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LAST NIGHT'S VIEW.

OKTOBER (ITV) came to the end of its three-week run with a close up of Stephen Tompkinson saying "nothing".

This was fitting enough since the show was a great big zero, but it would still have been preferable if Tompkinson had said nothing - nothing as in zilch, nothing as in not one word, nothing as in silence.

Was there ever a leading man more irritating than Stephen Tompkinson? Sullen of lip and hollow of eye, Tompkinson is as welcome a presence in the Bray household as a boil on the bum. In Oktober, Tompkinson played James Harper, the innocent man caught up in a web of international intrigue. Like all innocent men caught up in a web of international intrigue, though, James didn't just go to the cops and spill the beans.

Instead, like all innocent men caught up in a web of international intrigue, James climbed to the top of a snow-capped mountain and pretended he was Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare.

Then he infiltrated enemy HQ. Dogs began to howl, villains hooded their eyes, James looked like a man desperate to go to the toilet. In fact, James was desperate to rescue his girl from the baddies' clutches.

It is possible, of course, that he wanted to go to the toilet before rescuing his girl, but it is difficult to be sure when Stephen Tompkinson is doing the acting.

Who was it said April is the cruellest month? Oktober wins hands down.

KEEPING Mum (BBC1) is a sitcom that's worth keeping mum about. If none of us tells anyone about it, we could get lucky and the show will just go away.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Bray, Christopher
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 17, 1998
Words:275
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