Set The Video – Holly & Fearne Go Dating, ITV1, Thursday, 10pm

You’ll hate me if you watch Holly & Fearne Go Dating (ITV1, Thursday, 10pm) but you’ll be glad that the years of pent up anger and frustrations are able to be unleashed and vented. This show is to be watched purely for medicinal reasons… see it as primal scream therapy meets a vicious massage.

For your sins, the sickeningly inoffensive Holly Willoughby and the bile inducing and loathsome Fearne Cotton go somewhere to bother some poor innocent with love in mind. In an attempt to find love for a person, they both trot off and pester people in what has to be the worst cupid casting in the history of moving images.

Imagine…

Fearne “Hi… are you looking for love?” Member of the public “Go away… you killed Top of the Pops” Fearne “We’ve got this great woman who I think is a perfect match for you… you’d fit snugly together just like me and Robbie Williams do!” Member of the public “No… please… go away…” Fearne “Awww… come on! Are you looking for love?” Member of the public “Seriously. Go away. If it’s a woman, I’m gay, if it’s a bloke, I’m a homophobic Nazi… now please, go away before I stick a boot in your arse…” Holly “C’mon Fearne… leave him… he just doesn’t understand us TV types…” Fearne “I presented Live Earth y’know?”

Pray that this happens. [Mof Gimmers]

Cape Wrath feels the wrath of Channel 4 schedulers

After the series finale a couple of weeks ago I was definitely in two minds about Cape Wrath. Was it a wolf in sheep’s clothing or was it just a dog in the manger seen in those blurry few seconds between waking and putting your glasses on? I’d stuck with it for its entire run, something most people can’t say, but in the end was it worth it?

Before we’ve hardly had chance to work out the answers to these admittedly rather rhetorical questions, the decision has been made for us. Channel 4 have dumped it. By part four the viewing figures had slumped to an alarming 4.9% audience share (less than a million). Presumably the figures for the final three episodes are either too embarrassing to reveal or too tiny to register. “Cape Wrath was a high concept, experimental drama which attracted a fantastic cast,” say Channel 4. Unfortunately it didn’t attract such a fantastic audience. They still have a “strong commitment to drama series” though, apparently. Which sadly isn’t the same thing as having a commitment to strong drama series. [via Waveguide]

BBC 3 and BBC4 come under attack from corporation

BBC3 and BBC4 have come under increasing attack from inside the corporation, with claims that the channel should be axed in an attempt to save £2bn by 2013. Could the BBC do more to save pennies without lynching the digital channels?

Today veteran John Humphrys and Panorama reporter John Sweeney suggested it should be closed down. Humphrys said it was “utterly, utterly ludicrous” that all parts of the BBC were suffering equally in the budget cutbacks. “If continuing to fund channels like BBC3 and BBC4 means that the price to pay is that there must be damaging cuts to core programmes, then I don’t believe that that is a price worth paying.”

However, defending the channel, Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn (not exactly known for his love of the BBC) said that BBC4 “embodies the best of the corporation’s public service traditions”. Littlejohn is not so keen on BBC3 though, and “given the choice I’d get rid of BBC1 and Radio 1 too”. Also standing up for the digital channel was Brian Groom of The Financial Times saying “The save BBC4 campaign starts here! Although it may be watched by – in Mr Humphrys’ words – ‘six men and a dog’ (I think I know the other five, but not the dog) it seems to me to come a lot closer to Lord Reith’s mission to inform, educate and entertain than many other parts of the BBC’s output. I am not saying that Today or any part of news and current affairs should face cuts, but the BBC’s choices will be difficult. Once the genie of viewer choice is out of the bottle, it is hard to put it back again.”

Of course, this is a debate that has no intention of going away anytime soon. In my mind, there are many ways of saving the BBC money without axing two whole channels. How about getting rid of Jonathon Ross’ wages for a start? Or maybe getting rid of News 24? Or how about the directors at the top taking a slight dip in wages?

“I am appalled that senior figures within the BBC are apparently suggesting the closure of BBC3 and BBC4 as an alternative to cost-cutting within the BBC’s news services,” writes Alan Hewitt in a letter to today’s Times. “Much of what allows the BBC to claim to be a public service broadcaster has already been relegated to its digital only channels. If these were switched off the licence fee would become indefensible. Once the BBC had to compete in the marketplace for its income, ruthless cost-cutting would inevitably ensure. Would BBC News 24 survive commercialisation? After all, the ITV News Channel didn’t survive in the marketplace.”

The campaign to save BBC4 has now spread to Facebook. “… join the facebook petition!”

It seems that this news is going to get people coming out of the woodwork to defend the channel, but will need someone a little more famous to get the ball rolling. Let us help kick start the saving of a truly wonderful and inventive channel. What are your views? As ever, TVScoopers thoughts are more than welcomed! [Mof Gimmers]

[via Guardian]

Adverts featuring flying/ falling objects – why?

Adverts are a necessary evil of TV programming – but why is that they all seem to be obsessed with the same thing at the moment? Namely flying objects in the sky. Were all the same advertising execs at the same conference, are they all copying each other or have they just run out of ideas? Maybe falling/flying objects are the holy grail of commercials, mysteriously brainwashing us into buying their products and there’ll all be doing it. An advert for chewing gum – show it falling from the sky. An advert for motor oil – show it felling from the sky. Whatever the logic behind the phenomenon, it is everywhere and cannot be denied.

What am I talking about? Turn on any channel and you’ll see. Okay not the BBC stations as they don’t need commercials. Or many of the smaller digital channels as they’re full of insurance, price comparison site and accident claims companies. Go to Channel 4, ITV or Five and I guarantee that in the next hour of programming you will be subjected to an advert with things flying through the sky. Got an hour to spare? Try it.

It’s a particular favourite for mobile phone companies with the Vodafone one featuring clock parts falling from the heavens like rain.

While the O2 one prefers bubbles.

The RAF has used tools and other such objects speeding through the sky as part of their recruitment drive.

Tabloid rag The Sun have WAG-like bimbos dropping footballs from helicopters.

Motor giants Ford have their Mondeo cars being lifted into the air by balloons.

And they’re not alone. Surf’s Small and Mighty detergent covers a cityscape in pretty, exotic flowers while the Powergen ‘Go Green’ commercial (pictured above) is equally fond of getting back to nature, with sycamore leaves enveloping the world.

I’m sure these are just a few of the many out there and the more you think on it, the more falling objects adverts I’m sure you’ll think of. So which ones have I missed? Do you like them or do you find them repetitive and unoriginal? And why do you think we’re being bombarded with the same kind of commercial over and over again? Leave a comment and let us know.

TV Review: Weeds, Sky One, Sunday 2 September, 11.30pm

Dear Sky One – what are you playing at with your scheduling of Weeds? Hidden away at 11.30pm on a Sunday night, are you ashamed of it? If so, don’t be. Weeds is smartly written, carefully nuanced comedy/ drama of the highest calibre and deserves a much wider audience than students, insomniacs and shift-workers.

Last night’s double-bill (another mystery of programming) saw the votes being cast in the local elections. Would established Councilman Doug continue to sit pretty or would Celia Hodes achieve the authority she craves? The result came down to a paltry three votes – but in whose favour?

Upset that her campaign for election was faring poorly, Celia was heartened by the sight of the ballot paper. Surprisingly absent from the list of candidates was Doug. Apparently in his haste on having been fired from his job, Dean forgot to nominate Doug’s name and so he was ineligible for the vote, earning Dean Doug’s serious contempt. This administerial oversight granted victory to Celia and she soon began to enjoy her power.

With her first point of action, Celia vowed to clean up the town of Agrestic and make drugs a thing of the past by installing surveillance cameras all over town to keep an eye on the street drug-dealers. Entering Shane and her own daughter Isabelle’s school, she appealed to the youngsters to avoid drugs and told them of her plans. This talk failed miserably, with Shane objecting to the invasion of privacy implicit in Celia’s grand master-plan. He then went on to reveal how he had witnessed her drunkenness at his house, how he considered drink to be a type of drug and soon the children were chanting “you do drugs” at the bemused and humiliated Councilwoman.

Nancy and her MILF (Mother I’d Like to F**k) pot, as so christened by new customer, rapper Snoop Dogg in a guest spot, were doing excellent business. This was much in contrast to Heylia who found all her customers asking for this new brand which she did not supply. Finding out from U-Turn where this new weed originated from, she grew enraged. Upset with her nephew Conrad and Nancy for growing against her advice, she vowed to sever all personal ties with both of them though business forced her to buy some of their popular product. Conrad was distressed by the bruising encounter but Nancy remained optimistic that Heylia would come to change her mind.

This fall-out might prove unimportant in light of Martin’s news: that the DEA were going to move in on Heylia. Nancy tried to talk her husband out of such action, but he remained adamant that he had to show his superiors some results and considering he wouldn’t bust her, he would have to target someone else, namely Heylia.

Elsewhere, Andy dropped out of rabbinical school, losing girlfriend Yael in the process. Sadly that was not the only thing Andy lost, when a stray dog taken in by Doug chewed off two of his toes. Ouch!

TV Review: My Penis And Everyone Else’s, BBC Three, Monday 3 September, 9pm

It’s perhaps not the most subtle approach to breaking down one of the last remaining taboos of male culture (sorry for the obvious oxymoron) – to wander up and down the streets of London with “I want to talk about penises” on your back – and neither was it the most productive, but you have to give Lawrence Barraclough full marks for trying. The celebrated owner of a shorter-than-average penis (as revealed when he had a plaster cast of it made during his last dick-related documentary My Penis And I) will clearly stop at nothing to persuade men to talk about that most sensitive of subjects – their tackle.

So did Barraclough succeed? Why is penis size such a universally avoided subject whenever more than one man is gathered together pretty much anywhere you can think of? And is this review just an excuse for me to type the word ‘penis’ as many times as possible?

If the size of their penis is such a big deal for so many men, why do so few of us ever talk to each other about it?

You have to admire Lawrence Barraclough’s sheer nerve for even asking the question. I imagine, like me, most blokes watching this programme felt distinctly uncomfortable even hearing the question, even before thinking about what the answer might be. I mean, it’s just not done, is it? As one chap observed later in the film, you learn at an early age when standing at the urinal that you simply do not look.

Blokes are competitive, explained the tame psychologist, whereas women are co-operative. I think the point he was trying to make was that if it was women who were hung up about part of their bodies, they would all share and sympathise, tut and coo and say it really didn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts. Whereas with blokes, the very fact that you’re even thinking about talking about it is an admission that you might (only might, you understand) have a small one, and thus you would be opening yourself up to competitive peer ridicule. “It’s HOW big??”

Barraclough chose some strange places to attempt to talk about dicks. First stop was Camden Market, first thing in the morning as the produce was being brought in. “Ey up lads, fancy a bit of a natter about todgers?” If it hadn’t been for the presence of the film crew, this opening gambit would more than likely have been enough to get him a black eye at the least. Instead the traders responded with good humour, albeit accompanied by nervous tics of various sorts. “Nah, fanks,” answered one wag, “if ya want to talk abaht wimmin that’s different, but penises? Nah, I’d feel a bit of a prick.” One couldn’t help thinking perhaps he’d got hold of the wrong end of the…

His next try was the sandwich boards as seen above. Not surprisingly he cut a swathe a mile wide through the crowded streets. “There was a huge crowd here a minute ago,” bemoaned a lonely Barraclough, whose sole interview came from a beat copper no doubt intent on ensuring that there was no funny business going on. It’s not every day you see someone on your beat walking up and down with “PENISES” strapped to their back. And no truncheon jokes, plskthx.

So what is it about penises that makes the average man so hung up? Lawrence turned to the porn industry for an explanation. This is, after all, where most men get their only glimpses of other men’s willies. No wonder then that 85% of us feel inadequate. Our resident doctor explained, in case we hadn’t already worked it out, that porn actors are hardly a representative sample of the male populace, hand picked as they are for their… umm… acting ability.

An attempt to help us all feel more at home with John Thomas by asking four attractive young ladies to model their perfect penis in clay backfired somewhat when they all produced something at least 7″ long and with a girth to match. Even Kinsey’s discredited survey (bless him – he naively let the blokes measure their own erections) didn’t reach these dimensions. He came up with an average of 6.2″ whereas a more realistic later survey where the measurements were taken by trained nurses (settle down at the back there) calculated the average to be closer to 5.9″ Pointing out this discrepancy to the girls, Lawrence was rewarded with an admonition that he HAD asked them to model their PERFECT penis. Of course, they said, something smaller would be okayyyyyyy.

Our intrepid truthseeker next took himself off to Speaker’s Corner to berate the masses on the question of penis size. You can watch a clip of his exploits here. He gathered quite a crowd, but one whose members backed off with sideways glances (“who, me?”) and nervous titters when he singled them out to ask them to reveal how big theirs was. Only one man in the whole crowd was prepared to admit that he too had a small one and had presumably suffered from a surfeit of expectation from those who believe the myth that black guys are better off in the packet department.

As if to prove that there’s no end to the list of places where men WILL NOT TALK ABOUT their penises, Barraclough visited a barber’s shop in Clapham, wherein the customers and staff alike were unanimous in their view that such talk was not a suitable man t’ing.

Shortie Barraclough was at pains to explain that he’d long ago given up the idea of surgery to improve his standing, but he knew a man who had made the opposite decision in (where else?) California. So off he set to hold the guy’s hand through his ordeal. This poor guy revealed how his life had been blighted by rejection, cheating partners, low self-esteem and all because of his small todger. Our man in California found this particularly hard to believe especially when he found out the guy had seven inches. His girlfriend of two months seemed keen on the op though and the nurses in the operating theatre, peering expertly at his flaccid, shaved, prepped penis nodded sagely and agreed it was “a little on the small side.”

So what did his phalloplasty consist of? Look away now if you’re squeamish: sections of fat were removed from his buttocks and inserted under the skin of his penis, which had to be cut and peeled back first. As Barraclough said to camera afterwards: “I sat there watching him have bits of his arse stuffed into his penis and I thought…’why’?” Didn’t we all, mate? Didn’t we all?

Back in Blighty, Barraclough was keen to interview The British Equivalent – the man who, starting with a 1″ penis, had returned no less than three times to have an extension and later “revisions.” Was he happy with the result? Err, no. Not really. And Barraclough suspected that Mr. California, who was still in pain three weeks after the operation, would end up feeling pretty much the same.

Still searching for a way to get men to talk about their most private subject, Barraclough hit upon the photo opportunity. He’d proved earlier that anonymity was a way to break the ice, so he commissioned a website called Snap Your Chap, where blokes could send digital pictures of their own penises anonymously. He then arranged a basement gallery where around a hundred pictures would be displayed, and advertised the “exhibition” around the borough. Although the event got off to a slow start, eventually the barriers came down, to the extent that not only were the men talking about how they compared with the photos, but some of them were even prepared to enter “the tent” armed with a Polaroid camera and offer up their “artwork” to hang alongside the others.

Exactly what this exercise added to the sum of human knowledge remains unclear. But I guess if the show has made one bloke feel happier with himself than he did before, it was an hour well spent. Only one question remains: exactly what do you do with 100 mounted photos of dicks?

TV Review: Dexter, FX, Sunday 2 September, 10pm

Why oh why is The Sopranos scheduled at the same time as Dexter? Surely the shows enjoy the same audience (both having questionable criminals as the lead characters, violent themes, etc.) and the stations are just splitting these numbers by competing with each other? The Sky magazine even suggests that if you enjoy The Sopranos that you should ‘check out’ Dexter. Oh, I have good people at Sky magazine and the more I see, the more I love it. Michael C. Hall is fantastic in the title role and now that we know the identity of the Ice Truck Killer, things are really getting interesting.

In last night’s episode, Dexter found that he had been left a house in the will of Joe Driscoll, a man claiming to be his biological father. Dexter was dubious at the news as foster father Harry had assured him as an inquisitive youngster that his real father had died long ago. But as he was the named beneficiary, he made plans to go and pack up the dead man’s house and perhaps find out a little bit more about how he had come to inherit it.

Keen to keep their relationship moving forwards after having finally consummated it last week, girlfriend Rita invited herself along for the trip. She wasn’t the only one keen to tag along as Debra and new boyfriend Rudy also turned up. Debra desperately wanted Dexter to meet the new man in her life and sod the bizarre circumstances – she was going to make the introductions happen.

The four of them set about packing up Joe’s house with everyone but Dexter seeming to enjoy the bonding experience. Dexter however was undergoing an unexpectedly unsettling time. On visiting the morgue to view Joe’s body, he was surprised to see a distinctive tattoo on the deceased’s arm that he remembered from his youth. Could this man have been his real father?

Dexter surreptitiously collected a sample of Joe’s blood and sent this off with some of his own for a DNA test. When the results were in, Dexter’s ears were not the first to hear the news. Debra had mistakenly intervened and was not only upset that her brother had doubted the honesty of their father’s words, but that he was right to: the DNA test was a match. Joe Driscoll was Dexter’s biological father.

Dexter insisted that this knowledge would change nothing and gradually his and Debra’s relationship settled down. Such emotional conditions would have been quite awkward between any recent acquaintances, but Dexter and Rudy’s association is very far from normal. Debra’s new man said all the right things and appeared on the surface to be the ideal boyfriend but his shadier behaviour was almost revealed.

Dexter doubted that his father died of natural causes, and though this assertion upset the dead man’s doctor, it was a suspicion that nagged at him. His reservations were further heightened when Joe’s elderly neighbour confirmed that a cable repair man had recently visited Joe. Could this mystery man have killed his father? Dexter thought so.

Succumbing to his curiosity, Dexter broke into the morgue in a bid to scour the corpse for any evidence of wrong-doing, but was thwarted by the fact that Joe had been cremated. Stealing his ashes, Dexter out ran a heavy security guard to freedom. Rudy picked him up in his car, claiming to have chased after him to stop him doing anything foolish and the two of them scattered Joe’s ashes.

Back at Joe’s house, Rita had found some documents of his hidden in the wardrobe. Among the papers was a thank you card made by a child. The action switched to a flashback and we saw that the card was made by non other than Dexter himself. Wanting to show his thanks to the blood donor who had saved his life after an accident, he had made the card and a begrudging Harry had promised to personally hand it to the generous donor. As he mentally joined the dots, Dexter began to understand Harry’s levels of deception. Would this rude awakening shake his faith in his one and only role model?

With the house finally packed up, the two couples prepared to hit the road. As Rudy buckled up the elderly neighbour identified him as the cable repair man that Dexter believed to have killed his father. She shouted hysterically, waving her arms as she approached the two cars. Rudy sped off before Debra could notice, while Dexter noticed but ignored the old woman. If only he had heard what she had to say – talk about a close shave!

Rita’s husband Paul had not responded well to her absence over the weekend and upon her return forced an aggressive entrance to her house. At one point he forced his wife to the bed and I feared that all of Rita’s hard work in achieving independence and confidence was about to be crudely shattered. I should have had more faith. The single mother battered Paul with a hidden baseball bat and gathering her children made a speedy run for it.

Elsewhere, Doakes and Angel were involved in a dubious scuffle that ended with Doakes killing a man. Doakes claimed that the man was armed, ran from police and started shooting at him but being slow to the scene, Angel was doubtful that Doakes was relaying the truth. Conflicted, Angel revealed his predicament to Internal Affairs, hoping that this would force the facts into the open.

Privately Doakes confided to Laguerta the identity of the victim, as someone from his past, guilty of the most heinous crimes. Laguerta agreed to hush up the internal investigation and soon it was Angel, labelled a rat that was in trouble with his colleagues.

TV Review: Attenborough Explores: Our Fragile World, Sunday September 2nd, UKTV Documentary, 8pm

We all know Sir David Attenborough is a broadcasting legend – a figure of huge authority yet a man with such a likeable, softly-spoken personality – so any new programme he lends his name to really does deserve to be watched. During his five decades of broadcasting activity this man has been at the forefront of nature television, becoming a global icon and pushing back the boundaries of what makes a good documentary with each series he features in.

Of course, he’s now in his Eighties, and yet he’s still one of the must-see people on the box. UKTV Documentary fully recognises this and, allied to the hottest theme on telly these days (climate change), it has blown what surely is its annual budget on this one-off surefire ratings hit – Sir David travelling the world looking at how climate change is affecting natural habitat and wildlife. Unsurprisingly, it’s more inspirational TV to add to Attenborough’s already-huge must-see TV canon.

The one-off starts with Sir Dave giving us a quick lesson on how the world’s climate is changing (thanks to a few facts and figures), and what exactly consitutes a green house gas (no, not a gardener tending to his tomatoes, blowing a gust thanks to one too many Beef and Tomato Pot Noodles).

Then we’re off on a whirlwind tour of the world to meet a veritable Noah’s Ark-full of animals as they adjust to ever-changing climates, which in turn affect their habitat.

So we see that the snow in the Cairngorms isn’t quite as thick as it was, and this is having an effect on the birds who fly down from the Arctic for some nice, cold weather.

Then we see some polar bears (always very, very cool) and find that the rapidly-melting ice caps are having a dramatic impact on on their hunting habits. With ice plains now drifting farther and farther away from the main caps, it’s tougher for the bears to find food. In some quarters, these astonishing creatures are reckoned to be on their last legs if things don’t improve.

Then we meet this cute little furry thing in North America called a pyker (or is it a piker?). It’s like a rabbit without the pointy ears and is very cool indeed. Then we see hedgehogs, badgers, tits (quiet down at the back please), dolphins, caribou, sea snails, this huge hummingbird moth thing… you name it, any animal that is featured in this programme has had its natural habitat altered thanks to climate change – whether it be hibernation, migration or feeding. And the warmer climes in the UK mean that new species are popping up all the time, as well as established animals starting to find things tough to cope with.

It’s all good stuff. Really good stuff. Most recent Attenborough series on the BBC have had millions thrown at them and all look terrific and, while this hasn’t quite the budget as a Life On Earth etc, it still has loads more nature porn on show than your average multichannel documentary.

My only (very slight) criticism is that there could well have been a series made from this. At the end of the hour you feel a bit breathless – leaping as you do from continent to continent, from mountain to ocean, and from tundra to forest. But again the curse of multichannel TV and its comparitive budgets come into play – for UKTV Documentary to have this programme at all is quite a fine achievement.

Apart from the stuff you learn about climate change and the actual animals themselves, the thing I liked most about this show was Sir Dave himself. He’s getting old yes, but his gentle authority is still intact and he remains one of the most watchable presenters – of any genre – on the box.

And the real boon of this show is that there are scenes that show Attenborough how you remember him – crouched in the undergrowth a metre or so away from a badger or a pyker, grinning from ear-to-ear and whispering his trademark whisper. No, there are no playful grapples with apes, but this is how I remember Attenborough, and a sight that has been so rare of late thanks to his advancing age – Sir Dave gettig in amongst it.

Great stuff, and a feather in UKTV Documentary’s cap.

TV Review: Dancing With the Stars, BBC1, Sunday 2 September, 4pm

Much like Strictly Come Dancing, I find myself looking forward to Dancing With the Stars for most of the week (no, I haven’t got a life, you’re right). This week the remaining couples each had to perform two dances – one Ballroom, one Latin – so the pressure was on.

With Heather Mills knocked out in last week episode (which I didn’t see until very late on thanks to the BBC moving it from Sunday to Monday and me thinking they hadn’t shown it at all), Laila Ali is the only woman left in the competition and she was out first with the Quickstep. She looked amazing, as always, made it look effortless and scored 29.

John Ratzenberger was in the bottom two last week and Judge Len Goodman hurt his feelings by describing his as a “ruptured duck”. This week, his first dance was the Foxtrot and it was great. To be fair, he didn’t actually do much – his amazing partner Edyta mainly danced around him – but what he did do looked good.

Apolo Anton Ohno’s first dance was also the Foxtrot and it was a lovely routine. He also makes it look effortless and his partner Julianne’s choreography is always good value. I loved it. Len said it had no sophistication, which I (and Bruno Tonioni) disagreed with. They’re such a cute couple – they remind me of Louisa Lytton and Vincent Simone in the last season of Strictly – they seem to genuinely get on well and it comes across in their dancing.

“My mom always said if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say it,” said Ian Ziering. “Obviously, the judges have never heard that.” But – duh – what on earth is the point of the judges if they only give you positive feedback? It drives me mad when the amateurs criticise the professionals. Their Tango was … weird. His posture looked bad, they’d added a move that was obviously meant to be “fun” but I thought it was “stupid” and Ian didn’t look very comfortable. The judges gave him three 9s though, so perhaps I’m wrong (although that’s never happened before…).

Billy Ray Cyrus’s Jive last week was a total abomination, but he’s so sweet, he gets away with it. This week he insisted that his partner Karina dance alone at the beginning of the waltz to “showcase” her talent. It wasn’t long and, when he joined in, he looked about as comfortable as he’s ever looked. He’s definitely growing in confidence, but there didn’t seem to be an awful lot of waltzing in there. In fact it was over almost as soon as it began. The judges agreed with me that there wasn’t enough content (“There was only on recognisable step,” said Len, “and it was a Samba step so I don’t know what it was doing in there.”) and gave him a very low score: 17.

Last week Joey Fatone was variously described as “a swashbuckling, insane, randy, fighting cockerel”. I love him and I’m obviously not alone since there was a bunch of girls in the audience screaming for him. His Foxtrot – to a swing version of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel – was very Old Hollywood and I loved it. He’s such a good dancer and his partner devises such fun routines. Len thought it had too much “razzle-dazzle”, the fool. They got a 29.

For the Latin, Laila was back with a totally fabulous Samba. Loved it, loved it, loved it. “Best dance so far,” said Len. They got a well-deserved perfect score.

Edyta said that her and John Ratzenberger’s Rumba was going to be difficult because of the age difference, with the Rumba being such a bedroom dance. There was no chemistry, he looked uncomfortable, and it was much more about Edyta than John, but the judges were quite encouraging.

Apolo’s next dance was the Mambo and, oh my goodness, was it ever fast. It was transfixing. Len said he couldn’t call it great – his standards are very high for the better dancers and quite low for the weaker dancers. Bruno pointed out that Anton looks like he’s been dancing all his life and it’s true that he looks like a professional. He’s amazing.

Ian and Cheryl also danced the Mambo. It was good and he looked, for once, like he was having fun, but I thought the routine was a bit boring and he also looked a bit heavy-footed, but, again, the judges liked it so what do I know?

Billy Ray’s Samba was actually probably his best dance, but it was also a cynical ploy for votes – they danced to Living In America, he wore a Stars & Stripes belt buckle and there was a billowing flag on the screens at the back. Oh and Karina wore very little.

Last up was Joey with a Jive. The moves were really impressive – man, that guy can high-kick! – but it was a bit too silly for me. Too camp … and I like camp. Bruno said it was a “smashing showcase of [his] talent” and they got yet another perfect score.

The final tally had Joey and Laila tied at the top and Billy Ray at the bottom. Billy Ray and John were in the bottom two and when John’s name was called Billy Ray looked absolutely gutted. It was fair, but Billy Ray has to go next week.

Dancing With the Stars, BBC1, Sunday 9 September, 4.15pm

Dancing With the Stars Week 1 | Dancing With the Stars Week 3 | Dancing With the Stars Week 4 | Dancing With the Stars Week 5 Who’s who on Dancing With the Stars | Who’s who on Dancing With the Stars Part 2

Trailer Trash: Desperate Housewives

I have only just finished smirking at the ludicrous promotional picture for season four of Desperate Housewives when along comes a new trailer to wipe that wry smile off my face. Now I am no longer faintly mocking but am enjoying a seriously energetic rib-tickling. In this new trailer from American network ABC, the five leading ladies from Wisteria Lane pout and vamp it up to a Jennifer Lopez soundtrack.

The housewives seem to have substituted clothes for make-up, with Teri Hatcher the main culprit. Why the absence of clothing ladies? Is DH just too damned hot for such frivolities? DH seems to become more and more like the shoulder-padded soaps of the 80’s with all the lip-gloss and smudgy camerawork, still I suppose it takes Nicollette Sheridan back to her roots. If ever I’m feeling a little gloomy, the clip will be sure to lift my spirits.

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