Couch Potato: ITV2 obsessed with Mark Wright and The Voice goes all Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart...

BATTLES: The Voice
BATTLES: The Voice

ITV2. Bless their cotton socks.

They still haven’t given up hope of making Mark Wright their torch bearer.

He’s fronted a Take Me Out spin-off show, been snuck this month onto The Big Reunion and The Brits: Backstage and was even sent to Hollywood with his mates, in 2012, for some structured reality cobblers watched by me and at least 17 others.

Give it up as a bad job, you’d think they’d conclude.

But this is ITV2, TV’s dumbest channel.

So we now have Party Wright Around The World, a series made to fit the title, which began with a large animated wooden crate dropped on him from a great height.

The good ideas ended there, sadly. On first glance anyway.

“He’s on a mission,” you see, “to sprinkle his Essex party magic around the world,” by organising shindigs for deserving cases.

Television for television’s sake.

Armed with the mantra that “you need people to make a good party” (you don’t say?) he headed to Miami’s gay scene to organise a birthday bash for fun-loving Joanna - who came with a sob story, naturally - and predictably started vocalising the show’s own review.

“I would rather this episode not go ahead.”

“This was an absolute disaster.”

“This is absolutely obscene. This is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe what I’m doing here.”

Yet with these words, astonishingly, a point to all this emerged.

No, really.

Unlike Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights, the producers have made him the butt of the joke.

So what transpired was an hour of the stooge resisting calls to dress up in drag and dance Latino style “with four left feet” for Joanna.

Without which, the narrator informed us, the night just wouldn’t be the same: “The party is two days away but Mark can’t turn up without being able to salsa.”

No further explanation was given.

But behind his back the crew started working wonders to royally stitch him up.

The salsa troupe Wright had booked were mysterious no-shows and Corrie’s Michelle Keegan was phoned to persuade her fiancé to become drag queen “Marquita”, who looked weirdly styled on Peter Andre.

And the little trooper took the bait, albeit under protest: “This is a bit uncomfortable for me.”

“I feel very uncomfortable doing it.”

“The thought of it makes me extremely uncomfortable.”

“Dressing up as a woman is something I was very, very uncomfortable with.”

Well then why didn’t you say?

Of course, televised party planning with an Essex plank is clearly a stupid idea, even for ITV2.

And no TV vehicle given to Mark Wright is ever going to work.

But, whisper it, if they do this to him every time, I might be in danger of staying tuned.

At least for this week’s episode which sees him sleeping wild in the bear-infested Canadian wilderness.

Which might make him feel... what’s the word, Mark?



Outlandish pop star comparisons on The Voice last night.

“Jermain has this Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder vibe.” “Jimmy’s got this Bryan Adams-type rock voice.” “You sounded like Rod Stewart.”

None, though, as ridiculous as Ricky Wilson telling viewers: “You’re in for a treat.”

We’re in for 2h 10min of synchronised shouting, Ricky, or “battle rounds” officially. And that’s only half the buggers.

It does, however, explain Kylie telling Nomakhosi: “You could sing the phonebook.”

She could sing it twice from start to finish on this show.


This week’s Best Programme Information award goes to...

Nat Geo’s Evacuate Earth: “Experts examine if a pandemic caused by a mutated rabies virus could turn humanity into a race of vicious, seething zombies...”

With hilarious consequences.


A first for EastEnders this week. Max Branning was having trouble with his washing machine.

Thereby giving the local Hotpoint repairman his first callout since 1985.

Still, nothing makes sense. A quick shot of his mobile phonebook revealed Jake and John under the Js, yet curiously no entry for brother Jack or nephew Joey.

Worse, Stacey Slater’s return has gone from funny - her Dick Turpin routine, scarpering while hiding her face with a scarf - to the same old ludicrous flannel, with the wanted knifewoman visiting jail with no one batting an eyelid.

Line of the week? Billy Mitchell: “I’ve only got a little ladder and I ain’t a lesbian.”

So he’ll not be getting a decent storyline anytime soon.


An assured performance by Rangers manager Ally McCoist on Sky Sports News: “I’ve been assured that the club will not go into administration again.

“That’s what I’ve been assured. Which is obviously very reassuring.”

Sure is.


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Keeley Hawes in the increasingly brilliant Line of Duty.

Ant & Dec’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Out Of Me Ear genius on Saturday Night Takeaway.

All-Star Family Fortunes revealing Sinitta has an aunt named Pearly Gates.

Andi Peters’ The Big Reunion narration on A1’s split: “Like the others, Mark became the sponge layer in a vast trifle of despair.”

South Korea’s Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony performance mercifully omitting Gangnam Style.

And Take Me Out’s greatest putdown...

Jason: “If you come on a date to my house, I would get to Asda, massive pizza, three quid, bottle of wine for a tenner, that’s 13 quid. Bang!”

Sophie: “So how long have you been single?”



This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

Sport Relief bizarrely adding to TV’s dogs obsession with a pro-celebrity handlers show.

Top Gear booking Jack Whitehall as its Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, despite the small detail he cannot drive, bozos.

BBC News imagining anyone gives a damn about an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical flop.

This Morning’s inability to spell “Ecstacy”.

Snowboarder Jenny Jones keeping her winter hat on in every TV studio.

And dreadful BBC3 crimper contest Hair which, going by host Steve Jones’ past form with US X Factor, needs a name tweak.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.


Hazel Irvine at the Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony: “The flag-bearers enter appropriately to the tune There’s No Limit, which appears to be the thinking now for Team GB.”

Yeah, who knows? Four years from now in Korea we might even win two gold medals.


For a fortnight, poor Matt Baker had to struggle with female guest presenters who can, contrary to The One Show host qualification standards, actually string two words together.

Normal business was resumed on Tuesday, however, with Alex Jones’ return from a Sport Relief trip to typhoon-hit Philippines.

In your own words, Alex: “I was there looking at the effects of the deva-tasting... deva-stacey... it’s been a long day.”

Blame the jetlag. The following night?

“Welcome to The One Show with my very best buddy Matt Smith... Matt Baker.”

Nice to see him getting work after Doctor Who.