Category Archives: Clips Show

‘When Miranda Met Bruce’ (BBC1) Review

2013 marks seventy years since the legend that is Sir Bruce Forsyth took his first tentative steps into the world of showbusiness as part of the musical act, ‘Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom’. He was just fourteen-years-old at the time and of course went on to become a regular fixture of family  viewing, with much-loved and fondly-remembered appearances in variety and game shows, sitcoms and of course the odd dancing competition.

It is Bruce and his illustrious career which were celebrated in this one-off special, as the man himself was joined by host Miranda Hart and house band McFly for an evening of music and mirth.

Now I have to admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of Brucie’s humour and delivery of gags (and I know that I’m not alone there), so I found his attempts at jocularity as nauseating as ever, but other than that it was a jolly little romp through a showbiz legend’s life, interspersed with the odd dance routine, piano recital and singsong.

I was worried that When Miranda Met Bruce would force a pair of rose tinted specs onto its viewers and blatantly omit the…well shall we saw lower points of Bruce’s career. Thankfully, though, it wasn’t too sugary (although it did come dangerously close). For example, Big Night was touched  upon, as was its lack of success. Of course, Big Night wasn’t a bad show – as Bruce himself rightly pointed out, it would probably be commissioned today – but its problem was that it was hyped-up too much, leading to disappointment, a critical mauling and low ratings. I suppose the modern day equivalent is 10 O’Clock Live.

That was the only low point of Bruce’s career that was discussed, however, as the focus was well and truly on celebrating his time in the nation’s living rooms. That celebration even gave him a chance to talk about his childhood, how his parents were very supportive of him wanting to become a dancer, and how he got his big break when he succeeded Tommy Trinder as compere of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Is it just me or did that really highlight how we need a show like Palladium right now? I suppose the closest things we have at the moment are Saturday Night Takeaway and The Royal Variety Performance, but I really am hard pushed to think of any more, and with the latter occurring just annually, there’s surely a gap in the market for a real variety vehicle (without the promise of £250,000 at the end of it) like Sunday Night at the London Palladium to be made? Actually, may I take this opportunity to suggest Saturday Night at the Sunderland Empire? I’m sure there’ll be a dynamic, enthusiastic young man from the region who’ll host it…

Ahem, moving on…

For fans of Bruce, a lot of the revelations in this show would have been nothing new really – it was basically a very much more light-hearted version of his interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories – but for young fans of Strictly who perhaps didn’t know as much about him, it will no doubt have been a very enjoyable way for them to gain a bit of background knowledge and insight. Plus, it doesn’t really matter who the interviewee was: Miranda Hart hosted it! Therefore it was automatically enjoyable, and they both appeared to have such chemistry. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Bruce will be Penny’s new squeeze, if and when Miranda comes back.

Such fun!

I tried to resist it, I really did.

Image credits: Thanks to BBC and Guy Levy, ©BBC 

When Miranda Met Bruce is available on BBC iPlayer until Saturday 28th September

What did you think of When Miranda Met Bruce? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

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‘You Saw Them Here First’ (ITV) Review

Giving some of our favourite stars the unwelcome reminder of what they looked and sounded like when they made their TV debuts, You Saw Them Here First premiered last night, with names such as Pauline Quirke, Stephen Mulhern and Arlene Phillips entering the video booth and being put through the ordeal of watching their younger selves.

A GUESSING GAME

I was worried that this show would either race through the clips or spend far too long on them – making for either a wasted or tedious hour – but it’s actually very well paced. Just the right amount of time is dedicated to showing the celebrities covering their eyes and cringing – which is undoubtedly the best part.

Then again, I love the quiz element of the programme, too: although technically a clips show, it’s  almost impossible not to sit and try to guess who the fresh-faced star is. Some are easier to predict (Hugh Bonneville and Jennie McAlpine, for example) but others – like Suranne Jones and Mel Giedroyc – were much more difficult to spot. And bless little Jack Whitehall!

POP WANNABES

Some of the most enjoyable clips were in fact those featuring some of our best-loved chart-toppers – and Kym Lomas. I had no idea that The Saturdays’ Mollie King began on X Factor as part of Fallen Angelz (I bet she regrets not getting past boot camp, eh?) and, while I knew her bandmates Frankie Sandford and Rochelle Humes started off in S Club Juniors, I always thought they were older when they were singing about their Puppy Love. When I was 7, they seemed about 18 to me! Still, at least seeing 1/4 of them on You Saw Them Here First encouraged me to look them up on Wikipedia, giving me an excuse to reminisce. And did you know they reformed this year? Me neither!

Anyway, back to YSTHF. Seeing 3/5 of The Wanted just a few years ago was great, too – who knew Max auditioned in front of Louis, Sharon and dad-to-be Simon, with a broken arm? And that Nathan performed a self-penned track on Junior Eurovision? And that Siva was in Rock Rivals? Actually, am I the only one to remember Rock Rivals? Probably. And am I the only one to have bought the first – and only – series on DVD? Most definitely.

Next week there’ll be more chart-toppers in their debuts, as JLS’ Aston and former The Voice UK coach, Jessie J, will feature.

It’s a real shame that You Saw Them Here First is in just two parts – normally we’d only get to see this sort of stuff on a tribute show or after hours of searching YouTube. So seldom are we given the opportunity to see Eamonn Holmes with a mullet, Hugh Bonneville dying on a slippery surface, and Michelle Collins looking very much like Julie from 90s sitcom, The Brittas Empire (do some Googling: she actually did).

You Saw Them Here First is on Wednesdays at 8:00pm on ITV

What did you think of You Saw Them Here First? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘Seann Walsh World’ (Comedy Central) Review

Featuring the weirdest and most wonderful clips from cyberspace, Seann Walsh World is another addition to Comedy Central’s raft of new, home-grown shows, which include Threesome, The Alternative Comedy Experience and Big Bad World, which is due to begin later this year and also stars Seann.

 

To be honest, this show needs little explanation: it’s a showcase of online clips, interspersed with some stand-up and sketches to accompany them. In effect, it’s Russell Howard’s Good News without the topical element, and a bit of Rude Tube thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t have a fancy set or graphics – the sketches even seem to be have been shot on a low budget – but it is a very funny and entertaining show.

Of course, with shows like this, a lot of the comedy derives from the clips – the rest comes from the presenter adding some witticism or observation to enhance it. Thankfully, both Seann and the clips in this show are brilliant, ranging from the cute to the painful and the generally odd. Granted, we may have seen some of them before (the squirrel leaping out of a window and the forklift driver crashing into a shelf, with disastrous consequences, were all familiar) but Seann’s interjections give a fresh feel to them.

 

Despite the host’s greatness, however, the real star of the series looks set to be Sam Sadler: the self-titled ‘Pussy Maaaaan’ who films YouTube videos for his ‘sexy pussy magnets and tiger tamers and shaggable muffin monsters’ whilst drinking possibly the most miniscule can of Pepsi Max that I have ever seen.

Seann introduces Sam at the end of the first episode as his ‘sixteen-year-old advice guru for the important things in life’ and goes on to mock the vlogger’s cringeworthy relationship advice by putting it into practice with a member of the audience. The results are excellent but he just about steers clear of seeming in any way malicious towards Sam. In fact, I know that there’s no malice involved as Sam will appear in person later in the series – and will sing. Now I’ve heard his rendition of The Script’s ‘Hall of Fame’, so I’m expecting something musically unimpressive but comically fantastic.

I haven’t really worked out yet whether Sam honestly thinks he is dispensing vital advice or is just having a bit of a laugh. I assume it’s the latter. I hope it’s the latter.

 

In a way, it’s a shame that Seann Walsh World is tucked away on Comedy Central, as either people won’t have cable or satellite TV or those who do will stupidly think that it mustn’t be worth a watch because it hasn’t been made by a terrestrial channel. Let me tell you that it is worth watching – for the sight of Seann Walsh doing ‘the toilet roll walk’, if nothing else!

Seann Walsh World is on Tuesdays at 10:00pm on Comedy Central

What did you think of Seann Walsh World? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘Paddy’s TV Guide’ – Episode 1.1 Review

I sat down to watch Paddy’s TV Guide on Friday not particularly with high expectations, but neither with great apprehension. I read a brief synopsis of the programme, hosted by Take Me Out’s Paddy McGuinness, on The British Comedy Guide website that morning and discovered that they had difficulty in reviewing it positively. Nevertheless, I reasoned, ‘It must be better than Mad Mad World [a disappointingly poor panel show, in a similar vein to TV Guide, and also fronted by McGuinness last year for ITV – see my review to gauge the extent of my lack of enthusiasm]’. What I found myself watching, however, was a largely gag-free show which had me tittering a maximum of twice.

FORMAT PROBLEMS?

Paddy’s TV Guide, as well as seemingly trying to be TV Burp with an ‘old skool’ twist, has the feel of a show which would be best suited to a fledgling presenter or comedian to host on late-night E4. Instead, we have the great, eponymous Paddy presenting us with TV clips from yesteryear which I would extremely generously describe as hit/miss (with emphasis on the latter). Unfortunately, the clips – the centrepiece of the programme – don’t offer much material for poor Paddy and, while undeniably bizarre, it has to be said that they aren’t particularly funny in themselves, meaning that even the cream of the comedy crop would struggle to construct jokes around them. Add to this the fact that, at fifty minutes long, TV Guide seems drawn-out and protracted – anywhere between thirty seconds and half-an-hour really would suffice- and you have a show set to stumble through the next few weeks in its slot on Fridays on prime-time Channel 4.

THIS WON’T ‘DINK DANK DO’

Paddy is a great comedy actor and writer who has achieved success with his stand-up tours (the most recent of which saw him performing in some of the UK’s top arenas). When it comes to presenting, however, I feel that he should either stick to Take Me Out – which, it has to be said, has been largely responsible for the surge in his work offers since 2010 – or, alternatively, not agree to a show until he is 100% certain that the format is watertight. I offer this advice as this is something he seldom does nowadays, if Mad Mad World and TV Guide are anything to go by.

Some shows I take great joy in watching and reviewing, whereas some I force myself to tolerate to the bitter end purely so that I can write a review of it, otherwise I would have turned it off before the first ad break. Paddy’s TV Guide is an example of the latter and if there is no improvement by 10:10pm on Friday, I doubt I will be watching any more episodes.

Paddy’s TV Guide is on Fridays at 10pm on Channel 4

What did you think of Paddy’s TV Guide? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on my YouTube channel.