I started watching this with some scepticism that it was indeed going to be funny. The premise was a walk down televisual memory lane looking at talent shows of yore – as well as those of modern day – and all done apparently with humour. But I’ve found that of late, when the BBC tells me something’s funny, it’s turned out to be really not, so I approached this show with caution, expecting it to be seriously unfunny and probably rather boring.
What it actually delivered was something that was amusing for about fifteen minutes but then just became Dullsville Arizona because of repetition. Let’s face it, when you’ve watched one juggling act, you’ve pretty much watched them all, irrespective of whether the footage is black and white or glorious Technicolor. The only redeeming features in this hour long show were the witty comments made by Clive Anderson, the host of the show, and a couple of the guest commentators.
Clive’s input in introducing each section of the show could’ve been improved by having a live studio audience I think. It’s always easier to laugh along if you hear a really lot of other people doing so, but his oration/narration felt stiff and rehearsed – because it was – and lacked the ad lib that he’s much better at.
The thing is, with this type of show, in analysing a thing, you take the fun out of it, so it shot itself in the foot before it began in that regard. Yes, it was pleasant to see good ol’ Hughie Green again and being reminded that with Opportunity Knocks, we used to have to post in our votes for who we wanted to win, but I find that nostalgia is best taken in snack form rather than a three course dinner format, and it wasn’t easy going to sit and watch it for an hour.
Nor was it very entertaining to listen to the world and his wife – celeb-wise – giving their opinion, because, actually, who cares what Les Dennis thinks? Not this pilgrim. Though if he cares what I think – and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t – that moustache does not sit well on you Les. It really doesn’t suit you.
Was it amusing to see some of the most hideous and dreadful ‘talent’ acts? A bit, but again, not for as long as we had to watch them last night. Is it interesting to hear what lots of celebrities think of talent shows? A bit, but not for that long…
In short, the show was too long. Half an hour would’ve done nicely, but as it was, by the end, I was losing the will to live.
Next week, Clive tackles The Funny Side of politics, and given that politics is a pretty big yawn at the best of times, I’m not getting my hopes up that I may require strapping to keep my ribs in place.