TV's chicks are letting the gender down, says Helen Parton
Wednesday was not a good day for womankind, in TV land at least. And it all started off so promisingly too. A sprightly Sue Barker put the piss poor Gabby Logan well and truly in the shade in sports TV anchorwoman stakes at Wimbledon (Whenever it Doesn’t Rain, BBC1 and BBC2): all lilac Jaeger suits like the smartest Mum on school sportsday, and coquettishly flirting with the cupboard-loving Boris Becker (a man whose strangulated German accent was
last seen on Lieutenant Grueber on ‘Allo ‘Allo I swear).
But no sooner had coverage started than things began to get distinctly heat magazine tinged.
“Ooooh, hasn’t Venus Williams put on weight! So and so’s outfit is by Stella McCartney don’t you know!”
And it’s infectious too – as Blondie’s ‘Maria’ was busily soundtracking Ms Sharapova frolicking about in photoshoots in sparkly frocks, I wondered to myself how long it’d be before a similar montage of footage of the unfortunately masculine top lady's seed would be accompanied by Aerosmith’s ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’.
I thought some respite from the Mean Girls world could be found in The Convent (BBC2, 9pm). This is largely such an original (if you, er, forget that they did The Monastery last year) insightful, and at times emotional programme about a group of four women trying to find a spiritual side to themselves, that it barely warrants any snidey comments from me. Apart from
the God-awful cod soul rendition of Amazing Grace at the end by Iona, which deserves a thunderbolt at the very least. And the fact that being madder than a box of frogs and in a three way relationship (with TWO GUYS before you’re thinking Sugar Rush style horny lesbians) must surely qualify Victoria fast-track entry to the Big Brother house. Nuns though. Great.
Every home should have one. Fuck Supernanny – let’s be having Supernunny I say! Peter Stringfellow too was most evangelical in Sex in the 90s: Lap Dance Wars (Channel 4, 11pm) but only about the appeal of big boobs. His nightclub business was about to go tits up in the early 90s before he went to a club called Pure Platinum in New York and decided the answer was tits out. Pure Platinum was owned by Michael J Peter ‘the man who invented
lapdancing’ – that’ll be one to tell the grandchildren then - and he and Stringfellow basically battled it out for a few years over who had the worst mullet and oh yeah, who was king of the lapdancing clubs. Turns out, neither of them were – it was down to John Gray (presumably not the same guy that wrote Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus but you never know) who gave London its first club with nude table dancing at Spearmint Rhino.
Stringfellow tried some dirty tricks – including hiring a pair of private investigators to find out what was going down at Spearmint Rhino. Turns out it was lapdancers – boom boom! To nobody’s surprise.
“Some of the females pressed their breasts into the face of a man and moved up and down his body” deadpanned one of the Grant Mitchell soundalike detectives. This sorry excuse for a documentary ended with the shocking revelation that Stringfellow had to go nude too. All I’ll leave to you to get that horrendous image out of your head.