Tag Archives: Channel 4

The Telly Chronicles, Part Four

11 Mar

The great (Sun)day arrived – we were off to London to be Channel Four’s Big Breakfast’s Family of the Week!

Big Breakfast

Big Breakfast (Photo credit: kaige)

But not before a hundred phone calls from the production team: bring family videos (all twenty of them)/ photographs/your jar of buttons/the soap maker/as much crap as you can carry on a train with a suitcase each and two kids.  The idea was that we would have everything with us that they might need to illustrate how interesting/funny/weird we are.

We arrived at Stockport station forty minutes early (there was no way I was missing that train).  On board, we discovered our reserved seats were four separate singles.  Tory Boy was eleven and Spud six and we are not the kind of parents to leave our kids alone and so, according to my notes of the day, I complained loud and long and several scared-looking passengers quickly vacated a table area, making four seats together suddenly available.

I’d forgotten that handsel moment.  Thank you, note-taking younger me.

We spent the whole journey shushing the kids because we were in a quiet carriage.  That was back in the days when mobiles were only madly popular instead of ubiquitous and people still obeyed Be Quiet signs.  I did manage to chat to some people and tell them – to the Hub’s intense irritation – that we were traveling to London to be on Big Brother.  Little Spud made us laugh by saying it was an easy mistake to make because they both begin with ‘The’.

We arrived at the hotel – basic but clean – dumped the cases and popped next door to The Beefeater, as instructed, to avoid being the Famished of the Week.   We and TBB had forgotten it was Mother’s Day.  There was no room at the inn.

English: Replica Big Breakfast House. In May 1...

GUESS I’M NOT THE ONLY PERSON TO GET CONFUSED (read the caption carefully)  English: Replica Big Breakfast House. In May 1994 the Big Breakfast caused national mayhem when it ran a competition to win an exact replica of the Big Breakfast house being built in Telford. Gillian Baker from Grimsby who won the house spent a two week holiday there before selling it for £64,000. It has now been converted into three flats. Click on the link for the real Big Brother House: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/289540 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We informed them we were Channel Four’s The Big Breakfast’s Family of the Week and, as they wanted Channel Four’s The Big Breakfast’s business, they squeezed us in.  It’s easy when you have connections. 

But still a long wait – we finally ate their leftovers some time after ten p.m.  It was average but filling and we weren’t paying so no point complaining.

We fell into bed around eleven, exhausted, and slept for at least four hours before being woken by the alarm…Telly day had arrived!

As a matter of interest, which I only discovered on digging out the scrap book, it was exactly eleven years ago today that we first appeared on The Big Breakfast. How weird is that?  Eleven years ago today, it was also a Monday.


Yesterday’s word was gangrel: I took the second meaning, wandering beggar; vagabond; vagrant.

The first meaning is a lanky, loose-jointed person.  So not me, in any of those descriptions.


Big Brothers

25 Jan

I haven’t watched Big Brother since the third series but I thought I would give this one a go as it’s the last Celebrity BB, and I have to admit that I am enjoying it.  It helps that the Hub is an amateur psychologist and that he reads body language like an expert: he predicted when the inmates would turn on each other, who would bully whom, what the micro-expressions were saying about their real feelings, and so on.  I think the reason I have really enjoyed it, however, is because there has been little in the way of arguments or nastiness, and the contestants might want more public exposure but at least none of them appear to be freaks.

I particularly enjoyed the cake episode.  I would show it to you but Channel 4 have blocked it on You Tube in this country.  What happened was this: Dane performed a secret task and was rewarded in the Diary Room with champagne and cake.  He was also told he could nominate someone else to receive a piece of cake.  He chose Stephanie.  When she sat in the BB chair, a hatch opened above her head and cake dropped on her; then she was free to leave the Diary Room and tell what had happened.  Each housemate was then called separately to the Diary Room.  Knowing what had happened to Stephanie, their anxiety was hilarious to watch, especially when Big Brother ordered them to move so they were directly under the hatch.  No-one else was caked, however.  Then Stephanie was called back, having bathed and changed, and was caked again.  It was much funnier to watch than it reads here.  My reason for mentioning it was that it was a perfect example of how terrorism works: one person was targeted and the rest feared the same thing would happen to them; it didn’t actually have to happen to anyone else to create an atmosphere of anxiety.

It is amazing how quickly housemates can turn on each other (especially, as I know from experience, when food is involved).  I saw it for myself this weekend: Tory Boy couldn’t make it last week for Spud’s birthday so he came this week instead.  He took Spud into Manchester for the day, buying him a City shirt with his name on; lunch (an I’m-shopping-in-Manchester-with-my-brother-and-we’re-having-a-great-day Sub – there really is a Sub for every occasion); taking him to the cool shops to spend his own money; and lending him the price of Batman Begins.

That was Saturday, when TB was the best big brother in the world.  Sunday, they were at war.  I won’t go into detail – having lost interest three seconds into their respective whinges – but it came to a head with sixty knocks in sixty seconds on one bedroom door and a retaliatory sixty texts in sixty seconds received on one phone; or it might have been the other way round.  Who cares?  At least there was no violence involved.

Tory Boy left last night and Spud complained five minutes later that he was missing him.  Brothers!

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