Allan Crow looks at this week’s television highlights
(Saturday, stv, 8.15 p.m.) There was a time when weekend telly was the absolute highlight of the week.
Today they fill the gaps between X Factor and BGT, bewildering variations of Lottery-based quiz shows, and Match Of The Day.
If BAFTA handed out honours for ‘most rubbish show’ they need only flick through the Saturday night listings for their list of nominees.
And the newest, ‘Amazing Greys’ is right up there along with ‘Hole In The Wall’ and ‘Splash!’ for driving a natiion of folk to turn to their other halves and utter: ‘‘what is this?’’
The show pits a bunch of talented old folk - past champions and experts in a strange bunch of unrelated fields - in competition against a team of youngsters.
Angela Rippon captains the oldies while Paddy McGuinness - other than the equally shallow Vernon Kaye, who else could it be? - is cheerleader in chief for the non-wrinklies.
The title is a ghastly, groan-inducing, life-sapping pun on ‘Amazing Grace’ - and that’s about as original as it gets.
Goodness knows what Ms Rippon is doing on this tosh.
Britain’s Got Talent
(Saturday, stv, 7.00 p.m.) A child knife thrower on last week’s show had Simon Cowell pinned on his board... and he threw to miss.
Son, there are opportunities that arise once - just once in a lifetime.
He could have at least aimed for Cowell’s ego.
Still, thank goodness for David Walliams who turns this show upside down by voting through rubbish, cheesy acts to annoy the Cowell-meister.
Britain’s Funniest Comedy Characters
(Saturday, Channel5, 9.15 p.m.)
Another near three hours of a pointless countdown to the best comedy characters of all-time ... but one that can reel you in and claim a good chunk of your weekend.
The script kinda writes itself as its spotlights the true greats - Leonard Rossiter’s Rigsby, Ronnie Barker’s Fletch, John Cleese’s Basil, and Warren Mitchell’s Alf Garnett.
How on earth it leaps from these greats to the awful, unfunny one dimensional Keith Lemon is beyond me though ...
Let Me Entertain You
(Saturday, stv, 6.00 p.m.)
A new series showcasing clips of ordinary people singing and dancing - so it’s karaoke captured on video.
I guess most of the folk featured will be those who have been told once too often ‘‘you know, you can sing - you should be on telly.’
On the bright side, this show only lasts 30 minutes.
Wanted: A Family Of My Own
(Thursday, stv, 9.00 p.m.) Having already reunited long-lost families, Nicky Campbell now turns the spotlight on adoption.
He follows the process from prospective parents’ meetings through to the moment where kids meet their new foster family for the first time.
Handled with sensitivity and a light touch, this should be moving and hopefully encourage more people to come forward and register their interest.
(Wednesday, Channel4, 10.00 p.m.) A second series of the Ricky Gervais comedy which split opinion.
He returns as Derek, a childlike and often vulnerable man who has a job in an old folks’ home.
I’m no fan of Gervais’ humour, so I’ll sit this one out ...
(Friday, Channel4, 7.00 p.m.) An eyebrow raising documentary on the brutal sport of Muay Thai where anything goes.
Remarkably, in Thailand kids aged seven participate as adults place bets on the outcome of fights.
Scary stuff ...