Eyeing Up The Competition

Eyeing Up The Competition

The telly shows about a more or less occluded France that I'm currently working on will be transmitted early next year on BBC4. With an entirely pointless anxiety, I've begun checking out what else is likely to be broadcast on other channels at the same time - so stealing a chunk of the audience cake that ought to be ours. The signs are not propitious.


Whispering architectural historian Dr Dan Cruickshank sets out on a journey though the libraries and dusty muniment rooms of some of Britain's grandest houses to discover an exclamation to add to his already ample store of "Golly! ", "Gosh!" and "Incredible!". At Easton Neston he mulls over "Fantastic!", whilst at Grimsthorpe he considers the exoticism of "Marvellous!". The show's finest moment occurs when, in the day room at Ixworth, Whispering Dan ponders "Blimey!" , only for the word to be slapped down as "very common indeed" by Nicky Haslam who pops up from behind a sofa where he is rewiring a plug.


Daring hyper-reality series which borders on the verge of criminality. Each week a captain of industry, a banker, politician or financier is captured and held in a vermin-infested south London cellar by a group of Special Branch freelances. The organisation for which the captive works is invited to pay a ransom. One of the delights of the show is that the organisation habitually declines to pay, on the grounds that the executive is non-essential and can be taken out. Guests will include Fred Goodwin, Mark Byford and Richard Desmond. Includes strong language.


As Victoria Beckham puts it: "A lot of the ladies in Ravensbruck had weight issues rather like I've had."

The former Spice Girl visits the camp outside the quaint town of Furstenberg to scrutinise

the " lovely, stripey" fashions they wore seventy years ago. "They are so now!"

And Gordon Ramsay comes along to cook a typical one-pot dish of gruel and mud which he pronounces "delicious" while Victoria pushes it around her rusty plate.


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