Monthly Archives: May 2013

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Semi-Final 4 Review

It was pointed out many times during the show, but the fourth Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final was possibly the toughest yet, with a brilliant array of very worthwhile talent. Here are my thoughts on it:

Club Town Freaks
I bet even Lady GaGa watched that and said, ‘Well that’s a bit much, pet!’ Well, she would have said that if she was from Sunderland.
My mam and dad were baffled by the Club Town Freaks but, like the judges, I thought they were very good – if a little odd. And they dealt well with the ‘technical hitch’ well, too.

Alex Keirl
Alex’s performance of Roberta Flack’s ‘First Time I Saw Your Face’ showcased his excellent vocal range; I completely disagree with Simon, I think he actually does have the potential to be a star and I hope someone in the industry decides to make use of his talent. It was inevitable that the judges were going to pick Asanda over him, though.

Shockarellas
They are good, but their performance didn’t stand out from the crowd. When you consider even the younger dance groups in the competition, like Pre Skool or Youth Creation, Shockarellas pale into insignificance. They just didn’t impress me.

Poppin’ Ron
We haven’t heard many sob stories in this series of BGT, so I’ll let Poppin’ Ron’s go. To be frank, I wasn’t particularly surprised that Simon buzzed him and I understand his boredom and confusion surrounding the performance. I do however also understand the passion and importance of the dance to Ron, so I’m not going to condemn him as much as I would if it was another performer and I’m pleased that the show has given him a platform to present his talent and tell his story.

James More
James claimed that he wants to ‘bring magic into the twenty-first century’- as if Dynamo, Ben Earl and Lee Goodwin aren’t already doing that. I think it’s safe to say that James is in the same league as those magicians. That trick was absolutely amazing! Magicians on Britain’s Got Talent have seldom been successful (naming no names, Stevie Pink) but I really hope that James has put an end to that. I just loved his act!

Chasing the Dream
I quite like Chasing the Dream’s unique way of promoting their musical of the same name. The cheesy lyrics and jazz hands were very typical of West End productions but it was still a very enjoyable performance, even if we didn’t completely understand how the song fits in with the plot.

Francine Lewis
Francine is my winner, and the only act I have actually voted for this week. I absolutely loved her in Very Important People on Channel 4 last year and I simply adored her Semi-Final performance. Simon was completely right: she somehow managed to better her audition tonight and it is both her script and her spot-on impersonations which make her such a talent. There are so many good impressionists out there (Culshaw & Stephenson, Morgana Robinson, Terry Mynott, etc.) and Francine has just added herself to that elite. I really hope she gets the opportunity to perform outside of the competition in other programmes, because she undoubtedly deserves it. For the time being, though, I wish her all the luck for next Saturday’s Final.

Asanda Jezile
Asanda has a sensational voice and sensational confidence. There really is very little to say about her: she’s just on the road to being a huge star – that’s if she’s not there already.

AJ & Chloe
AJ & Chloe aren’t as quick or, dare I say it, captivating as Martin & Marielle (who performed earlier this week) but they are still very talented. The hard work which the pair put into their performance is palpable, as is the chemistry between them. Their Latin routine was impressive but…there was just something absent from it.

Here’s the line-up for tomorrow, the last Semi-Final:

Maarty Broekman (Singer)
CEO Dancers
Aliki Chrysochou (Singer)
The Glambassadors (Dancers)
Jordan O Keeffe (Singer)
Steve Hewlett (Ventriloquist)
Gospel Singers Incognito
Rob’s Duelling Pianos
Attraction (Shadow Theatre Company)

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:00pm and 9:30pm tomorrow, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm.

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges’ comments? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,486 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

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‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Semi-Final 3 Review

After a break of one day, which brought accusations of replica judges and over-exposure of J-Lo’s arse, Britain’s Got Talent returned tonight for the third Semi-Final of 2013.

Freelusion
Freelusion are undoubtedly talented graphic designers, but it was quite boring. It just seemed like a quartet prancing around in front of a screen which was showing a comic strip. I appreciate their abilities but, despite being unique, the act doesn’t fit in with BGT.

Robbie Kennedy
What a fantastic voice Robbie has. The song, Bryan Adams’s ‘(Everything I Do) I Do For You’, was perfect for him (contrary to what Simon said) and he delivered a beautiful performance. I’m gutted that he isn’t through to the Final. I can only assume that the public thought that he was safe, and therefore didn’t vote for him…

Stevie Pink
You look at Stevie and immediately think that it must be terrible – and tonight it was. The damp squib pay-off in no way compensated for the laborious build-up, and Stevie ruined the good reputation he had after his impressive audition. But then Meat Diva was impressive compared to that car crash!

Pre Skool
These young school (or ‘skool’) kids from Port Talbot are superb dancers. The speed of their choreography, and amount of it, was impressively executed, considering their age. It was just so enjoyable!

Thomas Bounce
It wasn’t quite as bad as Stevie, but it was still quite boring. Sorry. Thomas seems really nice and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do what he did, but once you’ve seen ten seconds of it, you’ve seen two minutes. Oh, and I thought David Walliams ran a risk by commending Thomas’s balls. Let’s hope Sally Bercow wasn’t online to pass comment, eh?

Rosie O’Sullivan
Rosie looked and sounded astounding tonight. I was so shocked and disappointed that she didn’t make it through to the Final – but I am sure she will go on to become successful in the music industry.

Joseph Hall
I was mesmerised by Joseph’s routine. I doubt many people would have remembered him from the audition, so his performance was all the more enjoyable because we had few preconceptions. It was just brilliant in every way – I couldn’t pick between him and Pre Skool, so I thought it was only right that it was taken to the public vote.

MC Boy
Aw well MC Boy is just having a bit of fun, isn’t he? ‘I Need You Tonight’ is hardly likely to trouble the Top Ten but it was enjoyable to watch – and the song is almost as catchy as Gabz’s ‘The One’.

Luminites
The chemistry between this foursome is palpable and their voices are excellent. To be honest, I am baffled as to why they decided against entering X Factor, but Simon Cowell has got them under his spell either way, so I look forward to hearing more from them.

Here’s Friday’s very strong line-up:

Francine Lewis (Impressionist)
Club Town Freaks (Singers)
James More (Illusionist)
Poppin’ Ron (Dancer)
Chasing the Dream (Singers)
Shockarellas (Dancers)
Alex Keirl (Singer)
AJ & Chloe (Dancers)
Asanda Jezile (Singer)

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week.

What did you think of tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges’ comments? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,486 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Semi-Final 2 Review

Tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final delivered a fantastic line-up, with some of the most loved and remembered acts from the auditions performing in the hope of winning a place in the Final.

Martin & Marielle
Martin and Marielle were simply extraordinary – I felt dizzy just watching them. I do understand what Simon said about there being perhaps too many lifts, spins and throws in the routine and not enough actual dancing. Perhaps, as they’re a dance act, they should have had a bit more choreography in their routine, but they’re still hugely entertaining and pulled off a great performance.

MckNasty
I can imagine MckNasty being great in a nightclub – or perhaps even live in the studio – but to a viewer, sitting at home and watching BGT, it’s quite boring. Well that’s how I felt, anyway. I understand how he’s talented, but he’ll always be in his brother’s shadow. Whenever I saw MckNasty’s name in the papers or heard it on TV, I thought, Oh that’s Labrinth’s brother. He just doesn’t have an act which has the potential to do well in this show – that’s the problem. You never know, though, some singer might see him on the show and get him to play drums for them. His brother, perhaps…

Jack & Cormac
How cute, please? Irish teenagers Jack and Cormac are good musicians and I think that in a couple of years’ time they’ll be ready for a competition like this. They truly have great potential, and I loved Jack’s bemusement at Simon auditioning them for the new Ant & Dec!

Modupé Obasola
I completely agree with the judges. Modupé’s performance of ‘Beauty and the Beat’ (another Justin Bieber song!) tonight was disappointing. It was such a departure from the stripped-back acoustic style which made us warm to her in the first place. I admire her decision to try something new but, to me, Modupé’s performance was one which was typical of The X Factor – an opinion which was solidified by Simon Cowell himself when he dubbed it ‘generic and wannabe-ish’.

Meat Diva
Oh God. Meat Diva. Well it’s just a bit of fun, isn’t it? Matthew, one half of the group, said it would be epic and it certainly was. I’m just amazed that Simon didn’t buzz!

MD
MD are undoubtedly fantastic dancers but they weren’t unique enough. Just like Simon, I saw nothing in their routine which separated them from other dance troupes. Nothing will ever better Diversity, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who is getting a bit sick of dance groups now. I appreciate that they put a lot of work into the performance – and it was a slight improvement on their audition – but they did nothing to stand out from the crowd.

Alice Fredenham
Alice has brilliant stage presence to match her fabulous voice, and I bet that Simon is over the moon he managed to snatch her away from The Voice to shine on his own show. I didn’t even notice the apparent slip-up in her performance and I just hope that she begins to believe in herself, and realise that she is the huge talent which everyone else knows her to be. It’s such a shame that she’s out of the competition.

Jack Carroll
I thought his topical jokes were funny. I’m getting bored of the gags about his disability, though. It’s great that he’s fearless enough to poke fun at himself in such a way and be so self-deprecating, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I’d heard it all before. I feel that the judges go too far with their praise of him, too: Jack is good, but he’s currently neither the next Peter Kay nor the best comedian in the country, despite what David Walliams claims.

Gabz Gardiner
Gabz has amazing talent – as a singer, songwriter and pianist. I was a little disappointed that she sang the same song from her audition (despite how brilliant it is) but it didn’t matter in the end. She’s a star in the making and that self-penned song has the ability to rocket straight into the charts. I really hope she performs her own song in the Final.

This is the line-up for Thursday’s Semi-Final:

Freelusion
Joseph Hall
MC Boy
Robbie Kennedy
Pre Skool
Rosie O’Sullivan
Stevie Pink
Thomas Bounce
Luminites

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. tomorrow)

What did you think of this week’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,476 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Semi-Final 1 Review

As well as a concoction of the good, the bad and the…well, you know, the first Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final brought us an abundance of camp, digs at Sir Brucie and, astoundingly, the sound of just one buzzer

Martin Healey
Who remembers the Dancing Priest from Father Ted? Well look him up on YouTube, and you’ll understand that it’s an adequate description of Martin Healey, who unbelievably made it through to the Semi-Finals by dancing with a broom stick in make-up and a habit. However, even more unbelievable was the realisation that Martin really can dance – and the fact that Simon didn’t buzz!

Band of Voices
Joined by a new member, Band of Voices brought their trademark a cappella style to the Semi-Final and sang ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, which somehow managed to be even more catchy than the original and helped them deliver an even better performance than that in their audition. They really are a fantastic act, and perfect to fill the gap in the market which Amanda mentioned – I’ve no doubt that they, like Loveable Rogues from last year, will have their single out within twelve months.

Youth Creation
Since Diversity – or possibly even since George Sampson – Britain’s Got Talent has been inundated with dance troupes, and we’re now so used to seeing them that I tend to switch off when they perform. Youth Creation, however, grabbed my attention tonight with their quirky routine, unbelievable cuteness and general greatness. I hate myself for employing such a lazy cliche but I agree with Simon Cowell: I didn’t like it…I loved it!

J-Unity
Not to be confused with X Factor‘s Union J, J-Unity began their performance somewhat messily, with the vocals, guitar and backing track all getting mixed up in each other. They soon pulled it back though, and delivered quite a good rendition of Olly Murs’s ‘Troublemaker’. Just like with their audition however, it wasn’t particularly memorable.

Bosom Buddies
You can criticise them as much as you like, but Bosom Buddies are very good singers. The fact of the matter is, Simon doesn’t like the act purely because Mark and Stuart are dressed as women – their voices are incredible and if they actually were women, or simply dressed in their normal clothes, I’m sure he wouldn’t have buzzed! It’s quite odd to think that the man who signed up the Teletubbies to produce a record thinks that Bosom Buddies are weird…

Philip Green
I absolutely agree with Amanda: Philip’s better when he doesn’t have a script to stick to. As himself, he’s very funny and will definitely have a career as a showbiz reporter on Daybreak or This Morning. His impressions, however, are quite weak – as proven by the fact that he did all of the same voices from his audition. So, impressions aside, Phillip is incredibly likeable and has a great career ahead of him (watch out, Rylan) but he should perhaps keep the impressions for his friends and family.

Arisxandra
What an incredible talent Arisxandra has. Alesha was spot-on: she truly belted out that song and the confidence and maturity with which she performs is exceptional. I look forward to hearing the news of her exclusive contract with SyCo, and her debut album hitting the shelves at Christmas.

Aaron Crowe
God I was so nervous – I can’t begin to imagine how Dec felt with the apple positioned on his head and an arrow aiming for it. Now Aaron is a true showman and the fact that he refrains from speaking is brilliant and adds to the mystery surrounding both his act and himself as a performer. Let’s be honest though: it wasn’t as good as the audition. There’s no way anyone in the audience, both in the studio and at home, would have been able to do that, but it paled into insignificance in comparison to his audition.

Richard & Adam
What astounding voices these sandwich making brothers from Holywell have. And what a crazy nan, too! Although she didn’t seem too impressed with the accusation that she’d had an affair with Dec, did she? Anyway, back to Richard and Adam. They’re fantastic and it was absolutely no surprise that they got through to next Saturday’s Final – I can’t wait to hear them again.

Tomorrow night’s show looks set to be even more entertaining and difficult to call than tonight’s. These are the acts who will be performing:

Meat Diva (Singers)
Jack & Cormac (Singers)
MD Dancers (Dance Troupe)
Gabz Gardiner (Singer)
McKnasty (Musician)
Modupé Obafola (Singer)
Jack Carroll (Comedian)
Martin & Marielle (Dancers)
Alice Fredenham (Singer)

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Wednesday)

What did you think of this week’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,476 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Week 7 Review

This week brought us the final auditions from Britain’s Got Talent with a concoction of illusionists and singers – but not much else.

James More
We’ve seen some great magicians this series, and James is one of the best. His act, which saw him balancing on and then appearing to pierce his body with a sword, was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, he did decide to include that ridiculously elongated and boring build-up to his act, which is tragically typical of the majority of magic acts. Thank God the performance which followed made up for it!

Freelusion
This illusionist act is very unique, and therefore fits right in with Britain’s Got Talent, but, while it was very impressive, I can’t help thinking that it will be one of those which looks superb in the audition, but the novelty of which will have worn off in the Semi-Final.

Chasing the Dream
Well this is a novel way of promoting your musical – even if it hasn’t been fully written yet. Chasing the Dream is not only the name of the group, but the title of a musical which has been penned by some of its members too, and the songs from which will be showcased during their performances on the show. They’re good, but I doubt I would have remembered them if it hadn’t been for the musical tie-in.

Meat Diva
Trust the plump Freddie Mercury impersonator to share my name!
It was odd to see a white Tina Turner (although I suppose it’s better than her blacking up…) but this pair have somehow blagged their way into the Semi-Finals, despite Simon’s observation that the performance ‘looked cheap’. Really, Simon, you have just endured a two-minute set from a couple who go from being Mercury and Turner to Meat Loaf and Cher and all you can say is ‘it looks cheap’ and then send them to the live shows? As More Talent‘s Stephen Mulhern would say: ‘UNBELIEVABLE!

Gabz Gardiner
This fourteen-year-old girl is a singer, songwriter and pianist – now that is impressive!
I have to be honest, I’m usually wholeheartedly against the public sporting of a ‘Onesie’, but I’m prepared to make an exception for Gabz as her performance was so bloody good! With her dad in tow, she performed her self-penned (and very infectious) song about losing the love of your life – and so brilliant was it that if Gabz hadn’t sang it, I’ve no doubt Ellie Goulding would have snapped it up for her next dig at Greg James!

So there we have it – the last of the auditionees. Perhaps they weren’t as stand-out as those we’ve seen so far, but they were still all very good. The main business of the night of course was the revealing of the Semi-Finalists, which meant the obligatory wheeling out of the talent show catchphrases (David Walliams saying ‘It’s not good news…IT’S GREAT NEWS!’ made me want to hurl myself out of the window) and consoling of tearful hopefuls – regardless of whether they were through or not.

Here are this year’s final 45 contenders:

Aaron Crowe
AJ & Chloe
Aliki
Attraction
Band of Voices
Bosom Buddies
Thomas Bounce
Maarty Broekman
Jack Carroll
CEO Dancers
Chasing the Dream
Club Town Freaks
Duelling Pianos
Alex Fredenham
Freelusion
Gabz Gardiner
Gospel Singers Incognito
Phillip Green
Joseph Hall
Martin Healy
Steve Hewlett
J Unity
Jack and Cormac
Asanda Jezile
Richard & Adam Johnson
Alex Keirl
Robbie Kennedy
Francine Lewis
Arisxandra Libantino
Luminites
Martin & Marielle
MC Boy
McKnasty
MD Dancers
Meat Diva
James More
Modupe Obasola
Jordan O’Keefe
Rosie O’Sullivan
Stevie Pink
Popping’ Ron
Per Skool
Shockarellas
The Glambassadors
Youth Creation

Britain’s Got Talent is on at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with Britain’s Got More Talent at 10:00pm, every day this week (exc. Wednesday)

What did you think of this week’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review or the judges’ decisions? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,476 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

TV Highlights (25th – 31st May)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV, which is mainly dominated by Britain’s Got Talent, monarchs and Clare Balding…

Saturday 25th May

David Bowie: Five Years

BBC2, 9:20pm

This one-off documentary details five of the most important years in David Bowie’s career, from his beginnings as Ziggy Stardust to his time as the Thin White Duke.

Through previously unseen footage and interviews with some of the star’s closest collaborators, David Bowie: Five Years charts his success – including his regeneration in Berlin and the phenomenal success he enjoyed with his biggest and best albums, such as Heores, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) and, of course, Let’s Dance.

Also today: The Dam Busters, featuring Richard Thorp (Emmerdale’s Alan Turner, who sadly died on Wednesday), is on Channel 5 at 12:20pm; Oscar-winning film Titanic (Channel 4, 7:00pm); Greg James and Alice Levine present coverage of Radio 1’s Big Weekend from Derry-Londonderry (BBC3, 7:00pm – also available all day on Radio 1 and from 3:30pm – 6:00pm via the red button); ABBA-inspired musical Mamma Mia! (ITV2, 7:00pm); we enter the final Battle Round on The Voice UK (BBC1, 7:10pm); catch up with Renee Zellweger’s huge knickers-wearing singleton (again!) in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (ITV2, 9:10pm); and comedy thriller 48 Hours is on Channel 4 at 10:40pm.

Sunday 26th May

My Hero

BBC1, 10:25pm

No, not the hit-miss sitcom starring Ardal O Hanlon as Thermoman. Although this programme does also feature Hugh Dennis…

In the BBC’s My Hero strand, we’ve already seen Miranda Hart pay homage to Eric Morecambe, and now it is the turn of Mock the Week’s Hugh Dennis to profile his comedy inspiration: the legendary Ronnie Barker.

As Hugh proves throughout the programme, there is absolutely no doubting that Ronnie Barker made a fantastic contribution to, and is deeply missed by, the comedy world. Prior to his death in 2005, Barker helped create some of the most memorable moments in British comedy history. From tight-fisted, stuttering shopkeeper Arkwright in Open All Hours to the nation’s best loved convict (although I doubt many have a list of favourites), Norman Stanley Fletcher in Porridge (the most moving episode of which, in my opinion at least, can be seen on BBC2 at 8:00pm tonight). Plus, who could forget Barker’s collaborations with Ronnie Corbett, which included such legendary sketches as ‘Class’ from The Frost Report, ‘Mastermind’ from The Two Ronnies and the infamous ‘Fork Handles’, all of which are often cited as some of the best comedy sketches ever written.

Whether mustached as Arkwright, donning a prison uniform as Fletcher or putting pen to paper as the elusive Gerald Wiley, Ronnie Barker was an icon of British comedy and someone who continues to inspire performers to this day, as My Hero attests.

Also today: More from Radio 1’s Big Weekend (BBC3, 7:00pm, with red button coverage available from 5:00pm – 1:00am); Kym Lomas, Rosemary Shrager and Steve Pemberton partake in Celebrity Catchphrase (ITV, 7:00pm); find out who’s going through to this week’s live Semi-Finals on Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 8:00pm); BAFTA-winner Clare Balding investigates the death of Emily Davison in Secrets of a Suffragette (Channel 4, 8:00pm); and there’s another chance to see last year’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel, The Scapegoat (ITV, 9:30pm).

Bank Holiday Monday (27th May)

The Queen: A Passion for Horses

BBC1, 9:00pm

Clare Balding presents this one-off documentary which looks beyond the Queen’s public persona, and focuses on her private love: horses.

A Passion for Horses tells of how the Royal Family have had a connection with the animals 'The Queen: A Passion for Horses' - BBC1, 9:00pm throughout history and guides us through the monarch’s life with them, from receiving her first at the age of four to the present day, when she continues to ride whenever she can and names all of her horses personally. To date, the Queen has bred an incredible 1,600 race-winners.

The programme also features interviews with those close to the Queen and her horses, disclosing her love of the animals and her ambition to breed the ultimate racehorse.

Also today: Comedy film Cool Runnings (BBC1, 1:55pm); the first Semi-Final of Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 7:30pm), my review of which will be available straight after tonight’s show; the return of Springwatch (BBC2, 8:00pm); unruly teens learn martial arts in Kick Ass Kung Fu (Sky1, 8:00pm); World’s Scariest Animal Attacks (Channel 5, 9:00pm); discover the history of the Now That’s What I Call Music! albums in The Story of Now (ITV, 10:00pm); and the story of the three women who were discovered in Ohio earlier this month, The Cleveland Captives: What Really Happened? (BBC3, 10:00pm).

Tuesday 28th May

Words of Everest

ITV, 10:35pm

Marking 60 years since the first successful ascent of the world’s highest mountain, this documentary from ITV’s Words of… strand tells the story, as well as that of the failed attempt which was made just under three decades earlier.

The stories of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine (the original climbers, who disappeared just 800 yards away from the summit in 1924) and Edmund Hilary Tenzing Norgay (the first successful ascendants, who achieved the goal in 1953) are told through their respective diaries and letters, offering an insight into the sacrifices and decisions they made to try and reach the top of Everest.

These diaries and letters are read to the camera by John Hannah, Freddie Fox, Jason Flemyng and Stephen Campbell Moore, aided by images and reconstruction footage.

Words of Everest looks set to inform and astound the viewers with the telling of such vivid stories from the aforementioned quartet of intrepid explorers.

Also today: Britain’s Got Talent continues (ITV, 7:00pm), my review of which will be available straight after tonight’s show; Edward VIII: Lion King explores the former monarch’s time on safari in Africa (Channel 4, 9:00pm); and the last-ever episode of Shameless (Channel 4, 10:00pm).

Wednesday 29th May

The Iraq War

BBC2, 9:00pm

This insightful three-part documentary series features interviews with senior figures who were, and continue to be, involved with the Iraq war.

From those who made the decisions right back in January 2002 to the people who are still calling the shots today, The Iraq War exposes the reasoning behind the conflict, and the future for our troops.

Also today: Britain’s Got Talent and Coronation Street both take a night off for the Football (ITV, 7:30pm); and the new series of Springwatch Unsprung begins (BBC2, 8:30pm).

Thursday 30th May

Up the Women

BBC4, 8:30pm

Tucked away on BBC4, this new sitcom focuses on a group of women who become suffragettes after being inspired by the movement in London.

Featuring a cast of instantly recognisable faces (including Rebecca Front, Jessica Stevenson, Ryan'Up the Women' - BBC4, 8:30pm Sampson and Getting On’s Vicki Pepperdine), Up the Women sees the ladies of the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle become ‘Banbury Intricate Craft Circle Politely Request Women’s Suffrage’ after Margaret (played by Jessica Hynes, who also created the series) returns from the capital. She hopes to encourage the women of Banbury Church Hall to follow the example of those she has met and join the Suffragette movement, but is met with some opposition, so appears to have a challenge on her hands if she wants to convert her fellow ladies and make them stand up for their rights!

Also today: Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 7:30pm), my review of which will be available straight after tonight’s show; Tony Robinson presents Britain’s Stone Age Tsunami (Channel 4, 8:00pm); World’s Craziest Police Pursuits (Channel 5, 8:00pm); Crimewatch (BBC1, 9:00pm); Thomas Penn examines the reign of Henry VII in Winter King (BBC2, 9:00pm); and Jimmy Doherty fronts Human Swarm, which investigates the predictability of our behaviours as humans (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Friday 31st May

Sarah Millican: Thoroughly Modern Millican

Channel 4, 9:00pm

Rude and uncouth, but terribly funny, this is the first TV broadcast of South Shields’ (yes, not 'Sarah Millican: Thoroughly Modern Millican' - Channel 4, 9:00pmNewcastle’s) Sarah Millican’s second live show, Thoroughly Modern Millican, which was recorded last year at the famous Hammersmith Apollo.

I don’t care that I’ve already watched the DVD numerous times, I’m still going to watch it on Channel 4 – partly because I’m guaranteed to still find it hilarious but also because I’m intrigued as to whether her assessments of oral sex and euphemisms for the C-word will be broadcast.

If you want to go to see Sarah at this year’s Edinburgh Festival or (like me) on her Home Bird tour next year, visit her website – but be quick, there aren’t many venues which haven’t sold out.

Also today: the penultimate Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Final (ITV, 7:30pm), my review of which will be available straight after tonight’s show; David O’Doherty, Carol Kirkwood and Richard Osman are on Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); the last episodes of Have I Got News For You and Not Going Out (BBC1, 9:00pm and 9:30pm, respectively); Ian Mortimer uncovers the answers to questions which you may ask if you transported yourself back to the sixteenth century (seriously) in The Time Travellers Guide to Elizabethan England (BBC2, 9:00pm); Demi Lovato, Mark Owen and Clare Balding (again) are on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Jennifer Lopez and David Mitchell (the comedian, not the novelist – I think) drop in for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,486 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

TV Highlights – (18th – 24th May)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV.

Saturday 18th May

Eurovision Song Contest

BBC1, 8:00pm

Come on, Bonnie! Well, it can’t be any worse than last year…

Yes, Graham Norton is once again stepping into the commentary box for the annual camp fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest and this year, we’re hoping that Bonnie Tyler will be our hero (aren’t I clever?) and not receive the dreaded ‘nil points’.'Eurovision Song Contest' - BBC1 - 8:00pm

Can she do it, though? Can she end the UK’s sixteen-year run of not catapulting to the top spot? I doubt it. The song is good (I can see it being an X Factor winner’s single some time soon) but it’s just not…Eurovision, is it? I mean take Romania’s entry or Albania’s. Now they are Eurovision!

Despite that, though, I wish Bonnie the very best of luck. Hopefully we won’t be saying ‘It’s a Heartache’ and she will have instead ‘Amazed’ the judges and shown herself to be ‘The Best’.

And yes I am ashamed of being able to incorporate Bonnie Tyler’s discography into a sentence.

Also today: The series finale of Doctor Who (BBC1, 7:00pm); fantasy film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Channel 4, 7:15pm); more auditions on Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 7:30pm); historically prominent families expose their day-to-day lives in The Aristocrats (More4, 8:00pm); business drama film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Lee Evans, Gemma Arterton and the cast of Mad Dogs are guests on the final episode of The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:45pm); and East is East spin-off, the imaginatively titled West is West, is on BBC2 at 10:15pm.

Sunday 19th May

Case Histories 

BBC1, 8:30pm

I should confess that, for whatever reason, I didn’t watch the first series of Case Histories – but I will definitely watch this episode because of one thing: the presence of Victoria Wood (who is also celebrating her 60th birthday today – happy birthday, Victoria!).

'Case Histories' - BBC1 - 8:30pmIn this episode (the first of the second series), private investigator Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs)  unearths a secret of over three decades when he helps a woman trace her birth parents. During his investigation, he crosses paths with Tracy (Victoria Wood), who is a former policewoman and now working as a store detective. Normally plain and simple, Tracy takes a surprising course of action when she discovers a young girl who has been physically abused by her mother. When the mother dies, Tracy and the girl are forced to go on the run and present Brodie with a moral dilemma.

Also today: Agatha Christie murder mystery Murder on the Orient Express (ITV, 12:15pm); the quite disappointing follow-up to Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty (ITV, 4:10pm); Alan Titchmarsh fronts the Chelsea Flower Show (BBC1, 5:00pm); Alice Roberts investigates the animals which inhabited the planet 40,000 years ago in Ice Age Giants (BBC2, 8:00pm); Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors get their often unfair but traditional snubbing at The British Soap Awards (ITV, 8:00pm); Alex Beresford presents World’s Weirdest Weather (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Australia with Simon Reeve is on BBC2 at 9:00pm; and Channel 4 premieres The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook, at 9:00pm.

Monday 20th May

Panorama 

BBC1, 9:00pm

In this special edition of Panorama, Peter Marshall investigates how numerous official studies left the truth about the Hillsborough disaster concealed for decades.

The programme, entitled ‘Hillsborough: How They Buried the Truth’, also features previously unseen footage which exposes the major failures of the emergency services.

Also today: Fiona Foster and Rani Price present Don’t Get Done in the Sun (BBC1, 11:00am); Branded a Witch investigates the cases of children being accused of practicing witchcraft in the UK (BBC3, 9:00pm); and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is on ITV2 at 9:00pm.

Tuesday 21st May

Town with Nicholas Crane

BBC2, 9:00pm

Geographer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane is back for another series of Town, in which he travels the British Isles to expose the pleasures of…towns – and shows them to be, while not huge, just as good as a city.

In this episode, Nicholas visits Oban in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, to reveal its part in the Cold War and how it is home to one of the country’s oldest whisky distilleries.

Also today: Not Going Out fans will be delighted as there are puns aplenty in Tim Vine’s Punslinger (ITV4, 7:30pm); and BBC4 gains an insight into the work carried out at Belfast City Hall in Love and Death in City Hall at 9:00pm.

Wednesday 21st May

The Apprentice 

BBC1, 9:00pm

We’re now two weeks into this year’s Apprentice and it appears that both Lord Sugar and the audience have begun to sort the wheat from the chaff as Jaz (‘I’m half machine’ woman), Tim and Sophie have all been fired from the ‘process’ (God I hate that word!).

This week, the candidates must set up their own farm shops and sell their stock in east London. Will ‘silly shit’ Jason manage to not rub Alex and Zeeshaan up the wrong way and will Myles manage to go an episode without parading around in some sort of far-too-revealing underwear?

I really hope so.

I also want to mention The Apprentice: You’re Fired, which is on BBC2 at 10pm – right after the main show finishes on BBC1. It really is quite fun, usually with a panel comprising of a business expert, a celebrity fan and a comedian to give their take on what that night’s fired candidate did wrong – with the person in question sitting right at the other end of the panel. Dara O Briain does a great job as the host of the show and we often get to see a lighter, more humorous side to the candidates.

Also today: Jennie McAlpine, Sally Gunnell and TOWIE’s Joey Essex and Sam Faiers are all on All Star Mr & Mrs (ITV, 8:00pm). Thank God it’s not Kirk Nocross on the show: it is pre-watershed, after all…

Thursday 23rd May

Fat Family Tree 

Channel 4, 8:00pm 'Fat Family Tree' - Channel 4 - 8:00pm

Look at the title. It had to be a Channel 4 show, didn’t it?

In this one-off documentary, Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Dawn Harper helps an overweight family trace their roots and solve their lifelong struggle with body size.

Just imagine Who Do You Think You Are? meets The Biggest Loser.

Also today: Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory study The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (BBC2, 9:00pm); cameras follow the work of Telford police in The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Most Shocking Talent Show Moments (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and the first of the two-part documentary series, Eddie Izzard’s Mandela Marathons (Sky1, 9:00pm).

Friday 24th May

World’s Scariest Weddings

Channel 5, 9:00pm

I’ve written about a lot of drama and documentaries this week (Eurovision seems to have been the only light hearted feature!) so I thought I’d end on something with a funnier feel to it: World’s Scariest Weddings.

From weird weddings to preposterous proposals, comedian Milo McCabe guides you through the best, featuring home footage of them all and interviews with the people who were there (fortunately or otherwise) to witness them.

Also today: Dermot O’Leary and Matt Dawson offer their bizarre statements in Would I Lie To You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); Alexander Armstrong hosts Have I Got News For You for the twenty-first time (BBC1, 9:00pm); Diarmaid MacCulloch argues against the theories about Cromwell’s corruption in Henry VIII’s Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell (BBC2, 9:00pm); Peter Kay Live at the Manchester Arena is on Channel 4 at 9:00pm; Olly Murs and the stars of The Hangover: Part III are on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); 2008 comedy film Made of Honour is on Channel 5 at 10:00pm; and Will and Jaden Smith, Michael Douglas and Bradley Cooper comprise arguably one of the biggest line-ups for The Graham Norton Show so far this series (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,486 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Week 5 Review

It was the return of Simon Cowell’s infamous nasty side on this week’s Britain’s Got Talent, which also brought us arse-kissing (but surprisingly not involving David Walliams puckering up to ‘his Simon’s’ derriere), hilarious cackles from the female half of the panel and yet more marvellously quick quips from Ant & Dec.

But which auditionees made this week’s show particularly enjoyable? Let’s find out…

Jack & Cormac

Their names have a ring to them and their musical talents are great – just what we want from BGT auditionees. Arriving from Northern Ireland, thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds Jack and Cormac took to the stage and, armed with a guitar and good vocals, performed Of Monsters and Men’s ‘Little Talks’ and had Alesha, Amanda and the theatre audience cooing over their cuteness. I’ve no doubt they evoked a similar reaction from the viewing public – especially when Jack did his ‘It’s going well’ wink. There really is very little doubt that this pair will go through to the semi-finals, by which time they will hopefully have been able to conquer their nerves which, as Simon rightly pointed out, did slightly hinder their performance. Only slightly, though – and it’s impossible not to love them!

Phillip Green

When I watched Phillip’s audition on Saturday I noted, ‘perhaps it was just excitement, but at the minute his is quite annoying’. Let me tell you that by now I have realised that it was not just excitement, as proved by his appearance on Daybreak on Monday when he was just as animated and (alarmingly) wide-eyed as he was on Britain’s Got Talent. Whereas I didn’t find Phillip quite as side-splittingly hilarious as the audience in the theatre did (a ‘You had to be there’ moment, perhaps?), I have now warmed to him a little bit. I just can’t get over how much he wants to be Rylan, though! And if that sounds harsh, it’s not: Phillip has actually said that he would love to be ‘the next Rylan’.

Anyway, to the subject of his impressions. I have a feeling that they only appeared funny because of his patter with the judges beforehand. For example, his Lorraine Kelly was passable, his Stacey Solomon accurate in pretty much every way except the voice (which is important if you’re an impressionist) and I can’t help thinking that his impersonation of Natalie Cassidy was learned from watching Morgana Robinson clips on YouTube, but they all seemed very funny because of the infectious personality he showcased beforehand. Without a shadow of a doubt, though, his mimicry of Louie Spence is fantastic – from the lisp to the camp movements (which didn’t seem that much of a stretch for him, to be honest) and splits, it was all pretty much bang-on.

Stephen Mulhern has claimed that Phillip could win this year’s competition. I doubt it, Stephen: just remind yourself of Francesca Lewis’s audition in Week 2. We’ll probably see him in the Hub on This Morning in the summer, though.

Kelly Fox

Who would have thought that a septuagenarian singing about ass-kissing and fellatio would have been quite as entertaining as it was – and suited to primetime ITV? Firstly, Kelly looks far from 71 years of age! And secondly, you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her, would you? I bet she’s got some experience in kicking ass, never mind kissing it!

I shudder to think what she has lined up for the Live Shows.

Pre Skool

Aw! These youngsters from Port Talbot melted the judges’ hearts – yes, even that hitherto non-existent one in Simon – when they went from speaking eerily in unison to dancing impressively well. I’m sure they will follow in the footsteps of Nu Sxool, last year’s finalists and Pre-Skool’s inspiration for auditioning, and do very well in the competition.

Rosie O’Sullivan

Everyone knew that Rosie was going to be brilliant, right? Exactly! So was the editors’ (and most likely Cowell’s) blatant attempt to create another ‘SuBo moment’ completely necessary? Once again, exactly!

Anyway, rant over, let’s get back to Rosie: she was amazing. She has an amazing personality and voice and, by walking onto that stage, acted as a huge two fingers to the small-minded, shallow individuals who sadly see fit to air their horrid views on Twitter and forums and joke sites, condemning someone for daring to appear a way which is different to what they perceive to be the societal norm. Thank God Rosie managed to get over her body confidence issues and showcase her huge talent and I cannot wait to find out what she has lined up for the semi-finals, as it will undoubtedly show her to be just as, if not more, astounding than she already is.

Britain’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got More Talent are on Saturday evenings on ITV and ITV2

What did you think of this week’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,476 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

TV Highlights (11th – 17th May)

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV.

Saturday 11th May

The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane

BBC2, 9:00pm

Over the last few weeks, The Many Faces of… has profiled legendary British talent – from Sid James (who would have reached the age of 100 last week) to Michael Crawford. Tonight, as the title suggests, it is Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane.

The programme, which is followed by an episode of Blackadder the Third starring Coltrane, delves into the actor’s life and work: from his roots as an edgy stand-up comic to his more well-known roles as the psychologist, Fitz in ITV’s Cracker and of course the half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise.

The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane features interviews with his Cracker co-star, Geraldine Somerville; its writer, Jimmy McGovern; Harry Potter creator JK Rowling; and fellow Hogwarts attendee, Rupert Grint.

Also today: James Cameron’s hit sci-fi film Avatar is on Channel 4 at 7:45pm; Britain’s Got Talent continues (ITV, 7:45pm); the first of this weekend’s two instalments of The Voice UK is on BBC1 (8:35pm); the Redknapps, Yoko Ono, Vin Diesel and Bastille appear on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9:45pm); and Unzipped’s Russell Kane and Greg James present How to Win Eurovision (BBC3, 9:50pm).

Sunday 12th May

The BAFTA Television Awards

BBC1, 8:00pm 'The BAFTA Television Awards' - BBC1, 8:00pm

Graham Norton (pictured) once again oversees proceedings for the sixtieth BAFTA Television Awards ceremony.

The list of categories for this year is huge, all with deserving nominees, so I’m going to pick out just five, with my winner written in red:

Drama Series in 2013

Silk (BBC1)

Scott & Bailey (ITV)

Ripper Street (BBC1)

Last Tango in Halifax (BBC1)

Entertainment Performance in 2013

This is a difficult one…

Graham Norton (The Graham Norton Show, BBC1)

Ant & Dec (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, ITV)

Alan Carr (Alan Carr: Chatty Man, Channel 4)

Sarah Millican (The Sarah Millican Television Programme, BBC2)

Situation Comedy in 2013

The Thick of It (BBC2)

Hunderby (Sky Atlantic)

Episodes (BBC2)

Twenty Twelve (BBC2)

Mini-Series in 2013

Room at the Top (BBC4)

Mrs Biggs (ITV)

Accused (BBC1)

Parade’s End (BBC2)

Radio Times Audience Award in 2013

This is the only BAFTA Television award which is voted for by the public

Call the Midwife (BBC1)

The Great British Bake Off (BBC2)

Homeland (Channel 4)

Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic/Sky1)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1)

Olympics Opening Ceremony (BBC1)

Well it has to be the Olympics, doesn’t it?

Special Awards are being given to Clare Balding and Delia Smith, with the prestigious Fellowship being awarded to Michael Palin.

Also today: the original (and the best) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Channel 5, 3:30pm); the 1998 version of Godzilla (Channel 5, 5:35pm); the Battle Rounds conclude in The Voice UK (BBC1, 7:00pm); Paddy Considine and Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman lead the cast in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (ITV, 8:00pm); boyband JLS, who recently announced their split, are trying to win the top £250,000 prize in Celebrity Deal or no Deal (Channel 4, 8:00pm); and the hilarious (or is that just because I’m sixteen…) The Inbetweeners Movie gets a welcome repeat (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Monday 13th May

Frost on Sketch Shows

BBC4, 9:00pm

Both the history and future of sketch shows are examined in this one-off documentary, which sees legendary broadcaster Sir David Frost talk to other big names in the genre.

Over the hour, Frost examines sketch shows: from his very own satirical programmes That Was the Week That Was and The Frost Report to timeless classics like Morecambe & Wise, The Two'Frost on Sketch Shows' - BBC4, 9:00pm Ronnies and Monty Python’s Flying Circus and modern favourites such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.

Through interviews with Stephen Fry (who, together with his ‘colleague’ Hugh Laurie, created gems like this and this), Ronnie Corbett and Michael Palin, Frost will share his views and ultimately answer this question: can the British sketch show continue to flourish and survive?

Also today, lots of new series: May the Best House Win returns (ITV, 2:00pm); small charities are championed in Auction Hero (BBC2, 8:00pm); Ade Edmondson is back to front a new series of The Dales (ITV, 8:00pm); Victoria Coren befuddles us once more in Only Connect (BBC4, 8:30pm); Gillian Anderson stars as a Metropolitan Police detective who is investigating a murder in Belfast in new five-part drama The Fall (BBC2, 9:00pm); and Skint follows the unemployed in Scunthorpe (Channel 4, 9:00pm).

Tuesday 14th May

Frankie

BBC1, 9:00pm

Torchwood’s Eve Myles (pictured) stars in this six-part drama about a dedicated district nurse.

Frankie is a heart-warming, funny and ultimately life-affirming series written by Lucy Gannon, who received critical acclaim last year for her Paralympics-themed drama The Best of Men (which, I’m ashamed to say, I still have unwatched on my Sky+ box. I will get round to seeing it at some'Frankie' - BBC1, 9:00pm point…). The eponymous lead, to reiterate, is a dedicated nurse – but she does have a childlike persona and constantly remains upbeat and optimistic, mainly because she feels it is her duty to do so in order to lift her patients’ spirits.

There are three men in Frankie’s life: her long-term boyfriend, Ian (Dean Lennox-Kelly); her colleague and confidante, Andy (Derek Riddell); and Ken Bruce – although perhaps the least said about that, the better…

I’m genuinely looking forward to Frankie. Not only does it have a great cast but it is written by the reputable Lucy Gannon and features a protagonist who, despite her important job, has a more playful side to her and doesn’t let life get her down – just what we need!

Also today: Ana Matronic (one fifth of the Scissor Sisters) and Radio 1’s Scott Mills present Eurovision Song Contest: Semi-Final One (BBC3, 8:00pm).

Wednesday 15th May

10 O’Clock Live

Channel 4, 10:00pm

10 O’Clock Live reaches its fourth episode this week and, while I like and look forward to it, I can’t help thinking that this series may be its last.'10 O'Clock Live' - Channel 4, 10:00pm

Every week, there seems to be a new article published which suggests the flaws in 10 O’Clock Live but I honestly don’t know how it can be improved. Undoubtedly, it should be improved (a show featuring a quartet as talented as this should be much more entertaining) but I think everyone involved is doing their utmost to make the show work.

I mean, let’s face it, 10 O’Clock Live isn’t that bad. It’s no Vicious or The Wright Way, is it? I suppose it can be a bit clunky at times and awkward to watch when a joke falls on deaf ears but the only way I can think to fix that is to record the show the day before transmission. But then 10 O’Clock Pre-Recorded isn’t as catchy a title, is it?

No, I’m quite happy for the show to plod on the way it is, discussing the week’s top (mainly political) news with the mixture of seriousness and frivolity it warrants. So long as Jimmy continues with his witty quips, Charlie remains perpetually incensed, David carries on dropping his ‘logic bombs’ and the press cease pointing out that Lauren Laverne’s role on the show is not much more than ‘The Other One’, I’ll be content.

Also today: Kirsty and Phil are back for more Location, Location, Location (Channel 4, 8:00pm); and this week’s task is to produce and pitch flat-pack furniture in The Apprentice (BBC1, 9:00pm).

Thursday 16th May

The Tube: An Underground History

BBC2, 9:00pm

Last year, BBC2 screened The Tube, a documentary series about the London Underground. Tonight, BBC2 are screening The Tube: An Underground History, a documentary about the London Underground.

It’s nice to see that the licence fee goes on new programming, eh?

This documentary, celebrating 150 years of the London transport service, tells the story from the perspectives of its long-term employees. From line drivers to supervisors and customer care assistants, a range of tube workers offer an insight into the reasons for its discovery in 1863, the history of the stations and how the whole system changed, and continues to change, London.

Also today: Dan Snow presents live from RAF Scampton in The Dambusters: 70 Years On (BBC2, 7:00pm); the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life is investigated in Aliens: Are We Alone? (Channel 5, 8:00pm); and Scott Mills and Ana Matronic are back to present Eurovision Song Contest: Semi-Final Two (BBC3, 8:00pm).

Friday 17th May

Not Going Out

BBC1, 9:30pm

I think it’s fair to say that the quality of Not Going Out has deteriorated slightly (and only slightly) since Tim Vine’s departure. His character’s banter with Lee was a great source of humour in the initial five series'Not Going Out' - BBC1, 9:30pm, so his absence was obviously going to be felt. However, it’s still a brilliant show, with each episode guaranteed to produce more than a few hilarious one-liners, and can still hold its own against many of its comedy contemporaries.

Tonight’s episode sees Lee (pictured, middle) desperately vie for Lucy’s (left) attention, as her first love, Scott (right) returns from Africa and produces a play in which he wants her to star.

Also today: Warwick Davis, Joan Bakewell and Jason Manford offer an array of truths and lies for their fellow panellists’ assessment in Would I Lie to You? (BBC1, 8:30pm); Life of Crime continues (ITV, 9:00pm); the week’s news is discussed in Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); Rod Stewart, the Made in Chelsea cast and Miles Kane drop in on Alan Carr for Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Daniel Radcliffe pulls up a pew on The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,466 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – Week 4 Review

This week’s Britain’s Got Talent instalment was slightly shorter, but still quite enjoyable – even if we weren’t treated to as much ‘talent’ as we normally are.

Bosom Buddies

This singing duo, which comprises of a teacher and construction worker who have donned purple dresses and the entire contents of the Clarins range, initially appeared to be little more than rubbish transvestites. In fact, viewers may have been forgiven for thinking that Lucas and Walliams had reprised their roles as Little Britain’s Emily and Florence.

Owing to their quite shabby appearance, I, and dare I say the entire nation, was not expecting much from them – maybe a gruff rendition of ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ at a push.

To my surprise, however, Bernie and Brenda (whose actual names are the comparatively less exciting Mark and Stuart) were excellent. They wowed the judges with their performance of ‘La Vie En Rose’ and were safely through to the next round.

And quite right too! Although I do suggest that Gok Wan and Lauren Luke give them a few tips…

Martin & Marielle

Bloody hell! I mean from the moment Alesha uttered something about not having seen a really good dance act yet, we knew that ‘a really good dance act’ was about to arrive – but this was something else!

Martin & Marielle, from Holland, don’t just do dancing – I think it would be fair to say that there is a little bit of acrobatics in their act, too.

To be honest, if I said that Martin spins Marielle around his neck, it probably wouldn’t do it justice, so please check them out on YouTube.

Thomas Bounce

A lot of people’s names also serve to describe their talent. There’s William Wordsworth, for example, and um…oh…um…there must be someone else…er…

My point is, Thomas Bounce’s name pretty much describes his act. He was a bouncer – of balls. Watching him perform was certainly a treat – the way he juggled the multitude of balls with apparent ease was brilliant. I assure you, despite what my description implies, it was brilliant and exactly the kind of unique act which Britain’s Got Talent sets out to find.

Before his audition, he claimed that he wanted to ‘change the image of juggling’ and ‘make it cool’. To me, he certainly did that and, even if he didn’t gain a fan in Simon Cowell, he at least has the support of Messrs McPartlin and Donnelly.

Alex Keirl

Before Alex took to the stage, the viewers were shown a home video of him performing during a (quite screechy) karaoke session. This and his ‘geek chic’ look didn’t fill me with confidence. I don’t know if anyone else felt the same.

Even when he started singing, I didn’t think Alex was particularly good. I found it quite pitchy and, while not bad, by no means perfect. Having said that, when he became comfortable with the song, Alex hit his stride and overcame his shaky start to amaze the judges and theatre audience alike.

It’s not just his (eventually) great voice which makes Alex such an audience winner, as the fact that the chance to perform and the judges’ high praise meant a lot to him was palpable and endearing.

It wasn’t quite a SuBo moment, though, despite what the playing of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ while he left the theatre implied.

Callum

Unfortunately I don’t know Callum’s surname because he mumbled it on stage and no caption appeared. I’m sure you’re not fretting over it, though.

If you’re merely a BGT part-timer (in that you don’t immediately switch over to ITV2 when the main show finishes), you will likely, and enviably, not be aware of Callum, so let me tell you what he did: he badly impersonated Bubbles DeVere, one of Matt Lucas’s most flamboyant Little Britain creations.

Quite wisely, David Walliams did not even make reference to the fact that he had some small part in creating this horrendous audition, which also saw Callum’s mum (clearly blind to her son’s lack of talent) rush onto the stage with bottles of champagne when she heard the character’s catchphrase, ‘Champagne! Champagne for everyone!’

You genuinely didn’t miss much, and I’m only writing about a More Talent act because of the talent drought which the ITV show appeared to have.

Fingers crossed there will be more ‘talent’ next week.

Britain’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got More Talent are on Saturday evenings on ITV and ITV2

What did you think of this week’s Britain’s Got Talent? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

I just want to take this opportunity to raise awareness for Alex Neal.

Alex is seventeen-years-old and a fellow student of mine at Sunderland College. She has a very rare bone tumour, called chondrosarcoma, which is growing around her brain and has already affected her eyesight and hormone levels, meaning she will have to rely on HRT for the rest of her life.

This tumour cannot be treated in the UK. Therefore, Alex must travel to Florida to have it treated there. The NHS have agreed to fund her visit – but only with one parent accompanying her.

£5,000 is needed to send both of Alex’s parents to Florida with her for this urgent treatment. At the time of writing, an incredible £1,340 has been raised but her family need more and have been campaigning by holding ‘Action 4 Alex’ car boot sales, cake sales and selling wristbands.

Any money would be greatly appreciated by Alex’s family. Even spreading the word and encouraging others to get involved would, I’m sure, be greatly appreciated.

You can join the ‘Action 4 Alex’ campaign on Facebook or go directly to her auntie’s Go Fund Me page to donate.

Thank you.