on the box

James Rampton
Thursday 27 June 1996 23:02
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Shot by his partner, David Furnish, Elton John: Tantrums and Tiaras, to be broadcast by ITV on 7 July, is the ultimate home video. The superstar singer confesses that even five years ago such a project would have been unthinkable. "I wouldn't have been compos mentis, you know," he tells Furnish. "I'd have told you all to bugger off within three minutes." Now "in recovery" from various addictions, John (right) is quite happy to let us wander among the pantechnicons that service his world tour and make sure his supplies of Marks & Spencer muffins and HP Sauce are kept topped up. John is perhaps most proud of his two-room travelling wardrobe that features six drawers full of colour-coordinated glasses and two tiaras. The singer takes time out to explain the latter: "Very important for anybody travelling on the road is two tiaras, because you never know when you're going to get invited to something really formal."

Another superstar to have graced our schedules recently is Billy Connolly. His BBC2 ratings performance on the Bank Holiday evening devoted to him on 27 May gives the lie to the notion that viewers are fed up with theme nights. Two shows from that evening appear in the BBC2 Top Five for the week ending 2 June. The World Tour of Billy Connolly, the second-placed show after the perennial chart-topper, Have I Got News For You, netted 5.93m viewers, while Billy Connolly's World Tour of TV was not far behind with 4.46m. Coming soon: the Big Yin reads the weather.

As if we were not already drowning in sport on television, the BBC is hurling more sporting bucket-fuls at us in the form of three hour-long Olympic Diaries. Starting on Sunday 7 July on BBC1, these documentaries chart the Olympic preparations of seven hopefuls, including rowers Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, and sprint hurdler Tony Jarrett. Do we get medals for endurance sports viewing this summer?

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