Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #78

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The Matt Lucas Awards

This week Ian Wolf encounters out-of-date satire, “Up the Junction” sung in the style of Donald Duck, and a sketch character that looks a bit like Chris Ramsey.

Mock the Week Looks Back At…

I have a confession to make. I like Mock the Week – and I don’t really mind the odd clip show either. Regardless of what you think of their subject matter they’re decent enough shows to watch on a weeknight.

But this week, Mock The Week released a ‘new’ series; 10 episodes filled with themed clips from previous shows. And that’s just taking the biscuit.

For me, Mock the Week Looks Back At… just smacks of recession telly. While one or even two clips shows in a large series is excusable, an entire series of 10 clip shows just sounds, feels and is cheap. It’s depressing. The only reason there are so many panel shows on the box is because they don’t cost much to make, and now it’s got to the point where we’re making an entire series of cheap and tatty shows.

Either the BBC is skint and can’t afford to make new shows, or they don’t want to risk making a new series that might not work. I suspect that it’s probably both.

The Matt Lucas Awards

Returning for a second series, The Matt Lucas Awards is continuing to give out awards for all kinds of strange categories – and sadly it’s still as bad as the first series.

This opening episode featured Ardal O’Hanlon, Robert Webb and Adil Ray, giving out awards in the categories of “Least compensable UK accent”, “Most miserable day of the year”, and the “Hidden talent award”.

I say it’s as bad as the first series – there have been a few changes. The musician David Arnold is no-where to be seen, and the awards are now given out by a panel of three judges. In this episode it was three Olympic bronze medallists.

But the second series has exactly the same problems as the first. It’s way too gimmicky. In fact, with the inclusion of the judges you could argue that it’s become even more gimmicky. You can tell it’s tacky when you see Ardal O’Hanlon trying to sing Squeeze’s “Up the Junction” in a Donald Duck voice, while dressed in a Donald Duck costume.

It’s a huge shame; I really enjoyed the original radio version of the show, And The Winner Is… 

Anna & Katy

When this show was first broadcast as a Comedy Lab pilot, I mentioned at the time some of the ideas appeared to be a bit limited, while others were repeated far too often. But this new series of Anna & Katy is a vast improvement on the original outing.

Written and performed mainly by Anna Crilly and Katy Wix, most of the sketches take the form of TV show parodies. Rice Britannia (Great British Bake Off with the only dish being bowls of rice), Küntwords (a German Countdown), and Ignition (a car servicing firm parodying The Apprentice) all make an appearance.

There’s also Congratulation!, a series of sketches from the pilot, where the hosts congratulate minor things, with the “Biggest Congratulation” being displayed via the hosts… showing their censored vaginas.

I liked most of the sketches. Personal favourites included The Lane, a naff soap opera sponsored by an optician (resulting in the whole plot being driven towards promoting their glasses), and a poll show called World’s Worst Word, which featured a comedian who looked not too dissimilar to Chris Ramsey.

Anna & Katy deserves to become a hit.