Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Popworld's Simon Amstell. He's a lovely boy.So, where have I been for the past week? Well... nowhere really. I've been hiding in a darkened room, mourning the loss of pop TV as we know it.

My reasons are twofold: Simon and Miquita have left Popworld, and E4's terrible Girls Aloud documentary.

Let's deal with these awful events in reverse order:

1) If your very best footage is 'Cheryl and Ashley get followed by photographers sometimes', you don't really have enough material for a six-part series.

"Cheryl's taking Ashley out for a meal," the voiceover deadpans as the camera shows us Cheryl and Ashley going out for a meal. Minutes later, we learn that "Cheryl and Ashley have finished their meal" and are "going home", as the couple walk out of a restaurant and get into a car and drive home. When we get to episode four of this fly-on-the-wall documentary, you can expect to see actual flies on a wall. For the full half hour.

Actually, that's not a bad idea. They might have more personality than Nicola (you know, the ginger one? Looks a bit moody?.. oh, it doesn't matter).

2) Popworld, right, was the best pop show ever made. And that includes Cheggers Plays Pop.

Simon Amstell and Miquita Oliver were ruthlessly silly, and refused to fawn over their ridiculously pampered guests. "Has a fruit ever come right in your face?," they asked Steadman out of Five Star. To Pete Doherty, "Do you ever get the feeling you're in a car crash?". Of Britney, they inquired "Have you ever licked the top of a battery?"

One time, Simon Amstell offered Gwen Stefani some cheese.

Their irreverence and wit has only ever been equalled by the ebullient mid-80s peak period of Smash Hits, of which we've heard quite enough already. In TV terms, the only presenter who's come close is Jayne Middlemiss when she was on the O-Zone. Her interview technique was simply to flirt with a popstar to the point where she got either (a) an exclusive quote or (b) a shag.

Enough rambling, though. In memory of a fine British telly institution, here is a video of Popworld's first interview with the Sugababes (v3), earlier this year.

Popworld hasn't been axed, by the way. It continues next week with new presenters Alex Zane and Alexa Chung. They have some big boots to fill - but if the trail for the new show (which features the pair dancing to Junior Senior) is anything to go by, pop TV might be saved after all. Yay!!!

  • A nice interview with Miquita and Amstell is here.
  • A better interview with Miquita and Amstell is over there
  • Popworld have an awful website that's full of commercials for ringtones back over here again.

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