Well it’s been a bumper week on the box. First off the incredible story of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. I don’t know about you but they would have had to stuff me full of morphine to get me into that little capsule for a journey through 620 metres of rocky darkness. I loved the Chilean President – he actually looked like he was passionately concerned and delighted about the miner’s welfare. Or am I just a fool as Norman would have said? Anyway of all the miners’ re-appearances I think top bravado marks should go to the guy who was welcomed by and heartily and openly embraced his mistress rather than his poor wife. Eh hola chuck! What’s the chances of that marriage lasting as long as he was underground? I’d say about as slim as getting some first night out sex tonight (from the missus).
Then we’ve had the Commonwealth Games. There was more than a touch of schadenfreude about watching all the pre-event horrors unfold but apart from some issues about the likelihood of catching (or maybe delivering) dysentery in the pool, it’s gone surprisingly well on the whole. But do you know anyone who’s actually watched any coverage of the events? I accidentally caught maybe 30 seconds of coverage of the men’s hockey last week-end, which wasn’t fun. That’s been it. I don’t know what the final medal table looks like but I’d guess that Australia would be up there because they always win around 100 medals in the pool in the first week. And you’d expect England to do well in the hoovering up events in the pool, plus brilliantly in the cycling and pretty well in archery, shooting and in track and field. And india are the hosts so you’d expect them to sweep up loads of silvers and bronzes plus the hockey and outsourcing golds. If I’m a million miles out I’ll gladly accept a dose of Delhi belly as a penalty. I think we both know that isn’t going to happen (at least willingly).
Tonight I watched an old version of Top Gear on the Dave channel – or was it Yerksher Blerk tv – anyway the lucky beggars and Clarkson got to drive a Ferrari something, another supercar and a Ford GTO down to the magnificent Millau bridge in S. France. Now what’s the point of sending Clarkson to view a thing of utter and complete beauty? I’d have driven there in a 2CV with no windscreen and a failing gear box to view that bridge. He mentioned that the bridge was designed by Englishman Sir Norman Foster but could only ramble on and smile about the loveliness of the hideously fuel-inefficient GTO. Yep that’s fine when the BBC and the licence payer is paying your frigging fuel bill.
And so to Daybreak, the much-vaunted early morning ITV programme which has replaced GMTV with uber signings from the BBC Christine ‘everybody wants her’ Bleakley and ‘everyman’ Adrian Chiles. It’s attracting audiences comparable to Dave on a flat night, like when they’re showing Blake’s 7. I watched it this morning and they had a bunch of Marine’s on lifting Kate ‘what’s she done to deserve staying on as entertainment correspondent other than being a previous squeeze of the show’s new producer’ Garraway around the studio in her clingy dress. She couldn’t help but remark on the open fly of one of the Marines before doing a piece on the beautiful (!) Sir Cliff Richard whose naked upper torso was highlighted from his latest calendar on the event of his 70th birthday. An in-depth pre-recorded conversation between Kate and Cliff followed from his vineyard in the Algarve. She asked all the tough and challenging questions of course especially when it came to the touchy subject of his sexuality.
Now if this was truly a serious early morning news programme you’d expect them not to send along their ‘entertainment correspondent’ but to ask the serious reporter question I’d dearly love to pose to the Bachelor Boy ie so Sir Cliff it’s a not so open secret that you’ve lived with a variety of close male friends for the last thirty years, and now that you’re 70 wouldn’t it be timely to at long last now confirm that you are in fact as gay as a fey day in May ‘? Sadly coy Kate simply invited Sir Cliff to explain why he’d never settled down. Ooh that’s sharp and edgy. Sir Cliff weasled his way out of a straight (ha!) answer by saying he’d been in caring relationships all his life. Actually he’s perfectly entitled to be enigmatic. But in terms of sharp-edged journalism (which is what I’d understood ITV were intending to deliver following the departure of dumb-down GMTV ) it was more Jeremy Beadle than Paxman. So we’re still guessing about Sir C’s trouser leanings. Yeh right.
Now apparently ambitious Christine is distraught at the crap viewing figures; she only moved across to join fat Ade because she thought it would massively improve her profile. Sadly Daybreak is only attracting around 700k daily viewers – about a third of the number drawn to the BBC’s equivalent programme, Breakfast, which features some of tv’s blandest presenters earning a faction of her salary which will reduce even more when they they lose their London weighting allowance when the show is moved to and re-presented from the BBC’s new Salford studios. Bet they can’t wait.
So Christine is thinking of saving face by becoming the presenter of the X Factor although they have a brilliant MC already in Dermot O’Leary. Sorry Derm, don’t you know she’s dating Frank Lampard and it must be embarrassing appearing on a community channel when you’re a super WAG. Poor love.
Now I actually think Adrian’s got an everyman feel to him which I quite like and CB is just about the most natural, funny and, let’s face it, sexiest and brightest presenter to appear on ITV but her desperate ambition is just so unattractive. Did it really cost £10m to attract Ade and Bleaky to ITV? They must be so chuffed at ITV towers….