For reasons too explosive to go into, once upon a time in ye olde olden dayes of yore, I had occasion to consult thoroughly a TV guide. The kind of TV guide that lists every single programme being broadcast on the most obscure channels imaginable, at any given moment anywhere in the solar system.
As TV's David Hasselhoff (below) once said: "Why am I being depicted as Satan, atop some Russian script?"
Hoffelhass: It's probably not that funny
to make jokes about him anymore
Moving away - at pace - from the Hoff, it hardly needs explaining that there are some astonishing programmes buried away in the schedules. Who'd have thought, for example, that a Fulham-based detective serial called Lemongrass and Sweet Basil existed? Yet there it is, for all to see.
Who could have suspected for even a picosecond that former newsreader Jan 'Steaming' Leeming would team up with old man of pop Hank 'Starvin' Marvin to present the moving documentary My Surname Has Been Appropriated as Rhyming Slang and I Don't Understand Why? No-one, because it's not true. Or is it? Who knows? Indeed.
To cut a long story down to size, I feel it is my duty to alert all you EB 'homies' to some of the televisual gold that is 'out there'. I've done this kind of thing before: read it if you have the spare room.
THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
Paul Coia's Vowel Maelstrom: ITV 5. Former Pebble Mill at One Godhead Paul Coia hosts this celebrity panel quiz show with a wordy twist. Contestants including Justin Lee Collins (aka the Poundstretcher Bill Bailey), Glenn Body from Pagan Idol and a fire-breathing, animatronic recreation of Robert Robinson compete to guess how many vowels there are in Paul Coia's name, then interpret their answers in the sacred medium of mime.
Paul Coia (bottom left) and guests on
this week's Maelstrom
Small Medium Large. XTREMELY STUPID TV, 12am. Bubble-headed Mancunian barrel of pain Eddie Large has to go on a crash diet and lose three stone before conducting a celebrity seance. This week's attempt to contact the people of Heaven takes place on the spot where variety legend Arthur 'Happy Hands' Handerson was shot, dead, by an overly-critical Preston theatregoer in 1894. Seance participants this week include Suzi Quatro tribute act Susan Quatro; Peter Sissons tribute act The Peter Sissons Three; and Roger De Coursey without Nookie Bear (CBE).
As Told By Ginger. History Channel, 9pm. 2/12. Historical events related by the begingered. This week, Carol Decker out of T'Pau ruminates on the repercussions of the 1870 anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in London. Next week: Steve Davis examines the re-establishment of Protestantism in England in the 1570s (or thereabouts).
Childish allusion to Carol Decker
How Green Is My Ally? Challenge TV, 8.30pm. Twinkly-eyed medium tar Scotchman and secret miniature teapot fanatic Ally McCoist is helped by a team of nine immigrant Bulgarian child volunteers in a race against time with a twist. The challenge: to turn the former footballer's second-floor duplex apartment in Cowdenbeath into a masterpiece of environmental efficiency. The twist: failure means certain death for the children.
Dr Why. SWC 4, 7pm. Series one of the Welsh answer to Dr Who. This first and possibly last episode sees the extravagantly ill-informed Timelord spending a lot of time cogitating over the fact there exists no such thing as a 'drive-thru' car park, despite the fact that the concepts of both the car park and the 'drive-thru' business seem oddly synergous.
Go Towards The Light! XTREMELY STUPID TV, 11pm. Borderline illegal adventure game show inspired by the movie Flatliners. Wincey Willis, the bald mercenary from that daytime chat show, Jim Davidson and Isla St Clair see how close they can get to 'the other side' after a near-death experience is induced in them using faulty circuitry. Who can be the first to contact Rod Hull?
Police Beat. All Channels, 12.25, 1981. Local crime news accompanied by a selection of tunes from the Goombay Dance Band.
Closedown Showdown. All channels, 12.32am, 1978. Embittered, lonely regional continuity announcers who are raging alcoholics in their spare time play Russian Roulette to decide who tells viewers that programmes have ended for the evening.