Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #45

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf isn’t reviewing Derek

The Matt Lucas Awards

The Matt Lucas Awards is the radio adaptation of the BBC Radio 2 show And The Winner Is… in which Matt Lucas and his panel of guests – this week it was Jason Manford, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden – present awards in unusual categories.

The main worry with any radio adaptation is will it carry off the transfer from radio to telly? By the looks of things I’d say that it’s doubtful, which would be a huge shame because I’m a big fan of the radio show.

To me it seems that the TV version has strained too far from the original format. Let’s start from the beginning with the opening titles. When I saw the original pilot that was on the BBC website some time ago (and which I’ve reviewed previously) there were some things I enjoyed, like the catchy “excruciating theme tune.”

The song is good, but I can’t stand the animated opening titles, which were just too cheesy. You don’t need to mute your TV, but you do need a blind to cover the scene until the show properly starts. Also, a word of advice: don’t put a character from a much more successful show (in this case Vicky Pollard) in the opening titles, reminding everyone that the older show was brilliant and this new show may well not be as funny…

Moving on to the actual show, the pilot was set in a ritzy studio while the series is set in a mock-up of what is supposed to by Lucas’s flat. According to a blog by co-creator of the series Ashley Blaker, they thought the ritzy studio didn’t work. But I don’t think the flat works either. It comes across as a bit gimmicky for me.

Then you have certain awards in which the guests are made to do stupid activities, like drawing a nude model and having to sing terrible football songs while dressed up as the singers in question. It just gets more cheesy as the show goes along.

I hope the series improves, but to be honest I have my doubts. But if the BBC does decide to cancel it, I hope they don’t get rid of it all together and it returns to the radio.

Would I Lie To You?

While some panel shows are having trouble finding their footing, Would I Lie To You? just seems to keep going from strength to strength.

Rob Brydon, David Mitchell and Lee Mack seem to make a perfect team. There’s so many angles for them to play with: Mitchell’s poshness verses Mack’s working class background; Mitchell’s southerness and Mack’s northerness; Mitchell and Mack’s Englishness verses Brydon’s Welshness, and so on.

There is one significant change to this new series, however, that being the show is now on after the watershed. This, for me, is a worry. You may remember that this happened to QI when it moved to BBC One, which ended up as a failure and resulted in QI moving back…

However, it would seem that it’s survived this changed. The show seems to be just as funny as ever, especially the bit when Mack trying to claim that his ex-girlfriend’s names spell out the world “Bermuda”. The guests, Alexander Armstrong, Mel Giedroyc, Alex Jones and Chris Tarrant, provided much amusement too..