Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sky's the Limit . . .

Thank you British weather. One minute I'm sat outside enjoying a mellow evening, the next I'm jammed up against a radiator. Still, being indoors gave me a chance to catch up on the all the telly I've been storing on my Sky box. It really is time to have a clear out. I reckon if I page back far enough, I'll find episodes of Pebble Mill at One on there.

Dumbed-down Abbey?
Lots in the papers this week about Downton Abbey and the disgruntled viewing public. I agree, the ad breaks are numerous and littered about the show in a random fashion. The characterisations seem to have gone a bit mad too. Mrs Crawley, loveable in the last series for sticking up to Dame Maggie, now comes across as some meddlesome ratbag. Cora's facelift (surely not in 1917?) has not been remarked upon and the rushed storyline concerning the Irish valet was poor. However, on the positive side, Thomas the footman is less 'pantomime camp' than he was last year.

Be afraid . . .
I always record Location Location Location, basically because I'm nosy and like to shout when people even consider moving to a cottage. Anywhere. The latest episode I watched (which was probably originally transmitted in 2008 - I'm that far behind . . .) showed signs of the whole thing lurching towards parody. The first victims . . . err potential buyers were a lesbian couple, both of whom were played by Radclyffe Hall. This duo spent days wittering on about whether or not their cats would like each house and weeping in unfinished utility rooms. The other couple were dull married accountants who shuffled around the Home Counties droning on about kerb appeal and whether or not the coffee shops were any good. The vox pop with a group of twee yummy mummies would have had me running a mile.

Supervising the whole circus was Kirstie Allsop, now firmly in bellowing Rodean head girl mode and Phil Spencer, who seems to have morphed into a chortling would-be Sid James. However, they do get results and both are far richer than yours truly will ever be.

Queen of Quiche - Jo Wheatley
Highlight of the week was, naturally, the climax of Great British Bake Off. This has been a joy from start to finish. Hurrah for Jo Wheatley and her perfect mini Victoria sponges and congratulations to this most unassuming of winners. I will celebrate with an M & S jam bake a little later. Co-host Sue Perkins excelled although I notice that she is becoming, a little like Alexander Armstrong, omnipresent on our TV screens. One moment she was stuffing macaroons down her throat and the next she was yomping across Dartmoor with Alison Steadman. I am, of course, jealous.

If you're tuning into X Factor tonight, enjoy. If you're settling down in front of Strictly - I ain't interested.

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