Graham Norton is here to play so…

Saturday, December 31, 2005 by · Comments Off 

It takes an awful lot to make you pine for Jim Davidson, but Graham Norton damn near managed it with Generation Fame. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this whole dismal exercise was that you knew exactly what it was going to be like beforehand, and yet the Gen Game still had enough goodwill in the tank to make you give it a go. Read more

“Louis Louis, oh no! Me gotta go!”

Saturday, December 31, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Okay, this might not be entirely on-topic (although, you could possibly file the following somewhere in the OTT Book Tower), but I’ve just finished reading Louis Theroux’s The Call of the Weird. Read more

Family Affairs

Friday, December 30, 2005 by · Comments Off 

It’s rare these days to be present at the very end of a TV programme’s life.

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The Comic Strip Presents… Sex Actually

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Television revivals are difficult to pull off. Sometimes, if enough thought has gone into it and the wind is blowing in the right direction, a one-time laughing stock can be reborn as a massive ratings hit, heaped with praise and hailed as the saviour of Saturday night television. Other times, you can just end up with The Legacy of Reginald Perrin. Read more

Pete and Dud – The Lost Tapes

Monday, December 26, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Sometimes, giving a little context to repeats of old television shows can be a very useful thing. Read more

“The thing about this hand is… it’s a fightin’ hand!”

Monday, December 26, 2005 by · Comments Off 

So the good Doctor didn’t get quite as many viewers as predicted, but 9.8 million is pretty remarkable for a children’s science-fiction adventure at any time of the year, especially one up against Sir Terence of Wogan on the other side. Read more

Doctor Who

Sunday, December 25, 2005 by · Comments Off 

So “The Christmas Invasion” then. Perhaps the only episode of Doctor Who in the last 20 or so years not designed to stand up to the rigours of the home video (let alone DVD recorder with hard drive) age – and that’s possibly as it should be. Read more

An ITN production

Friday, December 23, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Well, what better way to while away a Christmas afternoon than by wrapping a few last-minute presents, eating mince pies and watching the ITV News Channel implode. Read more

The importance of killing Ernest

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Today’s edition of the Mirror claims Ernest Bishop‘s killer is returning to Coronation Street. What other soap could hang a storyline over the return of such an obscure figure? For most people, Ernest himself would be a distant memory, despite the furore that greeted actor Stephen Hancock’s departure from the show at the time (he’d unsuccessfully tried to force producer Bill Podmore into reviewing the cast’s salary-structure). Read more

A carcass on your hands

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Typically the Media Guardian is making more of the news that Saturday morning programmes on BBC1 and 2 are swapping places than is strictly necessary. Read more

“You’re my favourites!”

Sunday, December 18, 2005 by · Comments Off 

12 hours later, and I still can’t quite believe it. In case you were watching a load of singing binmen on the other side, the finale of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1 proved to be an unforgettable experience, largely for all the wrong reasons. Read more

The real Trevor McDoughnut

Friday, December 16, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Although for the past few years he’s been fronting an increasingly rotten news programme on autopilot, it’s still something of an end of an era to see Trevor McDonald reading the ITV News for the last time, as he did last night. Read more

“Remember, truth flies like an arrow…”

Friday, December 16, 2005 by · Comments Off 

I’ve been enjoying Bamboozle – The Secret Gameshow on E4, even if nobody else in the world seems to be watching it. The premise is simple – three contestants are each set six tasks challenging them to hoax their way onto television. It could so easily have ended up as a nasty, cynical Balls of Steel exercise, but it’s just half an hour or so of low-budget messing about, really. Read more

Fool if you think it’s over

Thursday, December 15, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Robert Bathurst in interview: “Ah! Joking Apart! My favourite job ever. What’s more, there’s a fan with a plan. He’s a videotape editor who has spent the last year organising to buy the DVD rights from the BBC. And not only does he stand in the pub and moan on about how Joking Apart was a good show, he’s actually bought the rights to release it on DVD. We’re doing the extras for it at the beginning of the New Year with Steven Moffat and some of the cast .” Read more

Breaking news for Britain

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by · 2 Comments 

So, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, the ITV News Channel has been axed, and apart from the unfortunate 25 people who will sadly lose their jobs as a result of this, who will really care? In fact, it says everything about the half-hearted nature of this channel that “only” 25 people will be out of work when the screen goes black at the end of January. Read more

“You played the dream game!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Sorry to keep banging on about it, but Deal or no Deal continues to delight and confound in equal measure. Read more

The five facts of Doctor Who

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Five points of interest from yesterday’s Doctor Who: “The Christmas Invasion” press launch, which I’ll doubtlessly be regurgitating all over the place for the next few days … Read more

“I was being affable…”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Curb Your Enthusiasm is still very funny, but if there are any more episodes like the one on More4 on Sunday I might have to stop watching it. By the end of it I was a nervous wreck, because everyone seemed to be hugely unreasonable and I hated everyone in it, apart from Larry. The rabbi, Cheryl’s mum, the survivor, the Survivor … Larry was right and they were wrong. Read more

“My special listening device”

Friday, December 9, 2005 by · Comments Off 

So in five minutes time it’ll be the third edition of Space Cadets, and really what has happened over the preceding 120 minutes? Read more

I dunno what a folly is

Friday, December 9, 2005 by · Comments Off 

Intriguing news in this week’s Broadcast that BBC1 are to bring back Nationwide – or, at least, an hour-long magazine show between 6.30 and 7.30 containing national and local news and fronted by, it says here, “a Natasha Kaplinsky-style presenter”. Of course the main reasoning behind it is to stop the nation turning over en masse to Emmerdale at seven. Read more

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