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Will the agony never end?

I heard on the car radio yesterday that ITV1 is reprising “Dancing on Ice”.

Here is the misfit’s parade of hasbeens and neverbeens who shall risk broken ankles for our “entertainment”…

1. Charlene Tilton.
Lucy Ewing from Dallas.

2. Corey Feldman.
Former “Goonie” and “Lost Boys” vampire hunter from the age when Coreys ruled the world. You might know it as the ’80s.

3. Heidi Range.
Former Sugababe who “was once ranked ’94th sexiest woman in the world’ by FHM.” (out of 100). ITV1 presumably couldn’t afford #93 after they’d paid Antndec’s salary. If that entity were assasinated Cameron would have to abandon Newcastle to “managed decline”.

4. Chesney Hawkes.
“The One and Only (hit)” himself. I once walked past him in a street in Edinburgh after he was famous. I was there as a visitor to the festival and so was he.

5. Laila Morse.
“Big Mo” from “EastEnders”. And yes she is big. I do worry about mass and inertia in a very low friction environment here. Forget about lifting – this lady is not for turning.

6. Rosemary Conley.
A maker of fitness videos that would put the most hormonally challenged teenage boy on the slack.

7. Sam Nixon…
…finished third in 2003′s Pop Idol. Clearly couldn’t get a panto slot at the local community centre this year.

8. Jennifer Ellison.
“Brookside” ‘actress’ until 2003. And if that isn’t barrel-scrapping she also got to #6 with a cover of a Transvision Vamp song and other than that, “Baby I Don’t Care”.

9. Andy Akinwolere.
Former kids TV presenter. “In June 2011, he broke the world record for the deepest location for an open water swim, swimming five miles across the Pacific Ocean.” So he swam at the deep end. The last time I did any sea-swimming I was in a few metres of water off Malta or Key West where you can still drown. Hell, you can drown in 2″ of water (allegedly)! I mean having an abysmal trench doesn’t matter unless you’re ITV1 and then that’s your channel!

10. Matthew Wolfenden.
Former “Emmerdale” ‘actor’. “He has appeared in a reality show before, finishing ninth in Soapstar Superstar”.

11. Jorgie Porter.
“With a trademark head of white blonde hair, Porter is famous for playing Theresa McQueen in Channel 4′s “Hollyoaks”*.
She also appeared in ITV’s “Born To Shine”, losing out in the final to Jason Manford.”

12. Sébastien Foucan.
“Foucan is considered one of the founders of parkour”. Fair play except isn’t that a sort of concrete roots thing so doesn’t exactly have founders in the way that say the Royal Geological Society does? He was in a chase scene with Bond though.

13. Chemmy Alcott.
“Alcott is the current female British number one alpine ski racer.” Fair enough but do bear in mind that British skiing is like Belgian mountaineering.

14. Mark Rhodes.
“As the other half of Sam & Mark (the above Sam), Rhodes should provide some fierce competition for his co-presenter in Dancing on Ice”. He also appeared in Pop Idol, finishing second and losing out to Michelle McManus.” Michelle McManus -the mannatee of lurve.

15. Andy Whyment.
Whyment indeed!

So that is this season’s flagship show on ITV1. The Christmas schedules (not just ITV – all of them) were bad enough recycling garbage nostalgia from the past ad nauseum. “An Evening with Morecombe and Wise”? “An Audience with Dame Edna” – from 1980!? “Harry Potter and the Well-Milked Cash Cow”? It is clear to me that traditional broadcasting is strapped for cash and ideas. I suspect a causal relationship there and the ideas are prior to the cash. I have a radical idea and I mean real over the hills and far away blue sky thinking here. Why not get some good scripts for things like drama and comedy – you know the things that have been the mainstay of entertainment since Socrates took in a show? Last night I watched an episode of “Open All Hours” and it is sharper and funnier than anything the BBC have made since God knows when.

Regardless of if they take up my scheme I think we are seeing the death throes of broadcast TV. Or we should be. Very few people in the UK (unlike in say the Republic of Korea) have even the option of fast enough broadband to watch what they want when they want in HD. And no the government isn’t helping with it’s talk of a guaranteed 2Mb/s to the Outer Hebrides or whatever. A critical mass will occur – at least in some countries – where a TV is just a big screen for whatever and show producers sell to that market rather than have it via a “channel”. You doubt it? A similar thing has happened with music. For years the music industry (Tunificous dynosaurus) clung to the belief that the punters wouldn’t buy music unless they had a physical thing to clutter their shelves. Well the iPod saw to that didn’t it?

Until then there is always Dave…


  1. TDK says:

    Heidi Range used to be the good looking one introduced to a comparatively interesting girl group at their breakthrough but now is the minger in a bland identikit one at the end of their career.

    Which goes to prove that perhaps God does distribute the talents equally after all.

  2. And we have Celebrity Big Brother to look forward to, which Channel Five will no doubt make a complete hash of – like the regular BB that no one watched this year.

  3. Kevin B says:

    Having never heard of any of these people, (well I thought I’d heard of Chesney Hawkes but I might have mixed him up with Chas’n'Dave – or maybe even Chesney Allen of Flanagan and Allen), I shall not be watching the program. In fact, I don’t watch any TV outside of sport and the occasional US crime series on Channel 5 star US plus one, (CSI, CSI NY, NCIS , but not Miami).

    Having said that, I have just spent the morning watching Sherlock on iplayer and after my initial misgivings, I rather enjoyed the program. This after spending last evening watching the overly operatic, (in many ways), Endeavor.

    So for me, TV, even broadcast TV -even the hated Beeb – still has a role to play in producing and diseminating programs. But I really hope that the coming financial apocalypse along with the You-Tube revolution will finally cure our nation of the sleb culture, ( culture as in something found in a petri dish – or possibly an old discarded mayonaise jar).

    It’s really rather embarassing to try and advance small state conservative values advocating the removal of the state from our lives on the grounds that we can take better care of ourselves, only to be confronted with the reply “You think people who put ‘I’m a sleb, get me outta here’ to the top of the ratings can look after themselves?”

  4. JuliaM says:

    “Until then there is always Dave…”

    And BitTorrented US TV on the iPad… ;)

  5. NickM says:

    Who died and made you head of Apple selling?


    Or torrented well anything via well anything!

  6. RAB says:

    Over the Christmas at me mum’s, I couldn’t avoid seeing some of Brucie says… Come Dancing, and discovered why I never watch these type of programmes. With each and every new couple coming on, I had to ask… Er so which one is the celebrity? I didn’t recognise any of them!

    This could be because I only ever watched two soaps in the first place, Corrie and Eastenders, and I stopped watching both before Dirty Den got killed the first time (soap plotlines eh!). I have longed for years to see Ken Barlow’s Hamlet ( I have seen Dr Who’s, and it was bloody good!) but like the rest of the cast, he can’t act.

    I caught a bit of Corrie too over xmas (mum has appalling taste in tv) and all the Oldies like Rita have turned into a coven of grotesques, especially with the addition of Stephanie Cole (now she can act) the script appears to be relating to a different planet to the one I live on.

    And the Pat Butcher character has been written out of Eastenders, her parting shot being…. It’s just not like the real East End.

    No shit Sherlock!

  7. Sam Duncan says:

    Was that just some awful, feverish, nightmare, or did Bazalgette just get a knighthood? He definitely got something, and it wasn’t a well-deserved kick up the arse.*

    Just about the only time I watch broadcast TV these days is in the middle of the night if I can’t sleep. And F1 Grands Prix. But the BBC has sold half of those to Sky this year, so that’s that fucked.

    (I wouldn’t mind if Sky had won an open auction, but no: the Envy of the World bought the contract, outbidding everyone due to the unique way it’s funded, then decided that, actually, now it came to think of it, it couldn’t afford it at all – what with the Grand Sports Day coming up and everything – and subcontracted half the season to its chums at Sky without asking anyone else if they might like a go. Bernie was reportedly furious, saying that Channel 4 were very interested but never got the chance. Mind you, knowing him, he may just have been playing good cop for the benefit of those of us who can’t justify a subscription for 20 hours a year.)

    I give broadcast TV another ten years. And I’m probably wrong. But by God, it’s pish right now.

    *It’s about time they introduced the WDKUA into the Honours system. It’d be something for Harry to make himself useful with, because let’s face it, the Queen’s probably not up to it these days.

  8. Michael says:

    Well thanks for the potted biographies of these…. sorry who were they again? Oh right… No never heard of them. Gave up on most broadcast TV years ago but have a lovely library! Happily a member of the “Never watched Big Brother (celebrety or otherwise) Club”. I wonder if there were a phone in to keep them locked in there I may make a few bob? A sort of “Reverse Protection Racket”? pay up or I let them back out!
    TTFN :)

  9. RAB says:

    Michael, I never watched ordinary BB either, but one series I had to watch, it was as compelling as a car crash.

    It was, of course, the Celebrity Big Brother with, Michael (bugger me how’d that get there?!) Barrymore, Rula ( Dominatrix) Lenska, George ( indefatigable) Galloway MP, some lippy Scouser poof who was determined to plastic surgery himself into a different species, and …. Chantelle!

    Now I can’t help think that Chantelle is an allegory for our times. She was introduced to the BB house as a fellow celebrity, but was completely bogus and thick as two short planks to boot.

    Her stunning comment when George Galloway was finally ousted (the Red Islamist apologist and leader of the two member Relate party)…

    “Well I’m glad he’s gone. What’s the name of his band again? Relate? Never heard of ‘em!”

    Despite being in the same confined space for a month and a half,she thought Gorgeous George was the Bass player in an old Heavy Metal Group!

    She ended up winning, and heh heh, is now actually a celebrity!

    Reality is just too twisted for me these days. ;-)

  10. RAB says:

    Woops, that’s Respect not Relate.

    Well it’s easy to do, Relate is the the re-branded Marrage Guidance Council!

    See what I mean?

  11. Tim Newman says:

    Until then there is always Dave…

    This Dave?!!

  12. NickM says:

    I clocked your error but didn’t flag it because RESPECT was a bizarre attempt to wed Communism with Islamism. He even went so far as to say once that “Socialism was just like Islam but without God”. Well, George that shows a staggering misunderstanding of Islam where Allah is kinda of central. I laughed like a drain at that one for then I knew Gorgeous George was fecked.

    Too early in the morning for that!

  13. RAB says:

    Nick, one of my favorite moments from that Celeb BB was Gorgeous Georgeous chomping on a big Cuban Cigar and reading the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels, which he’d got as a present from the production company for being good (read crass,… here pussy pussy etc…)

    Attaboy Gorgeous! Keeping up with the cutting edge of Political thought I see!

    I thought to myself.

  14. Fiend's Brave Victim says:

    Keep up, Newcastle has been in a state of managed decline for over a decade now…

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