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Virgin birth

NEW! The Riches, Virgin 1, 10.00pm

The RichesThe arrival of a new TV channel can perhaps be compared to the birth of a new child - while there is undoubted joy and huge relief that it's made it out into the big wide world and it looks healthy and making lots of noise, there's also that faint sense of worry that once you've cleaned off all the blood and gook it might actually be a bit ugly, and you're not a very good liar and you don't know if you'll be able to make the requisite amount of "awww, cute" faces without retching. Perhaps that was a slightly laboured (zing!) metaphor, but you catch our drift.

So, following Richard Branson's almighty spat with the family Murdoch, which left Virgin Media cable customers deprived of Sky One (and aside from the Lost, 24, and Prison Break addicts, they're not really missing a lot), the decision was made to launch a spanking new entertainment channel under the strikingly original name of Virgin 1, which unfortunately means we have to bid farewell to ftn and those amazing teatime repeats of Gladiators.

Upcoming attractions include Terminator spinoff The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but tonight's big noise is the premiere of The Riches, starring Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver as a pair of crooks posing as a wealthy couple who died in a car accident. Admittedly it does sound slightly like one of those concepts you'd come up with when you're deliberately trying to come up with ludicrous TV show ideas and similarly bonkers casting suggestions, it did great business in the US and was the second-highest rating premiere on FX last year (behind The Shield, but above Dirt, which finishes its run on Five US tonight, coincidentally). And following the show tonight is a "cockumentary" called Penis Envy, which surely requires no further explanation. Welcome to the fold, Virgin 1. Now let's see how you fare...

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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