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Couch Potato: How Tom Daley’s gone from national hero to dressing like the Karate Kid

Couch Potato

Couch Potato

FAME can come at a high price. Take Tom Daley.

“National hero” by finishing third in a diving contest two years ago, star of mega-flop Splash! and currently (not quite) backpacking around the world for a TV show.

So understandably he said in Tokyo on Thursday night: “I can’t remember the last time I went on a night out and wasn’t recognised. It’ll be nice if Japan gives me that chance.”

Sure it will, Tom. Just be incognito.

And not, say, go out dressed like the Karate Kid has been given the run of Buck Rogers’ wardrobe, with an ITV2 camera crew in tow.

You are? Well then you’ve lost my sympathy.

We’re in the far-flung realm of Tom Daley Goes Global, not half as promising a title as Tom Daley Goes Postal, following his voyages with “BFF Sophie”.

It’s Party Wright Around The World only with even less purpose, which began in Thailand in week one with the promise: “Tom wants the real backpacking deal. He’s ditching fancy hotels.”

Shortly before he ditched basic accommodation for fancy hotels.

So when he insisted: “It’s not like a normal backpacking experience,” he actually meant: “It’s nothing like a normal backpacking experience,” for one glaring reason.

This pair are the worst, least mentally equipped backpackers in the history of the rough planet.

They’re petrified of their own shadow, uncomfortable in any foreign situation, moan like it’s an Olympic demonstration sport, and, we discovered this week, are so worldly unwise they’ve never previously seen a goat.

The unaware insulting of the locals is irksome but not as much as their sheer thickness which leaves them, like the viewers, getting precisely nothing out of the trip.

Tom, getting dressed in traditional Japanese costume: “How on earth do I put this on? I don’t wear clothes very often so wearing them sometimes confuses me. I’ve never been so confused in my life.”

But he’s Stephen Hawking compared with his travelling companion who mistook a map of Thailand for the world, had to double check that monsoon season meant rain and, as a fully grown woman, asked the question: “What’s a lantern?”

Sophie has a terminal case of Like-itis: “It’s, like, modern.” “I was, like, proud of you.”

“Does, like, doing stuff like this, like, make you miss diving?”

It’s clearly contagious. Tom: “As we started spinning round I was, like, I’m going to be sick but I wasn’t. Like, but no.”

And it would help if James Corden’s narration wasn’t written for idiots (ITV2 viewers): “Koh Phangan is a bit like Newquay.”

Nothing, though, prepared me for his Tokyo karaoke night in “Samurai” (Karate Kid in the 25th Century) costume where he and Sophie sang Beyonce the last rites and were joined by three Japanese women in dolls outfits and a name to behold.

Tom: “Hi. What’s your name?”

“Itchihole.”

“Let’s all go to karaoke with Itchihole!”

Please, Tom. Kids might be watching.

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A YIN-yang Britain’s Got Talent last night with zero sob stories, Azmat (a dancing hazmat) and the spoon-playing spirit of Jacko.

Plus the brilliant David Walliams: “It’s possible to play a saw, but is it necessary? That’s the question.”

Alas, what BGT giveth, BGT taketh away. Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden pressing Walliams’ buzzer sucks the life out of the show.

In retaliation, he made that camp Romanian, an X Factor footnote, his Chosen One, robbing Peter Panduranga.

And no magician was half as entertaining as More Talent week one’s Gareth and Clare, yet Simon Cowell told Darcy Oake: “We’ve uncovered a star with you.”

He’s appeared on “multiple television networks”, says his website.

BGT. You saw them here second.

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FRIDAY night, Lucy Beale lies dead on Walford Common, sparking the biggest soap whodunit since, well, the last one.

A tragic end to the character who, like Kara Tointon’s Dawn Swann, was made to sleep with the slime of E20 before getting axed.

Oh, and the whole violent death thing.

It was almost as horrific as Stan’s sardine and jam sandwich, the most stomach-churning, least believable pairing EastEnders has had.

At least since Max and Lucy.

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THIS week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

* Mad Men.

* ITV2’s celebratory Britain’s Got More Talent, with Stephen Mulhern.

* Omid Djalili blasting his one penalty past “Robokeeper”, which thwarted Lionel Messi, into the top corner before taking off like a hare down Portland Place, on The One Show.

* “Drum and bass enthusiast” Rupert summing up the high-octane thrill ride that is The Big Allotment Challenge: “I’ve got general radish worry.” Plus Fern Britton asking contestant Gary: “What’s your inspiration for this bouquet?” “Flowers.”

* And Embarrassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic’s Christian Jessen unable to contain the giggles as Pixie McKenna told “penis doctor” Paul Anderson about a poor bloke’s painful kink in his willy from a sex accident: “I think it’s right up Paul’s street.” Pixie, I’d be surprised.

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BBC1’s Helen Skelton to London Marathon barefoot runner Luke Jones: “Your feet look weathered. And without being rude, the front of your feet look a bit misshapen. Is that a running thing?”

“No, that’s a natural deformity.”

I think you call that putting your barefoot in your mouth, Helen.

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JAMELIA on Tuesday’s Loose Women: “I think I have a perfect job. No two days are the same.”

(Opens Jamelia’s work diary for the week...)

Monday: Loose Women.

Tuesday: Loose Women.

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DIAGNOSIS expertise from those medical fonts of all knowledge at Embarrassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic...

Dr Dawn Harper: “It’s worth having a chat with a dermatologist.”

Dr Pixie McKenna: “Back to your GP, get them to check everything out.”

Dr Harper: “If you’ve got an embarrassing problem, there’s really no excuse not to see a doctor.”

As long as it’s your own, that is.

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BACK on This Morning, “the woman who sees angels” Lorna Byrne: “You and I and everyone in the world, we’re more than an angel because we have a soul.

“I used to feel embarrassed saying that but you have to remember...”

I have a book to plug.

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THIS week’s Unfortunate Choice Of Phrase award goes to...

Embarrassing Bodies’ Christian Jessen. Pixie McKenna: “I’ve seen a man with quite a severe problem down below, so you’ll find out more about him later.”

Jessen: “Oh, you’re just going to leave that dangling there, are you?”

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THIS week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

* BBC inviting renowned smut-peddler Julian Clary onto The Guess List only to censor his answers. (So why bother?)

* E4’s Party House making Towie’s acting look like Remains of the Day.

* Sky News forgetting how to spell “rememer”.

* Off Their Rockers using jokes even older than the cast. (We have seen Benny Hill and Carry On, you know.)

* And this series finale threat: “We’ll be back later in the year for more Michael McIntyre Chat Show.”

So to reconcile this, I’m off to chant at some radishes, like The Big Allotment Challenge new-age annoyance Harshani, for a week. Column returns in a fortnight.

 

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