Design experts who’ll stab you to death with a cactus at bedtime!
YoU have to feel a bit sorry for Alan carr. When it was rumoured that the ebullient fellow was to join the panel on Britain’s Got talent, he’d have been expecting magicians, dancing dogs and contortionists tied up in bows.
Instead, he’s still trying to find witty things to say about plywood breakfast units or fold-down beds, on Interior Design Masters (BBC1).
Simon Cowell, in a display of showrunner’s muscle, ensured that his pal Bruno tonioli will occupy the BGT judge’s chair vacated by yesterday’s man David Walliams.
Perhaps ITV should dump cowell and install carr’s co-host Michelle Ogundehin. Her observations sting all the more because she instructs contestants to treat the remarks as ‘opportunities for learning’.
Michelle doesn’t mince words but she shreds egos. Interior Design masters is the most brutal of the reality show competitions. Imagine Prue Leith picking up a cake on Bake off and scraping it into the bin: that’s how two minutes of constructive criticism from Michelle must feel.
At least her plain speaking is comprehensible. Guest judge, as the show returned for a fourth series, was New Yorker Jonathan Adler, who says things like, ‘the disjointedness is harshing my mellow,’ and, ‘it’s the graciousness of scale that makes it flumpy and delicious.’
After an hour of amateur inspirations, i was devoid of flump . . . and my mellow, if not quite harshed, was singed around the edges. Every innovation hailed as ‘creative’ or a ‘signature style’ looked simply stupid to me.
one of the ten hopefuls balanced a row of cactuses on the headboard of a bed. someone’s going to get stabbed to death by a plant at midnight. Another made a table with concrete legs that looked like offcuts from a multi-storey car park.
With so many new faces, the start of the competition is always a blur. Edits cut between different rooms so rapidly that it’s hard to keep track of who is decorating what.
Alan wisely kept out of the way and went for a pootle in his new electric car. ‘i might be running over a few cyclists but i’m saving the planet,’ he said. Bet he’d rather be with Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden, singing along with a choir of chelsea pensioners.
Unlikely friends and drinking buddies John Bishop and Hugh Bonneville made a double act worthy of BGt as they roamed England and ireland in search of their shared past, on the genealogy show DNA Journey (ITV).
the duo told us several times that they met during lockdown, when John went for a vaccine jab and discovered Hugh was helping to organise the queue. Everybody meets one way or another, of course, but the pair couldn’t quite believe this coincidence.
If they were surprised to begin with, they were incredulous by the end, when they realised they each had a great-great-great-grandfather who worked on capel street in Dublin in the 1840s. One was a baker, the other an instrument maker, and both were active in the irish nationalist movement.
The mathematics of ancestry being what it is, this means they each had 15 other great-great-greatgrandfathers who, we assume, lived all over the place and never met. Still, it’s an entertaining notion that John’s distant forebear bought his morning loaf from Hugh’s longgone grandsire.
Hugh was taking it all more seriously, and became pensive at a photo he’d never seen before of his mother, aged 18.
John was more at ease with the one-liners — including a gag about the present his brother gave him at his first arena gig.
It was a roadsign . . . ‘ so you don’t forget where you came from.’