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Guilty Displeasures

CRIMINAL!Guilty Pleasures, ITV1, 9.30pm

Sometimes there are those concepts (usually ITV-devised concepts) that for a split second sound quite good, before you blink and then realise that, in fact, they are not good ideas at all. They are ideas conceived on a quiet day in hell.

One such idea is Guilty Pleasures. Based on the club night/website/radio brand of the same name, this show allegedly features songs you find 'guilty pleasures' sung by sort-of-cool-well-mainstream-actually-but-cooler-than-let's-say-Westlife artists (the likes of The Magic Numbers, bits of Supergrass, Sophie Ellis Bextor, KT Tunstall and, er, Craig David). There you go, that's the split second when you think it might be good.

Now the realisation. Firstly, the songs they cover are genereally either too-good-to-be-covered ('Beat It'), too bad-to-be-covered ('You're the Voice') or covered-too-many-times-already ('Islands in the Stream'). And, as, Lord Charles of Brooker points out, most of them aren't really guilty pleasures anyway - they are just not naff enough to qualify for that tag (John Farnham aside, possibly). Secondly, ITV-musical cover version extravanganzas are always, always dreadful. Especially The X Factor. Ba-dum-tish. Thirdly, it's presented by Fearne Cotton (although seeing as she is adept at massacring TV genres, maybe this will be the nail in the coffin for these shows).

There is already a thread on the forums asking 'Is this the worst ITV music extravaganza ever'? Of course, don't let us stop you tuning in - there is always some perverse value in car-crash telly, after all. But don't say we didn't warn you.

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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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