I’m writing this with Wet Wet Wet’s Greatest Hits thundering through my speakers.
If Top Gun’s Tom Cruise wasn’t going to marry me, Marti Pellow would surely arrive and carry me off into the sunset. I looked into his eyes every night – a Smash Hits poster tacked to my custard-yellow wood-chip bedroom wall – and willed the universe to make it happen.
The reason I am confusing Spotify with my track choices today? Car Share, that’s what. Clunk click.
Car Share back on the box
Oh John and Kayleigh, have we missed you. And if you want to gorge on its brilliance, the whole of series two is now available on the BBC iPlayer. A gift although, if you can, maybe watch it weekly (BBC1 every Tuesday) so you have a little something to look forward to.
It begins with Peter Kay’s John Redmond on the commute to the supermarket in his jolly red Fiat (albeit still needing a car wash from where we left off), but his passenger seat is painfully empty and the camera is positioned mid-dash to highlight that is so.
Kayleigh Kitson (played by sublime show co-writer Siân Gibson) is living at her sister’s in another part of town and is embarking on a walking (to prevent becoming ‘a bag of doughnuts’) and public transport adventure to work. It is really out of John’s way. Hmmm, let’s see how long that lasts.
She left John a present of Now 48 (her favourite album ever) and told him via the medium of a Post-it Note to listen to track two and note the lyrics: Pure and Simple by Hear’Say.
There is road rage, monster trucks and cowboys, phone signal issues, chats about window boxes and cookies and thin curtains and dancing kittens and Quality Street. Plus a pop at Channel 4 – look out for a billboard and probably lots of other clever little touches I have missed. And the cracking Forever FM; those genius adverts between tunes that tickle the nostalgia for people of a certain age, adverts that are only one tiny step further fetched than those being sincerely produced each week for local radio stations up and down the country.
All the while, the affection between the pair is palpable. This is what Car Share does, exulting the ordinary to a little bit extraordinary.
Our dirty little secret
Flick over to MTV for a dirty little secret for this highly-regarded entertainment critic: Just Tattoo Of Us. Oh, my life.
The draw was two-fold – the fact I have partaken in a drop of ink so I am always curious about these shows, whether people are decorating fresh flesh or covering up a body art abomination, and that a slightly-aggrieved friend or family member gets to choose the design and the big reveal is once the ‘fear goggles’ are removed and the victim is stood in front of the mirror. What could go wrong?
The presenting line-up of soulmates Charlotte Crosby and Stephen ‘Bear’ Bear adds to the carnage. They just cannot seem to stop shouting. And the beauty technicians with lip filler and teeth whitener have been double-shifting.
Let’s welcome the first contestants – cousins Sophie and Lauren from Sunderland. Sophie, we are informed, ‘thinks of her f***y more than anything else’. If I have this right, she was engaged, but then she slept with her fiancé’s friend and then his friend’s four mates. Lauren, therefore, wants to give her a valuable life lesson – by instructing WHAT to be tattooed on Sophie’s backside?! My goodness.
The 19-year-old gets her own back, by choosing an image representing Lauren’s hirsute issues to be placed mid-left thigh. Pretty it ain’t.
‘I think we have all learned a lesson here’ booms Crosby earnestly. Never a truer word was spoken, babe. A sugar sweet John Legend track plays over Bear clapping everyone and saying well done.
I am in for the hour now. Who’s next?
It’s Charlotte’s Geordie Shore mucker Sophie Kasaei and her bronzed beau Joel Corry.
‘Is it a Picasso?’ she asks, optimistically, as her eyes are uncovered? She squints. ‘Or is it something to do with chlamydia, as he gave me that.’
Joel’s five-hour ordeal starts with a Bic taken to his nether regions.
The couple agrees in front of the big mirror that the whole experience has made their bond even stronger. I’m welling up.
I have given you a flavour. How can you resist? Just don’t sue me if you choke on your hot cross buns over that one.
Easter weekend cinema binge coming up. Have fun.
– Iris Froydenlund