“It’s fabulous television though. A little bit like Educating Yorkshire/Essex, but that was more about the institution, this is more about the profession.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
Tough Young Teachers, BBC4
“Ha, Charles here in Tough Young Teachers (BBC3) is just like Jack Whitehall’s character, Alfie Vickers, in Bad Education. Same look, same facial hair, same posh voice, same utter ineptitude at teaching. Actually they’re different in their incompetence. Alfie is lazy and irresponsible, he doesn’t care, he’s one of the kids himself – but at least he’s hilarious. Charles, on the other hand, does have good intentions; he’s just not very good at it. Not yet anyway. And his classes are bare dull, proper moist man. Say the kids.
“It’s fabulous television though. A little bit like Educating Yorkshire/Essex, but that was more about the institution, this is more about the profession. And c’mon, it’s about school, which will always be more interesting than anywhere else in the world. Because it’s where you’re made into who you are.”
“Mr Wallendahl is one of the titular six in Tough Young Teachers, BBC3’s engaging but bleak new documentary series about Teach First, a social enterprise programme which gives high-flying graduates training in struggling schools. In other words, very inexperienced teachers are plonked straight in the front of a classroom full of children who are poised to pounce on any sign of weakness: “They stand out in a crowd,” said one particularly shark-like rascal. “They sort of give off a nervous energy.”
The Undateables, C4
“The nastiest, most dismissive title C4 producers have ever coined is The Undateables, for a tawdry format that treats disabled people as amusing aliens. The smutty question that ‘undateable’ implies is: ‘Could you ever fancy someone like this?’
“You would struggle to find anything on mainstream TV with lower production values or more shoddy standards. The sound and video quality were often no better than mobile phone footage and some of the interviews had apparently been shot with the lights out.”
Dolphins: Spy In The Pod, BBC1
“The second episode of nature documentary Dolphins: Spy in the Pod (BBC1) was like the visual equivalent of one of those “Sounds of the Ocean” CDs that insomniacs use to drift off. Nothing but calm blue seas as far as the eye can see, and the soothing Scots coo of narrator David Tennant. Well, that and the dolphins, of course.”
“We could all learn from dolphins and their eagerness to be friendly to anything with flippers, however different it might look and behave. Spy In The Pod captured wonderful footage by concealing cameras in a remote-controlled underwater robot, roughly delphinoid in shape.”
Birds of a Feather, ITV
Sharon and Tracy (Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke) are the original Essex girls in Birds Of A Feather. Amy Childs from TOWIE, all fake tan and nail extensions, is the 2014 version, the Essex princess. The three of them found their perfect habitat last night … a car boot sale.
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail