Flogging a dead horse

With news that there's a third Bridget Jones film in the pipeline, Susie Mesure looks at what else may have run its course and is ready for the knacker's yard
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The Independent Online

Bridget Jones 3

Never one to quit when she's not even winning, Bridget Jones is set to make a comeback as the chardonnay-sozzled singleton who helped a generation of women feel better about their failed love lives.

Never mind that the sequel to the phenomenally popular Bridget Jones's Diary was about as amusing as having your teeth pulled, or that Helen Fielding never actually wrote a third instalment about her heroine's (mis)adventures. When Hollywood catches a whiff of money (even the sequel made £160m), there's no holding back, regardless of whether a "threequel" will have any merit.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

Bankers' bonuses

Another day, another doomed attempt to curb the bonus culture. When will the politicians learn that people such as Sir Fred Goodwin are Masters of the Universe? Well, that's how they see themselves. What's the betting City high-flyers have already mentally cashed this year's fat pay cheque?

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Tony Blair

Talk about a man having more lives than a cat ... the lawyer turned politician turned public speaker turned Middle East peace envoy is now embarking on his nth reincarnation, this time as international statesman, as he aims to become the European Union's first fully fledged president. What's next, we can't help but wonder. An application to become the Messiah? The words "career" and "over" are clearly not in his dictionary.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Sarah Palin

The former beauty pageant queen, who thought being able to see Russia from her house counted as foreign affairs experience, might be out of a job as Alaskan governor from next week, but only an optimist would expect her to bow out of our lives. Possible ways she might flog her flayed flesh range from a new career as a TV pundit to possibly, just possibly, attempting to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Yup, we're shuddering too.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 5/5

Nolan Sisters

First, Take That. Now, the Nolans. Sorry, the who? What, you don't know the Nolans with their not-even-chart-topping-hit-unless-you-follow-the-Japanese- charts "I'm in the Mood for Dancing"? You could call them the Spice Girls of the Seventies (if you're feeling generous), or a British Jackson 5, albeit with just the one tune. Either way, four of the sisters are joining the queue of pop comebacks with a tour this autumn. Don't bother booking ahead.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

The Lord of the Rings

Writing some of the world's best-read books would satisfy most people. Not so J R R Tolkien, whose posthumous publishing ambitions would exhaust most living authors. His latest missive from beyond the grave is a 500-stanza Old Norse poem. No, we won't be packing it for the beach, either.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Newcastle United

Out of the Premier League and out of favour, at least with anyone remotely willing to brandish the £100m cheque that owner Mike Ashley wants in order to offload the club. This is one football team that has had its day. But just try telling that to any member of its army of Toon foot soldiers, who will never stop whipping this particular beast.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

Big Brother

Surely this reality show is on its last legs. Please? Pretty please? Talk about dragging it out ... BB is back for a 10th time, and we say enough is enough. So do all those viewers who can't face tuning in. Again. Are you listening, Channel 4?

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Last of the Summer Wine

When the show's creator, Roy Clarke, admits the 36-year-old series might have run its course, you might think it's curtains. Not so the Beeb. It wants the world's longest-running sitcom to return for the 31st time. Never mind that some of its cast have died, along with its audience, one suspects.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 2/5

Jamie Oliver

New dad duties done and dusted, the mockney chef is busy interfering in our kitchens once again. You wouldn't catch him dishing out a free meal, yet that's just what he wants us to do at today's Big Lunch shindig. We say, "All round to the Olivers!"

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5