Allan Crow on this week’s TV highlights
(Thursday/Friday. Channel5, 9.00 p.m.)
Ah, Big Brother we’ve missed you so much since the last series ended, said no-one in particular.
The show that once had the entire media in a lather, filled endless columns, and dominated water cooler discussions has slipped so far off the radar most folk are surprised to hear it’s still going.
But never known as a station which knows when to stop flogging a dead horse, C5 is opening the doors to another raft of housemates and giving them not one, but two launch nights.
Regardless of who goes in we can probably guess at a mix of the usual desperate wannabes, show-offs, stirrers, divas and narcissists who will be known only by their first names for as long as the show runs, and then be completely forgotten about.
Can you name last year’s winner? Would you even recognise a housemate if they charged into your house and started cooking your tea?
Watch the launch, laugh at the hopeless bunch, then switch off and get on with your life.
Britain’s Got Talent: The Final
(Saturday, stv, 7.00 p.m.)
Never let it be said ITV doesn’t know how to milk this cash cow - tonight’s final is two and half hours long.
It hasn’t been a vintage year for wannabe Royal Variety Performance winners - Saturday’s last semi-final was just awful, and the fact it was won by a dance duo which included an 80-year old woman with bruised ribs which left her out of time, out of step just about said it all.
The judges clearly live on a different planet, praising to the hilt acts I wouldn’t go and see playing in my local pub, while the audience will whoop and applaud the lights going down.
Ant and Dec make it bearable, but only just.
If only the show lived up to the bombastic noise and hype, it might actually have unearthed some genuine, exciting, new talent.
Channel4’s Comedy Gala
(Thursday, Channel4, 9. 00p.m.) The annual comedy benefit which brings together just about every comedian you can possibly name - all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The line-up is huge, so you may want to dip in and out to choose from some, or all, of the following - Adam Hills, Alan Carr, Jo Brand, John Bishop, Jason Byrne, Sean Walsh, plus the obligatory appearances of James Corden and Michael McIntyre.
Oh yes, and there’s our own Kevin Bridges. It’s repeated late on Saturday night as well.
You’ve Got A Friend: The Carole King Story
(Friday, BBC4, 9.00 p.m.) One word - Tapestry.
King’s 1971 album remains a classic, but there is much more to this superb singer-songwriter as this documentary sets out to explore.
I Love 1980
(Saturday, BBC2, 8.30 p.m.)
Last week’s sojourn back to 1978 was wonderful, even if the Christmas edition of TOTP left most folk wondering what on earth the nation was thinking about back then with hits from The Smurfs, Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, and unhealthy levels of Boney M.
This weekend we leap into 1980 courtesy of host Larry Hagman.
It’s followed by TOTP specials on Wham and Duran Duran.
(Friday, stv, 8.00 p.m.) I know a death in soapland is always a big deal, but does Tina’s recent wee plunge off the scaffodling really merit a special half hour farewell to the character and actress? Neither are up there with the true greats on Weatherfield’s cobbled streets.