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  • Writer's pictureStuart

Moving Wallpaper - a surprising cameo

I've just been splurging on Moving Wallpaper, ITV's comedy-behind-the-"real"-soap TV series by my "pal" Tony Jordan. Now, I'm still not convinced by the back-to-back broadcasting concept of Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach as I have no interest in watching a new soap opera - particularly one that immediately follows a programme continually telling me that the soap isn't real (and peppering the soap with in-jokes constantly breaking my suspension of disbelief). However, Moving Wallpaper is great fun, and Ben Miller's stand-out performance is balanced by a fine supporting cast and some very slick writing.

I was rather pleased with myself when I spotted a very brief and obscure in-joke in episode one. Miller's obnoxious character, producer Jonathan Pope, is lambasting the production team for the unattractive cast of their worthy Cornish drama "Polnarren", and demands it be rebranded as the sexier-titled "Echo Beach" with "actors that ducked the ugly stick". Then with a cry of "I mean, for goodness sake" he plucks an actor's photo from the wall as an example.

I hit pause, wondering what poor actor had befallen this fate, then I recognized the face... as Tony Jordan himself. What a nice bloke Tony is to fall on the sword like that for a joke that only a few people would get.

I never watch ITV (Corrie, natch, and the still-surprisingly-good Primeval excepted), so what do I know about the channel's viewers? But, I can't help feeling that Echo Beach is just unnecessary. I'd expand Moving Wallpaper to fill an hour and just have cameos with the Echo Beach "cast", which could ever-evolve, and show odd clips á la Extras. It'll be interesting to see how the show goes down, and I'd be sad to see Jonathan Pope axed if the current format doesn't work.

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