Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Two Sides of News International

Side One

Side Two

'Balance', there. Fucking. Hell.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

ViaCompletely Unfair

It's quite rare we'll post an update that's just a link to someone else's YouTube video, which you've probably seen already anyway. After all, if we did that sort of thing, you'd expect us to update every day. The very thought! But this video -

- is the best one we've seen about the US Writer's Stike. It's like the Daily Show never went away. If any of BrokenTV's Californian readers find themselves near a writer's picket line over the next few weeks, feel free to give your car horn a good old supportive toot on our behalf. If indeed you exist, which is admittedly unlikely.

SEMIRELATEDLY! The staff of BrokenFM and Booked(Offside) have actually been on strike themselves for several weeks now, because we won't give them any of our crisps. In our defence, they're beef flavour Discos. We've offered them the cheese and onion flavour, which we don't like, only to see our offer rebuffed. Expect this one to run and run.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Liking Ricky Gervais Bell Curve

His new DVD is more of the same. The same boastful arrogance, garnished with a thin layer of "it's okay, I'm being ironic. Or am I? Yes, I am. Possibly". But how come every time one of his live shows is announced, thousands of drooling credit card holders clamour to pester Ticketmaster, and yet when he gets shoved in front of a massive audience at a live charity event (Concert For Diana, Live 8) he manages to die on his arse? Here's a normal distribution graph which displays what the British public think of him. And us, at the time of writing.

We've saved it as a .psd file, so we can re-use this joke for lots of other things in the future. We don't even care if we've got the concept of bell curves completely wrong, because we only actually studied A Level maths for one hour before quitting.


Saturday, 17 November 2007

It's BrokenTV's Football Nightmares DVD!

[Outside shot of a non league football ground, upon which the inserts for all lo quality cash in football nightmares DVDs must be filmed, by law. The nation's favourite Telly Blog That Was Quite Good For A Week In March bounds onto the pitch in a retro football shirt, because you don't have to pay any image rights to Mr Umbro if you wear a generic retro shirt. BrokenTV trots to the centre circle, and blows a referee's whistle to 'kick off' the feature.]

Phweeeep! Hello, and welcome to our special look at the world of cynically cheap cash-in D-list celebrity-based football blooper videos. These are the items that always used to pop up around Christmas time, feature a gurning celebrity wearing a generic replica shirt. But now their position in under threat. Their usual habitat - positions 51-75 in the Asda Sound and Vision section DVD chart any time after the middle of November - is gradually being invaded by their natural predators. Cynical cash-in celebrity-based 'interactive' DVD quiz games. Could 2007 be the a final hurrah for a genre of DVD or video that no-one has ever, ever actually bought a copy of for themselves, unless it was in a sale and it was well under £3? We shall see.

But before we get going, we'd better undergo a cheap title sequence...

[The screen fades to a 1980s-issue blue-cyan gradient background, with Quantelled boxes floating around the screen showing a montage of comical own goals, referees falling over, 'wacky' goal celebations and the odd insert of BrokenTV indulging in typical silent football whimsy - jumping around in the penalty area as if waiting for a corner to be delivered only for the ball to come from the other direction and strike it on the back of the head, leaning on a goalpost reading a newspaper as the ball flies past in the net, being nutmegged by a four year old girl, all to the sound of the cheapest jolly library music the director could find. At the end of the montage, a caption appears in an unpleasant typeface: BrokenTV's Football Nightmares.]

The football blooper video was begat by Danny Baker, with his seminal 1992 work Own Goals and Gaffs. Well, he hosted it, anyway. And we're pretty sure it was the first. We can't really be bothered checking, to be honest. He then set to work refining the art, with such works as More Own Goals and Gaffs, and The Best of Own Goals and Gaffs.

After Baker's success, coupled with the success of Fantasy Football League and They Think It's All Over, football and comedy were seen as perfect partners for companies specialising in shoving cynical 'product' to 'market' towards the 'holiday' 'season'. As a result, the back section of Loaded would often be flooded with adverts for the damn things, and well as dozens of half-hearted interviews with the likes of Neil Morrissey (called? Of course! "Footballers Behaving Badly" It didn't make it to DVD), Rory McGrath and Nick Hancock, where they'd somehow claim they'd had a lot to do with their respective blooper videos, even though all they'd actually done was spend one morning being filmed at Kettering Town's ground, and an afternoon recording their witty voiceovers. And then pocketing their slice of YOUR NAN'S pension, because she knows her grandchild likes football, and that nice man off of the telly is on the cover. The scoundrels.

Since then, everyone has been at it. David Seaman. Gordon Ramsay. Ian Huntley. You name anyone who has been in the public eye over the last twelve years, and you can bet a production company has looked up "nightmare" in a thesaurus and then sent their agent a fax.

Join us now, as we give you a run-down of Amazon's top fourteen football blooper videos, replete with the facts that YOU need to know, so you can decide if they'll be worth buying when you see them in a pound shop in March. Starting from the most popular. Although 'popular' probably isn't the correct term.

Paddy McGuinness - All Star Balls Ups

The 'Star'
It's Paddy off of Phoenix Nights and bad stand-up comedy.

The Cover
Paddy off of Phoenix Nights and bad stand-up comedy does his best shit-eating grin, even though he's just had his head unceremoniously cut off and badly Photoshopped onto a replica football shirt. All whilst surrounded by the visages of several former footballers. They could at least of had him merrily pretending he'd been hit on the head by a football, and the stars are circling his head as a Looney Tunes-inspired result. And come on, it probably isn't the best footy bloopers in the world, is it.

What Possibly Happens
Paddy off of Phoenix Nights and bad stand-up comedy interviews several characters from the game about their favourite footballing mishaps. Whilst crowbarring in several jokes from his lacklustre stand-up act, we shouldn't wonder.

Amazon Sales Rank: 91
Crikey. Well, if we were forced at gunpoint to choose between this and Peter Kay's latest rip-off DVD (it's a 'best of Peter Kay live' this year, although of course the packaging tries it's best to look like a brand new stand-up show), it'd be this. But unless Amazon are forcing people to buy football blooper DVDs at some sort of online gunpoint, we're not sure how this is selling so well.

Gary Lineker's Action Replay

The 'Star'
Gary Lineker, off of crisps.

The Cover
Like some sort of special football magician, Gary has magicked up a montage of footballing moments. Includes: Kevin Keegan losing it and Gazza about to blub because he's Gazza and shouldn't ever have received any yellow cards ever because he's England's Talisman.

What Possibly Happens
Quips aplenty. And at least one self-effacing joke about crisps.

Amazon Sales Rank: 123
Sure to do well as a last-minute panic choice for parents and grandparents. There's a 48% chance of BrokenTV's Mum buying a copy of this for someone in December.

Ian Wright - It Really Shouldn't Happen To A Footballer

The 'Star'
Ian "Wright Wright" Wright, who has majestically promoted Mark Lawrenson to the heights of only the second most annoying pundit currently employed by BBC Sport.

The Cover
Oh noes! Ian Wright is being attacked by dozens of clip-art footballs! He seems quite happy about it, though. Note how the designer has spelled 'gaffes' with an 'e', which is possibly a watershed moment in football blooper videodom.

What Possibly Happens
Wrighty drones on in a chirpy cockney manner, and quite possibly uses the word 'fuck' once to ensure an 'edgy, but not too edgy' 12 certificate.

Amazon Sales Rank: 657
We're slipping down the league table now.

Ricky Tomlinson - Football My Arse

The 'Star'
Ricky "My Arse" Tomlinson, off of Cracker. BrokenTV once saw him outside the Wrexham branch of Iceland, chatting with a policeman. That's right, look impressed.

The Cover
You may have noted it's referred to as "Ricky's Football DVD" in the adverts running on Sky Sports News, which would be pretty unimaginative. But still more imaginative than the one they've actually used. We're pretty sure this is at least the third product Ricky Tomlinson has released to use the format "[Subject] My Arse".

What Possibly Happens
Going by the adverts, he wanders around a non-league football pitch, and hilarity presumably ensues. There may well be a 20-minute section at the end where he tries to claim that no-one involved in a builder's union has ever done anything violent towards non-striking builders in the middle of a strike, despite being presented with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, which could make him go down in your estimation a bit, but hopefully that'll be tucked away in the extras.

Amazon Sales Rank: 771
We bet it'd sell more copies if it were called "A Lot Of People Seem To Forget I Was Really Good In Cracker, But Anyway, Here's Some Football Bloopers".

Manchester United Own Goals & Gaffes

The 'Stars'
Two people off of Corrie. Tyrone and Kirk, apparently.

The Cover
Tyrone (we think) seems to be celebrating something, although given the video seems to consist of Manchester United players scoring own goals, we're not quite sure why. We suspect this photo was taken as the boys were told how much each was getting paid for doing this video. Tyrone has the better agent, clearly.

What Possibly Happens
The boys sit in the stands of Old Trafford In Association With AIG and wax lyrical about Manchester United's worst blunders over the years. It may include the bit where Juan Sebastián Verón signs for the club at a price of £28m. A-ha-ha-ha.

Amazon Sales Rank: 4,898
Another thing about this DVD that we're not quite sure of is just why any Manchester United fans would even want to see a video of their clubs' biggest mess-ups. As a bit of filler on MUTV, maybe. On sale at £18, maybe not. That sales figure proves us, quite expectedly, to be right.

Gordon Ramsay's Football Hell (2005)

The 'Star'
Swearing's Gordon Ramsay.

The Cover
He has served up a football flambé. Because it is in hell.

What Possibly Happens
We'd bet a fiver on it kicking off with something about football being a lot like working in a kitchen. Other than that, the usual fare, but there's bound to be a moment where he pretends to be a bit embarrassed about a picture of him in a Rangers team photo. It's only a '12' certificate, so there won't be that much swearing in it.

Amazon Sales Rank: 5,454
For an old DVD, this is performing more respectably than many new releases. But really, we still doubt the sales of this have reached four figures.

Nick Hancock's Football Nightmares [1996]

The 'Star'
Nick Hancock, off of annoying radio adverts about personal injury lawyers. He used to be quite good until about the fifth series of They Think It's All Over.

The Cover
Gah! He's having a (chuckle) football nightmare! Although it would have been more realistic if he'd been wearing pyjamas and been in a bed or something. You do get two other similar videos free, though (Football Hell, and Football Doctor).

What Possibly Happens
We've actually got this (on VHS), and have actually watched it, having received it as a Christmas present in (we think) 1996. It's not all that bad, dating from the immediate post-Baker age where people could still be bothered putting a bit of effort in. It does include the memorable voice-over from Hancock "He's clear... he's clear... [footballer spoons over from three yards] he's clearly a twat", and a trip to Stoke Poges.

Amazon Sales Rank: 7,653
Nick Hancock used to be genuinely entertaining on pretty much anything, not least when he appeared on Fantasy Football League and said "David Mellor is a fucking cunt". It's a bit of a pity Hancock's Half Time only came about eight years after he stopped trying to be any good.

Piers Morgan - The Good, The Gaffes & The Ugly

The 'Star'
Piers Morgan, off of being sacked from the Daily Mirror. Fucking hell.

The Cover
Piers clenches his fists in a moment of pretend ecstasy. Meanwhile, a designer plonks a huge England flag into the background, to try and distract everyone from the fact the DVD has got Piers Morgan in it.

What Possibly Happens
We suspect this is actually a blank DVD and the whole affair is actually some sort of tax dodge. Who on earth would want to buy a football bloopers DVD hosted by Piers Morgan? Apart from Piers Morgan?

Amazon Sales Rank: 9,185
Coming soon to a huge pile of unsold DVDs reduced to £1 in Home Bargains. Just next to all the copies of Double Take.

Lovejoy and Redknapp's Best Of Football

The 'Stars'
Tim Lovejoy, off of being a corporate shill, and Jamie Redknapp off of being a football pundit so dull he makes Alan Shearer look like Bobcat Goldthwait.

The Cover
Lovejoy and Redknapp stand next to some footballs. All very crashingly dull.

What Possibly Happens
Tim Lovejoy does lots of smug comments about his hair, and Jamie Redknapp says "yes" occasionally.

Amazon Sales Rank: 11,390
That's more than 2000 places lower than Piers Morgan's DVD. If there's anything that could stop Tim Lovejoy being so smug on his ill-advised MLS highlight show, it's that cold hard fact right there.

Own Goals And Gaffs - The Premiership [2002]

The 'Star'
Rory McGrath, off of being totally rubbish on They Think It's All Over, and being surprisingly excellent every time he's on QI.

The Cover
The most generic cover you could possible imagine. Although, prepare your guffaw muscles, the footballer in red has 'Howler' on the back of his shirt, which sounds a bit like 'Fowler'. There's a famous footballer called 'Fowler'! Ha ha! They haven't even bothered to use a photo of Rory McGrath.

What Possibly Happens
Rory McGrath adapts his "They Think It's All Over" persona, as opposed to his "QI" persona. As a result, it will be rubbish.

Amazon Sales Rank: 13,775
At least it's got the excuse of being a few years old. It might even have been nudging the top 8,000 a few years ago.

Bradley Walsh's Soccer Shockers (2006)

The 'Star'
Bradley Walsh. Off of... things.

The Cover
Bradley Walsh looking shocked by an unseen event. What could it be? Denis Irwin being fisted by [stop right there - Legal Ed.]

What Possibly Happens
The same that happens in all the others, although there's bound to be a knowing reference to "Oh, it's only Ray Parlour".

Amazon Sales Rank: 14,336
If your parents buy you this DVD for Christmas, it's their way of saying they actually hate you, and wish you were dead, only they're too polite to say that to your face.

David Seaman - Jeepers Keepers (2004)

The 'Star'
David "Ponytail" Seaman, off of being the worst permanent team member on a panel show ever. After three jokes about Ronaldinho by Nick Hancock and Rory McGrath, all that was left for him to do was to go "hur hur hur" at Rory's jokes about David Beckham.

The Cover
Oh, Mr Puma. Why you make so many footballs?

What Possibly Happens
Some football clips are shown. David goes "hur hur hur" a lot. Then he makes a jokey reference to that goal he let in against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup.

Amazon Sales Rank: 15,765
If you buy one copy of this today, there's a massive chance it'll go up at least 800 places in the chart. Not that you'd want to.

Mark & Lard: Football Nightmares (2006)

The 'Star'
Mark and Lard, off of radio. Shit, we really like them.

The Cover
Mark and Lard watch football on their telly.

What Possibly Happens
We're kind of hoping it's really rather good, like they were when they were on the Graveyard Shift on Radio One (the last show of which we re-listened to recently, and it was tremendously good). It very probably isn't, though.

Amazon Sales Rank: 16,656
We've actually got this DVD, because it was in a sale about a year ago, for £2. We've never actually felt compelled to watch it, lest it tarnish the memory of their time together on Radio One. Some day, we will watch it. And we will die a little inside.

Big Ron's Mad Managers (2004)

The 'Star'
Ron Atkinson, off of being sacked from ITV Sport for making a racist comment on live television.

The Cover
Ron Atkinson, performing a tribute to Nick "Football Nightmare" Hancock's Football Nightmares cover shot. Possibly using the time he was being sacked from ITV Sport for making a racist comment on live television as motivation.

What Possibly Happens
Ron Atkinson makes sarcastic comments about the actions of other football managers, even though none of the actions will be anywhere near as bad as being sacked from ITV Sport for making a racist comment on live television.

Amazon Sales Rank: 17,202
Maybe he could have teamed up with Jim Davidson and Roy "Chubby" Brown and complained about immigration between the clips instead. It seems to work quite well for those two.

[A visibly muddied BrokenTV picks up it's football and begins to trudge back towards the changing room.]

Well, that's all from our round up of cynical cash-in football blooper DVDs. What have we learned? Not much, admittedly. What changes have we seen in cynical cash-in football blooper DVDs over the years? Not much, except we expect most of this year's batch rely heavily on clips they've taken from YouTube.

Erm, that's it.

[BrokenTV looks around a bit, looks faintly embarrassed, then remembers it still has a referee's whistle in it's pocket.]

Phweeep-phweep-phweeeeeeep! Erm... full-time, everyone?

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Worst Ad Campaign of the Week

"Fizzy Canadian Piss-water Light"

The one where the booming voice of Voiceover Man (y'know, from trailers and that) extols the virtues of "Fizzy Canadian Piss-water Light". Pull back to reveal the sound of Voiceover Man has been dubbed onto Generic 'Bloke' Character In Pub. 'Bloke 2' Character then chastises 'Bloke' Character for having the dubbed voice of Voiceover Man. Both are then astonished to see Generic Attractive Lager Advert Woman walking towards them, with (chuckle) the very same dubbed voice of Voiceover Man.

All very 'amusing' in an easily ignorable way. Except! The retort from 'Bloke 2' is also clearly dubbed, replacing the original North American accent with a standard English 'Bloke' accent, in the insultingly annoying way foreign companies often do. Because they can't be bothered spending a couple of grand on filming an actual British actor in an actual British studio, and yet they all expect us to rush out and drink gallons of their horrid Fizzy Canadian Piss-Water. Advertising types, eh?

Of course, they could have repaired all of this by simply replacing 'Bloke' reply to 'Bloke 2' of "wot?" (also dubbed into English Bloke-ese, natch) with an original Canuckaphone uttering of "And you can hardly talk, a-hole". But this is what happens when no-one consults us before launching a large television adverising campaign.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Hilda Braid 1929-2007

It's undoubtedly a shame when a talented actress with a distinguished career dies, and it does little to mark the passing of someone with a television and film career spanning five decades when many obituaries spend a disproportionately huge amount of their word count referring solely to the soap opera they appeared in at the end of their career. With that in mind, here is a short tribute to the work of Hilda Braid, who died on Tuesday at the age of 78.

After a spell at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Hildra Braid spent some time at the Royal Shakespeare Company before landing her first acting role in television. This was screened on the 14th of October 1960, playing the part of Alice Flinders in Associated-Rediffusion's crime drama No Hiding Place.

Over the next couple of decades, she performed in small roles in a wide variety of dramas, soap operas and sitcoms, such as Crossroads, Softly Softly, Z Cars, Catweazle, The Onedin Line, Emmerdale Farm, and Man About The House, but it was in Citizen Smith, a situation comedy penned by a pre-'Horses John Sullivan that she is probably best known. Playing the part of Florence Johnson, mother of the titular socialist's girlfriend and well-meaning, perpetually optimistic foil to husband Charlie, she was able to adopt a persona that was to serve her well for much of her later career. The endearingly dotty Florence would frequently make remarks which would inadvertently puncture husband Charlie's middle-class aspirations or Wolfie Smith's (memorably addressed as 'Foxy' without fail by Braid's character) wannabe-socialist ideals.

From that point on, Braid was able to adapt her character to fit in with a number of other comedies, such as Robin's Nest, enjoyable post-'& Mildred Brian Murphy driving-instructor-com L For Lester (we demand repeats!), and an appearance as Mrs Skimpson in series three of One Foot In The Grave (you know, the episode where the burglars phone Victor and ask him how to set the video recorder they've stole from him). However, it was in her role as (that word again) dotty receptionist Enid in underrated ITV sitcom The 10 Percenters that first saw her return to form in a 'proper' sitcom role, one that was essentially Florence Johnson sixteen years on from Citizen Smith. No less enjoyable for that, of course.

More guest roles followed, taking in dramatic fare such as Dangerfield, The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Casualty, several television commercials, not to mention a cameo in the live-action movie of 101 Dalmatians and continued work with the RSC. 2001 saw Braid reunite with Robert "Foxy" Lindsay in My Family, but never mind that, she appeared in both Bodger and Badger, and Chucklevision. Well, we think it's worth highlighting. Hope she didn't get in the way of Badger and his mashed potato. Man, that Badger loved his mashed potato.

2002 saw Hilda Braid take up her final role, clocking up an impressive 160 episodes of EastEnders in the role of Nana Moon. More information on which can be found in several other places. We'd pretty much given up on EastEnders by then, as we were sick of it always going on about the blimmin' Slaay-tah family.

Braid had spent her last years in a nursing home in Hove, East Sussex.

Hilda Braid, actress, born on March 3, 1929, died on November 6, 2007, aged 78. Her television and film acting career took in a total of (going by imdb) some sixty different shows over forty-five years.

Monday, 5 November 2007


Ages ago, we posted this update. It's pretty much the only really good update to the blog we've done, and it was probably the main reason we'd got mentioned in The Guardian Guide. The "Your Woman by White Town" of blog posts, if you will. Fast forward eight months and several thousand disappointed readers who'd mistakenly thought we were capable of being that good more often, and we've stumbled across someone who did something similar, only much, much better.

Now we know how Robbie Fowler felt when everyone started talking up Michael Owen instead of him, and why he didn't pass the ball at the end of the 2001 FA Cup Final to let Little Mickey complete his hat-trick.

And yes, we have noticed that that video had originally been posted over a year ago, but as no-one had started linking to our original image until a year after we'd done it, that sort of fits. There are also lots of other similar spoofs on YouTube, but other than the ace one from The IT Crowd, they're generally rubbish.

Nothing But The GREAT BIG HORRIBLE LIES, More Like

Well, that might well be exaggerating a tadge (or a lot), but it seems a few of the contestants from Nothing But The Truth aren't too pleased with Ruggie Media's handling of the show. Your super soaraway BrokenTV can reveal that the following allegations have been made:

  • Despite specially filmed inserts being shown of contestants answering their questions backstage, all the polygraph Q&A sessions were made at Ruggie Media's HQ during applicants' original interviews, around a week before filming.

  • The more awkward questions were brought forward for contestants who weren't performing quite as entertainingly as the producers hoped, in order to get them off stage slightly more quickly.

  • Shots of contestants making their walk of shame after losing were retaken a number of times. Clearly it makes for a less enjoyable viewing experience if people who'd just lost in a game show don't walk off the stage in just the right manner.

Nothing quite as explosive as the whole ITV Play scandal, or indeed the story about Phillip Schofield murdering all those prostitutes that hasn't hit the papers yet*, but quite interesting nonetheless.

(*Because we just made it up, clearly. We can't stress that enough.)

A full account of one contestants experience with the show is here, and a forum thread featuring (at the time of clicking 'publish post') comments from two of the programme's participants lives here.

And just to reiterate: Phillip Schofield has never murdered anyone. Not as far as we know.

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