TIM FAN­NING MY VIEW

Sum­mer’s over, it’s get­ting dark, and what’s on TV? Through The Key­hole…

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR TV WEEK -

The kids are back in school, the nights are draw­ing in and the sum­mer hol­i­days were so long ago that they’d eas­ily qual­ify for an episode of Reel­ing In The Years. But at least the fine peo­ple in TV land have pre­pared plenty of good­ies to keep us en­ter­tained through­out the dark win­ter nights to come… Haven’t they?

Well, no, not re­ally. At least if you like your TV to be a bit more pre­dictable than The An­gelus. And if you’re in any doubt, take a look at this week­end’s fare. The big show of the week­end was The X Fac­tor ( TV3/ UTV). Suf­fice to say that Si­mon Cow­ell couldn’t ar­rest the show’s ter­mi­nal de­cline if he chose to in­stall Cheryl Cole’s back­side as one of the judges. To be fair, it’s only been around since the mid­dle of the last decade, which is more than can be said for Through The Key­hole (UTV).

Be­fore he be­came a ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence in the pasta sauce sec­tion of your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, the vowel-man­gling An­gloAmer­i­can Loyd Gross­man used to make a liv­ing by creep­ing through celebs’ houses, pok­ing at the tacky be­long­ings within, while David Frost in­vited a panel of guests to guess who owned the properties. It ran from 1987 to 2008, which is about 18 years longer than it should have. But ob­vi­ously there aren’t enough good ideas in the world be­cause ITV has brought it back.

As for Step­ping Out, which com­pletes ITV’s Satur­day evening sand­wich, it looks about as tasty as that piece of cheese you find hi­ber­nat­ing at the back of the fridge. The con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the cre­ators that led to this star­tlingly tepid in­ven­tion must have gone some­thing like the fol­low­ing:

Creative 1: ‘Have we any ideas for early Satur­day evenings?’

Creative 2: ‘What about some­thing like Strictly Come Danc­ing?’

Creative 1: ‘Yeah, we could have celebs danc­ing each week.’ Creative 2: ‘And their part­ners!’ Creative 1: ‘But that’s a bit too much like Strictly Come Danc­ing.’

Creative 2: ‘We’ll get Dav­ina McCall to host it.’ Creative 1: ‘Bril­liant.’ It may be a long, long win­ter. Im­prov­ing the qual­ity of your home doesn’t have to be a ques­tion of en­ter­ing the prop­erty mar­ket, as ar­chi­tects and in­te­rior de­sign­ers Denise O’Con­nor and Cather­ine Crowe (pic­tured) prove in this new se­ries. They’ll be show­ing us the prin­ci­ples of good in­te­rior de­sign by vis­it­ing some of Ire­land’s most beau­ti­ful houses – and the places and things that have in­spired their look and feel. Denise and Cather­ine will also be help­ing six house­holds with some of the most com­mon prob­lems en­coun­tered in Ir­ish homes: fear of colour; lack of light; in­suf­fi­cient stor­age space; bland de­sign with no per­son­al­ity; rooms which are not func­tion­ing the way we need them to; and the starter home that now needs to ac­com­mo­date an ex­pand­ing fam­ily.

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