TV Times - Avoid it, if you can

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THERE have been some truly awful programmes clogging up the schedules on a Saturday night, since the advent of the wonderful world of television.

It seems that coming up with a decent show for the light entertainment category is as difficult as finding a decent actor among the cast of Waterloo Road.

In many cases, the term “light entertainment” is a euphemism for garbage.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is a perfect example of brilliant light entertainment. But it is a diamond in the rough.

For every Noel’s House Party, there are a good half dozen Hole In the Walls.

In recent years – as with so many things on television – this genre has become the spotlight for desperate celebrities, willing to further humiliate themselves to extend their 15 minutes of fame by even just a second.

The latest on this long production line of rubbish is ITV’s Sing If You Can, currently stinking up Saturday nights around 7pm.

If you’ve not seen it, seriously... don’t bother.

Even if you only experience 10 seconds of it, you’ll hate yourself for the next 10 days.

Before you say anything, I know it’s raising good money for charity.

But surely there are better ways to do it than this?

Celebrities put themselves up to sing while all sorts of supposedly comical distractions are taking place around them.

The longer they sing, the more the money goes up. It’s even worse than it sounds.

You end up feeling more sorry than anything, pitying the celebrities for the depths they have sunk to.

Shaun Williamson actually parodied such desperation, playing himself in Ricky Gervais’ brilliant Extras.

He only turned up on Sing If You Can, last week – showing he probably didn’t realise Extras wasn’t a documentary.

The two presenters are a bizarre mis-match – Queen of the Jungle Stacey Soloman and near the knuckle comic Keith Lemon.

ITV seem hell-bent on making a viable star out of Soloman.

Stacey’s a nice lass and all but let’s be honest, she can’t even talk.

All you hear when she speaks is a bizarre drone, followed by her trademark laugh.

Just because she makes a decent guest on someone else’s show, doesn’t mean she can carry one of her own.

You can see why ITV have bothered to try and introduce Lemon to the mainstream after his starring role in ITV2’s biggest hit, Celebrity Juice.

But their attempts to do so are woefully misguided.

His comedy comes through controversy and rudeness.

Putting him on TV before the watershed leaves him with tame innuendo that will quickly turn off fans who have made the switch with him.

And the worst thing about it is the presence of canned laughter, despite there being a live audience present, who should be laughing.

If they can’t get the people to laugh who have made the effort to turn up in the studio, what chance have they got with the audience at home?

While the celebs earn money if they can keep on singing, WE deserve some cash if we can keep on watching!