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MY TELLY....

Byline: JOSH FARRINGTON

FIRST things first.

John Sergeant should still be on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Saturday, 6.20pm).

The judges claimed that Sergeant was turning the show into a joke, detracting from the real heart of the show, the so-called "dancing".

Er, what? Are they even taking part in the same show as we're watching?

Strictly is about ridiculing minor celebrities and showing off scantily-clad women.

The show's a joke already.

TV has to accept that if you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind - if you allow people to vote for your content, they're going to pick the content they want to see.

So it is with I'maCelebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (ITV1, daily, 9pm).

What is it about watching grown men and women eating crocodile penises that is so compulsive? What part of our collective subconscious does it so enormously appeal to?

It's probably something to do with hoping Robert Kilroy-Silk gets bitten by a poisonous spider or something. It would have to be a hell of a poison to overcome what naturally occurs in his blood, but hey, Australia is a dangerous place.

Except, it isn't, of course.

That's what makes Joe Swash's (key quote: "I'm just scared of everything") girly screams all the more hilarious - a team of specialists are all stood by ready to guarantee he won't hurt somuch as a finger nail. Sure, he might vomit a fair bit, but that's his prerogative.

My money is on George Takei to win, for his inhuman vocal intonations alone.

I'm sure the girls will give a good account of themselves (Nicola McLean: "I hate frogs. What's the point in them?"), but once they've all collaborated to smother Kilroy as he sleeps, legal proceedings will probably preclude them from victory.

One show that didn't rely on audience votes to work was The Apprentice. To fill the gaping hole left in the schedules by its sad absence, BBC3 has stepped in with its budget alternative, The Last Millionaire (BBC3, Wednesday, 9pm).

Lovely Lucy Cohen, a 25-year-old accountant from Cardiff, is currently a highlight, managing to do disastrously badly in both the first episode and the second.

"Look at me, I'mamess!" she sobbed after failing to sell water on the boiling streets of Istanbul (not exactly selling snow to Eskimos in the entrepreneurial stakes).

In Berlin, she also managed to make no money, but at least she was less upset: "We both stayed true to who we were as business people." What, failures?

Interestingly, the show works by getting rid of the winners rather than the losers, thus storing up a great mass of incompetency for the final rounds. When I say I hope Lucy goes out next, I mean it very sincerely.

Someone who thrives on sincerity is the fantastically grumpy Charlie Brooker, the Guardian critic and columnist, also known for penning mildy-enjoyable zombie romp Dead Set and the wickedly good sitcom Nathan Barley.

His new series of Screenwipe (BBC4, Tuesday, 10.30pm), began this week, and jolly good it was too.

Its take on the TV business is a cut above Harry Hill, and it's all filled with lashings of good old-fashioned swearing.

Seriously, it has more rude words than Gordon Ramsay hitting his thumb with a steak tenderiser.

Of course, if the public had their way, they'd probably be voting him out of his own programme. Thank God it hasn't come to that yet. No, it will take a whole BBC conspiracy to take him down. If I were him, I'd be worried.

Read Josh's blog From Cowbridge to Cambridge... and all the way back again WalesOnline.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 22, 2008
Words:606
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