JAMES WALTON: And the winner is? No one you know… or care about 

rating showbiz 1


ITV, Monday to Friday

Evaluation: rating showbiz 1

DNA Family Secrets

BBC2 game

Evaluation: rating showbiz 4

Let the games begin,’ the sequel announcer said ahead of the first episode of ITV’s great series of the week: a five-night sports competition between 12 celebrities – many of whose names may have sent the audience directly on Google.

It turned out that we had to wait quite a long time until Games did.

Say what you like about the program (and I will), you certainly can’t accuse it of underselling. Middle-aged viewers might remember that when Sky first started showing Premier League football, it wrapped every game, however unglamorous, in layers of hopelessly comedic American razzmatazz.

A highlight of the Games came when Love Island’s Olivia Attwood (above) ditched all the clichés to say why she was nervous; “I have 20 new veneers, fresh Botox and fake boobs.”

The same also happened here, as a modest crowd at Crystal Palace, London watched a long opening sequence of fireworks, cheerleaders, acrobats and marching bands. The atmosphere, we were duly assured, was “electric”.

It was then time to meet the various stars of the soap opera, influencers, participants of Love Island, etc. Lewis and uh, Yung Filly), commentators (Simon Brotherton and Chris Kamara) and track reporter (Alex Scott).

All of them had a great time trading “bantzes” and repeating over and over how excited they were.

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Finally, after almost 20 minutes, we were treated to real sport: the women’s 100m hurdles. Thirty seconds later, however, it was over and it was back to the bantz – and perhaps the most contested event of the lot: the one between the presenters and the pundits as to who could use the word “ incredible ! most. (Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, no one was up to the former pro, Holly.)

But by then, and despite everyone’s best efforts, the main problem with the Games became clear – it was boring. After all, there are only so many times you can be fascinated to hear a celebrity explain how they’re trying to get out of their “comfort zone” (about zero).

Under the circumstances, a highlight of the episode came when Love Island’s Olivia Attwood dropped all the cliches to say why she was nervous about the synchro-diving event – or the “falling together in a dive” event. pool”, as we could also call it.

“I have 20 new veneers, fresh Botox and fake boobs,” she pointed out sadly, adding, “These are my second pair.”

In his defense, on night two, the program seemed to realize that changes were needed. As the main setting was moved to the London Aquatics Center – a venue scrupulously described as ‘iconic’ every time it was mentioned – the bantz was permanently reduced and the sport increased.

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Suddenly, there were long scenes of celebrity workouts and various solemn athletic types emphasizing the need to “stay focused.” We even got to know some of the contestants, although not well enough yet to care who wins.

The problem was that none of these revisions made the outcome any less boring – or the commentators’ attempts to make the thrilling events any less doomed. In fact, the more they bellowed things like “OLIVIA WON THE BREAST!” the more obvious it was that it didn’t matter.

I have to say, timelines being what they are, I’ve only seen two episodes of The Games before writing this. Then again, the show being what it is, I guess I’ll only have seen two more by the time you read it.

On a happier note, this week saw the return of DNA Family Secretsthe touching series where, in a weird twist, people who aren’t even famous find out about their loved ones.

The main presenter is Stacey Dooley (above), who pulls off the trick of introducing herself as a nice older sister to people 20 years her senior in DNA Family Secrets

The main presenter is Stacey Dooley (above), who pulls off the trick of introducing herself as a nice older sister to people 20 years her senior in DNA Family Secrets

The main presenter is Stacey Dooley, who pulls off the trick of presenting herself as a nice older sister to people 20 years her senior. Nevertheless, the real star is geneticist Professor Turi King, whose status as a scientific expert is established by a few quick shots of her striding in a white coat but who, judging by what we see, still knows. more about how television works today.

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Take Thursday’s first article, in which Richard, 52, sought to find out his biological father. As always, during the introductory meeting, Turi pointed out that finding the answer would be somewhere between extremely difficult and downright impossible.

But, as always too, she eventually provided it – but not before keeping Richard on his toes like someone announcing the evictions on a reality show.

“It was really clear,” she told him during the debrief several weeks later. “Your father was Irish. To his credit, Richard greeted this as the complete reveal he was looking for, bravely managing a “Wow, really?” But, of course, Turi only softened.

Discreetly pushing a box of tissues towards him, she then gave Richard information about his grandparents from Galway, before finally putting the poor man out of his misery by telling him that she had found his father and his four half- brothers and sisters.

And, with that, Richard left to receive brotherly support from Stacey as Turi prepared to do the whole “No Chance” routine to “Big Reveal” again with a woman hoping to find a half-sister somewhere in Austria.

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