I went to the UKTV Entertainment Upfronts press launch earlier this week. They spent a heck of a lot of money on it; star guests, dancers, pyrotechnics, smoke machine (it took place at what used to be London’s Hippodrome club. Nuff said) comedian Michael McIntyre as the host. It was probably overlong but the bits that worked, worked really well. A much funnier event than these things often are – it was incredibly profane too. I can’t repeat much of what was said. I could try, but it would just look like this: "f*&@ing, s**t, c£$t, f*&@ing, s**t, c£$t!"
UKTV revealed that a stellar line-up, including John Cleese, John Sergeant and Red Dwarf, will feature on their new entertainment channels Watch, Alibi and G.O.L.D. We saw a VT of forthcoming highlights for the respective channels and then Michael McIntyre interviewed guests from certain shows. Admittedly, results were mixed. I couldn’t see the point of talking to the stars of Mistress as we’d already heard from them the first time around when the show was on BBC1. The exchange with Johnny Vaughan was, for the most part, awkward but things got off to a great start with John Sergeant, Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound. So here’s what’s in store:
Coming up on Dave: Argumental – a panel show which positively encourages an argument presented by John Sergeant
Batteries Not Included – a look at the mad world of gadgets with John Cleese (yes, him!) and Alex Zane
Car of the Year 2008 – with new host Johnny Vaughan
Four new episodes of Red Dwarf
Coming up on G.O.L.D: (Go On Laugh Daily) The dedicated comedy channel launches with Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga. Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Richard Curtis, to name but a few, come together for the first time to reveal a unique insight into the iconic comedy.
Coming Up on Alibi: This channel will be dedicated to crime drama and among its shows will be the classic Shoestring. Unfortunately, there’ll be no escape from Jessica Fletcher as Murder She Wrote will also be a staple.
Coming Up on Watch: This is the new entertainment platform showcasing the likes of Dancing With The Stars – the US version of Strictly Come Dancing (Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were in attendance). The stars of the channel will undoubtedly be Richard and Judy. They got the biggest cheers at the launch when they were unveiled on a red chaise lounge. Recreating the trailer, which promotes their chat show Richard and Judy’s New Position, a troupe of dancers energetically kicked their heels to Björk’s version of It’s Oh So Quiet. We’re told this new show will be packed with celebrity guests, the Book Club as well as Thank You Britain, a campaign that focuses on acts of generosity. Judge the show for yourself on October 7 at 8pm. So, will you be watching?
A different subject, but I can’t leave it any longer. Ladies and gents, a question. What were you doing on Thursday September 18? Because you certainly weren’t watching television. As you can see from my picture above, I wear glasses (I’m short-sighted) so I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I checked the Thursday overnights on Friday morning. But no. There it was in black and white. The highest-rated TV show was BBC2’s amusing panel series Mock The Week. With three million viewers. Three million! This is a country of 60 million, and even if you allow for the people that don’t have TVs or the people who were out or the net surfers or those that preferred digital/satellite, three million is astounding. Of course, it’s very good for the likes of BBC2, Five and Channel 4, but it’s a disaster for BBC1 and ITV1. Where did all the couch potatoes go? Here are the figures:
BBC2: 21.00 – Mock the Week: 2.9m *the slot winner
Channel 4: 21.00 – The Ambulance: Eight Minutes To Disaster: 2.6m
ITV1: 21.00 – Ann Widdecombe Versus Girl Gangs: 2.5m
BBC1: 21.00- The Undercover Soldier: 2.3m *it started with 2.6m but lost viewers during transmission. This is the BBC1’s worst performance in the 9pm slot since June 2006, when A Life of Grime averaged just 1.9m. The slot average is 4.2m
Five: 20.00 – Uefa Cup: Everton v Standard Liege: 2.1m
I’m sure ITV1 will be very disappointed with the performance of their much-hyped Ann Widdecombe programme. She was investigating why Britain’s teenage girls are increasingly attracted to gang culture – but nobody gave a toss. BBC1 may have suffered due to a late change in schedule – personally. I was watching Channel 4’s excellent Cutting Edge documentary The Ambulance: Eight Minutes To Disaster. We viewers witnessed an entire month of call-outs made by ambulance 212 in Reading, Berkshire. After seeing the large proportion of alcohol-related incidents, I now have a new appreciation for the phrase ‘the demon drink’.
Today I am mostly lovin’ – Michael McIntyre for describing Strictly Come Dancing’s bronzed, shirt unbuttoned to mid-chest Bruno Tonioli as "Three buttons short of a heterosexual" – ha,ha,ha,ha! Hilarious!
Today I am mostly hatin’ – Sorry, but I really can’t get into Lost In Austen (neither can the rest of the UK, judging by the viewing figures). For the uninitiated, think Pride and Prejudice meets Life On Mars. Anyway, I’ve watched just about every version of Pride and Prejudice available, but this one leaves me as cold as Keira Knightley’s overrated movie did.
MSN Editor Coops
Don’t miss a trick – Add MSN Reality TV Agent to your IM contacts