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The Global Jukebox

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Twenty years on since Live Aid and BBC Two devoted three hours to the behind scenes tale of how the day came together.

It was a fascinating account of how a seemingly impossible endeavour was achieved largely thanks to the forceful personality of one Bob Geldof, who was incapable of taking no for an answer.

Putting on the biggest gig in history was obviously no walk in the park and telling, often bitchy comments emerged from those involved with some particularly barbed remarks from Annabel Giles.

It brought back personal memories of the great day itself. We watched the thing in its entirety, parked in front of the telly, only leaving to do a fish and chip run while Dire Straits were on. However, on the day even Bob ranting at us not to go down the pub didn’t move us to donate. It was the shocking images that accompanied The Cars hit Drive that really brought home what the day was about and had us reaching for the phone.

There was a real feeling of community that day, a feeling that even though the situation was desperate, we could do something to change things. The world shrank that day.

It remains to be seen whether Live8 will have the same sort of impact.

Been busy?

Is ITV Day so short of cash that it can’t run to studio time anymore? The latest game show to adorn its schedules takes place in a taxi.

Cash Cab is so tacky and so simple it could quickly become addictive. The premise is simple. Contestants answer questions and if they keep getting them right they win pot loads of cash. Get them wrong however and they are turfed out of the cab and have to walk to their destination.

It’s cheap and cheerful telly with presenter John the cabby a pleasant enough host. I don’t think the producers of Countdown have much to worry about though.

Sweet

If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting to like Sugar Rush but ended up enjoying it so much I went straight to E4 to see the next episode.

This is a nicely put together tale of teenage awakening but Sara Stewart, as our heroine’s wayward mother, deliciously steals every scene she’s in.

This is entertaining stuff and it’s a shame it has been scheduled so late in the evening.

Doctor, Doctor

Tin hat on.

I know die-hard fans loved it, but I thought the season finale of Doctor Who was something of an anti climax. The Bad Wolf denouement in particular was something of a let down and the regeneration sequence at the end seemed a bit rushed and lacking in the sort of emotional tension that has been one of this series hallmarks.

Overall though, the series has been excellent Saturday night telly of the kind that many of us thought the BBC had forgotten how to make. The best episodes for me were those written by Steven Moffat, set in a wartime blackout, where the balance between the chilling and the comedic was just about spot on.

Christopher Eccleston’s performance has taken the Doctor Who mythology to a new level and David Tennant will have a tough act to follow if the second season is to match the highs of the first.

Snip

Apparently Cutting It isn’t cutting it in the ratings any more, though it is shown in the highly competitive Tuesday at 9pm slot. Frankly I’m not that surprised. Give me the real drama of Gordon Ramsay going head to head with egotistical chefs over the contrived tale of a bunch of hairdressers any day of the week.

This week, our Gordon was in Inverness where he tried to convince a young hot shot that his food was too complicated to win a Michelin star. It was an interesting clash of personalities and made for compelling viewing.

Foxy

If Ramsay was struggling to make a head chef see that simple is best, the producers of The Big Call have.

In a simple undemanding format, contestants and - this being ITV1 - celebrities are gradually whittled down round by round in a straightforward general knowledge format.

The only problem I had with the show, other than Foxy’s Smashy and Nicey hosting technique, was that there seems to be a lack of tension at the end of the game when we find out how much the winner has picked up from their 100,000 lottery tickets.

Easy enough Saturday fare but I have to say that I preferred The Vault.

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