TV Weekly: ‘Dot Cotton represents the indomitable Great British spirit’

This week Dot Cotton tops a poll, too much nosey on Gogglebox and will Ian Beale be brown-bread at Christmas?

Oh I Say

You have to take these polls with a pinch of laundrette fabric cleaner, as none of us have seen *every* soap character *ever* to make a reasoned judgement on who would take top place, but out of those in our recent memories the legend that is June Brown found herself top of the soapy ladder.

EastEnders’ Dot Cotton/Branning was voted the ‘best British soap character of all time’ by 2,000 fans in a recent poll. In second place was Coronation Street’s equally as memorable Hilda Ogden played by the late Jean Alexander.

“Dot Cotton represents the indomitable Great British spirit. Immediately identifiable, Dot is quite simply a cultural icon and a testament to what a fantastic and talented actress June Brown is.” – Jonathan Horsely, Perspectus Global who commissioned the poll

June quit EastEnders earlier this year, telling podcast DistinctNostalgia that she departed due to ‘being underwhelmed by storylines’.

Who nose what’s going on?

The tabloids this week sniffed out a story when another face from EastEnders past was left unimpressed with Channel 4’s Gogglebox.

The actress, who shoved more drugs up her snout in the 1990s than allegedly the entire population of Manchester, resulting in her nose to ‘collapse’ and leave it looking like a melted Madame Tussauds waxwork said the show had allowed for trolling.

In a recent episode, Baasit Siddiqui asked his brother and father: “Would you rather have just one giant nostril or would you like to have just one giant eye?”

He said having one eye would make him look like a cyclops, but having one nostril would make him look like Danniella Westbrook.

“My manager is seeking legal advice as trolling is not something we should take lightly.” – Westbrook on Twitter.

It’s not exactly trolling is it? It’s stating the obvious surely? After all, the nose is a public example of why not to snort drugs… being reminded of it is surely a public education to young and impressionable that you don’t want to end up with a hooter like that.

I’m a somebody, so shut it

This week fans of I’m A Celebrity contestant Giovanna Fletcher came to her defence following social media users asking ‘who she is?’

While the show is often a mix of nobodies and somebodies, this year people have been left baffled to why certain names are in the castle. But fear not for Giovanna is more than just the wife of a famous boyband member.

Yes, Mrs Tom Fletcher is also a presenter on CBeebies, an author and a podcaster. So there. The ITV programme that has switched Australia for Wales this year also made the tabloids over Corrie star Beverly Callard’s change to vegan earlier this year.

Some viewers have suggested the change came maybe after the first invitation into the jungle, while others said the actress had eaten bits of rabbit and eel so must be a ‘fake vegan’. Does it matter? Is Bev entertaining, yes she is.. so hush-a-bye the babies.

A fine mess

“It is untrue to suggest Hollyoaks would fine anybody for having to self-isolate. The safety and wellbeing of Hollyoaks cast and crew is paramount as is the need to produce Hollyoaks in a safe environment. Any breach of government guidelines that could put the health of others at risk could be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.” – Hollyoaks statement

The statement was issued after tabloids reported one of the Hollyoaks cast had been ‘fined’ for being ‘irresponsible’ while needing to self-isolate.

No, we don’t understand the story either – neither does Lime Pictures the makers of the programme either it seems.

Wall of Fame

The Wall is set to feature three special celebrity special – with the first airing next weekend.

Each of the three specials will feature different celebrity pairings as they go head to head with The Wall to win money for their chosen charities.

The specials will feature presenter and filmmaker Stacey Dooley alongside Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, television presenter Alex Brooker who will be teaming up with actress and presenter Sally Lindsay and this coming Saturday former footballers, turned pundits, Chris Kamara and John Barnes take on the ball drops with Danny Dyer.

2,4,6,8 Motorway

Channel 4 is to broadcast a four-part series looking at the daily operations of Tebay Service Station –  one of the UK’s most unique stopping points. The documentary will follow key members of staff, the Cumbrian farmers and producers who rally to maintain Britain’s most scenic pit stop.

Set up in 1972 by local farmers, Tebay Services was the first and remains the only UK family-run motorway service station. With 4.5 million visitors a year, Tebay Services now more than ever is a lifeline to the local community who work and trade local artisan produce there, as well as the visitors who choose to stop at its services.

Chasing the ratings

ITV Daytime quiz The Chase drew in two of its biggest ever audiences in its 11-year run this week.

With an average of 4.9 million viewers tuning in on Thursday (19 November), the show, presented by Bradley Walsh, was the biggest daytime entertainment programme on TV across all channels so far this year.

This broke The Chase’s own all-time record, which had been set the day before (18th November) with 4.8m. On both days more than a third (34%) of TV viewers tuned in to watch the show. The curiosity was set to see the latest ‘chaser’ to the team. Darragh Ennis has joined the other alternating regulars to beat those pesky contestants.

Return to death

To celebrate a decade of British crime drama Death in Paradise, Sara Martins will appear in a special two-episode story.

“There are some characters that never leave you and I’m still Camille, wherever I go. After many years, people still reference and send their love to me as Camille, so it was obvious that I had to go back and the 10th anniversary is the perfect opportunity!

“I want to celebrate the longevity of Death in Paradise. It was life-changing for me and I’m so grateful to the show. I feel like I’m going back home with new folks and old, to bring more fun and joy. I’m really happy to wear Camille’s “twinkly-ness” again.” – Sara Martins

Sara joins series regulars Ralf Little as D.I. Neville Parker, Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson, Tobi Bakare as Sergeant JP Hooper, and Elizabeth Bourgine as Mayor Catherine Bordey.

‘Smug Scottish git’

ITV Granada bosses are being accused of racism after a character in Coronation Street threw the insult ‘smug Scottish git’ at a character who is smug, Scottish and at times a git.

Tina O’Brien’s character of Sarah made the comments to Adam played by Sam Robertson.

One viewer, however, took to social media to moan about the complaints on social media, stating:

“So calling a Scottish person Scottish now is racist? F*****g get a grip, it undermines actual, real, offensive racism. Do these people get paid for making a career out of being offended!


People have been speculating for some time about Adam Woodyatt’s true future with EastEnders following the actor’s announcement he was taking time off – but then on his last day filming shared a ‘throwback photo’ to the earliest days of the BBC One saga. It made it seem much more final than just a break.

And while the actor has been back to record further sequences recently, following that extended break, some think it may be the beginning of the end for one of the soaps originals. Adam has also landed a theatre gig  – his first since 1982 – which would see him out of the Walford based saga for at least six months in 2021.

Now the tabloids have also picked up on this, along with the fact Adam’s character of Ian Beale has become even more unpopular in Albert Square than ever before. The list of characters who want to give the businessman a smack have reached double figures.

Top of the list is Max Branning, who has seen his money misused by Beale, Ian’s own mother Kathy who was diddled behind her back, his half-brother Ben who doesn’t like him for the previous, Ben’s dad Phil who has generally always hated Ian, Tina Carter who knows he’s a con artist, Kat Moon is likely if she finds out he was behind reporting her robbery to the cops – and then that opens several more to dislike him – including giving Phil another motive, Kush who got caught redhanded and Shirley Carter who had to rush to escape the law.

And, of course, there is the queen of the Vic, Sharon – his oldest friend who he accidentally helped drown her son Dennis on a boat during the 35th anniversary week.

That also brings in Dotty Cotton who knows of Ian’s watery regret. The list goes on with his two sons also in the line of suspicion, Bobby already having murdered – the point in which for many EastEnders ‘jumped the shark’ and hasn’t ever quite been right since.

The Sun reports that if Ian is to go he will be ‘left for dead’ after being ‘attacked’ in the Queen Vic bar on Christmas Day. Just what Christmas 2020 needed – a happy moment with the end of Ian Beale. Who says ‘Enders is depressing at Christmas? Let’s just hope its followed by a cockney knees-up around the old joanna.

It is, sadly, unlikely to happen though. I mean it’s just too good to be true… after all, this is EastEnders that got all our hopes up that Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) was dead after tumbling down a staircase – only for him to be fine and dandy later. Unforgivable.

The views are those of the writers and are not endorsed by ATV Today or ATV News.
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