Tag Archives: Television

Network (1976 dir. Sidney Lumet)

14 Feb

In the rain, sharply-scripted thesps satiarise the awfulness of television.


REVEALED: The truth behind Wacaday’s demise

28 Jan

By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings

Twenty years after it left the nation’s television screens, Wacaday still remains in the hearts and minds of the twenty and thirty-somethings that woke up to it all those years ago.

But why did it suddenly disappear without a trace, leaving a gap in the UK’s cultural psyche in 1992?

Until the advent of the internet, no one knew the truth, nor were particularly interested. However, small communities of file sharers and collectors began springing up when episodes of Wacaday started to become hot binary code for nostalgia hunters. People began to exchange their own theories about why the show, which ran for eight years, ceased to exist.

Gone but not forgotten: Wacaday

Pop Peelings has secured an exclusive preview of a new book written by with the show’s producer, Richard Wilkes, who also wrote the lyrics to the second verse of the classic Wacaday theme song. ‘Men And Mallets: The Wacaday Legacy’ will be published in November this year and is hotly tipped to be a bestseller.

In it, Wilkes speaks of a phenomenon made possible by the insatiable drive and determination of its host, Timothy Mallet, who was hellbent on filling the sizable shoes of Roland Rat with the highest quality television of the 80s.

He worked furiously to get the first series out, even demanding his own mother make the original stuffed mallet by hand, one stitch at a time.

Mr Mallet saw the creation of the Wide Awake Club as a means to inspire under privaleged children to a better life in post-Thatcher recession hit Britain, essentially a Hitler Youth for the Ninja Turtles generation. It worked. At its peak, the Wide Awake Club boasted over 21 million members. Ex-members included Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher from Eastenders), Paul Gascoigne and prime minister David Cameron. They are interviewed extensively in Wilkes’ book, along with a host of other celebrities.

The demands of the show soon took their toll. Six series a year and each featuring Mallet’s patented brand of gonzo journalism within a different country is no easy feat to say the least. One heart-breaking chapter details his capture and brutal torture in Burma at the hands of government soldiers suspecting his anarchic spectacles and hawaiian shirts as the uniform of a spy. Defiant through and through, Mallet remained tight-lipped throughout the 48 hour ordeal, apart from screaming his well-known catchphrase ‘bleugh’ each time a finger was broken or a testicle electrocuted.

Hell: Burma '89

Mr Mallet always had an acute anxiety around children, revealing in a later chapter of ‘Men And Mallets’ how this paedophobia, as it’s officially termed, may have been caused by watching a pirate copy of The Exorcist at a birthday party in 1984. Perhaps this is why he wanted to degrade and humiliate children on live television, as well as cause physical damage to their craniums with his sponge mallet. When the court cases started after distraught parents caught their children acting out the wacaday quiz with real garden tools, not even colourful shirts and travel trivia could save Mr Mallet. He was finally pushed over the edge.

He turned to drugs.

‘Tim’s energy wasn’t simply the blind desperation for a paycheck and a foot on the career ladder like so many children’s entertainers perpetuate,’ writes Wilkes in chapter 185. ‘His cocaine use reached legendary proportions during the later years. He was so high once he tried to buy a bus ticket using a wad of fake prop plasters from the Wacaday quiz as currency.’

TV executives thought bringing in a co-host, Michaela Strachan, would aleviate the pressure from Mr Mallet so he could focus on dealing with his demons. The plan backfired. Mallet saw her as a threat to his ideology and territory, and went out of his way to make life unbarable for her at all times. Mrs Strachan gives a heart-breaking testimonial in chapter 359 about her time on Wacaday:

‘He was awful. He kept calling me Challenge Anneka, after Anneka Rice who he was obsessed with, and thought I closely resembled. I failed to see the likeness, and this only riled Tim further.’

Bullied: Michaela Strachan in 1988

‘At his lowest point, before we went live in the mornings, he’d burst into my dressing room with white powder all over his face, screaming obscenities.’

‘ “Oi, Challenge Anneka!” he’d holler, clutching his genitals through the open fly of his surf shorts. “I’ve got something you can find, right here. The clue is it’s massive and swings between Timmy Mallet’s legs. Where’s your go kart and helicopter?!” ‘

Having alienated all those close to both himself and the show, Mr Mallet soon found himself on the receiving end of several court injunctions, banning him from coming within a hundred miles of Anneka Rice and any television studio in the British Isles. He had hammered the nails into his own coffin, effectively ending Wacaday and his entire broadcasting career by 1992.

A short-lived foray into popular music happened soon after, with Mr Mallet seeking to broaden his fanbase beyond 6-8 year old school children on their summer holidays. It failed. The world simply wasn’t ready to hear about women’s novelty beach attire through song.

Breakdown: Living rough in 1998

What is life like in 2012 for the man that gave us Wacaday?

Mr Mallet does not hold back, taking up the final 746 pages of ‘Men And Mallets’ with a damning indictment of an existence filled with student unions, old Anneka Rice photographs taken from the bushes outside her bungalow and grieving over Magic, the deceased Wacaday cockatiel.

Despite its tragic demise, one might wonder what impact Wacaday may have had on contemporary Britain if it was still broadcasting. Would we have so many teen pregnancies? Would we have so many young men being stabbed in the stomach or shot in the head at close range? Would we have had mass rioting in 2011? Would Peter Andre still be on television sets across the nation? We will never know. But what is clear and undisputable is that Wacaday may be gone but it will never be forgotten.

The Reaping (2007 dir. Stephen Hopkins)

7 Jan

Like The Omen with a vagina amongst Jerry Springer archetypes, with additional cheapo CGI.


CV Tip #72 (Soaps)

18 Sep

It’s never a good idea to put a photo of yourself on a CV or covering letter for an application in the UK, even if you happen to be easy on the eyes. It just isn’t the done thing.

So, avoid doing this at all possible costs if you look a fucking main cast member from the Australian soap opera Prisoner: Cell Block H.

The Worst Albums Ever Made – The Pop Videos Of David Hasselhoff

29 Aug

By Slick Nick


I would love to one day be able to write about a single Hoff album, keeping with the tradition of this blog category. Sadly, at the time of writing, I had blown my free Spotify hours for the month on Craig David, and surprisingly there are barely any seeders at all on Pirateybay.org for the Baywatch legend’s recorded material.

Having said that, after looking at some of David’s pop videos on YouTube, it seems his art is equal part visual spectacle. Seeing David perform these songs, as well as just listening to the music itself, is something I believe all aspiring music critics should put themselves through. It’s pretty hard to imagine how bad music can actually get until you’ve watched even just ten seconds of one of these videos. With that being said, I’m sure the following songs were featured on some of the worst albums ever made.

How could a man like this make bad music?

David has been a surprisingly prolific recording artist, given his TV star background. His first album came out in 1985 and he hasn’t really stopped since, much to the delight of his fanbase which encompasses German-speaking Europeans only. The singles began in 1989 and continued until the mid-nineties, where he had something of a hiatus, coming back with a bang in the mid-noughties.

I cannot imbed videos into my blog at this point in time, and I think to want to do so I would need a more worthy cause than David Hasselhoff’s music. None the less, I am happy to link to them below.

‘Looking For Freedom’ (1989) CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

This appears to be the debut single/video in which David yearns for freedom after a very privaleged upbringing. The verses are not the song’s strong points by any means, so it relies heavily on its gospel-tinged power choruses to get by.

The whole thing is very eighties – including smoke machines and clips of Knight Rider, which are intercut or faded over David in quite an obvious and cheap-looking studio set. The set with the white trees and purple background looks like something out of a NEXT catalogue from twenty years ago and is therefore completely appropriate for this video.

Whilst the song is by no means a classic, it does showcase David’s very limited vocal range perfectly, and offers a relatively catchy chorus and dance beat.

You'll be looking for freedom too after enduring this

‘Our First Night Together’ (1989) CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

This is more familiar territory – a mindfuckingly awful song, which also happens to be some kind of a duet with a quite unremarkable blonde. Terrible singing, both singularly and in partnership, underpin a tune-free bore. The chord changes in the choruses are far too ambitious for such a lifeless husk of a pop song as well.

David and skirt should have built the song up to end with some harmonies, but they don’t even bother to do that.

The video itself is an oddity; tonally uneven, and making little sense. There appears to be a camera crew in the narrative actually making the video as the viewer watches it. They start off in a car, then it jumps to the two leads in concert together, complete with David rocking hard with an electric guitar (probably not even plugged in). There only appears to be a few dozen revellers at the event though, which is a lot considering how bad the music is. It’s really as crap as an obscure Eurovision entry and not something I’d recommend.

The cover, rather than the single, helped album sales

‘Flying On The Wings Of Tenderness’ (1990) CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

David gets serious here, with an ode to his one true love. Though since no other characters are present, I assume he’s really singing this to himself, clumsy metaphors and all.

It’s a very slow, tedious song with appalling lyrics, shameful for a man with such a sturdy liver as the Hoff.

To make matters worse, the video is very low budget and uninspired, with just David on his lonesome singing on the beach. Occasionally a shot of a goose in flight appears faded over David, which I think lessens any minute impact this might have had.

Finally, the title itself is a shocker. The more I read it, the more ludicrous it seems. It just makes no sense on any conceivable level at all, particularly when underpinned by the flying goose clips.

All the single and album front covers used the same photo

‘Crazy For You’ (1990) CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

This is a light-hearted song, reminiscent of the Stocks, Waterman & Aitken guff that was around at the time. The chrous is remarkable only for ripping off ‘YMCA’ by the Village People. Out of all the hundreds of millions of recorded songs that had to be in existence in 1990, they could havw chosen a better one to copy than that one.

The song itself is very feminine; it could easily have sat on a Kylie Minogue album. Some of the images in the video are the opposite though, with David being seen riding a gigantic motorcycle. It’s an interesting juxtaposition probably lost on its audience at the time.

When David arrives at a fairground, off he gets from the bike and out pops a dog from a satchel, which then ends up pressing the ‘start’ button on the abandoned rollercoaster David has found himself on. I’d love to know what the fuck they were smoking when they imagined that as a concept. Why is the rollercoaster deserted in the first place? That just suggests that David is so unpopular as a recording artist, and he was, that he could clear leisure areas of humanity just by turning up there.

David is crazy for someone who seems to be returning the affection, so there is no conflict or heart in this song. It exists solely as a carbon copy of one of the shittest disco songs ever written.

Such a shame he's not currently making an album

TOWIE’s Nanny Pat ‘devastated’ after missing special Werther’s Original deal by one day

4 Jul

By Slick Nick

Friends and family members have been offering support to Nanny Pat after the ancient cockney appeared to miss out on the retail deal of a lifetime by a mere 24 hours.

The star and creator of hit reality TV series The Only Way Is Essex visited a Colchester branch of ASDA earlier in the week, only to be confronted with the news that just a day earlier, a generous three-for-one offer on Werther’s Original had expired. It is thought that this amount of confectionary would have lasted Ms Pat all the way up until mid August.

Ms Pat, who was due to celebrate her 103rd birthday later this year by attending a Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown concert at Southend Pier, is said to be ‘inconsolable’.

Matriarch: Nanny Pat delivers home baked treats to a mystery male suitor in TOWIE season 4 ep. 19

Within hours of the news breaking, various TOWIE cast members descended upon the Pat estate in Chigwell, Essex, to help the wrinkled female through this difficult time, including Tanned Bloke 03, Tanned Bloke 05, Titted Brunette 12, Titted Blonde 02 and surprisingly Younger Titted Brunette 04.

Insiders have confirmed that so far, old photograph albums and a video of a family Christening from 1994 have been watched with Ms Pat in order to bring some solace. They have also sat through the two most recent Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown DVDs.

Neighbour Richard Wilkes, 50, dropped his crossword puzzle as soon as he heard about Ms Pat’s ordeal to offer his support.

He said: ‘She really is in a bad way. No matter what we all try, she just sits there motionless, almost totally withdrawn from reality.’

‘Not even racist comedy seemed to cheer her up.’

Nanny Pat can be seen baking and smoking in series fiften of The Only Way Is Essex due to air this Autumn.

Adrian Chiles WILL legally change name to ‘Unnamed Premiership Footballer’ to improve chances with women

13 Jun

By Slick Nick

When a man and woman come together in the act of love, it can be a beautiful thing, however some of us appear to have been dealt differing hands when it comes to the ability to attract the opposite sex. Perhaps this is why veteran television presenter Adrian Chiles has finally decided, after days of speculation, to go ‘all in’ with a complete overhaul of his name.

The unfortunately-faced caucasian, 56, will from the 23rd June this year be known legally as Mr Unnamed Premiership Footballer Chiles, relenquishing his maiden name in the hope of enjoying easier access to female reproductive organs.

Forsaken: Even a mother would struggle to love this face

He said: ‘I am fed up of never having any luck with women.’

‘Having read the papers lately, it seems all these chaps that are always ball-deep in skirt have one thing in common – their name.’

Mr Chiles also attributes much of his career failings, as well as an unhealthy addiction to strawberry Yop, on the seemingly inhuman features he was bestowed upon at birth. Having once been tipped to win the much lauded ‘presenter of the year’ award at now-defunct TV Quick magazine, he now scrapes a living by hosting virtually pointless shows that very few people watch or have even heard of.

One of Mr Chiles’s very few friends, weapons dealer Richard Wilkes, has witnessed the rise and fall first hand.

He commented: ‘I’ve seen Adrian clear entire rooms of humanity. People would do well to remember that he is also thoroughly unlikable on a personal level, as well as having a frankly nightmarish face.’

Glory days: A young Chiles anchors ITV's coverage of the 1990 World Cup

So is Mr Chiles counting down the days until the big day?

He went on: ‘I cannot fucking wait to get out there and start sowing my seed. You can never have too many Adrian Chiles in the world.’

‘Plus in 1996 Gary Lineker bet me I’d never get to use the packet of Durex Extra Tingly condoms I’ve had in my bedside drawer all these years.’

‘Well big ears, if you’re reading, the joke’s on you now!’

Adrian Chiles as we know him can be seen struggling to capture viewers’ attention on ITV’s rivetting Daybreak program on weekday mornings.

Gordon Ramsey Set To Visit ALL Berkshire KFC Outlets In New TV Show

6 Jun

By Slick Nick

Can it be that the most aggressive apron-wearing alpha male on our TV screens is getting a little homesick? With Gordon Ramsey’s latest planned vehicle set to encompass the finest local cuisines in the UK, it would certainly appear so.

Having seen the cook travel to the furthest corners of the world to eat some of the most mindfuckingly disgusting things imaginable, it will come as a surprise to see him take on the menus in every KFC restaurant located in the Berkshire area of southern England as part of a brand new television show.

'Bitch be cool!': Ramsey displays his exemplary managerial techniques under pressure

The ambitious 10-part series will see Ramsey, 67, visit the fast-food outlets in such obscure locations as Slough, Datchet and Maidenhead, with one particularly tense episode showing the production team struggling to find a parking space in Reading town center.

The wrinkled chef will take part in preparing the contents of Bargain Buckets before giving his expert opinion on the food. The highest mark available is the patented ‘fucking delicious’ grade; as close to perfection as steroid-heavy meat and connective tissue can get. The star has also volunteered to live in similarly sparse conditions to his recent globe-trotting experiences. These ‘Holiday Inn hotels‘ as natives refer to them do not, in many cases, even provide power showers or widescreen televisions for guests.

Moderation: A Bracknell chicken enthusiast finishes another life-threatening meal

Producers at Channel 4 are hoping the show, yet to be titled, will be as popular as Ramsey’s other vehicles.

Richard Wilkes, Senior Vice President of Programming at the station, said: ‘There are only so many times you can show a failed footballer eating dogshit sandwiches in extremely hot countries before audiences quite literally switch off. We think bringing the concept back to the UK will be of great interest to the public.’

‘Don’t assume all recipes are the same in each restaurant either. The difference in salt and hair found in some of the western Berkshire outlets gives their meals a quaint, charming local flavour.’

Gordon Ramsey’s latest book, ‘How To Fucking Cook A Fucking Good Meal’, is out now and available from all good bed & breakfast reception areas.

Jeremy Kyle guest gets own ITV2 show

23 May

By Slick Nick

ITV2 continues to quench its audience’s thirst for watching real people living real lives as a board meeting for shareholders revealed plans for the next gripping instalment of the network’s ‘Next Chapter’ series.

Richard Wilkes, 50, who appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show at the end of 2010 in a 15-minute segment, is set to star in Richard Wilkes: The Next Chapter. Filming of the first series, set to run for 38 episodes, is well under way, and sees a camera crew following the unemployed ex-offender around as he goes about his daily routine of drinking, gambling and courting women whose skin and hair have seen better days.

Set for stardom: Wilkes defiantly throws the 'Westside' gang symbol for fans

Mr Wilkes’ appearance on the popular talk show in November last year was notable for being a rare segment of humour, as he sat the infamous lie detector test not to examine his fidelity, but to confirm to one of his numerous ex-girlfriends whether he drank her final 3L bottle of Blackthorn cider for breakfast. Though he denied it initially, as the seconds approached for the results to be revealed, Wilkes stopped the show to make a tearful confession that he had in fact been the culprit. Endeared to the daytime TV audience for ever, the next months saw him make appearances in Heat magazine and sign a deal with Peter Andre’s publicist.

Moral majority: Kyle thinks the show will be anything but pants

A spokesman for ITV2 said: ‘We have invested heavily in this new program and strongly believe it will be a roaring success.’

‘Just look at how popular our other ‘Next Chapter’ shows are about unemployed alcoholics with fuck-all of interest to say. The difference is that now our viewers can truely watch one of their own in the limelight.’

Talk-show host Jeremy Kyle himself was unavailable for comment but is said to be ‘fully behind’ the program, even offering Mr Wilkes the use of the show’s ageing man servant Graham incase the trappings of fame become too psychologically overwhelming.

‘Richard Wilkes: The Next Chapter’ will be premiering on ITV2 later this year with a double-bill. Bet you cannot fucking wait, can you?

RELIEF: ‘suspicious package’ sent to Jason Gardiner turns out to be forgotten Coleen Nolan biography from eBay

16 May

By Slick Nick

After days of intense speculation, a suspicious package sent to the home of Celebrity Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner has turned out to be a forgotten eBay win.

The homosexual, 61, playing the role of ‘arsehole’ on the show which apparently gives celebrity status to any no-mark that’s happened to thumb through a copy of Heat magazine, had come to the conclusion that the parcel contained a bomb.

He said: ‘I am dislikable and relevant enough to have threats on my life. Honestly.’

Flatcaps maketh the man?

The parcel arrived this past Thursday at Gardiner’s home address via recorded delivery, after which the police, MI5 and the FBI were alerted to the events. These organisations repordly then told The ITV star to ‘stop wasting their fucking time.’

Thankfully, the parcel only contained the slightly less life-threatening hardback book detailing the highs and mostly lows of tedious daytime TV queen Coleen Nolan. The 984-page biography was won in an eBay auction three weeks prior to the delivery, from a seller with only six previous transactions. The inexperience of such an individual led Gardiner to incorrectly suspect that the item would never actually arrive.

Popular: 99 used copies available on Amazon for £0.01

He continued: ‘I am so happy to have been proven wrong.’

‘Not only has my body not been decimated by an explosive device, but now I have an excellent book to read at bedtime. As a bonus, the package also contained enough bubble-wrap to keep me entertained for days on end.’

Gardiner’s management went on to confirm that the expert in telling people how shit they are at ice skating is now in two minds on whether or not to write a positive review for eBay member Anakin_8353, such was the delay in delivery.

Jason Gardiner’s instructional ice skating DVD will be available from all good Chinese take-aways in early June.

BREAKING NEWS: Amy Childs wears clothes to nightclub

3 Apr

By Slick Nick

Amy Childs, star of hit television show The Only Way is Essex, recently took onlookers by surprise as she wore clothes to a nightclub.

The sperm rescepticle, 32, was seen wearing the clothing at the Bromley Liquid nightclub this Saturday, in a publicity stunt insiders describe as impressing ‘very few’.

Miss Childs arrived in a licensed mini cab wearing a dress, shoes and hair extensions. It is strongly suspected that these items were purchased at a generic high street retailer such as Next or River Island, only days before the night out. The clothes were likely made using child labour within a far away land in order to achieve a more competitive price point.

The rest of the evening did not see any other newsworthy incidents.

The female shot to fame earlier this year after appearing in a television show carefully disguised as reality TV, despite each scene having about five different perfectly set up camera angles. It featured largely vacuous individuals who looked much older than their years socialising and fucking, and ran for a staggering 153 episodes, winning no awards.

When asked about the clothing incident, Miss Childs was reluctant to comment.

She said: ‘I just wanted a night out after studying at my government-funded adult literacy course all week.’

‘Now excuse me as I need to have my photo taken with someone else that has done very little to get so much press coverage.’

Amy Childs will soon be embarking on a UK-wide tour giving motivational business talks at hair salons.



Scrooged (1988)

30 Dec

Arsehole TV exec type patronises ethnic minorities after supernatural encounters.


Apprentice’s Stuart Baggs denies rumours of McDonald’s visit

27 Dec

By Slick Nick

Stuart Baggs, recent runner-up on the hit BBC reality TV show The Apprentice, has firmly denied recent speculations that he walked into a McDonald’s restaurant and ordered an extra value meal.

The business mogul and professional bullshitter is said to have visited a Surrey outlet at approximately 11.30am on 23rd December, which would have meant the breakfast menu would have been unavailable at the time.

He said: ‘Do I look like the kind of guy that eats in McDonald’s? I’ve got businesses to run, deals to make and yo-yos to sell!’

‘I hate McDonald’s; it’s full of poor people. Plus, it’s not really the kind of food my business mind needs for nourishment.’

‘Do you think Peter Jones or Rod Stewart would be seen dead eating a Big Mac? Fuck no.’

The child, who shot to fame earlier this year as being one of the more unlikable contestants on a show which features largely unlikable business types, was severely criticised by Lord Alan Sugar for telling fibs about his business prowess.

Baggs continued: ‘I admit that me and Al didn’t see eye-to-eye on a few things, but I suppose it’s for the best that I didn’t end up working for him.’

‘For one thing, he reminds me of Sid James from the Carry On movies. I’d never be able to keep a straight face in the office.’

‘Fuck him and his cheap computers.’

Stuart Baggs’ business guide ‘How To Sell Rubbish That People Don’t Really Need Whilst Generally Being A Bit Of A Cunt’ was released in time for Christmas to largely disappointing reviews.

Too much alcohol causes mild hangover for Kerry Katona

24 Dec

By Slick Nick

This morning, reality TV royal Kerry Katona was suffering a mild hangover following a night of drinking alcohol.

The divorcee had consumed one bottle of wine and two bottles of WKD on a night some insiders claim to be ‘unremarkable.’

She said: ‘I forgot to drink water before going to bed. It was a rookie mistake which I am ashamed of.’

The hangover, likely caused by a loss of water and potassium, is not something Ms Katona is a stranger to.

‘My mum used to make her own Moonshine in a neighbour’s garden when we were kids. Drinking this saved us a load of money, and helped me confront bullies in school with a more confident swagger.’

‘I am just relieved I stopped at two WKDs. Anymore and I might have felt a bit rough all the way up to 11am!’

Kerry Katona’s book ‘How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Cheap Frozen Appetisers’ is available now from all good motorway service stations.

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