TV View: No laughing matter when 'Frostbit Boy' is best thing on the box
The programmes to watch... and the ones you really want to miss
It's come to a pretty pass when the single most amusing thing on local TV is a rural schoolboy expressing his opinion of the weather in a matter that effusive caffeine addicts are describing as "a bit full on".
But really, if you haven't seen Sperrins teen Ruairi McSorley or "Frostbit Boy" venting forth to UTV News about local climatic conditions, put down what you're doing and watch it now. Ten million have already. It's gone viral and will be back on your screens at the "that was 2015 that was" review programme that UTV had so much success with last month.
But I'm wishing this year so pregnant with promise away before it's started. If there's any god in TV heaven, young McSorley will get a six-parter entitled 'Wild Weather, Hi'. It'd be like "Night of the Big Wind", only less ridiculous.
But really, in a week where Number 2s made a mess on the comedy carpet, it was a blessed relief to have something to laugh about on the box. Even if it was an unexpected regional accent.
Speaking of which, Marcus Bentley, the jovial invisible Geordie, had his disembodied hands full in Celebrity Big Brother this week. It's hard enough to remain upbeat when Hobie - David Hasselhoff's son in Baywatch - got the boot after he did a sex offence on "model" Chloe Goodman. Then when Reg Holdsworth from Corrie quickly followed after cheerfully delivering a bumper variety pack of racisms and sexisms, and then adopted the perplexed look of a puppy who doesn't know why he's been punished, you could tell Marcus was struggling to keep his invisible smile up for the viewers. But the thing that must make him go home of an evening and stare long and hard at his non-corporeal self in the mirror, must be the fact that professional horrible human homunculus Katie Hopkins seems to be the most likeable person in the house. Mind you, Perez Hilton...
Paddy McGuinness will be suffering no such dark tea-time of the soul, as the psychotically perky former comedian appears to actually love presenting Take Me Out, where the complex western mating ritual is distilled to its very essence. That is line up 30-odd chemically peeled young women, and get assorted firemen, binmen and, well, men, to come down the love lift and perform that dance which is as old as time - that is, gurning and gooning about until the least compatible female discovers the switch to turn her light off is broken, or takes leave of her senses and consents to be taken to Fernandos. Viewers of Take Me Out will know of the mythical Isle of Fernandos, where love matches aren't struck, and fraudulent romance is desperately eked out over a half-bottle of Blue Nun. I harbour this perhaps outlandish notion that, after the cameras stop rolling, couples "sent to Fernandos" suddenly realise there's no way off, with the horrific realisation dawning that they're stuck there, with each other and the hundreds of other failed assignations, and have to scrabble and compete for limited resources and shelter the island has to offer.
Kind of like Rathlin meets Wetherspoons meets Alcatraz. Come winter in Fernandos, you wouldn't be long getting frostbit. Well, a bitter, single boy can dream can't he?
Chris Packs a punch by getting hands dirty with nature's nasties
I love TV nature boy Chris Packham. He's got a rare integrity for a TV presenter, he once said he'd be intensely relaxed if giant pandas died out and is infectiously passionate about wildlife in all its giddy variations (well, except maybe for the giant panda). He also crowbars lyrics from his favourite songs when presenting Springwatch as a regular dare (it was the songs of The Smiths for one entire series), which makes for all sorts of amusing drinking-related Springwatch games.
The thing I love most about Packham though is that he holds a particular fondness for the really icky things in nature. If it's red in tooth and claw, or grotesque in mandible, gland or excretion, he'll be all over it like white on rice.
So it was with a sense of glee and a strategically empty stomach that I dived into Nature's Weirdest Events, where he got excited about a wasp that uses living tarantulas as a larder for its offspring and something rather scary looking called a Bobbit Worm (Latin name Eunice - pointless but amusing fact, fans). Amusingly, it's actually named after the infamous Lorena Bobbit, for reasons that became quickly apparent. Altogether now: all things bright and beautiful...
Will someone tell Tom there's an elephant in the room?
Am I the only person mortified by the obligatory collective chunter at the start of the Voice?
You know, the bit where William from the Black Eyed Peas, Ryvita Ora, "Sur" Tom Jones and Ricky from that indie band (who had that hit 10 years ago about rioting) sing together?
Last week's was one of the most excruciating yet. I mean, the time they sang said song about rioting last series was enough to clench my buttocks well into Sunday lunchtime. But the industrial levels of "sass" that they poured into dated 90s tune Ready To Go was directly disproportionate to levels of sass that appeared on our screens.
Watching Tom Jones grunt and bellow through songs that he most likely heard for the first time that afternoon reminds me of going to see an elephant at the zoo as a child.
It looked like an elephant, it smelled like an elephant. And we thought at the time that the slow side-to-side wobble it used to do was the dance of elephant. Turns out it was the repetitive motion elephants engage in when they're clinically depressed. Still, I'd love one of those revolving judges' seats.
Broadchurch (ITV): Ok, disappointing second episode I agree. And the premise might be being stretched just a little now, but still, quality drama, quality cast. And on ITV!
Number 2s (BBC NI): I don’t need to mention Number 2s do I? You’re all obviously way ahead of me...