01)The Guy Goma Interview
So what is it that makes the #1 on my list. An Emmy award winning drama? A moment of genius from the World Cup? Nah, it's a moment of televisual genius that will embarrass the BBC for years that isn't even long enough to be a moment really. It is of course the moment when Guy Goma, who went for a job interview at the BBC, ended up being mistaken for a spokesperson on downloading.
Now if this had happened to anyone else, I'm sure it would have been quite amusing but would have probably been forgotten about after a couple of showings on Auntie's Bloomers. But it's his multitude of hilarious facial expressions when the presenter is announcing her intended guest that makes it one of the best all-time TV cock-ups.
Almost as funny is when the man on the outside broadcast actually refers back to something Goma said, as if everything he said made absolute sense. Somehow, he didn't get the job he actually went for. If it was up to me, I'd have given him his own show.
02) The UK Apprentice
Just as good, if not better than the first series, the UK Apprentice was just unmissable TV from start to finish.
Ruth Badger, who was robbed in the final, was the star of the show, but other characters such as manic Jo, unbelievably pompous Paul (who didn’t cheer when he was ripped to shreds in his interview?) and Syed, the male equivalent of last year’s Saira, provided just as much entertainment.
Highlights included Matt Lucas’ cousin ordering an entire chicken for each pizza in a restaurant task, one team making a rather pornographic advert for a credit card and the most cringeworthy piece of TV all year, Nargiss’ woefully inept pitch for her group’s kitten calendar.
03) Celebrity Big Brother
While not as good as last year’s inspired casting of John McRirick, Jackie “yeah Brackie” Stallone and Germaine Greer, this year’s lot were just as Z-list, controversial and diverse as ever.
Of course, the star of the show was Chantelle, a girl who’s been lumped in with the Jade Goodys and Nikki Grahames of this world, but was far more likeable, grounded and intelligent – she held her own against George Galloway on several occasions and seemed genuinely humbled to have won.
Like this year's normal BB, the celebrity version also had an undercurrent of nastiness, the bullying of Jodie Marsh, Pete Burns vile attack on Tracy Bingham and basically just the presence of Michael Barrymore but on the whole was far more entertaining and less contrived. Let's hope the next one, starting in a few days, will be just as good.
04) Malcolm In The Middle
And so the most under-rated sitcom of this decade came to an end. Like a human version of the Simpsons, at its best MITM was the most inventive, chaotic and laugh-out-loud comedy on TV. Yet moved around the BBC2 schedules, it’s never caught on as much as it should have done in the UK.
The last couple of series have been patchy, with its increasing surrealism not really working. But the tenth and final series just about got it together to give it a proper send-off. The final episode tied up all the loose ends - Malcolm going to uni, Reese leaving home, Hal & Lois having another baby, without resorting to going over the top. Lois, who remains one of the best comedy characters of all time, will be sorely missed.
05) Desperate Housewives
It wasn't as compelling as the first series, and the whole Applewhites storyline didn't really work at all, but it was still pretty unmissable TV thanks mainly to Bree, the undisputed star of the show whose struggle with alcohol, coping with her husband's death and relationships with her husband's killer, her sex addict confidant and her devil incarnate son were brilliantly written and performed. Let's hope we have more of the same next series and less of the increasingly irritating Susan.
06) The final The Royle Family
I've only ever cried at two programmes/films, the Eastenders episode where Ethel died and more embarrassingly, Macauley Culkin's rather traumatic bee-sting death in My Girl (I was only ten at the time.) But the excellent Royle Family one-off special almost made it three.It may have been obvious from the first five minutes that Nana would end up carking it but the superb performances and poignant script meant it didn't make it any less upsetting when it finally happened.
The scenes where Nana told Barbara she was glad she wasn't in a home, where Barbara thought she had died in her bed, and where all her family kissed Nana goodbye in hospital were both beautifully written and heartbreaking at the same time. Both Liz Smith and Sue Johnston deserve BAFTA nominations next year.
It felt like more of a drama than a comedy but there were still flashes of the usual brilliant Royle Family humour, Jim ranting about "gays on television", Cheryl's hilarious lonely hearts dates, Denise wanting to palm off her son to watch Jeremy Kyle episodes she'd Sky +d. Overall, it showed Only Fools & Horses how to do a comeback special and was a fitting finale to what is one of the most innovative, funny and well-written sitcoms of the last ten years.
BBC3 only ever seems to serve as an outlet for endless repeats of Two Pints of Lager & A Packet of Crisps. That was until Sinchronicity, a sort of adult version of As If, featuring two of its stars, Jemima Rooper and Paul Chequer which came onto our screens in August.
Using Sliding Doors-style different scenarios, flashbacks and characters addressing the camera Alfie-Style, it told the story of best friends Nathan, Jase and Fi, involved in a complicated love triangle which became a square when Jase started a gay affair with doctor Mani.
Featuring an excellent soundtrack, convincing performances and characters who you actually cared about, why this was tucked away on digital I don’t know, but like last year’s equally as brilliant Conviction, it shows that BBC3 can make quality, innovative programmes when they want to.
08)The Box Sign Language Videos
Music channels aren’t exactly renowned for their innovative ideas but The Box made the genius decision to start signing videos late at night for the benefit of deaf people and the even more genius decision to hire middle aged women to do it.
It may be considered un-PC to find this funny but I'm not laughing AT the middle aged women trying desperately to sign in time to the likes of Usher's "Yeah" or Sean Paul's "We Be Burnin," I'm laughing WITH them. The expressions on their faces as they really throw themselves into it really is a joy to watch.
09) Big Brother
It’s strange to put a show that I watched religiously for three months only at #9 but I had to ask myself did I actually enjoy it, and the answer was for the most part, no.
This year’s Big Brother was the most unpleasant, vindinctive and contrived reality show in the genre’s history. Grace has to be the most unlikeable contestant ever, Sezer was sleaze personified, Spiral was even sleazier, Mikey was misogynistic and Glyn, the “loveable” moron has to be the most moronic person I’ve ever seen. Not knowing how to make a sandwich at 18 isn’t adorable or naïve, it’s mind-numbingly stupid. The show completely jumped the shark as well by allowing the public to vote the monstrous Nikki back in to win.
And Pete would have been a worthy winner up until the last week, when his inoffensive nice guy act crumbled around him as he cynically ployed for votes by getting so offended by Aisleyne’s mock speech, the dead best friend vision and then of course, that see-through relationship with Nikki. He’s become easily the most repulsive winner of BB yet.
So what did I like about it? Well Aisleyne stole the show for me. Maybe it was because the others were so abhorrent, but she stood out as the sole voice of reason in the nuthouse, was the only person to stick up properly for Suzie when Grace chucked water over her and provided some of the best facial expressions on final night when it was revealed Nikki, Jennie and Richard were going before her.
Suzie, who most wrongly thought was the most boring person in there, was so out-of-place she was actually one of the more entertaining. She may have been a contradiction – a tea,drinking, easily offended fame-hungry stripper but her "let’s make a cup of tea" reaction to everything conjured up images of a real-life Mrs Doyle and her treatment by Davina McCall in her final interview was shockingly unfair.
And there were many other fantastic moments, both Pete and Imogen’s songs, Imogen’s radio Hot Topics jingle, the look on Sezer’s face when he found out he was evicted, Nikki’s original diary-room rants before she got evicted and voted in again etc.
Like The X Factor, it's one of those shows that infuriates you as much as entertains you. Let's hope next year, they can stop the lame twists every five seconds, put some vaguely normal people in there and stop the blatant bias towards/against contestants. I doubt they will somehow.
10) Totally Boyband
MTV UK might be a load of Yank-centric rubbish most of the time (does anyone outside the US know who Master P is? So why do we need to see his "Cribs" about ten times every week?) but it really does excel when it comes to commissioning their own reality shows. After the excellent car-crash series that was Totally Scott-Lee comes the follow up, Totally Boyband.
The concept was simple. To follow around a newly-created boyband supergroup made up of five singers who combined have "apparently" sold 80 million records worldwide. But you wouldn't be able to laugh at the show if it were former pop stars who actually had talent, Gary Barlow, Tony Mortimer etc. So instead we got a group made up mostly of people who never actually sang on their records, Lee Latchford Evans, Danny Wood, Jimmy Constable.
Unfortunately despite their lowly status, most of them had rather large egos to say the least and despite Dane Bowers being the only vocally gifted member, in a huge lack of self-awareness, they decided to sack Lee for being talentless. Which made their dismal chart position (No.35) even more satisfying. Star of the show, like last year, was Concept Records' Roseann McBride, the bluntest woman on earth, whose effing, blinding and brutal honesty made the show even funnier.