Did we like it?
Like Lenny Henry, beginning a BBC1 series tonight, Frank Skinner is a Midlands comedian who has gone out of fashion, but while Henry has become a childish embarrassment, Skinner showed in this programme that he’s matured and can become a Michael Palin-like national treasure.
What was good about it?
• The old Frank would have humiliated the people from a New Age commune in Dorset, but he kept an open mind as he got to know them through group hugs (“I feel like I’ve scored a really good goal”), meditation and early morning dancing to cheesy house music.
• The clip of the middle-aged red-headed woman during the tantric sex session reaching to the skies and crying out in orgasmic joy. Frank failed to stifle his laughter and afterwards wondered: “Who at the point of orgasm puts their hands up in the air unless they’re at gunpoint?”
• Frank has always been able to get laughs from lads so this was a big challenge, but he managed to raise chuckles amid the chakras by being good natured and accepting of his hosts’ sometimes strange behaviour.
What was bad about it?
• It should have been an hour long so that we got more than a superficial understanding of what it was like for an outsider inside a rather insular community.
• The typical tacky titles from ITV. No class.