THE COUCH POTATO: TV careers feel a chill on freezing red carpet
OUT in the nether reaches of digital TV land, Crime and Investigation Network devoted Sunday evening to wall-to-wall episodes of Curious and Unusual Deaths.
But you didn’t have to trawl very far to witness those.
There were several curious and unusual on-screen deaths at London’s Royal Opera House for the Bafta Film Awards, beginning outside in the sleet and snow.
And the nominees for outstanding contribution to stupidity on a red carpet are...
Sky News’s Lucy Cotter, freezing her chops off wearing next to nothing, who managed to remind Ben Affleck he’d been snubbed for a best director Oscar, got Helen Mirren’s character in Hitchcock wrong while speaking to Helen Mirren, and declared her backing for Anne Hathaway: “I think best supporting actress will go, erm, err, the, err, the actress who plays, erm, in Les Miserables.”
By the time she remembered her name, there was this breaking news bombshell: “I’mbeing told Anne Hathaway is still doing her hair.”
More on that story as we get it.
On BBC3, meanwhile, Edith Bowman was “looking for a birthing partner” and making very little sense: “The men want to be him, the women want to be with him. I am of course talking about Stephen Fry.”
But the winners are Dermot ‘Mate’ O’Leary and Caroline Flack, on red-carpet duty for E! channel, who attempted to replace the question: “Who are you wearing?” with: “What are you rockin’ tonight?” and failed spectacularly.
Dermot, to be fair, had at least done some research into the nominees and found out from Gemma Arterton she’d be presenting: “Best film not in a foreign language.”
Caroline Flack, however, was going where no TV presenter has boldy gone before, with the exception of Dr Chris during his 2011 rectal examination of Paul Ross live on This Morning, armed as she was with a tiny camera called ‘Manicam’ to zoom in on the Hollywood stars’ jewellery: “It will be used to get up close and personal with their rings. So definitely access all areas for us.”
More so than they could ever have feared, by the sound.
Moving swiftly on then, there was high expectation for ceremony host Stephen Fry, who Hugh Jackman praised as: “About as good and you get,” and Affleck said: “I hear the host is really funny. They say he’s one of the greats.”
It was soon apparent he’d heard incorrectly, as one-man thesaurus Fry topped the night’s curious and unusual deaths, opening with an awkward monologue, stumbling over the autocue, and sending his gushing superlatives out of control: “A flowering, towering, multi-multi-award-winning, accolade- receiving, great-acclaim-garnering, British acting legend, the peerless divinity, Ian McKellen.”
He actually said the words: “To take us through this great year of film, who better than the radiant Paloma Faith?”
Only Samuel L Jackson, Billy Connolly, Danny Boyle and Sally Field, who revealed food poisoning victim Eddie Redmayne was: “Puking his guts out back there,” provided any light relief.
The host, though, was running into the pitfalls of venturing offscript: “Five great films including Django Unchained are in contention for best film.”
Five great films not including Django Unchained, to be ever so marginally more accurate.
If we can take anything away from the Baftas, it’s this lightbulb moment from Stephen Fry as proceedings were just beginning: “I could tell you who’s won now and save you a lot of time but it would very much go against the fabric of award shows and possibly destroy them forever. And then where would we be?”
A much, much happier place, Stephen.
●ITV2 in decent show shocker, The Big Reunion.
●BBC2’s Ski Sunday’s breathtaking coverage of the biannual men’s downhill world championship.
●EastEnder Perry Fenwick’s humble and loving trip back to his childhood home, on The One Show, where his nickname “Pel” which he carved on the outside porch wall when he was knee-high to a grasshopper remains today.
●And, continuing The One Show theme, Anita Rani asking Michel Roux Jr: “Why bring back Food & Drink after 10 years?”
Good blummin’ question.
●EVERY newsreader over-pronouncing Les Miserables like the English policeman from ’Allo ’Allo.
●The Muppets losing out at the Baftas to: “Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis’s The Imposter, a dark and stylish mix of interviews and reconstructions telling the story of a young Frenchman who successfully posed as a missing American child.” Give me Gonzo the Great, anytime.
●Fluff-filled Daybreak demonstrating its complete inability to deal with breaking news, going from a Valentine’s Day feature at “Britain’s most romantic workplace” straight into Ranvir Singh’s news bulletin: “Reports claim Oscar Pistorius has shot dead his girlfriend after mistaking her for a burglar.”
●And ITV failing to realise comedy and organ donation aren’t necessarily natural bedfellows on From The Heart, which included this question from Getting On’s Ricky Grover to Jo Brand: “Have you got anything for a pain in the neck?”
Yes, shove her off the 10m platform in the next series of Splash!