If you're outside the UK, here's a link to be able to watch UK TV programmes: bit.ly/oVMz60
The X Factor
Saturday 24th: John Adams wowed us all last week. A cross between Michael Buble and Jamie Cullum, he's totally got 'the look' of an X Factor winner, and I say again: based on what we've seen so far, I don't know how they'll be able to pick a winner!
However, we're now into Boot Camp and it's all change. They took them all to a Hotel and then sent half of them home again (how devastating must that have been?), and it was deja vu when Gary turned up on the veranda in one of Simon Cowell's T-shirts and Kelly forgot her skirt!
I can't believe those two with the green & purple hair got through. Neither of them can sing a note, and I only hope they end up leaving tonight, as we really don't want novelty acts taking the place of a more serious candidate this Series – as in the past.
I've mentioned John Adams, but I didn't see him at all last night. I know it was gone midnight when I started watching, but I hope he was there. The star of last night for me though was Sami Brookes. She was sensational. How sad that she felt more worried about her appearance (being up-against all those skinny girls), than her audition. I seem to remember another woman who had similar concerns. She hasn't done too badly for herself since, as I recall. Now, what was her name? Oh yes: Susan Boyle.
Sunday 26th: John Adams is out. Out in favour of boys who realistically can't possibly win it. At least Sami's still in. I'm looking forward to next week, but am very disappointed about John. I really don't understand it …
(The X Factor ITV1 Saturday/Sunday around 8.00 pm)
How to Win in the Den
Used to like Dragons' Den but are – like me – bored with it now? In that case, How to Win in the Den is the show for you! You can see such delights as the wonderful Hilary Devey in a ball machine and in her London home (it's just how I imagined it!), and updates on a lot of the people featured on previous Series of Dragons' Den.
The difference is, there's lots of help and advice for the budding entrepreneur and lovely stories of people who've gone on to achieve success since appearing on the show. It was an interesting programme, and the last ten minutes of Episode One are SO worth watching, as they featured Kirsty Henshaw – the woman who'd sold her non-dairy ice-cream to Tesco READ MORE HERE , and Layla Bennett, whose falconry business has gone from strength to strength since.
I cried my eyes out at their heart-warming stories, partly because they're both women who are as passionate, dedicated and hard-working as me, but also because I see them achieving real success for their efforts. If only there was a show like this for writers … CLICK HERE TO GO TO SITE/WATCH EP 1
(How to Win in the Den Ep 1 BBC2 Wednesday 9.00 pm)
Come Dine With Me
This week has been the least funniest week there's ever been on CDWM. Not that it wasn't funny and enjoyable, but there wasn't really a memorable one-liner I'm afraid. Hopefully there'll be lots next week. My pen is poised!
(Come Dine With Me Channel 4 Mon-Fri 5.30-6.00 & an hour's Episode Fridays 8.00-9.00 pm)
More hacking and butchering this week, as 'Celebrities' vied for a career-boost – sorry, a coveted place in the next round. (Cynical, me?). I notice on here (and on Come Dine With Me), that Asian contestants only cook curries – despite there being a huge number of ingredients available to them.
The way to be successful (apart from your food looking/tasting good!), is to cook things outside of your cookery 'comfort zone', and this is where a number of them shoot themselves in the foot. Anyone can cook old familiar recipes – and they have their place – but it's the ones who go that 'extra mile' creatively, and cook 'outside the box' that tend to go through to the later rounds.
Aside from that observation, it was another week of John cooking without an apron on, and the candidates wandering around London in chefs' whites. That's SO unhygienic. It was also more of India Fisher's horrific narration. "London's busy West Eehhhnnd," "In a satay soooorrce," and "They'll be working under chef Taas Kaaaaarrn," she droned. Three sentences, ALL delivered in the identical depressing monotone – dropping the last word 'dooowwn' at the end.
Doesn't anyone notice? I know it's not just me who feels my blood pressure rise the second she opens her mouth. I'm constantly on edge whenever I listen to Radio 2, as her hideous trails are on several times an hour – all day, every day, and all sounding exactly the same! I have to watch MasterChef with the sound off/subtitles on as I can't bear to listen to her.
Aside from that, I still enjoy this show, despite John and Greg's increasingly over-dramatic comments. They put two through again this week. It's like X Factor; they'll have ended up putting too many through at this rate!
(Celebrity MasterChef BBC 1 Mon-Fri 2.15-3.00, Friday 8.30-9.00 + highlights Saturday teatime)
This week was a tale of two halves. Jake's winding me up now, and I'm on edge every time Pete and Sue 'feed' Ben and Karen a line as you can see the desperation in their eyes as they pray they'll say something funny. The scenes between them – and the ones in the school (without Ben), were really enjoyable and instantly recognisable to parents everywhere!
There was one very funny line: Ben's friend's been mugged so many times by the same gang that he's asked for a Loyalty Card!
(Outnumbered Episode 5 BBC1 9.00 pm Thursday this week)
The first Episode of Series 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm was back to its brilliant best, and I laughed and squirmed through it. Sometimes I feel as frustrated as Larry David at some of the things he rightly gets confused about when his friends/people don't see things his way, but the next moment my jaw drops as he says or does something that if I were his friend I would be furious with him over!
That's one of the things that makes this show so watchable: you never know what's coming next. If you've never seen it, get Series 1 on DVD and plan a great night in, or just watch this Series and put the rest of them on your Christmas list. Susie's threat to Geoff if he ever thought of divorcing her was a perfect moment of TV. I don't believe there's anyone who wouldn't have laughed! CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 'CURB' WEBSITE
(Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 8, Ep 2 More4 11.05 pm Sunday)
Don't forget Jeremy Vine's current Radio 2 Series Sounds of the 20th Century, which is a glorious hour of nothing but soundbites and music clips, charting the events of every year from 1951 to 2000. This week it's 1976. (Sounds of the 20th Century Radio 2 10.00 pm every Thursday)
Radio 4's comedy Clare in the Community returned last Friday with the revelation that Brian had accidently slept with the Au Pair's sister (he'd meant to sleep with the Au Pair!) and Clare was SO making him pay for it. Very, very funny radio.
(Clare in the Community Series 7 Ep 2 Radio 4 11.30 am Friday)