Media: Things we like


The episode of The Simpsons written by, and starring, Ricky Gervais pulled in 2.2 million viewers for Sky One last Sunday - the highest-ever audience for a Simpsons episode on the Sky channel.

The episode itself was excellent, with Gervais keeping things simple - focusing on Homer's TV obsession as he enters Marge for a reality show akin to Wife Swap to win enough money to buy a plasma TV. The show had the added bonus for Sky of containing more references to HDTV than you could shake a doughnut at.


There's nothing quite so relaxing as sitting down after a hard day's work to watch a few coloured balls flying across the green baize. That is until a thrilling match involving Ronnie O'Sullivan is interrupted by University Challenge. But with the BBC's interactive service this was no problem - just press the red button for continued live coverage. And the Beeb's dour presenter Ray Stubbs has even managed to create a few laughs this year.


The Sky high-definition TV on-air promos are wearing a bit thin - their length and frequency are virtually bashing you around the head to invest in its HDTV offer. However, its lenticular ad in Arena this month hits the spot perfectly - the changing creative brings to life the HD proposition in a way the TV work struggles to do.


GQ's occasional sports supplement, bagged free with the May issue, is everything you'd expect from Conde Nast. It has some great features, looks stunning and contains some big commercial tie-ups - BMW is the main supporter. The great strength of the title is that it manages to provide an alternative take on sport despite the glut of coverage already available - features on a UK basketball player about to hit the big time in the US and on life after football for some of the game's biggest stars really stand out.


Grandstand on the BBC

So, the BBC has decided to blow the final whistle on Grandstand. At long last, the only show in sport programming to make Eurosport's pick-and-mix of rhythmic gymnastics and power-walking seem entertaining is to be put out of its misery after almost half-a-century. "I'm sad about it in many ways because the programme stood the test of time for so long," a misty-eyed former presenter Des Lynam said on Monday night. Erm, we think you're deluded, Des. We reckon Grandstand began its struggle for relevance with the formation of the Premiership and the emergence of Sky as a force in sport broadcasting,14 years ago.