Magazine article The Spectator

Television: House of DVF; the Apprentice; the X Factor

Magazine article The Spectator

Television: House of DVF; the Apprentice; the X Factor

Article excerpt

Girl is back for half-term so I've been able to watch nothing but crap on TV this week. Some of you will say, 'Oh come on! You pay the bills, so you get to control the remote.' But that's not how things work when you've got a teenage girl at home. Especially not one whose ankle you have been responsible for breaking. So crap, I'm afraid, is what I'm going to have to review.

Not, it must be said, that the crap has all been crap. House of DVF (E! Online), for example. I've mentioned it before and the reason I'm mentioning it again is the matchless insights it offers into the strange and terrifying world of womankind. It's like an uber-chic version of The Apprentice where, instead of having Lord Sugar pump £250,000 into your no-hope start-up project, the prize is to become 'brand ambassador' to the magnificent Belgian-born, New York-based fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

Perdition catch my soul but I do worship DVF. I love her designs, I love her manner -- a beguiling mix of imperiousness, coquettishness and bruised wisdom -- and I love the way she is always totally right about everything. In another life, I'm going to go back in time and marry her before that upstart German prince does. Or, should she be unwilling -- as I'm sure she will be -- I'll humbly accept reincarnation as her footstool.

Yes, The Apprentice (BBC1, Wednesday) still has its moments, especially now the bullet-headed hell creature (or so he pretends; deep down, I suspect, he's a pussycat) Claude Littner has been drafted into replace Nick Hewer and spit bile on all the vile candidates. But Littner, entertaining though he is, has nothing on DVF's even scarier familiar, the red-haired, green-eyed, impossibly beautiful Jessica Joffe, daughter of a German film director, with a cut-glass accent and withering hauteur born of her education at an English girls' private school and the ruthlessness of a king cobra.

I worship Jessica too, by the way. And she does have a softer side. One of the candidates is a sweet blonde Californian called Ally from the Valley who has lots going for her -- looks, charm and enthusiasm -- but threatens to be crippled by what Simon Schama would probably call her 'suburban' tastes. So, like an Olympian deity briefly taking human form, Joffe deigned to visit Ally in her squalid hotel room ('Good God, is that a vibrator on her bed?' 'Dad. You idiot! It's a hair brush.') and kindly helped her jettison half her wardrobe. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.