The World at War

Saturday, December 28, 2002 by · Comments Off 

For a multitude of reasons, not always the most selfless, everyone from classroom teacher to high-ranking politician regularly asserts the importance of remembering pivotal moments in world history. Read more

Only Fools and Horses

Wednesday, December 25, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Just before Christmas, BBC1 screened a welcome tribute to Only Fools and Horses. Alongside the well-deserved praised heaped upon the show, John Sullivan made an interesting admission; that last year’s OFAH Christmas Special “If They Could See Us Now” hadn’t been well received critically. Read more

Treasure Hunt

Friday, December 20, 2002 by · Comments Off 

A short-lived pre-Christmas treat graced the schedules this week. The five-night revival of Treasure Hunt, dumped rather disingenuously in the 6pm slot ordinarily the preserve of The Simpsons, sneaked onto screens almost unnoticed – but has ended up a candidate for one of the best entertainment programmes of the year. Read more


Friday, December 20, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Generally in TV, if you’ve got a clunker of a show, the whole nation knows about it and are ready to mock accordingly. Even Fame Academy, while having seemingly everyone admitting by the final that it was their secret love, only managed figures for the final that equalled those of the much-mocked first series of Survivor. Read more

On the Record

Sunday, December 15, 2002 by · Comments Off 

14 years after first venturing forth onto Sunday lunchtime screens, On the Record bowed out with the kind of finesse and insight it had so sorely lacked for most of its existence. A relaxed John Humphrys cued in a dozen themed clips packages, neatly presented to represent each of the 12 segments of the On the Record Big Ben “clock”. Read more

Celebrity Big Brother

Friday, November 29, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In the end it wasn’t anything particularly remarkable or extraordinary that lifted Celebrity Big Brother out of the humdrum; it was a handful of unexpectedly human and subdued scenes that slipped through and caught you unawares. Read more

Celebrity Big Brother

Friday, November 22, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It’s unfortunate that the return of Celebrity Big Brother has coincided with the peak of this year’s obsession with unmasking personalities as “real people”. Read more

Jamie’s Kitchen

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Now in episode three of a five part series, Jamie’s Kitchen is turning out to be a very different animal than first expected. Read more

I’m Alan Partridge

Monday, November 11, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Timing, as Alan will tell you, is everything in show business. In what is being hailed as a “golden year” for situation comedy, the long awaited second series of I’m Alan Partridge forms the final part of a quartet of highly praised sitcoms that have graced our screens in the last few months. Read more

Have I Got News for You

Friday, November 8, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The high profile sacking of Angus Deayton from his role as host on Have I Got News For You has left the BBC with something of a problem. As with many shows, the topical news quiz worked because of a specific chemistry that had built up over many years between the presenters. Read more


Friday, November 1, 2002 by · Comments Off 

On the occasion of Channel 4′s 20th birthday, but with a moratorium on anything remotely resembling joviality apparently in place across the network, it was a relief that Richard Whiteley for one was able to wriggle free of the company hairshirt. Read more

Sahara with Michael Palin

Sunday, October 27, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Across a searing, unending plain of sand, an isolated camel train picks its way towards the shelter of a scrawny tree. The image of the procession, utterly alone and vulnerable, is immensely powerful. Read more

The Art Show

Saturday, October 26, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Poetry is one of the most difficult things to take seriously on TV. Whatever gimmicks or contexts or celebrities are wheeled out for effect, the recital of verse just doesn’t lend itself at all well to the small screen. Read more

Fame Academy

Friday, October 25, 2002 by · Comments Off 

There are some things you can always depend on in life. Night will follow day, Coronation Street will run forever, and every time BBCi asks users to send in their opinions on reality TV shows, dozens of people will immediately go “They are cheap and boring television, who cares about them?” Read more

Look Around You

Thursday, October 17, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The thing about parody is, you’ve got to get the details exactly right in order to pull off the conceit. If it rings untrue in any aspect, then it feels as though the reality is being twisted simply to serve the comedy. And that’s just cheating. Read more

Richard and Judy

Tuesday, October 1, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The status of “TV institution”only really registers its full impact when the subject takes unflinching pride in being mocked. Hence the reason why Parkinson, rather than revelling in his critics and thereby becoming a more curious and compelling character, has merely ended up a miserable old grouch. Read more

The Office

Monday, September 30, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It would be particularly interesting at this point in time, I think, to be able to flick through some back copies of Radio Times from 1979 and have a gander at what sort of comment the second series of Fawlty Towers was creating around itself. Read more

The League of Gentlemen

Thursday, September 26, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Personally, I blame my father and mother. Sins of the parents and all that. Read more

River City

Tuesday, September 24, 2002 by · Comments Off 

“Worse than Eldorado” was the proclamation in the office. Inevitably, the first episode of BBC Scotland’s new soap opera River City has been poorly received by the soap watching public (at least where I work). Read more

Live With… Chris Moyles

Monday, September 23, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It was somewhat discourteous, not to mention downright inaccurate, for Chris Moyles to welcome us to his new show with the announcement “It’s seven o’clock”, when it was already at least five minutes past. Read more

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