the face of it he’s just another in a

adventures are revealed.

Gorman's agenda is to provoke thought as much as laughs from a


COMEDi SERIES The Dave Gorman Collection

BBC Choice, starts Tue 23 Jan, 10.30pm; BBCZ, starts Sun 18 Feb, 10.45pm.

Without wishing to sound nasty, Dave Gorman is not a remarkable man. Certainly, his facial hair has a degree of ingenuity that few would have the guts to attempt, but on

long line of comic writers and performers. Unremarkable, that is, until further details of his bawdy

Like stand-up peers such as Stewart Lee and John Hegley,

comedy audience. His latest opus The Dave Gorman Collection, is a blend of the inspired and the ridiculous. The Stafford-born comic, along with his flatmate Danny, decided to try and track down as many Dave Gormans as they possibly could. With only a generous credit card limit and healthy optimism to hand, the two set off on a

journey that would Span almost twelve months and

three continents. Danny, armed with camcorder, recorded the proceedings, much of which became the backbone for this six-part series.

Among the places the pair visited was Tel Aviv. 'lsrael

was fantastic, if a bit disappointing in one way. We

were told that there were five Dave Gormans but when we got there we found one Dave Gorman with five phones, which was a little frustrating.’ This frustration is borne out of Gorman‘s own mathematical theory: the MPDG ratio. ‘The Miles Per Dave Gorman ratio meant I had to find as many Dave Gormans in as little travelling distance.’ The duo’s travels to Scandinavia, North America and the Middle East meant that their journeys

Is that Dave?

had to be as fruitful as humanly possible. The original live show (which received a Perrier Award

TV times

We put TV celebs on the couch. This

issue: Helen Baxendale Background As a child, Staffordshire- born Helen Baxendale dreamed of becoming an archaeologist or athlete but luckily plumped for a career in

' showbiz. After attending the Bristol

Old Vic Theatre School, Baxendale

spent several seasons performing With

those arch luvvies at Glasgow '5 Citizens’ Theatre Company.

Big break Baxendale's work at the Citz

led to her being cast as hard-nosed Dr

Claire Maitland in BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest.

Finest hour Post-Cardiac Arrest,

Baxendale is now one of the UK’s most popular actresses, her thankless turn as

Ross' Wife Emily in Friends being the

only disappomtment among an

impressive range of teleVision roles As hapless Rachel in Cold Feet, Baxendale

has surVived an affair, an abortion and being engaged to a man With an unfortunate predilection for Hawaiian

shirts. The brilliant ensemble comedy ; drama reached ten million Viewers for

nomination last year) has had a deeply profound effect ? And now? Busy Bax kicks off 2001

on its audience with Gorman still receiving e-mails on the subject to this day. Five people, including two women, even followed his suggestion and changed their name to Dave Gorman by deed poll. ’It was just an off-hand remark as we didn't actually think anyone would do it,’ he explains.

proudest achievement. ‘Most comedy is very cynical and this isn't. I’ve watched shows and pissed myself laughing but end up not feeling very good about the world. There's something slightly life-affirming about all of this.’ So, watch this series and feel better about yourself as the Dave Gormans of the world unite.

(Mark Robertson)

Can you relate to Better Sex?


to spread the word that people with sexual dysfunction are not alone and help is at hand.

Fifty-something Petulia and her husband Christopher haven’t had sex since she attended group therapy several years previously for childhood sexual abuse. It’s a delicate subject, but one which counsellor Gareth handles sensitively and, over the course of the treatment, the couple’s lives are transformed as they open up to each other. In a country where sex is openly discussed less frequently than toilet habits, it becomes clear that once this pair, who’ve been married for over 30 years, actually start talking to each other about sex, there’s a dramatic change in their lives.

Better Sex

Channel 4, starts Tue 23 Jan, 10pm. It’s not that the title of this three-part series is misleading, but you’d be forgiven for expecting some kind of ’couple’s confidential’ soft-focus technique guide. Titillation, however, is not on the agenda. Instead, we’re clutched to the bosom of Relate, an organisation which helps people overcome their sexual problems.

100 THE U81 18 Jan-l Feb 2001

From the opening, when we join Relate’s trainee councillors on a ’sex de-sensitisation’ weekend, the tone is set. This woolly-sweater wearing crowd (including a vicar’s wife) are so down- to-earth and friendly as they watch films of couples having sex, that you know Better Sex is going to be about sensible attitudes and real lives. In a way, the programme seems almost like promotional material for Relate, as if the programme-makers have decided

its third series.

starring in The Cappuccino Years, the

BBC revival of Sue Townsend’s Adrian

; Mole diaries. She plays Pandora

3 Braithwaite Adrian's one true love now a New Labour MP for Ashby-de- Gorman sums up the whole debacle, highlighting his

la-Zouch and spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and scourge of The Whelk Association Trust (TWAT).

Don’t mention Baxendale has been less than shrewd in her ch0ice of film roles which have mirrored the tendency of the native British film to

« bomb at the box office (Ordinary

Decent Criminal anyone?) Her film

career hit rock bottom in 1997 With Cromwell Pictures’ Macbeth opposite

Without wishing to give the game

away, by the end of episode one they both look about ten years younger and radiating happiness. We’re witness to

the Relate counsellors’ meeting where

they discuss cases, and all come back

to the point that clients are surprised

to find that when their sex life improves, so too does their general relationship. All they needed was a Dr Feelgood to set them back on track. (Louisa Pearson)

Sean Connery's son (’lsh thish a dagger l shee before me?’ etc).

No relation to Helen Daniels, Richard Beckinsale, Dale Winton.

(Allan Radcliffe)

I Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years, BBC], starts Fri 2 Feb, 9.30pm.