What's happening in the Big Brother 2013 house? Well, it's all Secrets and Lies as these photos show.
TV review: Foxes Live
Channel 4's Foxes Live
Channel 4's Foxes Live: Wild in the City - presented by Mark Evans and Anita Rani - takes a look at the rise of the urban fox, using the latest tracking devices and night-vision cameras to assess the increasingly bold behaviour of the beasts, and to get to grips with the size of the nation's urban fox population.
Oh alright then, the (pre-recorded) footage of the mother and her dying cubs was pretty moving stuff, even for a heartless old cynic like me..
There wasn't a fox to be seen in the sweeping live footage of wasteland around Battersea. Scared off by Mark Evans' over-dramatic bellowing perhaps?.
Broadcasting live from Battersea Power Station (a fox hotbed, apparently), Channel 4's take on the Springwatch phenomenon is 60 minutes of pure fluff; part X Factor-esque fox sob story, and part Love It! magazine-style sensationalism.
"part X Factor-esque fox sob story"
We were promised a major study of foxes in the UK today. We were promised the most comprehensive survey of British foxes in over 30 years.
Instead, we got (pre-recorded) footage of cute cubs played over a Steptoe and Son soundtrack; a comical reconstruction of an incident involving a fox biting a sleeping lady's foot in Fulham; and a fox-tracking section in which - for technical reasons - the fox couldn't be tracked.
Credit has to go to presenter (and vet) Mark Evans, who bravely rose above the froth to deliver a performance worthy of David Dimbleby on Newsnight. Someone clearly forgot to tell him not to take the thing too seriously.
"Since we've been set up here, we've seen dozens of foxes," he thundered into the wind, against the derelict backdrop of Battersea Power Station.
And yet, there wasn't a fox to be seen for miles around.
"Are they victims or vermin? Friend or foe?" continued Evans, undeterred, like a shoutier and - yes - even less subtle version of Nicky Campbell hosting, say, a debate about immigration on The Big Questions.
But, alas, Mark's attempts to turn Foxes Live into the serious study of fox behaviour that had been promised were thwarted by the whole ludicrous set-up which, frankly, was more Brasseye than Springwatch.
"Absolutely magnificent footage!" he yelled unperturbed, over some tedious footage of fox cubs play-fighting in Esher.
However, this opener interested 1.8m viewers (including the +1 timeshift); Channel 4 will be happy even if I wasn't. So what did we learn? Well, we discovered from an RSPCA 'expert' that foxes absolutely do not attack humans. This despite the fact that we'd just had to endure a (pre-recorded) piece on foxes attacking humans.
We learned that a man called Geoff Grewcock keeps a menagerie in Warwickshire, one of whose 'guests' is an 11-year-old tame fox called Roxy. Geoff also keeps a deer, and we are treated to (pre-recorded) footage of it hanging out in Geoff's kitchen while he fries chicken.
"there's a hitch with the interactive aspect"
We are repeatedly urged to get involved; to log our sightings online and send in our photos.
Unfortunately, there's a hitch with the interactive aspect: the GPS tracking system that allows us to follow the movements of newly released chicken-killer Chico has failed, no doubt disappointing literally tens of people who had logged on to chart his progress through the Manchester streets.
In Manchester, Anita Rani improvises, gamely taking us on a tour of the leafy suburb into which Chico has just been released, and pointing vaguely in the direction of a nearby railway line.
The reality, one assumes, is that Chico has been crushed beneath the wheels of a 4x4 but that - with the possibility of kiddiewinks watching - this truth has been concealed.
In other words, we learn very little at all. The studio 'experts' are far too busy cooing over cute ickle baby foxy woxys to provide us with anything approaching a useful or interesting fact. And frankly, for a show that calls itself Foxes Live, there's a helluva lot of pre-recorded footage.
After a good giggle at Channel 4's expense, Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham will no doubt enjoy a very sound night's sleep.
- Based purely on the fact that it managed to be unintentionally amusing for much of its 60 minutes, Foxes Live earns Channel 4 three stars out of five
TV quotes of the week - Foxes Live
"Compassionate act or complete craziness?" - Mark comes over all Nicky Campbell as he muses aloud on the release of a chicken-killing fox.
"You can't blame him for doing what he's supposed to do... that's nature innit" - Daniel, the owner of seven chickens (previously 12) is somewhat more philosophical.
"He'll either stay in... or he'll bolt." - Fox handler Chris covers all possible outcomes in his analysis of what might happen when Chico's box is opened.
"We've seen foxes picking up scraps from posh parties." - Alas, no footage of a fox in a smoking jacket, swigging champagne and puffing on a cheroot, was forthcoming.
"This is a debate that divides the nation!" - Ok, calm down Mark.
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