Tag Archives: julian clary

Kick ass women: Betty White

One thing I enjoyed very much about the recent run of Celebrity Big Brother was that 70-year-old Julie Goodyear was assumed to be a sweet little ole’ granny figure, when really, her personality is far from that. She behaved like a scheming, back-stabbing minx. Much like my dear mama in fact (whom I’ve called in print ‘Arthur Daley in a skirt’ – and usually a mini skirt at that. And why not? At 76, she’s got better legs than most 20 year olds).

Julian Clary loved this about Julie Goodyear. All the young things were shocked and appalled. Bollocks to them. I like my old ladies to be Machiavellian. It’s so much more fun. Apple pie my eye. There ain’t nothing like an evil old Dame. I certainly plan to be one.

And on that note, but with a more gentle Miami spin, I’d like to dedicate this post to the fabulous Florida queens, The Golden Girls (1985-1992). I loved them, one and all. And what a joy it was to have a programme, not just focussing on women, but on (reasonably) badly behaved older ones. Tiny Estelle Getty, glamorous Rue McClanahan and elegant, acerbic Bea Arthur have sadly all died in recent years. But the ditsy Minnesota-born Rose (from the glorious town of St Olaf. Even typing that made me laugh) played by Betty White, still lives on. Continue reading

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Celebrity Big Brother: Bonfire of the Vanity Cases

I know the London Olympics were great and all that, and I did enjoy the fervour of the burgeoning national pride they inspired. But there’s been an Awful Lot of sport on telly these past few months. Which has been hard for those of us that need our regular fix of something to slob in front of that doesn’t involve very fit people running about, making us feel bad about eating a whole large packet of Tyrell’s salt and vinegar (you umami-packed seductive bastards) in one go. So, for me, it’s quite nice that we’ve got some excellent tosh back on the box.

And  Celebrity Big Brother has hit the ground in camp, leopardprint running shoes. I stopped watching Big Brother after the first season on Channel 5. Too many ad breaks and it has all started to horribly claustrophobic. It also goes on far too long. It’s not a good sign when you think you can smell the telly. In this case a rank mixture of the nocturnal odours of too many inactive people on a weird diet plus the whiff of damp towels.

But with the merely three-week long Celebrity Big Brother, both Empress of Twitter Grace Dent and I have been lured back. The major thing they’ve done to make it too tempting to resist is to have the delectable Martin ‘god of EastEnders’ Kemp as a housemate. My entire purpose for watching the soap back in the day (and, as I recall, PLA had a bit of crush too. We share such good taste).

Then they chucked pretty, witty, savage-tongued Julian Clary into the mix. And THEN they added Bet Lynch in a “GET IT, GOT IT, GOOD” t shirt and animal print leggings, and Heather Trott (AKA Julie Goodyear and Cheryl Fergison). Then there’s Loose Woman and ex Nolan (and so used to shacking up and sharing a hairdryer and make-up with a lot of women, one might imagine, given the number of sisters she used to sing with) Coleen Nolan. What with her and the other glamour pusses, I get the sense that the bathroom drains are soon going to get blocked with hair extensions of many colours.

The rest – an Olympian judo player, someone from Jersey Shore, a bitchy journalist who thinks she’s too darn pretty for this world, some assorted muscle-clad lads and  a scattering of glamour/underwear models – are just The Rest to me right now, but that’s fine. We need some wallpaper for our superstars of soap, comedy and daytime telly.

There they all are in the house now, like the most fabulous, crazy selection-box of characters, with a burning desire to get more attention than anyone else.  Continue reading

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Strictly Come Dancing: Dear Strictly

It’s more than 12 hours after my once-beloved SCD finished last night. I am still in shock. So much so that this blog is going to be a different kettle of fish to previous missives on the subject. You’ll have to forgive me, dear reader – it has, as they say, Been Emotional.

Dear Strictly,

We’ve had some wonderful times, you and me. When we first met, I hated Saturday Night Telly, with its mix of gaudy gameshows, Dad’s Army, dry documentaries about Cholera and Noel Bloody Edmonds. I knew nothing about dancing and you were much derided for being a throw-back to a dying era. People (hi Mum!) said we would never work.

You came, with your random mix of people off the telly, off the Olympics and quite often off their heads. Your sequins sparkled. Your judges were daring but fair, caring only about the dancing and not about themselves. You had a slightly-neglected old-school host whom everyone was delighted to see again, who was merely grateful to regain his rightful place on primetime telly. More than anything else, you were characterized by your good humour. Sure, people were called “contestants”, but they were participants rather than competitors. They were encouraged to do well and by and large did so, or at least had a ball. Who knew that woman who got bashed about by Phil Mitchell on Eastenders would be so good? That Julian Clary would be so bad? Who even knew who Kara Tointon was?

I loved you, Strictly. But more to the point, everybody loved you. Which meant everybody wanted a piece of you and everybody wanted to be like you. ITV looked longingly at your ratings success as you tore up Saturday Nights. They came up with this thing called X Factor. It was just a tired old rehash of its previous entries into the class that I like to handily term Pop Factory Crap. How could it ever trouble you, Strictly? You were a class apart, you didn’t need all that. You had series after series of Feelgood Glory, where it was simply about the Dancing rather than the ridiculous sideshows.

But tragically, people lapped up the Pop Factory Crap in their millions. And you got scared, Strictly, You thought that every person that watched that wouldn’t want you anymore and that THIS was the future.

So you changed, Strictly. Firstly, you ditched one of your original judges for being Too Old. She was in fact younger than the oldest judge who was a man, but somehow that didn’t seem to matter to you.

BLACKPOOL!

Despite this, we were ok for a while. You still had lots of good dancers and did laudable things like going to Blackpool (BLACKPOOL!). It wasn’t quite like the olden days, but it looked like you were going to get your spark back. 

Where It All Started Going Wrong

Then you got a gift, Strictly. Ann Widdecombe. She couldn’t dance and didn’t care. People were split in their Marmite-style camps. But it was impossible not to have an opinion, so everyone did. Everybody was talking about you, writing about you, watching you again. It felt GOOD.

But it went to your head, Strictly. And look at you now. Bloated and self-satisfied. 100 minutes long! Even my patience is exhausted by the end, so it’s no wonder even the participants have apparently well and truly had enough. Sitting through endless smug jokes by Sir Brucie, who continues to think people watch the show simply for his grandstanding, tired old nonsense. Through puerile VTs prior to each dance designed simply to fill time with stupid, children’s tv-style antics? Through look-at-me use of props that add nothing to the dancing (except for Artem and Holly’s number, which was clever and beautifully choreographed)? Continue reading

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Twatbox: David Walliams

“I’ve just been watching that new Chris Moyles thing,” Mr PLA said. “David Walliams is humping somebody again.” Turn on any panel-type quiz show and the chances are pretty high that you’ll find David Walliams pretending to hump someone. In this case it was Peter Andre, who has surely suffered enough.

Now, I like a good sexual innuendo as much as the next person. I was practically brought up on giving Julian Clary a warm hand on his entrance. But the thing with Julian Clary is that he has charm, style and charisma to spare, whereas David Walliams is just… embarrassing. There are obviously people who find him hilarious (one has gone to the trouble of editing “highlights” from an appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats), but he makes me feel all creepy with his lechy manner and his great big face.

This may just be me, though, so feel free to tell me I’m very, very wrong and he is, in fact, a comedy genius.

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