03/03/2014 14:01 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Idiot Box: 10 Things You Need To Know About TV This Week


1. Who would have thought watching people watching TV could be so much fun? Well, anyone who saw The Royle Family for a start, but Gogglebox (Channel 4, Friday, 9pm) has successfully twisted the sitcom formula by sticking real people on the sofa. It probably says something pretty bad about the rest of Channel 4's current output that it's been rushed back for a second series so quickly, but that's for them to worry about. We can just sit back and enjoy wine-drenched poshos Steph and Dom, take away-munchers Sandra and Sandy and the rest of the sofa sages saying funnier things about TV than I ever do.

2. The Valleys (MTV, Tuesday, 10pm) has returned. It's the televisual equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease. Avoid at all costs.

3. Crap BBC talent show alert 1: The Voice (BBC One, Saturday, 7pm) has always been nothing more than a lame version of the increasingly lame X Factor with a mildly diverting spinny-chair twist tacked onto it. The Beeb acknowledged as much this year by stretching out the blind auditions over 23 weeks. Now they're done with, everyone can stop watching this tone deaf dross and get on with their lives.

4. Crap BBC talent show alert 2: Over on BBC Three someone thought a hairdressing comp hosted by that Welsh bloke who used to do T4 was a good idea. Anyone who watched last week's first episode of Hair (BBC Three, Tuesday, 9pm) will know it definitely wasn't.

5. Do you like watching well-groomed dogs jumping over things? If you do, then watch Crufts, which starts this week (More4, Thursday, 6.30pm).

6. Searing Channel 5 documentary of the week: Take your pick from 70-Stone and Almost Dead (Thursday, 10pm) or Booze, Bust-Ups and Brothels – Soho Blues (Friday, 9pm). Catch up with the latter here.

7. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (BBC Two, Saturday, 10.15pm) is back and you should watch it. It's like Live at the Apollo, but funny. Just check out an episode from the last series...

8. Films of the Week... Sean Penn on Oscar-Winning form in Gus van Sant's Milk (BBC Two, Saturday, 11.30pm). Old big screen favourites on the box this week include The Fifth Element (Channel 5, Saturday, 12pm), The Shining (ITV4, Tuesday, 10.30pm) and, if you really have to, Titanic (More 4, Saturday, 3.25pm).

9. Films to miss... Sacha Baron-Cohen's sub-par Bruno (Channel 4, Friday, 12.05am) and Oliver Stone's World Trade Center (Channel 4, Wednesday, 12.05am), in which it turns out that Nicolas Cage and 9/11 don't mix too well.

10. Last week fans of Ripper Street were successful in their campaign to have the series resurrected. Now's the time for fan power to save some other cancelled gems. The Bring Back Eldorado campaign starts here. Who's with me?

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