Tuesday, August 1

Afternoon cringe

Gareth Crew rushes home into the loving and wobbly arms of TV’s favourite couple

It’s a mixed blessing living seven miles from work. Those lie-ins are handy, and if you’re lucky and the wind’s blowing in the right direction, you can get home to watch TV by 5pm. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it would be if you didn’t have just the four original channels to watch.

So, looking through the Daily Express, what’s on? Newsround on BBC 1. No. They use the word ‘Loads’ too often. Weakest Link repeats on BBC 2? No chance. However, you can guess what series it is by looking at the tautness of Robinson’s Skeletor-type cheekbones. Channel 3 as my Nan calls it, and it’s The Price is Right with Squeaky Joe. No thanks. So what’s left? Ah, Smug and Shakey, otherwise better known as Richard and Judy (Channel 4, 5pm Monday-Friday). Let’s look at this.

The heatwave has gone! Thank god. Richard has got rid of the T-Shirts and is back in a suit. Judy, bless her wobbly wrists, is dressed in older rich-woman type clothes – I detect a hint of Boden (and a whiff of Gin). We’re through the looking glass here, for us workers it’s a chance to either: reminisce about what it was like when Pot Noodles were the greatest food of all time, and you read The Sun ironically, or it’s a dark reminder of the coming days in an old people’s home, and all you have to look forward to is those two and skin on your cups of tea so thick, you can pick it up and eat it.

So what’s on the show that launched 1,000 wretches in this reporter’s stomach? Hungry men prefer fat women, Jodie Marsh went out with someone who’s now a murderer and Richard Wilson, plugging a play. Oh, we’re in for a treat here!

So, first item: Hungry men prefer fat women. Some University or other has researched hard. Boffins, looking for ways to improve society, and putting their PhD’s to good use, have worked out that the hungrier the man is, the fatter they prefer their women. So, in true R & J style, they did their own experiment, which involved starving some lads and getting them to look over pictures of ladies. Apparently the theory was proved right. I saw the graph that Richard produced. I don’t agree. Cue TV debate with Civil servant and a lady who was, in the words of Heat, painfully thin.

This is where R & J excel. Now, dear readers, I’d imagine that you would know that the point of an interview is to extract some knowledge or information from the interviewee that is relevant to the subject matter? You’d think, wouldn’t you? Not for our two favourite former-journalists. It’s time to indulge, make it up as they go along and bicker. This ain’t a Mike Leigh film kids.

It was the same with Richard Wilson. I don’t believe it, but they put up a One Foot In The Grave clip. The first question from Richard was directly linked to the clip. Oh how I prayed that Wilson would reinact that excellent scene from Father Ted and get him in a headlock. Sadly not. Wilson was talking about a play. Richard then started talking about that Sound of Music show on Saturday. Relevant.

I skipped over Jodie Marsh. She deserves it. What I would like to say is that her tan and tits are as spectacularly abhorrent as ever.

Fortunately the fantastic segment saved the show: You Say, We Pay. The premise is simply brilliant. You describe the picture and if the idiots get it right, you get a grand each time. It was saved as the person tonight was an older chap from Manchester. And the first person to describe was Trevor McDonald. He described him in a fairly racist way, but Richard and Judy got it straight away – I knew there was a reason why they wrote for the Express!!

Now being more wound up than when I left work, I sighed with relief as the greatest show ever made was round the corner, The Simpsons. Halloween Special 3? Oh for Sky Plus!

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