The Office

Saturday, December 27, 2003 by · Comments Off 

I’m a bit wary of commenting on The Office, as it seems to be one of those programmes where only people who liked it from day one feel they are entitled to critique it. Read more

World Idol

Thursday, December 25, 2003 by · Comments Off 

For many years, ITV has – in the shows of Chris Tarrant, Clive James and the rest – gained much mileage from the mocking of foreign television. Read more

The Million Pound Property Experiment

Tuesday, December 23, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Making TV programmes is a bit like property developing. You spot an emerging trend, jump in to exploit it, and by the time your plans come to fruition you find everyone else is at it, the market’s overcrowded and the value of your stock is on the slide. Read more

The Christmas Show

Friday, December 5, 2003 by · Comments Off 

To paraphrase Michael Grade, there’s little better than the smell of a TV schedule becoming saturated with the spirit of Christmas. Read more

Weir’s Way

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 by · Comments Off 

You’re stuck on a night-shift and your only companion is a two inch television monitor. Strangely enough, the lure of G-String Divas on five is minimal, as is a signed repeat of A Life of Grime. Read more


Monday, December 1, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Is EastEnders on the cusp of a return to greatness or riding on the crest of a wave of mediocrity? Make your own mind up. However, what cannot be denied is that the writers have, at the present time, a golden opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of the aforementioned mediocrity. Read more

All New Top of the Pops

Friday, November 28, 2003 by · Comments Off 

You wouldn’t get BBC News deciding not to cover a train crash because they’d had too many of those stories recently. And Match of the Day would never decide that all this football was getting boring, so they’d put a film on instead of the Cup Final. Read more

French Leave

Thursday, November 20, 2003 by · Comments Off 

And with that, they were gone. The departure of the Burton Race family from our screens will leave a poignant gap in the schedules. Derided by the critics, this show has managed to turn their petty words into straw with contemptuous ease. Read more

Room 101

Monday, November 17, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Just like pop, Room 101 has finally managed to eat itself. For too long, the show has teetered on the brink of mediocrity, threatening to sink forever into that particular abyss. Read more

Robot Wars

Sunday, November 9, 2003 by · Comments Off 

“They tried to stop us!” yells Craig Charles as he walks out onto his balcony. “They tried to stop the destruction!” Read more

Home and Away

Friday, November 7, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Here’s a blast from the past for all you Summer Bay fanatics. The last time I watched this show that scheming bitch (but utter fox) Alison Paterson was at the centre of all things mean and moody. Roo and Bobby were at loggerheads and Donald Fisher was still to attain the moniker of Flathead. Read more

Days that Shook the World

Tuesday, November 4, 2003 by · Comments Off 

It’s the opening sentence in the commentary and already we’re immediately historically inaccurate. And as each minute passes, the inaccuracies rain down with astonishing rapidity. Whilst a degree of objectivity is only to be expected, outright falsehoods and blatant misreading of the truth are not. Read more


Monday, November 3, 2003 by · Comments Off 

It’s a pity Channel 4 seem to have forgotten that the best way to get shot of a listless, ageing programme is to dispatch it, cleanly and coldly, with one swift blow. Read more


Tuesday, October 28, 2003 by · Comments Off 

When I last reviewed this august institution, my negative – though, as I saw it, constructive – criticisms resulted in me receiving a barrage of hate mail from irate acolytes of this show. Read more

The Big Read

Friday, October 24, 2003 by · Comments Off 

With predictable bitchiness, I noted that a columnist in my local rag, The Herald, opined that he “hated the public’s opinion in these programmes”. Clearly, our opinion counts for nothing. Read more

BBC News Special: Concorde – The Final Flight

Friday, October 24, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Growing up, virtually the only time our street would come out from behind its front doors and mingle together was when Concorde flew past. Living reasonably close to that gateway to the continent, East Midlands Airport, this tended to happen several times a year. Read more

The Politics Show

Sunday, October 19, 2003 by · Comments Off 

It’s been nine months since Jeremy Vine inherited the Sunday lunchtime small screen political joust from John Humphrys. Read more

Time Shift: The Kneale Tapes

Wednesday, October 15, 2003 by · Comments Off 

One of the greatest feats in documentary-making is to track down a seemingly unknown, perhaps anonymous member of the public from a piece of archive footage and show them as they are today. Read more

When Michael Portillo Became a Single Mum

Wednesday, October 15, 2003 by · Comments Off 

Whereas not so long ago it was the docusoap that reigned supreme in the television schedules, now it seems to be a new sub-genre, featuring people who find themselves in an environment they are unaccustomed to. Read more

Election ’74

Friday, October 3, 2003 by · Comments Off 

More repeats on digital TV, then. But BBC Parliament’s real-time replays of General Election results coverage have been absolutely inspired programming. Read more

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