Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ruth Serves a Big Dollop of Criticism

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ruth Serves a Big Dollop of Criticism

Article excerpt


The Hotel Inspector

9pm, Five

RUTH WATSON returns for another series of hectoring, troubleshooting visits to underperforming hotels.

Of course, she knows what she's talking about, but you might feel that she has picked easy targets in this opening show.

Jon and Sandie Harrap are grotesque, barmy and so stupid you fear they may be verging on the simple. The result is toecurling, hard-to-watch television - but compelling.

The Harraps have a threediamond rating for their Saxonia guesthouse and are hoping to make it four-star under the English Tourist Board's new rules. But, frankly, it's the sort of place you'd send only your worst enemy.

It has floral wallpaper, old furniture, a lounge packed with soft toys and decorative plates, the towels are worn and frayed and Watson refuses to have a shower in her grimy bathroom.

The idea of this programme is to do the same thing Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares does to restaurants, but to hotels. It doesn't have the same pizzazz as Nightmares but it works, especially when the characters are so odd. And there's far fewer F-words in this. Watson only says "f***" once.

Which, believe me, is masterful restraint.

Holby City

8pm, BBC1

We're into the TV summer season, when even routine Holby begins to stand out from the crowd. And it makes you start to worry about the surgeons in this hospital. Last week Elliot's illicit operation got rumbled while Sam performed a procedure without permission. This week nasty Nick decides to carry out a complicated operation on a man with a deadly aneurism. Not necessarily doing it for the benefit of the patient, you understand, but for the benefit of Nick - he has arranged for Lord Byrne to watch him, in the hope of getting the cardio job at St James's. It's all likely to end in tears. But whose, exactly? …

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