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I just can't deal with smug Noel.

Byline: By Beth Neil

Whoops. It seems I put a few noses out of joint with last week's comments on Deal or No Deal.

I've been contacted by what I can only assume to be the North East branch of the Noel Edmonds Fan Club (membership: three, at the last count) to berate me over what I wrote.

Let me say that if the column came across in any way critical, it was not intended. Deal or No Deal is, as I said last week, the most compulsive thing on the box. The reason I warned the uninitiated away was because it has the ability to send normal, right-minded people spiralling into a hopeless addiction.

My only issue was with Noel himself. I acknowledged he was doing a sterling job and, as the fan club pointed out to me, you can't argue with 4m viewers. I didn't. But I have never liked Noel. I think he's smug, self-satisfied and thoroughly dislikeable.

That said, while managing to remain an irritating old big head, he plays his part on Deal or No Deal almost to perfection. And, whatever little old me writes about him in the Chronicle, I'm certain that Noel is big enough and ugly enough to take it.

Life is all about opinions. It would be dull if they were all the same. So let's draw a line under all this arguing and agree to disagree.


OVER in Albert Square, the Pat and Patrick carry on continues to turn stomachs across the nation. Pat proved she was, quite literally, all fur coat and no knickers as she gave her lover a Valentine's treat in the seductive atmosphere of the car lot office.

And speaking of Valentines, how come the residents of Walford were all opening their post before they went out to work? They must be the only people in Britain to have a postman who delivers before midday.

Elsewhere, Mickey Miller and Deano Wicks were, inexplicably, getting excited about a pensioner's stag do. Yes, despite being good-looking, virile young men, they were getting their knickers in a knot over Joe's big night. Why would they be going at all? And doesn't Joe have any mates from before he met Pauline all of five minutes ago? Obviously not.

Lazy writing, sloppy mistakes. EastEnders must do better.

CORONATION Street is so damned hot now. The Charlie/Tracy storyline is bubbling away beautifully. Dev's daughter Amber is doing the stroppy teenager routine brilliantly and delivering her superb one-liners with aplomb. Emily and Eileen are playing blinders in the light of Ed's revelations. And Roy's new pal Clifford is providing the comedy in spades.

All is great apart from Tracy being unconcerned that someone seems to keep swapping her daughter Amy. It's a different kid in every scene.

SURELY, I wasn't the only one who endured an hour of Davina McCall's imaginatively titled new chat show on Wednesday night? The launch of Davina should have been pulling out all the stops to welcome guests of the very highest showbiz calibre. Instead we got Tess Daly and Vernon Kay, Max Beesley, Charlotte Church and Julian Clary.

Maybe the producers thought that by going into guest overkill mode, we wouldn't notice the fact that none were exactly A-list.

Quite frankly, Davina was pretty poor. I'm not aware of any other chat show host who has to keep a stack of reference cards in their hand while interviewing guests.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2006
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