Allan Crow on this wek’s television highlights
(Saturday, BBC1, 6.30 p.m.)
Take your partners please for another series of shimmying, a wee bit of salsa and enough over the top silliness from the judges to keep you glued to your sofa until the Christmas spectacular.
Strictly has hit upon a winning formula so don’t expect too many changes as it returns for another celeb-starred series.
Of course it’s time they edged Bruce Forsyth into the stalls - his banter is just awful - and let the more than capable Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman co-host, but no, the old trouper is back aged 185 to do his ‘‘nice to see you, to see you, nice’’ stuff all over again. I know he’s a national treasure, but ...
Darcy Bussell is the new judge, while the celebs tipped to take part include Jerry Hall, Fern Britton and assorted Olympians.
All shall be revealed come Saturday night but it’s safe to say the line-up will include at least one novelty act who can’t dance but gets voted back every week after winning the hearts of the nation.
It’s called the Widdecombe Effect.
(Thursday, Channel4, 9.00 p.m.) You may wish to read the following synopsis at least twice to get your head round the idea behind this reality tosh.
Each week an ordinary member of the public gets 50 strangers to help them make a big, potentially life-changing decision. Said 50 folk follow them around for a week - literally. If he nips out to the paper shop, they trundle along. If he goes for a pint, they’re right next to him.
Bonkers? Bizarre? Yup.
The idea is fair enough but this weird flash-mob hanging around makes everyday life seem pretty artificial - how on earth can ordinary folk act ordinary in front of cameras with this set up going on right behind them? Just imagine there’s no-one there? C’mon ...
(Tuesday, BBC4, 10.00 p.m.) Is there nothing Steve Van Zant can’t do? The guy is the collest dude in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, he hosts his own radio show, and he acts in uber-hip shows such as The Sopranos.
Now ‘Miami Steve’ is back in this new comedy drama starring as a New York mobster living the quiet life in in a small Norwegian town under a witness protection programme.
If there is such a thing as re-incarnation, can I come back as Mr Van Zant?
Dead Good Job
(Wednesday, BBC2, 9.00 p.m.) Another fly on the wall documentary series - this time it’s all about undertakers.
It’s a bit quirky, and also quite informative as it follows them through how they handle a huge range of requests from family paying their last respects to loved ones.
999: What’s Your Emergency
(Monday, Channel4, 9.00 p.m.) At the oppposite end of the ‘fly on the wall’ scale it’s all flashing lights and fast action as camera crews follow emergency service teams on the beat on Blackpool.
Expect lots of lairy drunk folk to crop up ...