Radiation by Fiona Rae

ER is the new Coronation Street

Alex Kingston might have been complaining recently that she’s being shoved off ER for being too old, but she didn’t sound that peeved about it way back in February when I interviewed her. She should be counting her blessings anyway -- I know ER is one of our top raters, but god, it's gotten dull.

I don’t know why I bother with it really. I think it’s like my Coronation Street, which I don’t watch; it’s a soap. In fact, I missed it last week and, funnily enough, my life wasn’t in any way different. There was no sense of loss.

We can’t tell here, but in the US shows always do something exciting and big budget for the “May Sweeps” ratings period (it’s the same way you’ll see those crappy adds for radio stations on TV here – it’s because they’re in a ratings spell). Generally, that means someone dies or is seriously injured on ER (remember when Carter and Lucy got stabbed?). This year it was Romano, who got squashed under a helicopter, a real shame. In fact, he was treated badly all round – they could have kept on having scenery-chewing fun with Romano, made him fall in love with a hippy or something, but no, first it was dismemberment and then death by helicopter. They got rid of redneck desk clerk Frank recently too, but not without some redemption first. Ho hum.

If you really like reality TV, you’ll be pleased to know that TV3 is going to show not only The Swan, an extreme makeover-type show where the makeoverees get to compete in a beauty competition at the end, but My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé as well. An internet campaign was launched against the former. This website has all you ever need to know about reality shows. Enjoy.

If you really like cop shows, you’ll be pleased to know that Dick Wolf is adding to his stable of Law & Order spin-offs. Law & Order: Trial By Jury is set for early next year in the US. He told Entertainment Weekly that Law & Order is a brand, while CSI, which spinning-off as hard as it can too, is a franchise. Yes, Obi-Wan, I can see the difference.

Eschewing the usual television experience, I actually went to the rugby on the weekend, which was slightly surreal, at least at first – where’s the replays from 10 different angles? Where’s the half-time stats? Where’s Murray Mexted’s malapropisms? There are certain things about going to a game that you can guarantee: there’ll always be one idiot with one joke who keeps yelling it out throughout the entire game – in our case, it was a continual exhortation for England to “Go for the field goal”; there’ll always be someone wearing a “Bring Back the Biff” T-shirt – actually, someone in our party; and, in a crowd of 45,000 people, you’ll always meet someone you know (we did, under the stand). Clive Woodward cannot be serious when he said he thought England were still the better team.

Before you start getting all worried that I’m going the way of Russell Brown; don’t. I’m a main event kinda gal. Tests and finals.

General agreement on The Cuteness of Sarah Ulmer, and one nomination for Suzy Cato, although isn’t there a slight icky side to lusting after a children’s TV presenter? I’m warming to Kelly Swanson Roe after she described a runner’s long-legged tights on Sportzah! as “budgie smugglers”.

I haven’t been getting a Letterman list from Prime lately; but in any case, there’s no Letterman from now until the 5th July due to Prime’s overnight coverage of Wimbledon.

Lastly, as a complete digression, does SJD have a small son who likes to wear a Superman costume? “Superman you’re crying/Superman, you need a rest …” Just wondering.