Norks at 10

Friday, November 24, 2006 by

Ironic, Media Monkey-style sight of the day: Neil “Ray Von” Fitzmaurice – the star of ITV1′s upcoming anti-cellphone polemic Mobile - texting away while waiting for journos to join his table at the post ITV1 Winter Season launch Q&A.

Yep, it’s winter, and time for a less ebullent Simon Shaps to take to the stage – with no applause – and lay out the ITV1 stall at the season press launch. With an agreeable degree of humility, he touched upon the fact the channel’s dramas have been much of a muchiness in recent years, and claimed that now things were going to change. And based on the trail that followed, he could be right, with a Jane Austen season, a political satire (Confessions of a Diary Secretary) and a sex comedy (Bonkers) in the works.

Actually, following on from that last title, if there’s a theme to be wrung from the upcoming slew of fiction on “the nation’s favourite button” – as promoted today – it’s norks. Bare norks. And lots of them. But, I dunno – ITV1 is the mums and dads’ channel, isn’t it? Is nudity really the right strategy?

Elsewhere, we’re in less innovative territory, with ITV1 pulling the old trick of repeating other people’s successes… in a slightly crap ITV own-brand form (cf: Dancing on Ice). Hence, Richard Madeley returns to the third channel to helm a show where people are invited to pitch to millionaires in the hope of receiving a cash injection. Shamelessly, one of monied mob is Duncan Bannatyne (he’s starting to exude a real sense of desperation for a made man, isn’t he?). Better yet is the involvement of Jeffrey Archer, who – in the clip we saw – delivered a direct-to-camera piece ,,, with a copy of his latest work coincidentally propped up in the background. 

So what else has been successful on the Beeb? How about celebs tracing their own family history? Yep, Deidre off ofCorrie will lead the guard in the first episode of You Don’t Know You’re Born

And then there’s a kooky Scot and an ex-chart topper, battling monsters and time rifts in central London. Yep, Primevalis nearly here, with Douglas Henshall and Hannah Spearritt from S Club 7. It’s unkind to say it – but I will anyway – the CGI really didn’t look all that good in the excerpt we saw. But, God bless a show that’s confident enough to give TV critics an easy line by unleashing a hoard of dodos in episode one…


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