TV Times – 16th October 2011

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The X Factor

Saturday: It was pretty hard to hear most of the singers (apart from Sami), as the background music was SO loud it almost drowned them out which (in most cases), was a blessing – as there was some very poor singing, and the consensus from my Twitterfeed seemed to be that the judges weren’t hearing the same as us.

Louis made a right fool of himself – getting up and waving his arms around a lot – and the whole thing was a bit bemusing. The best bits were Sami (bad song choice though) and Misha – who generally looks like a Christmas Tree but looked like a giant Quality Street this week!

Craig - X Factor - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewFrankie - X Factor - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewCharlie from The Risk is a great singer, but as for the rest of the boys, what is there to say? Frankie’s hair looked beyond ridiculous but – more importantly – he proved that he couldn’t sing a note.

He was out of tune the whole way through, and if he survives the vote it’ll be a joke. And talking about hair: Craig’s hairstyle is … well, WHAT is it?

Sunday: Frankie survived. I have nothing more to say.

(The X Factor ITV1 Saturday/Sunday around 8.00 pm)


Come Dine With Me

Come Dine With Me - TV Times on Jane Reynolds' Weekly blogWhen I saw it was a Celebrity special this week I almost didn’t watch, but after the first two minutes was so glad I did, as I laughed and laughed at the feast of one-liners.

Pete Best - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewApart from Andrew Stone (‘Starman’ from Louis Spence’s Pineapple Dance Studios), they were all just there for a good time, and a budding TV/Food critic was revealed as Pete Best’s laconic comments had me in stitches.

It’s hard to describe Pete’s ‘look’ (except that it changed in almost every scene), but his dead-pan humour is right up my street, and he even upstaged Dave Lamb! This was his expression as he made a comment about Bobby’s Main Course, “It was just chicken with rice and blackbean sauce.”

Dave’s response: “I’m not sure if that’s your happy face or not, Pete.”

Another great line was, “I’m not competitive. I don’t understand why people even play football. They should give them a ball each and we can all go home.”

Pete - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewThe piece de resistance was Pete’s night. He slid into the kitchen in this outfit and announced, “I’m in the nude. Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve.”

Dave quipped: “I’m not sure Adam OR Eve looked anything like you.”

Cleo Rocas - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewCleo Rocos looked fabulous, and has barely aged since I used to watch her on the Kenny Everett show. I thought she was the most gorgeous and glamorous woman I’d ever seen, and she’s still right up there!

She seems to have met everyone though, and Pete remarked on Thursday, “I’m terrified to ask her anything cos it’ll have a story. The knife’ll be from Ancient Egypt and belonged to Tutankhamun or something – and she used to date him.”

I was amazed at Cleo’s story of how she and Kenny Everett took Princess Diana (in disguise) to the Vauxhall Tavern. I’ve been there, and can’t believe that the sight of Cleo Rocos alone walking-in wouldn’t have caused a near-riot, and with the description of the get-up Diana was wearing, also can’t believe she wouldn’t have been ‘hit on’ by at least a dozen women before she’d got halfway through the door (if the pigeons hadn’t hit on her first)!

Chantelle - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewChantelle - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewChantelle Houghton was CDWM’s compulsory ‘dumb blond’. She seems like such a nice woman, and one who totally accepts that she’s not the sharpest knife in the draw. She was trying to beat up some cream for her Eton Mess but had a bit of a problem:

“How do you whip something? Use one of those spiky things? You know, a Whipper. I haven’t got a Whipper. Oh, a Whisker!”

She rang a friend – who brought ice-cream instead of cream and tried to assure her it would be ok.

Friend: “Eton mess is like Baked Alaska.”

Chantelle: “Isn’t that a fish?”

Bobby George - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewThe ‘King of Bling’ Bobby George was your typical ‘geezer’ who told it how it was. His separate Chinese Kitchen was impressive (brilliant not to have to have all those frying smells in the house), and I really wouldn’t have expected to see a man like him stir-frying with such confidence.

Andrew Stone - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewDespite being taken-aback on meeting Pete, Bobby was more bothered by Andrew in the end, and they all just viewed him as being more famous in his mind than he’ll ever be in real life (they even played the Bee Gees’ song Tragedy as he walked round the corner one night). Andrew was trying desperately to compete (and not just in the cooking; he came last, by the way), but totally failed to impress any of them.

Bobby said of him, “Andrew told me: ‘It’ll take a long while for me to like you.’ I said ‘It didn’t take me long to dislike you,'” and even Dave’s commentary was cutting. They were going round the room talking about what Awards they’d won. Andrew’s eyes were downcast as the others reeled off their list, and then Dave said “Next,” but as Andrew raised his head to speak he said “Not you.”

Andrew Stone - Come Dine With Me - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewI’m sure it was just carefully edited that way, but I did feel quite sorry for Andrew, because the other four got on really well and he was the outsider, and not part of their ‘gang’. I could see the hurt/envy in his eyes on more than one occasion and knew exactly how he felt (as it’s the same way I feel when I’m with a group of people: like they don’t really want me there but are too polite to actually say so!).

Pete’s night began to the Addams Family theme tune, and the whole thing was a scream. There was also a surprise ending, as (despite his husband doing 99% of the cooking), Pete shared the honours (for his hosting mostly!), with Cleo. It was all thoroughly enjoyable.


(Come Dine With Me Channel 4 Mon-Fri 5.30-6.00 & an hour’s Episode Fridays 8.00-9.00 pm)


Celebrity MasterChef

Hold the front page. There was an actual failure this week. Greg summed-up Nick’s bakewell tart: “Looks like a margherita pizza.”

Greg Wallace - Celebrity MasterChef - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewThere was a new feature: cook a meal that evokes a memory for you. It was a really entertaining Episode – apart from the tear-jerking music and the Jaws-like drone that plays under every scene where they present their food (why? It’s just not needed), and it’s been quite an enjoyable week (as there’s been much less Restaurant stuff).

Phil Vickery - Celebrity MasterChef - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewOn the downside, there’s been a lot of Greg stuffing his face with far too big a spoonful again, and the unbearable India Fisher narration. If it’s so boring for you love (sounds as if it is from the way you read your lines), let someone else do it and cheer us all up.

My prediction of Phil to win looks even more certain now, as he hasn’t put a fork wrong all week. His food’s been exceptional, and even those pompous food critics on Friday couldn’t fault it – and that’s saying something! It’s hard to believe he’s actually able to cook at that level but, boy, he can. If he doesn’t win, it’s a fix!

(Celebrity MasterChef BBC 1 Mon-Fri 2.15-3.00, Friday 8.30-9.00)


What Else?

Are you watching Curb Your Enthusiam yet? If not, I keep telling you: you’re missing a treat …


(Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 8, Ep 4 More4 11.20 pm Sunday)

Despite myself, I’m still watching Mary Queen of Frocks, as she’s not getting things her own way and ‘real’ women haven’t been backwards in coming forwards telling her what they think of some of her designs. She’s pushing a few noses out of joint down at House of Frazer and this week she’s about to open. What will happen …

(Mary Queen of Frocks Ep 3 C4 9.00 pm Wednesday)

Harry Hill's TV Burp - Jane Reynolds' weekly 'TV Times' reviewIf you like this blog, I’m sure you’ll already be the sort who watches Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which – like me – loves to take a sideways look at the pick of the week’s ‘quirky’ and funny side of TV/Soapland. Harry’s the visual version of my Soapy Corners! (TV Burp ITV1 Saturday 7.15 pm + many repeats on ITV throughout the week)

Radio Times

Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 Series Sounds of the 20th Century (which is a glorious hour of nothing but soundbites, charting the significant music and events of every year from 1951 to 2000), is at 1979 this week. Each week it’s become relevant to more and more people, and I guarantee it’ll bring those memories flooding back in a flash. It’s a truly wonderful hour of history/nostalgia, and is not to be missed.

(Sounds of the 20th Century Radio 2 10.00 pm every Thursday, and available on BBC iPlayer)


Other Radio things catching my eye this week are:

Radio 4Extra are repeating Clare in the Community right from the beginning. I didn’t spot it in time for last week’s blog, but Series 1, Episode 1 was broadcast this week and will still be on iPlayer until the next Episode is broadcast (7.00am and 5.30pm next Wednesday 19th). DO have a listen; it’s delicious comedy.

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