One of the best adverts during the footie festival is the Nike advert featuring Liverpool and Spain goal-machine Torres. Liverpool goes all Spanish with The Cavern becoming The Caverna and the yellow traffic lights turn to red and yellow and kids speak Spanish in a fun routine. Great ad, great sense of humour.
With wall to wall sport on television these days, you have to pick your pleasures where you can. So C4 looked attractive with How TV Changed Britain. Thinking it might be light and loony like Big Brother with its pretend couples and staged marriages, but no, these guys thought Man Alive was a milestone as was The Family (a fly-on-the-wall story of an ordinary family). But there was no updates as to what these people thought now. Then there was Esther Rantzen and That’s Life. Some head quoted Noel Coward – My dear boy, television isn’t for watching but for appearing on. Better that jade Goody, who would give you the gobby opinion that she was more important than Cilla Black. Elsewhere Alexei Sayle said – You’ve got to remember that a lot of people who write in to newspapers or call phone-in radio shows are actually nutters. Ouch.
Then you catch a newsclip of Boyzone, back For Good as a group, No Matter What. Wouldn’t it be better When You Say Nothing At All, Double Ouch.
Sex For Sale
TV3 gave a good alternative to a boring France v Romania game with Undercover Ireland : The Sex Trade and while it was titillating on Escort services and a Waterford client as well as lots of softly softly porno images it was a lot short on naming the Mister or Missus Bigs who acted as Pimps and Site managers. Some concealed camera shots were interesting but otherwise it was shock-horror, talking heads, deploring noises and lacked the punch of the recent Paul Williams series.
OK, the Dutch slotted three goals against Italy but C4 went all docudrama about the author or translator of Indian sex manual The Kama Sutra, about the Victorian life of British officer-type Sir Richard Burton, who went native to shock the morals of the time. Rupert Everett narrated straight to camera and he was witty and jocular and not in any way school-teacherish. Even a supposed pilgrimage to forbidden Mecca turned out to be a journey on jolly camels and some dangerous talk around a campfire about the risks etc. Still, the half-men half-women attracted more attention than the rich nice-boys of Euro-footie.
Pretty soon FAT is going to be one of those words that you’ll have to think about before you use it. BBC2 had that problem with their new fashion guru, Mary Portas, who is replacing the defected Trinny And Suzanna who have gone nude recently. Portas is the P.C. start of Mary Queen Of Shops, as she advises clothes shop owners about selling and customers. The opener was a right lulu, or a lula a la Bertie-speak, who runs a posh shop for fuller-figure women but she hates fat and calls her customers, bullets, bouncy castles and no-hopers. How could she sell to people she dislikes, but Portas doesn’t mince her metaphors and she told the owner the hard facts. Portas has a sharp face like an EastEnders screwball.
As Greece was losing to Sweden, TV3 were cranking up the alternative scoring with a double-header of double entendre. Three In A Bed was a dodgy look at polyamorous couples or threesomes and in one case a husband, his wife and two girl-friends in the same watershed. This was followed by a cheap soft-porn Australian series Satisfaction, about sex workers in a brothel. Much more action, more exposure, more diving, more body contact and better scoring all around. Time to issue at least a yellow card for bad taste.
The Fixer: ITV are to commission a second series of this show. Must be because it features ex-EastEnders star Tamsin Outhwaithe in a key role.
Britain Got Talent Live: Following the splendid ratings for a tv variety show, the live show began an 18 date tour of Britain. A sell-out at average prices of STG£32. Rival choristers Andrew Johnston and Faryl Smith duet on Walking In The Air and break-dancing winner George Sampson has screaming hoardes of sub-teen fans at these venues. Who believe theatres would fill for a dancing dog, kids doing cartwheels and a Muslim and Sikh doing a Michael Jackson impersonation.
Sex And The City: co-star Kim Cattrall is to feature and executive produce the US version of BBC sort of comedy Sensitive Skin. This off-beat sex and talk show starred Joanna Lumley as the wife and mother who overlooks her wrinkles and rediscovered her sexuality. Hugo Blick who wrote the original will work with two former The Sopranos writers to give it an American feel.