What a fantastic public relations gift for Channel Four on Tuesday presented on a gold platter, with the news that Prue Leith had “mistakenly” put out the winner’s name of the Great British Bake Off on her Twitter account from the other side of the world in Bhutan! Pru had forgotten that there was a time difference between the UK and the Far East, and suddenly the story was leading news bulletins on radio stations and splashed all over the front pages of the Wednesday tabloids. Take it from me, in the PR world, it was wonderful for promoting the show and reminding people on the Tuesday that it was on that evening!
Sophie Faldo was a deserving winner and it capped an absolute triumph for Channel Four, who over a year ago, were being spat at for taking the GBBO from the BBC. The reality of course was that Love Productions didn’t want to do a deal with the Beeb and were hawking the show around with Sky being a very serious possibility to buy it, until Channel Four stepped in to keep the GBBO “free-to-air”.
The new personnel on GBBO like Prue, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding have brought something fresh to the show, which has been as good as ever, and defied all the gloomy predictions, including many from yours truly. It has brought fantastic ratings to Channel Four, yet they are well down compared to those on BBC 1, which makes me wonder whether viewers are that dim that they don’t know how to find Channel Four? That can be the only explanation for the “missing millions” who have missed out on an enjoyable weekly treat.
I welcome the return of a regular primetime BBC 1 music show, coming over a decade on from the demise of Top of the Pops. Sounds Like Friday Night has a fantastic studio set at the old BBC Television Centre that has a feel of the old TFI Friday set, and some good artists with the likes of Charlie Puth, Jessie Ware, and Jason Derulo on the first show, which I all enjoyed. My criticism was the waffle and the unfunny attempts at comedy, and just four songs over the 30 minutes, which simply wasn’t good enough. A bit of tinkering, though, should solve the problem if bosses want to deal with it, otherwise this is a serious wasted opportunity.
Tracey Ullman is a fantastic performer with her characters and impressions, and the start of a new Friday night BBC 1 run of Tracey Does the News had the instant merit of bumping the useless Porridge revival to an earlier time, up against an episode of Corrie on ITV. I’m not a fan of Tracey’s Theresa May portrayal, but that was more than compensated by her sensational impression of Jeremy Corbyn. Why though is a class act like Ullman dealing with poor scripts that just don’t make me laugh? If you combined her performance skills with say the satirical bite of the old Spitting Image writing, then it would be must-view television, but at the moment, once you’ve marvelled at what she does, then the novelty wears off in the unfunny sketches.
Pat Phelan’s gone on holiday on Coronation Street with his dumb, believing wife Eileen, after a couple of killings at the back end of last week. One taboid newspaper suggested this week that four more deaths are on the way at his evil hands, but am I the only fan that is getting a bit bored with all of this? Soaps tend to stretch things out too long and this plot is a stretch too far. Please ITV, just wrap things up within the next two months, as I’m getting bored with it all.