Luke on TV – Big Brother, Benidorm and Brits with Talent

by | Jun 5, 2009 | All, Reviews

I swear I’ll never mature as year after year I’m sucked into Big Brother, both irritated and strangely fascinated. Here’s my view of the 16 non housemates.

Freddie – This posh lad who has a strange obsession with furry hats is by no means the most irritating of the, let’s say, eclectic bunch this year but I feel if he is made a permanent housemate, he could easily be one of the most painful for the ears.

Lisa – This punky Birmingham lass reminded me of “A’ve it” Tracy from a few years ago and, despite her crude and crass audition, I think she’s far quieter and has more substance than might first appear.

Sophie – This 20-year-old model is your typical ditzy Big Brother contestant and if there’s one thing we don’t need its another Chantelle or Jodie Marsh. Dull and pointless.

Kris – It’s very early to say but this quiet and shy guy seems unoffensive and could be a favourite.

Noirin – The first permanent housemate allowed fellow contestant Rodrigo to shave off her eyebrows and draw on some glasses and a dopey moustache, so she seems up for most things. She’s got more about her than some of the other women in the group but I’m looking forward to seeing her reaction when she realises she has to draw on those glasses every single day!

Cairon – The second American to enter the house after Darnell last year. He seems a decent young fellow, courteous and polite. Just going from first impressions alone, I can see him being the voice of reason in some of the upcoming disputes.

Angel – This Russian boxing champ is quite possibly one of the most peculiar contestants in BB history and you’ve got to admit that’s saying something! She gave me the creeps from the moment her taxi door opened.

Karly – Blonde/brunette whatever colour her hair, I think she could be a stirrer in the house that’s if she has enough about her to become a permanent fixture.

Marcus – This is perhaps a little brutal but in a night full of boos from an excited crowd I feel I’m allowed to be a little bit harsh here, too. I took an instant dislike to this 35-year-old window fitter and can’t really foresee watching his antics all summer.

Beinazir – This girl has the potential to be this years Charley. I can see her being very argumentative but I’m not sure if she’s tough enough or strong enough to make a lasting impact.

Sophia – Apologies if this is a bit corny or clichéd, but this little ball of fun could be one of the bigger stars of this years BB. That said, she needs to get the cackling and screaming that lasted all her journey into the house under control for me to root her any further.

Rodrigo – He was very fun to watch in the first challenge as he struggled to fully understand what Big Brother had asked of him. He’s harmless enough and a could be a good laugh for his remainder in the house.

Charlie – Mr Gay UK didn’t really make an impression but I’m sure he’ll be made a proper housemate.

Saffia – This self proclaimed “brainy” single mum of two got the worst reception from the crowd but, unless I missed something, I don’t think she was fully deserving of it. She was the hardest to pin down and I’m not really sure what I made of her but if the crowd’s hostile reaction is anything to go by, I don’t think she’ll be around long enough for me to find out.

Sree – It’s a wonderfully multicultural house this year and Sree seems a genuine down to earth person. Not the sort of person to speak up or stand out but hopefully not the sort of person who fades into the background so much that we don’t realise he’s there.

Siavash – For me, the most irritating and arrogant contestant this year – another that I took an instant dislike to. Completely crass and self absorbed, I’ve seen far too many Big Brother contestants in the past similar to Sivash and I don’t need another.

Of course these are all my instant first impressions going solely off their always horrendous audition reels and their actions when they met the group. I’m sure these will change within a week when we start to see who these people really are and how much like their audition they really are.

So it’s official, Britain does have talent. Just not enough to warrant five semi finals. All the right people got through to the impressively talent-filled Britain’s Got Talent final, but that’s because they were truly worthy of the night and because the other dross that made up the sometimes painful semi finals weren’t worthy of a ticket into the show let alone appearing on the stage.

At points, I felt they were really scraping the bottom of a talent less barrel in the case of opera flower arrangers and the drag act with the big belly. I’ve not lost the plot completely I know its all about fun as well as talent but I’ve never been more thankful for my fast forward button in my life. How did some of those acts make it through? That’s got to be one of life’s unanswerable questions.

Case in point the human sax who ruined a song by Michael Jackson that Michael had himself ruined back in 1992. I too have be perfecting my human sax abilities and I think I’m actually better than him! Not that I’d toot my own horn……..actually that’s literally what I’m doing I suppose.

Also a little bit more annoying this year was Amanda Holden who despite her brutal criticism and honest views in the auditions seemed to morph into American Idol’s Paula Abdul during the live shows. I might coin a new phrase this year for Ms Holden she was “doing an Abdul” In translation, this means finding the positive in everything when there was not even a gleam of it. There were truly car crash moments this year which although I’m slating will be remembered. Good Evans who didn’t live up to their name in anyway and Holly Steel whose nerves don’t live up to her name either.

To give the show its due, it did provide us with a strong final night and, as I’m someone who has terribly with Boyle fatigue for the past eight weeks, I’m glad she didn’t come out on top.

Will I be back for series four? Of course! For every break dancing pensioner and supposed tap dancing dog are some real gems of undiscovered talent that make it so engrossing. As a final note, long live Stavross Flatley! I was glad Diversity, with their perfect routine won, and it’ll be interesting to see their Royal Variety performance.

It made have started with Tony Blackburn, Tara Palmer Tompkinson, Darren Day and Rhona Cameron nine years ago but the US has only just really cottoned on to I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. (Actually, ABC did try a version after the second UK series but it failed to set the US alight and came and went without anyone noticing.)

This new version which, like the original, will air for three weeks on NBC with the “celebrities” in the Costa Rican jungle. The contestants really reflect American TV’s obsession with reality TV stars with washed-up American Idol hopeful Sanja and Heidi and Spencer Pratt (sometimes these jokes write themselves) from the MTV “reality series” The Hills.

The lineup also featured Janice Dickinson who despite appearing alongside Christopher Biginns in the 2007 edition of the ITV series seemed to have forgotten she’d done it all before, acting astounded at the groups’ camping accommodation and what was asked of her. There were some similarities to the original with the camp looking virtually identical to that in Queensland and the green shirts with the telephone numbers on the back but there were some clear differences that made this feel a little more forced and false than I’m used to.

For starters, the original music we’ve all become so familiar with has been dumped in favour of more dramatic flare which could sit happily in the score of a shoot ’em up action film. Something else I noticed was that the celebrities seemed to be allowed luxuries such as shampoo, hairspray and even a digital camera!! These things would be seen as gold dust on the original.

It wasted no time getting down to nitty gritty with Spencer (what a) Pratt at the centre of conflict. The highlight for me saw him on the phone to the head of NBC complaining he was too famous to be in with wrestlers and comedians he’d never heard of and that he felt let down. The first half hour saw the Pratts (so glad they’ve got that name) leaving and then returning, then crossing the bridge and then returning again. The problem is though it all felt so false and put on that I couldn’t really have cared less. Spencer is such an utter waste of skin I was close to punching him myself, but even in the heat of an argument it seemed fairly obvious this was all for the cameras and not really in the same category that some of the genuine disagreements the original has seen over the years.

The hosts were dreadful, delivering their witty comments with the comic timing of a pair of flip flops. Oddly, the double act featured Mylene Klass who seems to have left her charming and quiet personality back in England opting instead to become quite loud and smarmy in her role as co-host. Something that was rather impressive though was the first trial which saw the boys versus the girls in a gruesome eating challenge which the UK version usually saves till the final.

NBC are taking quite a risk with I’m a Celebrity really because, if it flops like the forgotten ABC version, they’ll need to find something to fill the gaping hole it’ll leave in their schedule.

ITV’s biggest comedy in years returned for a summer special. The Benidorm special tied up all the loose ends of the series two cliffhanger and laid the ground for the upcoming third series.

Benidorm isn’t the next big thing in comedy, it won’t wow you with its originality, perfectly crafted storylines or even wonderfully observed characters but it is good for a laugh and that’s all I really want from something that designed to make me laugh.

The new series will move from a 30 minute slot to an hour and if this special was anything to go by the series will be suit the longer time frame. I was asked to write about Benidorm as no one else at thecustard sees the fun in it and I can see how sometimes it’s a bit too cartoonish to enjoy. The humour is often over the top and sometimes silly but I enjoy it when it gets the balance right.

The story surrounding the kidnap was perhaps the silliest plot yet but it delivered some funny moments and maybe it’s the continual sunshine and the panoramic views of Spain but there’s something about the series that makes you smile regardless. As the series progresses its going to be harder to believe these people would return to the same holiday resort year after year but if its funny enough it won’t really matter.

So what were your views on this years Big Brother Launch? The early viewing figures indicate it was the lowest rated opening in the history of the series. Do you believe it has run out of steam? Feel free to leave your comments below

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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