Top of the Pops

Sunday, July 30, 2006 by · Comments Off 

I can’t remember the first time I watched Top of the Pops. I can’t have been any older than about three or four, because one of my earliest memories is of mounting my own episodes with my sister. Read more

After viewers, more like

Sunday, July 30, 2006 by · Comments Off 

ITV1′s immediate axing of Saturday night series It’s Now or Never attracted a fair amount of headlines this week, such is the embarrassment, but not many people seem to have noticed that they’ve also yanked off another series after one episode – the repeat of Afterlife that was on at 9pm last Sunday and was supposed to be there for the next five weeks. Read more

The West Wing

Friday, July 28, 2006 by · Comments Off 

It’s always tempting, when a long-running TV show that’s not as good as it once was, lumbers into the finishing straight amidst a flurry of eulogies and reminiscences, to stop fighting and just give in. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, July 28, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Big Brother is a daring old stick, it has to be said. A programme which exists purely for being live and unpredictable, and still it chucks innovations our way without any cast-iron proof that they would work. Read more


Thursday, July 27, 2006 by · Comments Off 

MediaGuardian today reports that in yet another example of looking backwards for drama inspiration, the BBC is preparing a new version of that grand old classic Dracula to be broadcast this Christmas. Read more

This is your golden day

Monday, July 24, 2006 by · Comments Off 

With news that ITV are bringing back Mr and Mrs (one hopes that this time they will at least do it straight rather than try and post-modernise it ala the ill-fated Julian Clary relaunch), I am left scratching my head as to when these TV execs will finally get round to relaunching The Golden ShotThis was without a doubt the highlight of Ant and Dec’s Gameshow Marathon, and was to my mind the most obvious contender out of all the shows featured for a new series. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, July 21, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Cruelty is something Big Brother likes to administer on its housemates if there is a danger of the series becoming a little too unremarkable in mid-run. Read more

“What am I supposed to tell the Panorama audience?”

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Hooray - Panorama is going back to peak-time. I’m not celebrating due to any great love of the programme, to be honest, but because I was heartily sick of the endless complaints about its previous slot and the fact the BBC couldn’t be bothered doing anything about it. Read more

Lowe and behold

Saturday, July 15, 2006 by · Comments Off 

On last night’s episode of The West Wing there was a real, genuine, bona fide “yes!” moment of the kind the show used to do as a matter of course, but which hasn’t bothered with for ages. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, July 14, 2006 by · Comments Off 

I’m not a betting man. This isn’t down to any inbred principle (unless my mother is reading this) but more down to a lack of knowledge. Read more

TV with conviction

Friday, July 14, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Obviously, the thought of Nick Knowles and Nadia Sawalha going to jail is full of comedic potential. Hence, I couldn’t resist but look in yesterday morning on Behind Bars, a BBC1 morning show in which the duo: “talk to convicts and staff about life in Cardiff Men’s Prison and Drake Hall Women’s Prison, Stafford”. Read more

“You are allowed to cheer, y’know!”

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by · Comments Off 

There shouldn’t be anything about Big Brother which should surprise us any more, really. In carefully tracking as much of it as I can for the weekly OTT reviews, the one thing that has irked me is the seeming lack of desire on behalf of the show’s paymasters to allow evicted housemates any benefit of doubt. Read more

“Think QI… It’s not 8 Out of 10 Cats”

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by · Comments Off 

I’ve been watching the first episode of Rob Brydon’s new BBC3 endeavour Annually Retentive, which is now available on broadband. And, well, it’s pretty good. Read more

The strip club

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by · Comments Off 

It’s possible every night this week to sit in front of the terrestrial channels and watch the same programmes as the night before. With the World Cup over, everyone seems to be attempting to fill the chasm with just one or two shows. Read more

Soap survivors

Monday, July 10, 2006 by · Comments Off 

In recent years there haven’t been any truly innovative soap formats. Read more

Left hand/right hand

Monday, July 10, 2006 by · Comments Off 

MediaGuardian today reports that the BBC is considering plundering ideas from times past yet again to revive another show from days of old. This time, the programme in question is Survivors, or rather Terry Nation’s Survivors as the Nation Estate would probably prefer it to be known this time around. Read more

Love Island

Sunday, July 9, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Humility exists. ITV1 don’t take their public for the suckers they may well be, and have decided to drop the word “Celebrity” from the return of Love Island. Read more

Doctor Who

Saturday, July 8, 2006 by · Comments Off 

So was there a dry eye in your house? Read more

Big Brother

Friday, July 7, 2006 by · Comments Off 

So, goodbye to Lea. Numerous nomenclatures have been thrown at her in her seven silicone-enhanced weeks in the Big Brother house, but the description of her by housemates as the First Lady of Big Brother is the most befitting. And the most flattering. Read more

Poker? I hardly even know her!

Friday, July 7, 2006 by · Comments Off 

On Wednesday 14 June, I spent the afternoon being a right knob – but the details of this event were embargoed until today. I was taking part in a journos-only edition of Ant and Dec’s new ITV1 game show, Pokerface (formerly, The Con Test). Read more

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