Thursday, March 23, 2006


1. Jo pulling a series of OTT amazed faces when Siralan described this week’s task, as though he was letting off fireworks or producing an endless string of cute puppies and kittens from his pockets while talking.

2. The teams being sent to tosser-zone extraordinaire Saatchi and Saatchi (where the room for “blue sky thinking” actually has blue sky painted on the ceiling do you see what they did there?) to create adverts for Siralan’s weird charter jet loyalty card thingy. Cue scenes of Tulip’s team in sitting in complete silence, patently failing to indulge in any style of thinking at all.

3. Samuel trying on a ridiculous bellhop outfit that made him look like Buttons from an xmas panto. Meanwhile, ubercocks Syed and Tulip practically creamed their pants at the chance to wear a pilot’s uniform.

4. The adverts that they created were comedy gold but I must have missed the part that said that they had to be filmed in the style of 1980s American soap opera. In Team Tulip’s ad, a man sits in a plane seat and starts rhythmically rubbing his thigh as though indulging in self-love. In Team Badger’s ad there was a hilariously porntastic scene where a bellhop comes to collect a woman’s cases and looks her up and down in a blatantly sexy way, later on the same woman is “surprised” when an air steward comes up behind her and slips her a glass of champagne. Hmm, yes I’m sure that’s not all he’s going to slip her.

5. Tulip dying on his arse with his lame and desperate “its like a magic trick” presentation, made to a huge room full of stony faced Saatchi Nathan Barleys who obviously hate him as much as I do. Later on there were more laffs aplenty as Mani, patron saint of making presentations, sulked after he was ignored in favour of Samuel, as Ruth Badger had obviously heard that his calendar presentation was a big dud.

6. Tulip slagging off his team for being rubbish, even though they later won. What a backstabbing bastard. He later managed to earn more “HATE” points by saying that he was the best one and was bound to win. Once again, Siralan and his rotten taste awarded the win to the team with the crappiest result. Ohs noes – La Badger cannot be fired!!

7. I love Ruth Badger’s constant display of truculent, aggressive, hacky facial expressions, eye rolls and sideways glances. She makes Chloe from 24 look like Doris Day!

8. Siralan saying that he thought Team Badger’s advert had been mixed up with Nick’s copy of “Debbie Does Dallas”. Ruth pulled a hilariously quizzical expression and Nick cracked up a bit before regaining his normal stony face.

9. In the boardroom it is Mani vs Badger full on gladiatorial combat ashtey argue about whether the “concierge” in the ad was metaphorical, metonymic or literal! Mani said that Ruth wais “authoritarian”, Ruth “What’s that supposed to mean?” Mani “Look it up in a dictionary! I don’t have time to explain it to you!” Ruth “Oh, he’s patronising and a dick!” (I made up the part re being a dick btw). Later on Ruth told off Mani for flapping his hands around in her personal space and there were accusations of “being aggressive”. I knew that Ruth would stand her ground and not let herself be steam rolled like drippy Alexa or Ben.

10. Siralan quotes a really smarmy self regarding excerpt from Mani’s CV and says that he has gone from “anchor to wanker” (tee hee) and is fired! Hurrah!

Next week: they have to sell second hand cars and Jo is told off for being rubbish. Could this be the end for the spiral permed mentalist?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Channel 4 are busy hyping the new series of their tragic sitcom “Green Wing”, without mentioning the fact that watching it is about as entertaining as being devoured by weevils. It is set in a hospital and stars the least funny cast members from a host of other comedy shows (look out for the least funny cast members of Book Club! Smack the Pony! Black Books! The Brittas Empire! Etc! etc!) together with a bunch of smug, irritating men who are probably attractive if you a 30something PR executive called Cornelia who lives in Chiswick. The main source of so called amusement is that people do silly walks and pull faces while dressed up as doctors and nurses and – omg you won’t believe this – sometimes the camera speeds up and slows down so they are doing the silly walk at the wrong speed. While this is going on there is a rubbish soundtrack of trip hop, because nothing says comedy like a dinner party in 1993.

I really don’t know what they were thinking of making one series, let alone doing another one. Just in case you had forgotten that the series is so teeth grindingly irritating, the adverts on TV do a very good job reminding you – you see the cast members are dressed as ballerinas! Even the men! For no reason! That doesn’t smack of “forced wackiness for the sake of it” at all, does it? “New Green Wing – Nearly Ready.” Nearly ready to annoy the hell out of me without even watching it, more like.

This week Siralan called the teams in and said “poisoned chalice for two!” – yes, one woman had to go and lead the men’s team (Toyota Alexa, pretty much having no choice after last week) and one man had to go and lead the women’s team (Mani). The task was to run a themed restaurant/food stall at the Thames Festival for a day.

Toyota Alexa and the blokes decided to do pizzas and have a lame Italian theme, while Mani and the girls had a hilarious brainstorming session that showed off Mani’s cockfarmery to a very high degree (“We’re just throwing out ideas now! Say a word!” “It should be easy to prepare” “Easy! Yes, I like that! What else!” etc). At first they decided to do crepes but had trouble thinking of a theme to go with them, so Mani changed his mind at the last minute and said they were doing noodles and having an oriental theme. Cue lots of eye rolling and moaning from Ruth Badger, Michelle and the Scottish One (btw, Jo was pretty much in the background this week. Phew). Later on, one of them had a bratty fit and stomped out, accusing Mani of not listening to her after he had squawked “We’re in the convergent phase now! Convergent not divergent!” to her about fifteen times. Shut up, Mani.

Each team would be given help from a catering firm but had to buy their own ingredients and do all the prep and cooking themselves. Tuan and Syed said they had catering experience and Toyota Alexa said she used to work on the pizza counter at Asda (ha ha ha, I bet you wish you hadn’t mentioned that now Alexa), so they went off to get the food based on their estimates of what they need. Unfortunately the wholesaler was closed so Syed had to place a telephone order on their answerphone for 100 chickens etc etc. That sounds like a great idea. Not.

The girl’s team got the food and Mani left them to chop up three million peppers and shred the meat off loads of chickens for hours while he ponced around buying soft drinks and napkins etc. People on the interweb have criticised him for this but someone had to do it and he seemed to do a pretty good job when the final restaurant was unveiled. In the end he went back to help the others and there were some comedy shots of slightly forced bonding as they all shredded chicken while singing and dancing like cretins in an advert.

Alexa was trying to get some leaflets printed when she got a phone call saying that the food had arrived – as the wholesalers hadn’t been given very specific instructions they had sent 100 of the hugest chickens known to man! Syed had also managed to order hundreds of £££ worth of cheese. (If I ever I am on Apprentice I will never buy cheese – it is always someone’s downfall) so basically they had about 50p left for everything else. Back at the kitchen, Nick (wearing an adorably dorky food safety hat) wondered why they had bought 100 giant chickens when they only planned to make 100 chicken pizzas. Alexa just sort of shrugged and ignored him. Ruh roh. For some insane reason they decide to make their own pizza bases from scratch and, of the 500 they had planned to make, managed to make just 90! This is turning into a monumental fuck up and we are shown no evidence that they tried to turn it round (by say, thinking of ways to sell the left over chicken somehow). Samuel had a bratty fit and moaned that no-one was taking charge to sort out the problems while Alexa just stood there and ignored him. In the end the catering guy who was helping them told him to just shut up and chop up a pineapple. Heh.

They set up the stalls and Mani’s team’s looks inviting and classy and has buddha’s etc scattered around. Margaret tried some of the noodles and made a surprised “Mmm, this is actually nummy!” face. They do an “early bird special” cost reduction and soon the stall was packed. Alexa’s team’s stall looked like a tacky piece of shit with cheap red, white and green balloons and a v amateurish looking “Taste of Italy” sign. It was completely deserted, so Alexa spied on the other stall and cuts prices. There was a funny scene of “economics graduate” Alexa failing to correctly calculate £20 minus £9 at the till. Three times. We got various clips of the most dickish men – Tulip and Syed - moaning that it was a disaster, but not doing anything to sort it out. At one point Alexa asked Syed to go outside and drum up some trade and he was all “I’m not sure what to do. Please demonstrate”. What a dick – I have quite recovered from feeling a bit sorry for him last week. Presumably they were hoping that Alexa gets the chop but it didn’t look good that they were so apathetic and Siralan will take note, I’m sure.

At the end of the day, they were desperately trying to sell off their old stock for knock down prices. This worked better for pizza than it did for noodles. There was a hilarious scene with that hateful c*** Tulip telling a woman customer “It’s only costs a pound for sexy women and you just about scrape through” and the woman telling him to fuck off. Ha ha ha. What does Tulip actually do except to make snide comments and make me hate him? I can’t wait until he is put in a position of authoritay and makes a complete hash of things. (Me saying that probably means he will win now…). Alexa’s team ended up throwing away tons of perfectly good food – if they have won it will be a miracle.

Oh look they lost. Mani’s team made a profit of £300 and Alexa’s team made a loss of £800! (We get the Siralan line about “pissing money up the wall” around now.) I’m not surprised when they bought a giant cooked ostrich for each of 100 chicken pizzas and then only made 18 chicken pizzas. The winners get to have a meal at Oxo Tower and watch fireworks (Siralan pops up, drunk, to say hello!) and one of the losers is going to be fired.

In the boardroom, Siralan asked the blokes if they thought that Alexa was a good leader. Cue deafening wave of silence. Siralan: “Ansell, so how was Gretel?” Yes yes, very funny. How long did it take him to think of that? Ansell said something tactful but negative. Everyone else said she is a bit shit. Nick uses the magic of basic arithmetic to show that they had to sell each slice of pizza for over £4 to break even and obv they were selling them for a lot less than that. The budget (based on 500 pizzas – they would have had to sell a slice every 9 seconds!) was incredibly overambitious and they bought too much food even for that. Alexa decided to bring Tuan and Syed into the boardroom as they were in charge of the budget/purchasing. Tuan says he just suggested 500 as a benchmark (500 slices or 500 pizzas?) and no-one had a better idea – I think he is fairly safe. Alexa tried the “I will learn from my mistakes and go on to be fantastic” spiel that she tried last week. Oh no, that is completely the wrong approach. If she had been more specific and said she had trusted Syed to be vaguely sensible re the purchasing then she might have had a chance. Siralan said that he is not running a training academy for dumpkopfs (heh, he is on good form this week) and then gives Syed a good grilling re the ridiculous overpurchasing. Syed smarmily keeps going on about how is a winner and will give 150%. Siralan accurately points out that he was actually a big loser. He says he blames Syed “100 percent” for the disastrous result but that Alexa is fired anyway for being so rubbish. As he leaves the boardroom, Syed smarms that he is grateful for the opportunity to be a dick for another week and Siralan calls him a cocky bastard. In the Taxi of Finality, Alexa says that she will learn from her mistakes and that everyone could see that she is a good manager. Well, if you call “standing around ignoring things that go wrong” being a good manager, I suppose you’re right.

Nest week: they have to make an advert about aeroplanes. Oh, I hope it is as good as the CD player adverts last series, with Rachel’s “kick off your shoes and dance” comedy standout moment. We see a clip of a 70s looking actor getting out of a car and looking at his watch. Tulip does a presentation (FAIL!! FAIL!!!). Siralan is not happy about something surprise surprise and someone is going to be fired.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

After a fairly slow start to the series we had one of the best ever episodes last night!

1.Lynette finally vanquished her busty boss, but in true “whenever Lynette tries to meddle she fucks things up enormously” fashion, this resulted in half of her firm getting sacked and Lynette getting promoted to Busty’s high stress, free-time destroying management post. Good one Lynette. If I have one complaint it is that they didn’t make enough of the feud between Lynette and Busty – they could have had weeks of fun with them trying to out manoeuvre each other. Even in Melrose Place, where someone could meet a bloke, get married, find out they’re a serial killing sex addict, survive death, have amnesia, be sold into white slavery and then escape in two episodes, they would have dragged out the feud for longer than that.

2. Susan still doesn’t have a decent plotline so they gave her a long lost father. How random and overly-soap–opera-y. If they are going to be that cheesy they could at least have thrown in an Evil Twin too.

3. Gabrielle had a boring plot about a “sexy” lawyer and then finally accepted her pregnancy – of course this meant that she lost the baby in the same episode. Things are looking up though as Carlos is on parole and has made friends with a creepy nun who wants to save Carlos from Gabrielle’s satanic influence. “Stay away from my husband, you little bitch!” “I’ve got God on my side so bring it on!” Excellent! This is a genius idea for an adversary for Gabrielle, if you ignore the cheesy Virgin vs Whore overtones.

4. Bree is still the best one and Marcia Cross has been excellent. She had a fantastic Kimberley-from-Melrose style full on freak out when she discovered Rex’s “I forgive you poisoning me” note (tho sadly did not rip off her wig in the process), had a very creepy drugged sex scene with George and then dumped his ass and blew up his karaoke machine with a shotgun. Bree should wield guns in evening dress every week! Finally everyone worked out that George had thrown the therapist off the flyover (yikes!) and murdered Rex. George ODed to try and emotionally blackmail Bree into liking him again and Bree just sat there and watched him die! Next week - more gay son shenanigans. Hurrah!

5. I would like an update on the Mike/Paul/Zach storyline and also more progress re Alfre Woodard and her axe-murdering son (I think the Shocking Twist will be that the fit son is actually the murderer). Also more scenes of Edie insulting Susan pls thx.

Friday, March 10, 2006


This week they had the “buy ten things at a discount for the least cash possible” task. I don’t really like that one as it basically involves hours of people harassing shopkeepers who do not deserve that kind of thing; weedling, begging and making me cringe.

Crazy Jo was the PM of the women’s team and immediately made everyone hate her by saying that there would be no messing around, that she had eyes and ears in the back of her head and then ranting on about the goddamn cat calendar task again. Let it go, Jo! Move on! They then spent three hours farting round with flipcharts and “planning”, even though they had to get everything by 6 pm.

Syed was in charge of the men and was slightly more organised. They had a brief planning session and then split into two teams and each set off to buy items. Syed is still cocky but much less of a cockfarmer these days. Tuan, Samuel and Mani are still completely useless (in ascending order of dickishness) and Ansell still seems sensible without actually doing anything particularly impressive (like Tim last time).

This week my hatred is reserved for Paul Tulip, who is revealing himself to be a smarmy little shit. His genius idea was to pretend that he was getting married and to get money off things that way (he obv has never seen that crappy sketch show where “wedding” items are automatically 5 x the price of identical “non wedding” items). At one point they had bought some silk after a long spiel about how his imaginary girlfriend wanted a specific type of silk for a specific price etc etc. (Something tells me that Tulip is good at inventing imaginary girlfriends btw). As they left, the shop owner wished him good luck with the wedding and Tulip said “whatever” in a really patronising way. Ooo, aren’t you clever for mocking someone who believed the line of bullshit you span him, you little sociopath. Tulip’s “card is marked” with me. That’s for certain.

When the women finally got under way they also split into two teams with Jo, Icy Lawyer Karen and Toyota Alexa in one team. The other team consisted of awesome Ruth Badger, the Scottish one with the “Gail Port-ah” type accent and the northern one with glasses, all of whom were united in their loathing of Jo. They were supposed to phone Jo before they bought anything but blatantly ignored her and tried to hang up on her whenever she phoned to rabbit endlessly on at them (cue scenes of Jo muttering to herself and rocking backwards and forwards etc). They ran around and bought 7 of the items on the list while Team Jo wasted hours wandering aimlessly round Camden looking for a dinner jacket. They were having trouble getting the last item (a tire) so Jo phoned Team Badger at like 5.30 and told them to get it and be back at the boardroom by 6. Ruth Badger’s look of pure hatred was hysterically funny to behold (and also a little scary), as was the bout of top quality swearing from all three women that followed: (“What the fuck did she say? She’s fucking joking, If she was fucking here right now I’d fuck her fucking fuck in. What the fuck have they been doing all fucking day etc.”).

6 pm rolled around and the women managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and not get the tire. They lost by £8, including a £154 penalty for the tire – so if they had got the tire they would have won by miles! The men won a dull looking “going to the races prize” but one of the women is going to be fired!

The men tooled around at the race course and placed bets etc. At one point Syed made some innocuous comment about the horse in “lane 4” and all the others brayed with laughter as though he said the most ridiculous thing possible. Shut up, you dongers. Oh my god! I can’t believe I am defending Syed! If you had said that to me three weeks ago I’d have told you to piss off!

Jo brought Toyota Alexa and Icy Lawyer Karen into the boardroom and said that her leadership must have worked because Team Badger did so well. Siralan suggested that this argument was bullshit (ie that people who totally ignored her succeeded!) and that she ought to think of another one. Jo then said that she was acting less mental than last time – hmmm, I beg to differ – and said it was all Karen’s fault that they had failed with the tire. Karen looked smirky and incredulous. I suspect editing shenanigans re this point so it’s hard to say who was right. Siralan accused Toyota Alexa of being too busy with flipcharts, too young and mousy and of not being good at anything. Alexa gave the usual spiel about wanting a chance to prove herself, which worked so well for Raj last time. He accused Karen of wasting time bargaining for an item that wasn’t even in stock (fair point) and accused her of being too flirty (probably still remembering sex-for-fruit-gate from week one) In the end Siralan said that he liked Jo’s moxy and that Karen hadn’t stood up for herself and was fired! Oh my god! I can see why he might have had problems with Karen but Toyota Alexa is useless and Jo is MENTAL!!! I don’t know… Maybe he just doesn’t like tall, posh, self possessed women (see Miriam last year) . Siralan then made some dopy comment about not needing another lawyer, as he’s got Margaret, who is a great lawyer but couldn’t sell a box of matches. Margaret’s facial expression said “Thanks a lot, fuckface! At least I didn’t come up with the emailer telephone!” Excellent!

Next week: The teams are mixed (I pray that Jo and her arch nemesis Ruth Badger are in the same team) and have to do a cooking task. Oh I love those – comedy gold! Samuel has a bratty fit and starts ranting about fuck ups, while making pizza! Hopefully he cries again too! Someone is a light weight and is fired (though they used that clip last week too – cheats!)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

There may, eventually, be something in the water

Special Guest Blogger Patrick1971 heads for the bunker...

Invasion began on Channel 4 in the same week that Lost finished; clearly an attempt to pick up on viewers who quite liked a bit of gentle sci-fi. If you had got used to the Lost modus operandi of lots of ponderous glances, ominous silences and getting to the end of an episode and realising that nothing had actually happened, you would be right at home with Invasion. It’s been ticking away for about eight weeks now, and we’ve only FINALLY seen an alien. Which was pretty impressive, and almost worth the wait, but still, eight weeks…

The scriptwriters have plundered from every standard sci-fi book or film known to man. John Wyndham in particular has been a source of “inspiration”. The whole concept of bright lights coming down from the skies and then taking up residence in the water is straight out of The Kraken Wakes, and the possessed townsfolk, who are normal-but-not-quite, have a very Midwich Cuckoos feel. But still, expecting originality from mainstream American television is never going to get you very far, so let’s press on.

First in the cast of characters is Russell. He’s the big all American hero (although, bizarrely, he turns out to be Cuban and came to Florida on a boat as a child. Boat, water, geddit? This will undoubtedly be significant later on). Russell LOVES HIS KIDS. He wants to PROTECT HIS FAMILY. He shouts this loudly and often. He’s some sort of National Park ranger, but this is a pretty flexible role as he can also perform autopsies on dead crocodiles. One of his staff is a shaven haired aggressive black lesbian, currently shamefully underused.

Russell is married to Larkin (eh? They’re calling people after the family in rubbish British sitcom The Darling Buds of May now? Whatever.). Larkin is a gutsy reporter. She wants the truth, even though she might not be able to handle the truth! Is pregnant with Russell’s baby. Larkin thinks that the military might know more about these aliens than they’re letting on (No shit!) so she’s picked up an old boyfriend who’s in the army and got him to escort her around secret military installations without the need for any sort of security passes or anything like that. As a result, her car was run off the road by weirdos. She’s still pregnant, though…but what with?

Sheriff Tom is the real bad guy of the piece. In a masterpiece of subtle characterisation, his eyes go all cold and steely, and his voice soft & sinister, whenever anyone mentions something in the water. This leads to loads of screaming at the television along the lines of “But he’s an ALIEN!” when various dimwit townsfolk won’t realise it. Was the sole survivor of a plane crash and spent lots of time in the water (see what they’re doing here?).

Sheriff Tom is married to Doctor Mariel, who used to be married to Russell! Good old small town interbreeding. This allows for lots of boring “conflict” between the two lead males over who gets to tuck the kids in at night, which in turn means they can spin out a fairly weak story over yet more episodes. Dr Mariel spent the night in the water (note that, it’s important!) during the hurricane when the aliens arrived, and ever since has been spookily taking loads of baths and running her hands under taps. She knows there’s something wrong with her, but hasn’t twigged yet that her creepy husband is in league with aliens and has handed her over to them. Everyone else worked it out 10 minutes into episode 1, so how Dr Mariel was smart enough to get a medical degree and yet not figure this out remains a mystery.

The fifth main player is Dave. If this programme were a US teen frat boy flick, Dave would be the ugly socially inept guy who just couldn’t get laid! And we all know that ugly socially inept guys who couldn’t get laid in college either turn into serial killers or become internet geeks obsessed with conspiracy theories and alien invasions. (As an ugly socially inept geek who can’t get laid myself, I resent this career dichotomy, but what can you do?) Fortunately for the plot, Dave is one of the latter types. He found a carcass of one of the aliens, which mysteriously disappeared, and was also present at the crocodile autopsy when Ranger Russell found a piece of alien inside the croc. Spreading the word about the aliens on his blog (they’re so up-to-date, these scriptwriters, but someone should tell them that you can’t update a blog by speaking into a Dictaphone. Or maybe you can these days? Technology’s going mad, I blame Mrs Thatcher, etc.). This is really pissing Sheriff Tom off, so I think Dave is going to have a closer encounter than he would like with an alien one of these days.

There are a couple of loathsome children straight out of US TV’s seemingly inexhaustible cuteness factory, including two teens (son of Russell, daughter of Tom) who have been sniffing around each other in a nice little bit of crypto-incest. Russell’s little daughter Rose, whose whole raison d’etre seems to be to come up with cloyingly cute nonsense, was able to stand upright in hurricane strength winds to go out and find her cat, though, so she may have more powers than we give her credit for, even though as yet she’s not been in the water.

Invasion’s not so bad as these programmes go. Dave is turning out to be a bit of a hero of the piece, which is unusual, and it’s also quite anti-religion (there’s a great creepy vicar who is even more obviously an alien than Sheriff Tom), again very unusual for a US show. Rumour from the US, though, is that it’s been cancelled mid-season, so we may never know what’s in the water. Except of course we do know, and have known since episode 1!

Monday, March 06, 2006


The horror that is Eurovision swings round again with the ominous regularity of a Michael Myers stab fest on Halloween. Before the actual song contest however, the UK must choose which lucky artist will not get any votes because all the Eastern European countries are voting for and against each other in complex patterns that date back to the days of Tsarist Russia.

The hosts are Sir Terry “Tex” Wogan (doing his veiled mockery routine) and Natasha Kaplinsky, wearing a rather shiny red dress. The panel of experts (whom Tex insults by claiming that they are the 3rd or 4th choice after any real music experts pulled out) are Jonathan Ross, who is doing weird things with his hair nowadays; the camp Italian judge from Strictly Come Dancing who is too shouty and annoying; Kelly Osbourne, looking rather pallid with a huge blonde bob and Fearne Cotton, who is very pretty but looks like she has been dragged through a hedge backwards. Would it really have taken that long to brush your hair Fearne, eh? Would it?

The audience seems a bit rowdy and hysterical and appears to consist entirely of gay men. No surprise there then.

On to the acts:

Characterless nerd who looks, as Jonathan Ross says, like a cross between the new Doctor Who and Edwina Curry and who sings a totally forgettable song in a wobbly voice whilst making pained facial expressions. Oh make it stop please. The only excitement is provided by three dance vixens who writhe around in light boxes like ladies from a James Bond title sequence before breaking out and being joined by two hunky boy dancers. Not a hope in hell of getting through and the panel alternate between damning him with faint praise and patronising him for being so plucky and giving it his best etc.

Her out of Hear’say, currently rocking a severe bob and too much eye make-up. Kym wears a smart black evening dress and sings a power ballad. It is inoffensive and competent and she is a good singer and all, but the song is totally forgettable. The panel say that she is too classy for Eurovision and I agree. Also too boring and forgettable.

Oh Jesus, what the hell is this! A middle aged bloke who looks like a builder, with awful gappy teeth and a hideous bleached denim ensemble, comes on stage and raps about teenagers, whilst a bunch of jailbaity girls in school uniform prance around a classroom set and sing the chorus, also about being a teenager. What is worse is that it is actually catchy! It is all so sick and wrong that it actually goes through the black hole of awfulness and emerges in a parallel universe of “being quite good”. It is also certainly memorable and will stand out with the teen girl gimmick. Eurovision loves a gimmick. The panel seem quite enthusiastic but wonder how a rap will do in Europe. Well, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Romanian and Albanian music television and all the male popstars look like ugly middle aged builders and do shit rapping! It will go down a storm. Afterwards Dax says something to the crowd about wanting to make a difference and represent for the hip hop nation or something. Shut up, Dax!

Two teenage girls who act in Scotland’s favourite soap! Scotland has its own TV programmes? How quaint and adorable! They are both quite pretty and seem nice but in my mind it is like watching Sonia “Moomintroll” Fowler and Vickney “What the hell is that accent supposed to be??” Fowler singing on stage. The song is an TaTu/Avril-ish light rock number and is not bad but the girl’s voices are a bit weak. They get better as they go along though. Again, it’s alright but not very memorable. More patronising from the panel.

Four ugly middle aged blokes who do boring close harmony singing whilst wearing grey suits that are so shiny you could use them to signal to passing aeroplanes if you were stranded on a desert island. They sing a boring “Boyz II Men” type song and no-one is at all bothered or interested.

Yes, it is the fat one out of Blue. First “I’m a CeleBrity” and now this! What a great career trajectory. He’ll be co-presenting a clip show on FTN at this rate!
He says his song is motown inspired but this is a lie as it just a v average pop song. The gimmick is provided by two backing singers dressed up like Jackie Kennedy (though not splattered with brains and bone fragments unfortunately). It is alright and the best of the forgettable none-Dax songs we have heard so far. His Blue fanbase might make the difference – we predict it is going to be a battle between him and Dax (but we hope that Dax will win).

Finally the Greek lady who won last year comes on to sing her winning entry again. Her hair is very flat. Javine also shows up - this year in a dress that manages to contain her bosoms. She chats about her forthcoming role in the Boney M musical and talks about "forthcoming recording projects" in an unconvinced voice. There is something about Javine that makes me think she would cut you if you gave her "evils" - she would have been a good replacement Sugababe.

My eyes! Natasha has changed into a black lacy dress that looks like a lampshade! There is a right bunch of no-marks giving out the results from the regions: Michelle MacManus! Rusty Lee! Maggot from Big Brother! My boyfriend is very glad that Zoe “Red Hand of Ulster” Salmon is not giving the result from Norn Ireland (long story...) – instead it is some old bloke.

The results arrive in a vaguely haphazard pattern. Anthony and Dax take it in turns to come first and second and Kym and Cytiiy Chykxx take it in turns to come third and fourth (the Chicx get “douze points” from Scotland of course). Goran and Bore Snorey take it in turns to get two and nul points each. One of Four Appall-me looks v v angry, like he is going to stab someone any second. That's what you get for being rubbish! In the end Dax wins. Ha ha ha – I knew it! If only we had placed a bet at 9/2. Kym looks like she doesn’t care (and is joined on the couch by Jaymee from Eastenders – who appears to be younger than he was when he left the show years ago) but Anthony looks gutted. Derek Ancona and Celebrity Enema Thrills are calling your name, Anthony!

Dax performs again and his performance does not make any more sense than it did last time. Oh well, at least we’ve picked something that will vaguely stand out – it will either die like a dog or do really, really well!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Another cavalcade of laughs, thrills and utter cringing embarrassment this week. The task is to create a charidee calendar for Gt Ormond St Hospital and pitch it to retailers. Spineless Samuel is head of the boy’s team and phrosty pharmacist Nargis heads up the girls’ team.

Samuel immediately goes into brainstorming creative overdrive and starts drawing loads of complicated diagrams on the blackboard explaining how your branes work when you have an idea. He is a product developer for Ford IRL so probably spends his working life thinking up cunning new designs for those little trays in cars where you put your loose change. In the end Margaret steps in and tells them to get their act together and actually do something. Samuel is reduced to nodding and looking wan as the rest of the team decide to do a calendar showing babies dressed up in adult jobs (all the jobs they think of stereotypical male jobs by the way – dicks!). Samuel later has a manly repressed crying session (as featured in the trailer). What ev uh. There is a noticeable schism between the boys this week, with Samuel, shaolin monk lookalike Tuan and tall gaydar triggering Mani forming one camp and cockfarmer Syed, beefy ex millwall player Ansell and Paul Tulip (tee hee) in the other camp.

The women do some research on teh interweb and deduce that cat calendars sell the most. Emotionally unstable Jo starts shouting that kittens have nothing to do with Gt Ormond St and they ought to do shots of tubercular babies whose lives were saved by the hospital. Everyone else disagrees and eventually they start doing their cat calendar while Jo goes off to have a little cry.

Cue montage of kitten/baby photography. All the babies seem to be crying and cockfarmer Syed tries to cheer them up – perhaps relieved that he has found someone on his own level to relate to. It looks like a disaster but they get some decent shots (tho they decide that babies hand cuffed together would be a bit weird for the police baby month!). Meanwhile, kittens do cute kitten things for the camera. Ahhhhh.

Tuan is left in charge of calendar design while the others discuss pricing and prepare a sales pitch. The other blokes’ personalities emerge a bit - Paul is smug and irritating. Mani seems to be overconfident but wrong a lot. He is a total knob but he hates Syed and keeps shouting at him for no reason so he can’t be all bad. Ansell seems quite sensible and voice of reason – final four candidate??? Meanwhile the calendar is totally hideous and looks like something I would knock up in my work lunchtime on a graphics package I had not been trained on. Garish background colours and ill placed wacky logos in comics sans serif font a go go! Tuan is taking too long to decide the exact shade of hideous puce for March so he is stripped of his job and the rest of them get it sorted out quickly instead. Tuan goes to another office to cry – dude, you’ll never make it through the 35th Chamber of Shaolin if something like that gets you down.

Why is everyone crying this week? It’s only week two!

The girls’ calendar is v smart and tasteful. Someone with a northern accent (Ruth Badger??) complains that there is no space to write things down and record dates etc (the highly artistic naked French rugby player charity calendar is like that too though! – also call me pls Frederik Michalak) but Nargis tells her to shove it.
Pitching time – to Harrods, Virgin and “Calendar Club” (some kind of seedy online dating forum for calendar fetishists – perhaps!). Mani pitches for the men and is truly awful. He faux emotionally talks about the “self evident right” that babies have to go to hospital and “talks them through the calendar” saying things like “Ha ha ha. There’s a baby playing cricket! Awesome! I love that shot!” Oh shut up. They seem to have forgotten to set a price and the man from Harrods sneers to their faces. It’s not looking good.

Nargis decides to pitch for the girls and is so utterly utterly awful that I have to wrap my jumper round my head to hide from the TV screen. I will try and record it verbatim:

Nargis: (whitters on about cats a bit)

Bloke: Can I just ask you something!


(Everyone is aghast – tumbleweed blows across meeting room)

Nargis: Do you have any questions?

Bloke: How much does it cost?

Nargis: (freezes like rabbit pinned down by headlights of HGV. Long excruciating pause) C…C… Can you repeat the question?

(Nick winces as though someone has just stabbed him in the kidney)


The exact same thing happens at all three pitches – why did no-one talk to her in between them???

When the results come out it turns out that the boys have sold no calendars to Harrods or Virgin but won out overall by selling loads to Calendar Club – gasp!! The men go off to have dinner and make smug hateful comments about their vanquished foes. The women come back for the post mortem and Siralan complains that the calendar is rubbish, has nothing to do with hospitals, isn’t branded properly and has no space to write down important dates (eg “Feb 26th – give up on Amstrad emailer finally”). Bu bu but Siralan! The boys’ one was SHIT! Just look at it! Are you blind, man??? He also points out that the presentation was aggressive and rubbish too. Nargis picks Jo (of course) and Icy Lawyer Karen (why???) to take back in with her and someone is going to be fired.

Jo starts shouting that she had the same thoughts re kitten/baby dichotomy as Siralan but of course spoils it by ranting and erupting into heaving sobs etc. Siralan says that he likes her moxy but tells her to calm down ffs. Karen says she has no idea why she was chosen and Nargis says that Karen sabotaged the presentation through telepathy or something that doesn’t really make sense. Nargis came up with the shit calendar idea and gave the worst presentation in the annals of presenting – Nargis is fired!!! In the Cab of Firedness she says it is all Karen’s fault and that she didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, keep telling yourself that, you delusionoid.

Next week: they have to do the “buy ten random things for the least money” task! Oh Jesus help me, is Jo the girl’s project leader??? The blokes pretend to be getting married soon to blag free stuff. Someone is a lightweight (cough* Samuel??? *cough) and is fired.

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