On the box

Click to follow
Emma Thompson has done many fine things in her life. She has starred in and written some of the best British films of the last decade. She has been garlanded with Oscars and Baftas. But she has failed to make a funny TV programme. The shadow of Thompson's cringe-making series must be hanging over Jane Horrocks (right), an equally talented actress who is making her first foray into TV sketch-land with Never the Mind the Horrocks. The omens for this 40-minute Channel 4 special, however, are good. To be broadcast later in the summer, it co-stars Martin Clunes, Rebecca Front and David Haig, and is written by, inter alia, Andy Hamilton (Drop the Dead Donkey), Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews (Father Ted) and Steve Punt (Punt and Dennis). The producer is Dan Patterson (Whose Line Is It Anyway?). With a line-up like that, it should be ab fab.

One of the great "why oh why" subjects is "why oh why does the BBC broadcast so many repeats during the summer?" Firstly, because they're cheap, and secondly, because viewers, despite what columnists might think, like them. Just look at the success of UK Gold. Consider also BBC1's viewing figures for the week ending 28 April. The top 10 features re-runs of three "classic" comedies: 25 Years of the Two Ronnies, Birds of a Feather and Absolutely Fabulous. All three netted around eight or nine million viewers. They surely are not asking "why oh why does the BBC broadcast so many repeats during the summer?".

The BBC has been accused of overdosing on sport this summer. So what does it go and do? It announces a raft of sports documentaries to fill the moments when the airwaves won't be broadcasting live action. To be fair, The Spirit of 66 and The Terry Venables Story both sound intriguing, while Clash of the Titans recounts memorable sporting encounters. Will Vinny Jones be recalling his close encounter with Gazza's privates?

JAMES RAMPTON

Comments