CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: Stuffed ducks, love seats… these interior gurus are trying too hard

Interior Design Masters


Colin From Accounts


Pine is out. That’s what the dictators of home decor have decided. And who are we to argue?

Not long ago, every flatpack table and chest of drawers was constructed from pine, but it’s so passe now. The good news, I suppose, is that those units always fall to bits after a few years, even if you fitted them together correctly in the first place.

One of the gurus on Interior Design Masters (BBC1) swanned into a lakeside holiday lodge built from pine beams and declared, ‘This is where the early 1990s went to die!’

The solution, apparently, is to slap a few coats of grey paint over the wood. That will give visitors the sensation of being trapped in the hold of a battleship.

I would be inclined to do nothing, wait for varnished pine to come back into style, and save myself the trouble of stripping off all that grey paint in the future. Mind you, that’s my approach to all fashions: every now and then, trad jazz and pullovers tucked into high-waisted jeans make a comeback, and I look like a trendsetter.

Interior Design Masters presenter Alan Carr (pictured) asked sarkily whether one creation was roadkill

Judge Michelle Ogundehin (left), pictured here with previous guest judge Ross Bailey, saw the four remaining contestants asked to revamp a pair of A-frame wedding lodges

The four remaining contestants in this reality competition were trying too hard. Temi made a love-seat, hanging a swing from one of the chunky beams. Tom draped bridal veils over the bed, and Jack made a chandelier from test tubes crammed with gypsophila.

Fishy tales of the night 

Ruth Goodman cast doubt on the legend of Cornwall’s ‘stargazy pie’ on Inside The Factory (BBC2)

But Poldark fans know the truth — Demelza made this sardine dish, with the fish heads poking through the pastry, as a treat for husband Ross. 

That’s proper history.

Monika announced her intention to create a ‘romantic and dark and magical and masculine’ feel, which meant mounting a stuffed teal duck on the wall. The poor bird looked like it had been leaking sawdust — or perhaps it was left over from MasterChef.

Presenter Alan Carr asked sarkily whether it was roadkill. ‘It is a duck,’ retorted Monika, ‘and its name is Alan.’ I’m warming to her now. Tattooed from her shoulders to her toes, she calls herself a ‘whimsigoth’, which is the 2020s version of 1990s gothic, which was inspired by the post-punk goths, who based their look on Bela Lugosi from the 1930s…

Everything comes back into fashion if you wait long enough. I’m hanging on to my pine shelving towers for CDs from Ikea (CDs will enjoy a revival, too, just you see).

Colin From Accounts (BBC2), an eight-part romantic comedy created by husband-and-wife stars Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer, also had a retro feel. That’s because Australian humour is unabashedly coarse and politically incorrect.

It isn’t for the faint-hearted. The story centres around Colin, a scruffy terrier who loses an argument with a car. Colin ends up with wheels for back legs and a $12,000 (£6,400) vet’s bill.

Brammall plays the driver, ‘Flash’ Gordon, a lonely bachelor who feels horribly guilty about the poor dog — he was distracted before the accident by Ashley, a medical student (Dyer), who flashed her boob at him.

Husband-and-wife stars Patrick Brammall (left) and Harriet Dyer (right) star in unabashedly coarse and politically incorrect Aussie comedy Colin From Accounts

Some of the toilet humour is pretty pungent. But other gags are sweetly innocent: Ashley thinks it’s hysterical that the vet’s name is Yvette. ‘I’m a vet and I’m Yvette! Cos you don’t actually know which one I’m saying there. I mean, it’s mental’ — and with an accent like Ashley’s, the joke works.

Within 20 minutes, Flash and Ashley have moved in together to co-parent their disabled mutt. It’s a silly set-up, but there’s enough depth to the characters to let us believe that they’re both so desperate for friendship, Colin is all the excuse they need.

The real star, of course, is the dog. The couple fantasise that, if he was human, he would have a boring office job: ‘He’s Colin from accounts-payable, working on the big merger.’

But anyone watching this can see that the animal is a natural performer — Colin Knievel, the Two-Wheeled Wonder.

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