Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #7

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Gigglebox Weekly looks at QI VG and Rock & Chips

This week Ian Wolf tackles the intelligent and the nostalgic.



In terms of reviewing QI, anyone who knows me will know that this is an easy job as far as I’m concerned, as QI is my favourite comedy show.

On Easter Monday a “VG” edition was shown, which consists mainly of old clips of the previous series and some new bits thrown in. Among the quite interesting things mentioned include the correct use of poisoned darts (whatever you do, do not do what Bill Bailey did and blow the dart straight upwards).

As this edition of QI was basically a clip show, there’s not that much to say about it, except that this and the edition on Bank Holiday Monday will be the final ever episodes of QI to premier on BBC One before the series moves back to its old home on BBC Two.

For many fans, the show’s move from BBC Two to the more mainstream BBC One was a mistake, with some believing that the show would be dumbed-down. Although the people behind the series claimed that the first batch of episodes were edited before the decision to move, critics claimed that show had lost its edge.

I think the move back is the best thing to do, provided they still keep broadcasting the extended “XL” editions as well. Still, I will be wishing QI goodbye from BBC One this week.

Rock & Chips


I must confess that I hadn’t seen the previous two editions of this Only Fools and Horses prequel. It’s a shame because I rather enjoyed this (most probably) final outing.

In this episode, the young Del Boy (James Buckley) decides to find his fortune by going into movies, proposing his cinematic masterpiece Dracula on the Moon. Meanwhile, gangster and father of Rodney, Freddie “The Frog” Robdal (Nicholas Lyndhurst) is trying to avoid being arrested after a robbery he carried at during The Jolly Boys Outing.

The thing you have to remember when watching Rock & Chips is not to treat it as a sitcom but as a comedy drama. There are no real belly laughs, but a few chuckles along the way. At times it is rather tender. It is also ruder. I cannot recall an episode of Only Fools which included the phrase: “F*** off”.

The series is basically the backdrop to everything we have already seen in the original classic series, with many references to the Only Fools, such as Del’s fondness for the song “Old Shep”.

Sadly, this looks to be the final edition of the series following the death of writer John Sullivan, to whom the episode was dedicated to. Of course they could always get another writer to continue it, but there seems little point. As it is a prequel, we already know what happens. We know that Robdal is blown up during a botched raid, that Joan (Kellie Bright) dies young, that Reg (Shaun Dingwall) leaves the family when Rodney’s aged two, and that it is not the last time Del has an idea for a movie – but like Dracula on the Moon, There’s a Rhino Loose in the City also never took off.

It is a pleasing hour of well written material, and John Sullivan will be sadly missed.