TV Review

BILL THE BIRO assesses this week's TV

photo: Jake Brown
(search: Mourinho+Flickr+Jake Brown) Edited
Following several successful seasons, the loyal followers of The Bridge are happy once again to see it return to BBC4 on Saturdays with its heady mix of impenetrable goings-on, strange characters, and lots of red herrings. As usual The Bridge revolves around the quirky main character, who can always be relied on to be controversial, whether it's saying things that most people wouldn't, getting doctors sacked, or dropping star players. This leads to perennial problems with the bosses. And this time the main character is behaving even more oddly than usual, but that is, and always was the main reason for its success. No doubt before this season ends there will be a few more twists and turns. Long may it continue.

BBC2 started the FA Cup weekend on Friday, with lovable minnows Salford City at home to Hartlepool United. Being owned by some footballing National Treasures makes Salford the team that everyone wants to succeed, and so it was a no-brainer for the BBC to select this match, since their opponents, thanks to Sky Sport football presenter Jeff Stelling's support, are the League Two team that everybody follows.
"the main character is behaving even more oddly than usual"

Of course, the BBC had to dumb-down the event and show the teams being given team talks by famous names: Sir Alex Ferguson for Salford and Jeff Stelling for Pools. Happily for Salford, former Pools player James Poole wasn't seriously hurt in a dressing room accident involving a flying boot. Mr. Stelling, Pools' president, said that he originally informed the Pools players that Chris Kamara, a former league manager, would give Pools' team talk, but made a change when they replied "That's unbelievable, Jeff!"

Meanwhile the Climate Change Conference in Paris featured heavily, with current affairs and news programmes all doing special features on global warming. Some channels went to the low-lying Polynesian islands, others featured Icelandic glaciers and polar bears with no ice to stand on, but the best image of the week had to be Accrington Stanley's football pitch where their match with Hartlepool was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Even global warming doesn't happen when you want it.

There were shocks galore in the F Factor, with both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini being given their marching orders. Although the voters could yet save them, their squirming, and especially Sepp's tearjerking "I nearly died" interview were all a bit sad to see.

And finally we mustn't forget Strictly Come Bottom, where both Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce seem to be perpetually at the rubbish end of the leaderboard. Surely one or both can't last much longer.