ve got quite a big family and none of them got it,” joked Gerry K. Comics range from blunt Northerner Ricky Lane to John Moloney and his legendary cat routine. I hosted a couple of nights and felt honoured to introduce blue-collar funnymen I’ve loved since my teens.
*JIM Davidson won’t pass any PC tests but he has a poetic turn of phrase – “nipples like Marty Feldman’s eyeballs” – and does a cracking Bobby Davro impression.
*DAVRO gets called “the thief of bad gags”. Unfair. He nicks good ones too. Like: “I went out with an anorexic girl for six months... I started seeing less of her after that.”
HOT on TV: Jaz Sinclair, Gen V (Prime)... Vinette Robinson, Boiling Point.
ROT on TV: Alex Beresford – as welcome as French bedbugs... accountant drama Payback – doesn’t add up to much... Loki – lacks magic.
TOPICAL comedy must be immediate, otherwise who cares? Partygate came a year late, with an array of braying cartoon toffs. It had as much impact on the Tory conference as a pea-shooter on a T-62.
*JOHN Culshaw as Boris was shot from the front, unlike the real Bozo who was stabbed in the back.
*LES Dennis was first out of Strictly. A shame, but even Joe Biden was asking “Who’s this old doddery git?” The good news? I hear Les has been offered a job on The Walking Dead.
*LAURENCE Fox got nicked for encouraging law-breaking. They’ll come for Chris Packham next, won't they? No?
*TV names: there’s a Rod Gill on Go Fishing, a Grant Thistle on Scotland’s The Beechgrove Garden and a BBC newsreader called Finella Fudge...
*THERE was a make-up artist once credited as Annie “Nosh” Chapman. I always liked the sound of her.
*US TV has a dating show for codgers. What next, Ninety & Naughty? Last Dates? Buried At First Sight? Partially Blind & Largely Deaf Date?
*I SENT Rishi’s speech to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. They didn’t believe it.
*UNLEASH that gas, said Liz Truss. Wasn’t that Jim Royle’s line?
Small joys of TV: Paddy Young & Maxine Vuvuzela, BBC New Comedy Awards. One Piece (Netflix). Cracker repeats (ITV3)). Led Zeppelin Into The Light (SkyArts).
Random irritations. Adding ‘gate’ to any scandal. Give it a rest, it’s 50years since Watergate. BBC assuming we’ve all 5.1 surround sound. Football Focus politics.
TV maths. Crime’s Ken Stott + jester’s hat = Mr Punch.
Classic clanger. Racing commentator Derek Thompson was talking about a jockey’s view of his rivals when he said: “He’s looking between his legs, he likes what he sees.”
OCT 1st. HOLA! Greetings from Spain. I’m here thanks to the magnetic pull of A Place In The Sun. Every weekday, Channel 4 tempt us with sweet dreams of retiring to a life of sunshine, siestas and sangria. Oddly, the love affair isn’t reciprocated. As far as I can see, there is no Spanish TV equivalent. No series called A Place In The Drizzle offering a range of affordable properties in St. Helens and Moss Side.
Clueless clots are the show’s highlight. Divs who want five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a snooker room, a jacuzzi, a balcony and a view of the Med, and, when asked “What’s your budget?”, reply with a straight face: “10,000 Euros”. I exaggerate only slightly. How about couples who get shown a picture-perfect villa with a modern bathroom, a roomy shower and a sink that shines like a Mr Muscle ad and then shake their heads and say “We don’t like the towels”. Someone once turned down a dream home with everything they claimed they wanted cos they “weren’t feeling” the wooden ceiling. They ask for somewhere traditional then moan it’s old-fashioned ... call me a cynic but I suspect some of these cheapskates aren’t interested in buying anything. They’ve just in it for the free holiday. And a chance to meet Laura Hamilton.
Classic Spanish buildings are both more'ish and Moorish. Downside? C4 don’t tell us the hidden costs of emigrating. Talk about Costa Packet. And most of the filming is out of season so your dream beach is not over-run with chubby bankers from Cologne pigging on bratwursts while blasting out Rex Gildo songs between litres of imported Paulaner.
PS. I stumbled on a house with no roof and half a front door. Price? 20,000 Euros. But for cash, the owner offered to throw in a flea-ridden, half-tethered mule with temper issues. Beat that, Scarlette Douglas!
WERE you let down by the alleged grilling Matt “Handsy” Hancock got on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins? Where was the water-boarding? Where were the pliers? In fairness the former Health Secretary did get punched repeatedly in the kisser by Jermaine Pennant – a tad tougher than eating a cow’s arse in the jungle. And Foxy did dub him “Hancock without the ‘Han’.” He was also called a “complete and utter buffoon”, told he runs “like a f***ing ostrich” and ordered to “shut the f*** up”. But to really hit home, directing staff should have drafted in heavy-hitter Nick Ferrari with tough questions about, say for example, the 20% stake “Cock” had in his sister’s company that somehow won a £300K NHS contract...
*PENNANT was the first footballer to play in the Prem with an electronic ankle tag. Throw in Gareth “don’t mention the HIV” Thomas and it starts looking like SAS: Who Cares Who Wins. Unless, like me, you’re cheering on Melinda.
HAS Sex: A Bonkers History lost its mojo? The Tudors episode was just soft-porn Henry VIII shagging scenes padded out with jousting. It picked up when it got to witches who were accused of making blokes impotent. They did this, allegedly, by using curses rather than say conjuring up a Karen Taylor Queen Vic striptease. The saucy sorcerers slept with Satan and stole men’s penises “in prolific numbers”. Blimey. I wonder if that’s what happened to mine.
*IS it me or does Amanda Holden look like she’s wearing a mask of her own face?
*PENIS-stealing: a wicked trick to play on men, a dry spell for their wives.
HOT on TV: Katherine Kelly, The Long Shadow... Proper Comedians (Ustreme)... Angela Rippon, Strictly.
ROT on TV: Les Dennis, Strictly – also its saving grace... The Inheritance – where there’s a will there’s a wash-out.
IF today’s telly ever gets you down, the BBC iPlayer is stacked with crackers. Classic dramas like House Of Cards – the 1990 original with Ian Richardson as scheming Tory chief whip Francis Urquart. A masterpiece. And Life On Mars – with Philip Glenister’s brilliant Gene Hunt, a throwback to the glory days of The Sweeney. You can also find Happy Valley, Luther, Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, as well as the best BBC sitcoms this century – The Office, Extras, Early Doors and Gavin & Stacey.
*WHY won’t Beeb bosses let adults watch cherished 70s comedies like It Ain’t Half Hot Mum? Stop acting like the Thought Police and let grown-ups make our own choices.
*HOPE Les Dennis is honing his Smokey Robinson impressions. Watch him on Strictly, he definitely needs a couple of Miracles.
*NETFLIX are offering Emily In Paris themed holiday breaks in the French capital. My tip? Try Emily In Powys. It’s cheaper, friendlier and loads more fun.
*HOW was Toby Jones a DCI in the 1970s (The Long Shadow)? Fine actor but he’s 5ft 5. Talk about police shortages...
Small joys of TV: the treasure trove of crummy movies on Talking Pictures TV, usually horror and sci-fi efforts so cheesy they supply endless hours of unintended hilarity.
Random irritations. The lack of secrets in Tim Peake’s Secrets Of The Universe. Newsnight’s stinking hypocrisy over GB News. HBO’s Winning Time ending way too soon.
Separated at birth: Amanda Holden and Lisa from Team America. One a man-made fake blonde with superhuman ambition, the other’s in Team America... ON Bake Off, Prue Leith asked contestant Nicky: “Tell me about your beaver... ” She was talking about her animal-themed cake but somewhere Mrs Slocombe’s pussy was smiling...