Lenny Henry in Pieces/French & Saunders

Friday, March 29, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It’s Friday night. It’s Good Friday. Common sense would dictate that BBC1 would be pulling out (almost) all the stops to satisfy a larger audience than usual. Yet mere words cannot adequately convey just how truly bad Lenny Henry in Pieces and French & Saunders were; this combination plumbed the depths of mediocrity to a degree never before witnessed on peak time television. This was a savage indictment of the BBC. In the company of three friends I sat mesmerised for just over an hour not laughing once. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Again and again and again. Read more

The Big Breakfast

Friday, March 29, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Of the many and rather pathetic parting twists of the knife Planet 24 seemed compelled to enact upon anyone they could think of this morning, most irritating of all was making sure the last ever Big Breakfast was one hour longer than usual. Read more

Gruth is Uachdar

Thursday, March 28, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The greatest tragedy of my television life in the last few years is discovering this show on the last of its run. Read more

Ali G Before He Was Massiv

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Cheaply made unlicensed cash-in merchandise has existed pretty much since the dawn of celebrity, but the shoddy “100% Unauthorised” video is a more recent innovation. Read more

Scotland on Film

Monday, March 25, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Seems such a simple equation doesn’t it? Take some black and white archive footage and throw in some old dears to wistfully reminisce on their childhood. Read more

The Late Show With David Letterman

Friday, March 22, 2002 by · 1 Comment 

While the scribbling of eulogies for ITV Digital gathers pace, over on ITV2 schedulers continue to squeeze apart repeats of Emmerdale and The Farmer Wants a Wife to make room for America’s most high-profile and expensive quintuple-bypass patient. Read more

When Louis Met… Keith Harris and Orville

Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Another week, another victim. Well, not so much a victim, more of a contented, co-operating dupe rather than the sacrificial lambs we’ve been presented with in the not so distant past. Read more

Tinsel Town

Monday, March 18, 2002 by · Comments Off 

You have to hand it to BBC Scotland. Just when it seemed that they would let their public down by producing an interesting and experimental series in their current Gruth is Uachdar (a period drama adaptation in a mix of Gaelic and English, beautifully filmed in Harris) they reassert their place as the principal purveyors of awfulness to the people of Scotland by coming up with another series of Tinsel Town. Read more

2001 TV Moments

Saturday, March 16, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Celebrity audience. Two words guaranteed to strike fear and terror into the heart of this viewer. I break into a cold sweat at the thought of yet another self-indulgent love in featuring the luminaries of the small screen. Still, it was Saturday night and, with the liberal ingestion of copious amounts of alcohol, I had reduced my fear and loathing into a mild contempt. Read more

The Trench

Friday, March 15, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The practice of dropping meticulously ordinary people into exaggeratedly extraordinary situations just doesn’t make good television anymore. Read more

When Louis Met… Chris

Tuesday, March 12, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The current run of When Louis Met… whilst as entertaining as ever, has progressed into a mordant battle of wills between our erstwhile host, still deploying his bumbling sixth form shtick, and his increasingly media savvy guests. Read more


Saturday, March 9, 2002 by · Comments Off 

For me, Strange shoots itself in the foot from the off. Featuring a reclusive curly-haired investigator accompanied by a straight-talking female sidekick and coming from the pen of one half of Whoops Apocalypse‘s writing team this is so squarely positioned asJonathan Creek II that I’m forced to draw the comparison before the programme even starts. Unfortunately it’s a comparison that buries Strange. Read more

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

Friday, March 8, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Just when we most expected it Jonathan has returned with a second series of his BBC chat show. But there’s been no overture of publicity this time, and barely a mention on his companion Radio 2 show, other than to assure listeners it would be “fun”and “good”. A boldly noncommittal promise to be sure, but it was one that, if fulfilled, would at least have meant an advance on the sum of the first series. Read more