TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Nothing like a dame

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The Independent Culture
WITHOUT WALLS: J'ACCUSE (9pm C4), the would-be Fray Bentos of sacred cows, returns with comic Rory Bremner out to defrock Dame Edna Everage. Cruelty and laziness are the principal charges: a victim from the Dame's recent Neighbourhood Watch series found the housewife superstar 'extremely threatening and uncomfortable to be with', while Bremner's co-accusers (critic Nicholas de Jongh, writer Anne Karpf and the Independent's John Lyttle) highlight the underlying misogyny of Humphries' act. 'He uses the disguise of a woman to humiliate other women in a way he couldn't as a man,' says Karpf. Dame Edna's much-vaunted satire on celebrities is written off as a cosy collusion of the famous, while his/her jokes at the expense of 'Paups, nips and the tinted' are nothing but pure Rottweiler in a wig and dress. It's an interesting idea, but would be more persuasive if Bremner could drop the po- face and stop leaving Dame Edna the best lines.

40 MINUTES (9.50pm BBC2) has some head-turning films on its slate this season, but 'Sanctuary' isn't one of them. Filmed along a stretch of Hampshire river, Ted Clisby's piece focuses on a pair of unemployed brickies and a thriving businessman - and how fishing provides them with an escape. Alas, it doesn't bite; a case of the one that got away.

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