It's Time to Blow the Final Whistle

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

It's Time to Blow the Final Whistle


Byline: TERRY RAMSEY

TERRY RAMSEY Footballers' Wives 9pm, ITV1 YES, the ludicrous tackfest that is Footballers' Wives is back - and it is just as bonkers as ever. In this opening episode the makers have thrown in everything that is expected: a fancy wedding, sex, champagne, naked bodies, lesbianism, a sleeping potion, a catfight... not quite the kitchen sink, but we do get a metal detector, apparently sent from beyond the grave (I'm not making it up).

Several of the old characters have disappeared, but we have a new totally ridiculous couple, midfielder Tremaine Gidigbi and his supermodel girlfriend Liberty. And there's a new club owner, Garry Ryan, in the portly shape of former Hazell star Nicholas Ball. Club captain Bruno is still around, and as the episode opens, he's planning to "renew" his vows with Lucy - despite the fact that he married her bigamously.

Amber is still hanging on too, despite her grief for the late Conrad. She has set up a shrine, where she goes to receive his instruction from the afterlife (honest, I am not making this up). But she is determined to discover who killed her beloved.

So, to recall the fatal day in detail, she is regressed by a hypnotherapist (who would have thought Amber could regress any further, eh?).

It's all madder than an asylum awayday - as usual.

But there's also an air of trying too hard - a feeling that script conferences might have been desperate, what-can-we-comeupwith-now affairs.

Just The Two Of Us A celebrity singing show. And it features eight TV stars paired with an expert singer who have to compete against one another, with one couple eliminated each time. What an original formula!

Where on earth could the BBC have got that idea? This straight rip-off of all the other celebrity ballroom dancing/ice-skating programmes surely has to be a prime example of lazy, cynical and moronic programme-making. For added cheesiness, the producers have given the job of hosting it to real-life couple Vernon Kay (pictured right) and Tess Daly - surely being lined up as the latter-day Bruce and Anthea. If you can stomach yet another one out of the sausage machine... well, you know who you are.

8pm, BBC1

The Culture Show 7.30pm, BBC2 (repeated 11.20pm) With the Oscars just around the corner, the arts show features two interviews linked to the awards.

Robert Altman, one of the all-time great filmmakers, is due to receive an honorary Oscar next month. But here he talks about coming to London for his latest project - directing Arthur Miller's play Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic. Plus, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman discusses his Oscar-nominated role in Capote, about the American writer.

Capturing The Friedmans 9pm, Channel 4 This Oscar-nominated documentary is one of the more compelling, but unsettling, things you are likely to see on TV for quite a long time.

It charts the story of Arnold Friedman and his son, Jesse, accused of a long history of abusing children, and the effect this accusation had on a previously close-knit family. …

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