Tony on TV - When X Factor is better than Celebrity Big Brother

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MIRROR, mirror, on the wall. Who is the fairest of us all?

That was the question I asked after watching the D-List line-up go into the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house for the third such “big name fest” in a year since Channel 5 took over the franchise.

The fairest is, of course, Samantha Brick, and that comes on no higher authority than Daily Mail columnist Ms Brick herself, who created a storm earlier this year when she wrote an article in the Mail about the burdens of her beauty and the jealousy she receives from other women, both in her personal and professional life.

TV often gives a distorted view of life, so if she survives tonight’s first eviction she should find herself at home in this make-believe world that’s got another fortnight or so to run before the doors are locked again . . . hopefully for good.

That’s not the case for ‘The X Factor,’ which is in its ninth series of amusing and annoying viewers as it keeps us company at home on Saturdays for the forseeable future, stopping in good time so we can all get our last-minute Christmas shopping done.

Helping the show get a spurt on is, if rumours are to be believed, is double Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah who Simon Cowell wants to sign up as a mentor to wannabee stars.

From the opening show, this is bound to include 21-year-old Asda ace Jahmene Douglas who floored the judges with a knockout performance of Etta James’ hit ‘At Last,’ while everything else seemed to hit the decks when Pink tribute singer Zoe Alexander threw a hissy fit when she was voted off.

Simon Cowell’s the butt of many a joke, so it will be interesting to see how he and JLS cope with the bizarre banter of comedy legends Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer as they return to TV this Thursday with a brand new show, ‘Lucky Sexy Winners,’ on Channel 4, which is celebrating its 30th aniversary with a two-week extravaganza of top-notch comedy.

Undaunted after being dumped by the BBC, the madcap duo come back on a high as they rip up the rule book for panel and quiz show formats with guest Eddie Izzard putting himself up for some tough questioning from his hosts, who later turn the tables with Bob playing Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Christian Jessen and Vic as Miranda Hart.

WORTH WATCHING

The Corrie Years -- Wednesday, ITV. A must for ‘Street’ fans as Ken and Deirdre begin a three-part look over famous storylines from the past 50 years.

Waterloo Road -- Thursday, BBC1. It’s another round of classroom chaos and confrontation as series eight sees the school moving to a new base in Scotland.

Parade’s End -- Friday, BBC1. ‘Sherlock’ star Benedict Cumberbatch goes back to the Edwardian era in this five-part adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s quartet of novels revealing the agonies of his upper-class characters as World War I looms.

Montalbano -- Saturday, BBC4. Start of a 12-part re-run for this Sicilian crime drama sees a return to duty for Insp Salvo Montalbano as the discovery of a decomposed body floating in the water leads to the the unsavoury realities of international child trafficking.

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