I'm sorry to report that I have already broken my first New Year's Resolution - "I shall not be tempted to watch TV that I know is going to be crap just to try and eek some vague whiff of entertainment from it
Credit for this personal failure lies firmly in the laps of BBC1's Just The Two Of Us and ITV
1's Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway.
I began watching Fortune mainly to see just how much it ripped off Channel 4's Secret Millionaire (well, that's my excuse anyway). The answer was "quite a bit" but this was not so much Secret Millionaire more Egotistical Millionaires Who Would Like You To Come Out In Public And Beg Them For A Cut Of Their Cash. And, sadly, beg they did.
First up was a guy who had slimmed down from 26 stone to a reasonable size and wanted £5000 for a tummy-tuck operation. All was going well until he let slip that he earned £40k a year himself and he was prompted told to bugger off and pay for it himself.
Next came the heartstring
-puller of the night - an 11-year-old lad asking for money to send kids with cancer on holidays. A worthwhile cause indeed and all credit to the lad for having the guts to come out and do it - but if it's as worthwhile as the likes of Jeffrey Archer and Duncan Bannatyne
cooed it was, does it really have to take an 11-year-old begging in public to the loaded fatcats
to get the money donated?
A varied assortment of other oddities proceed to come out to haggle for some cash, with mixed success, including a pair of 16-year-old train enthusiasts who did as much for the train spotter stereotype as Chantelle
has done for the credibility of Essex women.
The biggest winners of the night though were the Millionaires themselves, who had such a small price to pay in the end for getting their already over-inflated egos massaged by the begging "little people", and presenter Richard Madeley
who has succeeded in not only managed to escape the wife for a night, but has also landed possibly the easiest job on the box, involving little more than saying hello, goodbye and "back after the break" a few times.
Meanwhile, over on BBC1, Vernon Kay and Tess Daly
open this week's gluttony
of b-list celebrity talent/reality shows with a new series of pro-celeb karaoke show Just the Two Of Us. I read a comment in the press the other day about the husband and wife presenting duo which hoped for their sake that their off-screen chemistry was a damn sight better than their on-screen partnership which, once again, looked about as uncomfortable and cringe-worthy
as it gets.
The show did produce a couple of corkingly
funny moments though - the best of which was the pairing of EastEnders
' Jim Branning
(actor John Bardon
) with soul diva Jocelyn Brown for a quick chorus of the Corr's
"What Can I Do To Make You Love Me". If you missed it, keep an eye out on YouTube
- it's only a matter of time before it ends up on there (I'll post the clip up if I get chance later).
And the show ended with a brilliant "insult to injury" moment (or rather very nearly injury to insult) when, having just been announced as the first to be chucked off the show, former T'Pau'er
Carol Decker found the backdrop of the set coming down on her before she'd finished sharing in the customary "Really sorry to see you go - but I'm sooo
much better than you" hugs from her fellow contestants.
And so onto tonight where, if today's tabloids are to be believed, the likes of David Hasselhoff
, Adam Ant, H from Steps, Former Miss GB Dannielle
Lloyd, Jade Goody, Robert Kilroy Silk and about 3 dozen other stabs in the dark are all limbering up for the launch of the new series of Celebrity Big Brother. I've tended to find the last couple of series of Celeb BB far more entertaining than the main show so fingers crossed. Watch this space...