Weekend Watchdog: Take That, poor decisions and game shows


12th November 2010

As much as I'd love it, I can't be on everyone's sofa all the time telling them exactly what to watch. Here's a handy guide to this weekend's best bets for a good night in – let's face it, who's going out in this weather?

Look Back, Don't Stare
(ITV, Saturday, 9.30pm)

I tried repeatedly to write a quick synopsis of this documentary, but it kept coming out as a series of screams and gibbering both of which are harder to spell than you’d think.
In short, this 90 minute documentary follows Take That over the last extraordinary 12 months as they reunited first as a four piece and then, against everyone’s expectations, with the damaged Robbie Williams and record their first album together in nearly 15 years. With frank talking heads from each of the band members and footage from their recording sessions and fraught first meetings, this promises to be a must for anyone who still has Take That And Party squirrelled away in their CD collection (or proudly shuffling on their ipod). If you’re not a fan, it’s probably the best insight into what it was like to be the centre of mass hysteria in the 90s. Eeee!!! WELOVEYOUROBBIE!!

The Royle Family and Royle Exclusive: Behind The Sofa
(Saturday, GOLD, 10.20pm)

Staring off with a double bill of classic Royle Family episodes and followed by a behind the scenes look at one of the most popular comedies of recent times (and rightly so), this recommendation is another trip down memory lane.
It is a timeless comedy, after all, even when it was first shown Our Anthony’s trackies were hopelessly uncool. Show me a Dad who doesn’t watch telly with the remote firmly attached to either his belly or his hand, and I’ll show you a Dad with a lost remote control. From Denise and Barbara’s mindless chatter about the neighbours to David’s non-committal shrugs and Jim’s arse, it really is one of the greatest shows about nothing that there ever has been. If you ask me, The Royle Family should be on a monthly rotation on the BBC, not hidden away on a channel that also shows May To December and Bread.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here
(Sunday, ITV, 9pm)

Oh I’m not really recommending you watch I’m A Celebrity… because it’s high end television, or you’ll come away having learned something. It’s dreck, but it is highly entertaining dreck, and this year they’ve dredged up some outstanding contestants for us to point and laugh at. For one thing, what is an Aggro Santos? It sounds like a neon shot you could buy for a Euro in an Ayai Napa nightclub called D8rz. (It’s a rapper, by all accounts, I’m sure he’s jolly nice). Alongside Mr Santos, we get to see Shaun Ryder lose what he’s got left of his mind, and, if ITV have any sense of fun at all, Gillian McKeith eating something’s poo.
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea; every year I swear I won’t watch it, but every year I end up catching it on ITV2+1 and creasing my sides at Ant and Dec who are just excellent hosts of mindless entertainment and who I haven’t had a crush on since I was 11. Shut up.

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