Television prefers blondes

This week brought yet more reassuring programmes about how we once gave the Germans a good seeing to, but glance around the schedules and you wonder whether the demonic dream of Aryan supremacy didn't come true after all. Television's obsession with anniversaries (happy birthday, Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Uprising) may look unimaginative, but not as much as its soft spot for blondes. They're uber alles.

Take Ulrika Jonsson. This Nordic infiltrator has cunningly developed a multiple personality which allows her to pop up all over the television map. On one channel, she's a milkmaid, on another, a barmaid: you can tell which by her uniform. On this week's Shooting Stars (BBC2, Fri) - ladies' night, incidentally, in which 75 per cent of the ladies were blonde - she was buckled into a pair of racily crotchless chaps. On Des Res (LWT, Sun), a regional magazine show she presents on property and interior design, it's strictly floral print dresses and floaty cream blouses. When she introduced a feature on a family who have moved to a village called Whimple, you practically expected her to don the complementary headgear.

In a recent episode of Gladiators (ITV, Sat), she chanced upon a competitor called Johnny Alcock. "What a fabulous name!" she drooled, egged on by her black leather trousers. Then on Shooting Stars, quizmasters Vic and Bob asked her what a ballcock is. Alcock, ballcock? She must be working her way through the alphabet: next up, callcock, drillcock, and on through fullcock, nilcock, smallcock and tallcock. She's on the box so often she'll be on to zilchcock in a jiffy.

Blondeness is a broad church. In Vets' School (BBC1, Mon), token veterinary fairhead Trude Mostue was doing a good job living down to the stereotype. A bona fide Nordic milkmaid, she can't do injections to save her life, or anyone else's, and gets every question wrong. But her supervisor somehow contrived to give her a pass. The next best thing to making a pass. "Talk about Mr Jekyll and Dr Hyde," she mused, referring to the well known story by Steven Louis Robertson. "I don't understand him. Men!"

In Beck (BBC1, Wed), meanwhile, our eponymous heroine is still pretending that blondes can be blokes, of whom she's seeing two, which is fairly blokeish in itself. "I'm bad at imitations," she growled at one of her boyfriends. "I don't do wife." Some Rock Wives (C4 Sat) do and some don't. Kim Longinotto's rather ill-edited film looked up the other halves of the musicians, and concluded that the blondes don't do wife as well as the brunettes. Bebe Buell, blonde to quite near the roots of her hair, seems to have worked her way through half the Rock and Pop Music Hall of Fame: only now, at 42, is she actually marrying a musician. One of the groins she coupled with belonged to Rod Stewart, causing much post- coital regret. "I like my men a little bit more ... deep," she said. We never found out what she meant by "deep", so it's perhaps worth mentioning that in her autobiography Britt Ekland, another Nordic milkmaid, said she wasn't best pleased with the dimensions of Rod's rod (or rodcock, as it's known in Ulrika's lexicon).

Angie Bowie, poor love, has mutated into a mad peroxide fright, still making a living out of the story of how she once found her husband and Mick Jagger in bed together. With the benefit of hindsight, she now knows that nothing untoward could have happened between them. It's an empirical fact that a Rolling Stone will only mate with blondes. Blondes like Shirley Watts, a painfully shy dowager we found coping with rockwifery with a good deal more dignity (and, it has to be said, money).

Jagger may have been more seduced by the historian Andrew Roberts, a genetic blond from the same end of the political spectrum. Dressed in the modern firebrand's chainmail of charcoal pinstripes, Roberts delivered his own robust verdict on Suez (BBC2, Wed). It would be easier to sympathise with Roberts's case if his eyes didn't bulge so manically you worried your set had started transmitting in 3D. Apparently, Britain cocked up (upcocked?) the Suez Crisis by deigning to listen to "something called the world community" (which presumably doesn't exist any more than, according to another bug-eyed blonde, society itself exists). In Roberts's case, "historian" may actually be a contraction of "histrionic Aryan".

In Prime Suspect V (ITV, Sun and Mon), Jane Tennison was not killed off, despite the personal assurance that your reviewer received from Helen Mirren on set this summer that she'd been practising her death scene in the mirror. Blondes? You just can't get rid of them.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions