THERE seems precious little sympathy for Linda Robson over the way her three children wrecked the Birds Of a Feather star's house in Home On Their Own (ITV1, Sunday-Tuesday).

As the poor woman wailed over her 20-year-old daughter Lauren turning a designer living room - okay, it looked like a deckchair-makers' convention - into a Victorian room fit for Jack the Ripper, my wife was quite dismissive. "I thought she said she'd slimmed down to a size 12. She looks more like a size 16 to me," she announced gleefully. I'm not sure this took any weight off the mind of Ms Robson, who had already feared the worst when a passing police car loudhailed her with the advice "don't go home". An igloo with snowstorm, Northern lights, monster's cave, corkscrew chute attached to the outside wall and a bouncy castle room looked like a considerable amount of damage to put right. The only sensible change was a wolf-howl machine to be operated in the event of mum singing songs while working in the kitchen. Sadly, the celebrity victim wasn't quite in the mood for that one. Two other choices of life in the raw this week were Big Brother (C4) and Wild In Your Garden With Bill Oddie (BBC2). Hearing the statement "let's look at Bill's blue tits" nearly made me opt elsewhere. Mr Oddie's brusque method of presenting and Kate Humble proudly showing us hidden camera shots of badgers "which aren't there yet" had my wife slumped in an armchair, rolling her eyes and doing a snoring version of the wolf-howl machine. She brightened up as presenter Simon King put on a ridiculous Attenborough-like whisper to talk about foxes under a nearby garden shed. "I remember Simon King when he was a young man with a mass of hair, hasn't he gone bald?" announced my wife who was clearly struggling between being able to tell Mr K from a coot. It was hardly surprising to discover that the family verdict on 24-hour wildlife was "don't ask us to watch this again".

A little TV history was made when the Hardwick household sat through the entire Eurovision Song Contest (BBC1, Saturday) instead of the tail-end of the voting. My main fascination was to see if anybody would vote for the UK because of the war in Iraq. The BBC - which pays a small fortune towards running Eurovision, so the rest of Europe beware - obviously felt the same way and announced before the show that next year's contest will be a two-part affair with a qualifying round. The ever-cheerful Terry Wogan groaned at the idea and I still can't see how any form of phone vote system will help the UK back from the point of nil return. Russian entry Tatu earned boos because the pop star duo were deemed to be trading on their fame. As we've previously won with established singers like Cliff Richard and Lulu, I couldn't see what the fuss was about. The fact that Tatu can't hold a note in a live performance was far more offensive. I think we should enter Linda Robson next year, wolf-howl machine and all.

Published: 31/05/2003