Comedy Map Of Britain, BBC2

by | Jan 27, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It’s a pleasant little show with a neat concept: visiting the places where comedians kicked off their careers or where comedy “classics” were made.

What was good about it?

• Alan Whicker’s dry narration (“Bobby Davro, king of impressions, is from here [Staines] but as this is a comedy map, we’re going to hang with the king of the Staines Massive instead.”)

• The wonderful animated map, like a computer game with 2D clouds and rolling hills. We could have looked at it for hours.

• The irony of a DJ at BBC Radio Bristol praising dangerous Chris Morris (he was sacked for filling the newsroom with helium gas to make the newsreader sound ridiculous) cut with a clip from his own not-at-all-dangerous show (“Tonight we’re going to be discussing gingernuts”)

• Nick Park sitting among the tortoises in Bristol Zoo as he described the evolution of Creature Comforts. And we also got to meet some of the real voices behind the animated animals.

• Clips of Stephen Merchant as a naff stand-up comic with a yokel persona

• The shock revelations that Bill Bailey used to be a pristine schoolboy!!! and a sulky new romantic pop wannabe!!!! and that DelBoy’s home in Nelson Mandela House was in Bristol!!!!!!

• Writer David Nobbs paying his first visit to “Coleridge Close”, the home of Reggie Iolanthe Perrin, and the Acton building that was the office of Sunshine Des*erts

• Appearances by Leslie Phillips and Jeff Green and clips of Peter Cook as EL Wisty

What was bad about it?

• Bill Bailey’s reunions with his music teachers and his former bandmates in The Famous Five were a bit too pally.

• The chamber of commerce woman’s attempt at Ali G’s Booyakasha catchphrase. She seemed to be the only person around who didn’t feel Sacha Baron Cohen’s creation had stained Staines’ reputation.

• The glorification of Wentworth because it provides a home for Brucie, Tarby, Ronnie and, probably before long, Beneltony.

• A before-he-was-brilliant Mark Lamarr in 1985 delivering his James Dean of the Dole Queue poem from the mean streets of Swindon.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

27/01/2007

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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