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Celebrity view: Richard Blackwood; Comedian and Top Of The Pops presenter Richard Blackwood reveals his telly turn-ons and what makes him turn off.

Byline: Tim Randall

Having a Pop at Geri

I am so bored with all these Popstars/Pop Idol-style programmes. They are bleeding the idea dry. I mean, what next? Dinner Lady Idol? Postman Stars? Where's it all going to end? To make it even worse, on Popstars: The Rivals they've got to listen to Geri Halliwell dishing out advice. She's been quite harsh, but I think the whole experience is pretty harsh. When your first single goes in at No 1, the only place to go after that is down. These TV-created bands have a very short shelf-life - I mean, look at Hear'Say. Then before you know it you're where you started, trying to get your old job back at KFC.

Chatter box

I'm a huge fan of talk shows. Every morning I watch Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer and Maury Povich on the Living Channel. I'm totally addicted to them, although Ricki is starting to upset me because she's getting a bit too opinionated. She seriously needs to take a chill pill.

My favourite British talk show host is Trisha Goddard (above). She's wicked. I like the way she tells people a few home truths. I have a lot of respect for Trisha because she's been through some rough times in her life, yet she's managed to come through it and be a huge success. She's like our own British Oprah.

The only one I'm not too keen on though is Kilroy. All he seems to do is constantly interrupt people. For Christ sakes, just shut up, man and let someone else get a word in for once.

Gentlemen prefer blondes

I've got a thing about curvy blondes. When I was younger I was obsessed with Charlene Tilton, who played Lucy Ewing in Dallas. Everyone called her "the poisoned dwarf", but to me she was the most gorgeous dwarf on the planet.

I also had a major crush on Sharon from EastEnders, played by Letitia Dean. I think it was the bubble perm and pink, fluffy jumpers. Back in the '80s that was one sexy look.

Ali's an insult, innit?

I refuse to watch Ali G as it makes me too angry. If he comes on I flick over. He has become the very character he was taking the mickey out of and I don't like it at all. I went to see the film, Ali G Indahouse, and just felt really insulted. I hated the way they called each other nigger, that was taking it too far. I've nothing against Sacha Baron Cohen himself, but I can't lie and say I like the character when I don't. When I came out of the cinema I was really upset.

Mersey misery

I can't stand shows that make you want to slit your wrists - TV should be more uplifting.

For example, take Brookside - "Misery On The Mersey", more like. It's just too depressing for words. That's one cul-de-sac I want to stay away from. I mean, would you want to live there? Rapes, murders, burglaries, drug addiction... I don't think so.

My new comedy, Ed Stone Is Dead, is starting soon on BBC Choice. Hopefully that will put a smile on people's faces.

True to life

EastEnders' Trueman family (above) are the first totally believable black family in British soap. They are brilliant. I just hope they don't disappear one day like all the other black or Asian characters tend to do. I liked the doctor getting it on with the daughter and the mum - that's every man's dream, isn't it?

My favourite storyline was when Goldie, who is a good mate of mine, came in as a psycho gangster, Angel. He played that character so well because Goldie is that character - he's a total nutter. I tell you, he ain't acting in that programme. That was for real.

CAPTION(S):

HARSH: Pete Waterman, Geri Halliwell and Louis Walsh judge for Popstars: The Rivals. Above: Sharon in her early soap days
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2002
Words:660
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