Friday 05 April 1996
Good old Anthea Turner. In a world of bewildering flux, little Anthea, with her pixie face, is a constant source of laughter. So it's good news that Anthea, accessory to the nation's statistical incompetence on The National Lottery Show, has now found a new vehicle. She'll be fronting All You Need Is Love (Wed 8pm ITV), a programme "celebrating love and relationships". Anthea has been tooling around the country aboard her "love bus", filming "heartwarming stories". She's rumoured to be the second- highest paid woman on TV, after Cilla Black. Only second? Is there no justice? Agreed, Cilla has a glamorous past singing Burt Bacharach classics, is witty and lovable, and shows every sign of being human. But our Anthea is younger, not to say blonder. Small screen therefore urges readers to send their spare cash to her, care of ITV, so that she can assume her rightful place at the top.
Television's highly agreeable practice of pillaging classic 18th-century fiction continues over Easter, with a pounds 13m two-part adaptation of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (Sun, Mon 6pm C4, right), financed by Channel 4, NBC, and (bizarrely) Hallmark greetings cards. It looks set to be a success, with lavish special effects and an immensely sexy cast - James Fox, Sir John Gielgud, and Peter O'Toole, to name but a few. Nice to know that the cast enjoyed themselves, as is clear from the weighty press release (itself something of a Laputan document). Some might carp at the casting of Ted "Sam" Danson as Gulliver, but Mary Steenburgen, who plays Gulliver's wife, avers: "Ted is the perfect Gulliver. He looks how I imagined Gulliver would be when I first read the book as a girl." Indeed, Steenburgen was so overcome that she married Danson at the close of filming. Sweet.
Further to last week's maiden voyage of "Blimey! You've got me by the ads!", it has been brought to my attention by a charming woman of the Gallic persuasion just how much French there is in our TV adverts these days. The clueless "sophistication" of Carte Noire, the endless dialectic of Nicole et Papa, the cheesy "Du vin, du pain, du Boursin", and now that car ad in which the Frenchwoman defending a man accused of some crime gets him off because someone saw the perpetrator driving "une voiture ordinaire", and yet our man was seen a bit later, the other side of a stretch of winding mountain roads. Are all these masterpieces secretly financed by Eurotunnel, in the hope of paying off its mind-boggling debts through increased traffic?... Just time to nip back across La Manche, meanwhile, to inform you that on 9 April, MGM/UA releases a clutch of classic Seventies Bond movies in widescreen. That's pounds 12.99 each to you - oh, and please bring them back in one piece.
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