Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #60

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf meets Kenny Everett and encounters a bunch of smegheads.

The Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story

That’s right; it’s yet another melodramatic BBC Four biopic, exploring the life of a comedian including their darker, personal details – but this one contains some naughty bits.

The Best Possible Taste concerns the life of Kenny Everett, played here by Oliver Lansley. Lansley also plays most of Everett’s comic characters, including Sid Snot, Cupid Stunt, Brother Lee Love and Marcel Wave, who commentate on the habits of their creator and his complicated love-life: namely being married to his wife Lee (Katherine Kelly), despite being gay…

Like Everett’s own style of humour, the show itself was completely bonkers, with lots of quirky editing. There are several instances of scenes which display Everett’s true feelings, only for the characters to stop the film and rewind it to show what really happened. For example, there’s the scene at the 1983 Young Conservatives conference, in which in Everett’s mind he wants to tell the world he’s gay, but is stopped by Cupid Stunt, who then shows us that Everett actually blurted, “Let’s bomb Russia!”

While The Best Possible Taste is worth a watch, it’s not really one for the comedy anoraks. There’s no mention of how his characters were formed, and several of his TV outings were not mentioned at all. Instead, the show mostly covers his private relationships and his DJ work. So, while this documentary may have been produced in the best possible taste, I can’t say it was as funny as it could have been.

Red Dwarf

This is the second time that digital channel Dave has brought back the crew of a certain Jupiter Mining Corporation space ship that’s three million light years away from Earth.

The first return of Red Dwarf (the three-part Back to Earth broadcast in 2009) had its moments, yet was considered a slight anticlimax. But now Red Dwarf’s returned with Series X, it’s gone back to basics. Shot in a studio and in front of a studio audience (that’s not canned laughter, despite what some people will tell you), has the gambit paid off? Well, I’m proud to say that it smegging has!

The characters really are just as great as they were before. In this first episode, the despicable hologram Arnold Judas Rimmer (Chris Barrie) becomes so resentful that he crashes – due to self-created malware. He becomes even more frustrated when he encounters the crew of another spaceship, which is supposedly lead by his brother Howard. Meanwhile, the slobbish last-human-alive Dave Lister (Craig Charles) is trying desperately to order some rubbish product over the phone.

The ‘situations’ were expertly delivered and gags landed too. Even the more subtle visual humour – Cat (Danny John-Jules) walking behind a shot holding a huge map of the ship they are on, for example – doesn’t fail to tickle your funny bone.

I do miss some things, though. I miss both Kochanski and Holly, and I miss the fact that there used to be no ad-breaks in the middle of the show. But other than a few picky issues, it’s great to see Red Dwarf back.