Wednesday 23 September 1998
Rosemary, understandably, didn't want to be consigned there by her son- in-law (Keith Barron). So Tutin's character packed her into the sports car and sent her to Paris. At this point, I began to wonder if she wasn't a little demented herself. She would certainly be the first adult in history to be surprised to find that the Parisians are rude, stuck-up gits who correct your French. But surprised she was, and nearly gave up.
Instead, she linked up with a 10-year-old (the divinely beautiful Jonathan Burteaux) on the run with a pocketful of gang money. The pair did all the Parisian cliches, in a mixture of Pidgin French and better English: putting down a patronising maitre d', taking a cab ride round the sights (thereby justifying the location budget) and shamelessly plugging the joys of EuroDisney, while the crooks chased them, in Diva-esque fashion, on a stolen moped.
Anyway, Joan saw off the baddies, rescued the urchin from prosecution and taught the Parisian cops a thing or two. Then she went home with her daughter, who had been miraculously transformed from mouse to makeup- wearer by a French flirtation, and it turned out that she wasn't dotty at all.
Another great French cliche came up in Party of a Lifetime (BBC1), when Oz Clarke went to a Calais hypermarket for cut-price Cava. Party of a Lifetime is yet another transformation show, in which Ainsley Harriot and the quieter, but blonder, Samantha Norman help people throw the bash of their dreams. I don't know who wrote Ainsley's voiceovers, but lines like "A lot of the wine here is available in the UK, but at twice the price - I'll drink to that!" just won't do. Apart from that, it's got all the right ingredients: the opportunity to snoop and sneer, handy DIY hints, Ainsley, who oddly enough did no cooking, outgrowing the format, and some moments of high comedy.
This week's laughs came when a film-tin fountain (it was a Hollywood theme party) sucked up the sludge from the pond-bottom and spat it all over its builders, and from the the look on the face of the recipient of this largesse when he found out that it wasn't merely a surprise birthday party, but a surprise wedding as well. Priceless. I'm going to do a makeover show where people come back from a day out to find the car's been washed and valeted.
Thomas Sutcliffe is away
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories