Sunday, July 06, 2003

PARTY IN THE PARK: This has to be wrong. Meat Loaf - who nowadays looks like Neighbour's Joe Mangel after misreading the instructions on a packet of Build-Up - is in front of one hundred thousand pop fans in Hyde Park, rubbing his face into a woman's belly. Isn't that the sort of behaviour we spend months putting childlocks on the internet to stop kids from witnessing?

Yes, it's Party In The Park time again, Capital FM have taken over Hyde Park and filled it up with the pick of the capitals teens; Channel Five have pulled out the stops to bring live coverage in what might be the most inept outside broadcast since that old guy got drunk and claimed on the Home Service that the entire British fleet had disappeared into thin air. Denise VanOuten is the most experienced presenter on offer, but they've also got Kate Lawler (Big Brother loser who currently fronts RI:SE) and - jesus help us - Duncan from Blue. Actually, Duncan from Blue is doing pretty well - we don't know if we'd tip him to take overt the Politics Show from Jeremy Vine in the near future, but he's got the basics right (if you're there to be a pretty face, don't stick the microphone in front of it; don't try and pretend a big pop gig is like the Second Coming).

But given lots of live performances from pop stars, Five keep choosing to cut away to other items - a frankly pointless game where someone on the phone was given the chance to choose a member of Wheatus to play a video game (the presenter couldn't remember the name of the caller; he clearly didn't know any of the names of any of the members of Wheatus and didn't really care about that); an interview with Chris Tarrant (who may still be known as a DJ in London, but to teenagers outside the capital is 'the bloke off Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', so it would be on a par with having a big chat with Richard Whiteley); another presenter yakking to people on the front row of the gig - when they actually remember to fade up the microphone, you burn with the desire they'd left it down ("how long did it take you get your outfit ready?" "uh... um... a really long time..." "what time did you get up, to put it another way?" "uh... five thirty to six..."). Because the show is notionally in aid of the Princes Trust, they're hobbled even further by having to drop in Children-In-Needesque featurettes about Young People Helped By His Majesty's Charity.

The music? Mel C belts her heart out to a largely unimpressed crowd; the Sugababes look just as bored as they did at Glasto last week, but go down a lot better (they cut the 'freak' out of the verse but not out of the chorus). Craig David, as ever, is impressive and slick and everything you'd hope for in a pop star, really. Robbie can't seem to work out why he's failing in the states, and maybe if he looked at the attitude and attention to detail of Mr. David, he'd get a hint of what his problem really is. Love him or think he's a bit of a twonk with bad facial hair, Craigy treats his audience with a degree of respect. Come to think of it, Channel Five could pick a few pointers from him, too.

"If I had children, I'd buy them your album, because I think you're a very good role model. And I'm sure I have got kids somewhere" - denise van outen talking to craig david

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