Royalty? Look no further than Bowie

This column is being written on the assumption that what is listed in TV guides will be going to air, and not replaced by some jumped-up special about the royal baby, featuring breathless descriptions of the likely brand of nappies, how long it will take Kate to get back to appropriate princess weight, will the Queen have to babysit and who has more hair – William or his son.

Already we’ve been subjected to endless hours of the stuff, including the Prime Minister happily welcoming the ”royal bub”, using the word ”bub” three times in a 15-second stretch.

Surely we’ve done enough. Already Australia has presented its future king with our cricket team and a 2-0 lead in the Ashes. What more does he want?

Frankly, I’m more excited about the arrival of a baby elephant at the zoo. Still, it’s the perfect launch pad for the first edition of This Week Live (Ten, 9.30pm), a show that promises not so much to dissect current events as kick them in the behind. As yet unseen, obviously, it smells like a cross between Good News Week and The Project, with a regular of both, Tom Gleeson, joining Dave Thornton, Meshel Laurie and host Tommy Little.


Likewise, the writers at Wednesday Night Fever (ABC1, 9.30pm) will be beavering away on sketches involving Camilla strolling with her step-grandson to the shops. Or something funny.

It’s sad that two Aussie comedies with similar intent find the same hour of the week in which to play (although This Week Live does get a one-minute start).

If you want genuine British royalty, go immediately to David Bowie – Five Years: the Making of an Icon (ABC2, 8.30pm).

The title pretty much says it all, really. Not five consecutive years in a wonderful music career, these are five years that produced some astonishing music and created the characters that eventually became Bowie. From the drag queeny androgyny of Ziggy Stardust, through the drug haze to the Thin White Duke and eventually to the man who just wanted to be David Bowie, this is a terrific journey.

So far as making dense, gripping crime drama goes, there ain’t nothing like a Dane. The third series of The Killing (SBS One, 9.30pm) sees Sarah Lund pitching to get away from regular detective work to take up a desk job and some sensible gardening at home. Naturally, things will conspire to thwart that desire. Again, killing and motivation are no simple things in this series. There are a myriad moving parts and big demands on the viewer. But if you play your part right (you know – watch and listen), the rewards are outstanding.

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