WELL, you can’t say you weren’t given a bit of warning about what happened, Sunday evening, on ITV.
John Barrowman had flagged it up at the previous week’s skating final.
ITV Alan Titchmarsh lays it on with a trowel… and Amy’s Fanny clears the room
ITV Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh said there would be ‘expectations’, about her Fanny Brice number, because she’s the sister of Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh
“If you like Dancing On Ice, you’ll love.
And if you don’t . . .
Nothing could still probably prepare you for what went down, over two hours, at the London Palladium.
A show that, much like Popstar To Operastar, Soapstar Superstar and X Factor: Battle Of The Stars before it, took seven minor celebrities out of their sacred “comfort zone” and allowed them to murder some of your favourite West End standards.
This being an ITV show, there was also a theatre audience vote and a panel of mealy mouthed, over-scoring judges, Strictly’s Kevin Clifton, Trevor Dion Nicholas, from Aladdin, Elaine Paige, with the death gurgle laugh, and a new one on me called Kristin Chenoweth, who is unusual in that she not only sounds like a helium balloon but looks a bit like one as well.
Host for the night was Barrowman, whose every link carried a fairly hefty threat: “Still to come, Alan Titchmarsh reveals his romantic side.”
Before we came to that pretty pass, however, there was an unfolding catalogue of other singing horrors.
Talking point of the night, even if Corrie’s Daniel Brocklebank won, was Alan Titch-marsh singing Some Enchanted Evening, from South Pacific, on a stretch of thoughtfully placed decking
Tessa Peake-Jones hit the bottle during her Mamma Mia routine, Joel Dommett took an eternity to beat the life out of The Nicest Kids In Town, from Hairspray, and Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh said there would be “expectations”, about her Fanny Brice number, because she’s the sister of Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh.
There would indeed, Amy.
Clear the building. Run for your lives.
“But it really isn’t like that.”
Oh, OK, you could maybe take your chances listening to her Fanny impression then. Talking of which, This Morning’s Martin Lewis. There’s a strong argument to say he should have been made to do If I Were A Rich Man, from Fiddler On The Roof. And an equally strong one to say he really shouldn’t. But he ended up doing Any Dream Will Do, from Joseph, and oh-my-s**tting dachshund he was bad. Talking point of the night, even if Corrie’s Daniel Brocklebank won, was Alan Titch-marsh singing Some Enchanted Evening, from South Pacific, on a stretch of thoughtfully placed decking.
A man overcome with emotion. The main one being anger by the look on his face.
Like next door’s kids had just punted their football straight into his prize begonias, it was.
The audience went nuts for it, though, the judges were in floods of overwhelmed tears and, must admit, even I was aware I was watching something that would be played again and again, for both good and bad reasons.
But I must urge caution here. Antony Cotton got his own ITV chat show after winning Soapstar Superstar.
ITV The show wa sall under the watchful eye of John Barrowman
ITV The All Star musical cast including the likes of Alan Titchmarsh, Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh and Only Fools’ Raquel, Tessa Peake-Jones
ITV A panel of mealy mouthed, over-scoring judges, Strictly’s Kevin Clifton, Trevor Dion Nicholas, from Aladdin, Elaine Paige, with the death gurgle laugh, and a new one on me called Kristin Chenoweth – all with John Barrowman
It just needed Simon Cowell tuning in on Sunday, and, before you know it, he’s got Titchmarsh back in the white blazer trying to Dream The Impossible Dream for the Christmas No1.
Still, we have to look for the positives, and what I’ll ultimately take from All Star Musicals is the fact John Barrowman appeared on telly, for two entire hours, and didn’t shout: “FAB-U-LOUS!” once.
Coronation Street star Dan Brocklebank wins All Star Musical trophy as viewers hail it ‘outstanding’
FRIDAY. This Morning’s Eamonn “Rip Van Winkle” Holmes: “If I eat before I go to bed I stand a better chance of falling into a deep sleep. Or am I just odd?”
No, you’re corpulent as well.
Big day gets the kiss-off
ROMESH Ranganathan broke with 31 years of Red Nose Day tradition and said something vaguely funny about Four Weddings And A Funeral on Friday night.
“As a young Asian kid growing up in Crawley that film really spoke to me.”
The lesbian wedding plot was in keeping with the right-on tone of an event that’s so self-satisfied you can understand why some people think Africa should go it alone rather than submit to Comic Relief’s condescension for all eternity
OK, not belly laughs, but an acknowledgement that some of us don’t get Four Weddings and think we need a charity sequel about as much as Gregg Wallace needs a hairnet on Inside The Factory.
Still, it was a chance to see what the ravages of time have done to almost everyone except Andie MacDowell, who certainly hasn’t spent the past 25 years taking acting lessons.
Comic Relief – as ‘preachy’ as ever
The lesbian wedding plot was also entirely in keeping with the right-on tone of an event that’s so self-satisfied, starstruck and preachy you can understand why some people think Africa should go it alone rather than submit to Comic Relief’s condescension for all eternity.
You’ll have to make your own judgment call on the true value of Red Nose Day, where the night’s grand total has been dropping ever since 2011 and civilians have been almost vanished from the process entirely.
Personally, I took inspiration from Sir Lenny Henry’s final words of the night: “See you in two years’ time maybe.”
’Cos I heard that “maybe” and thought, “maybe not”.
Lily James and Alicia Vikander get married in Four Weddings and a Funeral sequel for Comic Relief
Channel 4’s 24 Hours In Police Custody.
The “fat ginger” playground line on Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix comedy After Life.
Goggleboxer Lee dipping his Doritos in Jenny’s face pack.
Scotland’s Finn Russell suddenly deciding he’d given England enough of a head start at 31-0 in an enthralling Calcutta Cup match.
And Celebs Go Dating civilian Joe asking Love Island’s Georgia Steel, “What do you actually do?” and getting the perfect response from narrator Rob Beckett: “In summary, f*** all.”
QUIZ show doughballs of the week
Bradley Walsh on The Chase for human intelligence
b “Down Royal and Downpatrick in Northern Ireland host the racing of what animals?”
Bradley Walsh: “What flying animal is the slang term for doing time in prison?”
Bradley Walsh: “The hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah is most associated with which sport?”
Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “Colloquially known as ‘Dubya’, President George Bush used which middle initial to distinguish himself from his father?”
Jacob: “J.” (All contributions welcome).
Unlikely sparks fly for Marks
CHANNEL 5’s hugely entertaining series The Bachelor UK was further proof that men are from Mars and women are from an as-yet- undiscovered galaxy many thousands of light years away.
They seemed surprisingly keen to mate with Alex Marks, though, considering he looked like Captain Haddock with a man-bun, below, and would’ve been the most vacant lot on any planet if it wasn’t for the presence of host Mark Wright.
The ladies seemed surprisingly keen to mate with Alex Marks – considering he looked like Captain Haddock with a man-bun
He had only one tactic with all of the women as well: Tell them “You’re beautiful,” ask for “a hug,” then move in for the kill with Reanne, Robyn, Charlotte T, Charlotte E, mad Georgie the circus performer, and even shark-eyed Essex nightmare Alicia.
It was working a treat as well, until Tuesday’s episode, when Alicia found Alex snogging Charlotte T and it all kicked off massively.
Reanne took the smartest option available, in the circumstances, by immediately quitting the show.
Alicia took the dumbest option available, by locking herself in the South African mansion’s bathroom.
Gabriella rejects Alex Marks’ rose on The Bachelor UK
So she can probably be thankful it wasn’t a celebrity version of the show and Alex is hardly the sharpest tool in the box.
Because the gormless, great oaf only went and ruined everything by picking Alicia ahead of talented, beautiful and much nicer Charlotte T on Thursday night’s final.
I’d give it until the end of the credits.
Thinking of watching Baptiste on catch-up?
BBC ‘It’s not great TV’
INCIDENTALLY, if you’re still trying to decide whether Baptiste is great TV or not, it’s not.
And if you don’t believe me, watch next Sunday’s far-fetched finale and try to avoid replying: “Not bloody soon enough” when Stratton screams: “God, when does it end?”
Bet you can’t.
SORRY. Kazakhstan away. Back in a fortnight.
Great Sporting Insights: Alan Smith: “The ball fell nicely on to his left hand foot.”
Andrew Cotter: “The unstoppable Watson gets hauled down and halted.”
Robbie Savage: “The manager’s said the right things, both pre-match and before the game.”
And, off topic, the great Mike Parry: “John Constable is my favourite living dead artist.”
(Compiled by Graham Wray).
LOOKALIKESTHIS week’s winner is conniving old sod Jeremy Corbyn, and the old man of the mountain, from the Betty Boop cartoons. Sent in by Connor M, via email.
Picture research: Alfie Snelling.
Random TV irritations
This Time With Alan Partridge ripping off The Two Ronnies’ famous “answering the question before last” sketch for the sake of a satellite-delay gag.
CommentLORRAINE KELLY Maddie McCann could be found thanks to shock Netflix documentary CommentTREVOR KAVANAGH Voters will turn on Tories if Brexit fails… the party needs a new leader CommentTHE SUN SAYS Brexiteers must accept reality and back Mrs May’s deal or Brexit is in peril CommentKARREN BRADY You’re in for a treat with Celebrity Apprentice — it’s worth the ten-year wait CommentANDREA LEADSOM We don’t need lots of Brextra time to leave the EU CommentJAMES FORSYTH MPs have 10 days to pass Theresa May’s Brexit deal or calamity strikes
Comic Relief’s moral blackmailers comparing Syrian refugees to the Holocaust’s Kinder- transport.
ITV’s dreadful Cheat drama killing off the only likeable character on day one (RIP Betsy the cat).
Channel 5 blowing the result of The Bachelor with its semi-final trailer.
And the only possible reaction to the news there is now a TV show called The Only Way Is Essex: Thailand.
BEST documentary of the week was Channel 4’s 60 Days On The Streets, with Ed Stafford, who discovered one junkie scrounging £40 an hour and Deana, who once appeared in EastEnders but is now a homeless crack addict living in a cardboard box outside Debenhams in Manchester’s excrement-caked streets.
So it’s all good news then. Onwards and upwards, Deana.
Stacey Solomon giggles as she tells Alan Titchmarsh she has a crush on him