Gigglebox Weekly #12
This week Ian Wolf tackles an online awards ceremony, a new statistician and a kingly chat show.
The Matt Lucas Awards
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this show is that the unbroadcast pilot has been made available online.
The Matt Lucas Awards is a TV version of the BBC Radio 2 show And the Winner Is… in which the Little Britain star presents the Lucas Awards to unusual categories, the nominations being decided by three celebrity guests. The BBC decided that the pilot was so good that they’ve commissioned a full series and have released the pilot on their comedy website.
The first episode featured Dave Gorman, Ruby Wax and Jack Whitehall as guests suggesting nominations for the Lucas Awards for “Most Incomprehensible British Accent”, “The Guest with The Most Useless Talent” and “Worst Song by an Otherwise Reputable Artist”. Out of the guests, for me it was Wax who was funniest, especially with her ability to memories 400 different camp songs, and her attempt to call Blue’s Anthony Costa on Whitehall’s mobile phone.
I also enjoyed what Lucas and his house band, David Arnold and The Available Session Musicians, referred to as the “excruciating theme tune”, which for me wasn’t excruciating at all, but rather jolly.
Overall, it’s clear to see why the BBC felt comfortable putting this pilot out – whether or not they will put the pilot on the TV before the series goes out is another matter.
8 Out of 10 Cats
This now long-running Channel 4 panel game has seen some changes over the years. In this series, Jon Richardson has replaced Jason Manford as team captain; the opening round, “What Are You Talking About?”, also now only covers the top three most talked about things in Britain as opposed to the original five. The other major change is that the total scores are no longer mentioned, with host Jimmy Carr now simply saying who’s won, rather like Mock the Week.
The one major problem I have with 8 Out of 10 Cats is that almost every time there is always one guest who you’d rather not have on the programme. I went through the panel before the show began thinking to myself: “Russell Kane – established, award winning comic and deserves to be on. Josh Widdicombe – a relatively unknown comic who can use this appearance as his big break. Rachel Riley – well, as someone who regularly co-presents Countdown she has experience of quiz formats. Alex Reid – oh, damn!”
However, having said that, I did enjoy the fact that Reid didn’t take himself too seriously, taking part in some pretty self-deprecating humour. However, the guest comics, as to be expected, did perform better; Kane’s story about a woman he accidentally offended on a train was a particular highlight.
This new chat show hosted by Claudia Winkleman has already been called by most critics a “reverse Room 101”, in that Winkleman attempts to decide which are the best things in a certain category, with the help of guests.
In this case, Sarah Millican and Chris Evans helped Winkleman choose the king of holidays, jobs and cheese – a somewhat broad choice of subjects, but Winkleman claims she was to cover everything, and put it down in a book she intends to give to her children.
This made for an interesting watch. Seeing Winkleman and Millican talk was like watching a funny Loose Women, or to put it another way, a good Loose Women that I might be tempted to actually watch. I especially enjoyed Millican’s line about her attempt to discuss the future with her boyfriend at Euro Disney.
There were some turn offs, though, for me. The audience were a bit annoying, seemingly cheering at any point, and I would disagree with some of Winkleman’s choices (surely the king of jobs would by king?) – but it was an interesting first watch and I’ll probably take a look at next week’s offering, too.