Monthly Archives: March 2007

FA Cup Coverage will suck from August 2008

ITV (plus pay-TV broadcaster Setanta Sports) have acquired rights to show FA Cup and England home games from August 2008, in a £400 million, four-year deal. So, naturally, prepare for piss-poor presenting, annoying commentry, average analysis…oh, and ad breaks, of course.

I know that certain sporting events (World Cups, Olympics etc) are required by law to be shown on terrestrial channels. But can’t they go one better, and make terristrial channels be the BBC only?? Having the FA Cup Final on ITV just isn’t right.

BBC News – ITV scores in FA Cup rights fight

O’Leary To Be New Host of X Factor

Dermot O’Leary has been announced as the new host of “entertainment” series X Factor for the next two seasons. O’Leary had been favourite to land the job after previous host Kate Thornton got the axe, but was apparently reluctant and turned it down. Not so, it seems, given today’s annoucement.

Dermot will probably be a pretty good job though let’s face it, anyone’s better than shouty-shouty, unsympathetic Kate. More troubling is that X Factor STILL exists. I can’t believe it! Who cares? Watching the weirdos and the tone-deaf audition is fun…but then we have to sit through week after week of randoms murdering classic tunes.

And my big bug bear…whoever wins is unlikely to have a successful career. Why? They won’t be given the material to make it big. Leona Lewis may be pretty, talented and have a great voice, but her “winning” song was a re-hash of some half decent ballad (that had previously been used in that soppy honeymoon resort advert!). She may have the X Factor, but she’ll go nowhere without being given decent songs. But what does Simon Cowell care? He’ll rake it in either way.

The Apprentice: Episode 1

I’m assuming that you want to know what happens, or already do know…if not, don’t carry on reading!

So, we met the contestants. We gawped at the house. We saw Sir Alan with his lovely tan. The teams chose their names: boys – Certus (later rubbished by Sir Alan as it was already the name of a company one of the boys worked for!); girls – Stealth. Team leaders were chosen: girls – Jadine and boys – Andy. I’ve never seen a more unwillingly chosen leader! No one wanted to step forward the lead the boys’ team, which is unusual in itself…in the first few tasks you always get some big-headed one jumping up and down to be able to be manager. The boys voted for Andy, who still tried to pass leadership over, before being outruled.

Next day, teams are summoned to the Isle of Dogs. Alan ups  the ante on Donald Trump, and finally turns up in a helicopter. And nearly sweeps half his contestants away. Then announces the coffee-selling task, and swaps the team leaders so Andy manages the girls, Jadine manages the boys. Clever!

Andy ends up being too nice a guy, and not one for making decisions. Jadine gets stroppy with the boys. The girls buy too much coffee and milk stock. The boys can barely buy it in the first place, and buy the wrong type of coffee. The girls mobile unit is a failure, parking up in the cheap-caff central that is Chapel Market. The boys do a roaring trade from their van. The girls do well in their stall, the boys less so from theirs. But the boys win overall!

Andy brings Sophie (purchasing error) and Gerri (location error) back into the boardroom. But he is fired for ultimately not managing well enough. Before a final plea to Sir Alan (after the “You’re Fired!, Andy asks Sir Alan if anything will change his mind…well no, he’s already said the final word!), he’s off out the door with his suitcase.

Advert for Madonna’s H & M Line

The “Director’s Cut” (i.e. the slightly more risque version than what is currently being shown on TV) is here….


I like it! It’s much hotter than the clothes themselves! And Madonna manages to act really well in this 1 minute 30 second movie.

BTW, isn’t that the girl from last year’s Shipwrecked in the background? Early on, standing behind Madonna, on the right. You know, the fairly good looking bisexual with big…teeth?

Class Song Actually at Number 1 For Once

The Proclaimers returned to the charts yesterday and went straight into the number one position. Their classic “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” was one of the songs of this year’s Comic Relief, although this version is a collaboration with Brian Potter from Phoenix Nights (aka Peter Kay) and Andy Pipkin from Little Britain (aka Matt Lucas).

The song originally charted in August 1988, although it only reached number 11 then.

Nice to see the brothers back in the charts! Here’s the “original” video. (I say original, but it was used in the 90s film Benny & Joon, which is why you’ll keep seeing Johnny Depp all over it.) Come on now: “LA LA LA LAAA! LA LA LA LAAA!”


BBC1’s Castaway is…cast away (to a different time slot)

BBC1’s return to one of the original reality TV shows, Castaway, has not done well. After only being broadcast for a short while the show is being moved from its regular Sunday-evening, one hour prime-time slot to 3 half hour slots on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Viewing figures for the show have dropped by half since it began, from 4.2 million for its first episode to 2.1 million.

To be honest, I’m not surprised! Castaway has returned after a break of seven years – who cares? Is anyone nostalgic? Did anyone really want it to return? Since that time, reality TV shows have become more extreme and over-the-top, so this is just a pale addition to set. I’m not saying that every reality TV show should have screeching banshee airhead wannabees a la Big Brother, but that’s the way so many of these programmes are going nowadays.

Furthermore, the original featured 36 people spending a year on a remote Scottish island, battling the (sometimes) strong elements with few provisions – actually quite an intriguing living experiment. This time round, we have 13 people on a New Zealand island for three months. That’s way too few people to make it interesting. And, more importantly, the location and duration make it like a version of Shipwrecked without the hot young people and the pole dancing! And then it’s pointless!!

BBC News – Castaway moved as audience falls

You’re a liability etc.

With only two days to go to the new series of the Apprentice, let’s take a look at one of the highlights of last year’s show, shall we? In the estate agent task (where contestants had to sign up as many new tenants as possible in a day) wide-boy Syed arranges to meet an applicant at Wandsworth Bridge. Simple enough, eh? A big landmark like that, should be fairly easy for everyone to find? Except Syed mistakes an ordinary rail bridge over a road as the massive Thames-crossing that is Wandsworth Bridge. He then proceeds to stand around in the street aimlessly calling out the chap’s name. “Nicholas..? Nicholas?!” Even the usually neutral voice-over man has a go!

BBC – The Apprentice – Syed directs a client to Wandsworth Bridge

Romance in The Apprentice…already!

The News of the World reports that two of this year’s contestants have hooked up and that the relationship will not be kept under wraps on the show as it is broadcast. 31-year-old Katie Hopkins, a “global brand manager” and 27-year-old former Army Lieutenant Paul Callaghan apparently got together pretty early on in the filming of the series, and are even shown being given a ticking off by Sir Alan because of their affair.

Two of last year’s contestants, Syed Ahmed and eventual winner Michelle Dewberry, also got together during filming, but no reference to their relationship was ever made on the show. Word of their pairing did get out whilst the series was broadcast, but us viewers could only give knowing looks if their pair exchanged a quick pat on the back or a “special” glance.

I love it! Things are heating up already!

News of the World: Apprentice Pair Fired Up For Love

Buy PS3…Get Free TV

EVERYTHING launched in London this week. Okay, when I say everything, I mean one clothes shop, one clothes line, and one console. At mignight last night, the PlayStation 3 finally launched in Europe after months of delays. In Britian, the console is is priced at a eye-watering £429. Whilst it is expected to be popular, sales are not likely to reach the mass sell-outs of the Wii.

My favourite bit of this story, however – all those that queued at London’s Virgin Megastore got a free TV as a prize for camping for days on end to get their hands on the console. And it’s not any old TV, oh no. A 46-inch, high defintion Sony Bravia TV worth £1,850!! Oh and they also got a cab ride home. No doubt to quicker get their PS3 set up to start playing on.

BBC News reports on Microsoft gatecrasing some of the launch events, as well as their poor reception in some places of Europe.

 BBC News – Microsoft crashes Sony PS3 launch

Abercrombie & Fitch Opens in London

It’s all go in clothes world in London… Abercrombie & Fitch opened their first European store today, located near the famed Savile Row, which is better known for its upmarket, traditional mens’ tailors. The London press have made much of the new staff working in the store; few have previous retail experience, but all are fantastically good looking and most are models of some sort. And who would you rather buy from – a good salesman, or a pretty dude?!

Urgh, the prices though! £70 for a fleece jumper? I hate £ – $ price comparison!! (Unless I’m spending in the US, in which case it’s great!)

Abercrombie & Fitch