Odd assortment on Channel 5

I decided to tune into Channel 5 now that its latest Celebrity Big Brother boreathon and eventual winner, the embarrassing Denise Welch, are taking, what is hoped, a long lie-down.

While not one of my regulars channels to watch, it did offer an odd assortment of viewing giving me a new insight into the tasks involved to find the ‘World’s Toughest Trucker’ (they obviously missed out the “big boys” on the A38), what happens when you get ill or injured on holiday in ‘Benidorm ER’ (I hope the parking’s cheaper than King’s Mill) and keeping up with a Hollywood-style car chase on the doorstep in nearby Ripley in ‘Police Interceptors.’

More drama, this time purely fictional, comes with a big “cash prize” in the four-part ‘Inside Men’ (BBC1, Thursday) as John (Steven Mackintosh), the upright manager of a cash-counting manager, gets embroiled in an armed robbery when his family is taken hostage.

Also being held against their will are the dodgy foursome of Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren who have been enduring a holiday from hell after falling foul of the Mediterranean underworld in the fast-paced ‘Mad Dogs,’ which comes to the end of its second series tomorrow evening on Sky 1.

TV’s a fast-moving world, whether it’s the countless programmes that delight or disappoint, or the way it arrives on the set at home.

So with the many systems vieing for viewers’ attentions and pockets, I was pleased to receive a belated, but welcome, New Year present of a hot-off-the-press copy of the Television Viewer’s Guide 2012.

This fact-filled book lovingly edited by Clive Woodyear - who also produces separate must-have guides for radio listeners and those who want the latest phone technology - looks towards future trends, as well as covering all the many ways TV can be received and recorded, plus helpful hints on getting the best reception or finding the right address to write in.

The 162-page TV guide, like its radio and phone companions, costs £5.95 and further details can be obtained from: Television Viewer’s Guide, PO Box 888, Plymouth PL8 1YJ. Tel: 0844-879-4189. You can also send an email to sales@radioguide.co.uk, or order via the website at www.radioguide.co.uk


The Singing Detective - BBC4, Thursday. Welcome re-run for Dennis Potter’s surreal drama from 1986 starring Michael Gambon in the title role as a mystery writer with a debilitating skin condition.


Dancing On Ice - ITV, Sunday. Wrong time of the year to watch this guff when the wind chill factor is all too evident in Mansfield.