TIM FANNING MY VIEW
Summer’s over, it’s getting dark, and what’s on TV? Through The Keyhole…
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.