Posts Tagged ‘ITV’

The Friday Question – Soap Yourself

March 13, 2009

Buttercup Lane - image by BP Perry

Buttercup Lane –

Love and Betrayal in a Family-Owned and Run Rural Garden Centre …

Ted Clappers: Maureen?
Maureen Clappers: Yes, Ted?
Ted Clappers: Did you put in that order for more pruning saws? We’re down to our last box.
Maureen Clappers: Yes, Ted. I phoned the supplier this …
Frankie Clappers: Mum, dad … I … I’ve got something to say …
Ted Clappers: What is it, son?
Frankie Clappers: I’m … I’m gay.
Maureen Clappers: Oh my god!
Ted Clappers: You’re what?!
Frankie Clappers: Gay, dad, gay. I like men’s bums.
Ted Clappers: WHAT??
Maureen Clappers: Oh, Frankie! Not in front of the Geraniums!
Frankie Clappers: I’m sorry, mum, but I had to say it. I’ve been gay ever since Julie was killed last year when the terrorists attacked the nursery sheds.
Ted Clappers: This can’t be happening! My son, a woof …
Frankie Clappers: That’s right! I knew you wouldn’t understand, dad! You’re prejudiced! Prejudiced against us gays. Ever since you caught Harry having unnatural relations with Daft Tony and saw what their shenanigans had done to the Chinese Trumpet Creepers, you’ve turned your back on tolerance!
Ted Clappers: It wasn’t YOU what had to shell out for four new palettes of Climbing Hydrangeas, my lad!
Frankie Clappers: It’s always money with you! You’re a monster!
Ted Clappers: How dare you speak to me like that in front of your mother!
Jeb Drudger: Mr. Clappers?
Ted Clappers: Yes, what is it, Jeb?
Jeb Drudger: I’m sorry to interrupt, sir, but that was Jackson’s on the phone …
Maureen Clappers: The suppliers?
Jeb Drudger: Yes, Mrs. Clappers. They … they …
Ted Clappers: Come on, Jeb, spit it out!
Jeb Drudger: They … they can’t deliver your order of Carpet Bugles because there’s been a mix-up at the depot …
Maureen Clappers: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So that’s WWM’s idea for a new soap opera, but what’s yours?

  • Where is it set?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What hot topics will it cover?
  • Will it be a glamorous, Dynasty-style slice of fluff, or will it be a gritty urban drama where everyone’s got The AIDS?
  • Who do you want in it?
  • What era will it be set in?
  • Is there any chance you could give Paul Shane a job in it?

And, most importantly, what’s the soap’s resident dog, and what’s his / her name? Is it a poodle like Roley was, or an Alsation crossed with whatever the hell Wellard was crossed with? Hey, it’s not something like Ethel’s little Willie, is it?

Y’know – a source of endless cock jokes?

WWMers, it’s over to YOU

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Piers Morgan’s Life Stories: Katie Price

March 11, 2009

piers morgan katie price jordan

ITV is many things to many people, but mainly it’s just rubbish. ITV doesn’t give the world much these days, apart from the anomaly of Harry Hill and the occasional Al Murray moment. It’s the gaping hole in the middle of the schedule – a vortex where decent television simply doesn’t occur. It’s television for children and the elderly – bright, flashy and filled with hollow applause. If you find your brain actively engaged by ITV’s output, it’s a sure sign of mental decline.

Piers Morgan’s new show could only be an ITV product, with the third button being the key channel specialising in the kind of glossy dross he tends towards since being kicked out of publishing and having entered the light entertainment arena. When he was at The Mirror, Morgan was a forgivable prick – always managing to rustle up a twinge of sympathy because, for all his myriad flaws, at least he wasn’t the Editor of The Sun. But even in his early days he was caked in the slime of smug self-assurance and seemed to have smarm running through his innards like sap.

His Sunday evening Life Stories vehicle is way beyond the bland rubbish you might expect it to be. In fact, it’s so tedious and vacant, you could be forgiven for thinking your television’s vanished and been replaced with a vague space. You’d actually be better off staring at the wall.

Following on from last week’s episode in which we re-learned that Richard Branson is very rich and smiles a lot, on Sunday evening we were landed with a Katie Price sucker-punch. The show opened, as it does every episode, with Piers talking to camera (or someone just off-camera, to give it an air of reality) about how he wouldn’t avoid any issues and would ask the right questions in order to get us some really meaty answers. Katie, in turn, promised that she would give her all and reply honestly to anything Morgan could throw at her. It was as if, for a second, they actually believed they were about to make some proper television rather than get themselves messy in the overlit, sycophancy-session that followed.

The first topic for discussion was Katie’s apparent schizophrenia and the fact that she ‘misses Jordan’. She made it seem as though the identity she created purely to allow her to build her fortune – using tabloid tittilation and flesh-flashing – had substance. To blur the boundaries between Katie and Jordan even further, ingeniously merging the two personalities, she was then encouraged to show off her jewellery for the cameras like a blinged up material girl. But ultimately it was left unclear, the actual difference between the two. Was it the change of hair colour that signalled the change? Or the graduation from the showbiz pages in the tabloids to the OK and Hello spreads?

We moved on, the question unanswered. They discussed her husband Peter as openly as they could, with the poor sod sitting mere yards away in the audience, wilting bashfully. Throughout the show, Katie talked about Andre as though he’s the randy stalker she fellates out of pity.

‘I can’t have sex seven days a week’, she informed us. ‘so when he gets it, he gets it’. She talked about their shared, sacred moments of intimacy in the functional way you might ask a neighbour to feed the dog while you’re in Cromer for a week’s holiday. In the most non-erotic description of marital relations you’re ever likely to hear, she discussed their first moment of passion and how she stormed his hotel room after the I’m a Celebrity wrap party. He answered the door wearing only a towel, insisting he’d just got out of the shower and hadn’t expected her. ‘I give him a blow job in the toilet’ she declared, smiling at her killer punchline, to the joy of the audience and the sympathetic mugging of Morgan.

The show was interspersed with VT in which members of Katie’s family discussed her rise to fame. Piers’ voiceover could be heard over the top using phrases like ‘Britain’s first couple’ and ‘unlikely modern role model’ – unqualified assertions that slipped by unchallenged, reaffirming brand Katie and making the viewer implicit in the bullshit-flow. To give us a little bit of humanity, Katie’s mum, brother and sister spoke semi-candidly about her implants and how her investment in the chest-bulgers was born out of insecurity – but this wasn’t explored.

Another area that wasn’t dwelled upon was a bizarre and remarkably awkward sequence in which we seemed to hear something about sexual abuse. It was so strange I had to rewind and check I’d heard right. When talking about her first, apparently unsavoury modelling shoots she said ‘worse things have happened to me’. Then, when Morgan asked what she meant, she expanded with the gnomic: ‘in a park’. She then began to yelp a little before composing herself and saying ‘just some weirdo in a park’, alluding to sexual abuse with the scantest details, garnering sympathy from the audience for something they probably weren’t even sure they’d heard right. Watching this weird little sequence felt grubby for multiple reasons, none of which I can quite place.

After superficial discussion of her disabled son, reality television and wealth, the conversation was wrapped up. The promise of depth and insight went sadly unfulfilled. But there was no room for disappoinment. If you’d tuned in to a show like this and found anything profound within, you’d have the mental faculties of a child or an infantile pensioner.

So I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting.

The Brits – 2009

February 19, 2009

Last night’s Brits then, presented by James ‘why?’ Corden, the bloke off Catherine Tate and, for some reason, Kylie Minogue – when she wasn’t stage-right, getting changed into another unremarkable frock.

I watched it whilst taking notes, drinking tea and twittering. The twittering was more fun than the show – and when talking in less than 140 characters to strangers on a computer is more entertaining than a massive showbiz event, you know you’ve got problems.

Here then, are my notes, twitterings and musings, in REAL TIME!

The night opens with a Johnny Vegas voiceover which, from hereon in, kicks in every time a new award’s being dished out, prompting the audience to ponder how much they paid him to rattle off a few intros. Then – BANG! – we’re straight into a live performance from… some old men.

It’s U2, and Bono really ain’t getting any younger or any more original – demonstrated by the fact their new single sounds exactly like six other U2 singles. Adam Clayton is increasingly starting to look like Homer Simpson’s dad and the Edge still needs to lose the hat. To make things worse, the huge video screen behind him displays Bono’s lyrics as the frail frontman postures like a man half his age in front of them, showcasing his lack of writing talent in bold, illuminated words as he jiggles like a berk in front of them. Their big moment – and every Brit performance needs one, even though they usually fall further flat than a glass of cola left out overnight – is Bono taking off his spectacles to reveal an ageing idiot in eyeliner.

Greetings from our hosts! The three of them shuffle on with some dancers and they do the routine for Kylie’s 2001 single, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Corden is a fat man, but he done did dancing!

The use of such an old Kylie hit can be seen as either the provision an eight year vintage or an irrelevance from ages ago – you can make your own mind up on that.

The finishing posture leaves Kylie cradling the boys’ groins, in the first of many misguided sauce-based gags that unearth nowt but tumbleweed from the audience both at home and in the auditorium. Corden even feels the need to apologise for his first joke as he absorbs the silence that follows his every utterance.

Simon Pegg arrives, on his own (I thought they presented in pairs?) to announce Best Female and, in the event, Duffy beats Adele, MIA, Beth (who?) Rowley and that mardy-arse Estelle. You can feel the oxigen in the nation’s atmosphere lessen as the audience yawns collectively.

Next up, Best International Female goes to Katie Perry – a fact I enjoy because my other half hates her, causing me much amusement. She won a Brit and she liked it! She’s here even though she’s ill, she says. In fact, all she does is complain that she’s sick when she takes the podium, implying that she only turned up because her record company made her. That’s gratitude.

And then… Girls Aloud! Can it get any more miserable?

Yes!

The ladies essentially do a striptease to the song they did that sounds like the sort of tune ABBA might shit out whilst paralytic. Their clothes removal is sexy! (If you read Nuts and get turned on by the thought of a moronic, untalented dance troupe fronted by a Geordie automaton).

Suddenly The Brits goes weird. We’re, inexplicably backstage with Fearne Cotton who’s standing beside a caravan. I check my remote control, but no, I’m not jammed on ITV2 by mistake. What the hell’s going on?

Fearne asks us to vote for something or other and, breaking up the party vibe, reads out the Ts and Cs for the phone vote at length, before the ads come on. It’s like being accosted by a drunk accountant at the worst party in the world, dragged outside and then being subjected to her rattling off her month end breakdown. Even any slight semblance of a reckless, party atmosphere is dropped to the shits.

After the break, it’s back to the front desk, and I become confused by who’s presenting what, why and how? Horne and Corden are now doing the work, looking like ITV’s version of Shirl and ‘Evver off ‘stenders. The trio of Horne, Corden and Minogue keeps merging, resynthesising and redistributing. That fact alongside Fearne’s droned phone numbers leaves me dribbling with shellshock.

And then – Oh God. Here’s Alex bloody James to present Best British Breakthrough from a list including Adele, Scouting for Girls, Duffy, Ting Tings and The Last Shadow Puppets – and Duffy wins again, which feels, frankly, like a direct insult.

Coldplay then take the stage, dressed like disco revolutionaries in pink, lime and purple Spanish civil war outfits – which would be fine if they made new-sounding, vital pop like, say, MGMT or Empire of the Sun – but they don’t. They make watery, bland, executive bum. They’re about as revolutionary as Norman Tebbit. Their presence makes the list of appearances, winners and performers sound like it was discovered, discarded, scrawled on a soggy piece of cardboard and found in the middle of the road.

Back to the caravan! With Jamie Cullum and Jamie Oliver, both looking like they’re having a strand-off at the stupid haircut festival. To distract us from their wacky barnets, we hear more phone votes from Fearne. Halfway in to the two hours and literally nothing of any note has happened. Bring back Brandon Block! All is forgiven!

Here’s Natalie Imbruglia, who must have died since her Torn single came out in the nineties, as she staggers on looking like a reanimated corpse dug up from the grounds of a derelict botox farm. She’s here to announce British Male Solo Artist from a pick of James Morrison, Paul Weller, Ian Brown, Will Young and The Streets. Weller wins, and his acceptance speech is a video of Adele giggling.

We’re past halfway – and it’s time for a Duffy performance, or time for a kitchen break and tea-making, as I bypass the vapid motown-theft she passes off as music. As I return with an enormous cup of the brown stuff, Corden bellows a query:

ARE WE HAVING FUN PEOPLE?

More tumbleweed.

So – who will win Best International Album? Fleet Foxes, The Killers, MGMT, Kings of Leon or someone else I can’t remember?

Kings of Leon, in the event, and they take the stage resembling what you might imagine the Managing Directors of Beebo to look like. ‘If it weren’t for England we wouldn’t exist’, the singer says, forgetting he’s at the Brits. One in the eye for Duffy! Good lads.

Take That mime for a bit, handily wasting some time. The Robbie reunion thankfully remains an unfulfilled rumour and Nick Frost ambles on to present best live act. Nick Frost on his own. Without Simon Pegg. Who also presented on his own. Are we running low on guests?

Beating The Verve, Coldplay, Scouting For Girls and Elbow, Iron Maiden win this. A demonstration of people-power and only the hardest heart could begrudge them. Nicko McBrain still looks exactly like he did in the 80s. And they even wheel out Eddie, which probably confuses anyone under the age of 28.

Here comes David Hasslehoff to present something (I think Best British Band). Elbow beat Radiohead, Girls Aloud, Take That and Coldplay. Elbow – the band everyone’s too lazy to diss. I haven’t got anything against them, they just feel like a slow episode of Coronation Street set to 90s indie.

Then Kings of Leon play their big single with an ill-advised bass breakdown that makes the song sound like it’s going to shrivel up and die before Horne reappears to make his second Craig David joke of the night. We’re then on to the Critics Choice award which goes to indie types Florence and the Machine.

Florence and the Who?

Clear off!

Gok Wan wanders on smiling like a man possessed, waving and screeching ‘HIYA!’ like an oriental Wavey Davey. He presents the International Male gong which goes to Kanye West who, inevitably couldn’t make it to the evening and is filmed standing in a utility room in an anonymous building, looking sheepish.

And now for the real lowpoint. A modern mash-up of two of the year’s worst singles – Estelle and Ting Tings working to combine their awful songs in what is truly the most godawful dirge I’ve heard in years. The less about that, the better.

The end is in sight! It’s time for the best British Single and Alan Carr presents it to Girls Aloud for that ABBA-stealing pile of shit that accompanied their striptease earlier. ‘About time!’ screams the tall blonde one. ‘I wet meself!’ she continues, before being dragged off. And that’s as close as we get to controversy all night.

Tom Jones, looking like an overweight Rolf Harris, presents Best British Album and ruins the fact it’s bound to be Duffy, what with her also being from Wales and all. She gets her trio of meaningless statues and another Brit Awards gathers its crutches for the weary trudge to 2010. But first, the Pet Shop Boys Achievement award.

Hard to begrudge them their gong, but their stage show was such an unrelenting slaughter of flashing lights and dancing personnel, I had to read Twitter to work out what was going on. When Lady Gaga appeared to sing one line of a song dressed like a willow-patterned teapot, I thought I was hallucinating – compounded by the ostrich feathers on Brandon Flowers shoulders which made him look like a Flash Gordon birdman.

Roll credits!

Writing down every detail seemed like a good idea at the time. I hope reliving the experience with me hasn’t been too damaging for you – for me, at least, it was therapeutic.

Jeremy Kyle Is In My Nightmare.mp4

February 18, 2009

A Wednesday extra from myself, Nick of the Tann and ITV’s Jeremy Kyle.

Made over the last couple of days. And if I never hear Kyle’s whining bleat ever again, it’ll be too soon.

Ramshackle video editing = SH’s 1st attempt at video.

Trisha’s Guest Dilemma

February 12, 2009

trisha-goddard_280_465862a2

Can YOU solve yesterday’s Trisha’s Guest Dilemma? Here are the facts of the case:

Wayne comes home.

Wayne realises he’s lost his keys.

Wayne climbs in through an open window.

Wayne’s partner Rose comes down the stairs naked.

“It’s not what it looks like,” says Rose, without being asked anything.

Wayne goes upstairs to discover a naked man cowering in the wardrobe.

Rose explains the man’s her cousin, and there’s no funny business going on.

So, what Wayne wants to know from YOU, the WWM Trisha audience, is this:

Is his partner Rose guilty of adultery or not?

You may want to take a bit of time before reaching your conclusion …

The Friday Question: At Home On The Box

December 12, 2008

Last night, watching Eastenders (which is 100 times better than Coronation Street), I pretended I was an omniscient being floating from room to room and spying on the inhabitants of Albert Square like some spectre from the realm of reality. It was weird.

It got me to thinking, however. I began to ponder, which fictional TV world I’d move to if I was given the chance. Also – what kind of character would I be if I lived there… how would I fit in to the plot?

Would I move to the Chester of Hollyoaks, to be amongst the attractive 19 year old idiots? Would my part be that of a bungling shopkeeper?

Would I, perhaps, move to Wetherby so I could snooze my way through life in the 60s as the local drunk, occasionally receiving a harsh word from Nick Berry or whoever plays Heartbeat these days.

Would I move to the Baltimore portrayed in the Wire and be an overweight, cynical and obese cop with flatulence, an eating disorder and porn addiction?

It’s worth thinking about. For a bit.

So – which fictional word would YOU inhabit, and what character would you play?

Take That Come To Town

December 8, 2008

The Take That documentary they showed a Christmas or two ago was a successful little slice of television. It managed to turn around the flailing careers of all ex-Take That stars whose surnames weren’t Williams whilst simltaneously banging the final nail into Robbie’s career-coffin.

Fundamentally, the doc demonstrated, these four blokes were always nice, professional chaps. The public were finally persuaded that Robbie’s distortions of the truth were only his version of events and bought into the TT reunion package.

Robbie might also have been a nice bloke, once-upon-a-time, but he lost it in a stupendously big way. His neurosis made him leave the band and embark on a solo career curve which he now languishes at the bottom of, in a pile of money but without the critical acclaim he needs to keep his egocentric personality turning out his trademark cheeky-chappie gurns.

So the public were persuaded to finally wave ta-ta to Robbie and, through endless four-nice-bloke branding, they accepted Take That back into their ears. Barlow wasted no time. He immediately set about writing those songs he used to create. The ones where you hear them and think:

‘Hang on, I know this! Isn’t this that George Michael song? Or is it Elton John? That bit sounds like Abba playing the Beatles.’

And then the hook is in your head like a parasitic worm. And it won’t leave. And it’s laying eggs which’ll hatch when you least expect it. You’ll be waiting for a lift (or walking up some stairs, for those in the north) and all of a sudden…

LET IT SHIIIIIIIINE! Let it SHINE!

And then, instantaneously, the lads are a visual memory – all dressed up in M&S urchin chic, and you wish death on them, slow lingering death, whether they’re nice blokes or not.

So Take That Came To Town last night, and they bought half of Cirque De Soleil with ’em. They also bought clowns, dancing girls and their middle-aged fans who screamed violently at every word they uttered.

I lasted 25 minutes and here’s what happened in that time:

  • Gary sang an opener in which he promised that this could be the greatest night of our lives. I’ll leave you to wrestle with the use of the word ‘could’.
  • Mark sang the aforementioned Shine, a serious virus of a song, whilst ladies dangled from wires. A huge jackinthebox also sprang out of nowhere.
  • They did that ‘Rule The World’ song and I noted that, despite Howard having the ‘we can rule the wooooorld’ line, his voice was so low in the mix it sounded like autotuned interference.
  • Jason, looking for all the world like an awkward gay teenager roped into organising an overpriced kid’s party, led a chatty bit where all involved mocked Barlow. They’re allowed to now, it seems.
  • They all said they were ‘enjoying getting to know Robbie again’ – which is good, as without him the next stage of the comeback will be redundant. The Take That Reunion Mark2 is reliant on Robbie’s desperation, after all.

And then I switched over.

Temporarily swept up by the glitz and those nagging, incessant tunes, my right mind suddenly dragged me back to sensibility and I returned to the land of the living just about intact.

It’s going to take weeks to shift those bloody songs from my brain.

NewsGush: Leotards on!

December 4, 2008

 

He’s back!

This January, GMTV is stepping up to tackle Britain’s growing obesity problem with the UK’s biggest ever health challenge. And helping the breakfast TV station is a familiar face – Mr. Motivator is back and he means business.

I can’t contain myself.

I must check if my all-in-one spandex bodysuit is still at the bottom of the wardrobe. I can’t wait to tackle my weight, get back in motion and shift this enormous paunch with the help of Mr. M.

Imagine him doing a sex on Mad Lizzy

Phwoar!