THE COUCH POTATO: Olympics struck gold but TOWIE fell flat

LOWLIGHT: Live: The Only Way is Essex

LOWLIGHT: Live: The Only Way is Essex

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

2012, THE year that gave us the Diamond Jubilee, with BBC1’s Fearne Cotton and John Barrowman, and crowned Jack Whitehall as television’s King of Comedy.

But it wasn’t all bad.

We had Danny Boyle’s phenomenal Olympics opening ceremony, including the greatest ever TV moment with four words: “Good evening, Mr Bond,” from the Queen to 007, a protester invaded the Boat Race, and a dancing dog won Britain’s Got Talent.

Channel 4 crashed a Boeing 727 into the desert, while Phillip Schofield did the ITV equivalent by handing over a list of people wrongly named as paedophiles to David Cameron on This Morning, the 2012 National Television Awards “Factual Show Winner”.

Katie Price was a studio guest on Newsnight, which turned out to be anything but that programme’s most regrettable moment of the last 12 months, with the Jimmy Savile scandal sending the BBC into headless chicken mode not long after the corporation unwisely dressed up 29-year-old Roxanne Pallett as a schoolgirl, on Waterloo Road.

So here are my awards for the year that was.

SPUDULIKE SHOWS OF THE YEAR:

Homeland. Strictly Come Dancing. Celebrity Big Brother, the Julie Goodyear series, especially the Gods and Mortals task. Football Focus, with Mario Balotelli and Noel Gallagher. Inside Men. The Best of Men. BBC4’s Old Jews Telling Jokes. TV Burp. Total Wipeout. The Apprentice, most notably the Groove Train episode. Man Vs Food. Barry McGuigan: Sports Life Stories. Line Of Duty. Lifers. BBC2’s 7/7: One Day In London. Interviews Before Execution. C4’s Paralympics. Accused. The Thick Of It. The Miracle at Medinah in the Ryder Cup. Bradley Wiggins’ and Team Sky’s Tour de France heroics. Red Dwarf X, on Dave. Last Tango in Halifax. The Snowman and the Snowdog. And Room on the Broom.

But the winner is the BBC’s Olympics coverage, with a special nod to the opening ceremony, Super Saturday, and Bert Le Clos.

SPUDUHATE SHOWS OF THE YEAR: The Voice. The X Factor.

EastEnders. Love Shaft. Gordon (Ramsay) Behind Bars. Let’s Get Gold. The Olympics closing ceremony and the Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies. Gabby Logan’s Olympics Tonight. Hotel GB. David Jason’s The Royal Bodyguard. Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Prisoners’ Wives. Citizen Khan. Sing Date. Show Me Your Wardrobe. The Love Machine. Don’t Stop Me Now. ITV1’s Titanic. Keith Lemon’s LemonAid. Gok Wan’s Baggage. Dale’s Great Getaway. That Dog Can Dance. 10 O’Clock Live. Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights. Russell Brand’s Brand X (Brand Why?). Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Superstar. The Valleys. ITV2’s Switch. And Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.

But the worst show of 2012, and of all time, was Live: TOWIE, a programme so appalling that it beat the BBC’s rain-drenched, calamitous Thames Jubilee Pageant to the title. That’s how bad it was.

SKY NEWS INTERVIEWER OF THE YEAR: Rachel Younger to John Hurt on the Bafta Film Awards red carpet: “So many roles come to mind just by looking at your face, like The Elephant Man.”

COMMENTARY OF THE YEAR: Dancing On Ice’s Tony Gubba: “That was a racing gazelle followed by the forward assisted teapot, then a roll-up into a camel ride and there were some cool butterflies into a fish lift.” (Of course there were, Tony. Of course there were).

LEAST APPROPRIATE THEME OF THE YEAR: The Jeremy Kyle Show’s Valentine’s Day episode: “How did you catch an STI if you didn’t cheat on me?” (And they say romance is dead).

WHITER-THAN-WHITE AWARDS CEREMONY: The National Television Awards, with host Dermot O’Leary insisting: “All your votes were independently adjudicated by independent adjudicators.”

MOST EMBARRASSING BODIES CASE STUDY: 41-year-old Carol who, Dr Christian Jessen informed us, is: “Addicted to sticking coffee up her bum.”

MATHS WHIZZ OF THE YEAR: Sky Sports’ Rob Hawthorne, at Newcastle United v Man City: “When City won the title here back in 1968, it was a six-goal thriller. City won 4-3.”

BIGGEST BBC JUNKET: Andrew Marr seemed to visit everywhere on earth for History of the World, including down the back of a female producer’s jeans at the wrap party. But the winner is Kate Humble for her selfless trips to Norway, Ecuador, Chile, Canada, Egypt, Argentina, Greenland, Mexico, India and Bermuda for Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey.

DAYBREAK’S COMPETITION QUESTION OF THE YEAR: “In a standard pack of playing cards, which card follows the 10?” I checked mine. It’s the eight of hearts.

PSYCHIC OF THE YEAR: Jayne Wallace, on This Morning, who attempted to guess the identity of a mystery celebrity waiting backstage by holding their watch: “I feel there’s a really strong creativity with her. I’m getting words and writing with her. She’s got a book. She’s a deep thinker. She’s driven. She’s artistic. She’s creative.

She’s passionate. She’s sophisticated...”

She’s Lionel Blair.

WORST AXE-WIELDING OF THE YEAR: BBC1 cancelling Total Wipeout.

But don’t worry. I’m sure they’re replacing it on Saturday night with a groundbreaking entertainment show, something brand new to kick off 2013.

So let’s have a look, shall we? Ah yes. Saturday night, BBC1, Richard Hammond’s Secret Service: “A hidden camera show in which actors play pranks on unsuspecting members of the public.”

Maybe not then. Happy New Year!

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