Last Night's Television - All blah blah in La-La land

Piers Morgan On..., ITV1
A Very British Storm Junkie, Channel 4

Ah, Piers! Nice to see you. So far the former tabloid editor has taken us to Dubai and Monte Carlo in ITV's three-part series Piers Morgan on..., and this week, boys and girls, we're off to Hollywood where –this is key – Piers is a big success.

Yes! He has made it in Hollywood. He is, much to the disgruntlement of his rain-sodden former detractors, Properly Famous. And boy, were we not allowed to forget it.

ITV is selling the show as an "access-all-areas look at some of the world's most glamorous settings". Far more fun, surely, was the access-all-areas look we got at Morgan's address book. Over the course of an hour, he zoomed around in his red sports car, introducing us to his famous friends. We met former Spice Girl Mel B, who, we were told somewhat implausibly, is "the ultimate Hollywood success story". Then came tough guy Vinnie Jones, who's known in America as a movie star, not a footballer. Vinnie's loving it, generally speaking, though he is having difficulty getting to grips with the culture. "You have to be all nicey nicey," he moaned, tucking into his fried eggs.

Of course, it didn't stop there. We went to the set of the daytime soap The Young and the Restless, and then to the home of Sharon Osbourne, who reminded us just how much plastic surgery she's had (well over 100 grand, by my maths). We saw Ioan Gruffudd, the Welsh star of Fantastic Four, and his wife, Alice Evans. He was doing well. Her? Not so much. Then there was some bloke off Hollyoaks who hadn't landed a job in three years, which was a bit depressing, and lunch with Lady Victoria Hervey and her former gang-runner life coach. Poor Victoria wasn't doing quite so well as she'd like, though she had just found out she was related to Princess Di, so things were looking up.

There was a bit of toing and froing with paparazzi – a photo of Piers snogging Angelina Jolie would, apparently, fetch upwards of $10m. And there was a bit of small talk with TV execs. But, otherwise, that was pretty much it. A whirlwind tour of, well, Piers's mates, with lots of scenic beach shots thrown in. Occasionally, there'd be some self-analysis, just to keep the regulators happy. "Why?" Piers would wail. "Why do they love me so?" "It's the accent," shrugged one pundit. Sharon Osbourne put it more elegantly: "It's because we can say shit bollocks and it sounds nice."

Rather less glamorous, though no more substantial, was Channel 4's A Very British Storm Junkie. The hour-long documentary focused on Stuart Robinson, who's a storm-chaser. Why he's a Very British one remains a mystery, though perhaps it was just less cruel than calling him Very Bonkers, which is what, most of the time, he appeared to be. Stuart lives in Leicester, where he works as an IT consultant. He also flies around the world seeking out storms to follow. His goal for 2008 was to track down a "monster hurricane" and enter the eye of it. Hovering in the background was his patient fiancée, Alison. Poor Alison. The show's real heroine, she's constantly being left behind so that Stuart can fly off whenever there's a catastrophe. He calls her his "storm Wag" and they've even arranged their marriage for March, so it doesn't clash with storm season. At times, she moaned, she doesn't know whether Stuart's married to her or "a bloody hurricane".

Anyhow, Stuart had managed to locate a typhoon in Taiwan. He does it all from his attic, where he has enough equipment to rival the Met Office. Of course, once he's found it, he has to go after it. So off he flew, to Taiwan, with his high-tech survival kit: goggles, glow sticks and a tin of baked beans. Taiwan proved disappointing, so it wasn't long before he took another trip, and then another. Along the way he met up with his storm-chasing buddie, Roger. They travelled the globe, never quite finding the thrill that they were hoping for.

Until, that is, they headed to New Orleans, where they found Hurricane Gustav, a big bellowing bull of a storm. Which, temporarily, seemed to satisfy Stu, though it did little to placate an increasingly irate Alison. She'd begun to wonder whether she'd chosen the wrong chap and so presented Stu with an ultimatum (of sorts): come home or I'll be very cross indeed. For a while, it seemed that Stuart might actually ignore her. He dithered around making phone call after phone call (there was another storm, see, and it was about to hit Florida). At the last minute, though, he did the right thing, flying home just in time for Sunday lunch. Phew! That was close.

It was all utterly pointless, of course, but irresistibly, wonderfully, compelling, if only for the minutiae of Stuart and Alison's relationship. In fact, were I someone important in television, I'd pounce – these two could be the new Gavin and Stacey.

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