Looking at the television schedule you might be inclined to think that there is nothing decent on at the moment. However, here at TV Talk we watch hours of television to bring you the best bits from the land of TV.
As part of the preparations for the London Olympics the torch is touring the length and breadth of the UK. Along the way local faces and people who support their area have been nominated to carry the torch and help it to get round the UK safely.
While the torch was in Wales, the Doctor Who actor Matt Smith had a chance to join in as he started the eighth day of the Olympic relay in Cardiff.
And if that has left you craving for more Who episodes from series five are currently on BBC iPlayer.
William Shatner guest hosts Have I Got News For You
The current affairs panel quiz show managed to get US actor, best known for his role James T. Kirk in Star Trek, to be host last week.
Throughout the show Shatner amused by forgetting and mispronouncing names, but the best bit was when he sang the clues to get the panelists to guess the related news story.
Huw Edwards on Would I Lie To You?
The BBC newsreader took part in last week’s Would I Lie To You? where he revealed that he has a ‘evil eye’ that he uses on his work colleagues when he wants them to move on. This truth was demonstrated with the help of host Rob Brydon who played the part of BBC News’ business editor Robert Peston who, even on the wong end of Huw’s evil glances, wouldn’t stop talking.
Tim Vine playing the national anthem
In honour of the Queen’s diamond Jubilee the comedian Tim Vine played the national anthem with a chair. It is an odd but impressive skill, and now that Vine has left Not Going Out he maybe even has time to focus on the chair album.
The past week in television has been reality programmes and a whole host of animals doing things live. In among all that you may have missed some of the highlights from the week. Not to worry though as we pick out the best bits of telly from this week.
Celebrity Deal or no Deal
Last weekend the celebrity versions of the game show saw music manager and TV judge Louis Walsh take on the boxes. So far Walsh has had the best people to open the boxes for him, varying from Kate Thornton, to Wagner and Jedward (they had two boxes between them). Also he quite genuinely wanted to do well for the charity, so Walsh is noticeably nervous throughout the show but he does well.
Even though Deal or No Deal can be a hard watch, I mean it is fronted by Noel Edmonds who keeps referring to the place as ‘the dream factory’, the celeb versions have brought new life to the format. In addition the pressure that the celebrities find themselves under when trying to do their best for a charity is unbelievable, and led to Jimmy Carr only winning £750 for charity, instead of the offered £14,000.
You can watch Louis Walsh’s Celebrity Deal or No Deal on 4OD.
Britain’s Got Talent
I have a confession; I have never watched Britain’s Got Talent. So the other night when left to my own devices and with full control over the television remote, I decided to catch a few moments of the show.
And what I saw was confusing. A grown man was wearing a suit, made to look like a Dalek from Doctor Who. He was also wearing a saucepan with sequins on. And then a range of colourful washing machines with baskets on top came on stage as well as Dalek back up.
The man’s talent was that he could do an impersonation of a Dalek, which wasn’t bad considering it was just his voice not put through any machines or software. But his performance led to the judges, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden, wearing saucepans on their heads.
You can watch this and the other high calibre contestants on ITV Player.
Nadine Dorres, a Conservative MP, took part in Have I Got News For You this week. Ian Hislop took his usual relish in poking fun at the politicians that come on the show, but Dorres embarrassed herself in a small way.
When talking about the Leveson Inquiry she called it a bit of a ‘damp squid’, when the phrase is actually damp squib.
This malapropism also forms part of the plot for an episode of The IT Crowd, where the characters discover they all know phrases that they have misremembered in some way.
You can watch Have I Got News For You on BBC iPlayer and The IT Crowd over on 4OD.
Prince Charles doing the weather
And finally Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall dropped by BBC Scotland for a tour and ended up presenting the weather. I think Charles was quite good, and maybe presenting is something that the Royal family should start to consider in the future.
The panel show which asks contestants to knowingly lie is back for another series. It is enjoyable to watch celebrities reveal truths about themselves that they probably should keep quiet. For instance, last series, comedian Sarah Millican told everyone that she needed the loo when in the car, so simply hopped over to the passenger seat to relieve herself as she was desperate and there was no alternative. National papers dream of finding out these kinds of stories.
Originally the show was hosted by Angus Deayton, but has since become less creepy as Rob Brydon took over. Team captains, Lee Mack and David Mitchell, are also very good at getting everyone in the team involved and making them funny. Yet it is always fun to watch Mack and Mitchell have a tiff, usually started by some disagreement over Mitchell being posh and southern and Mack being the opposite.
Curiously the show is a new time slot, which means it is now pre-watershed. This could change the show, some people who were in the audience for the recording of some of the episodes recall that panelists were told to re-record lines when they had sworn. But, all in all, should still be a great show.
Returning for its 43rd series, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop are ready to poke fun at the week’s news again. And based on recent news bulletins they will not be short of material. The show has slipped quite nicely into the routine of different celebrity hosts each week. Some hosts are a dab hand now, Alexander Armstrong has presented the show 19 times now, while others have a memorable shot at guest presenting just the once, such as Brian Blessed and former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.
Despite being cancelled by the BBC in 2009 the sitcom is back in full force with this series, and another already commissioned for next year. The show follows Lee, played by Lee Mack, and his best mate Tim, played by comedian Tim Vine. Lee lives with Tim’s sister, Lucy (Sally Bretton), who has a bit of thing for and tries in vain each week to impress her.
Although it is a sitcom the humour mostly comes from wordplay, a style that both Mack and Vine are known for in the stand-up routines. So if you don’t find one line funny, chances are there will be something that you find funny only seconds later.
The current series, which consists of six episodes, sees Tim join a band; the gang go camping in a spooky forest as well as Lucy and Lee making a bottle of potato-hooch.
Graham Norton has grown up from the days when he would be lewd over on Channel 4 late at night, now he does it on BBC One. Norton has had Jonathan Ross’ old chat show slot since 2010, and even though he had big shoes to fill he has done well. He brings on all of his guests at once, which means you get to see up and coming British comedians sitting next to Hollywood stars on Norton’s sofa. This works as you either get to see unlikely friendships develop, or watch A-listers become bemused at the set up.
Although whether you want to watch the show will depend on who is on the sofa, this week it is Cate Blanchett, Ewan McGregor, Michael Sheen and Matt Lucas, Norton is good as a chat show host. He is makes sure to treat everyone the same, which is refreshing, and likes to get the best out of his guests. He also enjoys humiliating his audience and watching his guests react to his embarrassing antics.
All in all, a good night’s entertainment, especially if you are a fan of Lee Mack.