TV Troll: Take That, Tommy Lee, and Peel

By Jo Last edited 156 months ago
TV Troll: Take That, Tommy Lee, and Peel

Before we get onto the subject of this week's telly recommendations, let's remind ourselves of Saturday's miscarriage of justice, when Maria was voted off X Factor. Even Simon admits he made a mistake in choosing the Conway Sisters (for those who don't watch X Factor, the Conways are like standing knee-deep in the Irish Sea on a wet Tuesday in October while someone slaps you in the face with a rotting plaice, except rather less invigorating):

I made the wrong decision. If I'd have had five minutes more to think about it, I would have sent The Conway Sisters home. I acted out of loyalty, but this show is about talent. Maria should have stayed. The Conways don't have a chance of winning this competition.

As Sharon railed against the "Irish mafia" and Louis was booed to Dublin and back by a furious crowd, TV Troll wept on the sofa. We'll carry on watching X Factor, of course, but now that the unstoppable rise of Shayne (as we predicted way back when) is a dead cert, we have to say we're feeling pretty let down. We think Shayne is great, of course, but it'd be better for the show if he were to face a little competition - and, frankly, considering who's left, it's hard to see who could challenge him in the slightest. Andy, at a stretch, but no-one else.

Now that's out of the way, let's get on with business. The highest-profile new series this week has to be the return of Little Britain (Thur 9pm BBC1). Woo hoo, how thrilling - a whole new set of catchphrases to look forward to! TV Troll will be watching Gordon Ramsay's F Word (Thur 8pm C4) then UK Music Hall Of Fame 2005 (Thur 9.50pm C4) instead, as will anyone with half a braincell.

Speaking of kitchens, the BBC's rejigged Shakespeare classics series continues tonight with Macbeth, set in a restaurant. If Gordon Ramsay were running the kitchen, there'd surely never be enough time for chef Joe Macbeth to be plot a murder - he'd be too busy dodging cleavers and being sworn at. We're intrigued to see how the witches are worked in, although "finger of birth-strangled babe, ditch-delivered by a drab" sounds like something that could be served up in the latest haute cuisine dining hotspot without anyone batting an eyelid.

You may have noticed that TV Troll likes cop shows. No? Well, we do, and how excited are we that there's a new one starting this week on C4 (The Ghost Squad, Tue 10pm C4)? That's a rhetorical question, of course, as we are very excited indeed. The Ghost Squad is all about a so-secret-they-don't-officially-exist in-house anti-corruption taskforce, and follows one police officer as she is framed for murder. If the acting, writing and production live up to the concept, it could be great. Yes, it's yet another cop show, but it sounds a lot better than a programme about a group of Human Resources consultants, doesn't it?

Take That were pretty bloody boring as a band - pretty boys with bad haircuts who sang vapid songs and walked in slow motion. Documentaries about Take That, on the other hand, are endlessly fascinating - the feuds! The girls! The drugs! We'll have to dig out the video manual to work out how to record Take That: For The Record (Wed 9pm ITV1) as it clashes with the excellent Rome (Wed 9pm BBC2 - and don't believe the haters). We're promised interviews with all five Thatters - even Robbie - and their bodyguards, hangers-on, and goodness knows who else.

After a million reports in the press about citizen journalists and the rise of reader-submitted material in the wake of the July bombs, is there really any "unseen footage" left for 7/7: The Day The Bombs Came (Wed 9pm BBC1) to show?

A couple of music-related things for you: John Peel's Record Box (Mon 11.10pm C4) will be a hagiography - that goes without saying - but then, what was there not to like about John Peel? Then there's a chance to watch the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005 on terrestrial (Thur 11pm Five), with all the usual suspects appearing (here's an incredibly badly-written account of the show from the MTV website).

OK, snippet time: We're thoroughly intrgued by just the title of tonight's Priest Idol (Mon 8pm C4); what on earth are we going to be subjected to? Well, it appears that instead of a knock-out seminary version of a talent show (with the audience focussing on who says the best mass, and who [insert your own joke about Catholic priests and child molestation here, we can't be bothered]), the programme follows Fr James McCaskill as he takes on the spiritual vacuum that is Barnsley. The return of the chancers and nutters who dare the Dragon's Den (Tue 8pm BBC2) is also cause for rejoicing; an examination of TV Makeovers That Changed The World (Mon 10pm Five) sounds too bombastic to be true. On a more serious note, London's Most Dangerous Drug? (Tue 7.30pm ITV1) looks at use of crystal meth - aka hillbilly heroin - in the capital. And what dazzling revelations await us in The Secret Life Of Princess Margaret (Tue 11pm ITV1) - that she was a gin-drinking royal lag by day, a lycra-clad crime-fighting superheroine by night, perhaps? Or just a rehash of old tabloid stories? Hmm. Tommy Lee Goes To College (Thur 10.30pm E4) is, coincidentally, scheduled immediately before The Pamela Anderson Roast (Thur 11pm E4) - how bizarre. Tommy seems amiable enough, but we've heard the show is hardly up to The Osbournes standards. Bishop's son and drive-by victim Tim Westwood hosts the UK version of Pimp My Ride, Chris Evans is back on the box with OFI Sunday (Sun 10.30pm ITV1), and is it really Children In Need (Fri 8pm BBC1) time again? How time does indeed fly. Happy zapping!

Last Updated 14 November 2005