Columbo Villain of The Week: Anthea Turner

23 01 2008

This week’s CVTW is the perfect vill…housewife Anthea Turner.

Anthea Turner

The former Blue Peter girl whose career reached giddy heights with GMTV before she managed to get fired and is currently trawling new depths with Help Me Anthea I’m infested…

The one time princess of breakfast telly’s career detonated when she finally pushed Irish co-presenter Eamonn Holmes over the edge. GMTV fired her. Through 1999-2001 she was more famous for being in the tabloids than on the telly as her failed relationships were rolled out one after another culminating in her marrying Grant Bovey.

In 2001 she began her long climb back to fame with Celebrity Big Brother being the third person voted off. This was merely a dress rehearsal for a more permanent return with The perfect Housewife in 2006 when she was finally, irrevocably revealed as a nutcase. The concept of the show involved Anthea taking wayward housewives (and husbands) to task over being unable to keep a tidy house, correctly select cheese-boards and the correct way to fluff a pillow.

Anthea’s never really given up on the whole telly thing and with her own show once more I reckon she’d do anything to hang onto her top spot. I can see it now…

Jealous of her BBC Three success her ex-boyfriend and fellow z-lister Bruno Brookes threatens to release a compromising photo of her. That’s right: she once had paisley upholstery. This threatens to destroy the very fabric of the Anthea brand. There is only one way to handle it.

She entices Bruno round to discuss terms and with the promise of a nibble on her vintage gorgonzola. Before his arrival she laces the cheese with the arsenic based weedkiller she uses to keep children off her lawns, discreetly she plants a note threatening herself in with the cheese wrapping. It goes without saying she’s wearing rubber gloves.

Bruno’s demise rocks stoke-on-trent. Anthea even gets a job out of it speaking at his funeral for which she charges £50. It’s a slow week and so the story gets picked up on GMTV – Anthea is back on the sofa once more. Riding on a wave of nostalgia the public speaks…well mumbles: they want Anthea back.

The producers aren’t sure. For one thing they suspect it isn’t her they want to see but the ever present threat of violence between her and Eamonn; for another she’s followed everywhere by a cigar chomping American Detective. Crisis talks are ordered: Eamonn is invited to afternoon tea.

Anthea cleans for twenty-four hours straight in the run up to the big meeting, the sofa is ironed and the windows washed clean with the tears of eighteen virgins. Anthea even bakes…

…Eamonn arrives with Grant’s irritating detective friend from America who always forgets to remove his shoes and yes he’s walked mud through the hall. They proceed to the living room where the yank sits down with his coat still on, was he born in a speak easy? And look: that fat Irishman is smiling his genial bloody twinkling Gaelic smile. No, I must stop that. Here, I’ll pour the tea. There you go. And cut the cake AND OH MY GOD HE’S PUT THE CUP DOWN ON BARE WOOD I’M GOING TO KILL HIM.

Eamonn’s obituary is lengthy but Anthea’s on the frontpage once more…

The Internet: bad for your health?

23 01 2008

A couple of people have asked me about Bridgend hitting the news, yet again, for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who don’t know, that was one of the places I lived when I was kid – actually where I stayed put longest. It recently hit the news because of this.

Anyway, I had no idea this had happened but now I am aware – and I was asked – here is my view:

It is a terrible tragedy for the families and friends involved, my thoughts are with them.

The media coverage is inaccurate, sensationalised and insensitive to the relatives of those recently affected as well as the many families in the area who have gone through this in the last ten to fifteen years.

There have always been a high number of teenage deaths in the Bridgend area (suicide and accidental) for reasons that are complex and varied but none of which include social networking sites. These include the close proximity of unstable cliffs, dangerous tidal conditions around the Ogmore estuary, inadequate speed limits on the A48, social deprivation due to the decline of manufacturing, high levels of drug abuse, and frankly inadequate support services for teenagers particularly males.

Reports warning of the evils of sites such as Bebo show a high level of ignorance both of how the internet works and how teenagers interact. And that’s all I’m willing to say.

The mood will lighten later with Columbo Villain of the week. Promise.


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