Daily Archives: June 5, 2009

Extreme Dreams: Fogling along

ben-fogleDave is an amusingly-named digital channel. The time-delayed version, Dave-ja-vu, is even more amusingly-named, and they must have had a lot of fun coming up with that. Currently on Dave you can enliven your breakfast by watching Ben Fogle’s  Extreme Dreams, in which the adventurer and all-round good egg attempts to venture to some of the planet’s most inhospitable places in the company of a bunch of people hand-picked to be entirely unfit for the journey.

This week, Ben is walking to the lost city of Choquiqurao in the Andes (and he pronounces it beautifully too).  It’s not completely lost in the sense that you can get there by helicopter, but Ben’s chosen route is to get to Choquiqurao the hard way – on foot and via a path so treacherous that only 100 people have traversed it in the last century.

Accompanying him are a sociopathic housewife who intersperses bouts of antisocial sulking with gazing adoringly at Peruvian guide and general hunk Pepe; a woman who is terrified of heights (so useful in the Andes); a woman with ADHD who can’t cope with groups (so useful when being part of a team); an older guy whose knees frankly aren’t up to the task but whose heart is in the right place (in his mouth most of the time); and a man with well-groomed eyebrows whom Ben describes as “the backbone of the team,” in the sense that he doesn’t waste time sulking, crying, screaming or falling over like the others do.

Ben Fogle remains resolutely cheerful throughout all this. “Look at this!” he cries happily, holding up a hand that’s been so badly-bitten by insects that it’s swollen to double the size of the other one. And it’s his hand! And he’s still cheerful! He carries people’s backpacks when they’re too knackered to do it themselves, he exhorts them to “dig deep” when they feel like jacking it all in, and he’s always ready with a hug if someone is emotional. Which they are approximately every five minutes. And he has the most endearing lisp.

In the episode I saw last, knackered-knees man Howard was lying gravely ill in a tent half way up a mountain. A very big mountain. A helicopter summoned to rescue him kept buzzing overhead and failing to find them. Pepe was concerned. Ben was concerned.

High drama in the high Andes. Looks like they’ll all have to “dig deep.”

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Holby City: the death of Maddy

nadine-lewingtonRemember the old oil-and-bitches drama known as Dallas? Remember the entire series that turned out to be just a dream (Bobby wasn’t dead, he’d just been in the shower for several weeks while Pammy slept)?

We had an episode of Holby like that last week. Maddy (the cute doctor who used to be competent but has recently been incompetent – Holby can be a bit variable like that) had been stabbed in the back and lay dying on the floor of a washroom. But hang on – she wasn’t dying! Lovely Nurse Maria found her in time! The glorious (and totally competent) Linden Cullen stitched up her wounds, and three weeks later she was fine.

Phew. I’ve always thought Linden and Maddy would be a good couple, but she only ever had eyes for one man (apart from a drunken night when she had eyes for Sam Strachan) – Dan Clifford. And here he came, not on a white charger but a black Bentley (so much quieter), with a foxy outfit purchased from the Connie Beauchamp Boutique for Sexy Surgeons for her to wear at her interview for the Fellowship job.

Ric didn’t want her to get the job. She wasn’t ready, he asserted, but Maddy proved her worth, was offered the job, and Dan declared his love for her. And declared he was ready to move back to Holby to be with her.

Hurrah! A happy ending! But wait – this is Holby. And Maddy had been dealing with a patient (played by Paul Connor from Corrie) who may or may not have killed his wife and set fire to his house. She had the feeling she’d met him before, and this feeling of deja vu only got worse as she tracked him down to the basement* after he took an overdose. She was mentally confusing him with her own father, that’s what was happening. Because she wasn’t in the basement with Paul Connor from Corrie at all, she was actually still on the washroom floor, bleeding to death. Maria found her, but it was too late, and Maddy is no more.

*The basement. Isn’t it strange that when someone goes AWOL on Casualty they usually find them on the roof, and if they go AWOL from Holby (same hospital) they turn up in the basement? Yet A&E is on the ground floor and Darwin and Keller are on the upper floors. These people just make life harder for themselves.

Posted by PLA       (read all our Holby blog posts here)

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Big Brother: here come the angels and the demons

Child_catcher“I’m not going to remember any of these names,” the various new Big Brother contestants muttered to each other as yet another in a seemingly inexhaustible pile of fame-hungry individuals was thrown into the small crate warehouse which is currently serving as a Big Brother house.

I know what they mean – I can’t really remember their names either, apart from one.  Angel.  “I’m Angel,” she said at every opportunity, and since she looked like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, she was fairly memorable.  She’s a Russian boxer as well. The real angel of the piece, so far, seems to be someone called Rodrigo (I’m better at this names lark than I thought). A charming, smiley, uncarved block of a Brazilian, Rodrigo loves everything about Britain. “England might make me gay!” he said, suggesting that there’s something so gorgeous about British boys that it could “turn” even the staunchest hetero South American. I doubt whether Rodrigo will be “turned” in the Big Brother house. There’s at least one gay man, the token Geordie, but to be honest apart from him being gay and the token Geordie I can’t remember a thing about him.

The house expert at “turning” previously un-gay people is, according to Lisa, Lisa. She’s the one with the red mohican, therefore quite easy to spot, but during the initial mingling she came across as rather more reserved than her VT (and hairstyle) would suggest. And she certainly won’t be “turning” Rodrigo.

So who else do we have?  There are a couple of interchangeable pneumatic blondes,  a posh boy called Freddie who might actually turn out to be quite sweet,  a tiny little black woman who shrieks a lot (you just know she’s going to be the one leading the screaming every time a new bottle of cider appears in the house),  a bloke with Alex Zane  hair who fancies himself,  a bloke who looks like Ferdy from This Life who fancies himself,  a bloke who thinks he looks like Wolverine who fancies himself… There’s Beinazir who thinks she looks like Amy Winehouse, and a bloke who wears a Union Jack shirt because, like Rodrigo, he loves Britain. I love pies but I don’t go round dressed in pastry.

And there’s Noreen. That’s how it’s pronounced, anyway, and although on her VT she was clearly of the “I’m beautiful, me” camp, she was the first to volunteer to have her eyebrows shaved.  Say what?  Well,  none of this lot were officially “housemates,”  you see.  In this latest  “ingenious twist,”  Big Brother is making the sixteen earn the right to be proper housemates and enjoy all the luxury that entails (champagne, a bed, the right to be publicly humiliated all summer long for our pleasure).  Rodrigo, being the least suspicious of the gang,  was the first to the diary room when a volunteer was called for, and it fell to him to explain the situation to his fellow contestants, and to shave off the eyebrows of one and draw a moustache/glasses upon him or her.  I didn’t expect Noreen to step forward, and she’s either less egotistical than I at first assumed, or is simply the most desperate for fame.

So who else goes into the house proper? You, apparently, decide.

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