Dirty Tricks, Channel 4

by | Oct 7, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Channel 4 conjures up an entertainment show worth watching on a Friday night after dismal flops with The Friday Project and Johnny Vegas

What to say if you disliked it

Should have been sawn in half. Or made to vanish altogether.

What was good about it?

• Stephen Fry voicing the owl who promised us “preposterous prestidigitation” (look it up in the dictionary, we did) and linked the variety of extreme stunts and tricks.

• Barry and Stuart, who mix fake showbizzy pizazz with lots of swearing as they perform tricks such as balancing on a sword (leading to impalement) and playing along to a violin concerto with saws replacing bows and their wrists replacing the violins (very bloody)

• Kevin James’ variation on the sawing-a-person-in-half trick in which half a body ran around the stage in an alarmingly freaky way

• Gorgeous skinhead Jonathan’s attempt at escapology. He was tied to his bedframe by his dad and had to escape before an iron burnt its way through a sheet tied above him. Poor Jonathan failed, the iron plunged on to his fine smooth torso and he was left with an horrific triangular burn mark. We’d love to have been around to kiss it better.

What was bad about it?

• Pete Firman (likeable in a Benjamin of The League Of Gentlemen way) regurgitating fish and a maggot (through his eyeball) to the horror of Big Brother’s Nadia

• The boring sequence in which Rajan the Evil Hypnotist made a woman do stupid things. We thought this sort of “entertainment” had gone for ever once Paul McKenna disappeared from ITV and helped people give up fags instead.

• The prank played on Essex girl Amy in which her family and friends gathered at an S&M rave. We thought that this of “entertainment” had gone for ever once Jeremy Beadle disappeared from ITV and became a double-glazing salesman (or something like that)

• The killing of Neil Fox using a rotor blade was only a stunt.

• The cameo appearance by Kim and Aggie (those cleaning ladies)

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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