Monday, 12 December 2005



There's a reason why nobody ever watches David Letterman in the UK. The reason is: because it's generally thirty-five minutes of tedious jokes-that-aren't, with a few interviews tacked on at the end. One episode we sat through featured a researcher being made to do a crap little dance that her ex-boyfriend used to do, repeatedly. This dragged out for a full ten minutes, meaning they didn't have enough time for one their guests. For Johnny's sake. Which is why it got shunted around the UK schedules, from a 7pm flagship programme for ITV2, until it ended up at 3am, presumably because it won the toss against showing Jobfinder repeats from 1989. Then ITV4 came along and needed something to fill the other side of midnight. We give it three months before it ends up nestled amongst the 3am low-quality camcordered smut on Men And Motors.

And that bald band leader bloke with the glasses who feels the need to bang a musical instrument every time someone, anyone, does anything, anything at all, really needs to go and invade himself with a brick.

And if there's one thing that annoys us more than Letterman, it's a feeble imitation of Letterman...


Chris Evans utterly failing to realise exactly why everybody suddenly got sick of TFI Friday by the end of the 1990s, there.

TFI had gone from featuring lots of interesting guests and decent bands, to a weekly hour of Chris Evans having his ego gently licked by several of his Super Showbiz Chums. Dipping into TFI's entry (hey, I'm as surprised as you), a typical show from 1997 featured Courteney Cox, Jimmy Tarbuck, Sinead O'Connor, Mansun and My Life Story. An interesting line-up that you genuinely wouldn't have seen on any other television programme. On an episode just two years later, the only guests they could rustle up were Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakson, in order to clear more space for tedious Letterman-esque banter with one of his flunkies. A Big-Brother-people-and-Sara Cox-guest-helmed dumper beckoned for TFI.

Fast forward to 2005. Not learning from the calamitous outings for TFI-lite vehicles for Chris Moyles and Christian O'Connell (not to mention Born fecking Sloppy), Chris does a semi-decent turn on Comic Relief, and subsequently worms his way onto ITV1's Sunday night line-up. Chris Evans gives lots of interviews stating how the new show had been in meticulously-planned development for months, and it would be quite unlike anything we've ever seen before. The first episode kicks off with a theme song all about Chris Evans, the only guest is a slightly uncomfortable appearance by his ex-wife. He presents a game-show segment where the public are meant to give a flying arse about whether a toaster is his toaster or another celebrity's toaster. There's a section where Chris Evans uses up time by showing something 'hilarious' to his guest, not letting anyone else in on the joke, then destroying the evidence. And so on. All this lasts for an hour. Christ.

The second episode may well have been the same (but with Only Guest being one of Evans' Super Showbiz Chums), but luckily I'd already stabbed myself in the eyes with a fork as a precaution.

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