It takes a game man

Did Gregg Wallace really say this on last week’s finale of Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One)? “It’s a gay man who comes on to a final of MasterChef and does octopus.”

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No. It turns out he didn’t. But it sounded like he did when he said, “It’s a game man who comes on to a final of MasterChef and does octopus.” (Surely it’s a game man who comes on and does partridge?) On this week’s Telly Addict, I wave a fond farewell to one programme with the prefix “Celebrity” and say a cautious and transient hello to another programme with the prefix “Celebrity“. It all seemed so optimistic for pantomime dame Christopher Biggins when he went into the Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 5) house with every intention, one assumes, of not coming straight out again after insulting bisexuals and a Jewish woman (I had stopped watching by then, so have to take the tabloids’ word for it).

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From one game man to another bunch of game men. It’s a funny time of the year for TV. Most of it is now filled with the Olympics, which I’m boycotting, as I don’t really enjoy the Olympics, and it’s a bit of a silly season for the rest of telly. I’m delighted that my favourite gay drama Looking (HBO/Sky Atlantic) came back for a valedictory, feature-length episode, and I beamed all the way through it, wishing I lived in San Francisco and moved in this social circle as the token heterosexual. It would have been preferable, of course, for Looking to have continued with a third, fourth and fifth season, but it was not to be.

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This is a grab of me giving a sideways look at TV. Why? I am honouring pop historian Dominic Sandbrook and his trademark three-quarters-on delivery style. I’ve had my quibbles with some of his previous 20th century history lessons, not least the Thatcherite way he looks at the past, but since his new series The 80s With Dominic Sandbrook (BBC Two) is about the Thatcher Years, one can hardly complain. (Except, of course, he says it isn’t about Thatcher, it’s about us, somewhat letting her off the hook.)

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As you’ll see in the various clips used in this week’s Telly Addict, Jimmy Osmond, runner-up on Celebrity MasterChef, is one of my heroes of 2016, for his joie de vivre and his propensity to cry while still calling everyone and everything “Awesome.” No, you are!  He’s come a long way from Andy Williams to Gregg Wallace.

Oh, and look out for the tiny clockwork mouse on the coffee table at the beginning. I found it in my goodie bag after the National Cat Awards at the Savoy during the week, at which I am proud to say I was a judge! Here’s a photo of me with some fellow dignitaries, and then one of me with the judges and the winners! Awesome!!!!

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As ever, you can view the full YouTube playlist of every UKTV Telly Addict here. Why not subscribe? I do.

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6 thoughts on “It takes a game man

  1. Hi Andrew, you’re right that there isn’t really an awful lot on other than Olympics coverage but I’m surprised you dislike it enough to try to avoid it completely, especially after you expressed your enjoyment of the European Championships, a similar sporting jamboree. I’ll admit, in the first few days it’s a bit hit and miss, with only the early rounds of more popular sports, and too many unfamiliar ones to really engage with properly. But by the second week, when the athletics and track cycling start, and things like the tennis reach the final stages, it’s invariably entertaining and frequently gripping. Did you hold out against London 2012 too, or are you protesting about the IOC’s spinelessness about the Russians? Does the dislike extend to the paralympics too?

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    • I find it overwhelming. Also, I lack the patriotism to get into it on that level. I’m really not bothered about watching people racing each other, or trying to throw something further than other mere mortals. It doesn’t grab me the way team sports might. I know there are team sports at the Olympics, but it seems mostly to be built around individual superhuman endeavour, and everything I think about the Olympics I think about the Paralympics: amazing achievements that most of us could only dream about. I can see why millions become gripped; it just doesn’t get me going.

      I avoided most of the 2012 Olympics, and caught up with some foreign-language films while it was on in the house!

      Oh, as for doping – from where I’m sitting these revelations, whether personal or institutional, cast an ugly shadow over sport, and yet, you could equally categorise training as performance-enhancing. It’s not a natural state to be, at that international, record-breaking level, so why draw the line at certain substances and not others?

      I don’t wish to appear a misery. I’m not. I’m glad these games entertain and inspire so many people, but I just see money unevenly spent while the world burns. I guess I like watching football (although not every week!) and don’t really like watching canoeing.

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  2. YouTube links seem to have got messed up on some August and September blogs Andrew, they are showing the most recent episodes (16 or 17).

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