29 Minutes Of Fame, BBC1

by | Jan 21, 2005 | All, Reviews


1 – Sean Lock: “Jackie Stallone looks like a Muppet before they stick the fur on.”

2 – Jo Brand guessing “Liam Gallagher” for Jason Wood’s impression of Barbara Cartland in a moment of passion.

3 – Jo Brand: “Is Antony Worrall Thompson insured as a bouncy castle?”

4 – Sean Lock regarding a picture of a haggard Ozzy Osbourne: “Is Ozzy taking part in a special event for druggies and alcoholics with Liza Minelli?”

5 – Jason Wood to Jo Brand: “Do you like Dolly Parton?” Jo: “No, I think she should be hit in the face with a frying pan.”


1 – The group of teenage girls in the audience who seem to have been hired to laugh raucously, but with little sincerity, at any unfunny joke to bridge what would otherwise be painful silences.

2 – While Alistair McGowan’s impressions are excellent and frequently amusing, his jokes are not.

3 – Annoying Jason Wood talking over Sean Lock’s punchlines.

29 Minutes Of Fame, BBC1

What to say of you liked it

The pristine, prodigious offspring of Have I Got News For You and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

What to say of you didn’t like it

The heinous hybrid of Space Cadets and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

What was good about it?

• Sean Lock on what Joseph Stalin and Johnny Vegas have in common. “They were both ruthless on hecklers. But Stalin would always go that touch too far, moving the whole family up to Siberia.”

• Alistair McGowan doing bad impressions of some of the celebrities mentioned.

• Stephen Fry’s faux derisive ignorance of transient, trivial starlets such as Rachel Stevens. “Who is this Rachel Stevens?” Sean Lock informed him: “She like a Norfolk Britney.” “Does this Rachel Stevens, as you call her, have webbed feet?”

• Although the rounds are often derived wholesale from other comedy panel shows and merely given a celebrity tweak, it did mean minimal explanation is needed for the audience to get the joke.

• Host Bob Mortimer’s distant quirky echoes of Shooting Stars. “In my opinion, what is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best film?”

• When Sean Lock and Amanda Donohoe couldn’t guess from McGowan’s impression that it was Professor Robert Winston indulging in a Moment of Passion.

• Jo Brand’s trademark bored, deadpan delivery which seemed to genuinely infuriate the ostentatious Jason Wood.

• The very silly and highly questionable conclusion where it was revealed that Liam Gallagher has a higher IQ than both Gandhi and Einstein.

• Sean Lock revealing that Paris Hilton’s real name is Reading Travelodge

• Jason Wood’s extravagant Liza Minnelli impression. And his orgasming Rolf Harris impression: “Can you feel what it is yet?”

What was bad about it?

• The audience applauding after every slightly amusing quip.

• Alistair McGowan doing impressions of all the celebrities mentioned.

• The prepared, “fed” lines which enabled unfunny panellists to get a cheap laugh to prevent them looking like dour mannequins.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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