Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #28

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf encounters something wetter than the sea at Weston-Super-Mare and Stewart Lee’s idea of hell.

The Café

Sky1’s latest sitcom offering comes from the team who helped make The Royle Family what it was. Shame it seems the magic has gone.

The Café is set in a… well you can guess where, but this particular establishment is located in Weston-Super-Mare and is called “Cyril’s”. Despite this, there’s no-one called Cyril in the show. The main characters are the owner of the café, Carol (Ellie Haddington), her daughter and wannabe writer Sarah (Michelle Terry, who co-writes the series with Ralf Little, who also stars in the series), and Carol’s mother Mary (June Watson).

However, this is just the start. There are 13 main characters.

Now, I don’t mind there being lots of characters in a sitcom. Green Wing, for example, had a minimum of 14 regular characters in it at any one time. However, you can’t make the characters fully rounded if the episodes are just half-an-hour (minus advertising time), compared to the hour-long episodes Green Wing had. There are some interesting characters, like Kieran the living statue (Kevin Trainor), but it’s a bit of a mess.

But the main problem with this show is that it just isn’t funny enough. It comes across as overtly sentimental, and while this programme does have the odd laugh now and then, what this show really needs is less characters and less drama.

Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night

At this point I should say that not only have I never watched this programme before, but I’ve never watched or listened to any of Chris Moyles’ shows (for that matter I’ve never listened to Radio 1). As a result I was somewhat hesitant at watching Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night, but as there were no other new comedy programmes on I had to make do.

For those who have also never seen the show before, each edition features Moyles taking part in a quiz against three celebrity guests. The audience beforehand vote for who they think will win and those who pick the winner win a share of £1,000 (on this week’s edition the money won by everyone equalled £21 each). The player who comes last has to sing out the show.

When I spotted the panel which consisted of Jason Manford, Jeremy Clarkson and opera singer Katherine Jenkins, I thought that as a panel it was okay, although I can’t help but think that it sounds like Stewart Lee’s idea of hell. Anyone who saw the first episode of his Comedy Vehicle will testify.

However, the other guests who appeared during the questions, including Britney Spears, Robbie Williams and the Sugababes, took it down to the level that I expected from Moyles – cheap and rubbish. This show isn’t something that I’d watch again.