OK! TV and Extraordinary Dogs
ALASDAIR PAL watches Channel Five so you don’t have to.
I know what you’re all thinking. And I’m sorry. It was unprofessional of me, and today I want to put it right.
No longer will Channel Five be ignored in this column. I was saving it for a special occasion, you see. And what an occasion.
The launch of OK! TV (Demand5) is media magnate Richard Desmond’s attempt to cross-pollinate content across all his platforms. Desmond, as you may or may not know, owns the Express, Star, OK! magazine and until recently, the slightly more niche Fifty Plus, Big and Black, Only 18, Mothers-in-Law, The Very Best of Mega Boobs, and Spunk Loving Sluts.
Things on OK! TV, however, move at a slightly less thrusting pace. Unsurprising when you consider their star presenter – Denise van Outen, since you asked – pulled out just days before the launch.
Big, white, high-heeled shoes to fill, I know. So how did Kate Walsh and Matt Johnson get on?
The answer is in the picture above. It’s painful, but try and look at it without squinting. Do that for 35 minutes and you’re about there, albeit with a bit less movement.
“We’re here every night”, shouts Matt, trying to be upbeat but instead sounding like an embattled pikeman at a siege. Kate grins like a llama, and scans the set for some lichen.
Their first guest is Louis Walsh, all grey hair, grey eyes, grey teeth and socks. He looks like a little charcoal smudge, next to two tangerine smudges, on a sheet of red sugar paper.
Walsh is the first to turn the screw.
“I hear you’ve been on your holidays… did you go anywhere nice?”
“Miami”, he says.
“Do anything fun like waterskiing?”
“No… I just like to read and watch TV”.
And that’s about it, really. Celebrity gossip is compelling when it’s bitchy, or witty, or plain bizarre. But Patsy Kensit plugging Robinson’s Fruit Shoot isn’t interesting for me. They’re not even that nice anyway.
From one half-hour of glistening gnashers to another: Extraordinary Dogs (Demand5), a programme at least partially aware of its own naffness.
It’s basically endless VT of dogs: dogs hunting for salmon in a Canadian stream; dogs standing on the front of a speedboat; dogs sniffing out cancer, that sort of thing.
This week’s episode featured Scamp, a miniature schnauzer from an Idaho rest home that can predict the deaths of its relatives. He’s done 40 since he’s been there – that’s a 50% success rate!
So what’s the evidence then? According to his owner, when someone was about to hop it he “repeatedly barked”.
I’m sold. And besides, any show about canines that has an expert called Professor Ruffman is worth at least half a star.