‘He really did do well, didn’t he’

HOMAGE TO A LEGEND: Bruce Forsyth and (inset) wife Wilnelia speaks during his tribute show.

LET’S start this week with a nod to the tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth on BBC 1, last Sunday.

An artist pal who knows a thing about ‘the business’ (‘hola’ from España, Ian) would have been thrilled that Sir Bruce was remembered at the London Palladium. Ian has given many performances at the Palladium and like Sir Bruce, loves this special venue. 

It was a lovely touch to have Tess Daly host the tribute, with just the right amount of respect and celebration. Stage and screen stars came out to pay homage and quite right too, but for me Lady Forsyth stole the evening. Bruce’s wife is grace personified, you did him proud Wilnelia.  

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Thursday nights on BBC 1 look to be more interesting with the next instalments of two comedy shows which prove good writing can keep tried and tested formats fresh and current. 

Firstly, Lee Mack and Sally Bretton are back for series nine of Not Going Out. 

Episode one saw Lee mowing his parents-in-law’s artificial lawn. When he asks Lucy (Sally Bretton) how it would look if they just said foxes did it, her reply ‘like a John Lewis Christmas advert’was a true gem. The supporting cast are on point too, so this is one to watch. 

Immediately following Not Going Out, Still Game returns to lighten the Thursday night mood even further. Regular readers might remember that I know a thing or two about all things Scottish and yes, I might even have enjoyed a dram in The Clansman, but this is lovely TV in the best comedy traditions. There are some less than politically correct references and some of the humour is too honest for some viewers, but you’ve guessed, I love it.

Ford Kiernan (Jack) and Greg Hemphill (Victor) are wonderful and supported by a great cast, including Jane Drennan as Isa. If you don’t know the show (you should get to know it, quickly) think ‘Only Fools and Horses,’ but in Glasgow and you are some of the way there. 

Two shows to look back on are the ‘Winter Paralympic’ opening ceremony and the ‘Crufts Final.’ Channel 4 served up both and did a much better job than the ‘didn’t that used to be us’ BBC. I continue to be blown away by the Winter Olympians and although I was surprised by how small the Paralympic teams are, I thought the opening ceremony was wonderful. 

Now to the ‘Crufts Final.’ Channel 4 did a good job with their coverage. They mixed the usual search for doggie perfection with exceptional stories of how our canine friends act as support dogs and demonstrate agility and intellect some human-kind folk would be proud of.

The final was, very briefly, interrupted by demonstrators who take issue with the Kennel Club’s search for perfection in each Breed, Group and ultimately in the Champion. I’m not going over the arguments here, but I will say that I get a warm glow thinking of the difference some of the dogs made to their human friend’s lives and I thank them for it. 

Looking forward, Toby Anstis is searching for an Ibizan bolthole via A Place in the Sun: Winter Sun, Channel 4, Saturday. He has a healthy budget and Laura Hamilton to help him. 

Sunday sees Leicester City take on Chelsea in the last of the FA Cup games this weekend. Gary Lineker is hosting the BBC 1 coverage. I’m not saying where my vote goes on this one… Happy viewing.


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