Tony on TV - 4th April

WHAT is it with standing and television?

The minute Jeremy Kyle hoves into view for morning viewers, or the opening credits signal another evening of chilling viewing in ‘Dancing On Ice’ then the audience stand up.

Yet, there seems a marked reluctance to do the same on public transport, be it the city tram or local buses, when the fit and fickle seem rooted to their seats while mums with babes and shopping, or those who have seen a few summers, are left swinging from the overhead straps.

Others seated, but in a different world, are the judges, or rather coaches as they prefer to be called, in BBC1’s ‘The Voice UK,’ billed as “a talent show with a twist,” which left me wondering if the BBC had any licence payers’ money left after shelling out £22m for a show that promised no sobs stories, yet did completly the opposite, aided and abetted by the audience’s applause.

This “voice only” concept might seem novel, but it comes second best to Simon Cowell’s juggernaut ‘BGT,’ which, for better or worse, ticks the boxes for entertainment, even if talent is in short supply.

There seems no shortage on the food front over on BBC where Lord Sugar mixes up the boys and girls on ‘The Apprentice’ (BBC1, Wednesday) as the teams have to produce and sell their own condiments -- so it’s a Mediterranean-style ketchup versus chilli chutney before things get too hot for one team.

Over on BBC2, Giles Coren and others head to Norfolk, the starting point for ‘Our Food,’ which over the next four weeks looks at how landscape, history and climate shape the foods we produce on a journey (taken no doubt before the petrol panic) that also takes in North Wales, Kent and the west of Scotland.

And if that’s not enough, all next week BBC2 will be tempting our tastebuds in ‘Great British Menu: The Olympic Feast’ as some of the UK’s greatest chefs are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a very special feast which celebrates the London 2012 Olympic Games and showcases contemporary British cooking at its absolute best.

The best and worst aspects of everyday news will now be covered from “up north” from next Tuesday as BBC1’s ‘Breakfast’ broadcasts from its new home in MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, with Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid and Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt forming the main family of presenters, while another familar family, the Garveys, will be taking a break from all that Spanish sun as ‘Benidorm’ (ITV) comes to an end this Friday. Let’s hope a sixth series is in the offing before their suntan fades.


The Preston Passion -- BBC1, Good Friday. A host of well-known faces (Tom Ellis, Samantha Bond and Ronald Pickup) join this community project, which with a mix of music, dance and drama gives a modern immediacy to the story of Jesus’ condemnation and crucifixion.