As Cherie Blair and whoever the hell is in the final of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (Mon 9pm ITV1 – we don’t have a clue, as we really couldn’t give a broken biro who wins the bloody thing) would probably tell you, it isn’t easy being famous. Once you’ve been in the public eye, slipping back into obscurity must be dreadfully depressing. What do you say to interviewers? “My experience lazing around all day doing gak and giving revealing interviews to the papers in which I moan about how the press intrudes on my life has really prepared me for a job in HR”? Poor things. See what Cherie has to say about the whole shebang in Married To The Prime Minister (Mon 9pm C4), as, with the help of all the extant prime ministerial spouses, she goes behind the “most famous door in Britain” with a camera crew in tow. We won’t ask – although Private Eye certainly will – how much she’s getting paid for the privilege, and what brilliant publicity this is for her book about, um, being the Prime Minister’s wife; we’ll just switch over to More4 and watch the amazing Downfall (Mon 9pm More4), one of TV Troll’s favourite films of 2004. Then, to cheer ourselves up, we’ll switch over for the last bit of Nathan Barley (Mon 11.30pm C4) – we know everyone else hated it, but after spending hours with the DVDs we can report that it improves about a million percent on repeated viewings. There’s always the stuff on Cook’d And Bomb’d to keep us occupied, too.
In other news, Donal MacIntyre must be going for a secret Guinness world record for number of times he can get his stupid name stuck in front of the title of a crappy ‘investigation’ on Five. This time, he’s not getting eaten by sharks or beaten up by chavs, sadly, but rather checking out the conditions within one of London’s most notorious prisons, in Inside Wandsworth Prison: A MacIntyre Investigation. What a twat. Surely the subject of treatment of the people in the UK’s prisons deserves better than this self-aggrandising gimp? Far better to watch another programme named after its creator, Brian Sewell’s Grand Tour (Tue 7.15pm Five), as the bitchy old snob potters around Italy. If he comes out with the kind of gems he manages in this Guardian interview froma few weeks ago, we’ll be happy. Even if his attitude towards women could do with being a little less, ah, prehistoric.
The big news of the week? Why, that would have to be Space Cadets (daily starting Wed 9pm C4) – oh come on, you must have seen the trailer for this by now. For those who have been living on the Moon without a decent TV signal, don’t worry, there’s no way these wannabe astronauts will be joining you there; you can have the Sea of Tranquility to yourselves for a little longer. Billed as “the biggest hoax in television history” (surely that would be Jim Davidson’s career?), the contestants will be staying resolutely earthbound. Will the state-of-the-art IMAX screens and wobbling floors and so on convice them that they are escaping Terra’s cosy blue bosom? Well, it worked for us whenever we went on the simulators at the Museum of Science and Technology in Manchester, so we’re guessing that yes, they’ll be fooled. We can all have a good therapeutic point and laugh when they come out, too; there’s nothing the British public likes better.
On the subject of the British public, why oh why were Zoe and Ian in the bottom two on last week’s Strictly Come Dancing (Sat 6.25pm BBC1)? She’s better than that, and you know it. Get potato-face James out – if he’s in the final instead of Zoe, Colin or Darren, it will be a travesty. Also, he dumped Camilla and now she’s back in Brendan’s arms (but still dancing with Ian?) – the poor woman must be utterly devastated to consider such a thing. Not half as devastated, alas, as TV Troll was when Chico was voted off X Factor (Sat 6.45 ITV1). OK, that was a lie – but we reckon the show will be a staider and more oatmealy affair without him. Could Journey South be any more vanilla? Shayne, we love you, but please, please grow a personality. And bang Zoe Lucker – she’s hawt.
More charter-renewing pseudo-educational programming from the Beeb with Walking With Monsters: Life Before Dinosaurs (Thur 8.30pm BBC1). It’s all very well doing lots of research and using the best CGI and consulting world experts, but going and calling it Walking With Monsters really gives the game away. Prehistoric animals in the Cambrian era yada yada yada – wait, monsters, you say? Awesome.
What is it with the name Jack? In American TV, it’s impossible for a character called Jack to be anything other than heroic, chisel-jawed and good in a crisis. Exhibit A: Jack Bauer. Exhibit B: Jack in Lost (Wed 10pm C4). Exhibit C: Jack Hale, hero of Killer Instinct (Thur 10pm Five), yet ANOTHER Five American import cop show. KI‘s killer hook is that it focuses on especially nasty and twisted murdering psychopaths – woo hoo! December needed to be made a bit gloomier. In other name news, Brat Camp USA (Fri 9pm E4) features a camper called … Glacier. Yes, like the mint. We will say no more. Nor will mention be made of The Record Of The Year (Sat 5.35pm/7.45pm ITV1), nor that the egregious Vernon Kay is hosting it, nor that the list of previous winners on Wikipedia is enough to make you sick. And if your partner/housemate/live-in gimp/aged mother tries to watch Bring Back … The Christmas Number One (Sat 10pm C4), then it is your noble and patriotic duty to wrest the TV remote out of their hands, then beat them to death with it. By all rights, any programme featuring David Essex, Showaddywaddy and Slade ought to contain enough distilled evil to open up a wormhole to the ninth dimension, where reside all the horrors of hell. With a bit of luck, all the horrors of hell will take one look at David Essex, Showaddywaddy and Slade and decide to leave us well alone.