I wasn't expecting Celebrity Wrestling to be a shining example of quality television, far from it, but I did think we may get something light, frothy and most important of all, watchable.
The major problem is the format of the show. This isn't just a bunch of has-beens and never-weres chucking on leotards and throwing each other around a wrestling ring. Perhaps it should have been; with a bit of hype, that could have worked. What we have instead are a bunch of wrestling-themed "games??? that owe more to the heritage of Gladiators than the art beloved of grapple fans.
There are too many of these daft games and they've not been thought through well enough to provide televisual action, meaning that often the footage consists of two contenders merely grabbing hold of each other and then barely moving until the ref calls a halt and arbitrarily picks a winner.
Of course all this wouldn't matter if the celebs they'd picked had decent acting ability. What's needed here is over the top banter and baiting between the two sides and hardly any of those involved have the ability to camp it up and create the kind of jokey storylines that would make this a guilty pleasure to watch.
At the moment it's just a mess. There must be better vehicles for Kate Thornton than this. As for the "famous??? contestants, it's difficult to see how they could sink much lower.
If you can't stand the heat…
|Sam's been cooking this week|
This time we have no Gordon and no highly-strung C-listers and inevitably the show hasn't been as good.
At the start of the week, we had Gary Rhodes unwisely acting in a Gordon-like fashion, which made you wonder if he was just playing up the cameras. It was certainly at odds with the nice guy TV persona he has developed over the years. Thankfully, by the end of the first week, Gary seemed to have found his own personality again and was much more watchable as a result.
Over in the blue kitchen, Jean Christophe Novelli was quickly living up to every stereotype of a French chef you could think of as he had tantrum after tantrum and hurled plates and kitchen implements about the place. While Gary gave his team a fighting chance with a relatively simple menu, his Gallic counterpart went for a more challenging affair, putting his team under pressure from day one.
Emerging from this a true star has been the effervescent Kellie, a down to earth, no-nonsense woman who deserves to win far more than anyone else involved.
I'll vote for her.
As for what happened between Aaron and Sam in the shower, does anyone actually care?
Sourface raises a smile
|A rare night of happiness at the Queen Vic|
Wendy Richard is very adept at comedy and it would be nice if her character were offered more opportunity for lighter storylines. Her scene with Ian Beale this week in which she spilled out all of Pauline's selfish concerns was merely depressing.
The St. George's fancy dress was a welcome comic pause from all the gloom. They should do this more often.
Meanwhile if this week's Phil Mitchell special, with him growling and shoving people's heads down toilets is what we can expect when he comes back full time, then quite frankly I'd rather he stayed away.
Watchdog was probably instrumental in the fall of the shopping channel Auctionworld and the tale of the channel was spelled out in this week's Nicky Campbell fronted special, The King of Bling.
It amazes me how many of my own pals think that shopping channels offer great bargains, I'm sure that many of them do but this should be seen as a cautionary tale. It was certainly an entertaining one.
The really fascinating thing was how readily people will part with their cash if they think they are making a killing, and how they'll seemingly believe anything because it's been on the television.
If the show teaches us anything, it that we should be much more sceptical about the info the goggle box provides.
Going out almost unheralded after the news on Monday nights is BBC One's moving Skint, in which a group of people struggling with their finances on a day to day basis are put under the microscope.
Skinter than most was busker Bob, who had to borrow an amp to go on the streets and make a few meagre pennies. Bob then showed he could make a little go a long way by making a meal out of sage onion stuffing mix and corned beef.
This sort of documentary is the sort of thing the BBC does very well, a speedy repeat in a higher profile slot is called for.
Time for the old guard to stand aside
In the early eighties, a new wave of comedy performers swept all before them and changed the comedy landscape. That was around a quarter of a century ago. These luminaries are still there, as shown by their prominence in Five's Britain's Favourite Comedians.
This is great as far as I'm concerned, these are the stars of my age bracket and I still find them funny but since then, where is the latest wave, the comics that can speak to today's youth in the way that the Alexei Sayles and Keith Allens of this world captured the comedy zeitgeist two decades or more ago.
It would be interesting to see if the BBC would have had the triumph of Little Britain now if Lucas and Walliams hadn't had the Paramount Comedy Channel to display their earlier more experimental stuff.
We need outlets for young comic talent and today's competitive commercial market; we are going to have to rely on the BBC to provide these. The return of The Stand Up Show would be a good place to start.
Sir John Mills was one of our finest actors and no stranger to television despite building his reputation in countless films. His TV credits include gentle sitcom Young at Heart, adventure series The Zoo Gang and Euston Films updating of Quatermass.
Famous for stiff upper lip performances and an Oscar winner for Ryan's Daughter, for me his most moving performance was as a military man losing his grip in the stunning Tunes of Glory.
When Sir John's movies appear on your screens in the next few weeks, be sure to catch that one, it's superb.