In Parenting For Idiots a cast of famous people share their parenting moments
These were quite pleasant occasions, full of barbecued sausages and the exchange of much mirth over the latest embarrassing, horrifying or hygiene-defying exploits of our young offspring.
At another point, though, these events all stopped and not just because our kids were old enough to be able to refuse to go (although they were, and they did).
I think we’d all quite simply swapped every parenting-related observation, every story, every self-deprecating yarn that began “Oh you wouldn’t believe what Evie said to the vicar…” that it was possible to swap. Realising there was nothing else to say, we just quietly moved on.
This happy state does not seem to have occurred to the people who make Parenting For Idiots (C4).
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In this case, the same stories about exploding nappies, manipulation in the sweetie aisle and cherubic little voices pointing out the one thing that oughtn’t to be mentioned in Granny’s earshot, are relayed to us by famous people.
This might be an attempt to prove that when a child vomits down a cardigan, it is more funny if the cardigan belongs to Stephen Mangan.
Equally, it could be a misguided attempt to tell us that, even if someone has their face on the telly a lot, they are still quite like you and me. The first isn’t true, the second only really needs pointing out to idiots.
The celebrities experience the realities of looking after a child
You can only listen to so much of this modern “the kids rule the roost, really, don’t they?” stuff without wondering if it’s doing anyone any good in the long term.
Let’s have more children dressed in T-shirts that say “I’m A Little Monster”. More car bumper stickers that read “Princess On Board”.
Let’s have more celebrities wittily telling us that their kids are the ones in charge and that they, the adults, don’t really know what they’re doing. Then see what the future looks like, or rather, let’s not.
It could be an attempt to tell us that famous people are not so different to the public after all
Death In Paradise (BBC1) made a controversial move off the island idyll last night, with DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and most of his team pursuing a murderous coterie of financial analysts back to London, after a local yachtsman was found murdered on his vessel.
If you only watch the show for the coconuts and the beaches, the sight of Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) knocking on doors in South East London might have been a bit of a disappointment. For those who enjoy this show and yet often find themselves wishing it could serve up a bit more, the London interlude was something of a long-deserved reward.
Death In Paradise is about criminal investigations on a Caribbean island
Free-wheeling charmer Dwayne was trying to find the father who’d deserted him and his mother years back. On the island of Saint-Marie, junior copper JP (Tobi Bakare) and formidable Chief (Don Warrington) formed a strange detective double act as they scoured the Caribbean end of the case.
For once, the boss wasn’t breezing in and telling everyone to wrap it up quickly, he was acting like a man with long experience on the job, trying to pass some of it on.
You could say that JP found his father-figure, while Dwayne only found an old, bitter man, and both stories brought us a little closer to the characters involved. Paradise backdrops only work for so long.