Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Forsyth’

The Friday Question: Catchphrase

October 3, 2008

When Badger Madge mentioned Nick Cotton’s upcoming return to the Square and the fact that he will inevitably crow ‘alright ma’ just before the drum solo – she unwittingly inspired this week’s Friday Question.

Catchphrases are burnt into the fabric of the tellybox. From quiz shows to sitcoms to soap operas – characters and presenters need a hook. Some are invented for the purpose, some come about organically… but all lodge themselve in the consciousness like a tapeworm on a sphincter in spasm.

What’re the best catchphrases?
Or the ones that make your extremities shrivel in horrible agony…

I don’t believe it!


You don’t get nothin’ for a pair, not in this game…

(It’s good, but it’s not right)

Bafta Television Awards, 2008

April 21, 2008

Harry Hill

Sunday evening and time for some glitz and glamour. I stuck on my dinner jacket and dicky bow, turned out the lights, put out a few nibbles and took some notes on the proceedings, so we can all remember the highs of last night’s wonderful Bafta awards. What a night! What a show! What a collection of humorous acceptance speeches!

If I’m honest, I half-watched it whilst sitting in my pants and reading the paper.

Best actor
Andrew Garfield – Boy A
(Channel 4)

I didn’t watch Boy A when it went out. The only one I did watch of those nominated was Secret Life (the one about the paedophile with the elastic band). That was good and should’ve won, in the expert opinion of someone like me who couldn’t be arsed to watch all the others. The acceptance speech was a bumbling, heart-warming mess, and I wish the young bastard well.

Best actress
Eileen Atkins – Cranford
(BBC One)

Won by that woman out of Gosford Park. Again, I didn’t see Cranford. Was it any good? Was Atkins in Tenko? I think she was in Tenko.
Dame Dench was in the same thing, was nominated, but didn’t win it. Good. Give it to someone else for a change, Dench. Gina McKee should’ve won it, as she was the only one nominated who was in a programme I might actually have watched but can’t remember due to drunkenness (The Street). Plus, she was good in Brass Eye and Naked.

Best entertainment performance
Harry Hill – Harry Hill’s TV Burp

Hooray! I like TV Burp. Even though – in my paranoid mind – he reads WWM and nicks some of our ideas, like Charlie Brooker and Sam Woolaston from the newspaper. Except they probably don’t.

In fact, I’d put money on the fact that they don’t.

Thank God JLC and Alan Carr didn’t win it. Amstell just missed out, which will at least give him material for his egocentric (but admittedly very amusing) gags on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Best comedy performance
James Corden – Gavin and Stacey
(BBC Three)

This was very strange. The bumbling chubbyman came onstage, all sweetness and light and made a lovely speech about his co-writer (her from Saxondale). He wrapped it up with ‘not funny, but true’. Emotive and nice, setting the scene perfectly for his fuck up later. I’ll get to that in a bit.

How he beat Merchant, Mitchell and Capaldi I’ll never know. I don’t watch Gavin & Stacey and from the nomination clips, I’m glad. Where the other three nominations all had clips demonstrating the quality of the comedy up for an award, Gavin & Stacey’s featured a fat man in some girls’ pants. Hmmm.

Best single drama
The Mark Of Cain
(Channel 4)

Didn’t see it. It was about war, wasn’t it? Good, good.

Also nominated were three other dramas I’ve not seen. Again – sorry.

Best drama serial
(Channel 4)

Didn’t see it. However, I now know that the main lady in it looks bloody lovely in a halter-neck frock. Apparently it was about suicide bombers and stuff.

I didn’t see any of the others and don’t know what they were about.

Best drama series
The Street
(BBC One)

I saw one of these. I definitely saw one of these. The one with David Thewlis acting as though he was a twin that had died, when he was really the twin that hadn’t died. I even reviewed it somewhere. It was good.

I didn’t see any of the Life on Mars business as John Simm makes me shudder, and I didn’t see the others, so clearly the right one won.

Best continuing drama
Holby City
(BBC One)

Napoleon’ll be happy, I thought to myself. Obviously Eastenders was robbed.

Best factual series
The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities
(BBC One)

Guess what? I didn’t see it. It looked very worthy and, if I’m honest, boring. Who wants to be bored? Not me. Should’ve featured zombies.

I’m just glad Merton being a berk in China didn’t win. And I’m even gladder that Meet The Natives didn’t win. The former because is was more about Merton than China, the latter because it was a wholesale rip off of something Donal MacIntyre did much better a few months before to little acclaim. Tribe should’ve won, because Bruce Parry is a real man. He drinks the blood of beasts and takes hallucinogens with mean men.

Best entertainment programme
Harry Hill’s TV Burp

Hooray! A good choice, and Hill had the presence of mind to give us a few catchphrases rather than the faux-modesty and badly prepared gags everyone else attempted. He also beat Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing, the evil reality shows that give pieces of art like Britain’s Worst Teeth a bad name.

Have I Got News For You missed out but it won’t exactly hurt them given that it’ll run on and on until they’re all dead. And probably beyond, with David Mitchell and Russell Brand doing, respectively, Oxbridge intelligensia versus working class humorist.

Best situation comedy
Peep Show
(Channel 4)

Glad this won. The IT Crowd isn’t really my cup of milky tea and The Thick of It, despite excellent scipting/improvisation is an incredibly sneery piece of work. Benidorm remains unwatched, for me. I made the unqualified decision that it’d be rubbish before it started. Was I right? Anyone?

Best comedy programme
(Channel 4)

Oh for Christ’s sake. Fonejacker is a tired concept. The Jerky Boys were doing this ten years ago.

Armstrong & Miller, Ponderland and Star Stories were all better.

Audience award
Gavin & Stacey
(BBC Three)

As mentioned before, I’m not bothered by Gavin & Stacey. Tucked away on BBC3, it’s off my radar like the Lily Allen show and Alexa Chung’s new vehicle ‘The Wall’. I know Corden and his skinny mate from their rubbish turn on Big Brother’s Big Mouth. Corden, arriving on stage, blurted ‘How can we win Best Comedy Performance and this, but not be eligible for Best Sitcom??’

Tumbleweed breezed through the studio. His co-writer (her out of Saxondale) told him off. Everyone went red. Even better – what was the next category? Best sitcom! ‘That’s unfortunate’, said Norton, helping to diffuse the tension.

The only point of interest all evening.

Best single documentary
Lie of the Land
(Channel 4)

Didn’t see it. It was about farmers or something.

Best feature
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
(Channel 4)

Oh for god’s sake. Don’t encourage the forehead-trenched, pigeon chested buffoon. We want him off our TVs, not on.

Best international show
(BBC Two)

Not seen it. Looks rubbish. Was doing the crossword by now.

However, was amused by Alan ‘Jim Robinson’ Dale remarking that international seemed only to mean ‘American’. Good man.

Best specialist factual
Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain
(BBC Two)

Attempting 3 down.

Best current affairs
China’s Stolen Children – A Dispatches Special
(Channel 4)

7 across.

Best news coverage
Sky News – Glasgow Airport Attack
(Sky News)

Having a look at the Sudoku.

Best sport
ITV F1: Canadian Grand Prix Live

Deciding Sudoku is too hard.

Best interactivity
Spooks Interactive
(BBC One)


Long Service
Bruce Forsyth

Oh Christ… Bored and turning off.




Desperate Times

August 14, 2007

Smell my cheese 

It’s finally happened. Television programme makers are so desperate for ideas that they’ve resorted to watching that old episode of ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ for fresh concepts. You know the one – Alan has a lunch meeting with the Commissioning Editor of the Beeb and, realising that his failing career is about to go down the shitter once and for all, panics and resorts to pitching a stream of ever more ridiculous ideas for telly programmes. How else can you rationally explain the following programme?

‘Robbie Coltrane’s B-Road Britain’

Yes, you read that right. The fat Scottish comic turned fat Scottish credible actor is plonked behind the wheel of a classic 1950s car and embarks on a journey from London to Glasgow, avoiding the motorways and stopping off wherever his fancy takes him. In my mind, the programme conjures up visions of Coltrane parked up in a lay-by, sweating profusely as he struggles with an oversized road map of Britain, espousing the joys of the B4009, which “…follows the route of the ancient Roman road, Icknield Way, and is *takes slug from giant bottle of Glenmorangie* the besht fucken B-road EVAH!”.

OK, so when you actually get away from that godawful excuse for a title you start to realise the programme may have some depth. Coltrane is a genial fella with a decent sense of humour, and the Great British Public™ are eccentric enough to ensure he’s bound to encounter some interesting people along the way. In fact, as per Napoleon’s piece below, it’s got classic Sunday methadone telly written all over it (it’s being shown on a Wednesday though, which seems to me to be a massive scheduling error).

In the first episode, Coltrane is in High Wycombe where he watches the Mayor getting weighed. He also meets some girls performing acrobatics on biplanes, and plays Frisbee golf in Warwickshire and tiddlywinks in Cambridge. See – the old farts will love it. And anyone who’s had a frontal lobotomy. Smackheads. The infirm. Obese people who’ve eaten their remote control and can’t be bothered to get up and change the channel. There’s a vast audience there for sure, in combined weight at least.

It seems to me like they must have came up with the title first, stuck the fat bloke behind the wheel and sent him off praying to Bruce Forsythe that something representing entertaining telly would be the end result. They probably had John Thaw pencilled in to do it, but then remembered he’s dead, so approached John Nettles (touring in Bergerac’s Bentley), but he turned them down. Les Dennis in a Skoda? Nope, Cracker in a vintage Jag – BINGO. Televisual gold.

Suddenly ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank’, Partridge’s final, desperate roll of the dice, feels like not that bad an idea. Imagine it – the monocled buffoon, in a wooden shack up a mountain in the Cairngorms, lisping through an awkward conversation with a group of bemused German teenagers. It’s got legs, admit it. Even ‘Arm Wrestling with Chas ‘n’ Dave’ doesn’t seem that ridiculous now. In the 2am slot it has the potential to become a cult student classic. Definitely an improvement on those tedious 9-hour quiz shows. Every show could end up with all the contestants swilling lager round the old Joanna as they belt out a reworked version of ‘Snooker Loopy’ called ‘Arm Wrestling Loopy’. It still needs some work, but ITV have got creative departments to sort out the finer details. The concept is a strong one.

Next week also sees the return of the daytime ITV show, ‘Have I Been Here Before?’. If you’ve got a job, you probably will have missed the first series, but the concept is that Z-list celebs are regressed by a hypnotist, and encouraged to delve into their previous lives. Fucking bizarre. I’m not really a believer in reincarnation, though nor are the participants in this piss poor excuse for telly. But they are great believers in half an hour of telly devoted to themselves and the furthering of their fading careers. I’m only flagging this up because on the same day that ‘B-Road Britain’ airs, ‘Have I Been Here Before?’ features John Barrowman and the premise is just so ludicrous I felt it had to be shared –

“John Barrowman goes back to his previous life as a clown in Budapest during the 1800s.”

I’m almost lost for words at what staggeringly “so bad it’s good” television that has the potential to be. I’ll definitely be setting the video. The following week sees David Seaman entering into a bloody medieval conflict as a gallant knight. With real blood I hope, and his to boot, the deep-voiced Gooner bastard. This whole shitstorm is presented by Philip Schofield, who really needs to get himself a new agent.

‘Robbie Coltrane’s B-Road Britain’ starts this Wednesday 15th August at 9pm.

‘Have I Been Here Before?’ featuring John Barrowman as a Hungarian clown is shown the same day at 1pm.

I’m currently formulating a pilot episode for ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank’, which I plan to pitch to ITV. I might even make the development and pitching process into a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Channel 4 are already interested. If you know of any good youth hostels in your area, please send them to me at