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Posted on 11:26am Friday 23rd December 2011
Much like life, Christmas television can also be compared to a box of chocolates. You’ve got your foil-wrapped, heart shaped treats in the form of Downton Abbey and Doctor Who. Your fudge, praline and nut-encrusted family favourites like Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing. And then of course, there are the ones that are picked over and discarded, to be left rattling round in the bottom of the box until somebody finally gets round to finishing them off around the 28th December. The marzipan, the orange crèmes - yes I’m talking about Hotel for Dogs and Keeping Up Appearances.
Posted on 9:07pm Wednesday 30th November 2011
Forget Frozen Planet, the most incredible piece of animal footage I have ever come across has to be during My Monkey Baby, when a woman carefully applied gloss to a monkey’s pursed lips, and then took it out to lunch.
Posted on 2:47pm Wednesday 9th November 2011
It’s easy to dismiss teenagers as slack-jawed, sofa huggers. Congregating in shopping centres, clogging up A&E on Saturday nights. Those August riots didn’t do a whole lot for their reputations and a study published by Barnardos last week concluded that 44% of Britons think young people are ‘feral’. Yowser.
Posted on 12:04pm Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the whole shebang is that The Bachelor features real women, just like you and me. Well, alright, not just like you and me. Unless you are aged between 18 and 25, are surgically enhanced from the ankles up or blessed with that kind of ‘just stepped out of a salon’ natural beauty which means other women fantasise about smashing your perfect face in with a stiletto?
Posted on 11:46am Monday 28th February 2011
At 8pm we have Snog Marry Avoid, hosted by Jenny Frost from Atomic Kitten. Then at 8.30, we have Hotter Than My Daughter, hosted by Liz McClarlon, also from Atomic Kitten. I don’t know who’s got the connections at that channel but they’ve certainly made the most of them.
Posted on 9:51am Wednesday 8th December 2010
Ah, the Corrie tram smash. Such a lovely idea. What better way to mark the 50 year anniversary of the UK’s premium soap? Because despite what the Soap Awards results may tell you, Corrie is da bomb. This programme been documenting the everyday misery of British folk since the day it began, so why break with tradition?
Posted on 4:46pm Wednesday 15th September 2010
ITV has whipped up a new and exciting way to torture these people in the very name of entertainment. Dump them at the edge of the Arctic Circle, with nothing but the Millets outdoor range between them and the elements, and get Kate Thornton and some other bloke to crow over the proceedings as they plough through fleets of snow like crazed Huskies.
Posted on 2:24pm Tuesday 20th April 2010
Banged Up Abroad is better than any horror film, because what’s taking place could actually happen. To you. Provided of course you’re stupid enough to agree to a 2 week holiday in Bangladesh in exchange for strapping 4 kilos of heroin to your quivering thighs.
Posted on 10:28am Monday 12th April 2010
Aside from Joanna gliding through Africa like a fragrant heron, this week we also have Jamie Oliver slapping a whole heap of stuff on expenses and getting to jolly around Europe for our supposed viewing pleasure. Surely Joanna and Jamie can afford to do this sort of thing in their spare time? Surely they do? Why do they get paid to mess about on boats and host exotic impromptu barbecues?
Posted on 1:32pm Friday 26th March 2010
A nation echoed with rage and despair as news hit the fan that Michael Winner’s rather obvious answer to Come Dine With Me - Michael Winner’s Dining Stars – has been threatened with cancellation after just one series.
Posted on 3:42pm Monday 15th March 2010
If you failed to witness the rich and fortifying sight of Kim Woodburn living it up on Celebrity Come Dine With Me last night, then you missed out on an essential source of reality tv nutrition.
Posted on 11:28am Monday 8th March 2010
Despite having grown up with a film crew, Princess still reacts to their presence with the unblinking fascination that most children reserve for Santa Claus, or when they are very tiny, their own feet.
Posted on 4:24pm Monday 22nd February 2010
For those of us either a) not interested or b) not invited to London Fashion Week, there’s another prestigious event taking place this February, in the comfort and splendour of your very own home. It’s only ruddy 80’s season on Film 4!
Posted on 10:07am Thursday 17th December 2009
The Eastenders Christmas special contains all the basic elements of a classic dramatic model. The Greek tragedy: ‘a form of art based on human suffering that paradoxically offers its audience pleasure’. Sound familiar?
Posted on 10:57am Friday 27th November 2009
Murder She Wrote invites us for a brief sojourn in Cabot Cove, the haven of the small town persona, and ruled over, I mean resided in, by Jessica Fletcher. Widowed, retired, not much to do but her hair and pen the odd mystery novel. So where does Jessica Fletcher get the inspiration for her books? Why, from that same small town she is so reluctant to let fame and fortune drag her from.
Posted on 12:59pm Friday 20th November 2009
I’m finding it tricky to fully engage with this series. It’s hard to beat the platinum line-up of yesteryear - Robert Kilroy-Silk and Timmy Mallet and David Van Day. Watching those three was a bit like sucking on one of those super-sour gobstoppers that used to be around when I was a kid but have probably been banned by the EU now. Hard to swallow but impossible to spit out.
Posted on 1:49pm Tuesday 15th September 2009
The made-for-TV movie is oft subject to well-deserved ridicule. They are the refuge of the bit-part actor or the faded soap star. Scripted by the mediocre, directed by the misguided, funded by the careless. They really shouldn’t pass as entertainment, but they rarely miss the mark.
Posted on 4:02pm Monday 7th September 2009
Autumn is approaching, everybody is due a seasonal bout of mild depression. So how about, just for now, we forget the harsh lighting, the scraped-back hair, the skimmed-milk complexions and the dirty fingernails? How about we, temporarily of course, set aside the insurmountable problems of our fellow Brits, and instead, enjoy a glossy half an hour or so in the company of people for whom a broken fingernail constitutes an international crisis? Sound tempting?
Posted on 10:35am Wednesday 26th August 2009
As you’ll now no doubt be delighted to hear, a new series of the show – Paris Hilton’s Best Friend Forever- has just finished filming in Dubai. Yes, that’s right, a predominantly Muslim country where swearing, provocative clothing, exhibitionism, all those things that Paris is famed for and the previous series was based around, don’t make you too popular.
Posted on 4:30pm Saturday 22nd August 2009
With the most recent series of Britain’s Got Talent resigned to a dusty memory for most of us, it’s down to X Factor, the bigger, bustier sister, to muscle back onto the screen and remind us who’s in charge of the Saturday night schedule. ITV, that’s who. They’ve got 27 episodes of this stuff. It’s going to take us through to Christmas. Best get comfortable. Or move to the continent.
Posted on 1:22pm Sunday 9th August 2009
As an adjective, dumb doesn’t really begin to do justice to the heart-stopping stupidity displayed by this lot. Or their parents for that matter, who for some reason have laboured under the delusion than ‘no’ is a dirty word when it comes to child-rearing, and as a result, have bred and raised a selection of idiots that any self-respecting village would probably send packing.
Posted on 2:15pm Saturday 1st August 2009
These may sound like ice breakers at a child’s party, but there are absolutely no similarities. You’d be closer to the mark by comparing them to a platform video game – although unlike Super Mario, real people generally aren’t very good at defying gravity or dodging a succession of runaway logs. Disgrace? Humiliation? Got it covered
Posted on 8:21pm Wednesday 1st July 2009
The Beeb do their best to keep up with the nation and their attention deficit demands; gunning down Top of the Pops when they realised that it had become a byword for lame, organising live web cams at Glastonbury, juicing up Radio 2 with the likes of Russell Brand and Alan Carr. They have proved to us that they have got the hang of edgy and cool, but programmes like this serve to show that they much prefer room temperature.
Posted on 7:36pm Thursday 25th June 2009
Just when the girls look like they might make a start on that filing, one of them makes a shock confession, or receives a distressing phone call, which means they have to decamp to the ladies toilets and sort it all out. There is an awful lot of sorting out to do. Unplanned pregnancy, infidelity, sexy shenanigans, mysterious disappearance, thwarted dreams and shattered hearts. Issues, issues, ISSUES. And we’re only 2 episodes in. Phew!
Posted on 7:19pm Wednesday 10th June 2009
He caused controversy in the 80s. She had a pop at most of her fellow contestants in that jungle show. How will Stan Boardman cope with gobby Rhona Cameron stomping into his castle, criticising the contents of his fridge and dishing out verbal warnings every time he says something offensive about a minority group? Will somebody end up on an assault charge?
Posted on 10:01am Friday 5th June 2009
Come Dine With Me is a week long contest between 5 strangers, all of whom must devise and prepare their own menu and attempt to lay on a suitably smooth evening for the other 4. The food, the conversation, the pattern on the tablecloth, the sheen on the cutlery – all will be noted, scrutinized and brutally judged. The guests then score their host out of ten for the evening (usually in the back of a taxi when they’ve consumed so much wine it’s slopping out of their earholes).
Posted on 11:03pm Monday 18th May 2009
Coach Trip is a brilliant programme. You get yourself a coach. You get yourself some contestants, divided into pairs and convinced that their ideal holiday is to spend an infinite amount of time on this coach, touring the many sherry distilleries and candle factories of Europe. You get yourself a temperamental, effeminate tour guide named Brendan, who perspires with such vigour that he needs to change every ten minutes. Ideally suited to the warmer climes, is Brendan. Oh, and you ask the contestants to line up every night and vote for who they want to send home. In front of each other.
Posted on 5:32pm Thursday 7th May 2009
You probably thought that you knew everything you needed to know about Queen of the Mammaries, Katie Price, and her antipodean partner in tanning, Peter Andre. Well, you’re right. What else is there to know about these two? Not a lot.
Posted on 5:50pm Friday 1st May 2009
Diagnosis Murder has managed to attract something of a cult following in the UK, and it’s not difficult to understand how it has achieved this revered status. It’s camp, it’s gloriously predictable, it’s unintentionally hilarious and it has Van Dyke’s shoe-horned into every possible spare role.