SARAH VINE’s My TV Week: A super trip to the seaside




I’ll be honest, if this hadn’t popped up on my reviewing schedule I would never in a million years have watched it. But watch it I did, and I can honestly say it put the biggest smile on my face.

It’s not just that it’s a charming mixture of nostalgia and eccentricity, or that Susan Calman’s enthusiasm is so infectious, or that the places and people have a delightful warmth and authenticity to them – it’s also that the timing couldn’t be more apposite.

After all, what better antidote to six-hour queues at Dover and cancelled flights than a bracing bucket-and-spader in Skegness or Scarborough? Seriously, why spend days waiting for a surly French border guard to come back from a threehour lunch when you can sample the delights of the British seaside?

We’re not talking the fashionable coves of Cornwall or Devon here, much favoured by the Boden-wearing, gelato-eating classes. We’re talking knotted handkerchiefs and traditional fish and chips.

Episode one takes us to Skegness where, in the shadow of the Jolly Fisherman, the resort’s famous mascot, Calman sets about embracing the entertainments on offer. Decked out in a garish holiday shirt and armed with a windbreak and a determined grin, she heads straight for the beach, that vast expanse of windswept sand washed by the North Sea. Simple pleasures.

From there it’s to Butlin’s, first opened in 1936 by Billy Butlin. A small town almost in its own right, the Skegness resort was the first of its kind, and the training ground for many of the light entertainment stars of the 50s and 60s, from Dave Allen to Des O’Connor.

It’s like a mini Las Vegas on a budget, with everything from arcades to live shows. Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s cheap, but it’s also very cheerful, thanks in no small part to the famous Redcoats, as iconic now as ever.

And since no British seaside resort is complete without a magic act, Calman is joined by Debbie McGee for a spot of escapism – followed by a trip to the local seal sanctuary where the cuteness overload is almost too much to bear. Honestly, it’s the TV equivalent of a cup of strong sweet tea and a packet of Hobnobs.

The joy of this show, and the reason it works so well despite being – let’s face it – not exactly prestige, is that it is totally unpretentious. There is not a hint of snobbery about it, nor in Calman’s approach.

No snide asides, no sneering at the people, just a genuine appreciation of what these places (Scarborough, Weymouth, Tenby and the Isle of Wight are also on her itinerary) have to offer and their place in the cultural landscape of Britain.

It’s a wonderful romp through our seaside culture, as light and airy as a Mr Whippy ice cream but also curiously satisfying. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


CODE 404



I must confess that I was a little thrown by this show. The cast is absolutely cracking: Stephen Graham, who’s just brilliant in everything he does, as well as Daniel Mays and Anna Maxwell Martin (ditto).

But there’s something about this black comedy – now returned for a third series – that for me at least didn’t quite gel.

The premise is intriguing: Graham and Mays are crime fighting duo Carver and Major, top-notch investigators. Major is shot and killed in the line of duty – only to reappear a year later, resurrected by science and enhanced with AI.

Now he dresses like Neo in The Matrix and has a gadget behind his ear.

Unfortunately, the technology is still in the experimental phase, meaning that as well as being a cyborg, poor Major is also a bit of a loose cannon. Even worse, his wife is in love with his partner, and she’s used the insurance payout from his death to build an extension.

There’s lots of potential here for a Life On Mars/Ashes To Ashes style cult police drama, but it never takes off.

This is partly because it seems to be trying too hard to be crazy, but also because the characters are not much more than caricatures and the script is peppered with clichés that are meant to be tongue-in-cheek but which just fall flat.

Admittedly I only managed two episodes, but I wish they’d been better. Sadly, they were not.


If you enjoy home makeover shows (me), you’ll love Worst House On The Street (Tue, Ch4). Charismatic brother-and-sister property developers Stuart and Scarlette Douglas help a young couple to transform a drab terrace into an elegant first home.

It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s well-executed, the siblings are very engaging – and in a world where every penny counts, the budgets are refreshingly realistic.

Добавить комментарий

Timo Werner scored just 36 minutes into his return to…
Australian cricket icon Ian Chappell has called it time with…
Luis Garcia claimed Frenkie de Jong was Barcelona’s best player…
‘Not realistic’ Jacob Rees-Mogg swats away claims Boris Johnson is plotting return to No10
The Brexit Opportunities Minister, a key ally to the outgoing Prime Minister, claimed it was “not realistic” to think Mr…
The REAL Liz: How Truss will focus on delivery
Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns said Ms Truss could harness the power of Government like no one else. The Conservative…
  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Outlander’s Alexander Vlahos speaks out on transformation for new role: ‘They’re my own!’

    Alexander Vlahos made quite the introduction to the world of Outlander in season six of the Starz drama as part of the mysterious and villainous Christie family. With season seven currently in production, Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) fans are keen to learn how they’ll see off Allan Christie (Vlahos) and the rest of his clan. However, as fans wait for season seven to arrive, Alexander is currently starring in ITV’s Sanditon.

    Those used to seeing him in Outlander may fail to recognise the star in his new role of Charles Lockhart in the period drama, however.

    While the clean-shaven and long-locked appearance became synonymous with Allan Christie, Charles Lockhart instead opts for a curly quiff and eye-drawing sideburns.

    And it turns out, unlike his Sanditon co-stars Kris Marshall and Jack Fox, the signature sideburns weren’t the product of the drama’s makeup department.

    Peaking to Ranvir Singh on ITV’s Lorraine on Friday, August 12, Alexander divulged: “I think it [the Sanditon role] is kind of written for me in a weird way.

    “So I am kind of Charles Lockhart in a weird way which people who know me will probably go, ‘Yes, that’s exactly you.’

    “People have said, ‘Oh, it’s just you walking up to set, isn’t it?’ I grew the sideburns myself, I did…”

    Ranvir interjected to point out: “Apparently the sideburns have their own Twitter account?”

    “Yes, they do!” Alexander replied with a chuckle. “They’re called Lamb and Sponge. I don’t know why they’re called Lamb and Sponge.”

    As a photo of the Twitter account appeared on the studio’s screen, Ranvir went on: “Let’s take a look.

    “‘The most striking and seductive sideburns in Sanditon.’ Are they your own?”

    Alexander confirmed: “They are my own. That was the bit… so when I was sat in the makeup chair, I’d grown these over two months…

    “And I walking around and I look like Charles, you know, and I’m in the makeup chair with Kris Marshall to the left of me and Jack Fox is to the right and they’re getting stick-ons!

    “And I felt really let down by the makeup department that I had to grow my own,” he joked.

    “But hey, at least we know it’s real,” the Outlander star added.

    Finding the ordeal rather amusing, Ranvir asked again: “And what are they called? They’ve got separate names?”

    Alexander revealed the meaning behind the nicknames, telling the Lorraine star: “Yeah, they’re called, I think left is called Lamb and the right is called Sponge.

    “Basically I got lamb food and sponge cake from set, you know, lamb food and sponge dessert and posted a photo of it,

    “And the Twitter account said that’s the name, Lamb and Sponge,” Alexander admitted.

    The pair shared a laugh before they moved on to discuss more about the second season of the hit period drama.

  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    ‘On a journey I didn’t anticipate’ Melanie Blake on buried memories, career and new book

    “I was at a bus stop in Oldham Street and this bloke came up to me, carrying a workman’s bag, which he opened to show me the hammer inside…” Her speech slows as buried memories of the terrifying ordeal flood back. “He said, ‘I could kill you with this… I’ve done it before’.

    “He was pacing about, he looked unhinged. Mercifully the night bus turned up, but he got on it too. I was so shocked I stupidly went to the back of the bus and he followed.

    “The way he looked at me I knew he absolutely meant that he wanted to kill me. I went up to tell the driver who stopped the bus and threw him off. The man chased us for what felt like a mile.”

    It’s just one of many shocking incidents teenage Melanie had to survive – including a predatory panto producer, a junkie rapist and a groping cab driver.

    Blake’s traumatic childhood was a stark contrast to the perma-glam world the blue-eyed blonde inhabits now. With her designer bags, fake furs and real diamonds, the curvaceous agent-turned-novelist looks like she has just swept in from TV’s Dynasty.

    Agent-turned-novelist Melanie’s incredible journey began in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Her family were poor but happy, until her printer father was sucked into an extreme religious group.

    “It was a born-again doomsday cult,” Melanie, 45, recalls. “He joined when I was six. He was completely and utterly brainwashed. He believed the world was going to end, and we had to repent our sins.”

    He pulled apart her dolls, smashed her older brother’s guitar, ripped pop posters off their walls and gave the cult every penny they had.

    “We had no curtains, no carpets, no home comforts – it was as close to Dickensian as you can get.”

    Melanie left home at 16 and never went back. “He’s still alive and just the same. We spoke and I told him I have forgiven him because I have the life he can only dream of.

    “My life is everything he said it wouldn’t be – as is my brother’s. He was a straight A student who went on to university; very academic. If he’d heeded our dad’s doomsday warnings he wouldn’t have bothered studying.

    “He’s the bright one, I was the bad girl,” she adds, self-depreciatingly. Although of course it takes brains to become a self-made millionaire, and to write two Sunday Times best-selling novels.

    “My beautiful mum was as daft as two planks,” Melanie adds. “She had a miserable life for 30years, then left at 47 and died seven years later.

    “I didn’t really have powerful parental figures – I had a fanatic for a father and a crazy aunt for a mum.”

    She did however have a small TV set, rescued from a skip, and equipped with a coat-hanger aerial. “TV became my parents. Television raised me. Had I not been a child of the 80s, when women were fighting back against the system, I wouldn’t be who I am.”

    She cites Joan Collins on Dynasty and brassy Bet Lynch as early role models. Strong, confident women. Joan’s sister Jackie Collins’s “bonkbuster” novels were another huge influence.

    Running away at 16, Melanie ended up in a squat on a lawless estate in Oldham, “so cold we’d huddle up on the floor for warmth and lie around a Calor gas heater – which could have killed us.

    “We survived on tangerines and chocolate…it was all we could afford. It was the best time.”

    Melanie worked cash-in-hand in shoe shops, on flower stalls and in pubs and clubs. “I was a very good barmaid. I was the sort of barmaid Bill Wyman would have given a very large tip to,” she laughs.

    After the squat was boarded up, she heard about a council scheme to re-house homeless teens and landed herself a three-bedroom flat in Salford.

    That same year, while working at the Hacienda club, she had a horrifying encounter with “a Scottish drug addict whose face was yellow with hepatitis”.

    She recalls, “He said, ‘What are you doing out this late? You must be looking for trouble’. Then he exposed himself.”

    Melanie fled into her block of flats and hid in a first-floor maintenance cupboard. “I could hear him growling ‘I’m gonna rape you’. I hid for hours! That’s when I knew I had to change my life.”

    Powered by the 80s mantra, “if you want it, you can have it”, Melanie, 17, bought a one-way ticket to London Euston with nothing but her clothes and £1500 saved from accrued tips.

    “London was supposed to be dangerous but, for me, the streets were paved with freedom.”

    She did promotional work for two years, giving away Tequila shots and the like, and finding an on-off lover in the late rock star Michael Hutchence.

    On the fringes of showbiz, she blagged her way into a job as a camera assistant on Top Of The Pops, working with everyone from Aerosmith to Westlife via Kylie and Anastasia. After befriending Gillian Taylforth in the BBC car park, she joined an extras agency.

    “Within weeks I was in the Queen Vic, watching Barbara Windsor and Jessie Wallace rowing like wildcats – Barbara later admitted it on TV. Jessie’s ex had leaked what she’d said about Barbara, and Bar turned the air blue. It was much more interesting off-camera than on!”

    Blake became a full-time extra on Emmerdale and Coronation Street, meeting and befriending Beverly Callard, below, and Claire King, who she shared a flat with.

    She later represented them both as an agent.

    “My dad always said, ‘All women over thirty are finished’ and the business seemed to feel the same, but soap women had saved my life as a child and I decided to save them; to get them work and make them money.”

    Melanie’s clients were pop acts – Claire Richards, the Nolans – and actresses, including Patsy Kensit, Stephanie Beecham and Sherrie Hewson.

    Friends as well as clients, they supported her when she wrote her first novel, 2018’s The Thunder Girls which became a stage musical, taking more than £2million at the box office.

    But Blake’s breakthrough success was her soap-inspired second novel, Ruthless Women, published in 2021, which was followed by this year’s sexy crime thriller Guilty Women – both international hits.

    What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

    “They would never have existed if not for Covid,” Melanie says. “I would never have believed that I’d become a double Sunday Times bestseller or that my books would be printed in seven languages.

    “It’s like a dream come true except it was a dream I’d never dared to have!”

    In a fresh twist, she’s just been offered a deal to write her larger-than-fiction autobiography.

    “I’m confused,” Melanie says. “I’m on a journey I didn’t anticipate…and I’m a control freak.”

    She’s happy though, spending her spare time “shopping and dating”; she owns a £2.5million Chelsea house outright and five pieces of Jackie Collins’s jewellery.

    If the classmates who bullied her for having free school meals could see her now…not to mention the English teacher who sneered that the only thing she’d ever write would be “labels on boxes in the factory you’ll work in”.

    Blake is at a career crossroads, however.

    “I’m very torn. I want a break from writing because I have other things I want to do. I’m getting offered a lot of TV work, a lot of guest panels…

    “I do wonder whether I’ll pause after the autobiography – that’ll give my agent a heart attack!

    “I plan to republish The Thunder Girls, as it was written, and I miss my agency. I miss looking after the women. I think in my heart I’ll probably return to it.”

  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Where was Tales of the Walking Dead filmed?

    Fans of The Walking Dead couldn’t be more excited for the universe to expand yet again for a third spin-off. This time around, Tales of the Walking Dead will delve into a plethora of stories in the apocalyptic era. Express.co.uk has everything there is to know about the filming of Tales of the Walking Dead.

    Tales of the Walking Dead started at the beginning of the year and was wrapped up a few months later.

    It has been previously reported the spin-off was shot in Buford, Georgia, in January 2022.

    But when Express.co.uk exclusively spoke to Tales of the Walking Dead star Kersti Bryan, she said her episode, at least, was filmed in Atlanta.

    For those living outside of America, Atlanta and Buford are both in the state of Georgia and are roughly an hour car ride away from each other.

    Bryan said: “So my understanding of it is that each spin-off is filmed in different places, we filmed in Atlanta.

    “One was filmed in Texas and the other one was filmed in Atlanta.

    “Georgia is in the south and Atlanta has a great vibe, it’s interesting as the terrain working at night, what they can do to make that eerie experience, they have ways to light the forest at night.

    “They created the vibe in this way that it [feels like] The Walking Dead.”

    As explained by Bryan, different series within The Walking Dead franchise are shot in various locations.

    Tales of the Walking Dead and the original drama share the same filming location of Georgia.

    Scenes were also filmed in Atlanta for The Walking Dead, as well as nearby Senoia, putting the city on the global map.

    Meanwhile, Fear of the Walking Dead was shot in Texas, featuring locations like the Volente Beach Resort and Waterpark in Leander.

    Tales of the Walking Dead will be made up of six episodes with the first making its debut on Sunday, August 14.

    The debut instalment will star Brooklyn Nine-Nine and America’s Got Talent star Terry Crews in the titular role of Joe.

    He is joined by Perfect Couples actress Olivia Munn who plays Evie, the woman Joe meets during his travels.

    Rounding off the episode one cast is actress Bryan who has also been in Small Miracles, FIB: Most Wanted and New Amsterdam.

    The description for the season premiere episode Evie/Joe reads: “In a road-trip story, a reclusive prepper abandons his bunker in search of a female prepper from his past.

    “Along the way, he meets an unlikely ally who is his polar opposite; they team up in an effort to find their lost loved ones.”

    But what will Joe be able to find his former online friend and if so, will they be what he is expecting?

    Tales of the Walking Dead premieres on Sunday, August 14, on AMC in America. A UK release date hasn’t been announced.

  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Marriage episode 1 cast: Who is in BBC series?

    Marriage will put a couple’s relationship of almost 30 years under the microscope as they navigate everyday life, from their squabbles to their subtle romantic gestures. Written and directed by Mum creator Stefan Golaszewski, Marriage will premiere on BBC One on Sunday, August 14, at 9pm. Express.co.uk has everything there is to know about the scaled-down cast of Marriage.

    Ian is one half of Marriage’s central couple with the drama’s trailer teasing how he is sometimes unable to let situations go.

    At the beginning, Ian and his wife Emma are seen on a flight bickering over the fact Ian keeps going on about wanting a jacket potato.

    But later on in the same teaser, she accuses him of “inventing an entire situation”, regarding her boss Jamie (played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes).

    Fans will know the man behind Ian very well as it is none other than award-winning actor Sean Bean.

    Actor Bean has been in a plethora of dramas and films over the years, some of which include The Martian, Lord of the Rings, Troy, Game of Thrones and Time.

    For the past couple of years, Bean has been starring in TNT’s Snowpiercer as villainous Joseph Wilford.

    Fans of his will remember that he won best actor at the International Emmy Awards in 2013 for his role as a transvestite teacher in the BBC drama Accused.

    Bean’s next role after Marriage will be in the film Knights of the Zodiac which is expected to come out sometime next year.

    Emma is Ian’s wife in Marriage and even just from the trailer, it is clear to see the chemistry between the pair, despite being together for 27 years.

    Actress Nicola Walker starred as Cassie Stuart in ITV’s Unforgotten for six years until making her exit in 2021.

    She has also been in Touching Evil, River, Annika, Last Tango in Halifax and Babylon, just to list a few of her credits.

    Some viewers may best know her, however, as Hannah Defoe in The Split on BBC One.

    Bean and Walker will be joined by actress Chantelle Alle as their daughter Jessica.

    She may be remembered for playing band member Sahar in the series We Are Lady Parts.

    Alle also had a role in the BBC Three musical drama Mood earlier this year as a character called Abi.

    Marriage will be one of Alle’s biggest roles to date, according to her IMDb page.

    Other cast members include New Tricks and The Likely Lads star James Bolam as Gerry, Emma’s dad.

    Rounding up the main cast is actor Henry Lloyd Hughes who plays her boss Jamie who causes friction between the couple.

    Prior to Marriage, he was in The Inbetweeners, Ragdoll and Netflix’s Sherlock-themed series The Irregulars.

    Marriage premieres on Sunday, August 14, at 9pm on BBC One.

  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Tales of the Walking Dead explained: Star details spin-off plot

    Tales of the Walking Dead is the third spin-off to come from the unforgettable The Walking Dead on AMC and Disney+. The horror drama’s universe is getting even bigger with this latest series with more characters and new gripping stories to tell. Here’s everything there is to know about Tales of the Walking Dead season one, episode one.

    WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Tales of the Walking Dead.Tales of the Walking Dead will be unlike any of the other shows in The Walking Dead franchise.

    Rather than focusing on one particular group or person in particular, the spin-off is an anthology series whereby each episode will delve into another scenario.

    So there will be plenty of exciting new stories to watch that are still set in the zombie world fans have come to learn all about.

    Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, one of the episode’s stars Kersti Bryan delved into what viewers can expect from the season premiere.

    Bryan explained: “Joe, played by the great Terry Crews, is about to find out that no man is an island.

    “Prepared for the apocalypse years before it occurred, Joe slowly isolated himself, connecting mostly to others through chat rooms on the internet.

    “It’s now been 402 days since he was proven right: the end of the world did happen.

    “But when he suffers an unbearable loss, the emptiness Joe feels pushes him to venture beyond what he knows as his safe haven to find another prepper he once bonded with online.”

    Bryan continued: “He hits the road, not knowing exactly where she lives or if she still lives there.

    “Not long into his journey, he is up-ended by Evie, played by the adorable Olivia Munn, a gentle, free spirit, with exceptional survival skills, she sees the beauty in everything and everyone around her but she isn’t a pushover.

    “She too has a place she hopes to find.

    “While their missions line up, their personalities do not.”

    Actress Bryan will portray Sandra, the prepper that Joe leaves his bunker to meet after more than a year in isolation.

    But will the pair actually meet in real life and if they do, is Sandra going to live up to Joe’s expectations?

    Prior to Tales of the Walking Dead, Bryan has been in shows like Hustlers, Ray Donovan, The Blacklist and Small Miracles, just to name a few.

    Her IMDb profile states she will be starring in the movie Rachel Hendrix as Susan Sparrow next year.

    The Walking Dead typically has around 16 episodes every seasons for fans to enjoy.

    This spin-off, however, is going to be a lot shorter with just six episodes this time around.

    Some of its series one cast members will be Terry Crews, Olivia Munn, Samantha Morton, Embeth Davidtz and Danny Ramirez.

    Tales of the Walking Dead season 1 premieres on Sunday, August 14, on AMC in America. A UK release date hasn’t yet been announced.

  • 1 час, 17 минут назад 14.08.2022Showbiz
    Stranger Things season 5: Bosses to finally unveil what Upside Down is ‘We’re excited’

    Netflix’s highly acclaimed thrilling series Stranger Things will return to screens with its fifth and final season to close a chapter on the supernatural forces in Hawkins. However, although fans have seen the Upside Down, it’s been revealed more will be explained.

    Stranger Things made its highly anticipated return with season four in May, and fans were transported back to Hawkins, Indiana where they were introduced to a number of new faces.

    This included a new villain Vecna who was later identified as Henry Creel (played by Jamie Campbell Bower).

    Throughout the series, the young friends have come across a number of supernatural forces such as the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer, but none were as challenging as Vecna.

    Unlike any other villain, Vecna’s background was explored alongside how the upside down came to be, but it looks as though viewers haven’t seen everything.

    The show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer opened up about the upcoming instalment and revealed more of the Upside Down would be explored.

    Ross stated: “The final reveal is going to be in season five, and we’re excited about that.”

    His brother Matt added: “[We’ve been] revealing more about the Upside Down, the origins of the Upside Down.”

    “All these things were goalposts. It’s not like there was someone called Vecna, but it was going to be about Number One.

    “We knew we wanted this entity controlling everything, but it wasn’t really till we’d gotten into the [season four] that we figured out all the details,” they told IndieWire.

    During the most recent instalment, it was revealed Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) had faced Vecna, defeated him, and sent him to the Upside Down many years ago.

    However, the villain returned to torture and kill the people of Hawkins, and many watched in horror as it almost took Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink).

    Vecna was able to acquire people’s secrets, and use their trauma to taunt and eventually overpower them.

    Max was grieving the loss of her brother Billy Hargrove, (Dacre Montgomery) who was killed by the Mind Flayer when he attempted to stop it from killing Eleven.

    As she watched her brother’s final moments, Max was riddled with guilt, which Vecna preyed on.

    The monster almost overpowered the teenager while she was visiting Billy’s grave, however, she was able to break free with the help of her friends.

    While her favourite song was playing in her headphones, Max began thinking of her happy memories which pushed aside Vecna’s attempt to taunt her.

    As for the Upside Down, viewers have already seen that it is an alternate dimension which looked like a hellscape version of Hawkins.

    It had constant electric storms which eventually found its way into the real world.

    As well as Vecna residing in the Upside Down, the Demogorgon, Demobats and Mindflayer also came from there.

    Even though the friends thought they closed the gate to the upside down, a new one was formed, so alongside their toughest battle yet, viewers will also gain insight into the origins of the Upside Down.

    Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix

  • Загрузить еще
The Fed’s global problem
The Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation threaten to send the U.S. economy into a recession. They could also spark…
Biden enters the Always Be Closing phase of his first term
Somehow, someway, Joe Biden is back in the game. After enduring a brutal year dominated by economic angst, legislative setbacks…

Showbiz SARAH VINE's My TV Week: A super trip to the seaside