Celebrity Masterchef: Your 15 minutes is up

imageI actually quite enjoy this version, truth be told. Not so much the personnel in question, who range from quite endearing to making you want to put your fist through the wall, but because they have some rather good challenges in this incarnation. The ingredient recognition test was always one of my favourites and I’m pleased to see it’s made a comeback, even though some of the items are insultingly simple. Red pepper, seriously?! Although I’d suppose you’d technically get brownie points for knowing it is a bell pepper, but this wasn’t adhered to.

The disparity between competence levels is both amusing and frustrating and makes you realise all the more they had to take who they could get, so thinly stretched is the ‘talent’ available. These Celeb versions littering the schedules rely on us, the ever-slavering public, giving two figs as to whether so-and-so who once presented something on an obscure cable channel is now able to boil an egg satisfactorily. You do get one or two bona fide big names per series, Vic Reeves being one this time round. Shame he couldn’t have been paired with Ulrika Jonsson. Or Ulrika-ka-ka, as she’s better known from their time on Shooting Stars. He might have relaxed her slightly. She looks like she’s being almost constantly tortured, which makes you wonder why she’s subjected herself to it. Oh yes, for cash probably. Continue reading

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Holby City: Me, mySelf and Guy

(Series 19, ep. 49 ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ by Joe Ainsworth 12.5.17) Zosia was really out of her depth in this episode, trying to cover for her father’s increasingly worrying behaviour. In that sense she’s more like him than she would probably want to admit – it’s the Self family way to try to cover for shortcomings and push through problems as if they don’t exist. It’s exactly how he treated her bipolar until it reached crisis point.

Crisis point in Guy’s case came during a neuro operation, when Zosia was already knuckles deep in the brain of Darwin patient o’ the week, Christian Pinnington (Jamie Maclachlan). Selfie was supposed to be doing the op himself, but he’d been drinking earlier, and was definitely not himSelf. Zosia had seen warning signs earlier and had tried to emphasise the risks of the procedure to Christian in the hopes that he would decide not to go ahead. If she’d added, “and I think the surgeon might not be entirely stable,” I think she’d have succeeded.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Dr Doom and his inherited loom

(Series 19, ep. 48 ‘How Loud It Is’ by Andy Bayliss 5.9.17) My goodness, Holby City is getting more like Shakespeare every week. The sheer amount of detail in this episode – in the writing, the performances and the way it was directed – was just breathtaking.

Holby is under threat of a merger with The Mythical St James’s, and there’s a recruitment freeze.

As if this wasn’t stress enough for Hanssen, his son, Fredrik, was back. Last time we saw him, he’d been responsible for a very dodgy drugs trial, and there was a huge moral face-off in which Hanssen risked never seeing his grandson again by informing the Swedish medical authorities about it. It seems that Fredrik was acquitted in Sweden, but his “reputation is compromised.” So he’s now working at Holby City, where a compromised reputation and a frosty relationship with the CEO/your father won’t hold you back.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Jobs for the boys

(Series 19, ep. 47 ‘Keep On Running’ by Michelle Lipton 29.8.17) It was the Holby Half Marathon (in aid of skin cancer charities in honour of Arthur Digby) and Lofty was wearing a chicken suit. He fully expected Dominic to be wearing an egg costume because they were supposed to see what would come first, the chicken or the egg. That would have been hilarious (and educational), but Dominic hadn’t taken the plan seriously and had come dressed as a Proper Athlete, and accompanied by his new boyfriend Freddie (Aaron Fontaine). Poor Lofty. Luckily he had a man dressed as Where’s Wally for company.

The Curse of the Holby Friend/Relative struck poor Freddie when a car ran into the marathon and Freddie ended up as the main victim. This gave Dominic the chance to have some doubts about whether he was ready for a relationship. It gave Lofty the chance to look sad that, if Dom was ready for a relationship, it was going to be with someone who wasn’t Lofty.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Jobs for the girls

(Series 19, ep. 46 ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Angela Holden 22.8.17) It’s breathless post-holiday catch-up time, and apologies in advance if this review is more brief/even more befuddled than usual – I watched it through a happy fog of jet-lag.

As is the Holby way, Zosia was offered a job totally out of the blue. Its a six month residential placement at Yale, which is in America and isn’t just another fictional suburb of Holby. Hence it’s a Very Big Deal, and Jac gave her until the end of the day to decide. Zosia was a bit worried about how to tell Ollie, but he was fine with it once he’d blinked back a manly tear at the thought of being without her for six months.

When Zosia later changed her mind and said she’d be staying at Holby but switching to Neuro, Jac told her she shouldn’t be spending her life “emotionally care-taking for some man whose needs are always going to come before her talents” – and that’s exactly what Zosia was doing. But the man wasn’t Ollie, it was Selfie. He divided his time in this episode between being the arch manipulator he is (sowing seeds of doubt in Ollie about how Tara was treated before she died, and in Zosia about how much Ollie still cares about Tara) and making a few odd, out-of-character mistakes. Zosia decided she needed to keep an eye on him.

When he wasn’t worrying about Tara, Ollie was pondering a job offer of his own. Ric very much wanted him to stay on AAU and even offered him the incentive of a lovely cholecystectomy. Frankly I’d prefer chocolates, but whatever does it for you. Ollie was quite tempted to stay on shoe-sick central, where the staff are nice (ie not Jac), but on the other hand he knows full well that those darker blue Darwin scrubs suit him so much more.

In other news, Lofty didn’t seem happy to discover that Dominic had a date.

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Holby City: Her name was Dr Lo

(Series 19, ep. 45 ‘Calm Before the Storm’ by Katie Douglas 15.8.17) In a nutshell: Sacha found God, Nina and Matteo found each other and Selfie found Ollie’s Achilles’ heel. It doesn’t sound like a lot to fill an hour of TV, but I was gripped throughout. The hour just flew by.

Guy Self really is a brilliant baddie, and I think he’s even better this time around than he was during his first stint, because now we know what a complicated personality he really is. He’s no cartoon villain, there’s a vulnerability there which at the moment he is reigning in tightly as he reverts to his default setting of Manipulative and Devious – though would the old Selfie have become quite so flustered during surgery?  Continue reading

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Holby City: You can’t take the military out of the girl

(Series 19, ep. 44 ‘Go Ugly Early’ by Nick Fisher 8.8.17) So that’s the end of the Trauma Unit. The little room with the plastic flaps instead of doors, that has been the site of so much pioneering traumatic excellence over the months, is now a little empty room, the flaps flapping plastically in the breeze of trolleys whizzing by. Most importantly, the Trauma Unit was the queendom of the utterly marvellous Berenice Wolfe, and her queendom is now gone and so is Bernie.  Continue reading

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