The Rambles of Neil Monnery

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Archive for the ‘tv’ tag

Sister Cristina Scuccia and her quite heartwarming TV moment

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I haven’t blogged in an age. So what could drag me back into writing? Well how about the story of a nun, a TV show and general all round awesomeness?

If you know me well you’ll know that gutter TV and me are in a relationship. I watch a lot of rubbish television. A lot. Like a lot of people I also enjoy The Voice, well the audition part of The Voice anyway. The rest isn’t that great but the auditions are fun. I watch the UK version. I watch the American version and I also scour YouTube to watch auditions from versions from all over the Globe.

Well over the weekend one audition has gone viral. The audition of Sister Cristina Scuccia. The 25 year-old nun who lives in Milan but originally from Sicily was insecure about her life and where it was heading. Her Mother Superior told her to use her gift of a singing voice and audition for The Voice of Italy and if on the off chance you haven’t seen it yet then it is embedded below and is just quite frankly heartwarming.

Now is it the best audition I have seen in terms of singing voice? Probably not but it is extremely good. However what makes it stand out is watching the audience go crazy and then the faces of all the judges as they turned around. If there is one thing the Italian public will like it is a nun who can entertain. She must be about as red hot favourite as their has ever been for one of these shows after just one audition. A deeply Catholic country, a nun, real singing talent, that is a recipe for insane popularity right there.

The crowd go nuts after her first line and the two males judges look at each other noticing this and knowing it must be something special. The rapper J-Ax is the one that goes first followed by former X Factor Italy star Noemi. They are both delighted with what they see and J-ax implores the other two to push their buttons. Piero Pelu does so and then after more pleading Raffaella Carrà finally turns her button but gestures clearly that she’s only done it on the say so of J-ax before turning around and her jaw hitting the ground.

Nuns from her religious order are watching and are overjoyed as everyone turns and then the judges make their cases to Sister Cristina. J-ax says that if he had heard her voice whilst in his teens then he’d probably be Pope by now and that they could be the devil and the holy water. The other male judge Piero Pelu also makes an impassioned plea for her to join his team. Raffaella Carrà is just stunned that this is a real nun and Noemi decides to attempt to engage with her religious side by proclaiming herself holy water as well.

At the end she says that she had decided beforehand that if she had to choose then she would do so solely on the basis of who turned first and therefore chooses J-ax. Sometimes opposites attract and I have a feeling these two will win the competition and she will go on to be a big star and potentially a huge asset to the Roman Catholic church as they look to engage with a younger generation. I think she chose J-ax correctly as he was clearly the most into her voice, his reactions say as much.

This audition has gone viral due to the fact it is such a feel good story. Her voice is clearly legit and isn’t TV there to get us talking and to entertain us? In this case it has certainly done that to me because I just can’t stop watching it. I will certainly be looking out for her future performances!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

Written by neilmonnery

March 23rd, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Posted in General

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Andy Gray & Richard Keys singing ‘Get your tits out…’ to a female presenter (video).

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Andy Gray and Richard Keys are ‘lads’ as some people would say. They are also clearly immature pathetic individuals. They got their comeuppance when there were leaks of videos of them talking about Sian Massay and then how Gray dealt with a female colleague. They disappeared from UK TV and are now presenting and commentating on Bein Sport in Dubai. They have disappeared from the public (or shall we say the football) consciousness for a good while now until last Saturday.

Last Saturday Andy Gray stepped into the commentary box alongside Ian Darke to call the Stevenage v Everton FA Cup game for BT Sport. Michael Owen was on holiday so Gray came in for a guest appearance. Now I know we’ve all come to realise how bad Michael Owen is in this role but having Andy Gray back alongside Ian Darke reminded us about what good co-commentary is. He was exceptional. Pairing him up with one of his two his long-time commentary partners in Ian Darke was a wise decision. It was like slipping on a very comfortable pair of jogging bottoms and slippers. The commentary was first rate. The sins of the past, whilst not forgotten, maybe forgiven. The general feedback was positive and doors were opened about Gray’s future and possible return to UK TV on a more permanent basis.

Step in another leak. This one comes from well over a decade ago and shows Andy Gray and Richard Keys singing ‘Get your tits out for the lads’ to Clare Tomlinson, who was at the time the main reporter for Sky Sports Football in the tunnel for the big games. You can watch the video below.

Now the timing of this leak is of course interesting. Just a few days after Andy Gray made a return to UK TV to overwhelming praise. This leak is clearly meant to derail any possibility of Andy Gray doing more work with BT. So the question is whether the leak is from the Sky hierarchy or whether it is a former colleague who was subjected to working with Gray during his time at Sky Sports. I’m relatively sure it is the latter.

The one thing though this video shows apart from how crass and vile these two men clearly are/were is that they were crass and vile for a long, long time. Sky obviously knew about it but they decided to ignore the problem. Either they chose to do so because they didn’t want to upset their talent or because they didn’t care. I suspect it is probably a bit from column A and a bit from column B.

Since Clare Tomlinson left her role as the touchline reporter for big games on Sky Sports, no women have played a key role in any of their major live sporting coverage as a presenter, commentator or reporter bar Georgie Thompson’s one year on Sky F1. Women have been involved in minor sports and in other roles but they’ve failed to break through in those big three roles. In all honesty Georgie might have been the right pick to front F1 instead of Simon Lazenby but they went for Lazenby. This is in vast contrast to the BBC where Gabby Logan, Hazel Irvine, Sue Barker and Clare Balding have all presented or still do present major live sporting events on the channel.

Sky clearly have a problem. I’m not saying they need to get rid of talent just to bring in women but they have to find better ways to bring through female talent in key roles. They clearly have talented women on staff with Sky Sports News. I am sure Hayley McQueen, Kirsty Gallacher, Sarah-Jane Mee and Natalie Sawyer to name a few could be excellent presenters on big live sporting events. I know they have had a little exposure in these roles but why don’t they get more?

I don’t want Jeff Stelling replaced in any capacity. I don’t want Ed Chamberlain replaced in any capacity. I don’t want David Gower replaced in any capacity. I don’t want Dave Clark replaced in any capacity. They are probably the four most well known front men sky have (Champions League, Soccer Saturday, Super Sunday, Monday Night Football, England Cricket, Darts, Boxing) but there are surely sports for these people to branch out from autocue readers on Sky Sports News. Dave Clark did, Simon Thomas did, Dave Jones did, so why haven’t any of the women?

I question the culture at Sky Sports and suspect it has been poor for many a year. This video shows someone knew (and I suspect everyone knew) how sexist and ugly the workplace was for women for many years. Nothing happened until videos started to get leaked. Had no-one leaked the Keys/Gray videos then I have no doubt they would both be at Sky. So I wonder what Sky Sports will do for women.

On the issue of Andy Gray then I’m completely torn. He is the best co-commentator on football we have. As much as I like Alan Smith, Jim Beglin and Gary Neville, Gray is the most natural in the business. BT have won Champions League rights from the 2015-2016 season and having Darke and Gray anchor their coverage would be a real good move. However the question of whether he is a changed man or not must play a factor. If he has then everyone deserves a second chance but if he hasn’t then the sexual objectivity he creates in the workplace is vastly more important than having a better pundit in the commentary box, even if it means putting up with the monotone and hapless Michael Owen for a few more years.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

Written by neilmonnery

January 31st, 2014 at 2:20 am

Posted in Football

Tagged with ,

Take Me Out Girls 2014

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In exactly 168 hours time (that is this time next week for those too lazy to work it out) at the time of publishing, the Take Me Out theme tune will be playing on ITV1 and ITV1HD announcing the start of season six of the dating show. Paddy will say ‘Bring on the girls’ and thirty women will descend those twelve stairs hoping to ascend them with a hot guy and a date on the Isle of Fernando’s.

This season has a new twist though, if a guy has one or two girls left in the final round then he’ll have the option of taking a mysterious girl who’ll be hidden in the love lift. He won’t be able to see her but will be able to hear her speak. Will he chose the unknown voice over the women stood before him with their lights left on? We’ll find out in the ‘Frisky or Risky’ round – in my head I said that in a Roy Walker voice.

Reading the notes sent out you wouldn’t believe the amount of accessories used by the girls for the series, from foundation to false eyelashes to hairspray to nail varnish. Last time I was on TV I was in make-up for less than two minutes, but I suppose I wasn’t looking for a date and I doubt even with several hours I’d have looked that great. This season the preferred wardrobe trends were neon and pink.

As for communicating with the girls, in general most of them over the past few series have been fine with follows/tweets but prefer not to be contacted via Facebook. Most of them will have twitter accounts so feel free to search for them and tweet them, however I’d recommend not trying to get in touch via other social media platforms as in general they prefer them to be kept more private.

Anyway I suspect all you want really is the photos and the details. You’ll find them all below. I hope you enjoy my lighthearted take as I take you through the original flirty thirty and enjoy the sixth installment from Saturday 4th January at 20:50.

Please click on the photos to go to their specific pages and from there you can view them full size.

Flirty Thirty Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Flirty Thirty

Amanda Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Amanda

Age: 26
Job: Support Worker
Location: Barnsley
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Nearly a Year
Random Fact: Her family have nicknamed her ‘Bungalow’ as there is ‘nothing upstairs’
Reason why I think she’s great: Smile
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal man is good looking, has a six-pack and a great sense of humour. I might get half a mark for the humour section but the other two…epic fail.

Amber Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Amber

Age: 19
Job: Dinner Lady
Location: Bristol
Length of being single before Take Me Out: 19 years…
Random Fact: Her great-granddad was Norwegian and came to England in a rowing boat
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s terrified of lifts and would prefer to walk up 25 flights of stairs, we have something in common!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal celebrity is Danny Dyer. I’m pretty sure I’m the polar opposite to him.

Bethany Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Bethany

Age: 19
Job: Media & Journalism Student
Location: Coventry
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Two Years
Random Fact: She once had a date where the guy was told the wait for a table was 90 minutes, her date was adamant they went there as it was free for students. He also ordered tap water and I thought I was a lousy date…
Reason why I think she’s great: Look at her degree, as a Journalism grad I am naturally attracted to Journalism students.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: The degree is looking good but she wants to be a fashion journalist. I know more about the Japanese language than I do fashion but I do think my Nike Air Max 95s Limited Edition Sunset Trainers are pretty damn cool…

Chloe Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Chloe

Age: 22
Job: Call Centre Worker
Location: The Wirral
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She’s related to the lead singer of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. I think we all just sang ‘Come on Eileen’ in our heads there…
Reason why I think she’s great: She likes to keep dates engaged with her intelligent side. I like this!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: The notes ITV have sent out don’t include anything about the kind of guy she likes, so I guess we’ll have to watch and find out!

Coryn Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Coryn

Age: 18
Job: Trainee Dental Nurse
Location: Liverpool
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She makes her own clothes
Reason why I think she’s great: Just look at her…
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: This could be a long one, her best date picked her up in a white lambo and whisked her off to see Beyonce, her ideal date in on board a luxury yacht, whilst sipping champagne, and and she can’t stand bad teeth. I think I’m possibly not her ideal date somehow…

Danielle Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Danielle

Age: 22
Job: Customer Services Advisor
Location: Isle of Wight
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Eight Months
Random Fact: Her special talent is making origami birds
Reason why I think she’s great: Well I lived on the Isle of Wight for many years so we could converse about Isle of Wight things
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her celebrity crush is Tom Hardy because he’s ‘rugged, with a great smile, good body and tattoos’ 0/4 for me…

Dolly Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Dolly

Age: 21
Job: Globalisation History & Politics Student
Location: Brighton
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Two Months
Random Fact: she wants to work for the UN or Amnesty International when she graduates
Reason why I think she’s great: Well that hair for one thing. Seriously I’m being wooed by that alone but she describes herself as a ‘crazy little hippy child’ and deep down I love that
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is impressed by a guy who can play acoustic guitar and sing. Fail.

Eleni Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Eleni

Age: 20
Job: Wedding Videographer
Location: Wirral
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Eleven Months
Random Fact: She has a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu
Reason why I think she’s great: She knows the dance moves to many terrible pop songs
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is turned off by short men. Is 5ft9″ short…?

Emily Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Emily

Age: 25
Job: Classical Singer
Location: Fulham
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Six Months
Random Fact: She is a direct descendant of Guy Fawkes
Reason why I think she’s great: She has the nickname ’22 slice’ because she once ate a whole 22 slice pizza on a night out. I am impressed.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her celebrity crush is Bradley Cooper. Why can’t some of these ladies have celebrity crushes on traditionally non good-looking guys like Ian Beale, Arnold Rimmer or possibly even Father Jack?

Gemma Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Gemma

Age: 22
Job: Trainee Accountant & Face Printer
Location: Leeds
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Seventeen Months
Random Fact: She can speak gaelic and do the splits
Reason why I think she’s great: Her ideal date is going to a water park. Yep totally down with that.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She’s always ‘up for the craic’ whereas my weekend evenings highlight is deciding what takeaway to have. I’m cool but maybe just a tad less cool than Gemma.

Grace Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Grace

Age: 21
Job: Trainee Teacher
Location: Barnsley
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Seven Months
Random Fact: She’s a big gamer, loves Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, however she doesn’t want to date another gamer.
Reason why I think she’s great: Her nickname is Smiley Face Gracey because she smiles so much. Who doesn’t love smiley people?
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is turned off by guys under six foot…now where are my five inch high-heels again?

Kate Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Kate

Age: 30
Job: Flight Attendant
Location: Liverpool
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She loves ‘hot yoga’ – whatever that is and has mastered the ‘Scorpion’ position, again whatever that is…
Reason why I think she’s great: She was once offered a place at Oxford. Can’t not like intelligence.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She doesn’t like pets. I don’t have any but still one day I want a kitten and he/she will probably be my best mate…

Kayleigh Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Kayleigh

Age: 23
Job: Accounts Student & Farmer
Location: Sheffield
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Ten Months
Random Fact: She lives on her dad’s farm and has reared lambs
Reason why I think she’s great: She would be impressed by anyone who was charming and a gentleman, however…
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal man would be like a ‘barbarian’ – manly, tall, rugged, assertive… yeah I think I’m not a runner in this race somehow…

Kelly Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Kelly

Age: 27
Job: Online Boutique Owner
Location: Newcastle
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She recently dated a footballer who only spoke French so had to use Google to translate what he was saying. Newcastle United have had an influx of French players recently, anyone want to guess as to who it might be?
Reason why I think she’s great: Look at that baseball cap. I think that’s seriously cool. Oh and she’s stunning.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is looking for a man over six foot, with a strong jawline, blue eyes and curly hair. Well I have the blue eyes…

Kirsty Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Kirsty

Age: 29
Job: Client Relationship Manager for a Pensions Company
Location: Birmingham
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She is fluent in Cantonese, Chinese and Mandarin and likes to belt out her favourite rocks tunes in Mandarin
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s had a seven-year long relationship. That shows she has commitment in her.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Oh my. Here is her criteria for guys looks wise – Masculine, hairy, toned, muscly, sharp facial features with big shoulders – not even in the ballpark.

Laura Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Laura

Age: 24
Job: Sales Assistant
Location: Manchester
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She often gets guys chatting her up at work – and she loves it! I once asked someone out whilst she was at work…and moving swiftly on…
Reason why I think she’s great: She would be impressed if a date could perform a disappearing act like Dynamo
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her celebrity crush is Joey Essex. Well I’m currently living in Essex…

Leanne Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Leanne

Age: 21
Job: Law Student
Location: Leeds
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Two Years
Random Fact: It says that she is often forgetful and once cooked a meal and left it in the oven for half an hour before she realised she hadn’t switched it on. We’ve all done that haven’t we…haven’t wehaven’t we? *rocks slowly back n forth*
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s scared of clowns. All good people are scared of clowns. They are unnatural.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal date would be something swimming related so she could get into her bikini and impress the guy. Two things. In that scenario I’d be in swimming shorts and that wouldn’t impress anyone and secondly she’s a law student – that is enough to impress any guy, surely? No need for this bikini lark (although I will admit it would be impressive but knowing legal stuff is far sexier – maybe this is why I’m single. Moving on…

Lee Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Lee

Age: 29
Job: Physiotherapist
Location: Essex
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: At the age of twelve, she declined the opportunity to meet the Queen as her hands had jam on and didn’t want to get it on the Queen’s gloves
Reason why I think she’s great: She has tried online dating, blind dating, even meeting guys on the bus. I bet we’d have plenty of bad experiences to discuss
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is turned off if a guy is too geeky or shy. Am I smart enough to be considered a geek? I hope so. I need more opinions on this.

Lisa-Marie Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Lisa-Marie

Age: 30
Job: Psychic & Life Coach
Location: Brighton
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Five Years. Five years people…
Random Fact: She is petrified of thunder, so much so that her flatmate has to sing her a ‘thunder song’ to calm her down and to stop her crying. Isn’t that from the movie Ted?
Reason why I think she’s great: I love thunderstorms. I would actually have some use to her!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She believes there are two potential matches for her on the show, one with a silver car. I don’t drive.

Lucy Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Lucy

Age: 20
Job: Hairstylist
Location: Essex
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Almost a Year
Random Fact: She once broke her leg trying to impersonate Superman. Now we all hope that story comes out on the show don’t we? If not please tell us…
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s happy-go-lucky and easy going. Isn’t that a personality trait we all like?
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She would like a man with awesome hair and shoes. Are my Nike Air Max 95s Limited Edition Sunset trainers any good? Hello…? Hello…? Oh, there’s no-one there.

Marley Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Marley

Age: 18
Job: Make-Up Artist
Location: Guildford
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Seven Months
Random Fact: As of either the time of filming or the first show she has been single for seven months, two weeks, four days, twelve hours and counting. If it’s from the time of the first show that means she broke up at 8:50AM – who breaks up at 8:50AM? – Also I have to add in she has an irrational fear of tissues…I need not say any more on this.
Reason why I think she’s great: Totally superficially – she’s stunning. Personality wise she has a ‘hippy-esque’ spirit. Also her ideal date would involve getting messy…time to call Pat Sharp, Melanie & Martina and get that Fun House project restarted!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She looking for the 3T’s in a man, Tan, Tattoo’s and Tub. I presume that is a hot-tub or possibly a tub of ice cream. Whatever she means as Peter Jones would say ‘I’m out’

Michelle Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Michelle

Age: 21
Job: Accountant
Location: Sunderland
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Nine Months
Random Fact: She represented England in Skiing from age nine to sixteen.
Reason why I think she’s great: I have to be honest, the notes ITV have sent out about Michelle are very much up my street. I could superfically say ‘glasses, glasses, glasses’ but I won’t (by the way glasses are hot). She doesn’t like people stealing her food, damn straight. She describes herself as smart-ish, sexy and spontaneous. Her ideal man would have a good job, preferably lives on his own, can make her laugh and have an inny belly button, otherwise she isn’t interested. On paper I’m very much the type of guy she’s like but…
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Two little bits I missed out about her ideal man, dark and tanned. Bugger.

Nicole Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Nicole

Age: 22
Job: P.E. Teacher
Location: Leeds
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Never had a serious relationship.
Random Fact: She loves to play with other people’s feet and toes.
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s ginger. Everyone knows gingers are hot. No seriously redheads…*daydreams*
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal man is a ‘Real Life Action Man’ – I once fixed a drip on my boiler and learned how to change spot lights, impressed? No? Oh…

Nina Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Nina

Age: 22
Job: Cocktail Waitress & Psychology Student
Location: Aberdeen
Length of being single before Take Me Out: One Year
Random Fact: She has a fear of velvet. Is that weirder than Marley’s fear of tissues?
Reason why I think she’s great: She wants to become a forensic psychologist when she graduates. Got to like a woman with a plan
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her perfect date would be sky-diving. God no…

Olivia Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Olivia

Age: 19
Job: Voice Over Artist
Location: Surrey
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Been single all her life.
Random Fact: She has never had a serious relationship, her only brief one lasted for two weeks when she was in Year Eight
Reason why I think she’s great: She doesn’t like tattoo’s, finally a woman who doesn’t!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal man is a good Christian man. Well I am the son of a (now retired) Methodist Superintendent. Does that count for something? What do you mean I have to believe as well? Damnit.

Poly Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Poly

Age: 29
Job: Beauty Model & Speech Therapist
Location: London
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Only a few weeks…
Random Fact: She can speak five languages, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Bengali and English. No I hadn’t heard of the second one either…
Reason why I think she’s great: Enrique Inglesias as a celebrity crush. Someone who isn’t a film star or a reality TV guy!
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She has a fear of anything slimy. So I won’t be taking her to a Fun House revival then…

Sadie Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Sadie

Age: 20
Job: Dance Student
Location: Kingston
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Two Years
Random Fact: She is a body painter amongst other things
Reason why I think she’s great: She isn’t interested in a guy if they believe working out is a talent. Finally! Also another cracker of a smile.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: Her ideal man’s profession would be a pilot. Relatively sure the fact I can’t even drive a car is a black mark against me here.

Sharon Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Sharon

Age: 32
Job: Casino Croupier
Location: Glasgow
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Two Years
Random Fact: Her celebrity crush is someone I have never heard of – James Franco.
Reason why I think she’s great: She’s recently taken up Burlesque dancing…
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She would love a pet tarantula. I’d just cower in the corner…

Siobhan Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Siobhan

Age: 22
Job: Beauty Therapist
Location: Cornwall
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Never had a serious relationship
Random Fact: She is part Native American.
Reason why I think she’s great: She still checks under the bed for monsters. Either that is just flat out weird or cute. I’ll go for the latter.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She’d be very impressed with a guy who can cook. I can cook two things. A basic curry and a basic chilli. Beyond that…

Stacey Take Me Out 2014 ITV1

Stacey

Age: 25
Job: Dog Kennel Worker
Location: Oldham
Length of being single before Take Me Out: Ten Months
Random Fact: She spends a large proportion of her time worrying about whether her quiff will go flat and if she’ll run out of hairspray
Reason why I think she’s great: She thinks she gets on better with animals than she does humans. I often feel this.
Reason why she wouldn’t think I was: She is turned off by a guy with no fashion sense. As an example I’m currently wearing jogging bottoms about three sizes too big for me and a hoodie with Penn State and a logo of a Nittany Lion emblazoned across it. Yeah not exactly a fashion guru…D’oh.

All photos © Thames TV – a part of FremantleMedia UK.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

Written by neilmonnery

December 28th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Media

Tagged with ,

The West Wing Review…

with 2 comments

The blog has been pretty quiet for the past few weeks. This was surely either because I had nothing to write or I had suddenly got a social life. However it was neither and the truth is if I wasn’t sitting watching live sport, Masterchef Australia or working I was watching The West Wing. Like most TV shows I didn’t get into it at the time but I enjoyed Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom so thought I’d give his more famous show a spin. In the past month I have watched the whole thing, from season one through to the final show in season seven. This means I’ve averaged around six to seven shows a day. This proves why I’ve hardly blogged.

The fact that I didn’t give up is either a testament to how great it was or maybe I just kept going out of sheer forcefulness that I wanted to see it through. It was a bit from column A and a bit from column B, but there was one slowly developing storyline that I just had to see through to the end, the Josh/Donna one. They were found to end the show as an item. It was clear. The question was how would they get these two characters to finally get it together. I’ll talk more about this in a separate blog with the rest of this one talking about everything else.

It stunned me how I could watch seven season’s of a TV show without really liking many of the characters. I didn’t like Dr. Bartlet, I didn’t like Toby Ziegler, I didn’t like Will Bailey one jot, I wasn’t exactly a big fan of Leo McGarry either. I did like Josh Lyman but his character went a bit nuts and that had to do with Donna Moss so I can at least see why that character went that way. This leaves me with liking the aforementioned Donna, CJ Gregg and Sam Seaborn of the regulars in the first few season’s.

The final year with the campaign saw two major new characters in Senator Vinick (who I really liked) and Congressman Matthew Santos (whom I was indifferent to). Annabeth Schott came in and seemed a relatively pointless addition as did Kate Harper. So all in all I actively disliked more main characters than I liked, yet I stuck with it.

One of the really good things about the show however were the subplots. CJ Gregg was the Press Secretary and fell for Washington Post White House Correspondent Danny Concannon. However she felt it inappropriate to have an active relationship with a member of the press so didn’t pursue the relationship. This storyline ebbed and flowed and when Danny suddenly came back because he had the scoop on the assassination of the Qumari Defense Minister. It was a good move to bring him back to deal with that storyline but it was his relationship with CJ that needed a happy ending. In the final few episodes he returned in an attempt to reignite their relationship and it was he and CJ that got the emotional scene to seal their relationship:

What I love about that scene is how venerable CJ is and how she finally trusts someone and that person is Danny. He’s always been there in the background and in the end CJ realises that life isn’t easy but there is someone there ready and willing to help her through life. As we know from the flash-forward at the start of the first episode of season seven, Danny and CJ are together and have twins.

There were other enjoyable subplots and minor characters. I loved Joey Lucas. I enjoyed both Ainsley Hayes and Joe Quincey (Matthew Perry). I thought Admiral Fitzwallace was superb as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. However on the other hand I really disliked Amy Gardner and Debbie Fiderer. Why did they kill off Dolores Landingham? That just made no sense to me whatsoever.

Overall I think I enjoyed the show but I needed more characters to really like. Remember that originally Donna wasn’t meant to be a regular character and it was only when everyone noticed the chemistry she had with the actor who played Josh that she was essentially promoted to a main character. That may have been the best decision the show ever made. Martin Sheen too was originally only signed up to do four shows a year as President Bartlet, but that quickly changed when it was clear his character was a fantastic one.

So that is what I’ve been doing the past few weeks. The West Wing was good but the deterioration after Aaron Sorkin left was clear for all to see. Will Bailey was clearly no Sam Seaborn and the show lost a lot when Rob Lowe left. I did however really like the symmetry for Sam when Josh went and got him out of LA to work for him again, just like he did in the first instance. Clever touch that.

Still for me the Josh/Donna chemistry made the show and at some point I’ll go into more depth about that…

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November 28th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

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UEFA stick their middle finger up to UK Football fans as BT wins Champions League rights

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Head of UEFA Michel Platini is no doubt cackling to himself this morning. He is probably the happiest person in the world that UK football fans have been screwed over apart from Jake Humphrey. This morning they announced that after a long and profitable business relationship with Sky Sports and ITV, UEFA have walked away and gone with the biggest bidder, the company who know they’ve paid money that they can’t afford to get the rights to broadcast all Champions League and Europa League matches from August 2015 to May 2018.

BT Sport are paying £299m a year for the right, which is around £100m more than Sky Sports bid and have made the splash that they were determined to make. They’ve made it clear what their strategy is, they want to lose money in the hope that a few years of losses will lead to profit down the line when everyone is getting their broadband via BT.

It is a massive gamble but they have worked out one thing – that live sport is the only television that people will still watch live. Other shows are often recorded and watched at a later date, but sport is still watched live. Coupled with BT’s approach to dominate the broadband market then they see it as a big long-term goal to couple the two. With two million subscribers already it sounds like a strong start for the company, but the truth is the majority of them are not paying for the BT Sport channels, instead they are getting them for free. This is not exactly great.

However this blog is about why it is sticking it to the UK football fan. With now no games live on terrestrial TV (although BT Sport do say they’ll put some games on FTA television) it means that the biggest European club competition now doesn’t have a home on FTA television. With the Europa League also out and the Premier League having never had a home on FTA television then football fans will be forced into paying for a pay TV if they want to watch any club football.

If you want to watch all the games though, you are now firmly pushed into getting not one, but two pay TV subscriptions. Now as it stands I already pay for both Sky Sports and BT Sport because I get my fibre optic broadband through Sky. So my bill just to watch all the sport available is already through the roof. After tax, national insurance, rent and food, my next largest monthly outgoing is on my TV/Broadband packages. I spend more each month on TV than I do on electricity and gas and we all know how much they cost these days!

If I didn’t have to pay extra to watch all the sport then I’d easily be able to have a fortnight in a 5* resort every year. The thing is I don’t mind per se paying extra for sport but I don’t like paying extra twice, that galls, it really does. At the moment though BT Sport is I think £9.99 a month, so its basically the cost of a Chinese take-away every month but they’ll have to put up prices to cover the insane cost of this deal surely? So will they double the cost?

At what point do I just say enough is enough? Will Sky scale down their charges when they don’t have Champions League football? So many questions and none of them I expect to be answered positively.

The biggest issue though is BT Sport’s coverage has been shocking so far. Genuinely awful. They have spent so much money and all they’ve got right is Ian Darke is the commentary box. Darke is a fantastic commentator and is without a doubt a first-class lead. Darke, along with Martin Tyler are clearly a notch above anyone else commentating on football in the United Kingdom at the moment. So adding Darke’s voice to the Champions League isn’t a problem. However they’ve partnered Michael Owen will him so far and Owen just isn’t up to it. They have Steve McManaman in the studio twiddling his thumbs whilst Owen is alongside Darke, why? McManaman and Darke built up an excellent pairing at ESPN (USA) and would be a first class pairing for BT Sport.

Next up is the Mark Halsey situation. I like Mark, I like him a lot, but he’s really not comfortable in the gig that he currently has. Having a former referee in the booth isn’t a bad idea. It works well in the USA on the NFL but Halsey has no confidence. BT will surely look at this and maybe having him in the studio for Half-Time and Full-time analysis would work better.

Then we get to Jake Humphrey. A man so self-assured that he makes Russell Brand look like a shy cherry-blossom when he approaches women. Jake has that ‘matey’ approach to TV presenting, which isn’t bad per se, the problem is you get the feeling that it doesn’t work when the experts don’t seem to like him. When David Ginola called him a wanker behind his back after Jake delivered a cheap shot about his trousers then it said everything.

‘This is how we do it on BT Sport’ exclaims Jake at every possible moment, what Jake? You mean you do is a lot worse and in a far more unprofessional manner than Sky, ITV or even the BBC? I know the BBC is often castigated for being a bit matey, but at least you know they all actually get along. ON BT Sport is just seems like Jake is hanging out with the popular kids and wanting to be their mates and they just laugh and snigger behind his back. Jake should watch how well Ed Chamberlain fronts Sky’s Sunday and Monday coverage, he knows Gary and Jamie are the stars of the show and lets them talk and doesn’t jump in with nonsense. It allows the show to flow and Jake needs to learn this.

So basically the fans are getting screwed by having to pay out yet more money to watch European competitions from after next season but they will also be forced to watch inferior coverage of the Champions League. Sky’s coverage is first-rate and BT Sport will get nowhere near that in terms of quality. Only Ian Darke as lead play-by-play will not see a big reduction in quality and unless BT make a radical decision by giving James Richardson the gig as the front man, football fans will be forced to groan through Jake’s candor far more than anyone should have to.

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November 9th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Football,Media

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Deadliest Catch gets renewed for a tenth season but without the F/V Cornelia Marie

with 2 comments

I have a few TV passions. I like Masterchef Australia (although season five so far has been very disappointing with the standard of contestant being way down on previous years). I like The Newsroom. I liked StormChasers when it was on and one of my other big loves is Deadliest Catch. I don’t fish and have no desire to ever do so but watching these crabbers go about their business in often treacherous conditions is fascinating and I’m not alone. Constantly Deadliest Catch has reigned supreme for the Discovery channel and despite no official confirmation of it being renewed, it will be returning for a tenth season in the spring with filming set to begin within the fortnight.

One of the most interesting storylines this season was clearly Josh Harris having bought back the F/V Cornelia Marie and seeing how he did as a captain. The boat was part owned by his father but after he died further filming the Harris brothers after a year employing other captain’s lost the boat and Josh and spent the past three years earning the money to buy it back, which he successfully did earlier this year.

However a couple of weeks ago he posted the following on his Facebook page:

So to all my fans that watched the show, Deadliest Catch, the Cornelia Marie, was not optioned this year so we regretfully will not be on the show anymore. Thank you for all the support we will still be fishing. Things may still get filmed but most likely not through Discovery. Sorry to let people down, things with Discovery couldn’t meet up with what we needed, so I appoligize (sic) to all but this is where we are. There may be another company this year that we go with but for now we will just fish. Jake and I love you all for your support over the years and most of all from the old man, thank you for everything!

Now of course we have no idea what the issue is that has resulted in the boat not returning to the show. The boat was one of the longest tenured boats on the show having been on the show since opilio crab in season one (only the F/V Northwestern has been with the show for every season although in the first season the F/V Time Bandit served as the main chase boat for filming). The return of the F/V Cornelia Marie was one that excited many fans so you have to believe that at this juncture it is a money issue and you never know it may get resolved between now and the time filming starts.

For now though this is a disappointing state of affairs. The F/V Cornelia Marie wasn’t my favourite boat but the storyline was truly compelling. Has Jake Harris got over his personal demons for good? Can Josh be a good captain? Will they entice Freddy back from the Wizard? As it stands we won’t know the answers to the first two although if Freddy isn’t on the F/V Wizard we’ll know exactly where he is. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what Jake Anderson does and see how Edgar and Sig get on as a primary storyline and can the F/V Time Bandit get over Mike Fourtner’s retirement?

As for the other boats I just don’t care about Junior and the F/V Seabrooke, same for Elliott on the Saga. These new boats and young captains just don’t entertain me. If the show just had the F/V Northwestern, F/V Wizard, F/V Time Bandit and F/V Cornelia Marie and left the other boats and captains I wouldn’t shed a tear. However at this point I have to go on Deadliest Catch silence until the spring so nothing is spoiled for me when the show starts. I do hope that things can change between Discovery and Josh Harris because seeing how he does with his own boat would be a driving force behind a strong tenth season of one of the most gripping and captivating shows on television.

Update 16/01/14: It looks as though the Cornelia Marie and Discovery have come to an agreement for the Snow Crab season so they’ll be back on the show for the second half of the 2014 season of the show. Great news!

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October 1st, 2013 at 3:19 pm

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The Best Ten The Voice auditions so far

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I am a huge fan of the TV show The Voice. However like most shows I do prefer the American version so I thought I’d put together my favourite ten auditions from The Voice over the four seasons so far (although none of the top ten are from season one). Looking down this list I think it is pretty clear that there is a certain type of vocal I enjoy and that is quirky female voices.

I also much prefer the US judges and the way they hardly communicate with each other during the audition itself. They are busy listening to the vocal and aren’t asking each other if they are going to go. Also it is clear that doing a song I personally like – and doing it well – helps, for example with Cassadee Pope and Sarah Simmons.

So here we are. My top ten The Voice USA auditions so far…

10. Monique Abbadie

9. Tony Lucca

8. The Line – I’m afraid only the vocals and not video I have found.

7. Melanie Martinez

6. Caitlin Michele

5. Charlotte Sometimes

Charlotte Sometimes – Apolpgize – The Voice… by IdolxMuzic

4. The Morgan Twins

3. Cassadee Pope

2. Juliet Simms

1. Sarah Simmons

Sarah Simmons – The Voice Auditions (S4 Week 1) by IdolxMuzic

Just as a bonus my favourite so far of the UK version is clearly Leah McFall. Yep yet another quirky voice. I know what I like at least…

Leah McFall

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April 19th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

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I shouldn’t be crying. I shouldn’t be crying. I’m crying.

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No advert should ever make a grown man cry. It’s just a stupid advert. Adverts are not real. However here I am constantly refreshing a YouTube video and every time I well up as it is such so perfect.

The Super Bowl was last night and as you know it is not just about the actual game – the adverts are kinda important too. Companies spend millions not only on the advertising space but also on the actual adverts (and the think tanks beforehand) in an attempt to find an advert that will resonate with the viewers. Anheuser-Busch nailed it last night with their Budweiser brand and their advert about a man and a horse. You can see the advert below and to watch full screen please click here

From nailing the background track which was the wonderful and haunting Landslide by Fleetwood Mac to the storyline itself. It was just sheer perfection in an advert. It wasn’t about beer it was about emotion and it is the advert everyone is talking about today. I noticed Yahoo wrote today the following about this ad:

OH COME ON. Are you kidding me? Super Bowl commercials aren’t supposed to make you cry! They’re supposed to make you laugh or cringe or go reload your plate. This? This ad makes you want to call your parents, hug your kids, and maybe just buy a horse. Flat-out winner out of the gate. Going to be a lot of people dabbing their eyes with cocktail napkins when this one airs.

Exactly. This was the slam dunk winner. I don’t drink and if I did it certainly wouldn’t be Budweiser but if I did then I’d go out and buy a crate just on the strength of the advert. Yes I know Budweiser has no effect on the bond between you and your loved ones – whether they be human or animal – but I do know that the name Budweiser would go in my head when I went to buy some beer if that is the type of thing I did.

Brand identity is just as important as taste in this market and suddenly after dips in sales the brand of Budweiser is sky high once again. If you ask people in the States today what they think of Budweiser they’ll say different things today than they did yesterday. They’ll say far nicer things. Just wonderful and emotive.

As for the other adverts it wasn’t a vintage year but the farmer advert for Dodge Ram Trucks was pretty striking and the Best Buy advert with Amy Poehler was also very good (both embedded below) but that Budweiser advert won the Super Bowl adverts and in all honesty it wasn’t even close.


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February 4th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

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How do you solve a problem like Match of the Day?

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It might not scan as well as How do you solve a problem like Maria? but the BBC have a problem and they know it. The news today from the BBC that they have dropped Colin Murray as host of MOTD2 and replaced him with Mark Chapman shows that they are ready to tinker with the franchise in an attempt to restore it to its former glory. The problem though isn’t just with the Sunday version which has never been the same since Adrian Chiles but the flagship Saturday show is now lagging behind Sky in terms of quality analysis.

Sky have the best pundits and the best presentation team. Even if you takeaway their live coverage which is fronted by Ed Chamberlin, David Jones or Jeff Stelling with a pundit team including the likes of Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness, Sky still has the better highlights show. So lets compare MOTD with Goals on Sunday which is the direct comparison.

Goals on Sunday is fronted by Ben Shepherd and the legend that is Chris Kamara. The show is two hours long (including adverts) so in terms of time on screen it is pretty similar to MOTD which is often one and a half hours with no adverts although GoS also shows the goals from the lower leagues and SPL. Goals on Sunday has a rotation of guests which is usually two people either still involved or involved in football in the past.

They talk about their careers and analyse the games which Chris Kamara leads. They get far more in depth than their MOTD counterparts and the show seems far more informative than MOTD. Along with being more informative it also doesn’t get stale due to the guests being different week in, week out so the perspectives are always different. The guests also have the scope to talk about events in their footballing pasts leading to funny stories like Ray Parlour calling Gareth Southgate ‘big nose’ and then being sold by him a couple of weeks later and of course the many accidental swear words which is only funny to see the presenters reactions.

Match of the Day has become stagnant. We know the names, the voices and the faces. They have become complacent and whilst I have no issue with Gary Lineker per se I do feel that everything seems all old boys club. I can’t remember the last time two of the panelists on MOTD argued with one another but we get it on Sky a lot with the likes of Souness, Neville and Redknapp disagreeing quite openly.

I’d love to see MOTD become the place for football highlights once more and I suppose if you just want the highlights it does the job but you never feel like you’ve learned anything after watching, where as with Goals on Sunday you do feel that you’ve learned and been entertained.

Now as Colin Murray has been ditched for Mark Chapman (who is in a similar mold) it seems like a relatively pointless move for me. MOTD needs a proper revamp as papering over the cracks just isn’t doing the job. I do wonder if James Richardson has ever been approached or even has any interest but I think his style of presenting would go down very well on MOTD2 and personally I’d love him to front football as a whole but the BBC would never go down that route…or would they…?

No. No they wouldn’t and that my friends is a shame for all of us.

As for pundits Alan Hansen was the man. The important word there is was. He’s become lazy and the rest of the BBC lot have never really offered any insight. They aren’t going to attract any of the Sky lot over and losing Lee Dixon was a blow so they need to find a fresh face whose willing to put the work in and not rest on their laurels with lazy cliches. Who that person is I don’t know but Matt Holland is criminally underused. Smart and puts the work in. If the BBC want to blow up MOTD and make it good again Matt Holland wouldn’t be a bad place to start…

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Written by neilmonnery

January 26th, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Football

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Take Me Out Girls 2013 – Season 5 ITV1 Photos

with 26 comments

For all the Take Me Out girls photos from the 2014 season then please click on the hyperlink

Hi All,

Well I suppose later today as it is now Paddy returns with the next season of the dating show Take Me Out. Apologies that it has taken me a while to get the photos uploaded and live on the blog but I’ve actually, shockingly had a life this week. It is lucky I’m sitting down when typing that I know. Luckily it’s only the first week of 2013 and I’m positive my social life will dissipate over the coming days and weeks (although I’m already busy tomorrow, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and next Saturday) crazy – it’s like I’m a normal regular person who actually does things and doesn’t just sit in on his own like a pathetic loser. Yeah…as if…*whistles*

Anyway you aren’t here to read about my life. The fact I was in a politics AGM for two and a half hours tonight means little to you. Nor does the fact that I’m commentating on Southend v Brentford tomorrow. You want photos of girls who are appearing on Take Me Out Season Five that starts this Saturday night on ITV1 at the late time of 8:45 compared to its pre-Christmas 7PM slot before The X Factor.

Personally just from looks my early favourites are (in alphabetical order) Daisy, Jodie, Lolly, Lucy-May, Naomi and Naz but as always personalities will shine through as they always do. I have noticed the press photos seem to show two different sets but I assume ITV aren’t yanking our chain with the press photos they’ve sent out. Hopefully you all enjoy the show. Most of the girls are on twitter so if you want to interact with them they’ll do so. I’ve found in the past couple of years they’ve in general been pretty approachable as long as you aren’t being totally weird.

If you want to leave your comments and views on the girls then please feel free. It is always good to see what others think of the show and certainly who are everybody’s favourites and this year you can comment on each girl individually under the photograph if you click on it as it’ll open up a new page but it is time to stop with the waffling and you know what that means…take it away Paddy…

Bring on the Girls…

Alanna Take Me Out 2013

Alanna

Alanna

Cherry Take Me Out 2013

Cherry

Cherry

Chloe Take Me Out 2013

Chloe

Chloe

Chloe W Take Me Out 2013

Chloe W

Chloe W

Daisy Take Me Out 2013

Daisy

Daisy

Daniella Gabriella Take Me Out 2013

Daniella

Daniella Gabriella

Dannii Take Me Out 2013

Dannii

Dannii

Emma Take Me Out 2013

Emma

Emma

Gemma G Take Me Out 2013

Gemma G

Gemma G

Gemma Take Me Out 2013

Gemma

Gemma

Jacqui Take Me Out 2013

Jacqui

Jacqui

Jo Take Me Out 2013

Jo

Jo

Jodie Take Me Out 2013

Jodie

Jodie

Keli Take Me Out 2013

Keli

Keli

Kim Take Me Out 2013

Kim

Kim

Lauren Take Me Out 2013

Lauren

Lauren

Lily Take Me Out 2013

Lily

Lily

Lolly Take Me Out 2013

Lolly

Lolly

Lucy-May Take Me Out 2013

Lucy-May

Lucy-May

Lynsey Take Me Out 2013

Lynsey

Lynsey

Megan Take Me Out 2013

Megan

Megan

Miki Take Me Out 2013

Miki

Miki

Naomi Take Me Out 2013

Naomi

Naomi

Take Me Out 2013

Natasha

Natasha

Naz Take Me Out 2013

Naz

Naz

Nitika Take Me Out 2013

Nikita

Nikita

Pinky Take Me Out 2013

Pinky

Pinky

Robyn Take Me Out 2013

Robyn

Robyn

Tasha Take Me Out 2013

Tasha

Tasha

Thuy Take Me Out 2013

Thuy

Thuy

As always all the photos are Copyright Thames TV and ITV

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January 5th, 2013 at 1:29 am

Posted in Media,Random Stuff

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