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TV Dek's TV Diary

2005 in review: Part 2

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July

Raising consciousness
The month began with Live8. The event didn’t give me the same feeling of world unity I’d felt in 1985, partially due to the fact that via the red button, we had a choice of concerts to watch, so that feeling of one big communal event wasn’t there this time.

The whole point of the day was to send a message to our political leaders but the BBC, seemingly worried by its need to remain impartial, decide to edit almost all of the messages about third world debt out, meaning we were often taken back to a somewhat uncomfortable-looking Jonathan Ross and any celeb that was wandering past. Peter Kay’s appearance was very bizarre but sadly not funny.

Geldof’s efforts to hijack the news agenda were paying handsomely until at the start of the G8 conference, London was rocked by terrorist blasts.

The BBC bravely decided to play two of its strongest comedies in the middle of the holiday season. Extras proved to be a strong follow up to The Office, making a star of Ashely Jensen, while the second series of The Catherine Tate Show saw a string of catchphrases worm their way into the English langauage.

August

Tragedy
EastEnders went all Romeo and Juliet on us this month as Demi and the ill-fated Leo went on the run, bringing out the best of the Miller family.

The fate of bunch of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island had many of us if not gripped then at least curious as Lost began its run Channel 4. Here we had a nice blend of characters and enough mystery to keep things interesting.

August was a quiet month though we did get a Casualty @ Holby City special hosted by Robert Winston to interact with.

September

September got off to a busy start over at Albert Square as Sam decided to give Sharon and Dennis the ultimate wedding present by digging up their dad, soapy legend Dirty Den. As if things weren’t exciting enough, poisonous Peggy Mitchell then returned to stir things up further. Kat found out about Little Mo and Alfie at long last while over at the doomed Family Affairs, panto villain Pete Callan met his maker when Bob out of Blackadder filled him full of lead.

Out to grass
Boycie and Marlene span off to Shropshire in The Green Green Grass which raised the odd titter but was probably hampered by high expectations.

Richie Benaud bowed out of cricket commentary, in the UK at least, as England triumphed in a really exciting Ashes series while the news was dominated by Hurricane Katrina as New Orleans was deluged and the response of the authorities seemed inadequate.

Explosive action at Sun Hill and Emmerdale. The police station was the scene of a siege while loopy vet Zoë left the village in a big way by blowing up Home Farm.

Most promising from a comedy point of view was the debut of Tittybangbang on BBC Three while Frank Skinner’s return was disappointing. Ant and Dec continued to impress as they celebrated ITV’s 50th birthday by resurrecting much loved old game shows.

October

Over the edge
Barmy Gabriel/David Kent finally went over the top as he plunged from a tower block in The Bill leaving a vacancy for resident psycho.

The cliché riddled Vincent eventually won me over, in the main due to a great performance from Suranne Jones while Robert Carlyle was stony faced throughout Class of 76.

Strictly Come Dancing dazzled as Darren Gough shocked sports fans with his twinkletoed antics while bizarrely, a leaden footed Fiona Phillips survived for several weeks. Fiona’s antics were far funnier than Ben Elton’s Blessed which was about as funny as a sleepless night with a screaming baby.

Matthew Kelly’s chilling performance as serial killer was a drama highlight of the year in Cold Blood while I felt that Johnny Allen’s attack on Peggy in EastEnders was too strong for the early evening. Grant and Phil had a great returning episode thanks to a witty script from Tony Jordan while another Casualty@Holby City special livened up Halloween week.

November

The month began with the much anticipated Rome with its much trailed scenes of violence and debauchery, though many viewers would have lost patience following a first episode that was chopped to bits by the BBC.

Des Lynam stepped into the late Richard Whiteley 's shoes in Countdown and soon settled in while Noel Edmonds made a triumphant return the box with addictive nonsense Deal or No Deal.

Sensitive Skin proved that there is still a place for sophisticated comedy on our screens with a marvellously melancholic performance from Joanna Lumley.

Over on The X Factor Louis Walsh stunned the nation by ousting the popular Maria in favour of the struggling Conway Sisters, an act who were eventually dumped from the show by their own mentor.

The barmy Dev Alahan storyline prompted me to ask if our soaps were in crisis this month. It seems you don’t feel that but many of you reckon there is cause for concern.

December

Christmas saw the final original outing of the late Ronnie Barker as The Two Ronnie’s Christmas Sketchbook graced the schedules.
Christmas Terror
The best fun over Christmas came in the shamelessly tongue in cheek Doctor Who in which we had to cope with killer Santas, a killer Christmas Tree and as it turned out a killer Prime Minister.

Russell T Davies raised his cap to Douglas Adams as the Doctor spent most of the episode in his jim-jams but the jury is still out as to whether David Tennant can live up to his predecessor.

Otherwise, there were fairly slim pickings to be had over the festive period with the biggest disappointment being the French & Saunders special which managed to be spectacularly unfunny. Another disappointment turned out to be the Comic Strip’s Sex Actually. Though it still had the edgy feel of the earlier classics, it failed to deliver on laughs.

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