COUCH POTATO: BGT: Same old from the same mould...

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Call off the search.

We’ve found our much younger replacement for Sir Bruce Forsyth on Strictly.

Supple ballroom dancer Paddy Jones who, pushing 80, performed the complete Kama Sutra in 90 seconds flat, with Nico the Spaniard, on ITV on Saturday night.

And with all four judges clearly won over, up stepped Amanda Holden to press the golden buzzer, this series’ “big twist”, having completely misunderstood its point is to save a doomed act.

Still, it capped a largely enjoyable start to Britain’s Got Talent VIII which opened with the traditional parade of no-hopers, including Luke Joseph who’d possibly stopped off to change in Oxfam while blindfolded and danced like he was picking a fight in a kebab queue after a night on the lash.

Loveable loons like him are this show’s bedrock, along with Ant and Dec on sparkling form and David Walliams who really gets BGT.

He asked Luke: “Did you plan any of that out before you came out this evening?” and said what everyone was thinking to (OA)Paddy and 39-year-old Nico: “It reminds me of a Little Britain sketch.”

Entertaining as they were, though, undoubted act of the night was German Peter Panduranga, a vision in white, channelling Marlon Brando in The Missouri Breaks, during a brilliant funny-foreigners section.

He dedicated his song to his wife and, I think, stalkers: “My heart is full of joy when I just follow you. Haaaarh! Argh, argh, argh! Heeeeeave hoooo, heave in Jürgen arms. Argh! Argh!”

A right old cacophony. I thought Eurovision’s semi-finals had arrived a month early but would’ve happily seen him sail through.

Sadly, I’m mourning his premature departure because Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, a purposeless pair whose combined wit amounted to: “Your breath is probably very smelly,” to that raw-onion eater, didn’t see it that way.

And neither Walliams nor Simon “I’ve got to tell you, I mean, seriously” Cowell failed to press the golden buzzer, the “big twist” that guarantees a semi-final place, despite Panduranga being the very sort of act it was designed for.

Therein lies the fundamental problem.

For all its greatness, BGT undoes its own good work beneath a deafening torrent of Syco background music.

In episode one alone I spotted Little Mix, 1D, Leona, SuBo and Labrinth (okay, via the miracle of Shazam, what with me being down wiv da kidz. Ahem.)

And Walliams was kidding himself saying: “We’re looking for something we’ve never seen before.”

They’re not.

It’s the same old from the same mould. Cloned pegs in holes.

Lauren & Terrell are little Twist & Pulse.

Ukraine’s Light Balance are this year’s eastern European variety act in the dark (Attraction) whose spectacle, while impressive, was like Debenhams’ lighting department on the blink.

Show-tunes boyband Collabro are Richard & Adam plus three.

And soprano Lucy Kay is Charlotte minus “Jonathan &...”

She arrived after a glorious, sob-story-free first half with a totally unnecessary tale of bullies and Cowell telling her: “I don’t want to hear those people ever mentioned again.”

Code, if ever I’ve heard it, for: “Production, it’s Simon.

“I’ve got to tell you, have her on a loop for the callbacks and live shows.

“I mean, seriously.”

This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Mad Men.

ITV2’s celebratory Britain’s Got More Talent, with Stephen Mulhern.

Sky Sports’ Liverpool 3, Man City 2 game of the season (and I say that as a Man United fan).

Omid Djalili blasting his one penalty past “Robokeeper”, which thwarted Lionel Messi, into the top corner before taking off like a hare shot by an air rifle down Portland Place, on The One Show.

“Drum and bass enthusiast” Rupert summing up the high-octane thrill ride that is The Big Allotment Challenge: “I’ve got general radish worry.” Plus Fern Britton asking contestant Gary: “What’s your inspiration for this bouquet?” “Flowers.”

And Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Christian Jessen unable to contain the giggles as Pixie McKenna told “penis doctor” Paul Anderson about a poor bloke’s painful kink in his willy from a sex accident: “I think it’s right up Paul’s street.” Pixie, I’d be surprised.

This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

ITV sneaking in dreadful Amazing Greys behind the BGT distraction.

Off Their Rockers using jokes even older than the cast. (We have seen Benny Hill and Carry On, you know.)

Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Pixie McKenna summing up the hosts’ advice to every single caller: “Back to your GP, get them to check everything out.”

E4 structured reality claptrap Party House making Towie’s acting look like Remains of the Day.

And EastEnders treating Lucy Beale the same way they did Kara Tointon’s Dawn Swann by making her sleep with Walford’s slimes before axing her. Plus Stan’s sardine and jam sandwich, the least believable pairing since Max and Lucy.

On which note, I’m off for a break. Column returns in a fortnight. Happy Easter, folks.

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