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
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
In defence of liberal democracy
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils