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TV Plus; Smirking at the star SECRETS

The world is full of places the rich and famous go when they want to play… but where do they go to hide?

The question arose after Angus Deayton did a marvellously funny hatchet job on a selection of them for Before They Were Famous which, as the title implies, featured long-forgotten clips of today’s superstars when they were yesterday’s wannabes.

Talking of Wannabe, one of the funniest examples showed Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in the first throes of attention-grabbing, when she flounced about as a slinky hostess on a Turkish game show.

The wee soul was more camp than vamp. Looking back, she must now Wannabe taking a donner to the darkest side of town to hide her blushes.

Another great clip showed a very young Kate Adie, dressed as a milkmaid and being hauled into the bushes by some demented Morris-dancer type while she was investigating something called – and I kid you not – Randy Day.

I bet she’s now hot-footing it off to find a war she can hide in.

From 1963, there was Oliver Reed in an episode of The Saint, muttering: “I’m warning you, I’m warning you.” The rest of the sentence, edited out, probably said: “Don’t forget to deliver that bottle of gin to my dressing room.”

Next along was Bob Hoskins doing, well nobody’s quite sure what he was doing, but whatever it was made him look ridiculous.

And when he spoke, it showed he wasn’t always a Cockney – it’s good to talk in a normal accent, eh, Bob?

Don’t you laugh, big macho Clint Eastwood. We saw you doing a cringe-making commercial for, of all drinks, milk.

This was obviously from the days before he became a sex symbol. He looked more like The Man With No Dame, or Wimpy Harry saying: “Make my day… gimme a half pint of semi-skimmed.”

Mick Jagger was filmed as a pimply-faced youth, looking so unhappy about the cameras filming his old gym shoes that it no doubt prompted his huge hit of later years… I Can’t Get No Sanniesfaction.

And let’s not forget a heavily-Brylcreemed Des O’Connor, captured on the old pop show The Six Five Special, torturing a number called The Glory of Love and proving one thing.

Even back in the Fifties he could sing none.

Clothes duo are mad as hatters

The best laugh of the week came courtesy of a millinery competition presented by Jeff Banks and his Clothes Show mob.

The hats resembled everything from tennis raquets and fishing rods to dinner plates, space ships, a Flash Gordon lookalike, and Elephant Man’s mask.

Mad hatters? The winning creation looked like 6ft of spider’s web – I kept waiting for Vincent Price to step through it wearing his famous “You’re doomed” expression.

Naturally the fashion folk regarded it in the same way as Vincent – deadly serious – offering all the designs a congratulatory toast.

Proving, of course, that they can’t tell their farce from their melba.

We’re having a Gail of a time, Des!

Channel 5 showed it’s determined to attract younger viewers when introducing its new sports presenter… a former glamour model.

Once topless, Gail McKenna (above) is now a bottomless fund of sporting information on the weekend’s happenings. Given the choice, would you rather have Gail or Desmond Lynam in your living room every Saturday and Sunday?

Maybe it depends on whether you prefer tease or expertise. Hard lines, Des.

The youth theme kicked off in curvaceous style with the Spice Girls, while elsewhere I thought the comedy Hospital was terrific, chat show host Jack Docherty has potential, and the soap Family Affairs needs time – but no more bare bums at 6.45pm, please…

On the news side, Scotland’s Kirsty Young has a great face but she’s nobody’s mug, as she showed with her handling of events and in her interview with Labour leader Tony Blair.

Oh, and the Fame and Fortune focus on Wonderbra girl Eva Harzigova also had its plus points. Two of them!

We are Scot amused

Were you impressed by TV coverage of Scot-land’s World Cup qualifier against Austria? Me neither. Instead we were offered the Lottery, Brookside, English rugby and Australian cricket. Of course, if England had been playing a friendly…

Fool of mischief

Esther Rantzen played a wicked April Fool when she convinced a young bloke he had become a father after a drunken one-night stand which he just couldn’t remember. It serves him right for boasting so much about his conquests. He’ll keep his mouth shut in future!

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