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The Idiot Box: Television In 2014 And What To Watch

14/08/2014 16:38 | Updated 22 May 2015

Will Gore The Idiot Box

We're only a week into 2014 and I've already failed to keep my New Year's resolution of being relentlessly upbeat no matter what televisual dross is chucked at me. I made the mistake of watching five minutes of Celebrity Big Brother and, immediately, the game was up.

In case you're lucky enough to have missed it, this year's cast of morons includes Dappy from N-Dubz, "comedian" Jim Davidson, journalist/twat Liz Jones, and Lee from Blue. It's as if Channel 5 have cobbled together a line-up specifically to wind me up. If they did, then their dastardly plan has worked a treat.

Celebrity Big Brother

Just as awful, although not quite as morally repugnant, Splash!, the celebrity diving show over on ITV, has also helped get 2014 off to terrible start. Somehow a second series of this crap has been re-commissioned and this time around we've got Gemma from TOWIE, a kid who I thought was Billie from EastEnders but is in fact a dancer, and Michaela Strachan diving into a swimming pool in a leisure centre in Luton for nobody's viewing pleasure.

Splash

Obviously, there's more of this kind of rubbish to come in the months ahead. The Jump, a celebrity ski jumping show, will start on Channel 4 in a few weeks. Starring Anthea Turner and Amy Childs, it could turn out be the lowest point in history. Elsewhere, Kylie Minogue has been persuaded to join The Voice, which starts again on BBC this week (BBC One, Saturday, 7pm). No matter what Kylie brings to the party, the fact that the programme continues to feature that prize berk, Will.I.am, means it will still be utterly unwatchable.

Thankfully, the onslaught of appalling reality TV can't completely disguise the fact that there are a few things to look forward to. Comedy-wise, there will be more Friday Night Dinner and The Trip at some point, while E4 is screening Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a promising American police sitcom starring Cuckoo's Andy Samberg (E4,January 16, 9pm).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This year we'll also be getting a hell of a lot of the magnificent Peter Capaldi. His run as Dr Who will probably not get underway until the second half of 2014, but in the meantime he's playing Cardinal Richelieu in BBC One's much trumpeted new swashbuckler, The Musketeers, which starts later this month. Thanks to Dogtanian, it's got a big act to follow.

Channel 4 is looking to fill its Homeland-shaped void with political thriller Hostages (Saturday, 9pm), while BBC Four is pinning its hopes on Scandinavia once again with Danish historical drama, 1864, and Swedish whodunit series, Crimes of Passion, which are both scheduled for later in the year.

The Voice

Sky Atlantic, for those jammy enough to have it, will continue to be pretty brilliant. The third series of Girls starts on January 20, while the much-hyped, True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, kicks off next month. It also hopefully won't be too long before Sky Atlantic brings us series four of Game of Thrones. Along with Danny Dyer's constant squinting on EastEnders, I'm pretty sure it will be my TV highlight of 2014.

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