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And the NABTA goes to... The Missing and Fargo made 2014 one of the best years for event TV in ages, but what about all that other stuff you may have missed? Nathan Bevan donned his tuxedo (rented) and cracked open the Cristal (Vimto) to run through the NABTAS - the Nathan Bevan TV Awards.

THE FOR GOD'S SAKE, PUT IT AWAY AWARD GOES TO... THE NAKED RAMBLER (BBC ONE) THIS doc attempted to get under the skin - an easier job when there aren't any clothes to negotiate - of a Stephen Gough, a man who some regard as a true English eccentric, while others might prefer phrases such as 'todger-touting weirdy-beardy' and 'bare-bummed badger botherer.'.

On which side of the debate you stood, however, probably depends entirely on whether you've ever had your early morning constitutional suddenly interrupted by a man resembling Mick Fleetwood appearing from behind some hedgerow wearing only a rucksack and a smile.

And to screen it during a bitterly cold January? Our nipples were like chapel hat pegs just thinking about it.

THE NEVER MIND CALLING THE MIDWIFE, BEST JUST FETCH A MOP AWARD GOES TO... LINE OF DUTY (BBC ONE) MORE murky, conspiratorial skullduggery in the second series of this BBC Two police drama, which duly succeeded in matching the shocking twists and thrills of the first by having Detective Constable Georgia Trotman, played by Call The Midwife's Jessica Raine, violently shoved through a sixth-floor hospital window at the end of the very first episode.

g the shocking twists ving Detective n, played by Call The olently shoved through a w at the end of the very s ing l It was as sudden as it was unexpected, the script having gone to great pains up until that point to establish her character as one of season two's key players.

were series d Luckily, as far as thrills were concerned, the rest of the series - unlike that poor, squished ex-Midwife - continued to deliver.

THE PLEASE BBC SCHEDULERS, GIVE IT THE SNIP AWARD GOES TO... HAIR (BBC THREE) BBC Three's Hair presented by Steve Jones - 60 minutes of Steve Jones hosting wannabe )d s of be Dr > Nicky Clarkes as they shaped blunt fringes, bouffed quiffs and snipped split ends - was the televisual equivalent of having your hair washed by the bored work experience girl down your local salon.

In fact, it had us yearning for the return of Celebrity Scissorhands - which at least had going for it the fact it was in aid of Children In Need.

Secondly, the sight of Steve 'shaky hands' Strange being allowed near innocent people's earlobes with a pair of razorsharp steel blades was the kind of rivetingly tense TV that made Breaking Bad look like Babar The Elephant by comparison.

THIS C whe thws HERO OF THE YEAR #1 - DR NOEL FITZPATRICK (SUPERVET, CHANNEL FOUR) THIS Channel Four series has wheeled out (quite literally in the case of the poor Tabby whose front paws were sheared off by a combine harvester) some of the worst animal injuries seen on TV since Bingo from the Banana Splits accidentally caught his nether regions in the door of his psychedelic moon buggy.

h a sin Spl neth psych So a Noe ne wirm r So all hail the tireless work of Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, the Irish neuro-orthopaedic pioneer who fixes pets' seemingly irreparably mashed and mangled limbs with the kind of bionic technology that looks like it's been pilfered from The Terminator's garden shed.

kth pi Te Thwire remo miss tend and There were metal plates, wire scaffold frames for the remodelling of broken and misshapen bones, metallic tendons, spinal fusion implants and titanium exo-skeletons, all Noel Fitzpatrick of it fearsome and futuristic looking. of it fearsome and futuristic looking.

Elsewhere, Noel came to the rescue of another dying animal, cutting a hole in its chest to emergency massage its heart with one finger, while also making a new spine for a labrador out of bits and pieces he'd probably found in the small ads section of Exchange & Mart.

HERO OF THE YEAR #2 - JULIEN BAPTISTE (THE MISSING, BBC ONE) WHILE all around him gnashed their teeth with grief and mentally flagellated themselves in anguish in the Beeb's gripping child abduction drama, Tcheky Karyo's world-weary French investigator exuded a quiet grace and stoicism that made him one of the most likeable characters on TV this year.

The gammy-legged silver fox shepherded James Nesbitt's distraught dad through a minefield of local paedophiles and suspected child traffickers, never giving up on the task at hand - to find poor little Ollie Hughes, even after eight long years of fruitless searching and having long since retired from the force. A class act.

Nesbitt's distraught minefield of local suspected child tr giving up on the poor little Ollie H eight long years o and having long the force. A class a VILLAIN OF T - LORNE MA CHANNEL F With his lud coloured b lapelled ca Thornton arguably malevole possible himself screen Barde unpr Chig Brot For VILLAIN OF THE YEAR - LORNE MALVO (FARGO, CHANNEL FOUR) With his ludicrous chestnutcoloured bowlcut and furrylapelled car coat, Billy Bob Thornton's Lorne Malvo was arguably the most mellowly malevolent hitman - and possible emissary of Satan himself - to grace our screens since Javier Bardem's unpronounceable Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brother's No Country For Old Men.

Look no further than Malvo's drawled roadside speech to the terrified traffic cop Mro te (Colin Hanks) who soon regrets pulling him over - "say - "Maps used to say, 'There be dragons here' and now they don't. But that don't mean the dragons ain't there" - which proved more bone-chilling than the minus 30 degree wind which still failed to ruffle his curiously immovable fringe.

THE RUPTURED COCCYX AWARD GOES TO... TUMBLE (BBC ONE) OTHERWISE known as Strictly Come Pommel Horsing, we'd have loved to be at the wholly under-prepared-for meeting with the boss of BBC One's programme planning department where someone blurted out this gem of an idea.

And, by the time they realised they'd actually said aloud, "What if we got the that blond Welsh bloke out of Steps, some crash mats and that job lot of Lycra unitards left over from Dancing on Ice?' it was already too late to turn back.

So Tumble was born, a show whose title also serves as an accurate description of what happens to its viewers' enthusiasm about five minutes in.

THE UPCYCLE SHMUPCYCLE AWARD GOES TO... KIRSTIE'S FILL YOUR HOUSE FOR FREE (CHANNEL FOUR) "SKIPS," said Kirstie Allsopp, "can be a fantastic source of free things."

And she was right. Very often they're my one-stop shop when I'm in the market to source some discarded, mucky books, half-empty flagons of White Lightning (whose frothy yellow contents, be warned, rarely turn out to be cider) and, depending on what day of the week it is, an actual tramp.

Yet to this doyenne of the doily, this queen of crochet, this annoying entitled Pollyanna, skips are a wonderland of second-hand objets d'art that, with a lick of paint, floral fabric swatches and a staple gun, can be transformed into shabby chic must-haves worthy of even the most exclusive des-res.

Because we're sure Allsopp - the right honourable daughter of Charles Henry Allsopp, sixth Baron Hindlip - is sitting in her familial baronial pile right now watching telly on secondhand plastic patio furniture.

THE 'SO, WHAT EXACTLY'S HAPPENING NOW?" AWARD GOES TO... THE HONOURABLE WOMAN (BBC TWO) MAYBE it's us, maybe we're thick, but Hugo 'Shadowline' Blick's murky Middle Eastern pot-boiler was too much like hard work.

Moody and stylish it may have been, with uniformly great acting from the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Stephen Rea's aloof spook, but the pace was painfully slow and the plot so labyrinthine as to make Hampton Court maze seem about as taxing as the kids' ball pit down my local Brewers Fayre.

We wish someone had done the honourable thing and explained in very simple terms what the hell was going on? THE BAD COP, BAD COP AWARD GOES TO...

TRUE DETECTIVE (SKY ATLANTIC) THIS US import took the usual cop show tropes, read them their rights and then gave them a damn good roughing up in the back seat of an unmarked patrol car.

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey played a pair of mismatched cops (which, we admit, does sound a bit cliched) thrown together to hunt a backwoods serial killer with almost supernatural connotations.

Told largely in flashback and spanning nearly two decades it was gritty, unpredictable and impeccably acted - 2015's season two, featuring an all new cast and story, can't come quick enough.

THE COLLAPSED SOUFFLE AWARD GOES TO... THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF (BBC TWO) BAKED Alaska Gate - ring any bells? If not then you're probably one of the few sane ones who didn't get their tabard in a twist over The Great British Bake Off.

Okay, so the bearded one who looked like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors got the boot because some old woman left his ice cream out to thaw - and then she had to leave the series under a cloud too.

For the rest of us though, there were more important things to worry about in the world than baked goods, like Gary Busey's sudden penchant for wandering the Celebrity Big Brother house naked. Actually, that's a couple of Garibaldis I'd really rather not think about at all.

THE SO MUCH FOR HAPPY ENDINGS AWARD GOES TO... THE MISSING (BBC ONE) AFTER eight weeks of teeth gnashing misery, talk of paedophile rings and child traffickers, we finally found out what had happened to poor little Ollie Hughes, who'd disappeared while on a family holiday in France.

And, rather then some great conspiracy or insidious network of evil, it turned out the eight-year-old had simply been hit over by a drunk driver after chasing a fox onto a quiet country road.

But, even though he wasn't quite dead, a bungling attempt to cover up the accident saw his body disposed of anyway - a tragedy which his dad James Nesbitt was unable to accept, leaving him driven mad and doomed to roam the globe, wild-eyed and bushy-bearded like some sinister Santa Claus, accosting any child that reminded him of his boy.

Yeah, Merry Christmas everyone.

Yeah, Merry Christmas everyone.

What if we got the that blond Welsh bloke out of Steps, some crash mats and that job lot of Lycra unitards left over from Dancing on Ice?


The Missing <B

Julien Baptiste

Dr Noel Fitzpatrick

From left, Line of Duty, H taking a Tumble, Great British Bake Off, True Detective, the fearsome Lorne Malvo from Fargo, Kirstie Allsopp and The Honourable Woman <B From left, Line of Duty, H takin<B
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 27, 2014
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