Matthew Norman: And now on ITV1, the utterly creepy Adam's family


As the erstwhile FA boss who imported Sven-Goran Eriksson, Adam Crozier will savour the parallels between his appointment as ITV chief executive and that of Sven's successor.

For this is surely the Steve McClaren of television hirings... the case of a man hurriedly hired as the easiest option, by his old chum, Archie Norman, at a time of crisis. But however tempting it is to write the obituary to his ITV career today, it would be folly to underestimate him.

He may have left the FA with few admirers, and may now be leaving the Royal Mail with fewer still. Yet where he perhaps knew little about football and the postal service, his knowledge of telly is capacious. He watches a great deal of ITV's output, he tells us, citing his affection for Upstairs Downstairs. What a cunning, sure-footed reference this was, to a show dropped by ITV as recently as 1975, but about to be revived (and this is the special cleverness) by the BBC. An engagingly unctuous fellow with the face of less wry Peter Mandelson and the speaking voice of Stephen Hendry, Adam will be putting his creative weight into some high-profile revivals of his own. Here he could do worse than pay homage to Sir Archie's background with Asda, where the chairman worked with Adam's Royal Mail appointer Allan Leighton – it may not count for much as a commercial network any more, but as an old boy's network ITV rocks! – and bring back Supermarket Sweep. A game show made for thruppence with production values borrowed from the Albanian state broadcaster in 1979, in which the avaricious charge around an ITV studio filling their boots with ITV goodies while others work for minimum wage on the checkout, has a zeitgeisty feel at the minute. Anyway, we wish Adam, Archie and above all the price of shares on which they may have some enticing options all the luck in the world.

Poirot plot

If Adam decides against reviving the Sweep, he may want to look at Poirot. ITV appears to be jettisoning the show, and if so its admirers will be livid. Still, there is hope. If the precedents of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin are a guide, Belgians tend not to be retired for long, and Hercule should be back in time to reach the French Open final in early June.

Men wanted

Last week, a depressed Liz Jones was mostly writing about the unique hideosity of the British male. Suitors are invited to apply via this column. Obviously I'll want a current photograph, so hold a newspaper up towards the camera as you pose.

Blonde bombshell

Feature of the Week goes to The Sunday Times for "Blonde Women Born to be Warrior Princesses". John Harlow's fascinating account of how fair-haired females are more aggressive in pursuing ambitions was predicated on research done by one Aaron Sell at the University of California.

If there is a tiny flaw here (and I know it's a pedantic quibble), it's that Dr Sell insists that this was total fabrication, and that he's never done any research of any kind about blondes.

Quite rightly, the paper remains sceptical about this denial, and has denied his preposterous request to remove the article from the website, or amend it in any way.

Mel's law

Mention of heroic intransigence in the face of facts brings us to Melanie Phillips, who had a spectacular week on the plough-gamely-on-in-defiance-of-the-evidence front. At the time of writing, our pouting poster girl for the link between the MMR vaccine and autism hasn't blogged as to why the General Medical Council was guilty of stupidity, dishonesty and wickedness in its critique of Dr Andrew Wakefield. She has, however, explained why FO legal supremo Michael Wood misstated international law to the Chilcot inquiry.

As with MMR, Mad Mel's intuitive grasp of the subject dwarfs that of those who have spent decades in the field. It can't be long before she lacerates the GMC, although probably not in the Daily Mail, which tacitly accepts that it dropped a gigantic bollock in swinging so fervently behind Dr Wakefield's claims.

Cry freedom

An even better week, meanwhile, for Jon Gaunt who won his legal battle to challenge Ofcom's ruling that he breached regulations in describing a council official as a "Nazi" (rapidly amended to "health Nazi" in a subtle if vain bid to pre-empt his sacking by TalkSport). Gaunty is now humming "Let's All Go Down The Strand (Have A Banana!)", and we look forward to his trip to the High Court, with new BF Shami Chakrabarti in tow, to pursue this inspiring struggle for human rights.

Nursery crimes

In a welcome breakthrough for our troubled provincial press, finally, Daily Mirror Exclusive of the Week goes to a local paper. The Evesham Journal wins for front page scoop "Village Nursery is Trashed by Thieves". "Callous thieves broke into and ransacked a village pre-school, stealing cash and even helping themselves to biscuits made by the youngsters," this begins. It's the "even" that clinched it for the finest local rag crime exclusive since the Nottingham Post, serving the country's alleged shooting capital, splashed with news of counterfeit potato crisps being sold in a pub.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Analytics Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices