Wednesday, October 11

What Not To Advise

Helen Parton watches helplessly as Trinny and Susannah foist fashion on couples as if it was a marital panacea

Like much midweek viewing fodder, tonight's shows focussed on making people feel bad about themselves and then perking them up with some advice from so called 'experts' - it's enough to you want to make you never leave the house and comfort feed yourself silly, except then you'd probably have Gillian 'rapidly turning into the witch from Rentaghost' McKeith rapping at your window armed with a bag of miso slurry.

First up, Trinny and Susannah Undress (8pm, ITV), their own figures rapidly turning into a parody of themselves - Trinny's tits so nonexistent they're practically concave and Susannah rocking a Mrs Miggins (the slutty innkeeper from Blackadder) look with her prominently displayed DDs. In this series, the terrible twosome go far beyond their usual fashion tips and into much deeper territory, which they're plainly not qualified to do. Muffin tops and potbellies are one thing, dealing with breast cancer and a failing relationship is quite another and not something to be solved by a quick flit round River Island and Marks and Sparks.

"So you're marriage wasn't in great shape then?" "How has having a hysterectomy affected your sex life?" they ask poor Froso and Brian over a family get together before getting them into some new clothes that weren't that dissimilar to their old ones.

"So nice to see you in some colour!" they chorus patronisingly to Froso for wearing a top the exact same shade of green as one in which we see at the start of the show. It felt slightly unpleasant watching all this tawdry voyeurism dressed up as entertainment and so I flicked over to Cooking It (Channel 4, 8pm) with chef Jun Tanaka, a slightly mumsier version of Gok from How to Look Good Naked. This is basically Faking It for cooks so why they didn't call it Fooking It I don't know. Channel 4 you've missed a trick.

Supernanny (Channel 4, 9pm) though highly repetitive - parents have rowdy kids they can't control, Supernanny comes in sorts them out, Supernanny leaves, it all goes tits up, Supernanny returns, it's all OK again - is still a solid performer in the heartstring pulling stakes. I've noticed though that Jo Frost's not as perfect as she seems - she can't say certain words, certain words she uses quite often, correctly - unazzzeptable for unacceptable, ezzzackleee for exactly. I tell you, if she says pacific instead of specific, she's not coming near any children I know.

And neither is Jonathan King, subject of Life on the Outside (Channel 4, 10pm) or his portly Uncle-Monty-gone-bad type character of a friend, who tried to justify King’s activity with underage boys by pointing out that the homosexual age of consent had gone down from 21 to 16 during the past thirty years.

I had to turn over to the grisly goings on in a repeat of CSI New York (Five, 10pm) to feel civilized again, though I wish Five wouldn’t show episodes over again with such regularity. Maybe though they could get the wardrobe person responsible for Stella Bonasera’s stylish suits, with just the right amount of cleavage, to have a word with the infernal Trinny and Susannah. And maybe ask them some personal questions such as how much Botox have they stuck in their emotionless faces, and see how they like it.

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