Word perfect

It has had its knockers in the past, but Amanda De Cadenet has left now, and The Word is beginning to accept its role as the shoddiest piece of fluff on network television and revel in it. Amy Druszewski starts whatever the opposite of a backlash iscaHed.

‘What do they taste like?’ asked Katie Puckrik as some sad member of the audience shovelled spoonfuls of maggots down his throat. ‘They taste like shit,’ he responded with a brave grin. Television would never be the same again.

In the beginning was The Word and The Word was crap. Not crap in quite the same way as Network 7, Big World Cafe or Friday At The Dome but crap nevertheless. Presenters Terry Christian and Amanda De Cadenet were, respectively, a woefully amateurish and inarticulate Northern half-wit and a lobotomised Sloane Ranger narcissist. The show itself was a hotch-potch of embarrassingly inept ‘interviews’ and promotional puffs for the naffer end of the showbiz spectrum. The Word was obviously on to a winner. All that ' was needed was a little fine tuning.

The second series provided that in the form of Katie Puckrik, a deranged American bimbo-dwarf with an appetite for embarrassment that knew no bounds. She led The Word into uncharted seas of tastelessness, regaling the bankrupt Barry McGuigan with a choir singing ‘Danny Boy’ and

reducing the poor pugilist to tears. A caller to the Channel 4 Duty Office suggested with some justification, ‘Ifever a guy wanted to commit suicide, it would be Barry McGuigan after his appearance on The Word tonight‘. Further crimes included provoking John Lydon to a display of foul-mouthed obnoxiousness. while the

‘The porkier-by-the-hour De Cadenet displayed her pregnancy at regular intervals and invited on various members oi heriamily in a vain bid to reunite the De Cadenet brain cell.’

porkier-by-the-hour De Cadenet displayed her pregnancy at regular intervals and invited on various members of her family in a vain bid to reunite the De Cadenet brain cell.

By now, the disbelieving post-pub audience had been supplemented by a subtler post-modernist gang who found hidden resonances beneath The Word’s veneer of trashiness. Surely here was the face ofTelevision Future, a relentless celebration of deficient or aberrent personalities, of

consumerism and the slack-jawed absorption of trashy Americana. Marshall McLuhan would have loved it, and Michael lgnatieff would kill to be this tuned in.

The Word returns to reclaim its traditional Friday night territory on October 3(), sons Amanda but with a potentially adequate replacement in Dani Behr. ‘I’d love to have fucked Paul Newman, as he looked in the early 605,’ she confesses. ‘Unfortunately these days, his face looks like a melted candle.’ Swimming in the sea at night and ‘nice tight arses’ get her horny apparently. She has just about the right sort of CV as well, having been a member ofa hi-energy bimbo disco trio called Faith Hope And Charity at the age of fifteen.

They’ve also recruited Mark Lamarr, who can currently be seen irritating the hell out of innocent members ofthe public on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast. The trash aesthetic looks like it’s in good hands. It’s time to come out of the closet. We’ve always loved The Word haven’t we?

The Word is on Channel 4 from Friday 30 October

_ atII.10pm.

_ Chill cabinet

It takes the Yanks to really go to town on Hallowe'en, what with pumpkins, lancy dress, Iashlngs oi ketchup and hordes oi brattlsh kids demanding ‘trlck or treat'. We Brits tend to reserve our pagan iestival urge tor a week later. On TV though, this year will be an exception with BBC2 controller Alan Yentob grabbing the chance ior another one oi his theme-night specials. We’ve already had The Lime Grove Story, the A-Z ol televlslon and TV Hell, now

; horror old and new.

Abbott And Costello Meet

Clive Barker


! prepare to be chilled and thrilled by The Vault 0i Horror, running irom 11pm right through to the early hours,

ottering an all-night post-pub ieast at

3 Well, mostly old actually. Movies on otier include the irankly cmmbly1935 classic The Bride 0i Frankenstein and

Frankenstein. More recent oiierings include the network television

premiere at George Romero’s

,, Creepshow, Stephen King’s tribute to the 50s horror comic genre. Promising to be truly horrliic is the complete uncut

version oi the Hammer classic The Curse Oi The Werewoli, starring the

undeniablyirightening Oliver Heed.

.' The iilms and TV classics are

l interspersed with a variety oi

{ behind-the-scenes reports on various

aspects oithe genre, including Clive Barker, Sean Cunningham and Wes

: Craven discussing the leading men oi

horror, and a irank look at sex and

sexuality in gore-pics. Sam Haimi talks

about his classic low-budget shocker

The Evil Dead, and there’s a report

irom the set oi Trauma, the latest work

irom Italian horror maestro Dario

Argento. Should be plenty oi stuii in

thereto scare those pesky kids away

irom your door.

The Vault 0i Honor is on BBC2 on Saturday 31 October at 11pm.

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