Sunday, 30 November 2008

Strictly - why are we bothering?

It's been a bad, bad few weeks for Strictly Come Dancing.
Now we know it's daft to accuse a programme that involves more fake tan than you'd find in Dale Winton's bathroom of being artificial.
But that's how it feels now. A show full of phoneys. With the exit of Christine, all the nice genuine celebs, the ones we were rooting for, have gone. As have our reasons for voting. We'd put in a few calls for Cherie (doing it for the more mature ladies, amazing legs) until she went. Also John Sergeant, because he capered around with such glee. And Jodie Kidd and Christine were nice gals who had managed to cling on to that crucial attitude - perspective.
Without them, the show's gone whistling off into La-La land. Are there even any ordinary members of the public watching in that audience now, or is it just ex-soap stars and radio hosts?
Meanwhile, Bruceh is frantically ta-ra-ra-boom-deh-ah-ing like there's no tomorrow and Tess is turning into a peroxide Cilla Black all in an attempt to distract us from the fact that most of the personality has been squeezed from the show.
And what to make of Luvvie Lisa and her hissy fits? "Our sis-taaah is going frew HELL!" stomped Lisa's siblings. "Emotionally, it's unbelievable for her" chimed in her dad. Meanwhile we get to see yet ANOTHER close-up of weepy Lisa, wiping away whole ink-cartridges of mascara because "the public don't like me!" Gee, I wonder why.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Silksy should have stayed!

So East Midlands MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk became the first to be voted out of the jungle in I'm a Celebrity last night.
And it was pretty obvious to everyone he didn't deserve to go.
He was merely the victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances.
First, having initially been cast as the villain of the piece (and getting shed loads of lovely camera attention because of it), his "crown" was somewhat stolen with the arrival of the marvellous David Van Day.
The ex-Dollar singer has done nothing but sulk, argue, and generally stir up masses of trouble. In other words, he's turned what was set to be a bit of a boring series into an instant classic.
No wonder Silksy retreated into the background and left the pint sized porker to it.
The other thing that did for Kilroy was the insane idea to introduce those awful "immunity" trials.
It was criminal that many of the boring characters - like Carly "Who?" Zucker and Thingy from Blue - were saved from the vote.
Maybe one of them would have gone instead of Robert.
We'll never know.
But let this be a lesson to the show's producers: don't muck about with the formula.
Put your celebrities in. Let the viewers vote them out. End of.
And while you're at it, do something about those bushtucker trials. They aren't half dull this year...
Oh yes and another thing. DVD to win!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Strictly - The Sergeant Scandal

An absolute scandal. That’s what it is.
“Dancing pig”. “A dancing dis-arse-ter”. How are you supposed to carry on blithely with such comments ringing in your ears?
The fact beaming John Sergeant has managed to appear onscreen each Saturday sporting a smile above the spangles – and, in the process, brought a national feelgood factor unseen since Jonathan Ross took three months’ leave - is testament alone to his strength of personality.
The four Strictly judges should hang their heads in shame. They’ve driven the people’s choice out of the competition.
Their tactless championing of fancy footwork over feelgood frippery has cast a huge cloud over what is – no matter what anybody says – an ENTERTAINMENT show.
John says he feels forced to step down because there’s now a real danger he might win the show. So what? His performances are often more entertaining than some of his self-regarding rivals’ combined.
Besides, no matter what the judges said John COULD dance and we could see it. Perhaps he wasn’t so technically brilliant as Luvvie Lisa Snowdon and co but the vicious criticism and lowly marks he received were wholly unjust and prompted his massive popularity.
For the past few series, Strictly’s voting viewers and po-faced judges (who decide, between them, who goes) have been locked in an arm wrestle. There have even been rule changes to suit Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno, with rumours of more next year.
Matters came to a head in the case of John. The meaner they were, the more we loved him. He was even blamed for good dancers falling by the wayside… but surely his continued presence only gave them a week’s grace, at best?
It’s purely the presence of ordinary Joe dancers like John that keep millions tuning in – and voting - week after week. In fact, could the BBC please offer us a refund on the cash we spent supporting him?
If Strictly were just about the “darnce”… like its predecessor Come Dancing, most of us would waltz off to the X Factor. Now John’s gone… well, we may do just that.

Kilroy the Cheat...

So, it was Robert Kilroy-Silk’s first bushtucker trial in the I’m a Celeb jungle - and what a cheating rat bag he turned out to be.
In a frankly rubbish task, he claimed some of the keys for the padlocks holding him in chains in the scary dark chamber “weren’t working” properly.
So when he popped open the lid and announced:"I've won!"- Ant and Dec had to point out that the reason he couldn’t get out was because he hadn’t opened the final lock correctly.
And he had to go back inside until he’d undone it properly.
Course, by this time, rival Joe Swash had won the posh nosh for his team mates in “Camp Camp.”
Kilroy wasn’t happy.
But then how can you hope to compete with someone who has “protected and loved from above” written on his bum?
The trial was actually far less interesting than the other stuff happening on the show - especially now the two teams have become one and two new celebs are set to come in.
So far, George looks like he’s having a ball, Brian and Dani have both turned out to be proper stirrers and Esther is just lovely.
Joe is emerging as the life and soul of the party, while Martina seems to be sinking fast - she’ll have to get her act together if she’s going to make any kind of impact.
Can't really remember the others, they're so dull. And as for our resident villain Kilroy, he’ll have the chance to prove himself again as the public has chosen him to do the silly “Travolting” dance thing.
Unfortunately, some dimwit at ITV has decided we won’t see this spectacle tonight because the football is on instead. Grrr.
Still, we can always entertain ourselves by singing songs, like the ones Joe loves.
Altogether now: “Olly, olly, olly...”

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Joe's a true gag man...

It looks like Joe Swash is in danger of becoming this year’s serial bushtucker trial taker out in the I’m a Celeb jungle.
After many years of playing dull old Mickey Miller in Easties, who knew the squeaky voiced cockney could be so brilliantly entertaining under duress?
If he keeps this up, none of the other contestants are going to get a look in.
Last night, it was the familiar old “bug eating” trial - coming surprisingly early in this year’s series.
And Joe vs world famous internationally renowned, honest, glamour model Nicola did not disappoint.
Surely she’d been practicing beforehand though? How else do you explain the confident way she ate those live crickets?
Joe on the other hand was a total wreck. Loved the way he kept apologising for his “gagging reflex.” Ant and Dec nearly wet themselves.
Elsewhere, gay police chief Brian Paddick clashed briefly with East Midlands MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk.
The former had “won” a visit to see what life was like in grotty old Away Camp.
Kilroy welcomed him by telling him to "clear off"- although the big smirk on his face hinted he might have been, you know, joshing.
Poor Brian was not amused though - arriving back in his own camp to tell his mates how horrid the nasty orange man was to him and how he nearly cried he was so scared. Bless.
The sooner they dispense with the silly “split teams” and get these two together permanently, the better.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Strictly blog - Cherie departs

Well, what an absolute blimmin' scandal!

No, not John Sergeant's continued survival, against all odds.

But the judges' shocking decision to part with the balletic grande dame of ballroom Cherie in the dance-off.

Instead, three of the four plumped for Lisa "George Clooney's girlfriend? REALLY?" Snowdon and her dance partner Brendan "petulant twit" Cole.

And those four claim to know about dancing. Last night, it was only the normally mad-as-cheese Bruno who made any sense, voting to keep Cherie.

It's insipid performances of the kind Lisa churns out week after week that are responsible for John's popularity. At least he has charm and a bit of personality. There's not a glimpse of the prima donna about him.

Likewise Cherie whose cha-cha may not have been up to the pristine standard of her ballroom but was, nevertheless, jaw-droppingly age-defying. She WAS our favourite to win.

Who are we supposed to support now, we'd like to know? Smug Tom? Automaton Austin? Can the lovely Jodie and Christine improve enough? Or, perish the thought, will it be Lisa? A drama queen for a dancing queen? No, ta. We'd opt for John "stamper" Sergeant any day.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

And they're off...

Oonagh Robinson on the first episode of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here 2008...

So here we go then. The battle to find out which z-list celebrity will emerge victorious in the jungle (and, more importantly, go on to appear in the next set of Iceland adverts) is on.
Good news on one front, at least. I'd actually heard of fully seven out of the ten stars selected to appear this year - which must be something of a record with this kind of show.
I'm never that happy when they do the old "splitting the camp in two" routine as I just think it's a shame that potential sparring partners are separated.
Still, it is rather amusing when the same team keeps losing all the time.
Yes, the red team were focused, chatty and had obviously bonded before they'd even jumped out of that aeroplane.
The yellow team, on the other hand, had Robert Kilroy-Silk in it.
Great to know that our own dear old MEP will at last be doing something worthwhile for his constituents - making a complete pillock of himself for our entertainment for the next three weeks. Probably less, thinking about it. We give it about 24 hours before one of his team mates punches him for his constant bitchy comments.
Can't say I'm particularly looking forward to the boring glamour model vs Micky Miller from EastEnders in tomorrow's trial. Who votes in these things? Own up.
But here's my take on the characters so far:

Yellow Team:

Robert Kilroy-Silk - He wants to show the world he is kind, loving and compassionate. He is failing.
Esther Rantzen - The TV presenter will need to show a feistier side if she wants to avoid the "little old lady" label.
Carly Zucker - She's the fiancee of Joe Cole. I'd never heard of him either. Kilroy thinks she's a control freak, but she just seems very dull to me.
Simon Webbe - He's worried his shyness could be taken as arrogance, but he seems nice. Boringly nice.
Nicola Mclean - The glamour model did precisely nothing in the first episode, so I'm very bemused as to why she is up for the first trial. Fix, fix, fix.

Red Team:

Joe Swash - He was rather amusing in a kind of Dean Gaffney manner in that first trial. Could be a stayer.
Martina Navratilova - She thinks she's the greatest tennis player that ever was and appears to be having a great time so far. I find her irritating.
Brian Paddick - The gay policeman wants to show his butch side - but he looks like he's going to faint at virtually every moment.
Dani Behr - The bird from The Word comes across as one of those girls at school who always wins at sport. Grrr.
George Takei - If the marvellous Sulu doesn't win, I'll demand a public inquiry.
And finally:
Ant and Dec - On top form, as ever. No-one would watch it if it wasn't for them would they?

So... what did you reckon? Have your say on the Telly Talk blog!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Strictly - why Serge should stay

WELL the British public may be receiving a collective nul points from the Strictly judges for their propensity for Sergeant-voting.But we ask you – who else are we meant to vote for?A lot of the other dancers might be very nice people (Jodie and Christine, in particular) and, without exception, are better dancers than the dashing white Sergeant.But they’re all much-of-a-muchness, really. They’re all “doing their best”. They’re all on a “rollercoaster ride”. None of them want to leave yet.Don’t get us wrong – we’d like one of them to win. We’re just not sure which one. Will it be the balletic Cherie who is immaculately graceful but, if she’s forced to go quicker than a foxtrot, forgets all the steps? Or Rachel Stevens who remembers the steps but performs them all with a slightly pained expression on her face? (Incidentally, is it just us, or are Rachel’s brothers, in fact, the Mitchell brothers?) Austin or Tom, who have the dancing flair but seem just a tad too pleased with themselves? (Austin’s chest-flashing for points on Saturday was shameless!) Or luvvie Lisa with her air-kisses, twirling to Brendan’s soft-rock routines? We hope not!John may be more ha-ha-ha than cha cha cha but at least he has a distinct presence and connects with voting viewers. Enough to make you pick up your phone and keep him for another week. Even this week’s evictee Heather wants to see him in the final.Saturday was a stroll in the park for John. We don’t mean he found it easy. We mean it actually looked like he was just strolling around. There were hardly any dance steps in the thing.But it’s hilarious to watch. Strictly may be a “darnce” competition, as Craig calls it. But it’s also Saturday night entertainment. Until John’s rivals cotton on to that, he’s going to continue to skirt above the dance-off and, potentially, a place in the final awaits.

Monday, 10 November 2008


More surprises on EASTENDERS this week as it was revealed Ian’s cafe actually has a toilet.
Are we alone in never having noticed these facilities in the entire 23-year history of this soap?
And yet suddenly, there they were plain as day. They even have dual male/female usage. Fancy that.
Ian was cross because his loos were being used by the zillions of police that have descended on Albert Square because of that hit and run accident with dear old Max.
We were quite surprised about that too.
Not Ian being cross. Or the hit and run. But all the police that turned up just for a boring old "attempted murder."
We all know that Walford has played host to much worse crimes than Max’s hit and run over the years. And yet we never saw such vast numbers of police show up to investigate those, did we?
Perhaps after all these decades, the filth have finally started wondering about why such a teeny tiny section of London should be at the centre of so many murders, deaths, rapes, brutal attacks, explosions, arsons, fairground accidents (can’t forget that one, tee hee) and blackmail attempts.
Maybe there will now be an "Operation Queen Vic" to sort out this suspicious vicinity once and for all.
And some of the leading "culprits" could be hauled in for a thorough grilling.
You know the reprobates we mean... Dot... Pat... Peggy... Winston the Market Trader...
Let’s clean up this area once and for all.

Now we know Roy’s Rolls in Corrie does have a toilet because he’s so insistent about keeping it clean. You could probably eat your bacon butties off that seat, although we don’t imagine Sally Webster would relish the attempt. In fact, Sally probably never allows the words "bacon butties" to cross her lips at all. Pancetta sandwiches, if you please.
So Sally would be devastated to see the state her Rawsie’s been reduced to, in the attic at John Stape’s gran’s house. Rawsie, however, has managed to rise above five weeks of unwashed hair and severe lipgloss shortages to become a cool, chairleg-wielding type with Tombraider heavy-breathing. For the first time in years, we quite liked her.
We also finally started to take to Stape, in his final throes with his hilarious explanations to his gobsmacked girlfriend about why he had an obnoxious 16-year-old locked upstairs, very much against her will.
"It’s very comfortable up there," he protested to Fiz who, very reasonably, wanted to know why he hadn’t mentioned something before.
The whole explanation took hours, making us feel very sorry for that elderly couple outside, locked in a taxi on their anniversary.
"It’s not easy," he said, "when you’ve got someone locked in your gran’s attic."

Most confusing greeting of the week:

Good evening and welcome to Have I Got News For You. I used to be John Pertwee – Former "Doctor" Tom Baker delivers his greetings on Have I Got News For You (BBC1, Fri).

Strictly - Castle falls

It seemed a shame Andrew Castle had to leave Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Sun)– particularly since Bumgate had finally been sorted.
"The bum is better. Obviously there are a few lumps and bumps but, overall, very nice," Craig Revel Horwood informed him with his usual diplomacy.
We were just starting to warm to the orange breakfast host with the immovable bouffant when he got evicted.
If it had been up to us to pick an evictee, we’d have chosen Tom and his ridiculous Desperate Dan chin-thrusts during the Paso. Well, that’s Holby City acting for you.
How could the judges prefer that cheesy rubbish to Jodie and Ian’s serene Pride and Prejudice waltz?

Rock on
Say what you like about Northern Rock. They had customers queuing around the block – Rory Bremner on Silly Money (Channel 4, Sunday).

Top Gear? It never gets out of first gear

We tuned into Top Gear (BBC2, Sun) for the first time ever this week.
Talk about perfect timing!
Jeremy Clarkson’s joke about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes has become the latest must-have thing for viewers to be very offended about, apparently.
Although, we have to confess, when we watched the show we weren’t outraged or offended in the slightest.
Baffled, yes. At what the heck the aging buffoon was on about.
But not offended.
And certainly not moved enough to go finding the number for the BBC... or is it Ofcom?... or Crimewatch? Indeed, how does everyone in the world seem to know who to ring in such circumstances? We wouldn’t have a blinking clue.
Anyway, back to our review.
Everyone has been telling us how great Top Gear is and how you don’t need to be interested in cars and you don’t even need to be a bloke to watch it these days.
So we tuned in eagerly expecting our sides to split with mirth. Didn’t quite work out, unfortunately.
Most of the show is filmed in some disused aircraft hangar in the middle of nowhere.
And an audience of fans is evidently shipped in every week to stand around looking like plonkers staring at Clarkson and his mates talking about cars.
You can tell Clarkson knows a lot about cars because he pronounces Volkswagen "Vokes Vaggon." Impressive.
And he tests drives Lamborghinis that cost half a million quid. So he must be good.
Trouble is, most of this particular episode was spent watching Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May mucking about with lorries.
Racing them. Crashing them into walls. Seeing if they could set them on fire. You know, really important things like that.
For a minute, we thought we’d tuned into the wrong show and were actually watching the three old geezers in Last of the Summer Wine getting up to their usual comic capers.
Is that all they do in this show then? Is that what all the fuss is about?
To be honest, we found the whole pathetic routine very embarrassing.
Maybe we should ring someone up to complain on the presenters’ behalf...

Wonderment of the week:
How many bars of Fruit and Nut would fit into the boot of a Skoda Fabia?
Maybe Clarkson and co should try that one. Norris keeps us entertained with his musings on Coronation Street.

Oddest explanation:
"The teacher in me just took over..."
John Stape from Coronation Street struggles with a plausible explanation for kidnapping Rosie Webster and holding her hostage in his granny’s attic for five weeks.

D'oh of the week:
"Stop sending me messages about the weather, I’m trying to work."
An irritable wireless operator onboard The Titanic annoys counterparts on nearby ship The Californian with a rude message. So much so, the other ship - which was just two hours away - turned its equipment off for the night. Oops.
The Unsinkable Titanic (C4, Mon)