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Saturday, 10 August 2013

That Puppet Game Show: Do we need it?

Regular readers will know that I normally write up reviews of gritty crime dramas. Our delightful editor Luke decided I needed a break and so treated me to doing the review for new BBC1 highlight, That Puppet Game Show.

 I am never going to sponge my mind clean of the image of those singing hotdogs. Though Margaret (all the hotdogs are Scottish) did have quite a nice voice.

Let me explain, the host and all ‘experts’ are puppets. Then two celebrities (this week Jonathan Ross and Katherine Jenkins, who I was certain still had careers but apparently not) compete to win £10,000 for charity.

No charity is this desperate for funds, surely?!

The only thing to say about the various puppet characters is they are not Muppets. Because Muppets are owned by Disney, and frankly, it would be an insult to a star of Miss Piggy’s stature to expect her to take part in this tripe. She should be drafted in to throw whoever commissioned this show into a gong, as in Muppets Treasure Island. The absence of Kermit and co is keenly felt, the jokes fall flat and the ‘behind-the-scenes’ sections lack the sparkle of the real Muppet Show.

 After squeezing hotdogs to make them sing in the correct order, which was strangely addictive, Katherine and Jonathan then had to Punch Their Lights Out. Not, thankfully, an incitement to violence but instead an invitation to don suits made from pound store push lights which they had to put out. I did like Katherine’s idea of rolling on the floor to put out the ones on her back.

It is at this point, with the quality deteriorating rapidly, that I yearned to watch Hole in the Wall. That was daft, but it was still quite good. And it had Anton de Beke.

Life’s a Speech was the next round with an innovative take on general knowledge. The contestants read a speech, filling in the blanks with their knowledge of geography, celebrity and maths as they went along. Poor Rob Brydon was forgotten about which I imagine will be the talking point of tomorrow’s newspaper reviews.

Then we had Nosey Neighbours (their spelling, I’m sure it’s Nosy) which saw Katherine and Jonathan bouncing up and down on space hoppers behind a fence while answering questions on what the hotdogs were doing in front. This gave Jonathan a great opportunity to make a crass remark about watching Katherine bounce. Don’t worry, it’s all wholesome family entertainment!

We ended with a basic quiz and a show that had run out of steam. There’s no way I would watch next week. Saturday Night TV is in perpetual crisis but I’d just quit now if this is the best they can do. The show has been largely ridiculed and I suspect most people watched out of curiosity, rather than hope of genuine enjoyment. One thing’s for sure, I’m never complaining about having to watch gritty dramas again!

Contributed by Victoria Prior

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