Comedy Showcase: Plus One, Channel 4

by | Oct 19, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

A pretty amusing one shot sitcom, but we wonder if it has the comedic legs to last a whole series. Plus, the morality was a little muddled – bowing and scraping before celebrity celebrities yet never being caustic enough to be a satire.

What was good about it?

• Its closest comedic kin is The Worst Week Of My Life, as both focus on a hapless man suffering an early midlife crisis, which is always a fertile hunting ground for laughs. Here, Rob Black (the impressive Rory Kinnear) devoted his entire life to plotting to make his ex-girlfriend Lynsey jealous at her wedding to Duncan From Blue.

• The funniest bit, and most similar to TWWOML was when he popped round to the lovely Nicky’s flat to cook a meal for her. But after getting very hot chilli powder on his hands he went to the toilet and inevitably in came into contact with his genitalia leading him to splash water over his groin in a vain effort to wash it off. Just as he was dipping his wick in Nicky’s toothbrush cup, the concerned Nicky alerted by Rob’s anguished cries, pokes her head round the door and brands him a pervert. (Of course, we’re still not sure why Rob left the bathroom door open when he was pissing.)

• Duncan From Blue gave a decent performance as himself, managing to deliver some great one-liners especially the one, in Rob’s fantasy sequence, about how Nicky’s elegant, slender hands looked so much better wearing the wedding ring that now adorns his wife’s fat fingers.

• Rob’s hatred of Duncan From Blue boiling over, raging why as, in his job as a compiler of those nauseating romance compilation albums, why he keeps deleting All Rise from the tracklistings: “I’m not giving that ice skating bastard any more royalty cheques to spend on my ex-girlfriend!”

What was bad about it?

• Because it starred two celebrity celebrities in cameos (Duncan From Blue and Gemma Atkinson), it meant that rather open up with both barrels about how fathomlessly pointless they are, each had to be garlanded with, ostensibly heartfelt, saccharine praise – the sort of stilted praise that John Motson and Mark Lawrenson stiffly afforded the corporate scum (“they do pay for their tickets”) who are half-an-hour late back to their seats at Wembley, as if ‘someone’ had demanded that they relent from their warranted vilification of such behaviour.

• Duncan From Blue was mechanically referred to as a “celebrated international singing star”. If he really was “internationally celebrated” we wouldn’t keep have to suffixing his Christian name with ‘From Blue’. While during Rob’s fantasy sequence when he takes Gemma Atkinson to the wedding, Lynsey’s uncle awkwardly reels off her career highlights.

• No male over the age of 13 can possibly imagine that Gemma Atkinson is the epitome of feminine beauty, largely because almost all cosmetic surgery is more a mutilation than enhancement, and that like most Hollyoaks mannequins she is blighted by a cavernous vacuity.

• Rob’s party trick at his date with Nicky was that he was able to guess a woman’s favourite song just by looking at her. He based this on the theory that “97.5% of all women’s favourite songs is Angels by Robbie Williams”. While we’re sure that this statistic was just a joke, if it were true then the human race has absolutely failed and a gas cloud to sterilise everyone in the world should be released so that another species can have a go at making a success of life on planet Earth.

• That said, Nicky’s favourite song was in fact Under The Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose Give It Away jostles violently with Angels and The Wonderstuff’s Welcome To The Cheap Seats for the right to wear the despoiled crown of the worst song in history.

• Rob’s brother Rich (Nigel Harman) and best friend Paul (Steve John Shepherd) were little more than grotesques as there wasn’t enough time for them to flourish, and so had to be crammed in and crudely sketched as perverted teacher with a penchant for 18-year-old girls and weirdo fascinated by lactating women.

• The hugely predictable punchline when, struggling with his mobile phone, Rob receives first a conciliatory message from Nicky and then one from Rich who is paranoid that all the blokes at a party are gay. Rob, still struggling, sends Rich a message that says “You’re going to get bum-raped”; inevitably, however, he sends it to Nicky and next morning police officers are awaiting him at work.

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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