John-Paul Stephenson

TV review: The Revolution Will Be Televised – Series 2

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BBC Three’s The Revolution Will Be Televised is precisely what the licence fee is for.

Having salivated over every second of last year’s first series, one of the genuine highlights of my life in the last week was discovering that the show was returning for a second series.

The Revolution Will Be Televised is what you would get if Mark Thomas remade Trigger Happy TV, with writers and stars Jolyon Rubinstein and Heydon Prowse exhibiting more bollocks than a UKIP pamphlet.

It’s amazing how far confidence and a smidgeon of costume will get you – as far as getting to take the piss out of the Prime Minister at a Westminster Conservative Party fundraiser, it seems.

Labour’s Ed Miliband does not get off lightly, with subtitles on his conference speech turned to ‘honest’ – nor do Nike, Network Rail, or Google.

James Twottington-Burbage and Barnaby Plankton return as junior coalition MPs, as is roving reporter Dale Maily, who here takes the piss out of a gabble of EDL demonstrators (“Did you know that Kate and William have to call their baby Mohammed, even if it’s a girl?”).

Perhaps this series might do a similar thing with the far left, which, I’m sure, has its fair share of gullibility.

Because of the unique way in which it is funded, only on the BBC can you get away with broadcasting a sketch about how much its executives are paid for both staying and for going, and exposing some interesting accountancy from major corporations without fear of losing precious advertising revenue.

If Mitch Benn had penned his celebration of the BBC a few years later, then The Revolution Will Be Televised would almost certainly be included right up there with the likes of TW3.

The problem that, while the endless stream of rabble-rousing “Everyone on Benefits are Scroungers and Frauds” programming on daytime and peak time BBC One that are designed to turn the working classes against themselves, The Revolution Will Be Televised is safely tucked away on BBC Three at 10.15pm on a Sunday evening.

If The Revolution Will Be Televised is to educate and inform, as well as to entertain, then it needs to reach beyond an audience who are probably already well versed in certain businesses’ creative accountancy.

With some of the occasional post-watershed language edited out, there’s little reason why this brilliantly entertaining and informative programme shouldn’t be juxtaposed against the likes of Saints and Scroungers (BBC One, 11am) and propaganda that promote consumerism as a way to happiness.

The Revolution Will Be Televised is exactly what impartial, independent public service broadcasting is for.

Now, if we are to be truly proud of the BBC, the corporation would match Rubinstein and Prowse’s bollocks and schedule this in a more prominent slot.

The Revolution Will Be Televised is broadcast on BBC Three, every Sunday at 10.25pm, and is available on BBC iPlayer.