Wow a Sunday posting! Amazing what you can do under the new weekend trading laws, isn't it?? anyway, sit back and treat yourself to a round-up of forthcoming TV news and gossip before heading off to that crucial Sunday service.
O'Hanlon: "Blessed is just as funny as Father Ted - and you can quote me on that Ted", says Dougal
Television executives have today denied that they employ a shoddy, lowest common-denominator approach to the commissioning of new TV programmes. Concerns have been raised at the number of banally titled and poorly thought-out programmes all seeming to rely on ‘name’ actors to deliver an audience at the expense of innovative scripts and stimulating treatment ideas. Critics have highlighted the BBC’s new Neil Morrissey vehicle, Carrie & Barrie and the New Friday evening situation comedy Blessed as particularly insipid examples. Blessed has attracted particular scorn. The programme features former Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon and one of the women from comedy duo Mel and Sue playing two characters who are involved in a riotous series of events which occur to them and cause frequent embarrassment and much mirth from the audience. These comic travails are punctuated by scenes featuring former funny man Roland Rivron and somebody doing a very poor Mick Jagger impersonation in which they try to think of song titles related to the hysterical happenings elsewhere in the show.
Jagger: "a retarded puritan??"
“I think these shows are no worse than the bulk of TV offerings in the past. The only difference between a show like Carrie and Barrie and a 70s classic like Porridge is that the producers today are hamstrung by the BBC’s legal department which won’t let anything which could reasonably be thought to offend a retarded one-year old puritan with no sense of humour onto our screens. That and the obvious gulf in the quality of the writers and performers, of course. Apart from that, I think you’d have a hard job making the case that standards have slipped. And anyone who thinks that this new politically correct approach has taken away our programmes' ability to shock obviously didn’t watch that completely ridiculous ‘comedy’ with Jasper Carrot and the bird from Goodness Gracious Me that was narrated by a young boy in a wheelchair who was incapable of communication. They’re still wading through the letters of complaint about the quality of the writing, never mind the ones about our patronising portrayal of a crip”, said a senior BBC executive.
Claudia: "threadbare pretext for tenuous photo" claim.
Although it was praised for its increasing willingness to push the envelope, there were concerns that a similar pattern was emerging over at ITV. The new Robson Green show, Rocket Man has been criticised by some as displaying a similar paucity of ambition. “It’s just a threadbare pretext to use a classic Elton John song as the title song and provide an opportunity for a staple and instantly recognisable face like Robson to walk around looking haunted as he sets off whacking great fireworks on some poxy council estate”, argued Claudia Winkelman. “OK, Robbo and the fireworks are great, but do we really need any more bloody Elton John?” demanded the clearly distressed presenter. ITV commissioners have dismissed the suggestion that their policies are formulaic, unimaginative and revolve around the same tired procession of familiar stars. “We’re really excited about the upcoming autumn season”, said one. “What with David Jason as the Wizard of Oz in Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Jimmy Nesbit and Sarah Lancashire playing Kennedy and Monroe in Candle in the Wind and Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden reprising their roles as the Mitchell brothers in Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, I think viewers will be in for a real treat as well as some big surprises!”
Green: "twisted firework starter", allegedly.
Someone Saved my Life Tonight, starring Ant & Dec as Elton John and Trevor McDonald as David Furnish begins on ITV3 next Thursday.
Love on y'all (and don't pray too hard!!)