RATINGS: CHANNEL OVERVIEW
I thought the most dangerous Tudor was the twerp who suggested Henry VIII write a song about sleeves, but it’s really bible translator William Tyndale, according to BBC2’s Tudor season, which continued in an anniversary-heavy week.
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At school, I was scarred by the Tudors. Not from learning of their gangster-style rule but because my shoe-box model of a Tudor house was rubbish. Even now, anyone who mentions Tudor architecture to me is liable to get a rant about Clarks’ footware.
From Belfast to Australia via Scunthorpe, Manchester, New York and Vegas, all via a spell in A&E, smaller PSBs took viewers on quite a trip this week.
Bradford had quite a week. First its football team won the League 2 play-offs at Wembley, then on TV, the city of dreams bowed out in glory.
There are hoarders, high streets, hospitals and regency balls in Pride And Prejudice’s bicentennial year to chew over.
Dave Allen was such an iconoclast that as he spun his barbed yarns I wouldn’t be surprised if his missing digit was due to literally giving the finger to some authority figure.
Channel 5 launched Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild on Monday at 9pm.
In the packed coffee houses of Enlightenment times, I expect there was a simple divide: are you for gravity or pots?
As a yoof, I saw enough of NHS wards to last a lifetime. But if you like hospitals, this was the week for you. All three channels had a variation, and all won their slots.
The ramifications of climate change are far-reaching for some of our more delicate fellow creatures.
I admit I find them a bit weird, but I have never suffered from a clinical fear of clowns.
For many years, I thought Bedfordshire – a magical place at the top of our wooden stairs – was in somewhere called the Land of Nod.
As a yoof, my only skill was replicating the sound of the family telephone. For weeks, the phone would ‘ring’ at deliciously inconvenient times. My stifled giggling eventually betrayed me and I was crushed in an avalanche of telling off. Still, mimicking isn’t dead, as Channel 4’s new comedy showed.
As a nipper, I was ambitious for my train set; it would have many miniature people and tiny trees. However, once I found I had to make my people, I lost interest. BBC2, however, retains its fascination with locomotives.
This week, there was much toing and froing. Stephen Poliakoff headed out as a long-loved favourite began its final run, while Sue Perkins’ Heading Out was invited in.
On Thursday at 8pm, I came across Britain’s Secret Shoppers, a new Channel 4 programme that had an audience of 1.7 million/8% share.
While an ancient beleaguered king might have appreciated some bionic help, viewers chose history over a real-life Steve Austin this week.
Without wishing to invent some new sort of rotisserie baking method, it’s a bun revolution out there.
The first Comic Relief was terribly daring: lots of radical comedians beseeching us to bypass heartless government and laugh our way to chariddy.
One can watch winter by just looking out of the window at the determinedly clingy ice and snow.
In the week of David Bowie’s revered return, BBC2’s own starman, Professor Brian Cox, commenced his annual trawl of the sky, but there was still no sign of Major Tom.
There must have been a first time: “Trust me my lieblich, a tree in the house for a fortnight is a gut idea. It vill catch on.”
BBC2 was like Gypsy Rose Lee this week, with all its stripping success.
Peering at a Salvador Dali painting in an art gallery one day, I felt the heat of embarrassment blush my cheeks as my tummy rumbled like a howling beast, much to the hushed cognoscenti’s irritation.
BBC2 celebrated the understated launch of a new Bond film with a Top Gear special in an appropriately stunty schedule in which it also stripped icebergs and autumn. While smarting at the fate of the Jewish mum competition, Channel 4 can take comfort from the redoubtable Grand Designs.
As the weather around the world goes nuts with alarming regularity it didn’t help that this week Derren Brown convinced some poor sap the world was ending; forget the aid of skilful suggestion, just watching the news makes it feel like it actually might happen.
One far-flung summer past I worked for the Severn Trent Water Authority researching the history of its sewerage system.
In my day, every self-respecting student had a poster of Karl Marx on their wall, usually next to that photograph of a ‘Parisian kiss’ by Paul Doisneau.
This week, Channel 4 did drugs, BBC2 took us downstairs to reveal the life of the maids who washed their masters’ pants, and Nigella served up a meat-based pizza.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along come a couple of doozies to jolt the old complacency.
Do you ever get the feeling you are being followed? Channel 4’s The Audience will freak you out then. C4’s post-Paralympic schedule included unwrapped food, emergencies and a brave entertainment dive into mid-Saturday evenings.
The Paralympics has ended. Sob. Throughout, Channel 4 collected very tidy shares and lots of lovely - and, it would hope, lucrative - viewers to boot.
The Paralympics, are so called because they are sort of parallel to the Olympic Games. Wednesday transported Channel 4 to a parallel universe as its coverage of the opening ceremony caused havoc.
The spectral image of a nun at a coronation was the spookiest sight this week in Channel 4’s latest royal documentary. Elsewhere, BBC2 found its buns rising and its parade ending in a very ‘channel of the year’ kind of way.
The buns are back in town, as Thin Lizzy never said (but I bet they wish they had). BBC2 had more fun with baking and enjoyed the origins of the Paralympics.
Newsflash from the future: it’s October and BBC1 has just realised that BBC2 still has its schedule and is refusing to give it back.
BBC2’s peerless Line Of Duty came to its shattering end, as did, more poignantly, Twenty Twelve.
As The Olympics loom, BBC2’s Twenty Twelve wandered brilliantly beyond parody and benefited. University Challenge returned for more random Monday-night guessing, while Line of Duty and 24 Hours in A&E charged on.
In AD 79, Pliny the Younger described his Uncle Pliny the Elder’s decision to inspect the exploding Vesuvius by heading towards it; soon Nephew Pliny was Pliny the Only One.
When sport is live, nobody, not even the Bard, is sacred – as Henry IV found out this week.
BBC2’s schedules were rent with Wimbledon’s capriciousness but amid it all, its new drama began splendidly. Channel 4 sending Gordon Ramsay to jail worked well too.
The furore over Jimmy Carr’s tax helped Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats do rather well
Due to a physiological miracle that I am loathe to investigate too closely, no matter what I eat, weight stays away. After watching BBC2 on Thursday, I realise how insanely lucky that is, since it seems the biggest conspiracy of modern times is not political, it’s sugar.