Garry Bushell
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Sept 26. I’d pay good money for a blow job from X Factor hooker Chloe Mafia. Anything to stop her singing.

When did Paul O’Grady stop being funny? His new live show is the biggest wash-out since Frank Gallagher last got hosed down. O’Grady seems to have lost his comedy mojo completely. His topical gags miss their targets as surely as David Blunkett in a wind tunnel archery contest. Friday’s opening monologue was a disgrace – an old Jilly Cooper joke, unfunny Emmerdale gear, antique Viagra gags... seriously, is this the best he can do? Previously he’s called for Wayne Rooney to be left alone (why?) and for Black Lace to be jailed for Agadoo – that’s right, their hit from 1984 (c’mon, grandad, keep up.)  ITV thought Paul would deliver savage post-watershed wit, but they’ve ended up with his cosy old 5pm C4 show in the wrong time slot.

TV’s comic malaise is widespread. BBC2’s recent sitcoms have been dull (Roger & Val) or dire (Grandma’s House). I tried to watch BBC3’s Him & Her but couldn’t get past the opening scene of Her enthusiastically picking His hooter. BBC1 tries to fly the flag for stand-up with Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. McIntyre aside, the show mostly reminds us that what tickles you in a club after a few beers is barely worth a grin on Saturday night TV. Sarah Millican seems a nice enough woman, but do we really need another plain bird banging on about cakes and dress sizes? Even Milton Jones disappointed. Last weekend he opened with “I was sitting in traffic the other day and I got run over” and went downhill like a greased toboggan. Too often TV books comics who aren’t ready for national exposure, eats them up and spits ’em out.

Frankie Boyle was TV’s last great discovery. Mock The Week isn’t the same without his built-in edge of danger. Even comedy kings C4, home of The Inbetweeners and 8 Out Of Ten Cats, blotted their copy-book by letting Alan Davies’s tedious life-story seep into an indulgent three-part series. Why? Simple. Like most of the 80s ‘alternative’ comedians Davies is an expensively-educated middle class rebel who subscribes to all the right-on prejudices that TV bosses hold dear. But what does television have for people who don’t read the Guardian and don’t share the elite’s liberal values? Where are the down to earth belly-laughs we got with Fools & Horses, Phoenix Nights and Billy Connolly? What’s funny for us? At least TV Burp is back next month.

*For more on Davies and the crisis in TV comedy see my blog on this site.

*SEVEN Days is the everyday story of Notting Hill nitwits, like leggy lovely Laura who was seen here crying over her hair. Give us a break. Model Laura even talked about “fashion stress” – an issue unlikely to be troubling anyone actually working for a living. She and pal Sam looked hot as French maids, but they’re dippier than boiled eggs. They probably think a drugs bust is Lady GaGa’s new bra. They’re pretty - pretty vacant. Malcolm is better value. The ex-plasterer turned developer looks like the bastard son of Ronnie Wood and Victor Lewis Smith and once froze his dead cat. I also liked Javan’s aunt. But C4 have mostly swerved ‘commoners’ in favour of well-to-do types like Hannah about to take over mummy’s interior design business. The show is basically The Living Soap with a website thrown in for viewers to leave the cast advice. Be careful though. My message for Laura and Sam has been removed by the moderator. Apparently it’s a physical impossibility. My case comes up on Friday.

*WOULDN’T this be a better show if they had to do whatever we voted for? Should Hannah get back with her ex or saw off her own head? You decide.

*THE BBC boasts that EastEnders is “both comic and dramatic”, and to a degree they are right. Unfortunately, only the drama is funny; the comedy stinks. Kat and Alfie’s big come-back was scuppered by Tuesday’s desperate descent into screeching slapstick, with Big Mo fighting off a Northern hard-nut with a bog brush. Not quite as ridiculous as Jean suggesting that Mo, 74, was “going through the menopause.” Or Minty “loving” charmless, cheese-obsessed moron Heather, or him up and leaving Walford with just an empty rucksack, without bothering to flog his flat... give me strength. The Moons, both great characters, are already lumbered with naff storylines - Alfie’s gambling like a sloshed banker, Kat’s up the stick and He’s Not The Farva. Here we go again... Ye Gods, has anyone in a soap ever heard of condoms? The only precaution Ricky ever took when he bedded Bianca was wearing a pair of ear muffs.

HOT on TV: Spooks... An Idiot Abroad (Sky1)... Hannah Tointon (Inbetweeners)... Michael Wood’s Story of England (BBC4).

ROT on TV: Alan Davies ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ – sit down, shut up... Joe Maddison’s War – bland of brothers... This Is England – 1986 was dull enough the first time round.

*IT’S time to speak out about sex and depravity on TV. There’s just not enough of it. It’s unappetising too. This Is England serves up the least erotic scenes this side of Heather Trott’s boudoir. Even Bouquet Of Barbed Wire disappointed. Every time anyone got going, the director seemed compelled to cut to a petal. Listen chum, if I want to see flowers I’ll go to Chelsea. (See also Mad Men and coffee peculators).

*HOW long before TV bosses reward feckless multi-dad Keith McDonald with his own TV reality show? Maybe ITV2 will team him up with that X Factor whore Chloe Mafia in Have I Got Screws For You. PS. Why hasn’t she gone to Kinky-Boot Camp? And what’s more annoying? That Chloe sucks, or that she gets paid to?

*TV ads for suicide clinics are upsetting the Swiss. We don’t need them here. We’ve got Loose Women.

*PLEASE note: George Gently is a Martin Shaw crime show. Not just something whispered in a former Wham star’s cell after lights-out.

*ON Merlin, Prince Arthur was partly turned into a donkey. No wonder Guinevere was smiling. Many centuries later their descendant still plays for Aston Villa... Camelot news update: Prince Arthur no longer a donkey, King Uther still a massive ass.

SMALL joys of TV: Jimeoin’s eyebrows. Barbara Windsor’s Bingo Royale ad. Richard Bacon’s Pizza & Beer Club (ITV4). The Lionel Richie crisp ads. Polly Whitehouse (Five News) – Polly put some tackle on.

RANDOM irritations: Alfie Moon waltzing back to Walford wearing exactly the same clothes he had on when he left five years ago. Billy Bragg’s corduroy strides. Jamie Bloody Oliver in the USA – different country, same old crap. Gail Platt – sanctimonious pigeon-faced bitch. How does she keep her job? X Factor turning creepy Louis salivating over young male singers into a ‘comedy’ moment.

SEPARATED at birth: Axl Rose and Keith Lemon? One an irritating jumped-up creep who’ll never be as popular as he thinks... and so is the other one. To all the readers who suggested me and Geoff Capes – cobblers!

*MATT LeBlanc reportedly went nuts cos someone called him “Joey.” Miserable git. At least they didn’t call the former Friends star Marcel. Or Monica. Matt should be grateful they remember him at all, cos he’s drawn a big le-blank with everything he’s done since.

Sept 19. WHEN Tony Warren first pitched Coronation Street, bosses at Granada TV were horrified. Who’d give a flying duck about backstreet nobodies in the middle of nowhere? Chairman Sidney Bernstein called its inhabitants “grotesque.” And to a degree he was right. But Warren’s visionary idea was to write about “something real... something different, from the heart. Something with dirt beneath its fingernails...” The characters he conjured up, down-to-earth folk drawn from everyday Salford life, went down like Lady Gaga at a butchers’ convention. Yet as The Road To Coronation Street reminded us, it was Agnes the Granada tea-lady who saved the soap from the chop when she got engrossed in the pilot. (She also got the name changed from Florizel Street, remarking that it “sounds like a disinfectant.”)

I was sniffy about this BBC drama. Making a show about how Corrie got commissioned smacked of smugness, of TV eating itself. But once again those giant characters got me hooked. Ena Sharples was brilliant, a Giles cartoon made flesh. Played here by Lynda Baron, she looked like Bullseye’s Bully in drag. Ena was always happy to deflate the pompous or berate women of easy virtue. She was a force of nature. Tart with a heart Elsie Tanner said that if Ena’s tongue was a bit longer she could shave with it. She certainly felt the rough end of it enough times.

Other legendary figures, from Bet Lynch to Blanche via the Ogdens, and snobby Annie Walker, live on in our collective memory because there were people just like them in our streets too: Harridans in hairnets, strumpets in leopard-print dresses, puffed-up twits like Leonard Swindley and cantankerous old moaners like Albert Tatlock... Authenticity was Tony Warren’s watchword. He wanted local actors to play the parts – so it’s ironic that the Beeb hired rough diamond Cockney gel Jessie Wallace to play Pat Phoenix. But Jess was perfect for the role, radiating just the right blend of toughness, vulnerability and sex appeal. (Let’s hope the EastEnders writers don’t muck up Kat’s return.) This lovingly written show reminded us that TV bosses know bugger all about public taste. Hopefully it will also remind Corrie, which currently has enough plot holes to house another thirty Chilean miners, that soaps work best when they reflect reality.

*THE Inbetweeners is rude, puerile and offensive. What’s not to like? Four teenage schoolboys wrestle with the central torment of adolescence – girls, and how to get one. Jay is my favourite, a proper Billy Liar who claimed he’d once been “noshed off” between the scenes in the school play. He also coughed to a heart-stopping encounter with a St John's Ambulance woman who “looked like Lucy Pinder.” That’s what I call emergency relief. The highlight was the school charity fashion parade where Simon suffered a wardrobe malfunction in his speedos. (For more close-ups of a wrinkled, over-exposed gonad see Andrew Neil). Oh and nerdy Will compromised his principles to try and get back with Charlotte who told him all she wanted was a boyfriend as sweet and kind as he was. “What about me?” he asked. “No, not you. Someone LIKE you. Not you, obviously...”A rejection all the funnier for having the feel of authentic pain.

*DID you see that audience with the Pope? It wasn’t a patch on Freddie Starr’s one. Mind you he gave Bruce Forsyth a run for his money.

*I'M not keen on the Pope. It's his attitude. He's so holier than thou...

*SHAME Keith ‘Fire-starter’ Flint wasn’t at the VMAs for Lady Gaga and her meat dress. They could have had a barbecue.

*GAGA used rump, chuck and fillet. She hid the sausage well. But at certain angles you could definitely make out the beef curtains. Gaga's releasing a new fragrance next week: essence of horse radish...

*THE Young Ones started like Big Brother meets the cast of Cocoon. Kenneth Kendall looked like he’d just given his pall-bearers the slip. It could have been The Last Of The Summer Sanatogen. But as the show transported the likes of Dickie Bird, Liz Smith and Derek Jameson back to 1975 these golden old’uns got younger before our eyes. Touching and funny.

*HAS someone done the reverse experiment on David Mitchell? It’s like he was born a fogey and just got crustier.

*EX sex-pot Sylvia Syms used to be big in films. Now she's just big....

 *IF this was supposed to be 1975; why start with the Beatles’ Good Day Sunshine from 1966?

HOT on TV: True Blood –fang-tastic... The Inbetweeners... The Young Ones... Rob Brydon... Bouquet Of Barbed Wire.

ROT on TV: 71 Degrees North – viewing figures are shrinking like Shane Richie’s privates after an Arctic plunge... Gavin Henson’s dancing (Strictly) – it looked like his legs were still frozen... Jamie’s Food Revolution – what a patronising git; bring back the Turkey Twizzler.

*GAVIN Henson is coping well with Norway’s sub-zero temperatures. He got a lot of practice in his last weeks with Charlotte...

*DEEPLY sarky memo to C4: ever thought of making a few more programmes about food/cooking?

*NOT saying Priscilla Presley uses botox, but she spent her entire time on the One Show on the verge of pulling an expression.

*THIS Is England 86 is more like This Is Shameless, without the jokes. The music is way out – It Mek was 1969, so was Wonderful World Beautiful People. Kel’s Cure t-shirt was from 2000. And for ex-skins, they’re proper scruffs. Was teenage ever this grim? Even in Grimsby?

*THE CIA vs the KGB (Deadliest Warrior) left out the spies’ greatest stealth weapons – the Yanks’ shellfish toxin dart, and the Russians’ ricin-tipped brolly. Of course, neither side has anything as lethal as an MI6 sex-games hold-all.

RANDOM irritations: The Beeb censoring Jason Manford’s spot-on attack on the way MPs neglect wounded servicemen. Kathy Lette – spokeswoman for Women’s Glib. And on Enders: Minty and Heather – make it stop. Phil Mitchell going from crack addict to get-ahead businessman in two episodes. Drinkers flocking to Kym’s ‘Speakeasy’ rather than say walking to a pub around the corner.

*SEPARATED at birth: scorched crack-addict Phil Mitchell and a ten pin bowling ball, one red and dense with three finger holes on top, the other a bowling ball.

SMALL joys of TV: Kat back! (Enders). Liz McDonald – mutton dressed as kebab. Sean Lock. And Grand Designs introducing us to the art of “bungalow gobbling” – I thought that was something Joan Collins did when she married Bill Wiggins.

*X FACTOR hooker Chloe Mafia says she was a £10,000-a-week prostitute. Where was this exactly? Fantasy Island?

They're always £10K-a-week these hookers, aren't they, never £10 for a bus shelter knee-trembler. I wonder what she spent it all on, because it certainly wasn't clothes.

Sept 14. George Michael has been sentenced to eight weeks in prison. When he heard that he’d be locked up with 1600 powerful, hairy-arsed, sex-starved men he asked for 32 other offences to be taken into consideration. Geo was upset when told he would serve his time in Pentonville... he's used to being banged in Strangeways. But I understand the prison authorities are making it easy for him, they’re giving him a cell right next to the gents toilet. If they really want to punish the dopey sod they’d stick him in solitary.

Sept 12. They say the average 25-year-old woman has sex 3.9 times a week – and she’s not too happy about the .9. But TV people get more action than Wayne Rooney on payday. ITV is currently trying to knock us bandy with the double punch of Swingtown and Bouquet Of Barbed Wire – wife-swapping and borderline incest. As the song nearly says: Autumn time, and the telly is sleazy...

Swingtown gave us a threesome, an orgy and more swinging than a monkey house. It’s set in 70s Chicago when the anything-goes attitudes of the drippy hippy sixties were seeping into suburbia Happily married Sue and Bruce get targeted by their new neighbours, Tom the pilot and Trina who also enjoys taking off. They’re plunged into a decadent world of wife-swapping, cocaine and unfeasible moustaches. The period detail is terrific – it’s all Quaaludes, Qiana, Boogie Nights clobber, and David Bowie crooning ‘Golden Years.’ And it’ll appeal to anyone whose own open marriage consists of ’opin’ their other half is in the mood. The problem is, aside from their mixed-up kids, the characters aren’t that interesting. Bruce is no Don Draper and the show is no Mad Men. It’s Bob & Carol, Ted & Alice without the laughs.

Bouquet is far darker. The original was sensational. Every teenage boy fell in love with Prue – played by Susan Penhaligon. Creepy Dad Peter was obsessed with his dishy teen daughter and screwed his young secretary in her bed. Prue’s fella Gavin got off with her Mum, Cassie...The only one not getting any was the cat. And even he looked nervous. Half soap, half Caligula, it hooked the nation. 26 million watched. In the remake Imogen Poots plays Prue with Trevor Eve as Even Creepier Dad. Gavin is now a psycho teacher who likes to shag his sixth formers, knock Prue about and say things like “Here’s Peter’s reduced coq.” Guy Andrews’ terrific adaptation can’t shock us like the 1976 original did but it still grips like John Terry in a lap-dancing club.

*IMOGEN Poots? I bet she does. I can Imogen her Pooting.

*BEST Bouquet scene was when assistant Sarah asked architect Peter “Can I help?” and he dragged her away from her drawing board for a crafty knee-trembler. I’d like to see that catching on with the nation’s shop assistants...

*TEARS, hugs, fireworks, classic quotes... it’s hard to say how the Big Brother finale could have been better. Short of some naked jacuzziness involving Emma Willis, Kinga treating Mario’s greasy head like a bottle of Merlot and John McCrirrick powering up a JCB. The bashful and modest Brian Dowling was crowned Ultimate housemate (although we all know that honour really belongs to Jade Goody, RIP). Slick Vic was robbed. Brian Belo wasn’t even in the running. But at least Dowling’s victory won’t go to his head. It couldn’t get any bigger if you pumped his cranium full of helium. This guy is to modesty what Nikki Grahame is to women’s rugby.

*HOW much Botox would it take to sort out Nikki’s forehead? Her brow looks like the skin was transplanted from an old man’s scrotum. There are intensive farming fields that are less furrowed.

*OK I was wrong, Vanessa was terrific value in the house. I’m still convinced her name stands for Viagra Ain’t Nearly Enough So Stop Asking, mind.

* BB took its name from 1984 and its contestants from Animal Farm. It revolutionised TV and made it socially acceptable to converse with a chest of drawers. The circus may have left town, but it always comes back.

*SO farewell Peggy Mitchell. Walford’s reigning catch-weight face-slapping champion finally got “aht” of her own pub after it burned to the ground. And good riddance – to the Vic I mean. It was the world’s worst boozer; no lock-ins, beer you’ve never heard of, a self-muting juke-box, a vanishing pool table and more stiffs than the Blind Beggar. A bit like Amityville with optics. I started the original campaign to get Barbara Windsor in EastEnders. Hiring chirpy Babs should have dispelled the foul smog of misery hanging over this soap. Some hope. The Beeb signed her up and lopped off her boob, which was the equivalent of booking Trafalgar Square and demolishing Nelson’s column. They turned her kids feral, turned Peggy into Ma Barker and hooked her up with Fat Harry Slater, a booze-sodden lump who looked like something Picasso forgot to paint. Harry’s breath could have rotated windmills on a landscape painting. They ruined her. Peggy’s “going on a trip now.” The writers have been on one for years.

*BE careful what you wish for. All Ryan wanted was for his honeymoon night to be as hot as hell, and for him to get blown off his feet....

*FILTHY Phil seemed to survive smoke inhalation well, except the side-effects are hoarseness, red skin, mental changes and shortness of breath. So how can we tell?

*THOUGHT: Peggy wasn’t roasted, but I bet Roxy has been.

*WHO should run the Vic now? A ruined, burnt-out shell... yes Kat is coming back!

* ENDERS moans: Sam Mitchell clearly wetting herself during the big dramatic Phil kidnap scene.  Walford stag nights always being such a total wash-out. The Mitchell morons boarding up the outside of a door that opened inwards...

HOT on TV: U Be Dead... Trevor Eve (Bouquet of Barbed Wire)... Mad Men... Bradley Walsh (Law & Order UK)... This Is England 86... Words Of The Blitz.

ROT on TV: Grumpy Old School-Days – Lazy Old Casting... Jersey Shore – the lowest common denominator just got lower... Jedward – Let’s Lose... Nadia – man or woman that’s a bleeping nightmare.

*DAYBREAK? Gimme-a-break! Tired old Chiles and Dimples Bleakley sitting there like conjoined twins reading out lame gags from the autocue. Zzz. The best thing about it is Tasmin Lucia Khan.

*MY old pal Piers Morgan will be replacing Larry King on US TV. Well done, mate. Piers will be on CNN. The ‘U’ and the ‘T’ are silent.

*WHAT about that Derren Brown special last night? He must really have hypnotic powers, you know, because half way through I found myself getting sleepy, very, very sleepy.

*THE Hard Times Of RJ Berger is about a well-endowed teenage geek. Can a big penis ever carry a show? Probably not. But hats off to John Barrowman for trying.

*U Be Dead + Tara Fitzgerald = I be horny. Shame the soundtrack wasn’t by UB40.

RANDOM irritations: straight men pretending to care about Strictly. Anyone who wants to keep up with the Kardashians. Nasty Nick – what a dull let-down.  This bloke couldn’t stand out on a Viagra drip.

SMALL joys of TV: The Sweeney (ITV4) – still punches like an X Factor fat bird. The Amazon Kindle ad song. Architect sex (Bouquet) – brutalist. Lana Parrilla in Swingtown – the ‘Next’ in Trina’s knickers isn’t a brand name, it’s an instruction.

SEPARATED at birth: Caprice and The Bride of Wildenstein? One a spoilt rich bird ruined by excessive surgery, the other married to Mr. Wildenstein...

*NEAT irony: the Rooney scandal coincided nicely with Colleen’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ Littlewoods ad.

Sept 6. People are furious with ITV for showing a fat bird punching her even fatter partner last night. Quite right too. The only one on X Factor who deserves a slap is Louis...

Sept 5. I KNOW it’s only a game show, but something needs to be done to stop Brian Dowling from winning Ultimate Big Brother. The former Ryan Air trolley-dolly knows he has no real opposition and is getting smugger by the day. And if he walks this series, we’ll never see the bloody end of him. BB bosses want Dowling as their champion of champions, of course, but couldn’t they make it more of a contest? They’ve already driven out Coolio to appease that awful cackling harridan Nadia. Why not parachute in a genuinely popular opponent, like Brian Bello? Or send in a hit-squad of bona fide nuisances such as Spiral or Science to de-stabilise the final week?

Victor needs a better ally than Nasty Nick to derail the Brian bandwagon. Face it, Nick isn’t that nasty – he never was. All he did was smuggle a pencil into the house. He’s more socially-inept Nitwit Nick. And who else is there? Nikki will never, ever win. Looking like Albert Steptoe’s mini-me, the demented crone is perpetually in spoilt toddler mode, shrieking like an angry gibbon at the drop of a hat. Granted I love the way her face curdles whenever she gets the hump, but footage of this gurning simpleton should be shown at antenatal classes as a guide to how not to raise a child.

Friday night brought good news and bad. On the plus side Nadia got the boot, but unfortunately the equally irritating and unstable Vanessa Feltz arrived in her place. Ye Gods! Don’t C4 realise Vanessa spelt backwards is pronounced “That’s enough”?

Makosi that wobbly Venus flytrap of a woman is history too. A shame. The curvy fantasist suckered easily-pleased males but female viewers gave her two fingers (not in the Anthony Hutton sense).

Victor is too much of a wind-up merchant to stay the course. Michelle is pointless and dull – you’d find more mental activity in a tin of beans. And Preston is only interesting because of Chantelle but she’s too cut-up about their divorce to get through a day without weeping. It’s all hanky and no panky with these two. If they got it on again, Chantelle would have a fighting chance. If not, that just leaves Ulrika-ka-ka and even she hasn’t got enough ex-husbands to turn the voting tide.

*ALAN Carr on BB’s sex-change Portugeezer: “Nadia spent less of her life with a penis between her legs than Ulrika.”

*NIKKI explaining Nadia’s foul temper: “She might be on her period.” Yeah or maybe she’s pregnant and hormonal, or, more likely, she’s just an insufferable nut job.

*STACEY Slater tried out a new shampoo on Friday: Dead & Shoulders. Yes, Bonkers Becca hurled Bradley’s ashes all over her hair. It’s a tribute to Lacy Turner’s acting that we felt for Stace. The girl might be a mad, moody yo-yo knickered killer but she’s our mad, moody yo-yo knickered killer, goddammit. Elsewhere on EastEnders we’re meant to believe that two women are battling for the love of Fick Rick, a bloke as exciting as a cold pot of tea. Someone should remind the writers that Sam was once a budding business woman in power suits. Granted she had a different head then, but Sam’s ambition is now as forgotten as Billy’s post-stealing storyline, Corky the parrot and the Queen Vic pool table. PS. For all possible gags about other boyfriends covering Stacey’s hair in muck, see Graham Norton.

MUCH joy in Corrie where Roy Cropper married the woman formerly known as Harold Patterson. Again. Hayley was the Street’s first sex-change, although I was never too sure about Phyllis Pearce. She had a voice like Barry White gargling gravel and was always saying “tara cock.” Hayley’s big day was almost ruined after Scary Mary interfered with the coupling – mercifully, we’re talking railways here. But how did those minimum wage factory workers afford to hire a big old steam train? How exactly did Mary sabotage it? And why is lunatic kidnapper and body-snatcher John Stape now socially acceptable again? Sure there were funny moments, like Hayley and the handcart, but belief had to be more suspended than Broughton Bridge. I preferred the Street when it had a passing acquaintance with reality.

*SOPHIE and Sian’s big Sapphic secret is out. They’re Corrie’s first and only lesbians - amazing given the quality of the local men-folk. Faced with the choice of Tyrone, Kirk, and Eddie Windass even the straightest woman might start to fantasize about Carla in a strap-on. I know I have.

HOT on TV: Tim Minchin Live... The Middle (Sky1)... the final episode of The Bill – Sun Hill street blues.

ROT on TV: Blair – so far up himself he’s coming back out again... The Deep – Abyss-mal... National Lottery’s Big Night – bonus balls... The King Is Dead – much like BBC comedy... Martin Clunes on horses – just pony.

*IT’S all blame and recrimination now but stick Blair and Brown in Big Brother and it’d be like Preston & Chantelle all over again...

*SIMON Amstell said he “should have been an actor.” Yeah, right. This guy is so wooden even the timbre of his voice is pure timber.

*DAFT idea maybe but why not try having a few women on How To Look Good Naked who actually look good naked?

*SIMON Cowell has banned auto-tune. Hurrah. Cheryl won’t be singing this series, then.

*YOU know who I’d like to see on Deadliest Warrior? Those old biddies from Last Of The Summer Wine. Imagine that: “Their chief weapons were fear, surprise, rolling pins, broom handles, wrinkled garrotting stockings and for long distance assaults the run-away bath tub... no man could defeat them.”

SMALL joys of TV: Nikki Grahame electrocuted – next time more juice. Jayne Mansfield turning on the lights – and the entire male population (Blackpool On Film). Ricky Gervais presenting an Emmy to director Bucky Gunts: “Let’s face it, we’re all Bucky Gunts here.”

RANDOM irritations: Jedward – this joke isn’t funny anymore. Antiques shows where an expert values some old tat at £28, the owner disagrees and takes it to auction where it goes for £31 – or £28, minus commission. Net result: we’ve wasted an hour watching nothing happen.

SEPARATED at birth: Janice Battersby and a Zirkonian from Aliens In The Attic, one a selfish, big-mouthed monstrosity, filled to the brim with malice, the other a movie space invader.

HOT not on TV: Kev Orkian - rejected by Britain’s Got Talent - went down like the Belgrano at Edinburgh. Remind me again what exactly Piers and Simon know about comedy...