A Bucket O’ French And Saunders, BBC1
Did we like it?
TV has been giving far too much time recently to “alternative comedians” at the fag ends of their careers (eg Harry Enfield, Ben Elton, Lenny Henry, Robbie Coltrane, Rik Mayall) but this greatest hits collection was a deserved, and largely successful, celebration of Dawn and Jennifer’s repertoire before they became embarrassing, repetitive and rubbish.
What was good about it?
• It wasn’t French. It wasn’t Saunders. It wasn’t And. It was Joanna Lumley as a brilliant all-purpose TV presenter mixing clichés with clumsiness as she flounced around TV Centre to link the clips and upstage the duo with consummate ease. We’d have been happier seeing much more of her than Dawn and Jennifer’s new material.
• C’Est La Vie by a spoof Abba, featuring those guys from Raw Sex.
• The fast-moving best of… montages including the many Madonna moments and the pair’s take-offs of awkward teens. The only duds were the two fat men who took their randiness out on any surface at the right height.
• The realisation that BBC comedy shows used to swimming in cash. Some of the old sketches must have cost a fortune – and not all of it was wasted.
What was bad about it?
• The new sketch (proof they’ve lost the magic albeit many years after their respective husbands became utterly unfunny). In a Gordon Ramsay parody, which missed the topical boat but they did it anyway, Jennifer was in white chefs’ clothing with bleeding animals attached round her waist, shouting at Dawn and serving up a pea in spit. About as funny as eating the dish.