Death of Daybreak
In the last week of August, ITV proudly announced GMTV's successor would, and I quote, "set the day's agenda, delivering reputation- building news and distinctive, credible journalism".
One week in, how has Daybreak – brought to us live by Face-ache and Rump Steak from the lobby of a Premier Inn, judging by the set – made good on its promise?
By redefining "reputation- building news" and "credible journalism" as "puerile animal YouTube videos", "general views of Port Isaac" and "a four-year-old story dressed up as an exclusive to launch a breakfast show", that's how.
In fact, I can draw some positives. Playful insults from me aside, Adrian Chiles is a fine anchorman who's a big loss to the BBC. The excellent sports guy Dan Lobb has been retained.
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And, most of all, it's not GMTV. Except it is, really.
Only the names have been changed to protect the idiocy, along with a view of central London behind the presenters which will be pitch black for six months when the clocks go back.
Despite serving up clips of skateboarding dogs, sneezing pandas, obese orang-utans and comedy-shaped vegetables, they believe they've gone all high-brow on us, replacing the lowly sounding "reporters" with "special correspondents".
In truth? It's like a daily two-and-a-half hour Blue Peter audition.
Sample "credible journalism" includes newsreader Tasmin Khan's assessment of 10,000 potential job losses with the collapse of property firm Connaught ("Cordelia, this could be bad news, couldn't it?"), political editor Sue Jameson calling Tony Blair "the Prime Minister".
Then Damon Green was sent all the way to Switzerland to give us this insight into Wayne Rooney's personal life: "Various people quoted in the papers allege his wife Coleen is either going to dump Wayne or she's going to stick with him, but clearly nobody knows what Coleen Rooney is going to do."
Worth every penny of the air fare for that.
They've tried covering over the cracks, of course, with laughing cameramen and sections like "five-a-day", which logically features the morning's top three news stories, and "Something Cool Before The Kids Go To School", which is yet to be cool.
The phone-in competition entry has been hiked from £1 to £1.50 and still requires a master's degree to work out the answer, this week's poser being "How long is a century?"
Christine Bleakley, on a programme five times longer than The One Show, has been exposed as a spare part, while poor old Chiles is labouring with lines like: "The sun is yet to make any impact on this field just outside Bolton," and, "There's no sun yet in Todmorden."
And entertainment corresp- ondent Steve Hargrave was only asking for trouble when he asked Louie Spence: "If Daybreak was a dance, what would it look like?" Like a funeral march, Steve.
But the real danger sign for this show is how quickly it's gone downhill.
The £100,000 competition prize was displayed as cash in a cabinet on Monday. By Tuesday it was a cheque "written on toilet paper".
At 8.20am on Monday, Tony Blair was on the sofa revealing he'd cancel his book-signing in London because of security fears.
At 8.20am on Tuesday, X Factor winner Alexandra Burke was on the sofa revealing: "Alfie, my Yorkshire terrier, has a new friend. I've actually got a kitten now."
And when Chiles, introducing another inane YouTube video, declared: "I'm not sure I want to see more of that," it was not only a sentiment equally applicable to Daybreak.
It was the week's solitary piece of credible journalism.
The Queen is dead. The Queen Vic, that is. And Peggy Mitchell has walked out of Walford in a week EastEnders fans will treasure forever.
And which I will too (though, I suspect, for entirely different reasons).
A week where this soap became so unintentionally hilarious that it must be short-listed for Bafta's Best Comedy gong.
I was already sniggering on Monday as the Mitchells kidnapped Phil from his crack den and, in so doing, gave their only weapon of defence to his puny sister, Sam.
The snigger became an outright guffaw when they locked him in a room above the Vic to go cold turkey and nailed a plank of wood across the frame of a door – which opened from the inside.
I can only assume Peggy's plan was that he'd knock himself out running into it if he escaped, the only way Phil Mitchell could be a convincing smack head.
The plank multiplied overnight, which was funny enough, but then it transpired they'd left Phil conveniently in a room with a phone, along with the family photos, vases, lamps and mirrors to smash up.
When Billy unlocked the door to give the drug addict a glass of water, he forgot to take the water in with him and managed to leave a crowbar as he left, resulting in Phil's finest "Here's Johnny!" impersonation before setting the place alight.
Sadly, nobody in the pub noticed the 6ft high flames leaping behind the bar and, when they did clock the inferno, Masood told Dot: "Go home and call the fire brigade," because nobody in Albert Square has yet developed the ability to operate a mobile phone.
By the time Stacey contrived to trap herself and her baby in the boarded-up room and fire crews arrived at the scene apparently without any hoses, I was rolling about the floor.
And that left just Peggy's exit from the show, which will be a much poorer place without her.
She wanted to take Phil away with her to get him off the drugs, but he refused.
So she left anyway, which in a week of the utterly ludicrous on this show, tops lot.
Channel 4's excellent three-part series in May, Derren Brown Investigates, saw the illusionist debunk highly dubious claims of the paranormal.
For part four, he should really take a close look at something highly dubious from Wednesday, Derren Brown: Hero At 30,000 Feet.
A "live special", which wasn't live, apart from Derren – the new Jeremy Beadle – chatting to camera in an aircraft hangar at Leeds Bradford Airport, featuring an "unremarkable" underachiever called Matt with a phobia of flying who was made to believe he had to land a 737 passenger aeroplane when the pilot fell ill.
This was after they'd tied him to a railway track from which he had to escape from an oncoming train thundering down on him, at 2mph.
Call me a cynic, but when Matt went to the cockpit and was "quickly put in a hypnotic sleep" before being woken in a "completely convincing" flight simulator, he seemed less surprised than me that day had suddenly turned to night.
10 Krypton Factor points later he'd saved the day, met the actors from the plane like Michael Douglas in the 1997 movie The Game, and Derren told him: "This is the proudest moment of my career, talking to you after what you've just achieved."
Quite an achievement, landing a simulator at 17 feet.
A thoroughly enjoyable X Factor culminated in that heavily trailed on-stage punch-up between "pals" Abbey and Lisa.
The rudest, grumpiest-faced, least talented and, therefore, most entertaining duo in the show's history who had to be separated, Jerry Springer style, backstage by bouncers.
Other high points were: France's answer to Jedward, "Twem", who were "determinated" to get through; housewife Patti Eleode who sang For Your Eyes Only, the wailing banshee remix, which should never have been For Our Ears Only; Dermot O'Leary announcing the week's guest judge Natalie Imbruglia: "Who better to step into Dannii Minogue's shoes?" Kylie, I'm thinking.
Come Dine With Me: Big Brother Winners special will go down as a classic.
BB10 winner Sophie Reade showed she's lost nothing: "Where do potatoes come from? Do they grow on trees?" and, after hearing the answer: "Potatoes don't seem that Irish but they grow in the ground in Ireland, apparently." How I've missed her.
Brian Dowling, suitably, provided the ultimate Big Brother epitaph: "We've had a crazy week. We've had a drunken Brian, we've had broken glasses, we've had a lot of feely-touchiness, we've had a budding romance and we've had an argument. It's better than Big Brother."
That's Come Dine With Me. It's better than Big Brother. And always will be.