COUCH POTATO: Dragons, Oscars and astrology

Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
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OUR Sunday web columnist on the week’s TV: sat in his chair, regressed 30 years, put his hand up and timidly asked Marvin Humes, from JLS, if he could go to the toilet.

A strange old turn of events clearly destined for the cutting room floor.

Unless, that is, you’re BBC1.

In which case, standard procedure is to make it Saturday night primetime viewing.

So they followed him to the urinal, played Take Hart’s Gallery vibraphone music, attempted some on-screen Twitter hashtaggery to get it trending and dragged the whole futile exercise out for 52 seconds.

Whatever next? Tom Jones flossing? Ricky Wilson picking his nose?

Kylie farting in bed?

And there I was wondering why The Voice battle rounds were a 4h 20min blur, over two weekends.

A gargantuan endurance challenge that required a kilo of Kendal Mint Cake washed down with several crates of Red Bull followed by prescription strength migraine pills.

Bone-headedly and unnecessarily long, it’s like the BBC has forgotten how to edit.

Last night we had acoustic guitars at dawn from 20 paces, a scat-off and Team Tom adviser Tinie Tempah: “I’ve been blessed with an amazing career so far. And now I’m on The Voice.”

Well, all good things come to an end.

Wilson started a sentence with: “The whole point of the battle rounds is to...”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me stop you right there, Ricky.

There’s a point to the battle rounds?

I see no evidence of that.

Other than possibly to airbrush Jessie J from the show’s history - Tom Jones failed to name-check her while giving It’s My Party to one of his pairs last Saturday.

Bizarre when every other artist was credited.

This show also has no place for sob stories, yet the producers are still trying to cash in on them.

Returning last night were a bullied hermaphrodite who’s “a bit shy”, cancer sister, ex-tramp and, topping the lot, “Danny from McFly’s sister” Vicky Jones: “He got his lucky break and I just didn’t.

I can never get away from the fact of who my brother is.”

Yeah, because that really held back Janet Jackson.

The likes of which the coaches are convinced they’ll find, with Wilson speaking of Kylie’s Britney song choice Baby One More Time: “That song launched a massive career. And it will do the same for whoever she puts through.”

He’s away with the fairies. As is who was worried about “sending a superstar home” (unlikely) and speaks in riddles about ocean animals in outer space and lost me at “spaghetti”.

And follow this one if you can: “I’m, like, with nunchucks, PFFSCHOO!

And then the nunchuck hits you in the head, like, BAM! That’s what I’m dealing with right now. A potential nunchuck up inside my cranium.”

I’m locking the padded cell door, like, KERSLAM!

Yet against all hope, salvation came in the form of his adviser Dante Santiago: “Will and I are very determined this year. He’s really,

really ready for war.”

Great to hear, Dante. Tell Will to pack his bags and passport.

The flight to Kiev leaves in an hour.


To Dragons’ Den, where Duncan Bannatyne asks: “So how do you think it’s gone so far?”

Well, Dunc, it’s had 11 series, 12 dragons, at least five pointless spin-off shows, several monstrous egos that have only got bigger the wealthier their owners have become and a format that had its day by 2007.

You did ask.


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Amanda Byram, on Sky Living’s Oscars build-up show, announcing: “We’ve seen a little bit of the wet bread carpet.”

BBC Breakfast’s Tim Muffett going from interviewing Hollywood A-listers at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party in 2012, where he mistook US actor Ed Lauter for Patrick Stewart, to this announcementexactly two years on: “Good morning from the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014,” at the glittering Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Barbara “Rita Tanner” Knox’s tearful farewell to the old set of The Kabin on Corrie: A Moving Story: “It’s a gift handed to you, really, to get in there and do the lovely stories.”

And the axing of BBC3, which campaigners argue is a blow to new comedy. The indisputable argument against saving it? Hair host Steve Jones on Tuesday night: “Your challenge is to make a hat out of hair.” I rest my case.


Sky Living’s Oscars Live From The Red Carpet host Alex Zane: “You’ll have noticed Piers Morgan in the background just then. I wonder which lane he was in.”

The dole queue lane?


ITV2 sent Mark Wright to a cowboy ranch, primarily to look like an Epping Forest under-10s girls gymkhana rider, for week two of Party Wright Around The World.

An episode that could have been called Sh***y Slickers that began with the Essex plank complaining: “Dirty, cold, weird. Horrible location to live in.”

But he wasn’t there long. He was jetting to Canada to organise a hoedown for the Cowleys whose four grown-up kids had Wright admiring: “They’re like brothers and sisters.”

What with them being brothers and sisters.

So he “sprinkled his Essex party magic” for a bash clearly organised by others long in advance, booked country & western singers and for his sins, ate testicles at a cowboy initiation.

Awful for him.

Anything but country & western.


Mission impossible for The Big Reunion’s vocal coach this week as she put manufactured has-been boyband 5th Story, “the ultimate pop star pile-up” of Dane Bowers, Gareth Gates, Adam Rickitt, Kenzie and Kavana, through its paces.

Narrator Andi Peters: “Yvie Burnett is on hand to see if they can still sing. And if they could sing in the first place.”

Her biggest lost cause was Rickitt who struggled to record Breathe Again in the studio: “You’re the life that I breathe

“Nah, I’m coming in early,

“F***ing s***ing f***ing p***ing,

“F***ing s***ing f*** f***.”

One more time, Adam.

This time with feeling.

From the top.


This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

Gaby Roslin’s catchphrase on Sport Relief’s Top Dog: “On your barks, get set...” grow up.

Jonathan Ross dying an excruciating chat-show death.

John Barrowman cheering and applauding himself on The One Show.

Newsnight’s inability to spell Sir “Malcom” Rifkind or “Ukranian”.

Everyone on TV who thinks it’s funny to re-enact that Oscars selfie. (It’s not.)

EastEnders bringing back so many former characters it’s looking like

an episode of The Walking Dead.

And This Morning’s Legal Eagles’ advice amounting to: “Go and get

legal advice.” Go figure.


This week’s The One Show’s Worst Link award goes to...

Matt Baker’s crowbarred rivet-popper going to a piece about a Victorian submarine sinking: “Everybody knows Mary (Berry) doesn’t like a soggy bottom, but sadly that was the destiny for a revolutionary invention.”


This Morning astrologer Russell Grant reading Towie’s Jess Wright’s horoscope: “She’s Virgo but she’s got Capricorn rising and that’s all very Earthy.

“Success will come through hard work. It’s all about Saturn.

“If you concentrate wholly and fully on one ambition now, Jess, I don’t see how you can fail.”

Unless it has anything to do with singing, obviously.