Big Brother – You Have Been Evicted!

August 26, 2009

Channel 4 today announced what we’ve all been expecting for some time now. Next years Big Brother (the 11th big-brother-10-logo-79088940series) will be the last on the channel.

Speaking at a press conference today, C4 director of Television Kevin Lygo said ‘it’s time to move on’. He went on to say that the show was still commercially viable and the decision was made mostly because of C4’s Public Service Remit.

This years show has faired the worst of any with an average viwereship fo 2 million. Back in 2002 the show was able to reach 8 million and only last year it was still making 4 million regularly.

There’ll be one more Celebrity BB in January and a full series in summer next year before it leaves Channel 4 giving them over £50 million of freed up budget. But producer of the show, Endemol, say they plan to continue the series on another broadcaster. ITV, Sky and Five have all been cited.

As far as I’m concerned, this was the right decision. I have watched the show since the beginning in 2000 and after 10 years I think it;s time to call it a day. I also hope no other broadcaster picks it up for the time being as it’s just overkill. Maybe in another 5 years or so it could make a stunning comeback, but right now it’s run it’s annual course.

The current and now penultimate series ends of Septmeber 4th.

This Week On ‘The Rich, Harsh Poet’ – 25/08/09

August 25, 2009

thisweektestIt’s a day late again (sorry), but here’s what you can expect to see up on the site during this week.

Wales 2009 – As I mentioned last week, I was on a much needed holiday ( hence the lack of site updates). This week I’ll let you know all about it through a series of posts that I’m very originally calling ‘Wales 2009’! There’ll be a review of Oakwood themepark (which I believe is the biggest in Wales), some general observations I made and a visit to a Sci-Fi character’s grave! So look out for those articles during the week!

Grad Slam Tennis (Wii) review – Now i did mention this last week (as I fully planned to write it up last week) but due to me having little-to-no time, it didn’t materialise. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to let you know what I thought of the new Motion Plus game!

And as always I’ll be on the look out for any other interesting articles or rants that I can have!

Beginning Of The End For X-Factor?

August 24, 2009

Simon Cowell’s moneyspinner returned to our TV screens on Saturday, but it seems it wasn’t assimon cowell popular as he’d perhaps hoped.

The main problem seemed to be the shows changes. This year the audition stages of the show are taking place in front of a live audience similarly to Cowell’s other programme, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. This also allows singers to have backing music if they please.

These changes have deterred many viewers with over 70 percent of viewers saying they were unimpressed according to ‘Yahoo!’. Many seem to think that the new format has ruined the ‘fun’ of the earlier stages.

Now personally, I would love to think that this is the start of Cowell’s empire crumbling, however that’s far from the truth. Almost 10 million tuned in on Saturday, which for a 6th series is amazing. It’ll only be next week that we discover if the changes have lost the show it’s audience (I somehow doubt it ).

In other news a comic book in America also called X-Factor, is very close to cancellation. Maybe it’s only a matter of time!!!

Song Of The Week – (23/08/09)

August 23, 2009

songweekHas it been a week already?! Yes it has indeed and so it’s time to pick a Song for this Week. I’ve decided once again to go for an oldie this time, one that until recently I had forgotten about until I rediscovered it through new technology. It is, undoubtedly, a classic.

This Week’s RHP Song Of The Week

Ring Of Fire

Johnny Cash

So why on earth have I picked this song? Well as with many people, I have always liked the song, it’s a great tune with equally good sing along lyrics. But the reason I have decided to pick it this week is down to a certain program called Spotify. You may remember I featured Spotify as a ‘Fun Thing To Do On The Web’ a couple of weeks ago. Through it I have re-found this gem from the 60’s and rekindled my love for it.

The song itself was recorded in 1963 and became Johnny Cash’s biggest hit, staying at number 1 for a whopping 7Ring-Of-Fire3 weeks. It’s an interesting song for me as it’s not really a genre I’m into. Country has never been my thing, but Cash’s vocals and the arrangement of instruments (including that famous trumpet sound) make this a great song to listen to.

If you’ve not discovered it yet, I really urge you to, it’s a brilliant tune that has withstood the test of time.

Johnny Cash - The Best of Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire

This Week On the Rich, Harsh Poet – 17/08/09

August 17, 2009

thisweektestNot a massive amount this week I’m afraid due to the fact I’m going to be away fro most of it! But there are a couple of things to look forward to!

Grand Slam tennis (Wii) – Fantastic, Fair or Flop

Another week and I’ve brought myself another MotionPlus game for the Wii. This time it’s EA’s attempt at recreating the perfect swing of a Grand Slam Tennis champion. This is also the first game to officially feature Wimbledon. But does it serve an ace? I hope to get this written by the weekend.

Trip Report

As I mentioned, I’m going away, but where? Well there’s a themepark and a capital city involved, so expect a few articles from my few days away towards the start of next week!

Song Of The Week: 16/08/09

August 16, 2009

songweekThis week I’ve decided to go a bit oldie with my selection. This song is an extremely highly rated song and it fully deserves its title as one of most original and inspiring songs ever written.

This Week’s RHP ‘Song Of The Week’

Bohemian Rhapsody

by Queen

There’s no denying the greatness of this song. It may not be to everyone’s taste perhaps, but it was so truly different and imaginative when it cam out in 1975. I couldn’t imagine any bands who regularly make it in the charts crafting such an amazing tune nowadays. It’s a song that dares to be different and succeeds. The video is also a joy to watch and really shaped the way music videos are made today.

One of the reasons I’ve chosen this song is due to my recent rediscovering of it through SingStar. Even though IBand_queen2 am quite rubbish at it, it’s such a fun song to sing away to. It’s also s widely known that everyone can join in with. Not many songs in this modern day and age have the long-last appeal that this does.

I’m also pleased to champion Queen as a band. I honestly feel they are the best Rock band to ever walk this earth. And that doesn’t necessarrily mean they’ve written my favorite songs, but they’re so well remembered and did so many different things which have become standard to music these days. They truly were a legendary band.

So yes it may be played alot and it may be an unoriginal choice, but Bohemian Rhapsody really is one of those ‘great’ songs and thoroughly deserves to be this week’s ‘Song Of The Week’.

Queen - Greatest Hits - Bohemian Rhapsody

F1 2009: The Half-Way Point

August 15, 2009

f12009OK, so it’s actually just after half-way through the season! But F1 2009 has been like a reset for the series with new regulations causing a massive change to the cars and mid-season testing banned. In the UK there’s also been a new broadcaster for the sport. But how has it been, here’s my view on the season so far!

The Regulations

f11One of the biggest changes in the sports history. This year the FIA brought in new specifications for the cars to help them follow each other more closely. They also had an ambiguous one about diffusers, meaning that some teams (such as the almighty Brawn GP) had a massive advantage at the start of the season.

It also ensured that the cars looked very different. This I wasn’t sure of at first. I switched on the first practice of the season and thought they were all toy cars. Even now I think they have a strangely ‘cheap’ look about them, something to do with the larger front wing and smaller rear wing. But I have got used to them and at the end of the day looks aren’t everything.

But have they actually improved the racing. I remember the first few races if the season had a large amount of overtaking making it seem that the regs were a huge improvement. But as the season has gone on, the overtaking has become less and less. I think the quality of the racing really is still down to the drivers, the new regulations make following easier, but overtaking just as difficult as before.


f12 Another controversial addition this year has been the ‘Kinetic Energy Recovery System’ allowing drivers to get a boost at certain points in the race. Now, I was a supporter of this idea at the start of the season, but have completely u-turned as the season has gone on. I think the idea can work, but it has to be on every single car. Having the system optional has ruined the whole point. It makes no sense for cars without a boost to be up against ones that have it.

I initially liked the idea as it added an extra element of strategy… when to use the boost, but if the FIA want to keep it (which it looks like they don’t) they’ll have to make it compulsory for all cars.

The Racing

f13Surely the most important part of the sport. In my opinion this year has seen some of the best racing in the sport for a long time. We started off with a real shock at the start of the season when we discovered that Brawn GP really were as good as they looked. It was a great success story and one which the whole industry needed.

Jenson Button has been a revelation this year, not just because of the success of the Brawn car either. Overtaking at the end of the first lap has become a trademark of the Brit. It’s shown that all Jenson has ever needed has been a decent car because now he is driving and acting like a champion.

But f course it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Brawn as Red Bull have more than caught up with them. BothVettel and Webber have performed very well this year and are real challengers for the title.

And just recently the action’s got even closer with Ferrari and McLaren getting their act together. I do think we’re in for a very entertaining end to the season.

The Controversy

f14Arguably the second biggest part of the sport! wherever there’s F1 there’s controversy and this years been no different. It all started off after the first race when Lewis Hamilton was disqualified. It was later found out that the McLaren team had been lying about an overtaking move on Trulli. This led to a variety of things happening, the biggest being Ron Dennis’ departure from the team. It was amazing to see how a team so high had fallen so low.

But the far bigger controversy this year has been the threat of a breakaway series. The FIA are changing things again next year including axing refuelling stops and limiting the budget for teams. This angered the majority who said they wouldn’t sign.

Things conspired and got worse and worse until the whole paddock (excluding Force India and Williams) hated Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosely and refused to sign up to F1 2010. It all came to a head at Silverstone when FOTA said they would split F1 into two series. Mosely acted like a complete wally and called all those disagreeing with him loonies and the circus continued!

Only recently has an agreement been made, but it’s on the condition that Mosely leaves, perhaps then this stupid controversy can all end!

Schumacher To Return?

f15Only a couple of weeks ago at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Felipe had the worst accident seen in the sport for many years. A spring from fellow countryman Rubens Barrichello’s car, hit his head knocking him unconscious and damaging his eye. There was doubt that he’d ever race again. Luckily the Brazillian has done well in hospital and is likely to return, but not for a while.

Therefore, someone else had to fill his boots, leading to a very exciting announcement. Michael Schumacher was to return to F1.

Now, I had planned to wrote loads of exciting stuff about Schumi’s return on this post, but sadly thats not going to happen. On Tuesday it was revealed that Schumacher would not be returning as he was not fit enough. This I feel has been a massive blow to F1 as having Michael back (whatever you may think of him) would really have boosted the speed shows popularity. Oh well, maybe next year Michael!

The Coverage

f16Here in the UK, we’ve been viewing the F1 a bit differently. For the first time in over 10 years, the BBC are screening the racing again. Personally I was worried as to how well they would do, it has been a while and I was expecting a shaky start. But i think the coverage has been very good this year and an improvement over ITV. Jake Humphrey has proved to be more competent a presenter than Steve Ryder (apart from when he nearly got himself run over). Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard have been surprisingly entertaining. I think this may be down to their more recent connection with the sport.

If anythings a weakpoint, it’s possibly the commentary. Jonathon Legard knows the sport, but doesn’t have the charisma and passion that former commentators in the top role have had. Equally,  Martin Brundle, although a very engaging speaker, is starting to make stupid mistakes which is making the coverage confusing and almost pointless…

But overall I feel the BBC have done a great job, especially interactive (it’s now all on iPlayer, there’s coverage of practice on the red button and highlights are at a much better time on BBC 3).

And as for the sport, I think 2009 has been a very encouraging year. New winners, closer racing and an overall more entertaining season. I just hope it goes all the way down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – Fantastic, Fair Or Flop?

August 14, 2009

fffThe Grand Theft Auto series has been here since the beginning of gaming… well since 1994 anyway. But only now has a new version of the game debuted on a Nintendo console, namely the DS. ‘Chinatown Wars’ was released in March and hasn’t been doing too well in the charts, but how does it play? Is is fantastic, fair or flop?

Now I have something to admit, this is actually my first ever Grand Theft Auto game. I’ve played parts of others, but this is the first that I’ve gone out a brought (I couldn’t resist for a tenner!). In the past I’ve found the game to be an ok affair, but have never really seen why it is so highly rated.

I think I may have now found it’s appeal.

And that for me really is the freedom. GTA games give you missions to carry out, which are great fun, but that’schinatownscreenshot1not the whole game. Rockstar have created a whole world for you to go out and explore. And it really is massive. I’m truly gobsmacked at how big a world they have managed to fit onto a little DS cartridge. There’s several different districts, faire stations, an airport, a port… the list goes on, it really is massive!

So onto the actual gameplay. Regulars to the GTA series will know that the main aim of the game is to complete missions such as saving a gang leader, blowing up a rivals base etc. You do this generally by stealing cars as transport and committing many various crimes, the whole time trying to avoid the police. By playing through the missions you progress through the story of wars going on within Liberty City. You can also progress the story i your own way by visiting the contacts you want to complete missions for.

Or alternatively you can forget all that and just explore the map. There’s loads of hidden features on there including a tank which is hillarious fun! Sometimes its actually a lot more fun just to get the police chasing you around the city than actually playing the game and that I think is the beauty of GTA that I’ve never had teh chance to see before. You really can do anything!

Something which really please me is that this game is not just a port from another console, it was built from the


ground up purposely for the DS. This means that they’ve made great use of the touch screen. Most of the time it’s used for your GPS and map planning, but it’s also used in missions. You can say, throw a grenade with it, or a petrol bomb. If your playing firefighter you can use it to aim the direction of your water. When you steal a car, it’s used to deactivate the alarm system. It’s really pleasing to see a game designed for the DS and not just with rubbish extra touch controls tacked on.

The graphics are also a joy to behold. Unlike the more modern versions of the series, GTA Chinatown Wars has shunned realism for an almost cel-shaded look. This works very well and makes the most of the DS’s lower graphical capabilities. The frame rate is also excellent with no noticeable slow down at all, it’s all very very impressive for a DS game. It’s clear that this game has had an awful lot of work put into it unlike some of the rubbish available for DS these days.

Score Breakdown

Graphics: Fantastic , some of the best I have seen on the DS, a real credit to Rockstar’s development team

Sound: Fair , there’s nothing wrong with it, for the DS it’s quite good, but if anything is, then this is the games weak point.

Presentation: Fantastic , easy to understand and navigate around and presented in the style of a GPS system, similar to how the DSi’s menu looks.

Lifetime: Fantastic , There are plenty of missions to keep you going and after that it’ll take you ages to find and complete everything the game has!

Gameplay: Fantastic , simple controls, great fun to play, I now finally realise why this game has such a big following.

Overall Score:


Final Thoughts: I really think it’s criminal that this games not selling. Maybe it’s because it’s too similar to previous GTA’s, but I fear not. For only £10  at certain retailers it’s an absolute steal and a must-own game!

This Week On The Rich Harsh Poet – 11/08/09

August 11, 2009


Welcome to a new feature on RHP! From now on at the start of every week (normally a Monday rather than a Tuesdsay!) I’ll let you know a little about what’s going up on the site every week so you can know what to look out for. Here are a couple of articles I’m working on this week!

F1 2009 – The Half Way Point (up between Wed-Sun)

There’s been new regulations, a new stunning team, new winners and now the return of an old hero. But what has F1 been like this year. Have the new rules helped the racing or hindered it. And what about the BBC, how have they faired with their first F1 broadcasts in over a decade. I’ll be giving my verdict later this week.

Grand Theft Auto: ChinaTown Wars (up between Thurs-Fri)

The first new GTA game to debut on a Nintendo console, but sadly the sales have been extremely disappointing to Rockstar. The game is now retailing for a mere £10 at online stores, but does it deserve this price-tag. I’ll be finding out if Chinatown wars is Fantastic, Fair or a Flop at the end of the week.

Song Of the Week (Sunday from 7.00PM)

The regular feature made a comeback this week and I intend to keep it that way. Listen to the new RHP song of the week on Sunday night, just after the charts!

Make Your Own Kind Of Music!

August 10, 2009

No longer is this just the name of a song by Mama Cass in the 60’s, it now also refers to a brand new music blog!

Have a look here at the site which started up only a few days ago. Already you can read through reviews of two upcoming singles including RHP’s joint song of the week ‘Uprising’. There are many more reviews of singles/albums/gigs on the way over the next few months also.

What I’ve really enjoyed about this site is the opinion given. As I’ve come to lear, opinion is an essential part of any blog and ‘Make Your Own Kind Of Music’ has it in bucketloads! It may not be to you taste (Mika fans watch out), but it makes for some very entertaining reading.

Now, before you all ask, yes I do know the author of the blog and that’s why they’re getting a nice post on my homepage, but do have a look because I have genuinely  been impressed by the quality of the blog so far. It’s even given me some new ideas for RHP!

Hope you enjoy it too!