Hi folks welcome and it’s time to titillate your T.V. tastebuds once again.
First up is the new and third series, is Britain’s Got Talent a show which has become a spring/summer institution and means that Simon Cowell has basically taken most of the year from us. The panel remains the same, the smug on both sides of the Atlantic Piers Morgan, the genetically enhanced teeth of Lord Simon Doom and the why is she on the panel of Amanda Holden. This year there’s more of the same, delusional folks, the weirdly compelling, the loveable funny men and the wow factor. But episode one was all about two women who book-ended the programme and both caused a stir in one way or another. The first was 35 year old Fabia Cerra who, as we heard in the opening sob story, used to love to dance but lost her passion when she started popping her sprogs out. After we heard the story we must of thought, oh she’s going to do some impassioned dance routine but oh no! To the chimes of ‘The Stripper’, Fabia proceeded to rip of her suit revealing some very strategically placed nipple tassels which were covered up by Britain’s Got Talent balloons on the ITV Player repeat. 40 complaints to Offcom later and Fabia has made a name for herself, in a very dubious fashion and if this clip is played over and over again on ‘It shouldn’t happen to a talent show judge’ or some such programme her kids may disown her even if she does inevitably make the final.
But Fabia’s titillating performance was eclipsed by a Scottish Spinster by the name of Susan Boyle, two weeks ago no-one knew who Boyle was she was just living in the small village of Blackburn, Scotland with her beloved cat. Now she is a Global Superstar and why, partly because of her voice but mostly because of her looks. Like millions of us have seen either on the show or on Youtube, Ms. Boyle didn’t have the best introduction. First shown on screen eating sandwiches to some background music which signals that this is an oddball who has no talent. She then goes on stage and embarrasses herself in her opening interviewing with smuggy, scowly and the token woman. When she reveals her ambition to be a singer and in fact the next Elaine Page there were sniggers from the younger prettier members of the audience who thought this dowdy Scottish woman who makes odd sexual gestures is going to get buzzed off the stage. But then she starts singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Mis, and the crowd get off their feet and so history is written. Now Boyle is odds on to win the programme, has found fans in Demi and Ashton as well as Elaine Page herself. She has appeared on American T.V. and is set to record an album, but if she looked good and sounded good would she be as popular as she is now probably not, but that’s the way the programme set us up.
Other highlights of the first show including a Greek father and son act who performed a comedy dance act called Stavros Flatley. An Indian Security Officer who decided to blow a hot water bottle until it bursts and then pull a truck with his ear and inexplicably got through to the next round. Then there was the acts that weren’t so lucky the old man who had aspirations of being Gene Kelly but actually was no dancer at all. In fact the only act who so far seems a match for Susan might be superb dance act Flawless who actually got a standing ovation from Cowell, something that Susan didn’t manage. As I’ve said before Britain’s Got Talent is strangely compelling and provides a snapshot of a Britain where everybody wants to be famous. And it proves that if you try and if you’re good enough then you could be doing as well as Boyle.
Also on the same night as Britain’s Got Talent was one of the four Doctor Who specials that will screen this year. Apparently this was Russell T Davies’ last chance to have a bit of fun with the character. The special entitled ‘Planet of the Dead’ saw the Doc take a bunch load of bus passengers onto a weird planet through some kind of time holes. Accompanying the Doctor on the bus were a host of familiar TV faces this included Liz from Teachers, Posh Kenneth from Skins and one of the Julies from Bad Girls. As well as this rag tag bunch of passengers was Michelle Ryan as the Doctor’s latest female foil, Lady Christina something-or-other. Christina was a cat-burglar who liked to rob artefacts from the museum of London and was on the run from the police and paid a London Bus Driver with diamonds because she’d lost her Oyster card, she should’ve just fiddled around a lot in her pockets and she probably would’ve got on for free. Once the bus plummets through the time hole the bus and its passengers the episode lost most of its momentum as the Doctor faffed around with the planets odd inhabitants and tried to make some sexual chemistry work with Michelle Ryan which didn’t work. What did work was the return of UNIT and its new scientist figure played with vigour by Lee Evans, it was Evans’ dialogue with Tennant, and not Ryan’s which contained the chemistry which was odd because they hardly spent any screen time together instead communicating via walkie-talkies. The only drama erupted towards the end of the episode when the UNIT boss told Lee Evans to shut the time hole before the passengers got through. After that the last ten minutes actually lived up to expectations there was a good exchange between Tennant and Ryan, The Doctor eventually using his powers to let Lady Christina live to rob another day. There was also an eerie message from Liz from Teachers, who it turns out had some kind of psychic gift, told the Doctor that someone would be knocking four times. This of course has set Dr. Who nerds everywhere creaming their pants, as message boards erupt with speculation. Of course we know this is the beginning of the end for Tennant’s Doctor, so this apocalyptic message may herald the return of one of a familiar faces. The next special is entitled The Waters of Mars, which as it has been pointed out is an anagram of Wars of the Master, so you never know, we can cross our fingers for a John Simm reunion.
Finally this week we see the return of celebrity reality show Hell’s Kitchen seemed unlikely after the last series’ weak cast (Abby Clancy, Anneka Rice, Adele Silva, Lee Ryan) and a homophobia incident in which Jim Davidson called Brian Dowling a shirt-lifter. But bizarrely its returned with all-and-all a better line-up Mercury Award Winner and convicted thug Ms. Dyanmite, former goalie Bruce Grobbelar, Lip from Shameless, the smuggest couple in the world in Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey, Gary Linneker’s missus and the two big coups Dynasty star Linda Evans and Ade Edmundson who wanted to learn to cook. Presiding over all this cooking nonsense is Gordon Ramsay-a-like Marco Pierre White, who actually trained Ramsay as well as Heston Blumenthal and probably Delia Smith and Fanny Craddock if you believe anything this man says. There is another change as well as the lovely and very petite Claudia Winkleman took over from the over-caustic Angus Deyton after a rumoured scrap between he and the big man. Talking of White, his first task was to get the celebs to make a sandwich this sorted out the smug (Bovey who smugly handed over a chicken club sandwich) from the rubbish (Ms. Dynamite’s crisp effort). Although my favourite has to be Jody ‘Lip’ Latham he served Marco a favourite bacon sandwich which reflected his personality but then I think Bruce’s ostrich sandwich may’ve reflected his calm-quiet manner which has made him another favourite. Although I’m an Edmudnson fan so far he’s been a bit grumpy as White seems to be dumping all the work on him and rather favouring the younger girls in particular the current Linneker squeeze Danielle Bux, who despite her incompetence has managed to survive thus far ditto Ms. Dynamite. While some may enjoy watching this show because of the cooking element, for me it’s a pretender to the crown of other reality shows and as much as I love Winkleman she’s better than this maybe the This Morning sofa?
Next Time: Ashes to Ashes and Reggie Perrin