Myleene Klass? Never heard of her, says the Hello! edi­tor (aged 7)

Daily Mail - - Television -

En­ter­tain­ing telly doesn’t have to be rocket science. Some­times it’s just a mat­ter of tak­ing two well­tried el­e­ments and bang­ing them to­gether.

When I Grow Up (C4) used one fail- safe tech­nique of stick­ing a bunch of bright, ar­tic­u­late sev­enyearolds in front of the cam­era. then it dropped them into an ap­pren­tice for­mat.

the chil­dren were given the run of Hello! mag­a­zine, with or­ders to cover a West end show, a celebrity pho­to­shoot and a royal visit. to be fair, many of the ac­tual staff didn’t look much older than seven.

at the first meet­ing, ex­ecs asked their young in­terns what sto­ries they wanted to write about. ‘al­co­hol-re­lated ill­nesses,’ said one. ‘Child abuse,’ sug­gested an­other. the adults looked briefly ter­ri­fied.

Morn­ing news con­fer­ence was presided over by a pri­mary schoolgirl but oth­er­wise it seemed star­tlingly nor­mal — pro­ceed­ings started with crois­sants, con­tin­ued with a cou­ple of need­less ear­bash­ings, and wound up with some peremp­tory de­ci­sions that would later be changed. Wel­come to jour­nal­ism, chil­dren.

the fun of the ap­pren­tice is watch­ing the egos clash, obliv­i­ous to any im­pend­ing disas­ter. Some of these young mag­a­zine staffers had for­mi­da­ble egos, too, but be­cause

LATIN LOVER OF THE NIGHT: Great Art (ITV) gave us a swift, schol­arly over­view of the early life of Pablo Picasso, from bril­liant teen to his job as a ma­gi­cian. The breadth of his ge­nius is just breath-tak­ing. But golly, didn’t he get through a lot of women.

they were so young we wanted to see ev­ery­one suc­ceed. and, of course, they did.

Ju­nior edi­tor is­abella, smart as a whip, and her royal correspond­ent Sam, a boy blessed with the sweet­est smile, even landed a gen­uine ex­clu­sive. Charles and Camilla, not usu­ally known for their fond­ness of re­porters, spot­ted the duo and ques­tioned them teas­ingly.

What were the chil­dren’s favourite books? Did they like Harry Pot­ter? the Duchess of Corn­wall thor­oughly ap­proved of Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory. there are veteran royal-watch­ers who would give their eye-teeth for a friendly chat like that.

at times, as with all re­al­ity shows, scenes felt forced and the young­sters had ob­vi­ously been given lines to say. But there were also price­less mo­ments that hadn’t been scripted — such as the look on the face of Myleene Klass’s agent when he sat down to ‘do lunch’ with the chil­dren.

For a start, they ate McDonald’s style, with their fin­gers, grab­bing big hand­fuls of chips. then is­abella an­nounced that she wasn’t a fan of Myleene’s and, to soften the blow, added, ‘ac­tu­ally, i’ve never heard of her.’ Spo­ken like a true ap­pren­tice.

two very dif­fer­ent but equally suc­cess­ful telly tropes were com­bined in Our De­men­tia Choir (BBC1). it’s one of the cast-iron laws of tV that a sin­ga­long makes ev­ery­one feel bet­ter, so the only sur­prise here is that it has taken this long for some­one to think of test­ing the real health ben­e­fits of singing.

We love to see a pre­sen­ter whose pas­sion spills over into the doc­u­men­tary, and Vicky Mc­Clure was the per­fect choice. Her own grand­mother’s strug­gle with alzheimer’s dis­ease had af­fected her deeply, but she also had a sense of hu­mour, which is es­sen­tial — when a rel­a­tive has de­men­tia, laugh­ter is the best hope any­one has to keep from be­ing over­whelmed.

it was good to know that her Line Of Duty char­ac­ter, terminally sus­pi­cious Di Kate Flem­ing, hasn’t rubbed off on her. Vicky seemed to see the best in ev­ery­one she met. they in­cluded cheer­ful Betty, 82, who an­nounced: ‘ i keep for­get­ting i’ve got de­men­tia,’ and 67-year-old Chris, whose con­ver­sa­tion tended to be, shall we say, un­in­hib­ited — much to his wife’s em­bar­rass­ment.

Like most pro­grammes fol­low­ing a choir, this one me­an­dered some­times. then it would find its foot­ing, with a mo­ment of pure heart­break.

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