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IAN Hyland's TV WEEK: TIPPING THE WINK.

Byline: IAN Hyland

ONLY two ways of approaching the much hyped Victorian lesbian drama Tipping The Velvet (BBC2, Wednesday).

Follow the author's advice and appreciate the journey of love and self-discovery.

Or exclaim, "Hey, it's Duggie from Coronation Street with a dodgy tash" and look for as many childish double-meanings as possible.

So what joy right at the start to see the heroine Nan struggling with a case of crabs at her parents' seaside Oyster Parlour.

And how about Nan's reaction on meeting the object of her affection, cross-dressing variety act Kitty: "You seem so very gay and bold."

Or Duggie's greeting when they eventually moved to London: "Welcome to the gay metropolis."

And avoid at your peril the marvellous moment when Kitty became jealous of Nan's flirtations with the horn section.

I know, really immature. And you'd have a point if this show was any good.

Sadly, it's not. Maybe it's because Nan's voiceover is crying out for her to say "we wanna be togevver" like that old advert.

Or maybe it's because the early theatre scenes had more than a whiff of The Fast Show about them - a whiff not helped by Johnny Vegas arriving as the comedy turn. Or maybe it's because Rachel Stirling as Nan brought back too many painful memories of Martine McCutcheon in My Fair Lady.

It wasn't without drama though. Nan's fear of letting Kitty kiss her hand because she was worried it might smell fishy was particularly touching.

And I cheered when Kitty's anguish at not going down too well in London turned to joy as she was soon going down a lot better than she could have dreamed of.

But what of those notorious love scenes? Well, nothing to writhe home about I'm afraid.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2002
Words:293
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