Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise
Ben Miller (half of Armstrong and Miller) plays the fish-out-of-water detective inspector Richard Poole who is posted to the tourist Island of Saint-Marie following the murder of a colleague who was aiding the force.

Arriving on the small Carribean Island, which has a scarily high murder rate and little other apparent crime, Richard hates the sun, sand and sea and has to cope living in a “house” with a tree growing inside it.

Used to working with the well resourced Metropolitan Police DI Poole, now has to deal with dashing around the island in the forces’ single aged Landrover Defender with a motorbike and sidecar as the only backup.

With a forensics department now accessible only by boat or plane and a force that does everything manually he was never going to get on well, but does a remarkably good job at identifying murderers in the first two episodes.

Each episode follows the same who-dun-it pattern. A murder takes place at the start, the detectives go in and investigate clues and leads. With the help of flashbacks the story is re-pieced with a second murder helping the final pieces of the case get wrapped up until DI Poole is able to reveale the murderer and how they went about it in front of all the suspects.

The latest episode featured a bride murdered on her wedding day. Suspects included her new husband and his best man who both knew she was in to money on her wedding day. Things are futher complicated by family rifts, a prenuptial agreement that wasn’t actually signed and a diving instructor and jealous sister.

A good show – not just a jaunt in Guadeloupe for the BBC!

Death in Paradise - Team

Episode 1 on iPlayer

World’s Strictest Parents – Trashy but Addicting

Last week’s episode in Utah and Israel were rather goods one and contained a few memorable quotes.

Each show follows the same pattern. Out of control children, often blamed on lack of a father. Children go abroad. Agree to follow rules. Don’t follow rules. Get pissed off. Arguments. Heart to heart with host parent. Grow to like host parent. Go back home and promise to be good.

The teenagers are two spoilt British teenage fuckups, who all smoke. At least one is addicted to weed. Normally at one will have bizarre facial piercings. There’s a mix of private school drop outs, chavs, emos and goths.

Last week’s episode featured a girl who was a mum at 17, obviously not with the father and living on benefits whilst her mum looked after the baby so she could go out and get drunk with her friends.

The families they go to live with abroad are normally, but not always, rather traditional and extreme in their views.  Recent examples include living with a vicar, or with home-educating mormons or a very strict traditional family.

Quite a dramatic outburst turnaround/reconing from Hannah in the recent Utah episode. (Incidentally in Utah you can drive at 15, drink at 21 and have sex at 18.) A rather sad ending as both the children and host family were in tears when the children left to head back to England when their trip abroad had come to an end.

Good show even though it is trashy!

World’s Strictest Parents Quotes
“Sex, Drugs, Alcohol – they destory lives”. Hang on?

“I’ve been smoking since I was 12.”2 minuites later. “I’ve been smoking since I was 9.”

“God gave us shoulders for a reason”. One week on I can’t remember what the reason was.

“I really think you’re been totally unreasonable”.  “It’s the community norm”

“Obviously you have not been brought up to be respectful of adults…” “Shut up and listen to me!”

Next week one of the Lebonnease hosts wants one of the children to “find a cave somewhere and live in it all alone”.

Tour de France Money Facts

Mark Cavendish

Over the past three weeks I have been watching the Tour de France which finishes on the Champs-Élysées in Paris tomorrow. Hopefully Manxman Mark Cavendish can repeat his feat of the last two tours and claim victory in the final sprint stage before winning the green jersey sprints competition.

A few interesting Tour de France facts I have come across during this year’s tour.

  • The total wage bill for all 489 riders in the 18 UCI professional cycling teams is lower than the wage bill of the Olympique Lyonnais soccer team [inrng]
  • The average rider earns €218,000
  • An estimate of team budgets from RideMedia’s Tour de France guide shows some big discrepancies. The top team budgets are €15 million a year whilst one team has just €5 million to spend.  My greatest surprise was not the difference in budgets, that is to be expected, but the amounts of money spent by particular teams.  For example Garmin-Cervélo are one of the lowest spending teams but have received a lot of exposure for their sponsors.  They have won 4 stages of this year’s tour and will probably take the overall team competition as well.
  • The teams don’t get any of the television money
  • Sponsoring a team appears to be rather good value if you are big European company. For starters the team is named after you, then there is broadcast and press exposure across Europe and a few other areas of the world. Some details on sponsorship over at HTC-Highroad.

Photo credit: Tour de Suisse 2011 by Flickr user ponte1112 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Horrible Histories

At 21 I don’t think I’m quite in the CBBC remit but their Horrible Histories is a brilliantly entertaining educational show.

According to Wikipedia the show has one three BAFTAs and was “the surprise winner of the sketch show category of The British Comedy Awards, 2010”. I don’t find that too much of a surprise. The show consists of a variety of historical sketches linked together by animated characters from the various eras and a talking rat puppet.

Each show features content based on a mix of Horrible Histories books written by Terry Deary such as Rotten Romans, Terrible Tudors and Frightful French. Not focusing on a single time period helps keep things fresh and fast paced with packed with loads of historical knowledge, though I expect wont be as good for teachers!

As well as their own sketches Horrible Histories also parodies many other shows – Points of View, Wife Swap, a Gok Wan fashion program, Come Dine with Me and MasterChef are all given historical makeovers.

Jim Howick, you’ll recognise him as Gerard from Peep Show, pops up in most of the scenes.

It’s funny, fast paced, keeps things interesting, amusing whilst giving historical facts.  Most importantly not dull or patronising – really fun to watch. Glad to see it has had some decent money spent on it.

Oh, and it has songs.

Horrible Histories on iPlayer (UK Only)