Billy Connolly’s World Tour Of New Zealand, BBC1

by | Nov 20, 2004 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Britain’s favourite comedian acts as a comic missionary as he brings his hilarious humour to the beautiful New Zealand.

What to say if you didn’t like it

A washed up comedian journeys round an admittedly stunning country, armed only with his pallid humour as corrupt currency.

What was good about it?

• New Zealand is a beautiful country to look at, and no opportunity was lost for sweeping shots of mountains, valleys and lakes that the New Zealand Tourist Board didn’t squeeze into The Lord of the Rings.

• The little anecdotes that Billy cleverly weaves together to create a chronicle of New Zealand that neatly keeps pace with his own journey. The most intriguing stories were the myth of how New Zealand came into being, the burial of an anonymous man in a grave marked “Someone’s Darling”, two convicts who jumped ship and lived in a cave on a remote island where they sired 35 children with local Maoris, and the soldier off to war who left a bottle of beer in a bar and told them he’d drink it when he returned but

who was killed in action and so the bottle remains there today in a sealed cabinet.

• The flashes of humour and wit Billy occasionally still exhibits such as gently mocking a woman who didn’t have a ticket for his concert.

• We learned a tribe from South America were the first settlers in a region of the South Island, ahead of the Maoris.

What was bad about it?

• Billy’s tired image of a biker in a leather jacket astride a manly three-wheel motorcycle, when he looked more like a defiant pensioner off down the supermarket.

• Billy doesn’t seem to have written new material for his stand-up routine, moreover, he appears to be using old gags judging by his observations on the difference in sexual attitudes between the 60s and 70s.

• By a quirk of fate, one of Billy’s jokes about Englishmen on desert island remaining aloof because they hadn’t been formally introduced had appeared earlier in the day during a 1942 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, making the jape at least as old as he was.

• Immediately after a scene in which Billy was relishing tucking into a portion of fish and chips, we saw him in a boat eulogising about how “a living thing, even a trout, makes my heart sing”.

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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