Category Archives: ‘Trollied’

This Week in TV – 17th – 23rd August

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – and it’s a good one if you like Dan Brown, Big Brother and baking. Although I admit that the chances of you liking all three are very slim.

Saturday 17th August

Pointless Celebrities

BBC1, 5:45pm

Xander and Richard are back to welcome some more celebrities to play the game which tests general – and pointless – knowledge like no other.

Surely no one can be unfamiliar with the premise of Pointless by now, but I’ll briefly explain it anyway: 100 people have been given 100 seconds to name as many things which apply to a category. So, to give an example from Wednesday’s show, it could be, ‘Name as many Christmas songs with the word ‘Christmas’ in the title’. The aim is to think of the least popular answer – one which none of the 100 said (in this case it was ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by The Waitresses – a very good song, contrary to what Alexander Armstrong claimed). The pair with the most amount of points at the end of each round is eliminated until only one remains, and they will not only win the coveted Pointless trophy, but will also have a chance to take that episode’s jackpot by giving three answers to a question and hoping that one of them is pointless. Do that, and they’ve won!

It really is simpler than I’ve made it sound.

The first episode is sitcom-themed, with stars of comedies past and present competing to win money for their charities. The contestants are: Red Dwarf stars, Craig Charles (Lister) and Danny John-Jules (Cat); Bread’s Jean Boht (Nellie) and Nick Conway (Billy); Hi-de-Hi! actors, Su Pollard (Peggy) and Jeffrey Holland (Spike); and Mrs Brown’s Boys couple, Brendan O’Carroll (Agnes) and Jennifer Gibney (Cathy).

So, will the Browns beat the Boswells? Will the Maplins crew maul the mining ship mob? We’ll have to wait and see – although it may be worth pointing out that Brendan O’Carroll is a member of Mensa, so the odds are in his favour…

Also today: The surprisingly good That Puppet Game Show continues (BBC1, 6:35pm), with guests Gary Lineker and Freddie Flintoff; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is on ITV while Channel 4 are showing Mission: Impossible (both at 7:00pm); some more patriotic silliness in I Love My Country (BBC1, 7:15pm); Thatcher: The Downing Street Years (BBC2, 8:10pm) gets a repeat; Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in comedy thriller, Knight and Day (Channel 4, 9:00pm); A Very British Witchcraft (More4, 9:00pm) tells the story of the Wicca group; and Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies, the comedian’s 2011 tour, makes its debut on Channel 4 at 11:10pm.

Sunday 18th August

Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival

BBC1, 5:35pm

Over six weeks, Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison will be joined by some of the BBC’s most'Britain's Big Wildlife Revival' - BBC1, 5:35pm highly-regarded wildlife experts to bring us the stories of the plight of some of Britain’s most endangered animals.

Each week, Ellie and her guests will champion a creature which they want to save from extinction, and also recall the stories of animals who managed to survive against the odds. This week, the focus is on animals such as the red squirrel, adder and Scottish wildcat.

Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival is just one part of BBC Learning’s Summer of Wildlife strand, which also includes Springwatch and BBC2’s The Burrowers.

Also today: Helen Mirren delivers her multi award-winning performance in The Queen (ITV, 4:30pm); Step Up 3 premieres (Channel 4, 4:40pm); Will Smith and Eva Mendes star in Hitch (Channel 5, 5:50pm); Sherrie Hewson, Britt Ekland and Robin Cousins (who I share my birthday with – not that it’s relevant) are on Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (ITV, 7:00pm); Antiques Roadshow returns (BBC1, 8:00pm); period drama, The Mill concludes (Channel 4, 8:00pm), as does BBC1’s The White Queen (9:00pm); and (very different) films Dear John (10:05pm) and Frost/Nixon (10:30pm) are on Channel 4 and BBC2, respectively.

Monday 19th August

Big Brother: The Final

Channel 5, 9:00pm

After nearly ten weeks of twists, turns, bitch fights and love triangles – and that’s just Dexter! – the'Big Brother: The Final' - Channel 5, 9:00pm Big Brother 14 Final is here, but who will walk away with that £100,000 prize?

Now, I’m writing this on the morning of the final eviction (Friday), so, apart from Gina and Dexter, I don’t know for definite who’s in the Final. So, I’m just going to write about each housemate and their chances of winning. If you haven’t watched Big Brother this year, the following few paragraphs will be tedious and confusing; I advise you don’t read them – unless of course you love my writing so much that you can’t resist the urge to…but that’s unlikely.

Charlie I have to admit that I missed the whole Charlie/Dexter/Callum love triangle – actually I missed the first five weeks of the show altogether – so I’m not basing my opinion of her on that. I quite like her. I’m not entirely sure whether she’s trying to create a ‘showmance’ – to quote Sophie – between herself and Dexter but on the whole I do like her, and felt very sorry for her when she was annihilated during the friends and family nominations. I don’t think she has much chance of winning, but I wouldn’t be particularly bothered if she did.

Dexter I think Dexter’s great. In my opinion, he hasn’t playing the game at all (well…not much) and the tense twist last Thursday, after which he claimed he didn’t see the £99,000 option, was a genuine mistake. He’s been a very entertaining housemate and handled situations with dignity. I would very much like to see him be this year’s winner.

Jack & Joe Oh God! Please don’t let these two win! Their attempts to be the roly-poly funny ‘uns of the house are blatant and embarrassing. Everyone’s focusing on Dexter not taking the £99,000 but let’s not forget that Jack and Joe had the opportunity to pick that sum before he did, but instead opted for £96,850. Now that might be a mere £2,150 difference, but in terms of that game – in which the housemate who chose the least amount of money would apparently have won that and left the house that night – it made all the difference. I just hope that they don’t win – and I don’t think they will, either.

Sam Yes, he’s cute. Yes, I go slightly weak when I see him without his shirt, but I believe that Sam has been very lucky not to have been booted out already. Apart from having – to coin his own phrase – an infamous ‘winky expansion’, he hasn’t done much. Therefore, in the past few weeks, he has been kicking off about anything and everything – particularly with Dexter – to get himself noticed. Of course, I can’t argue with the fact that he sets a good example to other people with hearing difficulties, but he has done nothing, in my opinion, to warrant winning the show.

Sophie Just like Sam, Sophie has been in the background somewhat during this series, with the focus usually being on people like Gina, Dexter, Daley, etc. – the characters in the house. I wouldn’t mind seeing her win, though. When I spoke to my auntie yesterday about Big Brother (I don’t know anyone else who watches it and neither does she, so when we see each other it’s the only topic of conversation), she said that Sophie is a game-player and troublemaker. So she may have seen something during the first five weeks which I missed but I really like Sophie. Whether she will have enough fans to be voted as the winner, however, is another matter.

Gina When I watched the Launch Shows (I stopped after the second), I despised Gina. She seemed incredibly stuck-up and dismissive of everyone who didn’t live the life of luxury like herself. Now, though, I think she has mellowed and become a really likeable person, with possibly the biggest chance of taking the Big Brother crown than any of her fellow housemates. I have to say that I’ve become slightly confused in the past couple of days with Gina: one minute she likes Charlie and is defending her against Hazel, and the next she’s slating her to Dexter and telling him that she cannot bear to live with her any more. I’m willing to overlook the inconsistencies in her attitude, though, because I think she’s been a fantastic housemate.

What do you think of this year’s Big Brother? Tell me who you think should win by commenting here or tweeting me – @UKTVReviewer.

Also today: Jane McDonald pampers workers across the country in Star Treatment (ITV, 12:30pm); get ready for the fourth series of Downton Abbey as ITV3 begin their repeat of all of the episodes to date from 5:25pm; Flog It! Trade Secrets returns (BBC2, 6:30pm); Paralympian, Ade Adepitan returns to Nigeria in Journey of My Lifetime (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Tony Singh and Cyrus Todiwala host The Incredible Spice Man (BBC2, 8:30pm); Natasha Kaplinsky goes behind-the-scenes of the selection process for the Royal British Empire Medal in The People’s Medal (ITV, 9:00pm); Thailand’s Drug Craze: Stacey Dooley Investigates is on BBC3 (9:00pm); Shaun of the Dead is on ITV2 – again (9:00pm); sci-fi drama Under the Dome, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, begins (Channel 5, 10:00pm); ahead of its return on 25th August, remind yourself of Brooker and Maier’s brilliance as the first series of A Touch of Cloth is repeated (Sky2, 10:00pm); and Road to Referendum (ITV, 10:35pm) looks at the changes in Scotland over the past six decades.

Tuesday 20th August

The Great British Bake Off

BBC2, 8:00pm

Yes! Mel, Sue, Paul and Mary are back for another ten weeks of tense whisking, crimping and'The Great British Bake Off' - BBC2, 8:00pm piping as the tent is re-opened for the fourth series of Bake Off.

This year sees a first for the show as 13 bakers will enter the marquee in the first episode and, as the weeks go on, will be whittled down until just one remains and takes the crown from 2012 winner, John Whaite. There’s not necessarily safety in numbers, either, as this baker’s dozen will have to work extra hard if they want to impress Paul and Mary and stay in the competition. That’s because, if they decide to, they could send not one but two bakers packing at one time. Harsh!

Angel Food, chocolate and sandwich cakes are all on the menu in this first episode, but who will be the first to – or first two to – leave the contest?

Also today: There’s the return of Double Your House for Half the Money (Channel 4, 8:00pm), The Midwives (BBC2, 9:00pm), urban drama Top Boy (Channel 4, 9:00pm) and Don’t Tell the Bride (BBC3, 9:00pm); as well as one-off documentary The Naked Rambler (BBC1, 10:35pm), which follows former Royal Marine, Stephen Gough as he walks naked from Scotland to Hampshire.

Wednesday 21st August

Welcome to the World of Weight Loss

BBC2, 9:00pm

With more people than ever on diets, and obesity rates continuing to sky-rocket, this one-off'Welcome to the World of Weight Loss' - BBC2, 9:00pm documentary follows those who attend slimming clubs and aims to find out whether following such regimes helps.

Welcome to the World of Weight Loss follows attendees at Weight Watchers, Slimming World and Rosemary Conley Groups across the country over a twelve week period, showing their highs and lows as they battle the fat and try to shed the pounds.

One person who features in the light-hearted programme is Slimming World regular, Santash Sharma (pictured), who was given the title of Miss Slinky 2012 in her local group.

Also today: Gary Lineker’s past is the focus of this week’s Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1, 9:00pm); Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen star in movie adaptation, The Da Vinci Code (Channel 5, 9:00pm), followed by The Da Vinci Code: The True Story (Channel 5, 11:55pm); The Man Who Collected the World (BBC4, 9:00pm) looks at William Burrell’s vast art collection, which he donated to Glasgow in 1944; and, despite having been axed after just one series, comedy-drama Great Night Out begins its repeat run (ITV, 10:35pm).

Thursday 22nd August


Sky1 HD, 9:00pm

Budget supermarket Valco is re-opening its doors for a third year as Gavin, Julie and co. return for a new series of the jewel in Sky’s comedy crown, Trollied.

I recently reminded myself of the brilliance of this show by watching the first series yet again on'Trollied' - Sky1 HD, 9:00pm DVD – and the second series is now on order. There’s not one weak performance and all of the characters – whether they be the foul-mannered Colin, warm-hearted Margaret or prissy Julie – are great to spend time with. Why no other channel snapped it up before Sky, I’ve no idea.

As you may have gauged from the advertisements, Valco is now under new management. As we saw at the end of the last series, Stephanie Beacham’s Hilary Devey-esque character, Lorraine is gone, leaving Julie and Gavin holding fort again. However, that’s all soon to change as The Spa and Pete vs Life star, Chris Geere turns up as Valco’s new Head of Strategy, Richard France, whose unorthodox approach to management doesn’t sit well with some of the staff. Plus, Gavin’s Spanish love interest, Anna (Elizabeth Bower) gets a job at the store to be closer to him. Julie doesn’t take this news well, however, as she still has eyes for her manager.

It looks set to be another series which will have us rolling in the aisles.


Sky1, 9:30pm

The second part of Sky1 HD’s all-new Thursday night line-up is Chickens, which began life as a pilot for Channel 4 in 2011. As you can probably tell, though, Channel 4 decided not to develop it any further,'Chickens' - Sky1 HD, 9:30pm so Sky jumped in and took it for themselves.

Written by comedy pals Jonny Sweet, Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, the series follows Bert, Cecil and George – three men who have decided not to go to war, whether that be due to flat feet, conscientious objection or just pure laziness.

Having been written by and starring two of the stars of The Inbetweeners, there was a lot riding on Chickens first time around – and perhaps that’s why I was left disappointed by it. Hopefully now that it’s on digital TV and has got the first episode out of the way already, the pressure will be off and expectations won’t be quite as high.

Also today: Location Location Location is back (Channel 4, 8:00pm); Paul O’Grady’s Working Britain comes to an end (BBC1, 9:00pm); Poaching Wars with Tom Hardy (ITV, 9:00pm) sees the Dark Night Rises actor travel to Africa; The Imposter premieres on Channel 4 (9:00pm); and Celebrity Big Brother begins (Channel 5, 9:00pm).

Friday 23rd August

Celebrity Big Brother: The Big Twist – Live

Channel 5, 9:00pm

Yes, this summer’s famous faces may have entered the house last night but it is tonight that the Big Twist is to be announced.

I’m not even going to speculate what that twist is going to be – what with Big Brother’s track record,'Celebrity Big Brother: The Big Twist - Live' - Channel 5, 9:00pm he could throw anything at the contestants. However, I will run through who is rumoured to be taking part this year: larger-than-life dancer, Louie Spence; GMTV fitness guru, Mr Motivator; shamed football pundit, Ron Atkinson; Loose Woman, Carol McGiffin; whiney-voiced Apprentice star, Luisa Zissman; extravagant singer, Boy George; and ex-Corrie star (read attention-seeking bimbo), Helen Flanagan.

As any Loose Women viewer will know, Carol is a huge fan of Celebrity Big Brother, and her close friend Denise Welch of course won the show in early 2012, with her former LW panellist, Coleen Nolan coming an admirable second in last year’s summer series. I think she’d be great in the house – and certainly wouldn’t hold back if she disagreed with something. I’d definitely vote for her to win – but maybe that’s just because I have an obsession with Loose Women that a seventeen-year-old boy should never have.

Also today: Football’s Funniest Moments (Sky1 HD, 8:00pm); a repeat of Peter Kay Live at the Top of the Tower (Channel 4, 9:00pm); film, The Shawshank Redemption (ITV2, 9:00pm); the unnecessarily lengthily-titled, How to Become a World Music Star: Buena Vista, Bhundu Boys and Beyond (BBC4, 9:00pm); James, Freddie, Jamie and Jack return with more sports-themed fun in A League of Their Own (Sky1 HD, 9:00pm); Jack Dee hosts the second series of (the often tedious) Don’t Sit in the Front Row (Sky1 HD, 10:00pm); another chance to see Peter Kay: In Conversation (Channel 4, 10:20pm), in which Danny Baker interviews the comedian about his career; and A to Z of World Music (BBC4, 10:30pm) showcases the wide range of musical genres from across the globe.

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 –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival – Thanks to BBC and Outline Productions, ©Outline Productions; Big Brother: The Final – ©Five; The Great British Bake Off – Thanks to BBC, Love Productions and Des Willie, ©Love Productions; Welcome to the World of Weight Loss – Thanks to BBC and Vanessa Engle, ©BBC; Trollied – ©Sky1/Jon Hall; Chickens – ©Colin Hutton for Sky1 HD; Celebrity Big Brother: The Big Twist – Live – ©Five.


TV Round-Up: 15 – 21st September 2012

Comedy World Cup – Episode 1.1

The premise for this show really is brilliant: a team of comedians – old and young – answer questions on the world of comedy. That’s everything from stand-up, to the sitcom, to the panel show to really get apparent comedy know-it-alls like myself and the panellists wracking our brains.

Fans of the genre will be all over it – as will David Tennant fans. The trouble is, though, that comedy fans may be left somewhat crestfallen as, considering it’s a show all about the subject, it’s not very funny.

I’m a huge fan of host David Tennant, as well as many of the participants this week: Shappi Khorsandi, Jo Brand, Dave Spikey, Jason Manford and Nicholas Parsons. Paul Chowdhry not so much. However, I don’t think they particularly excelled on Comedy World Cup which was a shame, especially when it came to Dave Spikey – someone who I believe to be one of the most underrated comics on the circuit, sadly living in former friend Peter Kay’s shadow. I actually went to see Dave live in March and found him to be just as good – if not better – than many comics I have seen, whether it be live or onscreen.

It was a watchable show, but not a stand-out one. I suppose some tricky questions blended with vintage – yet hit/miss – clips managed to see it through. Hopefully it won’t rely on this throughout the series, though.

Big Fat Quiz of the 80s

Call me sad, but one of the highlights of the festive season for me is watching the annual Big Fat Quiz of the Year. I always enjoy it! Sometimes I even watch the Big Fat Quizzes from as far back as 2005 and it still tickles me.

The key to the Big Fat Quizzes‘ success is a brilliant panel, usually involving Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand or Noel Fielding and other fantastic comedians. However, although entertaining, I have to say that I’ve seen better panels than the one produced on Big Fat Quiz of the 80s.

The contributors on this episode were comedians Jason Manford, Jonathan Ross, Adam Buxton (…) and Micky Flanagan, alongside actor Stephen Mangan (of Green Wing and Episodes fame) and Loose Woman, Carol Vorderman. I guess they were chosen specifically for their 80s status: Jonathan and Adam both fall into the ‘nerd’ category so are therefore probably fans of 80s retro, Micky was in his twenties in the decade, Carol started in her iconic Countdown role and Jason and Stephen were, I guess, either teenagers or young kids so have some sort of affinity with that time. Nevertheless, as I said, it wasn’t the strongest panel ever.

Fortunately Micky Flanagan didn’t disappoint. It’s refreshing to see a comedian who always laughs if he finds other comics’ jokes funny, unlike some comedians who suppress it, prioritising professional rivalry of simply being genuine. Plus, his Filofax gag was the highlight of the show! I couldn’t possible repeat it here, though…

Big Fat Quiz of the 80s was still funny but not as much as I would have thought. Maybe I had my expectations set too high, due to the standard of previous years’ episodes. Perhaps I just missed the presence of a Brand, Ayoade, Fielding or Walliams to provide absolutely absurd answers throughout.

Tomorrow there’s the 90s quiz and, I’m going to be honest, I’m not holding out much hope for it. If Jack Whitehall wasn’t there, I think I’d be dreading it. I may be pleasantly surprised, though. I hope so.

The Rob Brydon Show – Episode 3.6

What has been a fairly average – yet quite enjoyable – series of The Rob Brydon Show drew to a close this week.

Once again, the audience interaction was great as in this episode, Rob spoke to a man who was born in a toilet. Actually in a toilet. As if the story wasn’t brilliant enough in itself, the host added, “And your mother looked down and said, ‘It’s a wee boy!'” Inspired.

The first, and probably biggest, guest of tonight’s show was Ray Winstone who provided my favourite moment of the entire series when Rob attempted to get him to showcase his ‘softer side’ by getting him to read an excerpt from The Three Little Pigs.

Despite his instruction being to not act tough, nor intimidating, Ray still managed to incorporate this line to a crossed-legged, thumb-sucking Rob:

“Take care that that naughty, naughty, naughty, naughty wolf does not catch you…’cos ‘e’s a f*cker!”

I had to pause the show because I was laughing so much!

It’s a safe bet that The Rob Brydon Show will return for both a Christmas special later in the year and a fourth series next. That’s not a complaint by any means but the show isn’t very experimental, is it? It’s a very ‘safe’ comedy so could run and run without anyone questioning it or calling for changes. So, until the inevitable special, farewell, Rob!

Citizen Khan – Episode 1.4

Now that the whole furore about its alleged political incorrectness seems to have died down, Citizen Khan seems to be going quite unnoticed, just moving along at a consistent pace. Unfortunately, that consistency means that it’s still as unfunny as when it started.

In fact, I so often find myself spending the whole episode cringing on the cast and crew’s behalves. I don’t think it’s offensive or particularly stereotypical – it’s just predictable and of poor quality!

If it wasn’t for the fact that it may be challenging and altering perceptions of the Muslim and Pakistani communities, I doubt it would even have been commissioned!

Celebrity Juice – Episode 8.4

I don’t know about you, but I tend to find that when a new series of Juice starts, it seems that this run is going to be the best ever. Full of fresh ideas and jokes, it looks to be the funniest of them all.

However, a few weeks in, the novelty of having Keith and the gang back wanes a little and, while there are still moments of genuine hilarity, it just isn’t as good as it was a few episodes back. Well, that’s the way I’m starting to feel.

Don’t get me wrong: I still think it’s a brilliantly funny program and stands head-and-shoulders above its contemporaries, but the magic of the first couple of episodes isn’t quite there any more.

Nevertheless, I loved this episode. With chart-topper Example, Capital breakfast show’s Lisa Snowdon, comedian Chris Ramsey and Olympic hero Mo Farrah (or as Keith preferred to call him, MoFo!), while it wasn’t the funniest of the series, it was the most shocking!

The shock came from the Bonk Game – a spoof of the Bong Game, as played on the Capital breakfast show. Whereas in the original Bong Game, callers have to hold their nerve while sums of money gradually increase, and if they call for it to stop before the ‘Bong’ goes, they win that money, Keith’s Bonk Game was nothing like this. Instead, Lisa had to predict how far Keith would go with her on a first date. It started quite civilised, with “LOOKING INTO EACH OTHER’S EYES”, then “CUDDLE”, “PUT MY HAND ON YOUR KNEE”, then it got a bit more risqué with, “TOUCHING BOOB OVER SHIRT”…and then it descended into something else altogether! I stared at the TV open-mouthed and just felt so sorry for Fearne and Holly! Even given the nature of Celebrity Juice, the Bonk Game was shocking – hilarious, but shocking.

Then, there was the first round – LemonHead – in which Keith produced a magazine entitled Le Closerer. On seeing it, everyone leaped to the Duchess of Cambridge’s defence and turned into a pantomime audience, booing and hissing at the mock-up. However, their boos turned to cheers and their hissing to applause when Keith proudly placed the magazine in a shredder! Keith took it even further, though, when he emptied the shreds, spat on them (prompting those present to cheer even more), then picked a handful up and pretended to angrily wipe his backside on them – by which time any cheering had subsided and laughs prevailed.

I’ve already made my views known about the Kate scandal elsewhere, but I will say that to see Keith do this was unexpected. It would have been so easy for him to just mock the Duchess and ridicule her and the story as a whole. The fact that he didn’t is actually quite respectable and solidifies the outrage and disgust we as a nation feel towards the French magazine.

Trollied – Episode 2.5

Trollied – the jewel in Sky’s comedy crown – is fast becoming the highlight of my week and it’s down to two things: brilliant one-liners and Stephanie Beacham.

In fact, a lot of the one-liners I am so fond of do come from Stephanie Beacham’s character: Valco’s foul-mouthed manager, Lorraine. It’s simply inspired that every other word with her is “bastard” – and it’s not becoming tiresome! Every time she does unnecessarily drop it into a sentence, it’s still hilarious! She’s the best thing about Trollied – and that’s some achievement.

The big storyline this week was happy-go-lucky – and slightly dippy – shelf-stacker Leighton turning off all of the freezers in store in order to prevent global warming, thus flooding the frozen food section. This led to Lorraine – who has hated him for a while now anyway, ever since he sold copious bottles of cider to a group of schoolboy…who were dressed in school uniform (his defence was that he “was told they were thirty”) – ordering Julie to fire him immediately.

Valco is Leighton’s life! He was devastated to have been fired for just trying to do good for the environment, and I was devastated to see him go. I really hope he comes back – if he doesn’t, I’ll try to get him a job with me at Argos!

The subplot of Julie trying to emulate Lorraine – both in authority, speech and body language – is excellent, too. Julie and Lorraine are polar-opposites, like chalk and cheese or Alex Reid and Chantelle Houghton. And we all know how it turned out for the latter pair, don’t we? (While we’re on the subject: have you seen Alex’s grovelling video? Oh my God!) Lorraine is a tough, no-nonsense woman, whereas Julie is a soft, flighty girl – it’s just a treat to watch. And long may it continue to be!

Alan Carr: Chatty Man – Episode 9.2

Chatty Man seems to be going from strength-to-strength, appearing to achieve more of an intimate party feel every series. It really is a great ‘Friday night in’ show!

Alan’s monologue at the top of the show remains a favourite with me and this week he had me howling with laughter as he announced:

“An Italian magazine have [sic] printed the pictures of Kate and Wills sunbathing over twenty six pages. If you flick through them really quickly you can see Kate getting browner…and William getting balder!”

After his routine and the low-down on the guests still to come, the comedian welcomed his first guests: the cast of Channel 4 comedy-drama Fresh Meat, including Jack Whitehall (Bad Education) and Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners).

Seriously, can someone tell me why Joe always has a face like a slapped arse? Even when he and his fellow Inbetweeners presented an award at the BAFTAs last year, he looked so miserable!

Despite Thomas’s grumpiness, though, I did enjoy the interview – particularly a palpably tipsy Jack Whitehall – and listening to the cast share their own university experiences (as Fresh Meat is set in a university) was great. The camaraderie between all of them (well, perhaps except one…) was lovely to see, as they gently mocked each other’s anecdotes.

I also loved seeing Doctor Who star Matt Smith on the show. He’s been on the Chatty Man sofa before and made a welcome reappearance. You could tell he and Alan get on really well, especially when the host shared the “Who’s ‘Matt Smith’?!” story! Someone has uploaded it to YouTube and, although it’s terrible quality, you can see it here – about forty five seconds in.

I was in hysterics when Alan enquired as to where the BBC get the money from to fund Doctor Who. What must go through his mind either when writing questions for Matt, or as an ad-lib during recording, to prompt him to say:

“I thought they were skint! Who’s the BBC been sucking off?”

This week’s was a really enjoyable Chatty Man – as is the norm. However, the singer Example did go down in my estimations: I thought he was unnecessarily rude and bossy towards Alan! He certainly didn’t set a good Example!*

Next week’s guests are Grand Designs‘ Kevin McCloud, The Voice UK‘s Jessie J, songstress Alicia Keys and boyband One Direction! No disrespect to him, but I don’t think anyone’s going to be turning up just to see Kevin McCloud…

*Couldn’t resist

QI – Episode 10.2

Now into its ‘J’ series, the focus of this week’s QI was ‘Jam, Jelly and Juice’.

The first question asked by quizmaster Stephen was, “What begins with ‘J’ and appears to be alive?” An array of answers followed, including:

  • “Me” (Jo Brand)
  • “James Blunt” (Liza Tarbuck)
  • “Jeremy Clarkson” (Sue Perkins)
  • “Jedward” (Sue Perkins)

Both of Sue’s answers received the dreaded klaxon, flashing lights, etc. The answer was strangely jelly, because brainwaves can actually be detected from it. Now that’s more than Quite Interesting!

Speaking of Quite Interesting, we discovered something new about Stephen Fry this week, when he sat in his host’s chair and announced without a hint of irony, “I like titties.” It was most unexpected, as I’m sure you can imagine! What a way to reveal it: on the telly!

Seriously, never have I watched an episode of QI in which there has been more innuendo. ‘Jam, Jelly and Juice’ was absolutely packed with it, much to host Stephen’s apparent disapproval. He got quite stiff about it…

The show ended with – just like last week – a disappointing absence of General Ignorance: one of my highlights of previous series. I don’t know whether it’s because of running time but it was cruelly cut, and wasn’t even present in last week’s QI XL!

General Ignorance’s vanishing act wasn’t the biggest shock this week, though, as Alan Davies somehow managed to summon up a victory with an amazing +11 points! He might not be popular with Liverpool FC fans, but he is with those at QI!


To let me know what you think of any of my comments, or just to share your views on anything about the world of TV, drop a comment on this post or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer

Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at, where some of my articles will also appear.

‘Trollied’ – Episodes 2.1 & 2.2

After premièring last year as one of the first of Sky1’s home-grown comedies, Trollied, set in Valco: a low-budget supermarket in Warrington, is back for a second run (with  a third and a Christmas special already in the pipeline), starting with a double-bill.


I watched the first series last year and just thought it wasn’t very good – a waste of the talents of its stars Jane Horrocks and Mark Addy, to name just two. However, I then watched some repeats soon afterwards and became a devout fan. It’s brilliant writing from the producer of the brilliant IT Crowd and The Office – Ash Atalla.


Whereas nothing can beat Julie (Horrocks) announcing proudly that she;s “the interim manager) and she “should be respected while she’s interrimming” (to which Andy (Addy) and Kieran (Nick Blood) chortled, “I’m sorry, but did you just say you’re ‘in to rimming?’!”), there were quite a few moments of hilarity within these two half-hour episodes. Here’s just a few of them:

New Manager Lorraine

I loved Gavin, the manager of Valco throughout the first series, but Lorraine (Stephanie Beacham) is just something else! Every other word is “bastard” (“People will walk in, see our new No Nonsense range and think, ‘It’s about bastard time!’!”) and she looks set to ruffle a few feathers, especially with Julie, who had quite a thing for Gavin and doesn’t appear to be keen on Lorraine’s approach. Oh, and I defy anyone to look at her and not be reminded of Hilary Devey off of Dragons’ Den!

Gavin’s Tribute DVD

In pretty much every episode of the first series, we heard of ‘the bakers” antics, from possessing a pornographic calendar to writing something rude in Julie’s birthday card, and this time we actually saw them causing trouble as a DVD containing all of the staff’s filmed tributes for departing manager Gavin – to be shown in front of everyone at a party for him – was replaced with a porn DVD. In fact, I’ve just laughed out loud thinking about it and Julie’s very prudish and embarrassed reaction.

Shitcake Mushrooms

Yes, you read correctly and no, I haven’t made a typo. I have, in fact, quoted the dippy Margaret (Rita May) as she mistook shitake mushrooms to be “shitcake mushrooms”. I actually had to rewind the programme just to hear her say it again. I think my mam and dad got a bit sick of me saying “shitcake mushrooms” and then laughing for the rest of the episode…

Stomach Parasite

Vulgar checkout girl Lisa this week shared with us how she apparently lost a stone in weight when she said brilliantly deadpan, “I ‘ad a stomach parasite last year so I lost a stone…” That is precisely what the character would say! She’s so disgusting and candid that she would have no qualms about shouting that across the store – just as she did. Beverly Rudd plays her brilliantly and I’m sure loves doing so – I know I would with lines like the ones Atalla crafts!


So, two episodes down, another eight to go – and that’s just for this series. For me, the second episode of this series was the best yet, it was just hilarious gag after hilarious gag. Fingers crossed Ash Atalla has maintained this high standard with the remainder of the series.


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