On the box

Click to follow
The Independent Online
A Manchester GP earlier this week was warning that excessive viewing of sport on TV this summer might lead to an epidemic of a condition to which there is no known cure: mad couch disease. It seems that some viewers may be afflicted by it already - if the BBC2 viewing figues for the week ending 5 May are anything to go by. Viewers were keeping that pizza-delivery man busy and hunkering down on the sofa in front of the San Marino Grand Prix (5.04m viewers), the World Snooker championships (4.86m), and the Badminton Horse Trials (3.29m) - all of which made the channel's Top 10 that week. And that's long before the mid-summer madness of Euro 96, Test cricket, Wimbledon and the Olympics ...

Viewers of a more cultured nature need not despair. BBC2 is interspersing the sport not only with the Proms, but also with Dancing in the Street, a major, 10-part history of rock'n'roll, beginning on Saturday 15 June. Five years in the making, this co-production with WGBH Boston features more than 200 interviews with rock stars (including Little Richard demonstrating the correct way to awopbopaloobop). It has already been broadcast to acclaim in the States - the New York Times said it was "as good as television gets" - and the BBC is mounting a marketing blitz over here. Once you've seen the series, you can buy the book, the video and the CD. Should help to fund some of the costs of the BBC going digital.

Delivering endless variations on one theme need not hold back your career in comedy; after all, some of our most successful comedians have been one-joke wonders. Gayle Tuesday (left) follows in this tradition. The creation of Brenda Gilhooly, she's a Page Three "Stunna"-cum-rising-media star who has been granted a one-off special by ITV. To be broadcast on 11 June, the show features her hunt for feminists in London, the first House of Tuesday fashion collection and her charity single, "Save the Donkey." She should go far.

JAMES RAMPTON

Comments