Saturday, January 2, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

As 2009 wraps up, and the “best of the noughties” appraisals get under way, what, if anything, from the decade’s final 12 months will be brought into focus?  Incredibly it seems, 2009 was the year of Simon Cowell, who having been involved in talent shows for most of the last 10 years, still has something left to keep him at the top of the TV hierarchy.  Will his luck run out in 2010, or is Cowell’s renewed dominance merely a sign that 2009 has been a year in which very little has truly emerged on the small screen to create the kind of impact his shows muster? Read more

The Y Factor

Sunday, September 20, 2009 by · 8 Comments 

What’s Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Culture Secretary, discussing here? Read more

The ESPN Doctors

Sunday, August 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Two years ago, I wrote here about the launch of Setanta Sports. Read more

The Saturday Night Artifice

Friday, June 19, 2009 by · 10 Comments 

What boring Saturday night telly we’ve got at the moment. Read more

Treble Trigger

Monday, May 25, 2009 by · 6 Comments 

What have been the most memorable moments from this season’s FA Cup? Read more

Worst on 4

Monday, April 13, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

When’s the last time you watched comedy on Channel 4? Read more

Sponsored by TIKLAS Anoraks

Sunday, January 4, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

ITV4′s one good programme is back! Read more


Thursday, January 1, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

When TV pundits of the future look back at 2008 (a process that is sure to start in earnest in just over 12 months time as we begin the second decade of the 21st century), what will they make of the year just gone?  2008 brought us Rock Rivals, The One and Only, The Invisibles, Harley Street and The Duchess in Hull - five utterly forgettable series destined for curiosity status almost straight away.  Yet wasn’t this too the year of Lark Rise to Candleford and a resurgent The X-Factor?  Viewed in the context of the decade as a whole how will 2008 fare? Will it be seen as a significant year or 12 months that slipped through the cracks of television’s wider historical development? Read more

Ball of confusion

Sunday, December 14, 2008 by · 9 Comments 

Simon Cowell didn’t get all the column inches he was expecting this morning. Read more

Blue Peter: 50th Anniversary Book

Thursday, October 16, 2008 by · 4 Comments 

Blue Peter: 50th Anniversary

Blue Peter: 50th Anniversary Book

Most people will probably only recognise Richard Marson’s name from the newspaper reports on his departure as Blue Peter editor. Yet Marson has been known in media circles for far longer than that as something of a TV expert, spending many years writing for Doctor Who Magazine in the 80s and penning the authoritative book on the history of Upstairs Downstairs. Read more

Apparatus, method and conclusion

Sunday, August 10, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

When Chris Addison and Armando Iannucci were enjoying huge critical acclaim with The Thick Of It, you may not have thought their next move would be to remake The Goodies – but that’s what they’re doing with Lab Rats, which Addison is starring in and writing (with Carl Cooper) and Iannucci is overseeing as Executive Producer. Read more

The doctor is still in

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by · Comments Off 

As David Butler and Bob McKenzie used to constantly mention, predictions are a tough business. That’s certainly my excuse for my post a month ago where I suggested ITV1′s current repeat run of Doc Martin would be inelegantly pulled from the schedules before the end. Four weeks on, not only is it still there, but the ratings are actually going up! Read more

“Tigana! Tigana! Platini! Goal!”

Monday, July 7, 2008 by · Comments Off 

I’m never sure why any preview of the BBC and ITV’s coverage of a major football tournament involves pitting the two against each other, as we’ll have to watch both to see all the matches. Indeed, in Euro 2008, for the first time in a generation, no match will be screened on both channels, with ITV1 electing not to screen the final live. Read more

The doctor is in

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Two years ago, I blogged about ITV1 dropping a repeat run of Afterlife after one episode, and quoted Broadcast‘s William Phillips – one of the most perceptive writers about television there’s ever been – to say that drama repeats don’t work. Read more

All that glitters…

Thursday, June 12, 2008 by · Comments Off 

In the early days of satellite telly, when there was no way I could get my parents to agree to the expense and hassle of buying a dish, I used to longingly look at the UK Gold schedules in Radio Times, marvelling at the brilliantly obscure programmes that I longed to see. Read more

Getting jiggy with it

Friday, May 9, 2008 by · Comments Off 

What’s the most shocking thing about the ITV phone-in scandal? Surely it’s the fact that the problems on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway stem from the two worst items on the show. Read more


Monday, March 31, 2008 by · Comments Off 

We’re more than halfway through the latest series of Gavin and Stacey and so far, hardly anything has actually, you know, happened. But that’s all to the good, because I reckon this is the funniest, most warm-hearted sitcom on telly for ages. Read more

For the love of Ada

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 by · Comments Off 

I spent most of Good Friday morning sat on a train that firstly didn’t move for ages, and then followed a route seemingly planned by throwing darts at a map of Britain, but it wasn’t so bad, as it meant I got to read most of We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, the quirky, good-humoured and thoughtful book on what it’s like to be a football fan, written by the quirky, good-humoured and thoughtful Adrian Chiles. Read more

Cheryl weedy

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 by · Comments Off 

I mentioned ages ago how, while I still think Curb Your Enthusiasm is extremely funny, I can’t always enjoy it as much as I’d like because I get frustrated by the supporting characters behaving in totally illogical and unreasonable ways. I know the whole concept of the series is that we’re supposed to laugh at Larry’s ineptitude, but he’d such an appealing character that you often can’t help but root for him and take his side in arguments. Read more

Swales must go now

Friday, February 8, 2008 by · Comments Off 

As of this week, ITV4 are broadcasting 24 hours a day, and one of the programmes in the new afternoon schedules every Thursday is something called The Big Match Revisited. As a football anorak, this did of course sound very tempting, although I assumed we’d have to suffer some smart-arse narration from Ned Boulting or someone about bubble perms. Read more

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