TV Weekly: Lazy ITV mornings, Mystic Sugar and Peter Purvis peeved

Weekly Telly news highlights including the new Ready Steady Cook, Lord Sugar’s EastEnders predictions and Peter Purvis not taking kindly to Channel 4 swinging their axe.

Ready Steady – Go Sustainable

BBC One’s Ready Steady Cook with Rylan Clark-Neal returns in the New Year with a promise to be one of the most sustainable food shows on TV.

This will be done in a number of ways both on and off screen – most notably to viewers those famous red tomato and green peppers plastic bags will be a thing of the past. The bags are now re-usable jute totes while food contents will avoid single use plastic with glass jars and bottles being favoured over plastic alternatives.

Behind the scenes the production will use separate colour coded waste bins which will be collected by a local recycling firm for anaerobic digestion and any unused fruit/vegetables and non-perishable items are to be donated to a local food bank. Ingredients where possible will be sourced from local suppliers, favouring Fair Trade items.

“One of the biggest sustainability issues we face is from food and packaging waste, so Ready Steady Cook is being brought bang up to date to play its part in tackling this. It’s going to be goodbye plastic bags and hello jute totes when we hit screens in the New Year. I can’t wait to get stuck in!” – Rylan Clark-Neal

Ready Steady Cook began on BBC Two hosted by Fern Britton in 1994 Ainsley Harriott took over the hosting duties in 2000, with the show axed in 2010. The Beeb at the time said they had taken the format ‘as far as they could’.


In Brief

BBC One Wales this month launch sitcom The Tuckers. The six-part comedy, written by and starring comic actor Steve Spiers begins on January 10th and follows the fortunes of the Tucker family, a close-knit, extended family of ‘lovable rogues’.

Series six of Love Island is due to begin on January 12th, with Laura Whitmore taking over from Caroline Flack as presenter – at least for this first winter edition – although she will have little problem bedding in, being the girlfriend of Iain Stirling – the narrator and voice of the show since it began. However in serious matters of the heart OddsMonkey have placed these names as possible series winners: Jay Munro – 2/1, Ellis Iyayi – 7/2, Alisha LeMay – 6/1, Sophie Piper – 8/1, Charles Drury – 12/1, Emily Clarkson – 14/1, Kenna Ngoma – 16/1. ITV2 have yet to confirm who will be looking for romance officially.

Susan Calman hosted the BBC One Scotland Hogmanay celebrations while over on STV Sean Batty presented a New Year special. I think as far as the Beeb go Jackie Bird will not have been weeping too much that she is no longer part of the celebrations. Peeling wallpaper was more interesting.

Sean, however, brought a perky outlook to the proceedings with at least STV putting some effort in. ITV of course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland went to bed at 7pm. BBC One gave us Craig David, and boy we wish they hadn’t bothered.

BBC Four announced what they describe as a ‘unique and ambitious one-off special art lesson’. The programme presented by Josie d’Arby is to allow the audience to immerse themselves in the detail, technique and skill of a live life-drawing class. The human form is one of the most challenging subjects, with life drawing at the heart of art history, and this is the excuse BBC Four is using to whip out some titty.

Strictly recycled? We live in an age of recycling and reuse, so it was nice to hear that the BBC are not wasting an inch of fabric when it comes to some of the Strictly Come Dancing outfits. Host Claudia Winkleman told The Sun: “I love the clothes I wear on Strictly but I don’t get to keep them. They go back to the BBC and I absolutely love it when I see other people wearing them. Actress Letitia Dean on EastEnders came on in one of my dresses and that was really exciting.”

Channel 4 is bringing all its communications and corporate affairs activity together in one combined department, which will be led by James MacLeod in the new role of Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs. I don’t know what it means really either, but no doubt we’ll still have Jamie bloody Oliver on with his restaurant failure food offerings.

The BBC has acquired a David Tennant fronted drama Around The World In 80 Days where he will play literature’s greatest explorer, Phileas Fogg, in an epic eight-part adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic. Following an outrageous bet, Fogg and his valet, Passepartout, take on the legendary journey of circumnavigating the globe in just 80 days, swiftly joined by aspiring journalist Abigail Fix, who seizes the chance to report on this extraordinary story.


Mystic Sugar?

Lord Alan Sugar is either mystic or EastEnders plots are rather predictable. The Lord of The Apprentice, along with many other viewers, have correctly predicted plot outcomes recently on social media.

“I told you Denise was wrong. Patrick’s wife is not cheating, She has a grown son, that’s who she was calling. I also told you Keanu is not dead.” he told his Twitter followers, having predicted the outcome. He also noted “I should have been a detective or a script writer. The question is when or will Keanu be re united to his baby and Louise. Maybe he is doing panto for a few months. (sic)”

The successful businessman had also noted that Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) could be involved with the Keanu mystery, and indeed she was. “Linda knows a lot about Keanu, I am convince he’s no dead, but we need to worry about Chantel’s safety with that violent husband of hers.” And he also had rightly noted “We are being mislead by Denise. Patrick’s wife is not seeing another bloke it’s her son who is in trouble.”

EastEnders is currently being overseen by former Crossroads – the glam 2003 disastrous era – story editor Kate Oates. It was filled with predictable plots, repeated situations and OTT storylines. EastEnders just needs Jane Asher to turn up and turn the Vic into a tarts boudoir and it’ll be a done job.


Lazy Mornings

It was widely thought by social media users that ITV wouldn’t be able to find a decent replacement for the defunct Jeremy Kyle Show and instead just increase Good Morning Britain, after all they tried GMB Today a few years ago – and it seemed to prove popular with viewers.

So it comes as no surprise that the new talent void that is ITV Daytime have gone for the predictable lazy option, but more so than anyone thought. Good Morning Britain will run from 6am until 9am with Lorraine Kelly then hosting self-titled Lorraine for an hour, before This Morning takes over with an extra 30 minutes added.

Its a television end of an era; with 9.25am being the traditional hand-over time from the breakfast network to the ITV ‘regions’ for over thirty-five years and for much of that time there has been a variety of programming in the slot – only since the merger of the ITV regions and the loss of creative ideas and talent in many areas – has the bland lead the predictable and the same faces reused over and over.

In the early days there would be a half-hour game show such as Tyne Tees’ Crosswits or HTV’s Keynotes. A serious debate with Anglia TV production The Time: The Place and then from Granada This Morning. The naff game shows maybe should be left in the past, but the debate series that evolved into Vanessa with Vanessa Feltz and then Trisha with Trisha Goddard was a worthy show to have in the schedules. It sadly only went downhill when Jeremy Kyle slipped into Trisha’s shoes.

ITV could have, if they wanted to keep it in the same talent pool they always use, given Coleen Nolan a shot at it; after all she’s a newspaper agony aunt or alternatively move outside of the regular names and lure Matthew Wright back to TV screens since his much-missed departure from Channel 5.


Treading Gingerly for Harry

Following Harry and Meghan’s attempt at becoming the most disliked royals since Mary Tudor series three of The Windsors will see dear Harry in a new light, but still a dim light.

The Channel 4 satirical comedy about the royal family sees Tom Durant-Pritchard take up the role of the young prince. Under the orders of his wife Meghan (Kathryn Drysdale), Harry tries to replace his hard drinking and rugger-bugger ways with mindfulness and mint tea. Fortunately though his IQ remains unchanged: 8.

“I am thrilled to be joining The Windsors family… it has been a pleasure playing such a well-loved character.” – Tom Durant-Pritchard

Also this series will see ‘The Fab Four’ Wills (Hugh Skinner), Kate (Louise Ford), Harry (Tom Durant-Pritchard) and Meghan (Kathryn Drysdale) feuding.

Charles (Harry Enfield) has his eye on the top job and in his new role as defender of faiths, conjures up the devil, Camilla (Haydn Gwynne) continues her scheming ways and locks horns with Carol Middleton over who’s going to be the next Queen: Camilla or Kate, with Beatrice (Ellie White) getting married, Eugenie (Celeste Dring), and Fergie (Katy Wix) worry whose going to walk her down the aisle now Andrew (Tim Wallers) has ‘withdrawn from public life’, Pippa (Morgana Robinson) inveigles her way into Harry and Meghan’s life when she gets a job as their nanny , we see a ‘fun’ side to Princess Anne (Vicki Pepperdine) when she falls for David Beckham and a hapless Prince Edward (Matthew Cottle) falls victim to Bulgarian loan-sharks.


And Also…

As this is the first TV Weekly since I departed our monthly Rewind, there’s a few things a little older to reflect on such as more news about the dirge that was The Jeremy Kyle Show.

The Mirror reported how a couple in a toxic failing romance were allegedly “urged to stay together for the benefit of entertainment” by bosses at the ITV Studios production. The tabloid went on to note Dawne Mair and her boyfriend Andrew Hough were repeatedly booked to appear despite a violent relationship.

Former Blue Peter host Peter Purvis went onto GMB to discuss his axing by Channel 4 after over forty years of being the main voice of Crufts. Piers Morgan called out the channel on their ageist dismissal of Peter, and suggested launching a campaign to get the 80-year-old, who has also starred in Doctor Who, reinstated.

The Crufts coverage is being ‘refreshed’ the broadcaster noted, and those changes saw no place at the microphone for Purvis. #Bastards.

Channel 5 announced in December ‘From Tuesday 7th Jan, 5Spike will become Paramount Network. You’ll be able to catch even more of the shows you love on Sky channel 150, Freeview channel 31 and Virgin Media channel 154.’

It rather sounds like 5Spike is to be reborn as a new channel, but this isn’t the case – Paramount Network already exists and is just moving up the EPG replacing 5Spike on its slots.

BBC News host Huw Edwards hit back at suggestions of our dear Aunty Beeb being the mothership of political bias during coverage of the General Election campaign. “You realise yet again that the real purpose of many of the attacks is to undermine trust in institutions which have been sources of stability over many decades. The apparent purpose, in short, is to cause chaos and confusion.”

Channel 5 have made many celebratory documentaries on celebrities using archive interviews and new chats with friends and family over the years, however Peter Kay obviously hadn’t seen any of them and took a bit of a strop over their promotion of his tribute documentary. Peter Kay: In His Own Words had a ‘misleading’ title the comedian noted.

Maybe it should have been called Peter Kay: Old Interviews bring us his Life Story. Doesn’t have quite the same ring-a-ding to it really.

BBC One medical saga Holby City said farewell to Lofty Chiltern just before Christmas, as Lee Mead departed the BBC Elstree production after nearly five years in the role. Speaking on social media the actor and singer said ‘It’s been an absolute privilege to have been a part of these shows working with some amazingly talented and kind people. Here’s to the next chapter.’


UKTV look for Britain’s Greatest Comedy Character

UKTV has commissioned a follow-up to Britain’s Greatest Comedian for its comedy channel Gold. The UKTV Original Britain’s Greatest Comedy Character sees a jury of nine comedians, actors, writers, journalists and critics battle it out under the watchful gaze of judge Sally Phillips, as they attempt to agree on who is the country’s greatest.

Members of the public will be able to vote for their favourites, before the jury whittle them down and rank the final top 30. From Basil Fawlty to Alan Partridge and Patsy Stone it’s certainly going to be a heated debate.

Britain’s Greatest Comedy Character will air later this year on Gold.

“Comedy characters play such a huge part on Gold, so we’re thrilled to see who the nation and jury crown in this one-off special. We know our viewers have some series favourites, so there’s definitely going to be a lot of debate!” – Gerald Casey, Gold channel director


Quote of the Week

“I think he’ll think ‘wow, that’s a great format, I wish I had that format’. I know he felt that way about The Voice. I actually really like Simon Cowell and he’s a smart man. When he sees something good on TV, he’ll think, ‘That’s a smart idea, how can I improve my shows so they’re as good as that?’ Unfortunately, this format idea is taken Simon.”

Jonathan Ross speaking on ITV’s latest talent show, The Masked Singer and what X Factor boss Simon Cowell will make of the format.


Bad Brother

As the decade came to a close television regulator, with as much bite as a toothless pug, Ofcom revealed their most complained about programmes of the past ten years. Coleen Nolan will be grateful for Channel 5’s reality series, as it keeps her off the top spot, but she can at least celebrate the fact its the first time in decades that a Nolan has been in a top ten chart.

More than 25,000 people complained about Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5, when Roxanne Pallett alleged assault by fellow housemate Ryan Thomas. The 2018 episode accounted for around half of all broadcasting complaints that year, making it by far the most complained-about programme of the decade.

Behind it was an episode of Loose Women on ITV, also from 2018, which drew almost 8,000 complaints after guest Kim Woodburn was bullied by two Nolans while Janet Street Porter mooched around dressed as a judge. The rest of the list is dominated by reality shows and news programmes.

In third place was UKIP: The First 100 days, Channel 4. The documentary aired in 2015 with 6,187 complaints to Ofcom, of which the majority were that the portrayal of UKIP was misleading, offensive and biased. In fourth place was an edition of Sky News from 2018. 3,463 viewers alleged bias and defamation of character in the editing of a Sky interview with Tommy Robinson.

In the fifth slot is The X Factor and its right back to the start of the decade in 2010 when 2,868 viewers complained that performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera were too explicit for broadcast before the 9pm watershed while in sixth place a 2019 edition of Channel 4 News takes the honours. There were 2,717 complaints when presenter Jon Snow said, after a day of rallies and protests relating to Brexit, that he had “never seen so many white people in one place”.

The seventh most complained about show was ITV2’s Love Island. 2,644 viewers raised concerns about emotional distress to contestants, specifically Dani Dyer. In eighth place Matthew Wright hosted The Wright Stuff saw 2,358 complain back in 2011 over comments made discussing an article in the Daily Mail regarding the first murder case in the Hebrides for 40 years. At nine its Big Brother again and 2,024 contacted Ofcom over comments made by a participant during the 2015 series and finally at ten its Sky News. Following an interview by Kay Burley with Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainment Nick Varney following the 2015 Alton Towers accident 1,838 viewers complained about Burley’s tone.

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