Tuesday, 24 March 2009

That's not entertainment

Years ago I was introduced to a tall stranger with piercing blue eyes. He grasped my hand firmly, fixed my gaze and said in a low voice 'Hello Liz, good to meet you.'
My knees went to jelly, my eyelashes fluttered involuntarily, and ever since that moment I've been a massive fan of Jonathan Ross. Whether he was guesting on They Think It's All Over or hosting Comic Relief, there was one thing you could always count on from JR: entertainment.
But even though I used to tune into his Friday night talk show religiously, I have felt - and I know I'm not alone - that over the past 18 months the programme has become something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Not just because of the cringe-inducing leering and inane pre-chat patter, but because it has actually descended deep into Dullsville and there doesn't seem to be any way back. It's only as ever as interesting as its guests, who are often not very interesting at all, and the biggest bonus of the seriously over-hyped Sachsgate was that it was actually off air for three months.
Which is what makes the decision to shortlist Friday Night With Jonathan Ross for a 'Best Entertainment Performance' BAFTA so surprising, and begs the question: have the Academy actually been watching what the rest of us have been watching?

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