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Just as you thought it was safe to switch on, BBC1 returns with Fame Academy. And no sooner had we successfully jettisoned spiky-haired Irish buffoon Patrick Kielty and his Almost Live (but nowhere near funny) show to the graveyard slot of 2.10am than he's back presenting the primetime Fame show twice a week.

It's what you call a double whammy for viewers still suffering the reality TV hangover from Big Bruv.

And if we thought we were slowly recovering from the sickness that blights Saturday night viewing, then the fact that Fame Academy will soon go head-to-head with the return of Pop Idol is enough to give us all a relapse.

Cat Deeley, the lovely lightweight who co-presents this garbage, opened proceedings by saying the Beeb had "scoured the country" for future stars.

It was a fruitless search then?

And so we endured an hour of karaoke, including Geordie wannabe Gary Phelan.

He was followed by LaDonna, or was it Lard-donna? Either way she's destined for Crane Academy.

Off-key Katie is off to Lame Academy, and ordinary Alistair is going to Tame Academy. By now, all over the country, people were tapping their feet to the tune of their TVs flicking from channel to channel in search of sanctuary.

Even Formula 1 driver Jenson Button's girlfriend, Louise Griffiths, crashed and burned before winning her place in Shame Academy.

There were still a couple of contestants to go, but 40 excruciating minutes was more than enough of Pain Academy for me...

Corrie continues to beat the pants off EastEnderszzzzzzz.

No sooner has bookie Peter Barlow bagged another bride in the Bigamy Stakes, and Roy come a cropper after a drugged and incapable romp with tarty Tracy, than undertaker Archie Shuttleworth is burying his hopes of a happy ending by asking Awful Audreaaaaay to marry him.

It would have been his funeral but luckily she turned him down.

Meanwhile, on the sloth channel, EastEnders' Albert Square is now officially the most dangerous - as well as most boring - place on the planet to live, having more shootings and murders per square yard than cultural Liverpool and Manchester put together. Dennis, the Incredible Sulk, is still coming to terms with shooting Jack Dalton, the Incredible Bulk, who was taken out with a gun that had been in more hands than the average pass-the-parcel present.

Fly-on-the-wall documentary Young, Posh & Loaded is a scream.

It takes a group of upper-crust offspring and shows them up for what they are - a bunch of shallow, dim and offensive spoilt brats who have all the charm and attraction of a night out with Alistair Campbell.

Among the rich kids is Victoria Aitken, daughter of disgraced politician Jonathan, who aspires to being a singer. But she's a load of rap and a place on Vain Academy beckons.

It's back and billed as "Sex, cocktails, high fashion, more sex, girlie heart-to-hearts and a bit more sex". That'll be Sex and the City then?

Five's morning mincemeat, The Wright Stuff, has recently won better ratings. It's now as popular as a British Airways baggage handler.

Geordie lass and former page 3 girl Jayne Middlemiss is steaming up TV screens presenting dating game show What Women Want.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know what most men want - Jayne Middlemiss!

ITV's new Formula 1 game show, Racing Rivals, is the pits. Nell McAndrew is the only racy thing on it.

Essex Wives glamour star Jodie Marsh says she plans to expose even more of herself in a new fly-on-the-wall documentary. Is there anything we haven't already seen?

Five's documentary, Ark Royal, following the fortunes of the flagship in the run-up to the Gulf War, is illuminating for one reason - the briefing by the Admiral to the crew. He told them war was justified because "Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction". So, the aircraft carrier wasn't the only thing all at sea then?

GMTV's interactive wedding bore continues. I tuned in until it reached the bride's hair and make-up stage, giving viewers the chance to vote on three different looks. I voted for option D - the paper bag over the head.

This week's Tasteless Advert Award goes to Fosters Lager and the bungee jumper having his head bitten off by a crocodile. But at least it's accurate. That's exactly how you feel after drinking four pints of the amber neck-tear.

And finally, please remember I watch Family Affairs ... so you don't have to.

OVER EXPOSEDJodie is planning to "reveal more of herself"
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2003
Previous Article:Family view.
Next Article:An open letter to Channel 4 and Endemol, producers of Big Bruv:.

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