IS Antony Cotton the answer to ITV1’s teatime prayers?
The Corrie star made a strong start last Monday and Tuesday with 2m viewers each day.
But the jury is still out on Manchester-based That Antony Cotton Show.
By Wednesday the audience was down to 1.5m – and that’s how many were watching Friday’s edition.
Trade magazine Broadcast pointed out that both Sharon Osbourne and Richard Hammond had similar initial high ratings in the tricky 5pm slot.
Both series lost viewers and tailed off.
Several critics have been quick to dismiss Antony’s chances of long term teatime success.
Still, who takes any notice of critics?


DON’T forget to make a date for the return of The X Factor tomorrow night. You won’t be disappointed.
Cast your eyes further down the ITV1 schedule and your heart might sink when you read 9.40pm: The Truth About Boybands.
Leaving aside the argument about whether it should be “boybands” or boy bands”, I thought it would be yet another talking heads show.
Well, to a large extent it is.
But while it won’t win any awards, the two-part series exceeded my expectations.
There are some excellent contributions, providing just a glimpse of what really went on behind the scenes.
Pete Waterman gives a good impression of the grumpy old man of pop, stripping away much of the nonsense surrounding that world.


CHAMPAGNE, popcorn and tears at today’s press launch for The X Factor 2007.
It was standing room only at the cinema inside London’s Mayfair Hotel for a preview screening of this Saturday’s first show.
That was followed by a press conference and chats with judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue.
New presenter Dermot O’Leary was also on parade, along with ITV2’s The Xtra Factor host Fearne Cotton.
Although Sharon Osbourne was otherwise detained in Los Angeles, she sent a filmed message for the media.
“We’re all kicking off on this show,” she purred.
“I don’t think it’s what any of you are going to expect it to be.”


SOME images stop you in your tracks.
Many years ago, I was researching an article about the opening of the M1 in 1959.
In a library archive, I came across a photo of a few cars driving up the empty motorway on the first weekend of a new era.
The almost total lack of traffic was striking enough.
But even more memorable was the view of the houses up on the embankment to the side of the new road.
All the way along, sitting in their garden deckchairs, local residents were admiring the view.
It’s hard now to imagine the excitement Britain’s first motorways generated – or how they became instant tourist destinations.
But it’s all there in a new three-part BBC4 series called The Secret Life Of The Motorway.


“AT the time they just see it as lighting a fire and it’s a big laugh.
“But it isn’t, because fire fighters get killed like that all the time.”
The words of Broughton Red Watch Commander Chris Rainford in a new TV documentary series.
He’s talking about the idiots who deliberately start fires – some 75 per cent of all blazes attended by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
It’s a staggering figure, highlighted in Inferno 999, which begins on Five next month.
The series was the subject of a news story in Friday’s MEN – an online version, with a gallery of four images, is here.
I watched all six programmes in the series one night last week.
Here are just a few more of the scenes and content that caught my eye, along with some other pics.


HERE’S the first picture of Doctor Who with his new companion.
Well, that’s if you leave aside the time David Tennant and Catherine Tate starred together in Christmas special The Runaway Bride.
As the universe and his wife knows by now, Donna Noble returns in the fourth series, currently being filmed in Cardiff.
Expected to be Tennant’s last appearance in the role, the new series sees Donna tracking down the Time Lord during an alien emergency in modern day London.
The BBC today released further details of one of the storylines, which finds Donna and the Doctor travelling through time for an encounter with murder mystery author Agatha Christie.
She will be played by Jekyll actress Fenella Woolgar, while Rosemary and Thyme “lord” Felicity Kendall co-stars as Lady Clemency Eddison.


THE sun may be out at last but autumn is fast approaching in TV land.
One sure sign is the return of The X Factor.
It’s back on Saturday August 18 for what is billed as “an even bigger and better fourth series”.
Judges Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne are joined by a re-instated Louis Walsh and new addition Dannii Minogue.
And following the controversial decision to replace Kate Thornton, main ITV1 presenting duty now falls to Dermot O’Leary.
As ever, the best bits of The X Factor are in the early audition shows.