One I was looking forward to was Channel 4’s Grand Designs Live because I’m a huge fan of the series and its presenter Kevin McCloud. But this wasn’t what I had expected at all and it felt more like Grand Designs does Big Brother. Kevin did his best with his material, mainly involving the building of his own eco-house, but terrible sound quality hindered him from the start. It could have been really interesting watching Kevin and his team race against time to finish the house but instead it was like a badly organised magazine, jumping from one odd item to the next. Bill Bailey, who I’d normally be happy to watch reading the phonebook, seemed a little out of his depth and Dave Gorman’s segments were out of place, too.
The irony was that the whole thing felt it had been hurried together with the speed of someone who is desperate to move into their Grand Designs home and neglecting to see if it all worked beforehand. Kevin was reduced to a Davina McCall-style presenter trying to be make the crowd shout with excitement as often as possible. Grand Designs is usually a must-see and I just hope they haven’t tarnished the reputation of this fascinating series. And note to Channel 4 just for me and the benefit of other sensitive viewers: a warning that ‘This programme contains Janet Street Porter’ would be greatly appreciated.
I liked the relaxed but truthful feel to the programme. It didn’t preach or force its opinion on me (as I sat with my packet of crisps) but just gave you the facts and showed the children struggling to swallow salad. One thing that does annoy about programmes of this kind is the constant reminder of who each person is and how much they weigh. We aren’t goldfish; we can actually remember things and don’t need constant reminders. I estimated almost 15 minutes of the programme was recap! (I’m now working on my Too Tubby to Type spin-off about writers and their fight to complete to finish a column without wondering what’s in the fridge to nibble.)
I was looking forward to James Nesbitt’s new political thriller Midnight Man. It was ITV’s turn to have a bash following BBC1’s political dramas, the truly engrossing State of Play and the almost incomprehensible The Last Enemy. I will watch James Nesbitt in just about anything and the plot sounded intriguing.
It was better than The Last Enemy because I could actually follow who was who and what was going on but I didn’t find myself as drawn in as I did with State of Play. It just didn’t have the same spark. Nesbitt’s character Max Raban lacked the usual amount of warmth and charm that Nesbitt brings to each role. But the plot picked up towards the end with a completely surprising ending.
I loved Johnston’s appearance, worried that Mark’s mug had been smashed and, although , I’d like to see more of Dobbie the IT misfit who Mark shared an intimate moment with in the stationary cupboard. I don’t think I’ve actually been in a stationary cupboard… I must be missing out! I think the show must be commended in remaining the standard week after week and series after series. Shame there’s only four episodes left.
I must give my CRUMBLETASTIC medal to Peep Show because I’m very near obsessed and my BLACK PUDDING to the sheer rushed and frankly pointless shambles that was Grand Designs Live.