While I have been nursing my throbbing, swollen, pus filled tonsils back to health during my annual Winter blogging hiatus, I have characteristically managed to keep up with what I normally would have written about, had the lovely germs from Jack Frost allowed me to do so.
Rather than spam the site with a ridiculous amount of articles at once, therefore, I am taking the concise and genius steps of merging my thoughts together in one post so that it’s easier for those of you who tend to skip my articles (I know who you are!).
From glittery costumes and a very pregnant and non drugged up Kylie on The Chase to Homer Simpson beating up Peter Griffin, my viewing pains and pleasures have been as varied as the voices Emmerdale’s Belle Dingle is currently hearing. So let’s press on folks…the quicker I start, the quicker this will be over for all of us. Continue reading
What do you get if you mix Paddy from Emmerdale, Colin Firth and spotted dick, throw in a bit of Miley Cyrus, combine a group of dirty minded pensioners and add a prize of a year’s supply of baked beans? No, this isn’t the start of one of my world renowned hilarious jokes but a fair enough summary of Bradley Walsh’s new Sunday night show, Keep It In The Family.
With the terminally declining and infuriating mammoth-turned-baby-elephant contest that is The X Factor and the thoroughly enjoyable but sleepy Downton Abbey, ITV’s schedule needed something lively and exciting to chase off the impending Monday blues and Keep It In The Family does a good job of fitting the bill. Admittedly, I spent the first ten minutes of the show sitting with my mouth agape in horror and my brain plaguing me with the question: ‘What the hell are you feeding me with?’ There is simply no getting away from the undeniable fact that Keep it In The Family is a hamfest of epic proportions; but once you get your head around it and realise that it is supposed to be that way, you can go on to embrace the cheesiness of the show and really enjoy it.
In my long running quest to expose every intimate avenue of ITV’s quizzing daytime hit The Chase, I’ve heard from two of its titans: the fearsome ‘Governess’ Anne Hegerty (see HERE) and the monstrous ‘Beast’ aka Mark Labbett (see HERE)
But what is it like to come up against a quizzing genius on a show watched by millions? I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to one of the contestants from the most recently televised episode of the show in which comedian Paul Sinha, affectionately known as ‘The Sinnerman’ took down a team vying for £8000 with only five seconds remaining.
It was a close call, and Charlie Gardner, who had the unenviable ‘Seat 4’ position, has endured hell since her crushing defeat. “It’s been bleak. I’ve hardly eaten anything but spaghetti since,” she told me through hysterical sobs. “And it’s all down to Paul Sinha!” Continue reading
ITV debuted a reboot of classic gameshow Celebrity Squares last night, in which two contestants squared up (let’s see how many of these puns I can get in) to each other to win cash, by deciding whether a selection of celebrities (admittedly in some cases this term is used loosely) were answering questions correctly.
The show is lively, jazzy, bright and doesn’t take itself too seriously at all, but managed to achieve the difficult feat of falling into that hard to reach category between hammy family show and a genuinely witty comedy effort. The token gameshow aspects are there, with a lot of lighting, some strained scripted gags and a few catchphrases thrown in, and it is this side of the show which would make it a better addition to a weekend evening lineup than a Wednesday night.
That said, the show contained some genuinely funny material that allowed it to exceed the format of a generic (and cringeworthy) gameshow. The presenter , Warwick Davis, carries the show like a pro, with an endearing energy that is not too much, and some decent banter with his guests. Having to control nine celebrities fighting for airtime, whilst looking after two contestants and an audience can be no easy feat but the show is smooth and entertaining in the lightest possible way. Continue reading
Many of my extensive, shuddering fanbase will have an inkling or two that I have a mild fascination with trivia and, therefore, quiz shows. This evening sees the welcome return of BBC4 hit Only Connect, in its snug new home on BBC2.
With 9 series under its belt already, the show is moving to a new home where it can be discovered by a whole host of new viewers, eager to be bamboozled by its notorious difficulty. For those of you who have yet to come across it, Only Connect is a show in which teams participate in a trivia contest and work together to combine a set of seemingly unrelated clues together to come up with what is often an obscure, but always intelligent, link.
As series ten gets underway under the expert eye of presenter of Victoria Coren (incidentally one of my favourite guest panellists from Have I Got News For You) on BBC 2 at 8:30pm, I got the chance to chat to one of the senior question setters of the show, Jack Waley-Cohen. Jack, who takes quizzing all over the country with the successful QuizQuizQuiz company, has penned many of the brain-taxing conundrums on Only Connect since Series 9, and tells me how a fiendishly difficult and/or intriguing set of clues are developed from the birth of simple ideas. Continue reading
Saturday nights have felt bare without it. A nation has waited with bated breath. Star studded, tense and with so much at stake, an ITV titan roared back onto our screens this weekend. No, not The X Factor (is that some kind of algebra contest?) but a brand new spanking series of The Celebrity Chase.
As PauseLiveAction interviewee Mark Labbett swaggered across the stage, complete with a brand new dickie bow tie to make him look even more the part of a hammy Bond villain, four personalities from the world of celebrity were on hand in an attempt to dethrone him – which is, physically and mentally, no easy feat.
This week saw former This Morning host and novelist Fern Britton, cricket champ Matthew Hoggard, lingerie entrepreneur Michelle Mone OBE and Bob The Builder himself (although we preferred him in Waterloo Road), Neil Morrissey team up.
The biggest challenge of the evening came for the ever-entertaining presenter, Bradley Walsh, renowned as he is for corpsing at questions. The Chase question setters have a whale of a time trying to catch him out and made a brazen attempt to knock him off guard by asking which game involved a cock shot and a beaver. Now, had there not been options, I would have been shouting all sorts at my television which would have given a dark insight into my private life, but thankfully it became obvious that the answer was backgammon. (One of the options was Twister… although what a game of Twister that would be). Bradley held on so well. That is until The Beast opted for the answer, ‘Ker-Plunk.’ Continue reading
We review a lot of thrilling television at PauseLiveAction. Game Of Thrones cannot end an episode these days without killing off a main character as brutally as possible and Waterloo Road has been held at gunpoint, burnt down and bulldosed in as many years. Casualty remains the most eventful hospital in the world whereas Coronation Street recently was not content with having Tina McIntyre fall off of a balcony; they had to show her getting her head caved in with an iron pole for good measure.
And yet all of these exciting television moments may well have been trumped tonight by a humble teatime quiz show. The reason it’s foolish to miss an episode of The Chase isn’t necessarily because every episode promises a rollercoaster ride or a Fanny Chmelar moment but that you run the risk of missing the episode where the contestants win big. Continue reading