COUCH POTATO: X Factor’s Bermuda Triangle and EastEnders’ answer to JFK

Photographer: Tom Dymond. ''Copyright: CORBIS/THAMES TV/SYCO''�
Photographer: Tom Dymond. ''Copyright: CORBIS/THAMES TV/SYCO''�

THE Bermuda Triangle took its latest victim on Friday night as talent mysteriously vanished from Louis Walsh’s deadlock holiday groups at X Factor’s annual festival of tears, Judges’ Houses.

Too many sob stories and plugs for an airline and resorts. But some real entertainment too...

Sinitta’s astonishing Native American headdress (Simon Cowell: “What the f*** is that?”).

Stevi Ritchie twerking a horrified male backing singer.

And the extraordinary voice of charming Andrea Faustini who said of Jordan Morris: “He’s like a little Justin Timberlake,” adding: “I can’t wait to know my destiny.”

Then wait no longer. Louis’s long-term replacement.


It’s the most famous question of all time – where were you when JFK was shot?

Make that the second most famous.

It was usurped on Monday night when Shirley Carter picked up a gun, looked out the window of the flat above The Vic and saw Phil the philanderer and his blushing bride Sharon, wearing the Great British Bake Off marquee, in an open-top carriage.

And hey presto, we had EastEnders’ answer to Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas School Book Depository.

Except we didn’t, did we? The sadistic little sods felt the need to drag out the wedding day drama for the entire week.

So it wasn’t until Friday night that Shirley fired in anger and Phil, the Steiff Winnie The Pooh bear (Google Image search it), was left in a bloodied heap following the obligatory “give me the gun!” tussle.

He survived, unlike his son Ben who suffered death by overacting and appeared to have lost his memory along with his fourth head: “Dad’s been there whenever I’ve needed him.”

You mean that time he refused to accept you were gay and shoved you away in revulsion, leading to you stalking him for months, inflicting psychological torture before getting him arrested by lying to police that he murdered his fiancée Stella?

Is that what you mean?

It actually wasn’t a good week for any male in Walford as the soap resorted to its favourite pastime – man-bashing.

Jay the toerag dumped Abi because he’s a toerag who loves Lola.

Dean the cretin had a late-night drunken “experiment” with Tina’s broody lesbian lover Tosh and a turkey baster. Because he’s a cretin.

Aleks the Latvian slimeball bundled Roxy and Amy out of town to avoid the arrival of his wife and daughter. Because he’s a slimeball.

Even Tramp the performing dog didn’t manage to dodge the bullet.

He was run over by Abi, incensed at being dumped by Jay the toerag.

There was in fact another death that couldn’t have passed you by.

Teenage Kicks, taken from us by that unnecessary busker outside the tube station.

I will confess to a slight smile, however – Ian Beale’s quizzical response to Billy shouting: “It’s Phil! He’s been shot!”


And they’d make me twice as happy if they throw in a curveball in the “Shirley shot Phil” storyline...

DC Emma Summerhayes told Max: “There’s been a shooting. They’ve cordoned off the square.”

Max: “At whose house?”

She didn’t mention a house. Only the real gunman could have known it happened in a house from that scant bit of information.

Go on, EastEnders. I dare you.


Horizon: Is Your Brain Male or Female? co-host Prof Alice Roberts demonstrated that the question is far from black and white...

“It’s much more nuanced than that. There’s a huge cultural, social influence on these differences we’re perceiving between us and I think these gender stereotypes are potentially quite destructive.”

Couldn’t agree more. Ever seen a woman trying to parallel park? A path of destruction.


Strictly pro Kevin Clifton on hearing partner Frankie Bridge had a sleepless night with nerves: “I didn’t sleep either. I was listening to The Saturdays’ greatest hits all night.”

Well that explains the first three-and-a-half minutes of the night.

What about the rest of it?


This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

Strictly plank Tess Daly embodying the legacy of Bruce Forsyth by fluffing lines and missing her marks.

Self-appointed class clown Bruno Tonioli assuming what the show needs most is some expressive mime tomfoolery.

Celebrity Squares stretching the definition of “celeb” with “heptathlete Louise Hazel” and “Snog Marry Avoid’s Ellie Taylor”.

Good Morning Britain’s inability to spell “extemist”.

Esme’s diabolical Brummie accent on Peaky Blinders: “Oim nut a blud mimba of dis familoy but p’rrrraps Oy can see things in a defferent loyt.”

And the prospect of Towie spinoffs, Peter Andre, Mark Wright, Celebrity Dinner Date with Joe Swash and endless reality TV claptrap on new channel ITVBe. ITVBegone.


Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome is a serious, debilitating condition and not something to snigger at, as demonstrated by This Morning’s emotional guest “the man who has 100 orgasms a day” Dale Decker...

“There was a lot of fear because when you don’t know what’s going on with your body, it’s hard.”



This week’s Most Thorough Research award goes to...

The One Show’s Alex Jones to Mackenzie Crook: “You’ve written and directed a series for BBC4 called The Detectorists which is a term you made up.”

Crook: “No, that’s what they’re called.”


Celebrity Squares host Warwick Davis: “In what game can you mate eight different ways in two moves?”

Judging by the last series, Big Brother?


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

BBC2’s brutal Peaky Blinders and soundtrack.

The Ryder Cup’s mesmerising final day’s singles.

ITV admirably not seeing Cilla’s rise to the top through rose-tinted specs.

The Chase question: “Who did Adolf Hitler marry?” Contestant: “Hilda.”

The reaction of Billy Connolly’s manager to the Big Yin discovering “an incontinent, alcoholic, mad shagger” great-great granddad on Who Do You Think You Are: “You’re a chip off the old block.”

And the mere mention of the words “Gregg Wallace” and “Charleston” in the same breath, on last night’s Strictly. Dancing... doesn’t get naffer... than this.


Last night’s Through The Keyhole revealed Rylan Clark has 14 floor-to-ceiling mirrors in one room of his house.

Quite the surprise. The bloke’s not as vain as I had him down for.

Only one room of mirrors.