TV REVIEW Channel
My how keep fit has changed. In the final instalment of Working Out (Channel 5, Sunday), the boyz (sic) and girls proved once and for all, that the halcyon image of young ladies daintily touching toes in neat-fitting nylon shorts, is gone forever.
Thank heavens, you might say, but lawks, merCy, have you seen what we've got in its place? In this fly-on- the-sweatbead documentary, we came face-to-face With over 1200 of the nation’s fittest, With a few flabby me- toos thrown in for good measure. Descending on Pontins, Hemsby in a convoy of lvlondeos stretching all the way back to Surrey, these self- confessed endorphin jUﬂklES were here for a relaxing weekend of, er non-stop aerobics. It's not all fitness classes of c0urse. Sometimes they went for an early-morning Jog instead
Now to you and I, gentle reader, this may sound like the seventh level of hell, but to this lot, it was clearly the cats sporty pyjamas. ASide from being the perfect opportunity to show off that pricey new fitness gear or impressive bulge, the Pontin's sweatathon, as it transpires, is the next best thing to two weeks in Tenerife when it comes to getting laid.
Disappointment soon sets in when we realise there is no dirt to be dished on those proper little Osmond boys.
Wouldn't you know, there was something more to this fitness lark than first meets the eye. Stretching the legs is all well and good it seems, but the real goal of these weekends, according to the tanned ’r‘i’ toned boyz and girlz, is to get your leg over, and over and over
As on any lager-fuelled holiday, most of the bumping and grinding occurs after a steamy, or should I say steaming night on the dancefloor. But here it even found its way onto the daily timetable In the Sex Class a copping off session thinly disguised as a fitness class -- participants were asked to take a partner and get their muscles round various moves With subtle names like 'dogqy style’. Which
Butt of the joke: Ulrika-Ka-Ka Jonsson (far right) in Shooting Stars
. ‘ g . . “if? "s I ‘ H l H
part of the anatomy these exercises improve is not entirely clear. But one thing is for sure. This lot should just skip the classes, lose the leotards and start working out towards an 18—30 shagathon with no trainers required.
Skipping no classes, drinking no beer and avoiding doggy style at all costs, were the nicest, sugary-sweetest, most punchable band in the history of pop in Osmond Family Values (BBCI, Sunday). Loved by pre-teen girls, adored by teen magazine editors and worshipped by merchandisers peddling Donny dolls and Jimmy knee-socks, the first-ever boy band were seen here from those first gappy-toothed appearances on The Andy Williams Show. Where they ended up is somewhat less cute, switching as it did between wide-eyed reminiscmg over the loss of childhood, and singing Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer to pensioners at Xmas shows in the Osmond Family Theatre.
Footage of screaming girlies and anecdotes from British coppers about plans to deport the Osmonds back to the States on account of the threat they posed to teenage hormones were priceless. But disappointment soon sets in, scandal fans, when we realise there is no dirt whatsoever to be dished on these proper little Mormon boys. Nope, none at all.
But hang on. 'Well . . . we did fight and bicker some,’ confessed Jay Osmond, flabby chin hanging low. Fight and bicker? Sir Cliff would be black-affronted.
And now, a word of warning for Vic and Bob fans. Ulrika Jonsson has been released from Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s universally brilliant spoof qmz show Shooting Stars, into a pilot show of her very own, It's Ulrika (BBCZ, Monday) and the results are not half as pretty as her famous butt.
Suffering from the same sense-of- humour bypass that made her the butt of all Jokes in Shooting Stars, the Gladiators gal ploughed through half- an-hour of potentially hilarious Vic and Bob material, displaying iust a smidgen more talent than her expensive satin sort.
The moral of story being, you Ka-Ka- Kan take the girl out of Shooting Stars, Vic and Bob, but you really shouldn’t have bothered. (Ellie Carr)
Bright Hair BBCI, Sat 6 & Sun 7 Sep.
Emilia Fox is getting used to people thinking she’s younger than 23. ’The other day I had trouble getting into a gym - and you have to be under sixteen for that to happen,’ laughs the fast-rising actress, who scored a notable success at the beginning of the year playing the second Mrs De Winter in C arlton's TV remake of Rebecca.
Soon even more people will be convinced she’s a teenager, when she plays Ann Devenish, the rebellious schoolgirl with a split personality in Bright Hair, BBCI'S two-part contemporary thriller written by Peter Ransley of Seaforth and The Hawk fame.
In fact Fox, daughter of celebrated thesps Edward Fox and Joanna David, psyched herself up in no uncertain terms to get the part, which would normally have called out for a younger actress.
'As soon as I read the script, I knew I was right for the part of Devenish,’ asserts Fox. 'I turned up for the audition dressed very young. They asked me how old I was, and I kept saying: "I’m fifteen’. I was just so determined.’
Fox's ruse worked, and the result is one of the most disturbing screen portrayals of troubled and warped adolescence you’ll see in a long time.
Ransley's frequently unsettling story follows events in an idyllic country village, shattered by a series of brutal murders. When schoolgirl Ann Devenish (Fox) stumbles across one of the victims, the horror of the crime has
t Strange little girl: Emilia Fox in Bright Hair
a disturbing effect, and her behaviour deteriorates rapidly.
Heart-throb James Purefoy co-stars as the Svengali-like schoolteacher who becomes dangerously close to Devenish.
It's Emilia Fox you’ll remember, however, if only for her striking appearance. ’For certain scenes I wore specially coloured contact lenses, which change the appearance of Ann’s face completely; she looks really eerie,’ says Fox.
Her own school days, she recalls, were not as sinister. ’I was quite quiet and introverted, but you do have a lot going on inside,’ she recalls. ’And I was always aware of girls like Ann -- very worldly, anti-authoritarian — and being slightly in awe of them. Maybe that’s why it feels so right to play someone as wonderfully mysterious as Ann at this time in my life.’ (Rob Driscoll)
One in three marriages end in divorce, except in Soapland where all of them do.
Soap marriages are always doomed — happy families don't provide much of a plot — but while some have trauma thrust upon them, some should never have entered that first fateful clutch. Jack and Vera's 40th anniversary in Coronation Street was a small tragi- comic masterpiece, with the cracks of their marriage showing through the threadbare tinsel of the celebrations in the Rovers, as Jack cowered in horror at the thought of his wife in a red basque.
Desperately trying to make it seem worthwhile, an unusually reflective Vera mused: 'Some peOple, they've been together all this time and they've been happy. But we’ve fought like cat and dog. the an achievement really, is that.’
Street stalwarts Kevin and Sally Webster were borineg cosy for years, but they're now reduced to slanging matches across the bar now he's taken up With enjoyany brazen hussy Natalie. So the chances of new coupling Fred and Maureen being long-lasting are sadly small. That is if Maureen's battle-axe maw ever lets them near the aisle in the first place.
Over in EastEnders, Grant and Tiff’s strange wedding blessing ceremony was definitely a triumph of blind hope over plenty of experience. As they
. . ,. / Grant Mitchell: keeping it in the family
walked up the aisle to the touching strains of Take That’s Back For Good (though with Grant’s record surely It Only Takes A Minute might have been more suitable), even the vicar, a character whose whole personality seems to consist of a cockney accent and the Dr Legg~like ability to be on call for any event in Albert Square, looked distinctly sceptical.
’Doesn't this mean anything to you?’ squealed Tiffany, not unreasonably upon hearing Grant had invited half the Square along on their second honeymoon; to which the old romantic tenderly grunted: 'I’m 'ere aren’t I?’
Bets are currently being taken at Soapbox for Grant’s next affair: 2/1 tragic sister-in-Iaw Kathy, 3/2 flirtatious potential step-sister Annie; 40/1 Tony Hills. That's unless he runs into Cindy Beale in Paris . . . (Andrea Mullaney)
29 Aug—II Sep I997 'I'IIE lIST73