BBC4’s Saturday night parade of female-fronted song-and-dance archivery felt like it accomplished two things.
First, it highlighted how you don’t see any of the following on TV anymore:
a) Routines wholly centred on fancy dress
b) Casual racialism
c) Moments where the studio seems to be in complete darkness
But more significantly it called attention to the absence of any comparable non-male helmed programmes doing the rounds today. Barrowman, Brucie, Norton, Ross, Ant and Dec: where are their female equivalents?
Fortunately the TV Cream Gentle Sex Matrix Databank has rustled up three pitches which are going to be sent to the BBC Entertainment department first thing tomorrow morning.
1) A SLICE OF SARAH
Sunday 7.30pm, BBC1
The delightful Miss Cracknell eases you into Sunday evening with a rich mix of celebrity and song. Each week’s show has a theme, such as the weather, fashion or America, which Sarah and her guests explore through timeless tunes and witty turns. Regular contributors Instant Sunshine serve up a melodic ode on an aspect of the week’s news, and legendary singers from Val Doonican to Kate Bush drop in for a duet. Why not forget about those pre-Monday blues and enjoy familiar faces from past and present, a joke or two, and – naturally – class performances by Sarah with her band of 20 years, Saint Etienne.
2) LIFT OFF WITH ALESHA!
Wednesday 8.00pm, BBC1
The winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2007 makes her primetime TV debut with a star-encrusted variety spectacular for all the family. Alesha and her backing dancers, the Dixonettes, promise a cavalcade of good moves and great grooves. Every week there’ll be a dazzling routine with stars of Strictly Come Dancing (including Brucie, if he’s not too busy on the golf course!), a tune from a famous BBC face, and a celebrity revealing a hitherto secret talent. Alesha will also be showing viewers what she’s been up to during the week, springing surprises on people from 8 to 80. Each show includes a rundown of the midweek singles chart.
3) IT’S LAUREN
Saturday 5.35pm, BBC1
Teatime musical treats with an extra helping of cheeky charm. The former Kenickie singer-turned-national treasure shares some of her views on life through song, dance and plenty of down-to-earth humour. Professional comedians, magicians, crooners and dancers will be popping in to get the weekend off to a swing, along with regular guests Chris Serle, who’ll be introducing colourful locals with a story to tell, and Danny Baker, who’ll be broadcasting live out and about encountering Britain ‘as it happens’. Plus Lauren is challenged to learn and perform a classic song before the end of each show, in front of a panel of celebrity judges. Whatever they think of her efforts, they’re sure to agree on one thing: it’s Lauren!