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Hoo-Wray! Emma bounces back; Lanning on the Box.

Sarky and sassy, Emma Wray is back, shooting from the lip, as a lass in blunderland in Simon Nye's new comedy drama My Wonderful Life (ITV, Thursday).

Predictably, Wray's a laugh as Donna, a single-parent nurse with attitude problems spouting wry, dry Nye lines like "I was delayed by an imploding artificial hip" and declaring she only became a nurse because "I was too short to be Home Secretary".

Nye, of course, delivered the smash hit Men Behaving Badly, and Emma received multiple hoo-Wrays for her perky performance in seven series of Watching.

Too early to expect the new show to jump, like Barnsley FC, right into the big time.

But former gymnast Emma always has bounce - and showed many of her Mersey qualities as a girl behaving badly, splurging pounds 200 baby-sitting money on a night of booze, darts and a grope in the back of an ambulance.

Familiar faces in support too: ex-Minder Gary Webster as a paramedic with a gruesome line of chat about severed heads and Tony Robinson, a gem again as a patronising neighbour.

Watch too for shameless scene-stealing from Donna's bolshie brood Rhiannon (Amanda Riley), and Shirley (Vicky Connett), who is lined up for an hilarious appearance down the run in her first Holy Communion gown and baseball boots! My Wonderful Life isn't Nye on top form. Yet.

But it has a Wray of hope.

DINGLE bile from Uncle Albert (Bobby Knutt and sweet as one in the part) recalling his wife on his wedding day at Eric Pollard's stag night in Emmerdale.

"She had corned beef legs and weighed 23 stones - one for every year," he recalled.


So Tricia Armstrong, whose love life always ended up going through Fred Elliott's mincer, said cheerio, chuck in Corrie.

A pity she's taking son Jamie, whom Joseph Gilgun has made into one of the most delightfully deadpan, dead-end kids on the box.

He should return, if only to feed Jack Duckworth's pigeons. He's always had lofty ambitions with them.

Heaven knows, anything must go if GMTV's totally unattainable Penny Smith can display more than just a glimpse of stocking.

Normally, as starchly correct as Eric Cantona's collar, she appeared in a pleated, white micro pelmet for her tennis session with Tim Henman.

And not since the breathtaking day when Angela Rippon flashed her knickers and went high-kicking with Morecambe and Wise has there been so many sighs over thighs.

Ruthless Henman still ran her ragged all over the court, leaving the Penny well spent.

O Henry! Most of Lenny's links on The BAFTA Awards (BBC1, Tuesday) were more NAFF-TA than BAFTA.

Even Diana Ross's hair turned purple after his impression of her singing was less than Supreme.

Louise's ploddy shop!

Luscious Louise Lombard was the only exciting feature of Bodyguards (ITV Thursday) - which was more like ploddy-guards as it laboured through a predictable story about a Serbian sniper lurking high on familiar London landmarks.

Bank on Lombard having to guard her own body before the end of this six- parter.



Robson Green eased into a new role as maverick detective Dave Creegan in Touching Evil (ITV, Tuesday) as swiftly and effectively as a removal van in Downing Street.

Written by Paul Abbott - the inspiration behind Cracker and Green's most recent smash Reckless - this first of three two-part dramas (about child abduction) had all the right pedigree.

Pedigree chums too. Nicola Walker, as Robson's sidekick, must be delighted to be out of awful Chalk and involved in lines like: "We have equal status, equal billing. We're like the Two Ronnies."

Lamarr is sump'n else

Not quite out of this world but presenter Mark Lamarr had some heady moments in Planet Showbiz (Channel 4, Wednesday).

Focusing on what's hot in the States, the first of this off-beat eight- parter found a stunning street magician called David Blane. What a hit he'd be on Play Your Cards Right. Plus what can only be described as a rock and roly-poly group, the Go Nuts, who want to save the world from health food.

Just a pity Lamarr has more oil in his hair than Damon Hill seems to maintain in his sump.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Lanning, Dave
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 4, 1997
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