Tag Archives: BBC1

Holby City. Jonny be good

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Sadly, due to sad family circumstances, Sue ‘Queen of Holby’ Haasler is unable to blog this week, so I’ll be providing a brief stand-in post for my lovely friend.

Look, I’ll admit. I watch Holby every week, and I’m a devoted fan of Sue’s blog, but I’m counting down the days until Henrik Hanssen is back in the captain’s chair on the bridge, or wherever the person in charge of this hospital keeps everything running smoothly. Selfie is a vain, inept twonk, and I don’t like it when there are staffing shortages and confusion over shift patterns, however fictional. Jonny can be irksome at times, but it’s preposterous that he should be on remand awaiting trail for murder. Great that it transpires at the end of the episode that Jac is paying for a high-class defence team for him (as well as supporting Elliott’s Kibo development. She must have a hell of a salary), but I’m not sure why he couldn’t get bail, neither do I understand why he has no memory of explaining how to change the battery of the ‘Kibo’ to the memory-deficient partner of the patient who died. Continue reading

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The Apprentice: A petri dish of twonk

Top Twonk

Top Twonk

(Series 10, ep.8) The delicious smorgasbord of idiocy that is The Apprentice got turned up to 11 last night. We’re at episode eight –  or roughly stage two as laid out in Qwerty’s series opener blog. Some chaff has been fired. Plenty more left to sneer at.

We know their names. We could do a set of Apprentice Twonk Top Trumps card featuring those qualities of imbecilic delusion that make them so annoying. But into the mix, we got the pleasure of the Royal Bath & West Show this week (best cider bar this side of Yeovil), hot tubs, flat cap handbags and Nick Hewer looking hella cool on a ride-on lawnmower.

Team Summit comprised Bianca; sexist über-knob 1 James; Solomon; calm, collected Roisin and Sanjay. And Team Tenacity included domineering Aussie Mark; the adorable Paddington bear-like Columbian Felipe; sexist über-knob 2 Daniel and the normal-seeming Katie. UK1 James got to be PM for Summit, Felipe was made PM for Tenacity over Katie, for no explicable reason that I could see, other than the fact that she carelessly forgot to be born with a penis.

This is the episode where members of each team gets to select from a parade of random objects, which in this series included a pet finder and a flushable cat loo. It’s the sort of motley collection that you used to see on the Generation Game conveyor belt or as prizes on Sale of the Century. Teams decide what they want most, then the PM has a conversation with the manufacturer of said chosen objects to try to convince them they are right team to sell to. Continue reading

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The Apprentice (Series 10): Who’s gonna lose? (Apart from all of them, us, and humankind, obviously)

The-Apprentice-2014

I fink I’ll choose that tall skinny one at the back. Wassat you say? That’s the Shard?

I’ve picked up a few things over the many hours I have spent watching these ten – TEN, god help us – series of The Apprentice. To disclose fully, I’ve actually only seen nine. I missed the first series on the grounds of being a reality TV snob, but I soon got over myself. Anyway, I believe that nine is enough to have developed a certain instinct. Not for who the final winner will be as I never get that right, but for the likely losers. I think I can tell, with a fair degree of accuracy, who isn’t going to make it to the final two, even this early in the process. I know, I know. It’s great to think I haven’t completely wasted my time watching this bilge.

I will share my insights with you here, though I am having to look up their names as it’s too early for me to have learned them. As an aside, another thing I’ve learned is that remembering the apprentices’ names is a three-stage process:

Stage 1 (Episodes 1-4) No idea who any of them are apart from the two most twattish.
Stage 2: (Episodes 5-14) Know their names as well as, if not better than, members of my family.
Stage 3: (A week after the final) Can’t remember any of their names for the life of me.

So – fanfare – here are the people who aren’t going to win this year’s Apprentice.

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UK Soaps: A year where being a beautiful young woman meant death

EmmerdaleAnyone who is anyone in the UK British soap magazine world knows that today, the results of the Inside Soap Awards 2014 are revealed, about half a year since they were launched. I call them the Inside Soap Awards 2014, but I prefer to know them as ‘The ‘Which Soap has the most dedicated multi-voting fans awards 2014.’

Either way, it’s got me thinking (dangerous stuff, I know) about the last year in the world of soap. Here, I reflect on a year of underwater escapades, murders of beautiful young women, collapsing attic floors, rooftop death dramas, dramatic house fires and Steve McDonald.

I know, given the fact that I write here about all soaps, that I should display some degree of impartiality, but I’ll openly declare that I have mostly voted Emmerdale this year. So, that’s as good a place to start as any. It’s been a blockbuster year in Britain’s most eventful village and not a leek show in sight. Instead of village fetes and sheep shearing, we’ve seen armed sieges, rooftop plunges and Charity Macey getting slapped about the chops with her husband’s meat tenderiser.   Continue reading

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The Driver: Horses for courses

the-driverPS_3048423aOne of my friends is a taxi driver. I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about the showbiz circles I mix in, but it’s entirely relevant for this post. Watching the terminally miserable looking David Morrissey’s performance as ‘sick of life’ cabbie Vince McKee was pretty much like watching my friend. Except for the bundling someone into a boot bit.

The incidences of vomit stained seats, incontinent drunks, foul mouthed abuse, shouty business conversations and uppity passengers criticising your chosen route would drive most people to a bit of road rage and Vince’s descent into being a man pushed over the edge was written and performed well, and stirred a kind of stressed but empathetic tension within me as I watched.

The setup was this: taxi driver Vince has been married for 18 years, has a teenage daughter and his life seems stuck in a rut. His job is dead end and the reappearance of an old friend who has been released from prison opens up a temptation to join a life of crime, overseen by the guy with the gun from the Alan Partridge Film.   Continue reading

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EastEnders: Hot hens, suave stags and burning Kats

WK38-EASTENDERS-ALFIE-MICK-ROXY-MO-PETER-JOHNNY11Things were heating up in EastEnders last night. No, I’m not talking about that pesky fire but the prospect of Walford hunk Phil Mitchell stripping at his bride-to-be’s hen party.

Yes, believe it or not, the inexplicable Philip Mitchell aura had the ladies of the Queen Vic screaming for him to take his clothes off and reveal the perspiring joys beneath. However, while many ogling eyes were on an unimpressed Phil, there were no eyes on Sharon, who hadn’t turned up to her own hen night.

Sharon was over on the staircase at the stag party, not because of gender confusion but because she needed to confide in someone that she was getting colder feet than a nervous penguin. Of course, her confidante was none other than everyone’s good pal, Danny Dyer, who gave her the pep talk of her life.

Mick was a do-gooder in demand too, as he also had to contend with talking Alfie out of his foolproof plan of torching his own home. Turned out it was a little late for that, and the living room was already engulfed in flames as an oblivious Kat snoozed upstairs. With Kat’s level of make-up and aerosols both on her body and off, it was inevitable that the whole place would explode, and, when it did, Alfie’s tortured agony at the thought he had killed his own wife was played hauntingly well by Shane Richie.   Continue reading

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Strictly: the final furlong

Bruce-articleTwo weeks to go. Two dances per couple tonight. It strikes me, this year more than most for some reason, that, much as I love it, Strictly is almost identical year after year. Watching a clip of Brucie’s “jokes”, I’d defy anyone to guess which year we were in. Or decade, come to that. He and Len have missed the post-Savile memo about how cringingly inappropriate lecherous remarks  by old men to young women are (ditto casual homophobia, but at least in that regard Craig and Bruno can hold their own, as it were).

There’s a change in the celebrities obviously, and some of the professional dancers. The female member of the judging panel has varied (Arlene/Alesha/Darcey). But the male judges, Dave Arch and his orchestra, the set, dances, make-up, props and costumes remain reliably, comfortably the same.

The producers tried something new last week with the dance style mash-up, which was fine, by and large, but just as at the end of every episode of the Simpsons, all was back to normal afterwards.

The thing that makes me smile most of all are the slips-of-the-tongues over the “Sunday show” (that’s actually filmed straight after the Saturday one). Zoe Ball saying to Alfie Boe on Friday night It Takes Two “So we’ll see you performing on the results show tomorrow. Er, Sunday.” Far too expensive and time-consuming to dress and do full make-up on all the celebs and pro-dancers two nights in a row.

Obviously Tess and Darcey change their dresses between shows. But my hairdresser Helen pointed out that their hair styles change too (it’s put into an up-do if it was down or vice-versa). It must be a frantic half hour backstage for the stylists whilst the phone vote’s going on.

kw

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Silk: Bigwigs and gangsters

Sad that the marvellous first series of Homeland had come to an end, the only two shows I’ve been regularly tuning into recently are The Bridge and the exceptionally superb Simon Amstell vehicle, Grandma’s House.

I needed something else to distract me from the rigours of everyday life. Then along came the second series of Silk. I’m a sucker for legal dramas, and I’ll watch anything with Phil Davis. Then I saw Frances Barber on Saturday Kitchen Live saying she’d be in the new series. Love that woman.

The three characters at the heart of Silk are Martha Costello (now QC, played by Maxine Peake), fellow barrister, Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones, not QC, and not happy about playing second fiddle) and Senior Clerk at the Shoe Lane Chambers, Billy Lamb (Neil Stuke, last seen, by me, on Celebrity MasterChef). Continue reading

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Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville

I'm up here, you idiot.

Sherlock invariably ends with me turning to Mr Qwerty and saying, ‘ But what about the bit where…’ in the hope that he will shine a searchlight into what looks like a large plot-hole and tarmac it over for me. In the case of The Hounds of Baskerville, in which Hound turned out to be a not very plausible acronym (after all, why would a group of dodgy scientists feel the need to give themselves an acronym, and what’s more get I’m-with-the-band t-shirts made noch?), I turned to Mr Q and said, ‘So why did the kindly bloke who was the baddie kill the posh bloke’s dad?’ And the best Mr Q could come up with was, ‘I guess he knew something bad they were doing.’ Well, yes. But what? It troubles me a bit that I don’t know for sure. Was it the paranoid gas thing (or lighter fluid as we called it when I was young)? Big slathering dogs? Fluorescent rabbits? (Actually a luminous bunny would be handy; you could nip out to its hutch at night and feed it without having to find a torch.)

Anyway despite not knowing exactly what the important-enough-to-kill-a-man thing was, I enjoyed this heavy-handed Freudian interpretation of the H of the B’s.  Or as I now think of it, ‘The Little Hans of the Baskervilles’, a not very amusing psychologist’s joke referring to Freud’s classic case in which Little Hans was scared of horses because they reminded him of his father’s penis. Or something. I graduated a while ago and the details are hazy. As indeed were Henry Knight’s of the night his father was killed – seemingly mauled by a huge slathering black beast with red eyes. Arrrrr-oooooooooh!

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Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

The return of the telly (as opposed to the Robert Downey Jnr film) version of Sherlock had been hugely anticipated after the triumphantly brilliant trio of episodes a year ago. And A Scandal in Belgravia did not disappoint. Forgive me, I have to say it, it was a spanking good episode. Whipsmart in fact. Slightly more by way of raunchy undergarments and methods of restraint than I’d bargained for at 8.10pm on a Sunday evening, watching, as I was, with a nine year old, but it sparkled with fun and mischief from start to finish. Some possibly dodgy sexual politics too, more of which later, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it.

It began where the last episode left off, at the beautifully lit swimming baths with a standoff between Moriarty and Holmes. Moriarty’s ‘bomb’ jacket is on the ground and red dot scopes from anonymous rifles are trained on the foreheads of Holmes and Watson. But the crisis gets literally called off when Irene Adler, whom Moffat has made into a dominatrix, phones Moriarty on his mobile, and he leaves.

And then we’re off, with so much to enjoy. Much playing with modern culture in a droll, witty way. Best use of a text alert ever. And Watson is writing a blog about cases, including a man dying mysteriously by a loch (the blog ‘exists’, you can see it here). The rapidly increasing number of blog fans leads to Holmes trying to hide his face from fans trying to take his picture as he leaves a theatre – grabbing a random hat from the props box. A Deerstalker, of course. And there’s a ‘real’ Twitter account for Irene’s dominatrix business (@TheWhipHand).

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