Review: X-Factor Battle of the Stars: Day 4

Michelle_1Three nights in and Lucy Benjamin still hasn't got her wish - last night saw Michelle Marsh voted off by the dastardly Simon Cowell.  Here's where we are so far:

16-24s (managed by Sharon Osbourne)
Michelle Marsh (Day 3)
Nikki Sanderson
Matt Stevens
Over 25s (managed by Louis Walsh)
Chris Moyles
Lucy Benjamin
Gillian McKeith (Day 2)
Groups (managed by Simon Cowell)
Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee (Day 1)
Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt
The Chefs (Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin, Ross Burden and Jean-Christophe Novelli)

Click through below for tonight's blow-by-blow account

Apologies to regular readers but owing to the fact that I have a life, I wasn't in to do a minute-by-minute review tonight.  So somewhat later than usual, here's a run-down of tonight's shenanigans:

Nikki Sanderson opened with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."  The phrase "the song was too big for her" might have been coined specifically for this performance although she put in a good finish.  She's much better when she lets herself go.
LW: You are a born performer & deserve a record deal
SC: Disagree with Louis, it was a good performance and you have a good personality but like a rock musical it didn't feel real.
SO: Did you turn him down as well?  You were fantastic.

Chris Moyles came next with an understated (for him) rendition of "Beautiful Day."  Not his best by a long way - weak in parts, stronger in others.  Still better than most of the rest though.
SO: You took a huge risk with that song, but you carried it off again.
SC: Hated it.  For three nights you've had a sense of irony and adapted your songs to suit you.  This made you more ordinary.
LW: You're afraid he's gonna win!  The public love you Chris.

Chris was followed quickly by the HewittLoos "singing" "The Way You Make Me Feel."  He talking in tune tonight!!  She was still very poor though, and looked really smug about it too.  You could tell her voice was going by the end.
LW: Out of tune but stunning and funny
SO: Great song choice and James is a cad with all that pelvic thrusting
SC: A performance the entire country will be talking about and once again the show wouldn't be the same without you.

Matt Stevens with "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" looked really comfortable.  Good singing, no gimmicks.  He needs to drop that annoying gesture with his right hand though.  Very Will Young.
SC: Not bad at all.  Not spectacular but good.
LW: We loved it.
SO: Many athletes and sportsmen have tried to break into the music business - you might be the first one to actually do it.

Next up Lucy Benjamin with "See The Day."  Wow - WHAT a difference from last night.  This was the best she's done so far by a mile.  She looked stunning, sang in key and gave the song buckets of emotion.  Just brilliant.
SC: That was the best of the night by a mile - believable and sincere, your voice was the best I've heard it.
SO: You look gorgeous and it was a great song choice.
LW: Agree with Simon - you could be here again tomorrow (huh??)

Closing the show tonight, The Chefs came on to murder "This Thing Called Love" but amazingly this time they got away with manslaughter.  Sounded pretty good and looked good too in their black leather.
SO: This show would not be the same without you. You're the Fun Factor.
LW: Can't sing, can't dance but you're great fun.
SC: Not going to comment on the vocals, so that aside in was incredible.

My prediction (honest) for the bottom two was HewittLoos and Nikki Sanderson, and the bottom two was...HewittLoos and Nikki Sanderson.  The public have obviously realised the entertaining spats between Sharon and Loos have come to an end so they've decided to do the decent thing for everyone's ears and not vote for them any more.  As for Nikki, she had the misfortune to be hopelessly outclassed (either in singing or entertainment value) by the rest of the gang.

Both gave pretty much clone copies of their original performances and given the mix of acts in the sing-off the result was never in much doubt.  Louis with the casting vote got rid of Hewitt & Loos!  Yayyyyyyy!

The "life" I was bragging about earlier was a one-night-only thing, so I'll be here again tomorrow with a live, blow-by-blow account of the fifth day.

* X-Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm for the next 4 nights
* Xtra Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 10.30pm

Review of Day 1
Review of Day 2
Review of Day 3

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By johnberesford on June 2, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: X-Factor Battle of the Stars: Day 3

Gillian_1

After two nights, and with the departure of Gillian McKeith (pictured) the list of stars remaining to battle it out tonight now looks like this:

16-24s (managed by Sharon Osbourne)
Michelle Marsh
Nikki Sanderson
Matt Stevens
Over 25s (managed by Louis Walsh)
Chris Moyles
Lucy Benjamin
Gillian McKeith (Day 2)
Groups (managed by Simon Cowell)
Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee (Day 1)
Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt
The Chefs (Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin, Ross Burden and Jean-Christophe Novelli)

Click through below for tonight's blow-by-blow account

Eyes down for a slightly less full house than last night, but still too full by one vacuous toff and one knickerless celeb (by my estimation).

Breaking the ice tonight was Lucy Benjamin - the girl who doesn't want to be here. "Get The Party Started" - a very apt title for the opening number, but a hard song which exposed some vocal weakness that hadn't been apparent before.  Sharon thought she looked as if she enjoyed herself, and was getting better each night (disagree there, but still...).  Simon said she looked more confident but still sounded like a girl on a hen night.  Louis thought it was her best performance so far.  Yeah, right.

Nikki Sanderson followed with Christine Aguilera's "The Voice Within."  She finished very well, but the middle part of the song let her down - quite weak and a few bum notes.  Still, the strong finish gave the audience their first excuse to give up a roar.  Louis said it was an ambitious song but he'd give her ten out of ten.  Simon thought she was brave but amazingly had pulled it off.  Sharon told her she'd made her night.

Next up Chris Moyles with "Wonderful World."  Did you think it was gonna be a boring ballad?  Only for about thirty seconds!  He mixed it up brilliantly and even took the song to the judges.  Simon: It shouldn't be working but it is and thank God you're in this competition.  He thought Moylesy could have a hit with that song.  Sharon: he made it his own (yawwwwwwwwwwwwn) and was outrageous.  Louis: Best performance of the series so far.  Oh my God I agree with Louis!!  Pass the tablets.

Michelle Marsh sang Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" and was fabulous.  Looked great too.  This was a much better song for her than last night.  Well delivered, in tune and on time.  Louis thought there'd been a transformation and she'd become a rock chic.  Even Simon said it wasn't bad and probably her best performance so far.  Sharon relied on trusted phrases like "it was a hard song" and "you look great tonight."  Really, she needs a new scriptwriter.

Tonight the Chefs murdered "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" - revelation: the French guy can't even sing in French!  He was flatter than a bad soufflé.  But still they gave it a shot, and had a laugh.  They're so likeable you can't hold it against them that they can't hold a note.  Louis said it was like bad Eurovision (tautology, surely?) and they should change their name to the Kaiser Chefs.  Sharon thought it was absolutely brilliant and Simon proved that he too needs a new scriptwriter with "it was the worst performance of a song I've ever heard in my life."

Matt Stevens sang "Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" and the song exposed him a bit - not his best go but again I'm sure his popularity will see him through.  Simon said that ordinarily he wouldn't have liked it, but because it was Matt, he did.  He advised him to go back to the more lighthearted stuff.  Louis told Matt everyone liked him and he thought Matt would be in the final.  Sharon said he'd done himself proud.

Loos & Hewitt closed (if only!) tonight with "Rock DJ" - jeez what can I say that I haven't already said?  He still forgets his words and neither of them can hold a note, so what's new?  Louis thought it looked like they were finally starting to have some fun (glad someone is!), Sharon thought...well, we don't know what she thought.  Lost for an insult, she decided to say absolutely nothing at all.  Simon thought it was "extraordinary" but the show wouldn't be the same without them.

My bottom two tonight?  Hewitt & Loos (no surprises there) and, umm...well musically The Chefs were the next worst, but entertainment-wise I'd have to (sadly) go for Lucy Benjamin.

After the break... the results!!

And once again those who are enjoying the spats between Sharon and the gruesome twosome have voted them back in, so tonight's sing-off was between Michelle Marsh and Lucy Benjamin.  Both these final performances were a cut above the first attempts, both singers raising their games considerably.  For my money, Michelle just pipped it, but the actual result was never in doubt.  I'm a simple soul and to me, the decisions should be based solely on the final performance, but with both mentors staying loyal, Simon voted Michelle off.  It's been clear all along that he didn't really like her, although whether this is because, as Michelle said in her parting comment, she'd "turned him down" will remain a mystery (allegedly).

Tune in again tomorrow to watch the tiresome toffs murder another number and get voted back in by the rather strange habits of a select band of British public.

* X-Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm for the next 5 nights
* Xtra Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 10.30pm

Review of Day 1
Review of Day 2

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By johnberesford on May 31, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gillian McKeith ejected from X Factor

GillianmckeithI've previously said that Gillian McKeith is evil. I even said she likes to "shout people thin". Nice then, hearing that she's been on the end of some abuse from the public.

Gillian, who resembles some oddball troll from an 80's kiddie Sci-Fi film (check the wonky eye out on the picture, above) has been booted off Celebrity X Factor.

After a 'showdown' with Michelle Marsh (who is?), McKeith's luck ran dry after her dreadful rendition of Cher's 'Shoop Shoop' song. The judges of the show weren't best pleased with her efforts either. I'm glad about that too.

Digital Spy reports that "Simon (Cowell), who cast the deciding vote, described her performance as "one of the most excruciating versions of that song I've ever heard to the point it became non-human." Now, I dislike Cowell with the best of 'em, but what a cracking put down! If there was a word to describe 'Dr' Gillian, Non-Human fits like a pair of cycling shorts.

Sharon topped Cowell with the bilious "I think if you are what you eat...that was a bit like salmonella." Meanwhile, Louis Walsh drew a comparison with an "auntie pissed at karaoke". Now, I'm sorry I missed this loving threesome... and of course, it all borders on bullying. I'm normally all against bullying and the like, but Gillian, who has made a career from picking on fat people has really been given a dose... which was administered on the end of a dirty boot.

Bloody marvellous.[Mof Gimmers]

By mofgimmers on May 31, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sharon Osbourne Makes Rebecca Loos Cry

Xfactor So, do you think Sharon Osbourne maybe isn't too keen on Rebecca Loos, then? Having launched into a tirade against the "star" on Monday night's Celebrity X-Factor ("A really bad vibe comes from you," pointed out Shazza, after suggesting that La Loos might want to consider wearing a pair of knickers "to warm up your voice"), oops, she did it again last night!

After a sarcastic "apology" for the previous night's cattiness, Sharon got the claws out again. "Missus, talk about going down," she said, "Have you got something stuck in the back of your throat?" while daughter Kelly yelled "You're not a celebrity!" from the audience. (I'm assuming she was referring to Loos, here, rather than Sharon, but ya never can tell with those kerrazy Osbourne's, can you?)

It's no secret, of course, that Sharon is good friends with the Beckhams, which perhaps explains, if not excuses, her bitchiness towards Rebecca. Whether she's directed the same level of abuse towards Loos' partner in crime, David Beckham himself, remains a mystery - as does the question of why on earth Loos thought she could team up with professional "cad", James Hewit, and escape censure.

Meanwhile, sleb chef, Gillian McKeith, was voted out. Tune in tonight for the next instalment. [Amber McNaught]

X-Factor: Battle of the Stars, ITV 1, 9pm

By *Amber* on May 31, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Review: X-Factor Battle of the Stars: Day 2

Paul_and_debbieWith Paul & Debbie the first to leave (we liked them, not a lot, but we liked them), the line-up of stars now looks like this:

16-24s (managed by Sharon Osbourne)
Michelle Marsh
Nikki Sanderson
Matt Stevens
Over 25s (managed by Louis Walsh)
Chris Moyles
Lucy Benjamin
Gillian McKeith
Groups (managed by Simon Cowell)
Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee (Day 1)
Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt
The Chefs (Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin, Ross Burden and Jean-Christophe Novelli)

Click through below for tonight's blow-by-blow account

First up tonight Chris Moyles with "You Really Got Me."  Once again, pretty entertaining in a Moylesy kind of way.  Sharon said his version didn't have a kink in it, but in fact it had several.  That can't distract from the fun factor though - it's a pretty safe bet that he'll be back tomorrow.

Michelle Marsh followed singing "Eternal Flame."  This was a very average performance.  Sure she hit most of the notes, and looked fab, but there was definitely some lustre lacking as Simon was quick to point out.  There was the usual butt-sucking comments from Sharon and Louis, proving again that when it comes to the music Simon is the only one who tells it like it is.

Tonight the Chefs went for an Italian with "Volare" and what a laugh that was.  Their dancing was all over the place but great fun.  All they need to do is shut that guy up who is SO flat his voice falls through to the previous song.

Lucy Benjamin's song tonight was "Walking On Sunshine" and I thought it was the best of the show so far.  Clearly a lot more relaxed than last night (although she said she felt only "marginally better") I'm afraid for Lucy the torture will continue tomorrow!  Even Simon liked it.

Next up Gillian McKeith with "The Shoop Shoop Song".  You won't believe me but the single word I'd written down for this was "excrutiating" and blimmin' Simon said exactly the same thing!  Sharon thought it was like salmonella but I'm telling you it was far deadlier than that.  And another thing.  Does the woman EVER shut up?  I don't care if I miss the promised "TV history moment" tomorrow night - please please don't make me listen to her again.

Loos & Hewitt "sang" "Baby It's Cold Outside."  My God if you thought things couldn't get any worse after the McKeith woman you were sadly mistaken.  This guy can't even TALK in tune, he forgot half his words and his timing was way out on the rest.  Simply appalling, but I expect they'll be back again because we got another dose of vitriol from Sharon and that's what the punters love, isn't it guys 'n' gals?  She gave Hewitt the "van Gogh" award for singing (one ear, dear, try to keep up) and I can't repeat what she said to the Loos woman.

Nikki Sanderson sang "Emotion."  Still clearly very nervous but she did well with it.  Personally I don't agree that she could have a huge pop career but then again what do I know.  She'll be safe for now.

Matt Stevens closed the show with "Smooth."  A real favourite of mine but a very hard song to sing (I know, I've tried) - a point that Louis made too.  He made a good fist of it as well as having a lot of fun with the dancing girls!

So no surprises when I say MY bottom two for the evening are Gillian McKeith, and Hewitt & Loos.  I don't really care which of them goes as long as one of them does.

After the break: the results!

Oh yes.  Oh Yes.  Ohhhhhhhh YES!  Unbelievably the HewittLoos have escaped their inevitable doom once again, but at least we are rid of The Excrutiating One.  And just when you thought you were safe from her rendition of The Pussycat Dolls number, Simon invites her back to do it on the final show!!  Madness.  Tune in tomorrow for more of it!

* X-Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm for the next 6 nights
* Xtra Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 10.30pm

Review of Day 1

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By johnberesford on May 30, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (1)

Chicken Factory Man sings on X Factor

This man is incredible. He worked in a chicken factory. He probably still works in a chicken factory. When Louis Walsh says "God help him", I agree with him... and that's a rare thing. Chicken boy, and his greasy mop is tribute to the celebretards currently turning a trick on Celebrity X Factor.

[Mof Gimmers]

By mofgimmers on May 30, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Tittle Tattle, You Tube | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: X-Factor Battle of the Stars: Day 1

Xfactor_botsSo at last we know the identities of the last contestants and the line-up for the next eight nights looks like this:

  • 16-24s (managed by Sharon Osbourne)

Michelle Marsh
Nikki Sanderson
Matt Stevens (surprise replacement for the rumoured Kerry Katona)

Over 25s (managed by Louis Walsh)

Chris Moyles
Lucy Benjamin
Gillian McKeith

Groups (managed by Simon Cowell)

Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee
Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt
The Chefs

Before I start, I must say congratulations to ALL the contestants for having the guts to get up there and do it, especially since it's all done for "charidee, mite."

First up, Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee, singing "Let Me Entertain You".  Professionalism 100%, singing ability 25% - awful singing but I have to agree with Simon: "weirdly entertaining"

Nikki Sanderson's rendition of "I Got the Music In Me" was kind of like the reverse of Daniels & McGee - she sure can sing, but really wasn't that entertaining.  Clearly nervous and stiff, she nevertheless managed a really original rendition.  Well done Nikki!

Gillian McKeith was the first to sing from the "over 25s" category and oh! dear, it was simply awful.  Screeching and shouting her way through "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" she looked really uncomfortable and had no stage presence whatsoever.  Worst so far by a mile and looks likely to go out.

The Chefs were up next, singing Uptown Girl.  The question is: will I have time to learn all their names before they're knocked out?  (I caught Paul Rankin, Aldo something and Jean-Christophe something so far).  Well it was a bit of a laugh wasn't it?  Pretty appalling singing, but at least they had a go at a bit of a dance.  Loved Sharon's comment though - we're going to call you 'Bake That!'  ROFL!

Matt Stevens, Rugby player for Bath & England, followed with Mack The Knife.  This has been a favourite of mine since I was 4 and what's more the guy can dance!  Simply brilliant - best of the night so far by a mile; he brought the house down.  Loved his self-deprecating humour too "it's nice to sing for people who actually clap" (a reference to the fact that he's always singing on the bus between matches).

Lucy Benjamin! Wow.  Didn't recognise the song (Let Your Hair Down maybe?) but very complicated rhythms and phrasing - a very ambitious song for the first night - but hey! She pulled it off brilliantly.  Sure she was a little nervous but good job!  I liked it a lot.  Shame the judges blew the gaffe on you being pregnant, luv, I guess that'll be in OK tomorrow.

Rebecca and James were up next "singing" Addicted to Love.  Could anyone be worse than Gillian McKeith?  YES!!  This pair were truly awful.  I don't think they hit a single note, and were then subjected to some choice words from Sharon.  Top stuff - this is what we're all here for.  The only reason they could come back tomorrow is for the bleurks to get another gleg at Rebecca's implants.

Michelle Marsh brought up the rear for the 16-24s with River Deep, Mountain High.  Amazing - the girl's a pretty good singer and very self-assured dealing with the judges' comments too.  A popular act with the audience, sassy and good looking.  I'm sure we'll see her again tomorrow.

Last but not least Chris Moyles with Ain't That A Kick In The Head.  I wanted to hate this (not a Moyles fan, here) but have to say it was pretty good.  Pitchy in parts, sure, but a very relaxed and professional performance and very entertaining.

So after all that, I reckon that Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt deserve to go (and judging by the audience reaction are not very popular) but there's still an outside chance it will be Gillian McKeith that bites the floor tonight.  Voting's open now so get dialling!

Of course - I should have realised that the great British voting public would want to see more of the spats between Loos and Mrs. O. so they're safe.  The play-off is between Paul Daniels/Debbie McGee and Gillian McKeith.  Now let me see...

Well as usual, the judges' decision was a farce (I've commented on this extensively in the past) with mentors protecting their own and Sharon over-dramatising, agonising unnecessarily, and then making the wrong decision.  Neither of the acts could sing worth a damn but at least the magicians were entertaining and didn't have an attitude problem.  Still, there's always tomorrow ;o)

* X-Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm for the next 7 nights
* Xtra Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 10.30pm

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By johnberesford on May 29, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

TV News: Another X-Factor group revealed

Rebecca_loos With only twelve hours to go before X-Factor: Battle of the Stars kicks off on ITV1, the second "celebrity" group has been revealed as Rebecca Loos and James Hewitt.  Someone tell me how far you can stretch the definition of "celebrity" because it's already looking baggy and misshapen to me!

As reported earlier, the appearance of Kerry Katona as the third under-25 is still not confirmed, while there's no news at all about who will be the third group.

Digital Spy: Loos confident about X-Factor win
X-Factor official website
Photo from femalefirst.co.uk

* X-Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm tonight (and repeats)
* Xtra Factor: The Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 11pm tonight

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By johnberesford on May 29, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

TV News: Celebrity X-Factor 16-24 group complete

Xfactor_botsEx-Corrie star Nikki Sanderson has been signed up for X-Factor: Battle of the Stars, which starts Monday on ITV1.  With "Page 3" model Michelle Marsh already on board and Kerry Katona rumoured to be joining, that completes the line up for the 16-24 category.

In the over 25's section, Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles will be competing against ex-EastEnders star Lucy Benjamin and celebrity dietician Gillian McKeith.

So far, only Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee have been confirmed in the Groups category, although Katie Price and Peter André have been the subject of some speculation. (And they might be appearing on XF: BOTS too!).  The final group is yet to be announced.

The show follows the usual format of X-Factor, and judges Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh will each take charge of one of the categories.

X-Factor: Battle of the Stars starts on Monday May 29th and runs for eight nights, one act being voted off every night.  Behind the scenes action follows each night on ITV2 in Xtra Factor with Ben Shephard, the main show is repeated early evening of the following day, also on ITV2 and I'll be following the action right here on TV Scoop with a daily review.

The X-Factor: Battle of the Stars, ITV1, 9pm each night from Monday 29 May
The Xtra Factor: Battle of the Stars, ITV2, 11pm Monday 29 May (10.30pm other nights)

Official Website

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By johnberesford on May 26, 2006 in ITV 1, ITV 2, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Contestants confirmed for Celebrity X Factor

You_like_it__notalotYou'll like it... but really, not a lot. Paul Daniels and his 'lovely' assistant Debbie McGee have been confirmed as participants for a) Celebrity X Factor and b) a dressing down from Simon Cowell.

Other entrants include Lucy Benjamin (who I first read as Floella Benjamin), the pitiful Chris Moyles, the evil Gillian McKeith, page 3 girl Michelle Marsh... and there are four more hopeless cases hopefuls to be named! Aint life grand? The show starts on the 29th May on ITV1.[Mof Gimmers]

By mofgimmers on May 24, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (2)

The British Soap Awards - ITV, 8pm

PhilnfernWell, well, well. Hasn't time flown by? It only seems like yesterday when the nation held a collective breath to find out who was 'Soap Bitch of the Year'. Wait no more, for tonight on ITV, 8pm sees the all star glitteratied bash that is The British Soap Awards.

Once again, the girls of Hollyoaks and Emmerdale will turn up wearing little, grinning in the freezing damp air of May infront of all the cameramen, to pray for a chance of getting in the tabloids the day after.

This year's host and hostess are This Morning's Phil 'n' Fern. Apparently, Ms Britton is a soap fiend, and will, with genuine enthusiasm, await the results of the mind boggling categories. I expect the TV pair will do their usual schtick of corpsing live on air when Schofield says something like "It's about time Sonia from Eastenders was given one". He's come a long way since loitering in a broom cupboard with a gopher eh?

Of course, the show will be a dogfight between Eastenders and Coronation Street. Who will win best villian? Will it be the mysterious man from Corrie who is bothering Gail... er... Tildsley... or Platt... or whatever she's called these days? Or will it be the snidey Patsy Kensit from Emmerdale? She's a cert for Bitch of the Year I reckon! Although in saying that, I wouldn't know.

Anyway, soap lovers will feast on the array of soap stars all in one building. I've always imagined little fights breaking out in the green room afterwards between rival soaps, but the best I can recall is when the actor who played Mr C (Cunningham) attended one year, he was ejected for being too lewd and performing some twisted erotic dance on the bar of the bash afterwards. That's what we all want surely?[Mof Gimmers]

By mofgimmers on May 24, 2006 in ITV 1, Set the Vid, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (0)

Set the Video - Champions League Final, Arsenal v Barca, ITV1

RonaldOh dear. It's that dreaded football again. For all you non-lovers of the 'beautiful game', the next few months will be hellish. Especially if you hate Big Brother too.

For those foaming at the nostrils, tonight sees, quite possibly, one of the most mouth watering fixtures in ages! The brilliant Barcelona are to take on our stuttering Arsenal in the Champions League Final.

For those of you who will have to 'put up' with the football tonight, you ought to look out for a few different things. Firstly, one of the star players of the game, Ronaldinho. Now, aside from is mind boggling array of skills, he also possesses one of the most incredible gobs in celebrityville. As one unkind (but accurate) commentator once said; "Ronaldinho could eat an apple through a tennis racket".

Not only have we got the equine choppery of Ronaldinho, but the ladies choice of face in Thierry Henry. What makes Henry so despicable is that, not only is he good looking, and seemingly a good natured soul; he's also incredibly talented. Rumours abound that he'll be off to sunny Barca next season to play with the glittering line up of stars there. As opposed to lining up with some meat head called Pascal Cygan.

Another thing to look out for will be the ridiculous Jens Lehmann. He's the most preposterous footballer in the land. Prone to making two brilliant saves, quickly followed up with a host of jaw dropping ridiculousness. He's likely to have a swing at someone, and, what is unusual for a goalkeeper, he dives a lot (as in feigns injury, not dives to make a save you understand).

Also, expect the commentators to bleat on about the Champions League Final of last season, which saw Liverpool quite literally, perform the impossible. There has also been a furore over the linesman before this game, who was snapped wearing a Barca shirt. Tsk Tsk! Naughty boy! They've drafted someone else in, who most likely, will make some horrific game changing decision. No matter, for us neatrals, we want only one thing. Lots of goals. And lots of incident. Ok, that's two, but you get the picture.

For those still not convinced that this game will be a classic, you could always watch School's Out on BBC1 starring the charming Danny Wallace.[Mof Gimmers]

Champion League Final, ITV1, 7pm.

By mofgimmers on May 17, 2006 in ITV 1, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Robbie Williams to star in Charity Football Match Soccer Aid on ITV1

Robbiewilliams_socceraidITV1 will be showing something quite unusual this summer in the form of the Soccer Aid football tournament.

The event will feature celebrities playing for their respective countries, all in the name of charity... namely Unicef. Raising funds will be Robbie Williams, Gordon Ramsey, Brian McFadden, Jamie Theakston and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Alongside the TV folk will be ex professionals including David Seaman, Ruud Gullitt, Gazza and David Ginola.

Watch this space for more details.

[Mof Gimmers]

By mofgimmers on May 15, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coleen Makes Screen Debut

Coleenmcloughlin4 And here we were thinking she was just another airhead footballer's wife with a serious shopping habit and a natty line in velour tracksuits. How wrong we were.

Coleen McLoughlin, you see, is about to go all Princess Di on us, with a Tonight special on Rett Syndrome. Coleen will be seen speaking frankly about the disease, and visiting younger sister Rosie, a Retts sufferer, in the hospice where she now lives. Coleen, we salute you. And I promise never to make fun of your tracksuits again. See Coleen on Tonight With Trevor McDonald at 8pm on ITV. [Amber McNaught]

By *Amber* on May 15, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Mootrix?

by Mof Gimmers

In tribute to the fact that ITV is showing all the Matrix flicks, here is the Mootrix. Kung Fu cow anyone?

By mofgimmers on May 3, 2006 in ITV 1, Imports, Set the Vid, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blaine to drown himself

Blaineknobby Mof Gimmers

David Blaine. He's not likely to be reading this is he? He's probably doing something really mysterious and wacky... like talking to a pickled lambs foetus. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me saying that I find him annoying and contrived. I'm sure he'll sleep very easily in his multimillion dollar mansion at that news.

Anway, that's not the point of this article. I have some news for you fans of Mr Blaine.

David Blaine has done magic in the streets, floated on one leg, stood on a massive column and nearly starved himself to death. So where do you go from here? Personally, I'd like to see if he could survive in space with no protective suit on... which neatly leads me to his next venture, which will be shown on ITV in the next few months.

Digital Spy have told me that "The illusionist will spend seven days submerged in a human aquarium – a specially constructed clear acrylic sphere – before trying to break the world record for holding breath. The current record stands at 8 minutes 58 seconds."

What's that? That's not Blaine in space! Well... he will be holding his breath for ages... and of course, we should all expect a big finish to this... you know? Blaine pretending he's dead... I just wish he'd stop talking like a toy that batteries are running out.

Shazaaam.

By mofgimmers on May 2, 2006 in ITV 1, Imports, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Shower Scene TV

Rovers_return_1By Amber McNaught

We all know that if a soap wants to up its ratings, a "Back from the Dead" storyline is definitely the way to go. Just ask Bobby Ewing. Or Dirty Den. Or even good ol' Harold Bishop, for that matter. Killed off a rating-grabbing character? No problem - back from the dead they come, and we'll just pretend that the entire last year was a dream or something. No biggie, you know?

So, this week Coronation Street's Gail Platt has been receiving letters from ex-husband and friendly neighbourhood maniac, Richard Hillman. One small problem: Tricky Dicky is dead. Or is he?

The Corrie Camp have been hinting for a few weeks now that Richard Hillman may be starring in his very own shower scene on a screen near you soon. The latest plot line, though, is the most tangible evidence to far that the Raising of Richard may indeed come to pass. I don't even watch Coronation Street and I'm excited. But then, I don't get out too much, of course...

So, how will they handle it? Is Hillman really still alive? Is Gail just crazy? Only one way to find out...

By *Amber* on April 25, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Set the Video - The Best of Tarrant on TV

Chris_tarrantby Mof Gimmers

A pal of mine is a dry sod. He has a phrase. "It's all gone a bit Tarrant".

That pretty much means a scenario which sees everyone having a really good laugh, then, suddenly, something incredibly serious is said, everyone stops laughing and procedings take a sombre turn.

That pretty much sums up Tarrant on TV (Tonight, ITV1 10pm). Watch it. Laugh. Then cry at an advert about Aids.

By mofgimmers on April 25, 2006 in Comedy, Commercial Break, ITV 1, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Landladyboy at the Rovers?

That_bloke_from_corrieby Mof Gimmers

Do you watch Coronation St? Well, the Rovers' could be having a bloke as it's landlady!

Antony Cotton who plays Sean Tully on Coronation Street has told the Manchester Evening News that  one day, he'd like to be "landlady" of the Rovers Return!

The brilliant CorrieBlog has got the story for you, and news about the introduction of the 'Tully family'

By mofgimmers on April 19, 2006 in ITV 1, Shiny Media News, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Review - The Mint

Mint_fucking_tv_quiz by Mof Gimmers

Quizmania. Whatever I said, I'm sorry. I take it all back.

I'm feeling repentant, not just because Jesus died for my sins, but because I think I may have seen the worst TV show ever broadcasted. Now I'm in the odd situation of pining for Debbie King and Chuck Thomas.

That show is called The Mint. You should avoid it like the plague.

The Mint is the show that has shunted the Quizmania crew off to ITV2 land... a TV retirement home for unfavourable quiz shows and repeats.

In this case, the twits at ITV have got it all very wrong.

The Mint is hosted by the ear bleeding and sandwich curling Brian Dowling. Essentially, a vinegary tart who seems to possess a contempt for his peers like no other. Sometimes it is difficult to spot, by virtue of the fact that you are clinging on to your couch for dear life while Dowling's honking moped trapped inside a bagpipe voice tries to blow you all to kingdom come. Turn the sound down however, and the millions of snide micro looks of disgust leap from the screen.

Unluckily, the Debbie King equivalent, Kat Shoob (no really, she's called Shoob) seems like a nice person, and probably in better surroundings (not a pretend mansion) she'd be a half decent children's TV presenter. That said, there is an air of the call centre about her, which leads me to think that shows like this are indeed, the equivalent of some robbing bastard trying to make you buy something you don't want down the phone, or selling you a weird mobile package.

If Quizmania was laughably bad, to the extent that you began to extol the virtues of the horrible genius unfurling before you, The Mint merely makes you angry and filled with nausea all at the same time.

You see, Quizmania somehow managed to build some kind of tension, and The Mint freely gives away £500 to anyone who can work a telephone. For great TV it does not make.

What was worse about the show was the starring of the blatantly ill Peter Simon. It somehow didn't feel right watching someone having a nervous breakdown and 'coming out' live on air.

At one point, the former Double Dare presenter actually began to foam at the mouth, leap up and down like a demented ape, and paw at Dowling. It also gave a weird impression of a reclusive, eccentric gay uncle in denial, on holiday with his 'nephew'. I was actively wishing for Peter Simon to start asking callers if they were 'a stone or sponge...'.

Basically, I miss Quizmania now. I thought it would be funny poking fun at them in the past. Now? I'm suffering. The Mint is my bad karma biting me in the bumhole. Good lord am I sorry.

The Mint - About as much fun as attending a loved one's funeral. One to miss.

For all your TV Quiz needs, check this site out!

 

By mofgimmers on April 16, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Celebrity" Love Island

Loveisland_apr06_emp_170 by Amber McNaught

Poor old Kelly Brook. Despite protestations on how she really is a proper actress, honest, it seems that her inability to read an autocue properly has gotten her dumped from her second show since The Big Breakfast mysteriously forgot to renew her contract back in the 90s.

Celebrity Love Island kicks off for its second series next month, but Kelly won't be kicking off with it this time. Instead, Denise Van Outen, Liza Tarbuck and Daisy Donovan (ex of The 11 o'clock Show) are rumoured to be preparing to slug it out for a place alongside Patrick Keilty presenting the babes and booze fest. Well, there's no accounting for taste...

Meanwhile, in the contestant's camp, Sophie Anderton, Emma Noble and Melissa George (remember her as the very excellent Angel in Home and Away?) are rumoured to be working on their fake tans as they prepare to join the as yet unnamed male contestants on the island of luuurve.

Our breaths are well and truly bated.

Visit the Celebrity Love Island Official Site

By *Amber* on April 12, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Review - Footballers Wives

Thatwomanfromfootballerswivesby Mof Gimmers

Footballers Wives is, quite simply, one of the oddest things on TV. And one of the most honest. This is a programme unabashed in its attempts to get people gossiping around the drinks machine at work, and flash fleshy bits for all those lonely teen lads out there, hiding away in their rooms with the sound down.

It's dreadful. Of course, that aint news to anyone. However, it seems to have been running for years now, and certainly seems to have a high turn over in the cast.

A recent appearance from Joan Collins (believe it or not) saw the 'super bitch' taking on TV's newest challenger to the throne. Tanya Turner (pictured) is the manipulating, ruthless and general swine brained lynchpin of the show.

Last night, we saw Tanya, played by Zoe Lucker, hosting some kind of weird party which saw all the characters dressed up in brilliant eye scorching colours and feathers. After a typically crass move, some kid tries to plant one on Tayna, and it all kicks off in the campest possible way.

Cue Paulo Bardosa. Apparently, Bardosa has had a bit of a weird time of it. As a boy, he was locked up in a kennel in his homeland (Brazil) and was 'disfigured'. After being groomed by someone or other, he became a star footballer and, according to the official FW site, "sexually sophisticated – he knows women and he knows how to touch them. He exerts his physical strength but does it in a tender way coupled with a welcome attention to detail."

That said, he spent the majority of last night shouting "I'VE BEEN BAD MUMMY! CARLOS BEEN BAAAAD!" To which the doting Tanya says "You're acting like a tit". Can't say fairer than that can you?

Of course, there was another storyline going on. One bloke, portraying a blind person... badly... as he kept 'looking around', something that the nature of blindness won't let you do... ends up trying to have a fight with an old man in a leather jacket.

Of course, this is no old man. He owns Earls Park (the featured team of ...Wives) and he is a right old sod. With his weird teddy bear fur hair, and his gruff voice, he does something so hilarious and unlikely, I actually warmed to the show. For about one hundredth of a millisecond. He pushed the blind man down a disused lift shaft. The victim? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah... all the way to the bottom... very much like Wile E. Coyote.

To sum up, Footballers Wives is rubbish.

Click here to go to the offical Footballers Wives site
A website dedicated to tittles and tattles regarding FW

By mofgimmers on April 7, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A look at ITV News

Nick_owenby Mof Gimmers

We're all going to die. Die from bird flu. That's what the news on ITV reckons. Even though they admit that reports are 'unconfirmed'. Which leaves us where?

On death's doorstep of course.

The way the news is presented, you stop actually hearing words, and starting seeing the philosophy and mandate of the show.

News! EVERYWHERE!!! News is happening up and down the country RIGHT NOW! "Over to our man who is stood outside... Tom, I believe there is some news going on... outside... where you are... in the thick of all this mental and worrying news..."

As is par for the course with Ver News, they can't just depress you... even though we're definitely going to die from this flu riddled swan in Fife...  they have to make you giggle. So to a story about JK Rowling sniping at models... or "talking toothpicks" as she likes to call them. What else? Back to the bird flu... you're going to die die die die die die die die die die... sadly, there was no puns on someone falling 'fowl' of a deceased hen, or sensational news of people attacking a Mr P Guinn by accident...

I'll leave you with the wise words of an expert featured on the news. What should one do if one finds a dead bird?

"Ignore it"

The ITV News page

By mofgimmers on April 6, 2006 in ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who wants Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Christarrantby Mof Gimmers

Any takers? The snotty nosed man with one eye at the back? You? You sat there with your gob open? No?

The owners of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Celador, are putting the show up for sale. If you think a cool £1million is a good prize, wait until you hear what the Celador lot will be 'winning'. The Shareholders, which include rubber faced Brum comic, Jasper Carrott, are hoping to fetch a staggering £50million with the sale of the Chris Tarrant fronted show. The sale would also include the rights to the board game, computer game, the repeats and everything else.

Whether it would impose a tariff on all future people caught cheating by coughing is unclear.

The Sun - Owners to be Millionaires 

By mofgimmers on March 31, 2006 in ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Set the Video - Champions League Live ITV

Henryby Mof Gimmers

It's funny. A lot of girls don't like football, but when Arsenal play, they start showing interest.

Is it because Jens Lehmann is quite simply the most hilarious man ever to grace a football pitch? Or maybe they appreciate the tactical nous of Arsene Wenger when pitting his wits against European opponents?

Maybe, just maybe, it's because they like the Gunners' shirts because they remind them of Orko from He-Man?

Or is it because they like watching the Va-Va-Voom man, Thierry Henry, running around in his little shorts?

Of course, that's all quite sexist as girls have a healthy interest in football these days (thank God. Better than staring at fat hairy men ramming pies in their face), and tonight, see a cracking footballing occasion, quite possibly soiled by ITV's shitty coverage.

For the unarmed, ITV's coverage pales in comparison to the BBC lot. That is even taking into account that the Beeb have got the (alleged) drunk on air Mark Lawrenson, and the infuriating Jonathon Pearce at the mic.

Let's put it this way. When Gabi Logan (nee Yorath), sometime presenter, was asked who her favourite player was, from her chosen team, Arsenal, she flatly stated "Nigel Winterbottom" when she in fact meant 'Winterburn'. Add to this, that this baffling error was on her first talk show appearance, to promote ITV's coverage of the Premiership.

Still, on to tonight. Arsenal will be playing the Old Lady of Juventus, an Italian footballing giant. Juve' is run by the Agnelli family... who own Fiat... and have ties with Colonel Gadafi. Juve' also have in their team, former Arsenal player, Patrick Vieira. Vieira was the backbone of the Arsenal squad, of which, many believe the North London outfit have never recovered from his departure. So to see the giant midfielder facing his old pal Henry will be a real treat.

For those of you out there, commonly known as footballing widows, who will have to suffer the match due to a hopping, foaming mouthed spouse, use these facts as a way to impress them. Here are some more things to look for. Let's call it Football Bingo.

- A Juventus player running athletically past an Arsenal player, only to fling himself through the air clutching knee with one hand, brandishing an imaginary card to the referee.

- Jens Lehmann making an absolute fool out of himself, and sporting a face that looks like it may gun someone down.

- Talk of "this could be the last ever night of football at Highbury..." in relation to the fact they are moving somewhere a bit posher.

- The phrase "French masterclass..."

There you go, all you widows out there only need someone patronising to teach you the offside rule with various household objects.

ArseBlog - An Arsenal fan site

By mofgimmers on March 28, 2006 in ITV 1, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

War at ITV

Gentleman_jimby Mof Gimmers

Chances are, a lot of you out there missed the most beautiful programme ever shown on TV. That programme was the genius idea of Celebrity Wrestling. Naturally, most thought it was a dismal attempt to ape programmes like 'I'm a Celebrity..' and mixing it with former eye popper, Gladiators. In fairness, it was. That's not the point though.

Any programme that can rename James Hewitt 'Gentleman Jim', and showjumper Oliver Skeete 'The Rebel Rider', and make them fight like toddlers is fine by me. Skeete even came up with a peach of a line when he informed the crowd he was "from the streets".

Anyway, for some reason, Nigel Pickard, former head of ITV has lashed out at his former genius.

Pickard, who famously described Saturday night flop Celebrity Wrestling as "poxy", has now upped the ante by saying the show was a "disaster". The show was seen as a prime example of the reason for ITV's decline - both critically and in the ratings - last year.

"It had disaster written all over it," Pickard, now RDF's director of family and children's, told the Media Guardian. "You put that together... with the downturn in our fortunes. You thought, fucking hell, we're going in to one of those dips."

Pickard was expected to throw in the towel after Simon Shaps was brought in above him in the role of director of television (probably created especially to usurp Pickard) but decided to stay on until January.

"It allowed me to oversee the changing of the guard, enjoy the autumn," explained Pickard, who also denied having any ill feeling towards Shaps. "Simon and I parted absolutely professionally. There's no animosity."

One day, we'll see a return of Celebrity Wrestling when Shaps realises the genius that lay in the programme. Besides, Fatima Whitbread and Annabel Croft still need the work.

Digital Spy review

By mofgimmers on March 21, 2006 in ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Review: Quizmania

Debbiekingby Mof Gimmers

It has to be said that this reviewer is getting a little bit obsessed with a certain late night quiz show, namely, Quizmania, that occupies the grave yard shift on ITV1.

The format is simple. Answer easy questions and win money. Watch people horse around for hours, and be thankful there is a redial button on your phone.

There are a whole host of presenters, all a bit 'wacky', 'zany' and plain daft. Most famous of the bunch is Debbie King.

Debbie is a special girl. She's tackled politicians, given out money and been held aloft as a baby during the Pink Floyd flick, The Wall. Her career has taken her to presenting Quizmania, and she's unnaturally bouncy for someone awake at ridiulous o'clock in the morning. She certainly is fun packed, leaping around, dealing with garbled phone calls and sneakily stealing money from your pocket (in the shape of 60p per call).

Ms King's sidekick last night was the one man car crash that is Chuck Thomas. Chuck Thomas has (apparently) been hailed as the "new Chris Evans" by none other than Timmy Mallett. If that aint praise, I don't know what is. Chuck is the brains behind the QuizMania outfit, and presumably a very rich man as a result.

Chuck however, can't pronounce the letter R. Didn't stop Jonathon Ross did it? Well, the fundemental difference being talent, or Chuck's lack of it.

"Wight! The answer we'w all looking fow whymes with bwoooom... so fill in the blank... Home...whymes with bwooom... come on! It's weally easy!"

Imagine a one trick monkey, and you're not even close. This week, Chuck has asked every single lady caller if they are 'beautiful'. To which most say no. Which in itself is quite sad. Lonely dejected ladies feeling ugly and spending all their dole money on Chuck's bulging pockets.

To break up the guessing games, Chuck performs a series of sketches with his all talking, seal clapping camera men (and a camera lady). These are some from this week.

1.The introduction of his invention, the Turbo Tea Cup. It then cuts to a camera man holding a plastic cup with a straw wrapped around it.

2.Another invention. 'Butter Gloves'. You spread the butter with a gloved finger instead of a knife. Surely they should be called Butter Fingers?

3. An angry cat nailed to a Catherine Wheel.

One of these is a lie, but no matter, you get the impression.

The show also has a unique thing. The Countdown!!! The bottom corner of your screen will randomly countdown from 2:00 to Zero... for... what reason? A prize? Double money? The end of time? To signify your life slowly ebbing away? Or is it a ruthless cathode mindray to make you stressed, to make you pick up the phone. You choose. You've only got 30 seconds to do it in. 29...28...27...

One saving grace of the show is the very fact it is interactive. The presenters, especially Chuck likes to show the odd things sent in by viewers. So, in a plea to you dear reader, make the nation proud. Email weird drawings, bizarre thoughts, philosophical ponderings, strange photo's of yourself... anything that will get on air and hopefully make Chuck stop in his tracks... you'll want the address won't you? [email protected] or failing that, [email protected]

Go on. Do it! Let's see how funny you lot are! I'll be staying up all week to watch it so don't disappoint the nation with your strangest thoughts! Be clever though, being crass won't get you on air kids!

hecklerspray article
Q&A with Debbie King
Official QuizMania Site

By mofgimmers on March 20, 2006 in ITV 1, Set the Vid, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Review: Stars In Their Eyes Kids

Deeleyby Mof Gimmers

Five reasons why Stars in Their Eyes Kids (Live Final) is by far the most bizarre thing you're likely to see on your television. Wronger than Keith Chegwin's Naked Jungle.

1. 9 wrong kids dressed up like adults.
2. Cat Deeley's insincerity.
3. People being hung from ribbons in as an exciting introduction
4. It's the MiniPops in disguise.
5. Cat Deeley again.

Obviously, the pickle that surrounded Matthew Kelly (quite unjustly) means he wouldn't present this sprog-ramme, which means Cat Deeley has filled his shoes. Where Kelly was enthusiastic, just the right kind of 'family entertainment' camp, and genuinely seemed to enjoy the format, Deeley is all fake KY smile and bogus hoots of laughter. With this being the live final, Cat dressed up for the occasion in an outfit somewhere between a beansprout and one of Pan's People. She patronises at every step to both viewer and participant; cooing and bubbling and the cutesy wutesy wibbledy bibbledy bobbledy boo-bim-boo-baa (ad nauseum).

But nevermind that, lets look at the entrants.

The first girl up, who cares what she's called, sings a Kylie number. What that actually means is the little child gets her voice mangled and processed to shit in exactly the same manner as the pint sized popstrel. It's not so much singing, more the digital polishing of a very flappy turd. The child in question, taking it very seriously resembles the main character in The Mask. Not the Jim Carey one, the Cher one. Google it if you're not familiar with it.

It was apparent early on in the show that anger was taking its grip. This no doubt would remain as a constant throughout.

Another little oik - inexplicably - takes on 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' by Welsh dragon Bonnie Tyler. Where her pals dig Beyonce, she lurves the hallowed husk of a shipwreck vomited from the hand of Jim Steinman. The transformation from average little girl to 1980's prostitute , complete with frosted tipped bouffant, shoulderpads and Pat Butcher ear-rings is, to be quite honest, filthy and horrible. Like a reverse of Aphex Twin's 'Come to Daddy' video kids. Aside from this child's apparent lack of taste, she also seems to be a little deaf. She sings "I ged a biddle bead lonely..."

Other pod-children impersonations include a bearded 10 year old singing Lemar, an evidently talented young lass being someone I've never heard of, a hysterical and shrill Christina Aguilera wanna-be, a Joss Stone-a-like, and some spotty metal gobbed teen being Gary Jules. Who? The guy who sang that song taken from Donnie Darko. Thoroughly displeasing and all flanked by weird adults miming their instruments, quite possibly on day release from the 'catalogue model' prison.

Aside from all this, the final showed two incredible sights.

The first being that of 9 year old, Christopher Napier. The button faced boy performs as George Formby, playing a Ukulele live, and kitted out in tweed. It is odd to see someone that looks like they've just legged it from the set of 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and regressed in year along the way, but the boy is impossible to dislike. He isn't a stropping little tink, and genuinely smiles throughout his performance. He blatantly needs to be on TV more often!

However much young Napier ruled, he didn't stand a chance when the Mad Hatter's tea party rolled in view. Ben Rogers, an unlikely hero of the hour, became quite possibly, the greatest thing ever shown on any TV set anywhere. He donned his heels, mutton chops, tartan suit and top hat and emerged screaming like a honking goose trapped inside an industrial drill. "Tonight, I'm going to be Noddy Holder" spake the new saviour; And with his disturbing voice and utterly incomprehensible look (HEELS?! SIDEBURNS!? HE'S 10 YEARS FUCKING OLD!?!!) he bellowed his way through 'Cum on Feel the Noize' and subsequently blew all the cobwebs away from every single home in the universe. It wasn't hard to admire this kid, but really, you did want him to have a little tumble in his ridiculous boots.

All the kids who starred and aped got prizes from Deeley, who had obviously been instructed to make her hair cover her erect nipples (imagine the scandal, Kid blinded by TV nipple). In most cases, the stars gave away unwanted gold/platinum discs, and in some cases, left a video message. With George Formby being very dead, Napier sadly didn't get the singer's polished skull, which would have been beautiful TV.

Who knows who won in the end? Who cares? It better have been Noddy or Formby, or I'm going to the ITV and dangling someone from a window.

By mofgimmers on March 20, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Set the Vid: Inspector Morse

Morse_1by Mof Gimmers

LEWIS! Another pint Lewis...

Saturday afternoon is when many people out there are nursing barbaric hangovers from Friday night shindigs, sobbing into gloopy tea, plastic bowl to the left, self dignity to the right. What better way to cure what mongs you than a slow stroll though posh buildings and some murderous goings on with Inspector Morse?

As is de rigueur with Morse, it's all poshness getting bumped off by other ne'er-do-wells, in sumptuous surroundings. Tomorrow's episode is one of the best of the whole batch.

With typical overt snobbishness, this particular episode is called Cherubim and Seraphim. It focuses on one of the only great things to happen in the early nineties. The acid house boom.

Tragedy strikes Morse's own family, and he is forced, eyeball to gurning sweaty eyeball, to confront the generation gap. His investigation into the death of a bright young girl leads him into an alien world of house parties, raves and google-eyed drugs. Directed by Danny Boyle , famed for making The Beach, Shallow Grave and of course, Trainspotting.

ZOINKS!

With the extras in the club scene's taken from super duper club, Fantazia, and big beaming smily baby faces gawking down on a puzzled Morse, it's a wonderful snap shot of the then fledgling club scene, and the reaction of the elder statesmen.

Obviously, Morse's disgust is apparent with 'ver kids'. They don't listen to Wagner and they certainly don't cane real ale. What they do is batter down E's and twist their bacon brains around repeated thwaks from the PA.

"What are they doing Lewis?"

Cue Lewis, shirt off, gurning, foaming at the arse and reaching for the laser-beams!

Don't believe me? Tune in tomorrow and then call me a big fat steenkin' fibber.

The Ghost of Morse

* Inspector Morse, ITV1, tomorrow at 3pm

By mofgimmers on March 17, 2006 in ITV 1, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Officer Taylforth

Taylforthby Mof Gimmers

Former Eastenders star and hard shoulder gobbler Gillian Taylforth has joined the cast of police show, The Bill. Gillian played the long suffering Kathy Beale in the Walford based soap and more recently, starred in Footballer's Wives as the gurning Jackie Pascoe.

Taylforth will be playing the role of Sergeant Nikki Wright, and is hoped to feature as a major hitter on the beat.

The character of Sgt Wright will be a married mother of two who has risen quickly through the ranks. A no nonesense copper who will work hard, but be popular among her colleagues (due to a dazzling personality).

Gillian said: “I’m very happy and excited. I really love the show and I’m looking forward to the first time I can officially say ‘You’re nicked!”

Naturally, her wider that wide cock-er-ney husk will make it sound more Malboro Red than Boy in Blue, but who are we to pick nits?

Her debut will be in October sunshine.

Digital Spy article

By mofgimmers on March 16, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Review: Club Reps

Buffoonby Mof Gimmers

Imagine, if you can, the worst people ever born all descending on one place at once. People who drink so much that they're livers have long died, and so thick, a cow could outwit them playing hide and seek in a barren desert.

Imagine some more that a TV company deem it sensible to show these bovine minded people in all their hideous glory getting 'mullered', talking gibberish and dropping their pants to reveal their goods, which, even the stupidest camera man should realise that blowing them clean off with a shotgun would be better than shooting them with a trembling camera.

Ladies and gentlefolk, ITV1 is proud to present, Club Reps - The Workers.

This particular episode followed the dubious talents of Lee. Lee is the manager in Faliraki's Aquarius Bar. We see him drink so much he can only mutter "f'kn b'zz'n.. me... got me... (hic) 3 colours on...", jump into a swimming pool whilst attached to a rope and MC at a club during a power cut. Enthusiasm is something he has in abundance, talent and taste is the one thing he sadly lacks.

No matter, ITV are always proud to make stars from Britain’s slowest evolvers in the pond, and boy, this time, they've shown us just how easy it is to have your 15 minutes. Basically, get drunk and honk the loudest,

Another clapping seal was the wonderful Stacey, who makes a heartbreaking decision to go home after running up an impressive £12,000 debt. Stacey possesses a voice that implies she done a bit too much partying and not much beauty sleeping, and ended up with a voice like Madge from Neighbours. Or a terrifying bird of prey. She croakily giggles about how she hasn't paid any bills for 2 years and parades a garish studded thong to buy her 'muvva'. We then saw her and her pals necking something that looked like blood. Nice.

Stacey, before leaving, ends up on the 'Sky Surfer', which is essentially a sleeping bag hanging from a crane. While she hurtles to earth at skin stripping speeds, she passes the infamous Lee (from Aquarius) who has suddenly found himself with the mic again, shouting lewdly at a poor woman who's job it is to stand and dance in a cage next to a ride.

Sadly, she doesn't fill her sleeping bag with the warm pants of terror.

Of course, the camera gives us a glimpse of the life of a group of 'mad' girls out to cause mischief. This particular group of girlies have found notoriety by always dressing in the same costume. In their case, Naughty Nurse outfits. One girl burps "Oh my goood, people keep groping me and I feel so drunk it's brilliant" to a steamed up camera.

No doubt she ended up on a beach chucking her pelvis into the sea whilst claiming to 'wacky' to a pink faced meatball who can barely stand, talk or remember how to breathe.

The one prevailing feeling throughout the viewing is just how easy it would be to rid the world of this scourge. I have plan. Tell the locals of Faliraki to come over to England for the holiday season, and then inform George W. Bush that they've seen Osama Bin Laden hiding with his henchmen in all the hotspots of the town.

Before long, the US forces will have actually maimed a few of these people and dropped bombs on their faces, and guess what? Not one person will miss any of them. Apart from the makers of Alco-Pops that is.

By mofgimmers on March 16, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bully's Back

Bullseye_logoby Mof Gimmers

Let's have a look at what you could've won... but you don't go away empty handed, you get your BFH... that's your bus fare home... cue laughter and the inevitable tears in the bully tankard at the lost chance of a trip to Marbella...

That's right folks, Bullseye, a programme about trivia and darts, is to be screened on your idiot box once again! Just please don't say "Super, Smashing, Great..."

The show has been away from our screens for 11 years, and is making a comeback with a few differences.

Original host, Jim Bowen, won't be hoodwinking the contestants this time as he 'snubbed' a return. However, he conceded that he was "pleased to hear it was back".

The new host, Dave Spikey (ie, the man you get in when you can't afford Peter Kay) is thrilled at the prospect of being alongside original scorer Tony Green ("iiiiiiiiiin one").

"The best TV gameshow ever is back. Bullseye is a national institution. It's a pleasure to be involved" frothed Spikey, also seen in 8 out of 10 Cats.

An insider at the show said "He'll lose a few pounds and have his mullet sorted." but this time, he was referring to Bully, cartoon star of the show, not the host or contestants.

So, rubs your hands with glee as Brenda and Arthur win a speed boat, a fondue set and matching towels for him and her, all the while that elusive holiday to Costa Greatdeal eludes them... and remember, nothing in this game for two in a bed...

By mofgimmers on March 15, 2006 in ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Parky This Week

Parky Parkinson may still be the most-watched interviewer on the box (it helps that the competition is a tad flaccid), but his show isn't the must-see weekly event it used to be.

Sometimes, though, a guest is so luminous that Parky's suddenly worth talking about again. Saturday's interview with screen goddess Kathy Burke was glorious TV: not showy or grotesque, just deliciously whip-smart chatter from the artist formerly known as Kevin's mate Perry.

The good news is that you can watch the interview for free at Parky's website, along with clips of his chat with Dara O'Briain and a pair of blokes who used to be big in showtunes. The other good news is that there's an archive of highlights from previous shows. The yet more good news is that all transcripts are saved for your reading pleasure.

* Genuine Massachusetts chiropractor: Dr Kevin Perry

* Parkinson, ITV1, Saturday 18 March, 10.25pm

By janehoskyn on March 14, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Baldwin Bumped Off

BaldwinBy Mof Gimmers

For a long time, your writer has had a bizzare fetish. For years I've longed for an occurrance to happen in one of Britain's best loved soaps. The secret dream that has been harboured is this. For Mike Baldwin to be on a business trip in London and pop into the Queen Vic for a pint.

Alas, those dastardly TV people have squashed my dream flat.

Yesterday, Johnny Briggs (not to be confused with the children's series of the same name), who plays Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street, walked away from the famous cobbles of misery for the very last time. The 69 year old actor has ended a 30-year affair with the soap, after his character finally lost his battle with Alzheimers.

Those infamous stones paving the way to the Rovers Return will see Baldwin's final breath, and sure enough, it was scene to an emotional farewell from the Vienetta-haired wheeler-dealer.

"It's been a fantastic 30 years. I’ll miss all the friends I’ve made. I’ll be sad to hang up Mike’s business suits. But I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away completely and will be popping in to see my mates — between rounds of golf!" said Briggs.

You'll be able to see Mike Baldwin's heart give in next month when ITV show his exit, which was filmed this week in total secrecy. Viewers can only hope and pray that scene sees Ken Barlow legging it to the ailing Baldwin to throw one last punch in an attempt to finally get the upper hand.

Bill Roache, who plays the sullen faced Ken said yesterday "
I’m sorry to see Johnny go. Mike and Ken have had a great partnership over the years. We’ve worked well together. I wish him a long and happy retirement."

Thoughts of Mr Briggs finally having a rest and putting his feet up after all this time ouldn't be further from the mark as the actor is having his own little soap opera away from the camera.

An insider at the Street stated that Johnny is suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which means he needs a bit of sun to stop him going mental. His retirement means he can spend more time in his homes in Florida and Spain. The insider continued "
Leaving means he’s no longer tied down. All the same, it’s been very emotional seeing him go."

Also, Briggs will be spending his time sorting his divorce out to his second wife, Christine, with whom he has 4 kids with.

Aside from all this, Briggs had a little party last night at Granada studios. There he was given a case of vintage wine and a book of snapshots from his time on the soap (hopefully split into various sections; Misery/Death/Infidelity/Knickers).

All in all, the street will have one less perma-tanned grin bumbling around Rita's wares, and one less person for Deirdre to throw husked howls at. Suffice to say that the older (uglier) cast are being phased out for a new batch of identikit teens which are grown on a farm in Cheshire somewhere. In fact, it's all a bit like the clones from Star Wars isn't it? Does that make Ken Barlow the Palpatine of the show?

No matter, it's goodbye to Baldwin, and his massive building bursting with underpants.

* It's bye-bye to Baldwin - The Sun

By mofgimmers on March 14, 2006 in ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Liberty Baker 'Not Real' Shock

Clipboard01_46 By Mof Gimmers

Anyone who has rested an eyeball on their screen when Footballers' Wives is on will know exactly what to expect. It's less a TV show and more a glorified lads' mag.

One of the show's stars, Phina Oruche, who plays Liberty Baker, has come out by revealing that she isn't like her character one bit.

Liberty has infamously had a 'steamy' lesbian relationship, strutted around in the buff and 'romped' in the back of a car. I'm sure there are a few blokes out there who would have you believe that all the actresses involved are just the same off screen, but to say they're deluded... well.

Phina says she couldn't be less like her character. She's told all that she is a practising Christian, and is saving herself for her wedding night.

"It is ironic that I'm playing a sexual character like Liberty," says Phina. "I'm celibate and haven't had sex for two years, so I think it's God's cosmic joke that I get off at work but not at home."

Most people in the acting world aren't fortunate enough to warrant scrutiny from the man upstairs, let alone fall for a 'cosmic joke'. Her hints have left ITV bosses apparently trying to secure The Almighty's signature for a series of practical joke shows, much like Beadle's About, with the aforemention 'cosmic' twist.

Her decision to take the part in Footballers' Wives has raised eyebrows at her local church, with the concerned flock wondering if she is doing the right thing.

"There are a lot of people at church who I wish would leave me alone," she confesses. "But I'm not trying to be a role model. I don't think we honour God by judging each other."

She went on "My attitude is that I'll play any character, as long as it's made clear that there are consequences for their actions. Because in life, if you do something like sleep with someone's husband, there will be consequences. Your sexuality is sacred and you shouldn't boff everything that moves," she explains.

"Sex can get in the way. In the past, I've tried hard to make relationships work just because they were hot in bed. I'm not driven by that any more. There are more important things to look for - someone who shares the same values and morals." she added.

Whether or not she cried herself to sleep after having doing a lesbian scene, and essentially, sinning in front of God could not be confirmed in anyway, but suffice to say, she's praying every night and been a relatively faithful Christian for the 5 years since she became born again.

So there you have it. Actors do have lives after all.

By mofgimmers on March 10, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apprentice Postscript

Jo_cameron_skinner Harry Hill observation of the week: Apprentice berserker Jo Cameron = Frank Skinner in drag.

(Please do watch Harry Hill's TV Burp. Best thing on ITV. Best thing on all weekend, in fact, apart from Simon Amstell's bits in Popworld.)

* Harry Hill's TV Burp, ITV1, Saturdays, 5.30pm
* Popworld, C4, Saturdays at 10.30am

By janehoskyn on March 9, 2006 in Channel 4, Comedy, ITV 1, Quote of the Day | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Set the Vid: Best of The Muppets

Muppets By Mof Gimmers

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights... ahh, the dulcet tones of a hoarde of fuzzy boggle-eyed creatures.

Kermit and his crew will be making a special TV appearance this Saturday, in a novel twist on the Best Of... programmes that have covered everything from 100 Best British Number Ones to 6000 Ace Cop Shows That End Up In Some Innocent Fella Getting A Clout From A Dozy Copper and, obviously, TV's Most Embarrassing Barrel-Scrapings.

As ever, there will be talking heads on this. Those people who are autocued an imagined nostalgia moment for a show they seldom viewed. ITV have got a line-up including Robson Green, Davina McCall, Parky, Angus Deayton and probably Dave Spikey, who has become someone who merely says things like "Oranges? You don't see them about anymore do you?"

Of course, dewy eyeballs will gaze longingly at Debbie Harry's appearance dressed in a cub uniform, and of course, Mark Hammill's appearance, the satsuma-headed Roger Moore and hopefully, fingers crossed, the man in black, Sir Johnny of Cash.

It is inevitable that if this programme is viewed by anyone over the age of 35, they'll claim to have seen all the classic bits, interrupt punchlines and no doubt mutter 'I love this bit...' before 90% of the clips.

All said and done, it'll be a stellar show of clips, complete with the seam splitting 'Manha Manha' song, and killer footage of Animal going mental like an autistic boy in a light switch factory. It'll be equal parts joy (the Muppets clips) and equal parts blind hatred (Robson Green/Deayton segments).

Related stories:
Nostalgia Corner: The Muppet Show

* Best Ever Muppet Moments, ITV1, Saturday 11 March, 7pm

By mofgimmers on March 9, 2006 in Comedy, ITV 1, Imports, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Corrie Pub Quiz

Clipboard01_44 By Mof Gimmers

The nation's two favourite pastimes, watching soap operas and sitting in pubs talking about trivia, are to be married in an ITV pub quiz, beamed straight into your homes from the Rover's Return.

TV execs have come up with the staggeringly brilliant title of The Rover's Return Pub Quiz (there's already a book of it). Stars of the show will be included in the programme, which comes to ITV in May. Unfortunately, it looks like the show will budge the glorious QuizMania out of the listings.

The show will be filmed on a mock-up of the original Rover's set. "It will be just like a pub quiz held in the Rovers," says ITV. "We hope it will appeal to Corrie fans who can win big cash prizes by texting or phoning with the right answers."

By mofgimmers on March 9, 2006 in ITV 1, ITV 2, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm A Celeb: What They Did Next

Alex_best

By janehoskyn on March 8, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nostalgia Corner: The Muppet Show

Muppet_show Haven't decided whether to be happy or not that ITV has got Robson Green and Davina McCall to reminisce about The Muppet Show next week. "Oh I LOVE the Swedish Chef!! It's SO exciting!!"

Still, any excuse to see re-runs of Kermit singing Rainbow Connection with Debbie Harry. Sniffle...

* Best Ever Muppet Moments, ITV1, Saturday 11 March, 7pm

12 Muppetfacts

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) was dedicated to the memory of Mup-daddy Jim Henson. Henson died on 16 May 1990 – the same day as Sammy Davis Jr.

2. Chris Langham from The Thick of It was one of the chief writers on The Muppet Show. In 1981 he guest-starred as a last-minute replacement for Richard Pryor. He did magic tricks with sausages and impersonated an owl.

3. Henson's mate George Lucas offered him the role of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Henson declined and suggested his Muppet Show second-in-command, Frank Oz, for the part.

4. Lucas spent thousands on a campaign to get Frank Oz an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Empire Strikes Back. Didn't happen.

5. Oz, who voiced Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal, was also the hands of the Swedish Chef.

6. Oz is magic, 1: He brings good luck to movie director John Landis. When he appears in a Landis film (Trading Places, The Blue Brothers, American Werewolf in London), the film does well. When he doesn't (Twilight Zone: The Movie), it tanks.

7. Oz is magic, 2: The last three letters of his car's number plate are PYK, for Piggy, Yoda, and Kermit. But he didn't order it specially; it was standard issue.

8. Jim Henson became famous after his puppets were used in Sesame Street (1969-infinity). But he hated being typecast as a kids' entertainer, so he tried to become a Saturday Night Live regular. But he and the rest of the cast hated each other.

9. When Henson tried Plan B – a grown-up version of Sesame Street – no US network wanted it. Michael Grade's dad, legendary Brit telly boss Lew Grade, was the only person interested. But when he aired The Muppet Show in 1976, no-one watched it.

10. It eventually became the most-watched show in telly history.

11. The original Kermit was made out of Henson's mum's old coat and a ping-pong ball. He was a sort of lizard, and named after Henson's old childhood friend from Mississippi.

12. At first, the show struggled to attract big-name guests, so the production crew got their friends in. Luckily, their friends included Bruce Forsyth (season 1 show 3, 1976) and Peter Ustinov (season 1 show 12, 1976). The guests only really started rolling after Rudolf Nureyev performed Swine Lake with Miss Piggy in season 2.

Great Muppet websites:
* ToughPigs
* Muppet Wiki
* Annie Sue
* Which Muppet Are You?
* Kermitage

Not great Muppet websites:
* Muppets.com – Disney-owned corporate swill

By janehoskyn on March 3, 2006 in Comedy, ITV 1, Imports, Nostalgia Corner, Set the Vid, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Penny Quotes of the Day

Penny_smith_gallery_1 "I haven't dismissed the idea of adopting a child, but I haven't dismissed skydiving in the future either."

"Like most people in the public eye I think it would be so nice to have a face-lift without surgery. I wish they could smooth out my face with rubber gloves. Or a face transplant."

GMTV presenter and Just the Two of Us underdog Penny Smith, who is delightful and looks very handy for 48. However she has a singing voice like cats being boiled in paint stripper.

* Just the Two of Us, BBC1, Thursday 2 March, 8pm

By janehoskyn on February 28, 2006 in BBC 1, ITV 1, Quote of the Day, Reality TV | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Kinga 4 Kemal

S4_03 Over to the News of the Screws for the zeleb story of the weekend. "Hefty, lust-crazed Kinga and girly, bitchy Kemal are madly in LOVE. And, gulp, they're having SEX."

Seems that K n' K, who were in the Big Brother 6 house at different times last summer, met during "a series of after-parties". Kemal says that his parents are glad he's not doing boys now, but they don't like Kinga either. Kinga says: "We're both living with our parents, so the only time we can have sex is in the back of my Fiat Punto."

Kinga and Kemal do not share a PR agent.

Elsewhere in the Screws, Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner disapproved of ice-based sexual equality. "[Sean Wilson aka Martin Platt off Corrie] let a woman lift him on the ice," shrieked the professional he-bitch. "What a horrendous gender bender. It was ugly. I didn't want to see it. He was scared of doing a [David] Seaman and falling, and I have NO respect for that." Get her.

* Dancing on Ice, ITV1, Saturday 4 March, 7.15pm and 9.20pm

Related stories:
Wanna Be On BB7?
Davina's Waxwork
We Can Keep Makosi

By janehoskyn on February 27, 2006 in Channel 4, E4, ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pop Idol Out, X Factor In

Clipboard01_22_1 Simon Cowell's karma police are on form this week. Having gamely withdrawn his Star Duets idea because it was identical to the Beeb's Just the Two of Us, Cowell has won his reward: Celebrity X Factor.

It was originally going to be Celeb Pop Idol, with Ant and, inevitably, Dec. But the show had to be scrapped after A&D noticed they were a bit busy.

Hearing of ITV's plight, Cowell sprang into action and pitched Celeb X Factor as a replacement. Canny lad. Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh will join Cowell on the judging panel, and, with any luck, dancing scrotum* Chico will be banned from the studio. (* © Simon Amstell from Popworld.)

Meanwhile, Ant and Dec's diary looks something like this: April = promoting movie Alien Autopsy; May = interviewing Walesy/Wills/Harry for Prince's Trust anniversary; June = Poker Face gameshow (maybe); July = Ant gets married; August = All Star Golf; September = Saturday Night Takeaway; October-November = I'm a Celeb. Lazy gits.

By janehoskyn on February 27, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: The Brits

Clipboard02_5 Watching, let alone enjoying, The Brit Awards has become a very 1989 thing to do. Only 4.6 million viewers bothered with the ITV broadcast last night, down more than a third from last year.

There was no chance I'd ever not watch it. I'm drawn to televised awards ceremonies like unneutered beagles are drawn to legs. I'll even watch ones that feature so much on-stage death (did they steal your funnies as well as your identity, Harry?) that you end up chewing through the gristle holding your knuckles together.

After the break: Paris plays pop, and the godlike Prince

The evening did not begin well. Poor befuddled con victim Harry Hill failed to realise that a statement of fact about Guy and Madonna does not constitute a joke, and was met with confused silence by the vast audience of Famous People (at tables on an elevated area at the back) and proles (in the moat between the stage and the Famous People).

Host Chris Evans, fresh from banging another nail into the coffin of his TV career with OFI Sunday, took pity on HH, graciously grabbing the "you're not funny any more" trophy with his Boy George gag.

Evans' comment about the coke stash was embarrassing enough to make even Paris Hilton tear her diamond-encrusted Blackberry off her ear and go "did he really just say that?". If a Big Breakfast script-writer had come up with something of that standard, Evans would have sacked the witless pebblehead on the spot.

Paris herself wasn't immune from Evans' whiplash wit. Once she'd left the stage after presenting an award, he quipped to somebody -- I can't remember who because I was distracted by my astonishment that he actually bothered saying it -- "Have you ever slept in a Hilton?"

(Memo to Simon Amstell: Please, please, please don't let the Chris Evans thing happen to you. See also: Johnny Vaughan.)

It was at this point that producers realised they had to do something. They had to introduce some laughs. So they got Madonna to come on stage and open her gob.

The actual words that she spoke have long since escaped my memory, but I think they went something like this: "Christmas is for most of us a time for a break from work, for family and friends, for presents, turkey and crackers. My husband and I wish to congratulate Coldplay on winning this award. And what is it that you do?"

Actually that can't be right; she never mentioned her husband.

I'm starting to bang on a bit now, so the rest of this review will be brought to you in bite-size chunk form:

Stuff I liked

* Prince, the artist formerly known as Granada. He can twist himself into just as many yogatastic shapes as you can, Chris Martin you big silly ponce -- he just chooses not to. He delivered an absolutely splendid set that would have improved the show enormously if it had been two hours long and they'd done all the awards in the final 10 minutes. Please will you do Glastonbury next year, Mr Prince? Please? I love you.

* The Mastercard sponsorship ads, especially Love & Pride.

* KT Tunstall, a class act in attitude and performance. By being witty and relaxed and just epically likeable, she made Madonna look like a desperate X Factor auditionee. KT's "I'm going to take the head off and give it to Kate Bush for extra brain storage" was a genuine tribute, quite unlike Madge's hilarious "Goldfrapp is great", which was just a rip-off get-out card.

* Kanye West's acceptance speech. I enjoyed it because I didn't know WTF he was saying, and it was quite fun to picture the poor subtitler going into meltdown. (When faced with a similar challenge, the Live 8 subtitler gave up and wrote: "Snoop Dogg raps")

* Gorillaz. Made all the sweeter by the thought of Damon Albarn sitting at home laughing his bot cheeks off because he didn't even have to turn up.

* Coldplay's little announcement. Yes it was self-important and tedious in the extreme, but it was nonetheless welcome.

Stuff I didn't like

* Finding out that Coldplay aren't quitting after all. (Or maybe their furious bosses at EMI just ordered them to deny it all so that the share price would recover.)

* Chris Martin. The way he sticks a couple of fingers up when he holds his mic. The way he keeps on dropping to his knees and bending right back, because he can. The way he hops on one foot. The way he speaks, which sounds exactly the same as the way he sings. The cosy way in which Madonna said "Hi Chris" when she mwahed him and handed over his award. The bumfluff on his tummy. The smugness. The hypocrisy. The massive 4x4 in his garage. Everything everything everything everything. MAKE CHRIS MARTIN HISTORY.

* Paul Weller's hair. Did he steal it off Janice Battersby? (btw Weller was offered the chance to perform with James Blunt. He turned it down.)

* The absence of a dance music category. Chemical Brothers and Goldfrapp both released excellent albums in 2005. And a live performance by Alison Goldfrapp would have been a delicious two fingers to rip-off merchant Madonna, who had the cheek to cite AG as a trailblazer (see above).

* The absence of a karaoke category. Would've been lovely to see those nice Westlife boys win something.

* Odd nominees in the 'pop' category. James Blunt and Katie Melua aren't pop, they're MOR. Where were Sugababes and Girls Aloud?

* Odd nominees in the International Artist category. Bjork is great and that, but she's turning into the new Annie Lennox -- nominated every year, whether she's been releasing stuff or not. Where was Gwen Stefani?

* Green Day getting Best International Album for an album that's nearly two years old.

* Not being there. In a past life as a journalistic star-shagger I went to the Brits. Sort of. I was in the press junket room upstairs and round the back of Earl's Court, where no-one knew who was winning what because we were too busy throwing questions at a parade of Famous People like Jon Bon Jovi, who's quite tasty actually. It was a good ten minutes after Jarvis Cocker had shaken his bum at Lord Michael Jackson of the Kingdom of Heaven that the news filtered upstairs. Sadly, neither Jarvis nor Michael came to the press room to recreate the incident.

And now...

All the Brits winners, swiped off BBC.co.uk:

British male solo artist: James Blunt
Also nominated: Anthony and the Johnsons, Ian Brown, Robbie Williams, Will Young.

British female solo artist: KT Tunstall
Also nominated: Charlotte Church, Kate Bush, Katie Melua, KT Tunstall, Natasha Bedingfield.

British album: Coldplay - X&Y
Also nominated: Gorillaz - Demon Days, James Blunt - Back To Bedlam, Kaiser Chiefs - Employment, Kate Bush - Aerial.

British single: Coldplay - Speed of Sound
Also nominated: James Blunt - You're Beautiful, Shayne Ward - That's My Goal, Sugababes - Push The Button, Tony Christie - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.

British group: Kaiser Chiefs
Also nominated: Coldplay, Hard-Fi, Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz

British rock act: Kaiser Chiefs
Also nominated: Franz Ferdinand, Hard-Fi, Kasabian, Oasis.

Pop act: James Blunt
Also nominated: Katie Melua, Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, Westlife.

British urban act: Lemar
Also nominated: Craig David, Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Lemar, Ms Dynamite.

British live act: Kaiser Chiefs
Also nominated: Oasis, KT Tunstall, Kaiser Chiefs, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand

British breakthrough act: Arctic Monkeys
Also nominated: James Blunt, Kaiser Chiefs, KT Tunstall, Magic Numbers.

International breakthrough act: Jack Johnson
Also nominated: Arcade Fire, Daniel Powter, John Legend, Pussycat Dolls.

International male solo artist: Kanye West
Also nominated: Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Jack Johnson, John Legend.

International female solo artist: Madonna
Also nominated: Bjork, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott.

International group: Green Day
Also nominated: Arcade Fire, Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, U2, White Stripes.

International album: Green Day - American Idiot
Also nominated: Arcade Fire - Funeral, Kanye - Late Registration, Madonna - Confessions On A Dancefloor, U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

Oustanding contribution: Paul Weller

By janehoskyn on February 17, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

News of the Chico

Chico__main_flamenco Chico Time off The X Factor update 1: Chico wants to "settle down" with a Scottish woman. No particular Scottish woman, just a Scottish woman. I'm sure Simon Cowell's got Michelle McManus's phone number somewhere.

(That was a cheap shot. I'm sorry Michelle. You seem like a top bird, and you put up very graciously with that angry elderly lady in You Are What You Eat.)

Chico Time off The X Factor update 2: Chico will produce and star in a film he's written, like George Clooney. Lunchbox, for that is its title, is based on Chico's experiences as a stripper. Chico will play himself.

By janehoskyn on February 17, 2006 in ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Going Up

Life_on_mars_up * Life on Mars: Series 2 has, inevitably, been rubber-stamped. Great, but I foresee a Lost-style problem: they're never actually going to tell us what's going on, are they? Watch this space for more on LoM2.

* Hyperdrive: BBC2's supersonic rubbish has been recommissioned, defying every known law of physics and comedy. Nick Frost, Kevin Eldon and co will return, poor sods.

* Two shows with Gordon Ramsay's clammy hands all over them are coming back: C4's The F Word, despite disappointing ratings and being quite bad, and ITV's Hell's Kitchen, in which Fit But My Gosh Don't You Know It cook Jean-Christophe Novelli returns, Rhodesless.

Meanwhile, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares returns this week. One day, the big sweary tosser may eventually get back to work.

* 29 Minutes Of Fame: Bob Mortimer's panel game apparently got enough viewers to win another go. Strewth. Maybe it's just really cheap to make?

* Armstrong & Miller: This one's unconfirmed, but Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are reported to be resurrecting their C4 sketch show.

* Celebrity Love Island: Kate Lawler. Shane Lynch. Max Beesley. Nurse! The valium.

* Family Fortunes: With Vernon Kay instead of Les Dennis.

* Ideal: Johnny Vegas will be back as Moz in BBC3 dopecom.

* My Hero: This dog should have been shot in utero, but series 6 is upon us, with James Dreyfus filling Thermoman’s boots.

* Strictly Dance Fever: returns soon to fill the yawning gap left by Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice.

* This Is Your Life: Trevor McDonald holds the red book in a revamped 60-minute version of the TV institution.

By janehoskyn on February 16, 2006 in BBC 1, BBC 2, Channel 4, Comedy, Drama, ITV 1, Reality TV, Sci Fi, TV News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Going Down

Popworld_copy There's a spot of culling going on in tellyland. Let's try to make this quick and painless:

* Popworld: They killed Popworld! You bastards! This show is the best thing about weekends, especially if you watch it later and fast forward through the James Blunt videos. Simon Amstell is a television deity. I am distraught. More about this another time, when I can see through my snotty tears.

* Eleventh Hour: Given its prime ITV slot and fat budget, Patrick Stewart's UK telly comeback needed to have a lot of viewers. It didn't. So they won't be doing it again.

* Dick & Dom In Da Bungalow: D&D are to be evicted after more than 260 episodes of what those in the know call "Saturday morning mayhem". The slot will be filled with The Mighty Truck of Stuff – don't know about the show, but loving that title – and Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood are "in talks" about new shows. Just not Ask the Family, eh lads?

* Morning Glory: The curse of the C4 breakfast slot lives on, and Dermot O'Leary's show has been rubbed out. C4 bosses say the search is on for "a big idea". Early-bird Deal or No Deal?

By janehoskyn on February 16, 2006 in BBC 1, Channel 4, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Me Who Too

Doctorrose_copy TV honchos are currently engaged in a frenzied game of Promote Your Show By Making It Sound Like Doctor Who.

Ginger thesp Douglas Henshall is about to start filming ITV's new £6m six-parter Primaeval, in which he plays a time-travelling scientist with a feisty blonde assistant.

After the break: Why Dougie's scientist has nothing at all in common with any other time-travelling scientist with a feisty blonde assistant.

First off, he's a Professor, not a Doctor. And they time-hop using black holes, not a Tardis. And his assistant is played by Hannah 'S Club' Spearitt (the Baby Spice one), not Billie Piper. How much more different can you get?

Meanwhile the Beeb is publicising an episode of daytime soap Doctors with a press release titled: "Doctor Who and Boba Fett cross swords in the Doctors Galaxy". You've got from now until 2.05pm on 8 March to guess what the bejaysus that's all about.

By janehoskyn on February 12, 2006 in BBC 1, ITV 1, Sci Fi, TV News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hill's A-Poppin'

0002e541f01c13ea8f560c01ac1bf814 Neckless physician Harry Hill is all over the front of today's Mirror in what sounds like a mocked-up soap edit from TV Burp.

Seems an "identity fraudster" threatened bad things to a "bank checkout girl" if she didn't hand over confidential details of H's accounts. Thusly, £280,000 was "plundered" from the "TV funnyman's" savings.

The Mirror itself hands over some handy personal details: Hill's real name is Dr Matthew Hall, he's 41 and he banks at the Battersea branch of Halifax.

Still, all's well etc: some of the cash was recovered, and the rest refunded by the bank. The poor cashier probably needs a holiday.

* Best telly sleb website of all time (including you, Gervais): HarryHill.tv
* Bert Kwouk reveals how to catch a chicken: Harry Hill's Fun Book

* Harry Hill's TV Burp, ITV1, Saturday at 5.15pm

By janehoskyn on February 9, 2006 in Comedy, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Ben_shephard_marg "My pin-up is Marg Helgenberger, who plays Catherine Willows in CSI. Someone I know interviewed her and she's quite prickly, apparently. But anyone who has some sort of fast food in their surname has to be cool."

GMTV boy wonder Ben Shephard, who likes 'em lean, mean and ginger.

* Margfact: Marg's husband Alan Rosenberg was recently elected president of the Screen Actors' Guild, bestowers of the SAG awards. He cameoed as Adam Novak in the CSI episode Weeping Willows.

* GMTV Entertainment Today, ITV1, Fridays at 8.35am
* CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Five, Tuesdays at 9pm

By janehoskyn on February 8, 2006 in Five, ITV 1, Quote of the Day | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beeb Wins World Cup

Clipboard01_30 If you hate football, click here. If you love football, or even if you have a passing interest in the fact that there's some games on this summer, read on.

The BBC has grabbed exclusive rights to show England's opening 2006 World Cup game against Paraguay on 10 June. Auntie also gets to show England's first knockout clash, and she's won first dibs on the quarter-finals.

After the break: All the BBC and ITV World Cup listings

It's not all gloom for ITV. They'll be showing England's group games against Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago. And they get to show any England semi-final or final appearance – but it'll also be on the BBC at the same time. Ref, have a word!

BBC and ITV World Cup listings (times BST)

9 June
1700: Germany v Costa Rica - BBC
2000: Poland v Ecuador - ITV

10 June
1400: England v Paraguay - BBC
1700: Trindad & Tobago v Sweden - ITV
2000: Argentina v Ivory Coast - ITV

11 June
1400: Serbia & Montenegro v Netherlands - BBC
1700: Mexico v Iran - BBC
2000: Angola v Portugal - ITV

12 June
1400: Australia v Japan - ITV
1700: USA v Czech Republic - BBC
2000: Italy v Ghana - BBC

13 June
1400: South Korea v Togo - BBC
1700: France v Switzerland - BBC
2000: Brazil v Croatia - BBC

14 June
1400: Spain v Ukraine - ITV
1700: Tunisia v S Arabia - ITV
2000: Germany v Poland - BBC

15 June
1400: Ecuador v Costa Rica - ITV
1700: England v Trinidad & Tobago - ITV
2000: Sweden v Paraguay - ITV

16 June
1400: Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro - BBC
1700: Netherlands v Ivory Coast - ITV
2000: Mexico v Angola - ITV

17 June
1400: Portugal v Iran - BBC
1700: Czech Republic v Ghana - ITV
2000: Italy v USA - ITV

18 June
1400: Japan v Croatia - ITV
1700: Brazil v Australia - ITV
2000: France v South Korea - BBC

19 June
1400: Togo v Switzerland - BBC
1700 S Arabia v Ukraine - ITV
2000: Spain v Tunisia - BBC

20 June
1500: Ecuador v Germany/Costa Rica v Poland - ITV
2000: Paraguay v T'dad & Tobago/Sweden v England - ITV

21 June
1500: Iran v Angola/Portugal v Mexico - ITV
2000: Netherlands v Argentina/I Coast v Serbia & M - ITV

22 June
1500: Czech Republic v Italy/Ghana v USA - BBC
2000: Japan v Brazil/Croatia v Australia - BBC

23 June
1500: Ukraine v Tunisia/S Arabia v Spain - BBC
2000: Togo v France/Switzerland v S Korea - BBC

* Webwatch: BBC.co.uk World Cup Predictor

* Webwatch: Design your own World Cup online game (Teens only, which is so unfair)

* Webwatch: RoboCup, the Robot World Cup

By janehoskyn on February 7, 2006 in BBC 1, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: Agatha Christie's Marple

2 Daisy Christodoulou reviews ITV's new Marple

When Agatha Christie first struck upon the idea of writing detective stories, she could hardly have known that 80 years later her creations would be providing a nice little earner for legions of fading British character actors.

ITV's Poirot has been funding actors' second homes for nearly 20 years, and the new Miss Marple adaptation with Geraldine McEwan does much the same.

Now in its second series, Agatha Christie's Marple provides all the lavish period sets and costumes you expect from this kind of Sunday night detective drama, together with the aforementioned British cast of ex-soap stars and needy theatrical actors.

Dawn French, Paul McGann and Sarah Parish all provided something to ponder over when the red herrings were coming a bit slowly - which in fairness, wasn't very often in what was a neatly plotted and fast-moving start to the second series of this adaptation.

It's a bit like a dramatic version of Celebrity Big Brother, with the same motley collection of utterly random actors who have been slowly slipping off the celeb radar for a while now, and the same vague thrill you get from realising that yes, that woman is that one off that soap from five years ago who you thought was dead.

The sole difference is that in some cases, notably in those of Dawn French and Martin Kemp, there's probably better acting on Celebrity Big Brother. Martin Kemp played the role of Martin Kemp and despite the complete lack of evidence against him worked his way into the position of chief suspect by virtue of the fact that he is, well, Martin Kemp. There weren't any ashtrays in sight, but you did feel it was just a matter of time before Geraldine McEwan triumphantly accosted him with details of his brutal murder of a young blonde girl in his past life.

Una Stubbs continued what, after an appearance on The Catherine Tate Show, could justifiably be called her comeback. Apparently she didn’t die after her 1970s role as Tony Blair's father in law's girlfriend (think about it) but is actually still alive and has clearly inherited her father's habit of using phrases like 'silly mare'.

Geraldine McEwan continued to put her own stamp on a role that's had many other incarnations. Her Marple has more of a sense of fun than Joan Hickson's rather stolid, ultra-faithful version, but is nevertheless more believable than Margaret Rutherford's often ludicrously kitsch take on the detective.

There are three more Marples in this current series, featuring ex-James Bonds and Margaret Thatchers, among others. If they are all as well-made and amusing as this, they'll be an entertaining way to banish the Sunday evening blues for a couple of hours.

* Agatha Christie's Marple, ITV1, Sundays at 9pm

* Read Daisy's blog: Postcards of the Hanging

By janehoskyn on February 7, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0)

News of the Lewis

Lewis_3 This week's Holy Moly newsletter offers the following trip into the anal-retentive mind of the 'tec drama fan:

"Re: Lewis. The viewer called to complain that all the mathematical symbols were incorrect on the blackboard, and was therefore unable to watch the programme." (From the ITV duty log)

* Lewisflash: As Britney Spears' handheld dog could have predicted, Lewis will be coming back. Good, because "one-off spin-off" sounds silly.

The inaugural Lewis pulled in over 11 million viewers last Sunday, and Broadcast now reports that ITV is "is in the process of tying down actor Kevin Whately, with a view to shooting." Seems harsh.

By janehoskyn on February 4, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1, TV News, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moron and On and On

Piersmorganlatelate05 He's tried dodgy share deals, fake photos, working with Amanda Platell. But Piers "Morgan" Moron just won't flush down that U-bend.

Chilled-out entertainer Piers is now planning a three-headed TV assault:

1. Moron's tittle-tattle potboiler, The Insider, is to be made into a one-off C4 drama by Shameless and State of Play creator Paul Abbott, says Broadcast. (Got a tax bill to pay, Paul?). Colin Firth is in line to play Moron, says Moron.

2. Moron also reckons that he, and not Cilla Black, will replace Paul O'Grady in ITV's 5pm slot. The C4 execs who killed ratings-vacuum Morgan & Platell will be delighted.

3. And let's not forget that Moron is one of the judges on ITV's upcoming Saturday night talent show, produced by Simon Cowell's company and hosted by, yup, Paul O'Grady.

We've decided that we don't like telly any more.

By janehoskyn on February 2, 2006 in Channel 4, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cowell Quote of the Day

Clipboard01_22 "It was a bit galling when I first read about the BBC show, as we’d been working on pre-production on Star Duets for a year. There is no way we could do the same show. But Star Duets will be a big hit in America.”

Simon Cowell, whose hair is like a scrubbing brush, texture-wise.

Today's Sun reports that "Si" has shelved his mooted ITV show because it's too similar (well, identical) to the BBC's upcoming Just The Two of Us. But don't cry for Cowell: he's flogged Star Duets to Fox, and will probably be able to buy Wyoming with the proceeds.

Bonusquote: "We ban certain songs. I never want to hear Fallin' by Alicia Keys again in my life. I can't stand it any more. I'm allergic to it. And it's the same with I Believe I Can Fly."

* Beat up the Cowell: AngrySimon.com
* Vote for the Cowell: AmIAnnoying.com

By janehoskyn on February 1, 2006 in BBC 1, ITV 1, Quote of the Day, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: Lewis

Lewis_2 Time-travelling cops and sexy forensics are all very well, but what the punters really want is a Geordie bloke catching crims among dreaming spires and shops selling "I went to Oxford and all I got was this lousy" [T-shirt/mug/Morse book of sudoku etc].

A cor blimey 11.3 million viewers tuned into ITV's Morse spin-off Lewis on Sunday night. It's not quite the 13.7 mill who saw the final Inspector Morse, but it's the highest rating for a single show since the Christmas Day 'Enders.

After the break: Was Lewis any cop? And WTF that photo is about

MorseSunday night's one-off spin-off saw Kevin Whatley return as Detective Inspector (ne Sergeant) Lewis. Where there's a daddy cop there's got to be a sidekick, and, in a smart twist, Lewis's new playmate turned out to be a smartarse mini-Morse, with a propah education and a thing for cryptic crosswords.

Mini-Morse was not just a charismatic scene-stealer; he also seemed maddeningly familiar. That's it, by jove! He's Prince Charles off Whatever Love Means, ITV's pre-Christmas tat-tastic treat. Did you see it? Extraordinary. It may prove to be history's greatest example of TV nonsense from which you cannot peel yourself away, even as you feel your brain cells dying one by one.

Prince Charles aka Mini-Morse is played by dynastic upstart Laurence Fox, who is Emilia's cousin, James's son and Edward's nephew. If he'd been rubbish as newbie Det Sgt James Hathaway I'd have taken great delight in deploring the nepotism that (possibly) helped win Foxy Jr such a plum role, but his Hathaway was the best thing about Lewis, so I'll humbly overlook it.

Sadly, much else about Lewis was disappointing, including Lewis himself. It's six years since 13.7 million viewers saw Whatley/Lewis cradle the dying Morse in an Oxford quad, and four years have passed since the death of Morse actor John Thaw. But the ghost of Morse was crowbarred into every scene of Lewis, and such unsubtlety was its undoing.

Hathaway's Morseishness was a cute device and an actorly triumph, but the writers couldn't leave it there. Instead, they bloated their film with tedious knowing nods to the great man: Lewis nearly getting run over by a vintage red Jag, the Endeavour music award, the cooing remembrances from pub landladies. Morse even ended up solving the case from beyond the grave with a half-finished crossword clue.

Lewis was a great deputy. As the man in charge, he's got all the charm and charisma of wet toast. Guvnor coppers have balls of steel and such a passion for the job that everything else in life is trivial – they're John Thaw or Helen Mirren. Lewis always gave the impression that he'd rather be at Parents' Evening.

Still, it was more than capable Sunday-night viewing, especially with the disappointingly soapy The Virgin Queen and Britain's Psychic Challenge on the other side. With swill like Heartbeat masquerading as cop-based entertainment, any return to the world of Morse is to be welcomed with drooling gratitude. And in Det Sgt James Hathaway we have a diverting new character who deserves another airing – but next time, put him in charge of Lewis.

* Make it official: The Inspector Morse Website
* Every Morse ever: Episode Guide
* Virtual tour: Inspector Morse's Oxford
* Olden days: Nostalgia Central on Morse
* Morse DVDs... Get yer Morse DVDs...

By janehoskyn on January 31, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Tom9 "Eamonn Holmes with his terrible 'I'm eating shit' grin, and that acid blonde Fiona – bottle blonde, black bush. I couldn't possibly go on, I would be sick in his lap."

Fourth Doctor turned Little Britain narrator Tom Baker, now unlikely to be invited onto GMTV

By janehoskyn on January 31, 2006 in ITV 1, Quote of the Day | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pasquale vs Edmonds

Pasq05 ITV is to claw all those afternoon viewers off C4 the only way it knows how: by booting kids' TV and replacing it with Joe Pasquale giving away some sofas.

Half an hour of CiTV will be ditched for a Pasquale-fronted revamp of The Price is Right, which ITV hopes will put a dent in the fabulous ratings blunderbuss Deal Or No Deal. Not a chance.

* Deal Or No Deal, C4, weekdays 4.15pm, Sat 5.45pm

By janehoskyn on January 30, 2006 in Channel 4, ITV 1, More4, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Lewis "These days it's called the Morse Bar. It even serves a Lewis special: Bacardi, cherry brandy, creme de banana, lime juice and champagne. It's not exactly what I picture Lewis drinking."

Kevin Whately discussing foul bevvies at Oxford's Randolph Hotel, where he used to stay whilst filming Inspector Morse. Whately returns as Sergeant Lewis – now Inspector Lewis – this Sunday in ITV's new spin-off, Lewis. We'll be reviewing it next week.

* Inspector Morse: The Complete Series DVD box-set

* Lewis, ITV1, Sunday 29 Jan, 9pm

By janehoskyn on January 24, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1, Quote of the Day, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Clipboard02_4 "My pin-up is my co-star Jemima Rooper from Hex. I don't think there are enough gothic lesbian ghosts on TV."

Jamie Davis, aka Leon in Hex and Harley in Footballers' Wives.

* Footballers' Wives: Extra Time, ITV1, tonight at 11pm
* Hex, season 3, may be on Sky One this year. You could always sign the petition...

By janehoskyn on January 20, 2006 in Drama, ITV 1, Quote of the Day, Sci Fi, Sky One | Permalink | Comments (0)

Set the Vid: Harry Hill's TV Burp

Harryhill Harry Hill: Marmite with pointy collars. The man is undeniably funny, but his brand of humour is so divisive it's probably been cited on divorce papers.

That said, I'm not sure whether I love him or hate him. Sometimes I'll wet my actual pants at his wobble-headed ramblings and "who's got the biggest face, Mick Hucknall or Rory McGrath?", while at other times he irritates me so much I want to push his head right down inside his collars until he squeaks.

Anyway, his website has most excellent illustrations. Check out the one of Wossy before it changes into something else.

* Harry Hill's TV Burp, ITV1, Saturday 21 Jan, 5.15pm

By janehoskyn on January 18, 2006 in Comedy, ITV 1, Set the Vid, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (1)

Cilla for Tea

Cb_by_belinda_eaton Cilla Black, the missing link between Pete Burns, Bonnie Langford and a big shouty beaver, is ramping up her comeback effort.

First came the judging gig on ITV's recent horrorshow Soapstar Superstar, and now she's in the frame to replace teatime defector Paul O'Grady.

That'll mean three Scousers head to head across the airwaves. Well, two Scousers and one ginger winker who was "born in the Liverpool area". For variations on gags about how we'll all be able to leave our doors safely unlocked between 5pm and 6pm on a weekday, please click here.

By janehoskyn on January 18, 2006 in Channel 4, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

O'Grady's off to C4

1246997 Seems that even telly bigwigs go a bit soft in the head around Christmas. After ITV forgot to renew Paul O'Grady's contract, the daytime ratings-hoover has jumped ship to C4 – home of his big rivals, Richard & Judy. Oops.

British Comedy Award-winner O'Grady will now share the 5pm slot with R&J, with each show airing for half the year. It'll mean an afternoon ratings bonanza for C4, which is on a roll with Deal Or No Deal and the new Des-shaped Countdown.

By janehoskyn on January 11, 2006 in Channel 4, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

OFI Another One

Evans_lucker_1 Here's a handy Cut Out & Keep tale of PR-friendly lovin' from today's News of the Screws.

"Sparks flew when [insert name] appeared on Chris Evans' show two weeks ago.

"My source tells me: 'They couldn't keep their hands off each other. Chris and [name] are definitely together and they are very, very happy.'"

After the break: Is it a Piper? Is it a Halliwell?

This time, the winner of the Screws' annual traditional Chris Evans Pulls Inappropriately Attractive Bird competition is:

Zoe Lucker from Footballers' Wives.

Hang in there, Zoe. Evans has got some great telly contacts, and you never know where it might lead. Doctor Who's new assistant?

By janehoskyn on January 1, 2006 in ITV 1, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top 20: 2005 TV Moments

Peepshow_3rd_1 Anything you can do, we can do better, Woss Man.

1. Six Feet Under: Impossible to choose a best moment from the harrowing final season. This product of the "idiot box" outclassed many of Hollywood's big-screen offerings in 2005 – and proved that, at its best, television can be just as great an art form as cinema.

2. The Thick of It: The bit where the three stooges dream up "an eye-catching idea". And all the bits with Peter Capaldi in them.

3. Peep Show: Mark goes clubbing.

4. Jamie's School Dinners: The bit where Lord Sir Jamie of Stansted shows some hardcore junk-eaters what chicken nuggets are actually made of. Could have done without the ranting at Jools for buying peas "out of season," though. Know where to stop, mister.

5. 49-Up: The bit where ITV decided to commission it, rather than wimp out after 42-Up and show more Emmerdale instead. The entire DVD box-set must be released forthwith. Meanwhile, fork out for this Region 1 baby.

6. Lost: John Locke's first flashback episode, when he wheels back from the desk and you think "yeah but..."

7. Derren Brown: The one where he puts the bloke inside a computer game. Lawks.

8. Celebrity Big Brother: McCririck's Diet Coke rant, and the moment when you realise that his nostrils are red and crusty because he's picked his nose so hard it bled.

9. House: The "why House limps" episode.

10. Extras: Winslet touches tit! Winslet mixes with proles! Winslet says rude word! Less monstrously irritating than expected.

11. The Apprentice: The one where the big Henry sells fleeces on QVC while Saira shrieks dementedly at him through his earpiece.

12. Deal Or No Deal: The moment when you first see Noel pick up the phone to "the banker" and find yourself unable to stop staring.

13. Doctor Who: When you hear the Dalek.

14. BBC News: When the Olympics guy says: "The city of ... [pause] ... London," and you realise you're actually quite excited. And the one where Prince Charles disses Nicholas Witchell.

15. Taxidermy - Stuff the World: Matthias seeing God in the fish. Good companion piece from Atom Films: The Art of Imitating Life

16. Countdown: The one with me in it. I lost. I'm over it.

17. The Oprah Winfrey Show: A minor cable pleasure over here, hence a mere #17, but Cruise's sofa antics will inform our nightmares for years to come.

18: Comic Relief: Catherine Tate interviews McFly.

19. Richard & Judy: Tony Blair on You Say We Pay.

20. Strictly Come Dancing: Colin Jackson's rumba. Mm, guilty pleasures.

* 2005 TV Moments, BBC1, Saturday 31 Dec, 9pm

By janehoskyn on December 28, 2005 in BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC 4, Channel 4, Comedy, Drama, ITV 1, Imports, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0)

Set the Vid: NYE Telly

Nye_1 Going out on New Year's Eve is like walking to the South Pole in high heels through a crowd of drunk people. You traipse for hours in the freezing cold, as sober as Widdecombe and busting for the loo, until you're rescued by a minicab driver who charges £150 to drive you three miles home.

Ahh, home. Home is where the heart is. And the truckloads of food and booze you've got left over from Xmas, and the loo, and all the telly you can eat.

After the break: What to watch, and what not to watch, at midnight this NYE

TOP 10 PROGRAMMES FOR RINGING IN 2006:

1. Elvis - Aloha From Hawaii. The 1973 greatest hits concert. NYE viewing par excellence, criminally tucked away on digital. ITV3, 11.40pm

2. Comic Aid. Rude words for good causes with Izzard, Pegg, Bailey et al. BBC3, 11pm

3. Jools's Annual Hootenanny. Stick it on in the background and be sociable. (Warning: contains James Blunt.) BBC2, 11pm

4. Bleak House. Dickens turned into a soap with Johnny Vegas. Beeb4's showing the whole thing over two nights, starting on Friday. BBC4, starts 7pm

5. The Comic Strip Presents... Sex Actually. (First shown tonight, C4, 9pm.) E4, 11.15pm

6. The 50 Greatest Documentaries, More4, 10pm

7. White Magic: Paul Zenon. Oddly compelling when you're in that altered state where you've drunk all the Cava Brut your liver can stand. ITV1, 11.45pm

8. Ring. Original Japanese psycho-horror. "Ring in the new"... geddit? Sci Fi, 10.05pm

9. Pride & Prejudice. The one with Colin Firth. UKTV Drama, 11.20pm; contd 1 Jan 2.30pm

10. Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns. Best watched in the dark, with pissed friends. Otherwise it's shite. Living TV, 11pm

DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS LOT:

1. New Year Live. "Natasha Kaplinksy and her guests ring in the new on the banks of the Thames," says Radio Times. Great. BBC1, 11.35pm

2. The Year We Won The Ashes. Can I go to bed now? C4, 11.30pm

3. Scottish Parliament. BBC Parliament

By janehoskyn on December 28, 2005 in BBC 2, BBC 3, Channel: Other, E4, ITV 1, LivingTV, More4, Set the Vid, UKTV | Permalink | Comments (0)

Insightful Quote of the Day

Queen_200 "The world is not always an easy or a safe place to live in."

The Queen, in her upcoming Christmas Day speech. You don't say, Ma'am.

* The Queen, BBC1 & ITV1, Sunday 25 Dec, 3pm; repeated BBC2, 5.35pm

By janehoskyn on December 23, 2005 in BBC 1, BBC 2, Channel 4, ITV 1, Quote of the Day | Permalink | Comments (0)

Set the Vid: Open Wide

Xanderarmstrong The presence of HIGNFY mondo-stand-in Alexander Armstrong may make ITV1's romantic com-dram Open Wide worth a look. But as his telly CV shows, the AA is not exactly predictable:

* Sketch-show Xander: Armstrong & Miller (1997)
* Gameshow Host Xander: Six-times HIGNFY guest presenter: 16 May and 14 Nov 2003, 16 April and 21 May 2004, 22 April and 11 Nov 2005
* Bad Sitcom Xander: Dr Noble in TLC (2002)
* Good Sitcom Xander: Nick in the underrated Beast (2000)
* Mumsy Sitcom Xander: Phil Mee in Life Begins (2004)
* Surrealcom Xander: "Man in vox pop" in Brass Eye (1997)
* Dirty Xander: Narrator for X-Rated - Pop Videos They Tried to Ban (2004)

* Open Wide, ITV1, tonight at 9pm

By janehoskyn on December 21, 2005 in Comedy, ITV 1, Set the Vid | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crackerback

Coltrane The makers of Cracker are not a subtle lot. Coltrane & co make their long-rumoured return in a one-off episode scheduled for spring 2006 – and it's called Nine Eleven.

Fitz goes to Noo Yoik? Merciful Jaysus, no. The film centres on a former soldier haunted by his tours of duty in Northern Ireland, and sees Fitz (Robbie Coltrane) returning to Manchester after a decade in Australia. Penhaligon is still around, and there's a new boss-boy played by Coupling noddy Richard Coyle.

* Fitzfact: Creator Jimmy McGovern envisaged Dr Fitzgerald as a "small, wiry man". The casting director ignored him, rang up Doctor Johnson from Blackadder, and a corpulent legend was born.

After the break: Top 5 Fitzisms

Top 5 Fitzisms:

Teacher: Please don't smoke sir, this is a school.
Fitz: That's where I started.

[Cassidy threatens to kill himself]
Fitz: What's your first name?
Cassidy: Nigel.
Fitz: Jesus, I'd be suicidal.

Fitz: Gamblers Anonymous was created by wankers, for wankers.
Judith: Graham is the leader in the local chapter.
Fitz: I rest my case.

[After Penhaligon pours a jug of water over him]
Fitz: Anglo-Saxon Foreplay. Go up to my bedroom my dear. If I'm not up in half an hour, get along without me.

Priest: It must be hard to maintain that level of cynicism, Dr Fitzgerald.
Fitz: Not at all, Father. It must be hard to maintain that level of faith.

* Fitzweb: Crackertv.co.uk

By janehoskyn on December 20, 2005 in ITV 1, TV News, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cowell Pulls Posh

Posh_piers_cowell_2 Underfed spendthrift Victoria Beckham, rent-a-poshgob Piers "Morgan" Moron and old ladies' sex fantasy Simon Cowell are to judge wannabe "variety acts" in a new ITV1 talent show, presented by Paul O'Grady.

"[Posh's] career could turn around in a millisecond," said Cowell after his 15th vodka last night (unconfirmed). "The public would become more endeared to her." Hic.

* Spicefact: Geri Halliwell (yoga vintage) made up numbers on the panel of Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. So excellent was her performance that she's hardly been off our screens since.

By janehoskyn on December 19, 2005 in ITV 1, TV News, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top 5: British Comedy Awards Questions

Comedy20awards20ross_2

1. Why can't Hollywood get it right on the red carpet, like Kath and Kim?
2. At what point did they tell Dara O'Briain: You're going on with Chico?
3. Since when has The X Factor been a comedy? A joke, maybe, but...
4. Has anyone ever seen Sharon Osbourne and Mrs Overall in the same room?
5. Er, Little Britain winning Best Comedy over Extras and Catherine Tate?

After the break: Who won, and who should have won

Still, last night's beano had its highlights. The success of Shameless (Best Comedy Drama), The Thick of It (Best New Comedy) and Chris Langham (Best Actor) gladdened our cockles, though we hardly noticed through the smog of boredom brought on by two hours of Chico and Jade Goody.

BEST TV COMEDY
Little Britain - won
Extras
The Catherine Tate Show
* Peep Show should have been nominated and won

BEST NEW TV COMEDY
The Thick of It - won, deservedly
Extras
Help
* Green Wing should have been nominated

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Ricky Gervais (Extras)
Matt Lucas and David Walliams (Little Britain)
Chris Langham (Help, The Thick of It) - won, deservedly

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Ashely Jensen (Extras) - won
Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Love Soup) - should have won
Catherine Tate

BEST NEWCOMER
Chris Addison (The Thick of It)
David Mitchell (Peep Show) - should have won
Ashley Jensen (Extras) - won

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHOW
Curb your Enthusiasm - should have won
The Simpsons - won
Kath and Kim
* Arrested Development should have been nominated

BEST ENTERTAINMENT PORGRAMME
The X Factor - won
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

BEST COMEDY DRAMA
Shameless - won, deservedly
Not Only But Always
Christmas Lights

BEST COMEDY PERSONALITY
Paul O'Grady - won, deservedly
Ant and Dec
Jonathan Ross

BEST COMEDY FILM
Festival - won
Sideways - should have won
The Incredibles

By janehoskyn on December 15, 2005 in Comedy, ITV 1, TV Reviews | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ant & Dec to Probe Princes

Ant_dec_william_harry_copy_1 Jungle bunnies Ant and Dec are to interview a pair of ginger old Etonians on the telly next May.

They'll "chat" to William and Harry to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust. There will be a concert too, almost certainly of the Will Young-Girls Aloud variety.

It'll be on ITV1. Like you'd never have guessed.

By janehoskyn on December 14, 2005 in ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Chris_evans_2 "Jude Law accepted the gift with thanks but can't come on the show. Gordon Ramsay accepted the wine but unfortunately said he can't come. Rod Stewart can't come but loved the present for his son and Paul O'Grady also said no. Still, Rupert Grint is happy to come on."

Chris Evans, struggling to attract guests for OFI Sunday. So far he's lured Jimmy Nesbitt, Zoe Lucker and ex-wife Billie.

But let's not knock Chris for bribery. Frank Skinner, Jonathan Ross and Richard & Judy are all said to offer gifts, from "vast sums of money" (Chris's words again) to exclusivity deals and Tattinger champagne. And an audience.

* OFI Sunday, ITV1, Sunday, 10.30pm

By janehoskyn on December 9, 2005 in ITV 1, Quote of the Day, TV Tittle Tattle | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cowell vs Auntie Beeb

Kylie_les_dennis_3 It's disco balls at dawn between Simon Cowell and the Beeb over their oddly similar upcoming shows, Star Duets and Just the Two of Us.

Cowell claims he had the pro-celeb karaoke idea last summer. The BBC claims they did too.

You know what? We just wanted to roll out the Les n' Kylie picture again.

By janehoskyn on December 8, 2005 in BBC 1, ITV 1, Reality TV, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man of the Year: Chris Langham

Chris_langhamIt's a tight finish in the Comedy Man of the Moment contest. Peep Show loser and brilliant rent-a-panellist (HIGNFY, The Last Word, QI...) David Mitchell fought long and hard, but the gong must go to The Thick of It star Chris Langham.

Hangdog sexbomb Langham cut his teeth in TV comedy before David Mitchell cut his teeth in Farley's Rusks. See Not the Nine O'Clock News? That's Chris shuffling around in the background.

* Langham newsflash: Langhamites must prepare to explore unknown territory: ITV1. Our man stars as a radio host in Seven Second Delay, an upcoming Granada pilot that features another TV Scoop favourite, Sally Phillips. Is channel three suddenly going all cool on us?

By janehoskyn on December 6, 2005 in Comedy, ITV 1, TV News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Return to the Rovers

Corrie_ian_mckellen Psst: Corrie Blog says that the Sunday Mirror says that Sir Ian McKellen of Galdalf will return to the Street next year.

The thesp, who turned down the role of Elsie Tanner's nephew in the 60s because the Coronation Street cast made him scared, played writer Mel Hutchwright last summer for 10 episodes.

After the break: A brief history of Corrie cameos

Gandalf's not the only starry name to have downed pints in the Rovers:

* Peter Kay first appeared as a shopfitter in 1997. Seven years later in 2004 he wore a bad ginger wig to play Shelly's Unwin's date, Eric Gartside.
* Norman Wisdom played Ernie Crabb (July 2004).
* Honor (Cathy Gale) Blackman played flirty pensioner Rula Romanoff (Sep 2004).
* Maureen Lipman played Lillian Spencer (2002).
* Patrick Stewart, Joanna Lumley and Prunella Scales all had minor Corrie roles before becoming famous.
* Michael Crawford and ex-Man Utd goalie Peter Schmeichel have also been spotted in the background.
* Laurence Olivier asked for a part, but he was too ill to appear. Derek Jacobi and Anthony Hopkins also asked their agents to put in a word, but haven't yet appeared. Says Hopkins, "Life isn't worth living if I miss an episode".

* Coronation Street, ITV1, 7.30 tonight

By janehoskyn on December 5, 2005 in ITV 1, TV News, TV Tittle Tattle, Webwatch | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bets on the Box

Bbc_sports_personalityGot a wailing brat who wants an Xbox 360 for Christmas? Two possible solutions. One, lock little Damien in a cupboard and turn up the TV. Two, gamble all your savings on a telly-related bet. Except the Flintoff one, obv.

* BBC Sports Personality of the year: Flintoff 1/40 (fav by a squeak), MacArthur 9/1, Radcliffe 33/1
* I'm a Sleb: Thatcher 4/5, Rickaay 3/1, Osmond 5/1
* Strictly Come Dancing: Zoe Ball 4/7, Colin Jackson 5/2, Darren Gough 4/1
* X Factor: Shayne: evens, Andy 11/4, Chico 28/1

After the break: Those odds and progs in full

Winner: BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Andrew Flintoff 1/40
Ellen MacArthur 9/1
Kevin Pietersen 12/1
Michael Vaughan 20/1
Paula Radcliffe 33/1 (Sporting Odds)

* BBC Sports Personality of the Year: BBC1, Saturday 17 Dec

Winner: I'm a Celeb
Carol Thatcher 4-5 (fav)
Sid Owen 3-1
Jimmy Osmond 5-1
Sheree Murphy 11-2
Bobby Ball 22-1 (Paddy Power)

* I'm a Celebrity Final: ITV1, Monday 5 Dec, 9pm

Winner: Strictly Come Dancing
Zoe Ball & Ian 4-7 (fav)
Colin Jackson & Erin 5-2
Darren Gough & Lilia 4-1
James Martin & Camilla 18-1
Patsy Palmer & Anton 18-1 (5-6 fav to leave tonight) (Paddy Power)

* Strictly Come Dancing Final: BBC1, Saturday 17 Dec, 6.30pm; results 9.20pm

Winner: The X Factor
Shayne - evens (fav)
Andy 11-4
Journey South 7-2
Brenda 13-2
Chico 28-1 (Paddy Power)

* The X Factor Final: ITV1, Saturday 17 Dec

Record of the Year 2005
McFly - All About You 7-4
Westlife - You Raise me Up 9-4
Gorillaz - Feel Good 33-1
James Blunt - You're Beautiful 5-2 (Paddy Power)

* Record of the Year 2005: ITV1, Saturday 10 Dec, 5.35pm; results 7.45pm

Xmas Number 1
X Factor winner 8-15 fav
McFly 50-1
Chico (not as X Factor winner) 14-1
Crazy Frog 18-1
Peter Andre 33-1
Take That 40-1
Cliff Richard 50-1
The Darkness 66-1
The Spice Girls 80-1
Michael Jackson 100-1
Boy George 150-1 (Paddy Power, bets close Tuesday 20 December)

By janehoskyn on December 3, 2005 in BBC 1, Commercial Break, ITV 1 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nostalgia Corner: Tiswas

Tiswas Nouveau Trevor & Simon Dick & Dom are said to be in talks with ITV about hosting a new version of 80s anti-Blue Peter Tiswas.

Was the resurrected D&D-hosted Ask the Family just a nightmare we had? Or are Dick & Dom really going to mangle another kids' remake? Or did The People just make it up?

After the break: More Tiswas news, plus Sally James

What we do know is that Tiswas will live again briefly this Saturday on the Beeb's Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow. Matthew Lewis was briefly famous in a Makosi kind of way for dressing in a bunny costume and singing Bright Eyes on Tiswas at the age of six, and he'll be reprising the spectacle this weekend. Cue puzzled looks from the studio audience of confused kids who neither know nor care what Tiswas is.

* Tiswasfact 1: Sally James appeared on Tonight with Trevor McDonald to say that her facelift wan't very good.
* Tiswasfact 2: John Peel and Buster Bloodvessel were once locked in a cage together for a whole show.
* Tiswasfact 3: When Tiswas began in 1974, you could only see it in the Midlands. See, there are reasons to live in Birmingham.
* Tiswasfact 4: Stand-up guests included Spike Milligan, Jasper Carrott and Bernard Manning.
* Tiswasfact 5: Sally James now owns and runs her own business, Unismart. It supplies school uniforms.

By ShinyMedia on November 29, 2005 in ITV 1, Nostalgia Corner | Permalink | Comments (0)