Ant & Dec’s Gameshow Marathon, ITV1

by | Sep 17, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

An act of admirable alchemy in which Britain’s premier regional-accented comedy duo resurrect the putrid corpses of dead game shows and animate them in their inimitable cheeky fashion.

What to say if you didn’t like it

Fishing in a cesspit of tawdry televisual effluence for a valuable catch doesn’t yield anything more, even if performed with two diamond-encrusted Geordie angling rods.

What was good about it?

• Ant and Dec brought their fantastic presence to The Price Is Right. For ITV, they are the two humps of a camel’s back which store all the nutritious fluids that would else condemn ITV to be skeletal remains in the sterile desert of commercial television.

• The forlorn, please-let-me-come-on-down stare of front row parasite Calum Best

• The part of the retrospective which exposed how worthless tat was described as though it was a lost treasure from the Renaissance, such as an artless porcelain effigy which was said to “evoke the spirit of the gypsy encampment with the wild woman dancing around the fire.”

• Dec’s ostentatious caressing of the prizes on offer.

• While it was nice to see TV-am weather “girl”, Wincey Willis, it was less pleasant to note that she seemed to have been caught in an acid rain downpour shortly before taking her seat.

What was bad about it?

• The abysmally easy question viewers had to answer to snare the prizes won by celebrity contestants. Who presented Family Fortunes? Was it: (a) Les Dennis, (b)

Les Dawson, or (c) Les of your cheek young man. As ever, the real winners were the telephone companies who reaped a rich crop of cash from the ripe harvest of stupidity clamouring to answer.

• The biggest calamity of the show was that it was a faithful recreation of The Price Is Right. There are myriad reasons why The Price Is Right isn’t on TV anymore, the primary one being that it is dreadful. Even in its heyday, it was little more than a sweet,

suppressive sedative to promote the virtues of mindless materialism, while the prizes were kept small and tacky enough not to encourage the poverty-sodden contestants to move up a social class.

• Robbie Williams’ friend Jonathan Wilkes wolf-whistling.

• Joe Pasquale’s sorry anecdotes

• The inhuman, deathly-stiff carapace of Jodie Marsh whose brief stilted facial animation made it seem to be stuffed full with a nest of poisoned, writhing beetles.

• The celebrities asked to “come on down” (Patsy Kensit, Carol Vorderman, Eamonn Holmes, Ruby Wax and Vernon Kay) were perhaps the most famous in the audience,

but were uniformly dull.

• The attempts by the “celebs” to do excitement in an ironic I’m-only-playing way

• That consistent companion of wilfully poor television, the clarion call of “it’s all for charity”.

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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