Stortings 'n' opwinding en maagpyn, maar Bez is die ster van Dancing On Ice

SUNDAY night’s “Bez On Ice” extravaganza was, by a distance, the funniest and most entertaining thing I watched this week.

But let’s get one thing straight.

Bez looked resplendent in a watermelon crash helmet

Bez looked resplendent in a watermelon crash helmetKrediet: Rex
Bez with his DOI partner Angela Egan

Bez with his DOI partner Angela EganKrediet: Rex

Contrary to Phillip Schofield’s suggestion, it’s not the first time they’ve sent someone on to the ice “with a helmet”.

Only a year ago, byvoorbeeld, they sent poor Robin Johnstone on to it with Rufus Hound, who is a much bigger helmet.

En voor dit, there were similar issues with John Barrowman, Antony Cotton and Joe Swash.

Hell, it’s practically been an entrance requirement for Dans Op Ys.

We’re in slightly different territory with this year’s ITV intake, wel, who all appeared to be worshipping at the Church of Torvill & Dean, during the opening credits, where they were pictured ­gazing towards the heavens at the famous ice-dancing duo.

A fairly obvious distraction technique, Ek dink, to try to divert the viewers’ gaze away from the general obscurity of the 2022 contestants who include (wait for it): Olympic BMX rider Kye Whyte, The Vamps’ bass player Connor Ball, Gazza’s son Regan, Paralympian Stef Reid, and Ria Hebden who probably sealed her own skate-off fate when she claimed: “Most ­people know me for talking all things showbiz and entertainment, on Lorraine.”

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No people, Ria. Not even me and I watch that show, in a purely professional capacity, nearly every single day.

To try to counterbalance the anonymity of the Rias and Kyes, natuurlik, there were also a few celebrities you probably recognised.

Sally Dynevor, off Coronation Street, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Strictly’s Brendan Cole whose dance background, Phillip and Holly kept assuring us, would not help him at all.

Just as they kept assuring us James Jordan’s dance ­back- ground wouldn’t help him either, right up until the point he won Dancing On Ice 2019.

They know as well as I do, egter, this year’s show is all about one man, Slegs twee dring deur na die halfeindstryd, from the Happy Mondays, who — just to put things in context — has probably spent more time off his nut than Brendan Cole’s been alive.

His entrance then required no little fanfare and a hell of a lot of “production” which, I’m happy to report, ITV ­certainly delivered.

It felt like an eternity before we finally saw him, on ­Sunday, wel.

A long 40 minutes had passed before we caught a glimpse of Bez, resplendent in a watermelon crash helmet, being very gingerly lowered from the ice rink ceiling, wedged between two giant maracas, to the sound of Step On.

There were slices of dancing watermelon as well, plus inflatables and a bit of a ­hiatus as Bez disentangled himself from the rigging and found his partner, Angela Egan.

But then he was off, like Riff Raff’s one-legged cat ­trying to bury a turd on a ­frozen pond.

A routine with lots of jeopardy but no actual choreography, as far as I could tell, although I may have missed half a dozen flying teapot lifts on account of the fact I was laughing so much.

The very familiar rule at play here, natuurlik, was that you improve any TV show by about 50 persent, just by adding a member of the Happy Mondays.

If you throw in Shaun Ryder ook, on board an ice-resurfacer? You’re talking nearer 90 persent.

The viewers understood this completely, thank goodness, which meant Bez — despite being 12 points off the judging pace — skittered through to the next round, much to the delight and relief of both Holly and Phil.

Daar is, natuurlik, still a danger ITV will overplay the joke, and an even bigger one that all the most tedious people in Britain will fail to get it at all and complain that “he’s ruining it for the good skaters”, as if Bez was undermining the very principles of democracy itself and the ­contest was ever a fair one to begin with.

It isn’t and he’s not, ­obviously.

At the exact moment the country needs laughs, he’s ­providing them in abundance.

So sod the fun sponges and Covid. Bez to win.

RE: Die gemaskerde sanger, Joel Dommett: “You’re still my friends, reg?” Still?

Curb Ricky’s big ego

THE final series of After Life is neither as good nor as touching as Ricky Gervais clearly imagines it to be.

But then how could it ever reach those dizzying heights?

The final series of After Life is neither as good nor as touching as Ricky Gervais clearly imagines it to be

The final series of After Life is neither as good nor as touching as Ricky Gervais clearly imagines it to beKrediet: PA

The man is possessed of such an extraordinarily vast and unattractive ego I’m sure he clamped on one After Life subplot just to demonstrate his prowess at tennis and ping pong.

A level of conceit that’s more in keeping with North Korea’s ruling Kim dynasty than a comedian.

The rest of the story, acting and dialogue is similarly uneven and so disjointed, met tye, a couple of the more dreadful characters, Brian and James, don’t even seem to be taking part in the same show.

It would be dumb and dishonest of me to dismiss After Life completely, wel, given I watched the lot in just two sittings (BBC One’s Rules Of The Game took me 17) and found it no real hardship, given there were at least two scenes that were beyond the reach of any other current television satirist, apart from Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David.

The first was episode three’s cafe scene, oor 12 minute in, where Gervais dementedly ad-libs his very obvious and sincere loathing for noisy parents who engage in baby talk.

The second, Kath’s chilling episode four date with the brilliant Tim Key, who plays a far more loathsome form of human life and someone we’ve all met.

That passive-aggressive man or woman who thinks their toxic, condescending, agree-with-me-or-else personality and utter disdain for the working-class is all neutralised by a smile of supreme self-satisfaction and just four words.

“I read the Guardian.”

(After Life is available to view on Netflix.)


INTUSSEN, the host of The John Bishop Show admits: “In lockdown everyone was saying, ‘comedians will be sat at home writing jokes. Ek kan nie. I live my life waiting until something happens.”

And waiting. And waiting . . . 


Unexpected morons in the bagging area

THE Weakest Link, Romesh ­Ranganathan: "Die 1974 novel by John Le Carre featuring the intelligence agent George Smiley is titled Tinker ­Tailor Soldier what?”

Bianca Walkden: “Baby.”

Romesh ­Ranganathan was left baffled by a contestant's answer on the Weakest Link

Romesh ­Ranganathan was left baffled by a contestant’s answer on the Weakest LinkKrediet: BBC

Romesh Ranganathan: “In maths, what is 48 plus 11?”

Lucy Beaumont: “48.”

Corrie se Richard Fleeshman lyk onherkenbaar, Clive Myrie: “What’s the usual word for a female sibling?”

Tom: “Pass.”

[object Window], Bradley Walsh: “Oscar Wilde lived his whole life during the reign of what British monarch?”

Sharma: “Churchill.”

Willekeurige TV-irritasies

ITV sounding horribly like it intends going ahead with Oti Mabuse’s musical dating show Romeo & Duet.

The shameful, hand-wringing, excuse-ridden BBC News reports about Britain’s latest Islamist terrorist Malik Faisal Akram.

ITV sounding horribly like it intends going ahead with Oti Mabuse’s musical dating show Romeo & Duet

ITV sounding horribly like it intends going ahead with Oti Mabuse’s musical dating show Romeo & DuetKrediet: Getty

Center Parcs’ new advert absolutely murdering Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life.

Regoor die wêreld In 80 Days stopping in its tracks to lecture us all about mental health.

And the sight of Sue Perkins vanishing into the woods, on her Big American Road Trip, with a roll of toilet paper and a trowel, which can mean only one thing.

Series three of Hitmen, incoming.


Groot sportinsigte

Robbie Savage: “The strikers will be looking at that, rubbing their lips.”

Paul Merson: “It was a game worthy of winning any goal.”

Jay Bothroyd: “The football in Japan is, as you’d expect, really nippy.”

(Saamgestel deur Graham Wray)


Stopping time

ON BBC1’s landmark series The Planets, Professor Brian Cox argued the only effective way of stopping time would be to travel 48million miles to the hot, lifeless planet of Mercury, which exists in a spin orbit resonance with the sun, meaning it rotates precisely three times on its axis for every two orbits.

So, if you walked slowly across its surface, at a steady two miles per hour, while keeping the sun at exactly the same point “you would have stopped time and a day would never pass”.

Professor Brian Cox argued the only effective way of stopping time would be to travel 48million miles to the hot, lifeless planet of Mercury

Professor Brian Cox argued the only effective way of stopping time would be to travel 48million miles to the hot, lifeless planet of MercuryKrediet: WAARSKUWING: Die gebruik van hierdie kopieregbeeld is onderhewig aan die gebruiksvoorwaardes van BBC Pictures’ Syfer

Conclusion: Professor Brian Cox has never tried watching BBC1 drama Rules Of The Game.

A bit of olive oil

TELLY quiz.

On what show would you have heard the following: “I’m thinking of getting a really hot frying pan and tossing over a bit of olive oil?”

Cartoon characters Bluto, Olive Oyl and Popeye

Cartoon characters Bluto, Olive Oyl and PopeyeKrediet: Alamy

A) Rick Stein mentally preparing a seafood pasta dish on Saturday Kitchen Live?

B) The Adventures Of ­Popeye?


INCIDENTALLY, I’m all for in-jokes and teasing the audience with a comedy title.

But come on . . . 

Romesh Ranganathan: Avoidance?

It’s bloody impossible, is dit nie?


TV gold

BBC2’s This Is Joan Collins.

The ability of BBC2’s Michaela Strachan to tell Winterwatch viewers: “There’s never a beaver around when you want one, is there?” without even blinking.

Diane “Kath” Morgan acting all of the other After Life regulars into panto.

And the landmark performance that put Bez straight through to the second round of Dancing On Ice.

Even if it did open up the faintly terrifying prospect of placing Shaun Ryder and Gazza in the same studio audience.

Good luck with that one, ITV.

Lookalike van die week

THIS week’s winner is New World Order comedian Susie McCabe and Earthy Mangold from Worzel Gummidge (what do you mean “a bit niche?”).

Emailed in by Paul Burkett, of Millwall.

Comedian Susie McCabe, links, and Mangold from Worzel Gummidge

Comedian Susie McCabe, links, and Mangold from Worzel Gummidge

Beeldnavorsing: Amy Reading

Inside Dancing On Ice star Bez’s countryside cottage where he’s isolating after positive Covid test