The X Factor
There was a double-bill last week. I’d reviewed Saturday’s Episode, but Sunday’s show brought us yet more amazing acts, the best being Amelia and Marcus. I don’t know how they’re going to be able to even pick a winner from some of the talent we’ve seen in this Series!
I guess that Boot Camp will sort them out, but those auditions have certainly uncovered some stars of the future for sure. I turned Radio 2 on in my office last Sunday night for the Paul O’Grady show but it was a live Radio 2 in the Park concert. Will Young was singing live, and I have to say that (apart from having a bad throat apparently – and using the F-word), he sang really well.
He won ITV’s ‘Pop Idol’ competition in 2002. There’s people here who will go on to have careers just as successful as his, I feel sure. Let’s hope the judges go for the talent and not the novelty .
I’m loving this judging panel (apart from Louis – who I’d always liked, but who I feel is being a bit patronising and trying to influence the others far too much), and at how they’ve got such an easy, relaxed working relationship. Gary’s calm and professional, and you respect what he’s got to say as it’s factual and not said merely to get a ‘rise’ out of the audience.
Tulisa and Kelly give good feedback, and are increasingly funny and engaging (especially with the ‘pub singer’ last week!), but without it all being ‘Me, me, me’ as it’s been in the past. Loved Kelly’s comment “The booty was ‘out’, it was popping, and then you started singing and it all went wrong.”
You know the young man who was Tulisa’s Birthday present? On Wednesday I’d gone to do a spot on a local radio station, and the place was buzzing at the arrival of a ‘Butler in the Buff’. The young man who turned up was Lance – a University student supplementing his income by working for the same Company who provided Tulisa’s Butler.
He was charming, shy, polite (the sort of young man any girl would dream of taking home to meet her parents), and I thought you might like to see a photo of him. I was worried that he might be cold. Guess that proves how ‘Over the hill’ I am! (For further details – and their new regular Events in Swindon – see the ‘And Finally’ section.)
(The X Factor ITV1 Saturday/Sunday around 8.00 pm)
Yawn. Even the pitches aren’t exciting me this Series. They’re all so dull, and most of the people we’ve seen so far have been so badly informed/prepared at trying to ‘sell’ themselves/their Business that it’s been embarrassing. I’m only still watching to get my weekly fix of Hilary Devey. Let’s see if something interesting happens this week. I’m not holding my breath … (Episode 8 BBC2 Sunday 8.00 pm)
There’s also a new 4-part Series starting this Wednesday: How to Win in the Den, which offers help and guidance to would-be Entrepreneurs apparently. I shall be watching – and will no-doubt have something to say next week.
It’s got to be better than the current Series of The Den, hasn’t it? Can’t be any worse, surely? (How to Win in the Den Ep 1 BBC2 Wednesday 9.00 pm)
Come Dine With Me
I can’t get enough of Dave Lamb on this show. Just as well, as if you’re watching for the food you’ll be disappointed. There’s times these days when you barely get a glimpse of the plated food (which is important to me), as the focus has shifted far more to the entertainment side and it seems like there’s not time to fit the food in any more!
Dave’s witty quips/one-liners (which are the cornerstone of my life – I don’t have anything else to make me smile!), are some of the funniest things on TV, and I’m going to start listing the best here from next week. I haven’t watched this week’s Episodes yet (bit of a busy week!), but here’s one to start us off:
Contestant: “My fish is from the freshest part of the sea.”
Dave: “Where’s that then?”
(Come Dine With Me Channel 4 Mon-Fri 5.30-6.00 & an hour’s Episode Fridays 8.00-9.00 pm)
Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show
I should have mentioned this a long time ago. It’s rude, crude and has far too much whooping and cheering for me, but his one-liners/heckling of the audience are often gems, and the weekly Jason Bent, 110% Bent and Doctor Bob sketches are hilarious.
It’s well worth a peek if you’re not easily offended, as he’s another master of quick wit!
(Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show BBC3 Thursday 10.30 pm + several repeats during the week)
At the risk of repeating myself; the ridiculously over-dramatic (and over-loud) music, the ridiculously over-the-top comments “Cooking doesn’t get much tougher than this,” and the desperately painful narration (don’t even get me STARTED on that one; does she ever listen to herself, and if she does, can’t she hear how agonising it is for us to have to listen to her drop her voice down at the end of EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE?), would have made me switch off, but I like watching the cooking, so have to mute the sound and watch with the subtitles on.
Anyway, enough of that. This first week saw John worried that Linda’s ‘Paarrsta’ wasn’t cooked enough, and the Women’s Institute judges gasping in horror as one of them delcared, “I can’t believe you curdled your possett!” Oh yes; cooking really doesn’t get much tougher than this …
(Celebrity MasterChef BBC 1 Mon-Fri 2.15-3.00, Friday 8.30-9.00 + Saturday highights show)
After being relieved at the quality of last week’s Episode, this week’s felt like a double disappointment. It felt to me as if they’d just got all the little clips they hadn’t found a home for in other Episodes and stuck them together. As I’d said in Episode One, Jake’s sneering at everything his parents say is just a little too overdone (how come he’d never heard of Tiddlywinks?), and Ben in the woods was just daft. In real life, would the rest of the group of children sit there silently like this lot did? No, thought not.
I did like Pete’s line to Jake about imagination though, “It’s like a computer, only cheaper,” but the whole Subbuteo sketch was poor (in my opinion – other opinions are available); the dog thing “Bed Archie, bed!” soon wore thin, and if the dog had ripped the Guinea Pigs (and its cage) to pieces, wouldn’t he have had blood and fur etc around his mouth? *just asking*
(Outnumbered Episode 3 BBC1 9.00 pm Friday)
A new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm starts this week. This is one of my favourite-ever comedies, but I hated Series 7, as it revolved around the cast of Seinfeld – a show I never watched – and featured a lot of Jerry Seinfeld; a man I just don’t find funny and who I have a completely irrational dislike of.
I’m hoping this Series will be better, and can’t wait to see (and hear!), the wonderful Susie again!
(Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 8, Ep 1 More4 11.05 pm Sunday)
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Actually, it’s better in Jeremy Vine’s current Radio 2 Series Sounds of the 20th Century, which is a glorious hour of nothing but soundbites and music clips, charting the events of every year from 1951 to 2000. It’s just getting to my ‘era’ now, and I listened live to this week’s Episode: 1974 (I was 15).
What a show. It took me straight back to a time when I was full of hopes, dreams and ambition, and when the world felt like it was mine for the taking; just like we all did at that age – until it all went wrong (well, for me anyway)! I can’t recommend it highly enough, and – ooh – this week’s got the Bay City Rollers. Now there’s a time in my life my dad would rather forget (don’t ask)!
(Sounds of the 20th Century Radio 2 10.00 pm every Thursday till the end of the year)
Speaking of nostalgia: one of my all-time heroes of Broadcasting was Sir Jimmy Young. He presented the Radio current affairs show from 12-2 pm for over 200 years, and it was a very sad day for me when he was replaced by that young whipper-snapper Jeremy Vine (who I didn’t like at all at first).
Jeremy’s gone on to make the show his own though, and I rarely ever miss it, and I certainly won’t miss a special show this week: Sir Jimmy Young at 90, which will take a look back over the great man’s life. I’ll need tissues at the ready for this one for sure!
(Sir Jimmy Young at 90 Radio 2 10.00 pm Tuesday 20th September)
There’s yet-another radio treat this week, with the return of Radio 4’s comedy Clare in the Community. It’s about a completely selfish, self-centred Social worker, her colleagues and her long-suffering boyfriend. Clare’s brilliantly played by Sally Phillips (who many people will know as Tilly in Miranda Hart’s TV Show).
(Clare in the Community Series 7 Ep 1 Radio 4 11.30 am Friday)