mon 28/09/2020

reality TV

CD: Olly Murs – In Case You Didn't Know

It is probably just wishful thinking from the haters that The X Factor is going into meltdown. Pop might be the sound of a bubble bursting, but the Class of Cowell is still having hits. Olly Murs is currently in a chart battle with Rihanna for the...

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CD: Susan Boyle - Someone to Watch Over Me

The biggest surprise with Someone to Watch Over Me might be that SuBo has actually made it to three albums. Last year’s release brought relief that the Simon Cowell machine hadn’t broken her. But with this new one Boyle actually seems to be forging...

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Cinema Verite, Sky Atlantic

The 1973 series An American Family is often referred to as television's first reality show, though comparing it to Big Brother or the Kardashians would be like slotting Ingmar Bergman alongside the CBeebies. Its 12 episodes were boiled down from 300...

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Educating Essex, Channel 4

Education, education, education. Have we ever worried so much about how, and what, and why, and where our children are being taught? We’re so desperate, it seems, for some guidance on the matter that we barely raise an eyebrow about turning their...

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The Great British Bake Off, BBC Two

Baking and competition are two of my favourite things, thus when BBC Two unveiled The Great British Bake Off last year, it seemed my gluttonous, pugnacious prayers had been fulfilled. Amateurs had every possible skill challenged by the good-cop...

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Little England, ITV1

Why did I dislike this programme so much? At first I put it down to the stinker of a hangover I found myself watching it through. Perhaps it was the thought that my hangover would have been easier to bear under a yolk-yellow Dordogne sun than under...

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theartsdesk MOT: Dreamboats and Petticoats, Playhouse Theatre

It's one of the distinctions of the London theatre to be at once highbrow and middle-of-the-road, to offer up esoterica from Ibsen and Schiller while allowing audiences elsewhere the chance to rock out to the beloved pop icons of their choice. And...

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Opinion: Is The X Factor back for good?

And so it begins again. Earlier this summer I attended what has become a regular British ritual, exactly like Wimbledon and Henley, the Chelsea Flower Show and Ascot, with only one or two small discrepancies. The forecourt in front of the O2 heaved...

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Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 5

There were rumours – on Twitter, naturally – that Charlie Sheen was going into the House. But, alas, these were unfounded, and he didn’t. Maybe even Sheen has to draw the line somewhere. Instead, only four people I’d heard of actually went ahead and...

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Geordie Finishing School for Girls, BBC Three

Lucy Haythornthwaite-Shock is aptly named for the culture shock she receives

If you're reading this review, you'll probably be expecting a sarky analysis. It invites that - wow, posh girls with unpronounceable names have to work in a Newcastle chippy! - but the programme, which sent four Home Counties fillies up North to...

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Dragons' Den, BBC Two

Meet the new Dragon, slightly different from the old Dragons. Or is she? For series nine, the squad of rich, grumpy bastards is joined by “formidable businesswoman and self-made multimillionaire Hilary Devey”, as presenter Evan Davis introduced her....

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Holiday Hijack, Channel 4

Dan, a tall ginger streak of entitlement, had an issue with the hygiene. Channel 4 were about to lift him out of a five-star hotel in the Gambia and send him off to see how the other half lives. “They’re not going to be as clean as us,” he predicted...

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