Posted by sean on June 26, 2020 at 7:20 am in Television with No Comments


Channel Four recently showed a documentary on people who go dogging. I only realised it had been on, when I noticed social media had gone into meltdown over the programme’s content and the individuals who took part in it.

Being the inquisitive type, I downloaded the documentary – which had been given the rather witty name, Dogging Tales.

My viewing ‘pleasure’ didn’t last for long . Within the first couple of minutes, I saw a pair of bare legs, with trousers and underpants pulled down around their owner’s ankles. The person looked to be reliving themselves, by enjoying an exceptionally long pee. There was clearly a long queue to use the loo, as I could hear many moans and groans in the background – presumably from other people who had been caught short and needed a wee or a poo.

A couple was later interviewed. They were both wearing masks, but these were not to protect themselves or others against coronavirus. The masks resembled some kind of animal – most likely a dog, cat or rabbit.

The man in the relationship revealed his first experience of dogging. In what was obviously a lie, taken straight from the ‘Jay Cartwright Book of Sex Stories’, he recalled how he was getting his end away (for want of a better phrase) with two women in the back of a car, when he was surrounded by six men who began pleasuring themselves.

I would like to say “in this situation, any normal person…”, but what “normal person” has a ménage à trois in their voiture? Unless everyone is doing it and I’ve lived a sheltered life.

For the sake of getting my point across, I will use the inappropriate term…

In this situation (being watched by six perverts), any normal person would either – call the police – put their jeans back on and drive off – murder the lead sicko, by ramming the closest object to hand up his bum. Most likely, a TomTomGo Sat Nav. A nasty way to go, but at least the hearse driver wouldn’t get lost on the way to the funeral.

As this was a Channel 4 documentary, the bloke was hardly going to be your ‘Average Joe’. Instead of reporting the party (consisting quite literally of wankers) to the fuzz, or throwing away a perfectly good £100 satellite navigation system, ‘Joe’ began chatting to the brasen voyeurs. I bet the two women he claimed to have been with him were thrilled.

Joe told how he was taught all the secrets of dogging, which he thought “sounds alright”, in a manner so casual, it was as if he had been asked by a mate if he wanted to nip out to Nandos for some chicken.

His partner, who I believe to be his wife, also wore a mask, in an attempt to make herself look like a character from a Colin Dann novel.

She and her hubby explained how, up until getting involved in dogging, she was severely lacking any self-confidence. It was a little patronising towards the poor cow, as I was given the impression that she was too nervous to visit the corner shop to buy a packet of chewing gum.

Now the opportunity has emerged to have sexual intercourse with her husband or a fellow dogger, while men and women pleasure themselves just a few feet away, her confidence has shot through the roof!

Not only can she stride with pride into her local Premier Convenience Store and buy a dozen sticks of Wrigleys, but also ask the shop assistant for a lottery scratch card, fifty ‘Tie Nee Weiner’ condoms, a bottle of Smartprice Vodka, five packs of Match Attax football stickers and a box of twenty Marlboro cigarettes.

The documentary went on to feature the couple venturing into the woods. It wasn’t made clear what the purpose of this trip was for, but one would guess it to attend a teddy bears’ picnic.

The documentary makers managed to film an owl in a tree. It was probably the nicest and most natural thing to feature so far. It was when ‘Joe’ started talking photos of his wife, posing on bits of fallen trees, that the owl flew off. It had clearly all become too creepy for the bird, just like for me. I turned the telly off.

Having been left rather perturbed by what I had just witnessed, I let Claire know. She was in another room, so had been spared the horrors that I just witnessed.

The conversation (over WhatsApp) was as follows…

ME:
I started to watch a Channel 4 documentary on dogging. It was one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen and I had to turn it off after 10 minutes!

WIFEY:
Why were you watching a programme on dogging?! Is there something I need to know

ME:
It’s a documentary. You know me, I watch them loads. The other day it was about a murderer. Doesn’t mean I’m going to kill anyone

Anyway, I had absolutely no interest in dogging ever.. and after watching that depravity, there is no way on this earth I would have anything to do with it!!

The morbid interest that attracted me – and apparently over two million viewers – to initially watch the documentary, was obviously too much for my wife, as she came through and suggested we view it! That meant re-watching the ten minutes of filth I had just sat through.

I issued Claire with a strong warning about what she was about to watch, in the hope that she would change her mind. Unfortunately, for my state of mind, she didn’t. Now I know why they say “curiosity killed the cat “.

My wife and I bravely managed to watch the first ten minutes without vomiting blood. We even continued beyond where I had given up during my original viewing – the scene where the owl had freaked out.

It wasn’t long before Claire and I decided that enough was enough and turned the filth off. Before that, we had the displeasure of having to watch a truck driver reveal how seventy percent of his fellow truckers were also into dogging.

To his credit, the trucker did manage to amuse me, by repeatedly referring to women as “females”. Many people would understandably be a little creeped out by the driver’s term for the fairer sex, making them sound more like corpses than human beings. However, being a fan of the excellent Friday Night Dinner, I had to laugh every time he used the ‘F word’.

I was able to take something from the documentary… dogging isn’t for me. Either as a hobby, or even watching documentaries about the pastime.

I’ll make an exception when it comes to Peter Kay jokes on the subject. I am yet to be able to watch this YouTube video without laughing my head off.

Posted by sean on June 24, 2020 at 11:56 am in Television with No Comments


I’m a little late to the party with this blog post, considering it is about a bit of telly from last week.

The TV show I am referring to is Four in a Bed. If you have never seen this programme before, you are missing out.

The gist of it involves four sets of bed and breakfast owners, who, across the course of a week, visit each other’s establishments. They must then rate the venue (out of ten), based upon a number of different categories, including how nice the hosts are, cleanliness, quality of sleep and breakfast.

As well as providing ratings, the B&B owners must also pay what they feel their stay was worth. This is generally based upon the advertised price for the room. As you can probably imagine, there are many under payments – some insanely low. These inevitably have hilarious results once revealed to the owners of the establishment being rated.

One of the funniest parts of the competition, is when the rival B&B owners are shown to their rooms. No sooner have they been left alone, they descend upon the usually spotlessly clean room, as if they were a forensic detective.

Nothing is left untouched, as bed sheets are removed and picture frames examined. Should a tiny stray hair be found on the originally covered mattress, the contestants (if you can call them that) react as if they have won the lottery.

This single hair, in a bedroom so sterile you could perform open heart surgery, usually means that instead of awarding the B&B ten out of ten for cleanliness, the “filthy” conditions would make it impossible to give anything about five.

The bathroom never fails to go unchecked, with the toilet and even the cleaning brush, receiving a thorough inspection. Any discovery of faecal matter, however small, is met with even greater delight than a hair in the bed. You haven’t lived until you have seen a couple in their sixties, punching the air for joy, after finding a bit of shit under a toilet seat.

In order to have enough material to fill each 22 minute episode, the B&B owner must demonstrate excellent hospitality, by showing their guests a good time, before taking them out for an evening meal.

A typical example of this could involve visiting a local farm and feeding the cute calves during the afternoon, followed by dinner at a nearby steakhouse. More often than not, the food is accompanied by an endless array of snide questions and bitching about one another – all fueled by a never ending supply of lager and wine.

The B&B owners will then return to their beds, although given how much they usually end up complaining about their lack of sleep, may as well kip down in the doorway of a nightclub.

Breakfast is always an interesting affair. Firstly, heaven forbid the owners ask their guests to decide the evening before what they would like to eat the following morning. Admittedly, I would find this rather annoying, but some of the contestants react like the hosts have shot their 98-year-old grandmother out of a circus cannon.

There will always be at least one person who will hate everything on the breakfast menu, despite the host creating a huge spread of delicacies, fit enough for Henry VIII.

Then there will be the prick asking for something not on the menu, which is totally obscure. When they are told that the chef is unable to meet their needs and serve them an elephant’s ear in a bun, they react like the host has urinated over their corn flakes… “How was breakfast? I’ll have to give a two out of ten… ‘Disappointed by selection. No Elephant Ears'”.

Now I have explained the entire concept behind the show, I can begin to tell of what brought me to blog. Trust me, the reason will be considerably shorter than the essay I wrote above!

The winner of Four in a Bed, is the B&B that earns the highest percentage of money from the fellow owners, in relation to what should have been received based upon the full asking price.

The a prize for humiliating yourself and risking the reputation of your business, is a Four in a Bed plaque. Woo-hoo.

No doubt the plaque will look fabulous stuck on the reception wall, as well as getting mentioned on the establishment’s website.

The plaque is a rather pointless prize, as is claiming to have won the competition, given how it is not a recognised award in the hospitality trade. I am sure established B&B owners without a plaque don’t lose any sleep over not having one. It’s a bit like Elton John and the Gallagher brothers feeling threatened by the X Factor winner.

Most real-life B&B customers (i.e. not contestants) will have probably never heard of Four in a Bed, so would take little or no interest in a bit of metal hanging from the wall.

The minority of guests that are familiar with the teatime TV treat, would most likely remember the B&B and it’s owners, for how they conducted themselves during the competition. The winning plaque would represent little more than a potential talking point.

Now that I have used my blog to trash the Four in a Bed top and only prize, I can make a second attempt to cover what I intended to be the original point this rambling post…

It was Karen and Graham Smith – owners of Tigh Na Leigh Guesthouse in Perthshire, Scotland.

Karen and Graham were the first to host in the five episodes aired last week, meaning that all four sets of B&B owners had not stayed at each other’s places or met until this point. This apparent coincidence allowed them to carry out their plan perfectly.

Tigh Na Leigh looked to be an upmarket guesthouse. Indeed, at the time of the episode being filmed, it boasted five stars. I seem to recall the prices to be expensive, but reasonable for the luxury on offer.

The quality of the establishment, along with Karen and Graham’s excellent hospitality and charm, saw the other B&B owners fall in love with them and their business – even appearing to overlook some minor issues with their stay, presumably so as not to upset who they then considered to be their new friends.

The three sets of B&B owners, who had been staying as guests of the Smiths, were all generous when it came to paying for their visit.

Things all appeared to be fluffy and nice. Everyone was smiling, being kind and generally getting on very well. As a viewer, I was disappointed. On the rare occasion when all four sets of owners do get on well, the week is usually boring and best left forgotten about.

This wasn’t going to be one of those weeks. In each of the three subsequent B&B visits, Karen and Graham revealed themselves to have a few rather nasty traits.

NOT ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY…

As soon as they had been shown to their room, the Smiths began their hunt for faults – discovering and harshly penalising their hosts for the most petty of flaws.

It was not uncommon for Karen to show her dissatisfaction at breakfast, on one occasion refusing to eat any of the food made available to her. As one of the other owners correctly observed, Karen had not ordered any hot food during her three stays.

Then there were the snide, bitchy comments, made by Karen and Graham. Attempting to justify their negatively towards every other B&B, by giving the impression that each establishment was beneath them. Pure snobbery.

An extremely heated final day rounded off the week. Feedback was reviewed and discussed, while payments counted. As you can probably guess, Tigh Na Leigh won. One major reason for this was because the victorious owners had underpaid everyone else – on more than one occasion, shamefully low.

For the first time in all the years I have watched the television series, of which there have been many, the week was concluded without a winner’s presentation. Clearly there had been a huge fight or argument off camera.

Before the credits rolled, Karen and Graham were shown holding the plaque they had clearly so desperately wanted.

While I am sure the award is hanging on a wall, somewhere in their Scottish guesthouse, will anyone who knows or cares what it is ever be there to admire it? I am sure there will be many Four in a Bed viewers, totally put off staying with the Smiths, after witnessing their undesirable gamesmanship. I’m one of them.

Posted by sean on June 15, 2020 at 7:51 am in Television with No Comments


With all these British comedies being withdrawn from television schedules and streaming services, due to historical instances of racism, I am hoping that the BBC will shortly be removing Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

As far as I am aware, the series has never been accused of being racially offensive. I just want it gone because it’s shit.

“YOU’RE SHIT, AND YOU KNOW YOU ARE.”

Posted by sean on May 15, 2020 at 7:44 am in Me Vs. The World, Television with No Comments


I am sure that everyone knows the legend of Robin Hood – whether it be Prince of Thieves, the Walt Disney adaptation, or Men in Tights.

It therefore needs no introduction to the fact that he is said to have taken from the rich to give to the poor.

Tonight, Matthew, I will be Robin of Loxley…

Don’t panic, I’m not going to start happy-slapping Tories, before mugging them and spending all their money on copies of The Big Issue. No, I put the dosh into a big jar labelled “SEAN’S PLAYSTATION 5 FUND”.

My other outlaw activities include taking money from Sky Television and British Telecom…

If you are a subscriber to Sky or BT Sport, it is possible to receive the channels for free, while televised sporting events are affected by the Covid pandemic. Is this what they call a ‘life hack’? It’s certainly an example of the common man taking back some money from major corporations – something that is very Robin Hood and His Merry Men.

You can suspend your Sky Sports subscription here and BT Sport through this link.

How long these channels will remain free is anybody’s guess. However, Sky are promising to show a charity golf match, with BT boasting about broadcasting some football from Germany over the weekend. It would be a kick in the teeth if either of these caused the subscriptions to restart, as I can’t stand golf!

Posted by sean on April 18, 2020 at 3:16 pm in Television with 1 Comment


Claire and I have now both watched the concluding episode to the ITV drama, Quiz – based upon the infamous Who Wants to be a Millionaire? coughing scandal in 2001.

The two of us came to the same opinion. The defendant, Charles Ingram, received an unfair trial.

A major piece of evidence used by the prosecution, during the 2003 court case, involved a recording from the WWTBAM? studio, during Ingram’s time in the hot seat.

This footage shown in court was provided by the show’s creators, who had edited the recording themselves – something known by the police and jury. This revised evidence included the ‘coughs’ used by the prosecution in order to convict Ingram. What was not included in the edit, was the natural coughs from other members of the audience. These were cut out!

This revelation was only brought to the attention of Claire and me during the third and final episode.

I know that dramas based upon real-life stories are know to bend the truth, miss out key events and include some that never really happened. I would be very surprised if the writers of Quiz would have made up the part in involving ‘doctored footage’, especially given its significance in the jury reaching a guilty verdict. For this, I am both disgusted and amazed that this was deemed acceptable evidence.

For the purpose of my next point, I will assume that ITV and Celador did NOT provide edited evidence during the case, and what was shown during the drama was pure fiction.

In 2001, I was an avid fan of the show. I never missed an episode. I even owned and regularly played the PlayStation 2 video game based upon the quiz show – complete with a talking, animated Chris Tarrant.

Being a regular viewer of the series meant that I was naturally interested in the case. It was not an uncommon sight for stories about Ingram, his wife and accomplice to appear on the front page of newspapers – surprising, considering this was in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, as well as Bush and Blair plotting a mindless war with Iraq.

Considering the scandal was widely reported across so many news publications, television channels and websites, you would expect to see a variety of opinions expressed into whether or not Ingram was guilty.

From memory, I cannot recall seeing or hearing anything to suggest that the accused were anything but guilty as sin. Ingram was hung out to dry, by journalists and reporters, who had appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner.

I was adamant he had cheated, but why would I think differently? I only had the bias media to help me form a judgement.

In any other instance, had the events been as widely reported as in ‘Coughgate’, the case would have collapsed and not gone to court.

The other night, I watched the famous Martin Bashir documentary, which was shown after the court case conclusion in 2003. I remember watching this 17 years ago, but until this week, had not seen it since.

Granted, this documentary was only released after a verdict had been reached. In this country, we generally accept the decision of a jury, so maybe this was why nobody questioned why the feature was produced in a manner which put Ingram in a bad light. Indeed, nobody from accused side of the case featured in or was interviewed for the documentary.

Despite the ITV-created production (another example of bias reporting) being heavily in favour of the prosecution, hindsight has shown that many areas of the documentary should be taken with a pinch of salt.

To conclude, I am not saying that Ingram and his accomplices are innocent or guilty. To form such an opinion, I feel that I would have to see and hear all unedited evidence, from the prosecution and defence.

It is said that Charles Ingram is seeking a retrial. I hope that he gets this and it is carried out fairly…

If found guilty, let that be the end of the matter – hopefully he’ll admit that he cheated and explain why he lied for almost twenty years.

Should the original verdict be reversed and Ingram be cleared of the original charges, I hope that he receives every penny of any compensation he is entitled to.

Once the prize money has been returned, interest, legal costs, loss of earnings and damage to reputation paid, it could be a very expensive day for ITV and Celador.

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