Rory McGrath’s Pub Dig

"Can I have a beer now please?"

According to the blurb, Rory McGrath’s Pub Dig is ‘two blokes and a digger’ (they forgot the entourage of skivvies helping out) exploring the history of some of Britain’s oldest public houses.

If you’re thinking it sounds a bit like Time Team with a remit of pubs alone, then you’d be right. Despite Channel Five’s best efforts to repackage this as something other than a Time Team rip off, it’s still…..well, a Time Team rip off, frankly.

‘Time Gentleman Please’ Team might have been a better name. Read more of this post

The Apprentice Series 8, Episode 3: Outsauced

Jane attempts her first ever smile. And fails.

Where would we be without table sauce? We’ve been using it for thousands of years: the Romans even made one from pickled, rotten fish guts that makes Marmite look positively palatable in comparison.

However, from the panicked behaviour of the candidates throughout this week’s condiment-making task you’d have been forgiven for thinking they’d never heard of relishes, mustards and chutneys before. This was odd, given the enlightening dockside lecture about the history of the spice trade they’d been treated to at the initial briefing: Read more of this post

The Undateables

On the surface, this seemed like another thinly veiled Channel 4 point-and-gawp freak show.

But instead of a body horror celebration with a ridiculous title that would make it sound like a lesser known Stieg Larsson book (The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, anyone?), the trailers for this one painted an image of a show that was going to be more about watching a group of telly defined misfits falling flat on their collective faces trying to find love.

As you can no doubt imagine, I had my fingernails sharpened and my typing fingers ready to carve it to shreds. Read more of this post

The Syndicate Series Blog: Episode Two

Let's go shopping!

Coming into a substantial amount of money is good for sorting the wheat from the chaff: specifically, discovering what your nearest and dearest really think of you.

Of course, it helps if your nearest and dearest have exceptionally bad timing and a soft spot for cruises.

This week is Denise’s episode. She’s the – ahem- ‘beautiful on the inside’ one, so naturally her response to a lottery win is to have enormous amounts of plastic surgery.

But there’s more to this than meets the eye, as it turns out her husband has just left her. He wanted to start again. He said he was 48 and had nothing to show for it, that she deserved someone who was attracted to her. And he did it moments before finding out she’d won the lottery. Ouch. Read more of this post

Game of Thrones Series 2, Episode 1: The North Remembers.

Warning, contains nuts. Wait, no, sorry- spoilers. I always get those things confused.

It’s currently almost impossible to get on any form of public transport anywhere in the UK without seeing someone reading one of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice of Fire novels.

Since the critically acclaimed (and really rather wonderful) first season of the HBO television adaptation arrived on our screens last year, the series has exploded in popularity to the extent that we long standing fans have been forced to retreat back to our grimy hobbit holes and sneer at every Johnny Come-Lately who thinks they’ve figured out who the Prince That Was Promised really is.

Obviously any real fan of the series knows it’s Hodor. Read more of this post

Have You Been Watching… Titanic?

"Are you sure we should be wearing these sacks stuffed with bricks, captain?"

First of all, a confession. This article asks “have you been watching” and although my answer is “yes, of course I watched Titanic Episode One, TV Event of the Year”, I’d also have to mutter “But I was playing Skyrim at the same time so I’m slightly confused about the vast numbers of ice trolls and draugr below decks. And why those dragons kept hampering rescue attempts”.

So any inconsistencies in this series catch up are my own. In fact, let’s pretend they’re intentional comedy asides, so please chuckle accordingly.

First of all, Titanic (or ‘Drownton Abbey’ as Twitter wag MrsStephenFry cleverly titled it) plays fast and loose with linear storytelling and perhaps it’s still too soon in the series run to see whether it really works. Read more of this post

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