14/08/2014 16:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Idiot Box: What To Watch This Week


I'm sure with only a week gone by since the tragic passing of Hayley in Coronation Street readers of this column must still be struggling with their grief.

Life, though, must get back normal and what could be better for alleviating the trauma than watching a load of alleged celebrities skiing badly?

Must watch... When I say that The Jump, Channel 4's new winter sports/celeb competition which is on most nights this week, is 'must watch', what I actually mean is you should watch it once, write a few sarcastic comments about it on Twitter (like 'This show's going downhill fast LOL') and then never watch it again. The line-up is appalling (Amy Childs off Towie, unfunny comedian Marcus Brigstocke, Sinitta etc.) and last night's curtain raiser was nothing short of a disaster.


And then there was the presenting. Davina McCall tried to hold the live broadcast together by telling dud jokes and leading uncomfortable filler interviews. We were then supposed to care which 'celeb' was slightly less shit at skiing than the other and, finally, the titular 'jump', with its inherent promise of smashed Z-list bones, turned out to be a bloke from Five and half-man-half lion Nicky Clarke skipping off a ledge about as far off the ground as a kerb. Rebecca Loos giving a pig a hand-job on The Farm was high art compared to this dross.

Maybe watch... The world of TV cooking isn't exactly littered with good blokes (Exhibit A: Jamie Oliver. Exhibit B: Gordon Ramsay), but Michel Roux Jr seems like a decent guy. It pains me, therefore, to say Food and Drink (BBC Two, Monday, 8.30pm) is utterly average. It's certainly an improvement on the hyperactive spoon-related nonsense of The Taste, but that's damning it with the faintest of praise. The recipes are pretty good and this opener has Bake Off queen Mary Berry as special guest, but truthfully it's all quite strange with Roux Jr trapped inside a bright white kitchen and reading the autocue like an Al-Qaeda hostage being forced to send a message home.


Don't bother... I've given it more than a couple of chances, but that's it, no more. Something must be done about The Voice (BBC 1, Saturday, 7.10pm). With the novelty of the spinning chairs long gone, my tolerance has also disappeared for all the cringeworthy conversations with the contestants, the clapping from the audience whenever anyone says where they're from and the creepy obsession with Tom Jones's libido. Please BBC, make it stop.


Film of the Week... Sally Hawkins has won a deserved Oscar nomination for her role in Blue Jasmine and she's also in fine form in Brit comedy-drama, Made in Dagenham (BBC Two, Saturday, 9.15pm), which didn't quite get the recognition it deserved when it was released in cinemas in 2010.

Catch up... Mr Selfridge – Jeremy Piven and his extravagant facial hair are back for another run. Check out the first couple of episodes of the new series here.


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