The Games Series 3, Channel 4

by | Apr 7, 2005 | All, Reviews

Top 5 highlights of The Games: Live Final

1 – Favourite Anna Walker tossing the hammer out of bounds and finishing last, and then having it rubbed in by the announcer bellowing “No Throw!”.

2 – The men’s 100 metre race which saw Philip Olivier post a decent winning time followed by Kevin Simm, Danny Foster, Chesney Hawkes and Craig Charles. It may have even impressed watching professional celebrity sportsman MC Harvey who dismissed Philip as “lacking pace” before the sprint.

3 – Mel Giedroyc’s macho screaming after she released the hammer as if she were a bear-like Hungarian in the Olympic final.

4 – While the athletes need encouragement, some of the analogies for their prowess are being hilariously delusional. Apparently “Kirsty is a proven big-time performer”, as though trying to instil false memories into the viewers of her slotting home a last minute penalty for Real Madrid; while Chesney Hawkes was compared to three-time Olympic Javelin gold medallist Jan Zelezny as they are “similar in build with a fast throwing arm” (to indelibly confirm this similarity Chesney threw about a quarter the distance of Zelezny’s world record).

5 – Kevin Simm’s alleged nickname for Philip is “the Jolly Green Giant” displaying a smart wit not seen for a whole millennium when Robin Hood christened his leviathan sidekick Little John.

Abyssal or Blissful – which direction has The Games sent the careers of its athletes in?

Mel Giedroyc Still afflicted by the rash decision to shift the superb luxuriant hour-long Light Lunch into the rushed half-hour Late Lunch, Mel will hopefully take the goodwill she’s accrued from the Games to relaunch her TV career.

Her Royal Bacterium Princess Microbe of Anthrax has perhaps made the greatest leap up the celebrity ladder as she was rightly unknown three weeks ago, and will probably appear in Maxim within the next three months to continue her ascent. But there again, she’s been playing the longest game of Hide And Seek in history with Weapons Inspectors as a living humanoid toxic germ in an Iraqi bunker for the past decade so anything’s a step up.

Chesney Hawkes could have broken world records in every event but he would still be known as “that bloke who sang The One And Only”; an atrocity used to brainwash and traumatise primary school children in the early 90s into a lifetime of merrily vapid music. A sacred national treasure mainly because, if you cut him, he bleeds a verse and chorus of his intolerable anthem which is more lethal and virulent than bird flu. (This may seem a little harsh, but take into account all the while we were writing the above paragraph we’ve had nightmarish images of Chesney falsely strumming his guitar on Top Of The Pops while his Chicken Pock of a brother Jodie plays drums.)

Kirsty Gallacher The Jeremy Beadle of cable in Kirsty’s Home Videos should now follow in Mark Durden-Smith’s wake and get paired with someone so utterly inept and insipid on ITV2 that her ability shines through and she resumes her once inexorable ascent. Lord Brockett might be available.

Philip Olivier Now, like MC Harvey, Philip seems to have assumed a career as a professional celebrity athlete after also appearing in The Match. Would be the first name on the list for Celebrity Superstars, but as an actor he seems typecast (banner in crowd – “Go Tinhead Go”)

Craig Charles With Robot Wars nowhere to be seen in the schedules, the Red Dwarf movie seemingly in Development Hell and his ITV1 late-night show Weapons Of Mass Distraction only causing minor nightmares now, The Games was a good way for Craig to remind people he’s still around. Possibly yearning for a Wogan revival so he can peddle some more of his poetry.

Kevin Simm With Liberty X perhaps just one bad single away from getting swept out to the ocean of musical oblivion, it may not have been a bad choice to get some individual exposure, but he is perhaps fated to visit sick children’s wards and make personal appearances at nightclubs until the 00’s revival in six years’ time.

Lisa Maffia While once the great hope for British hip hop, the So Solid Crew (the promising Ashley Walters aside) are now the second most bounteous reservoir for reality shows after Big Brother.

Anna Walker Like a Marcel Proust novel, she evokes memories of a happier, more innocent time of youthful dalliance and juvenile hi-jinks; just don’t ask us to name any TV show she’s been in, ever (even The Games).

Danny Foster Swept back onto the terra firma of celebrity from the ocean of musical oblivion by the freak wave of Jonathon Morris’s temperament, the former Hear’Say singer is likely to drown in anonymity again which is a shame as he seems a cheery, likeable chap.

Jakki Degg Who?

Jonathon Morris Not famous enough for us even to bother checking the spelling of his name when the Games started, it looks like a descent back into the rustic dungeons of regional theatre in Ipswich; unless the whole of Ipswich has packed up and run away to Siberia, leaving only a few bricks arranged in the legend “Sod off, Jonathan”, to thwart the ambitions of their unwanted adoptive pariah.

Top 5 highlights from The Games, Channel 4, Thursday

1 – The extremely close men’s cycle sprint which saw Kevin Simm narrowly beat the near-omnipotent Philip Olivier, while Chesney cruised in third, Danny Foster (in for Jonathon Morris) fourth and the battered Craig last.

2 – Mel Giedroyc stumbling after executing the somersault to conclude her trampoline routine and spreading her arms to a form a supine cross and impress the judges as though nothing went wrong.

3 – Suzanne Dando asserting: “Philip Olivier has set new standards in the Games”; as if the contest were a historical bona fide benchmark of athleticism instead of a jolly jaunt involving minor celebrities suffering a career nadir.

4 – Her Royal Insignificance Princess Vacuous of the Void bestowing light applause as Kirsty Gallacher pushed her into second place in the trampoline duel.

5 – As Lisa Maffia and Princess Who? of Forget-Me-Soon, in a particularly tight leotard top, strode into the arena, Jamie Theakston quipped: “They’re a lovely pair.

Top 5 highlights from The Games, Tuesday, Channel 4

1– The unintentionally hilarity caused by the announcer who presented the pseudo-athletes in a sonorous monotone reminsiscrnt of Marvin the Paranoid Android calling the darts scores. “Philip Olivierrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”; Princess Tamaraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”; “Anna Walkerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”.

2 – The increasingly disingenuous hugs between the female contestants who are so gushing to relate how they all “get on” while Her Royal Transience Princess Obscurity of Oblivion’s face turns increasingly sour after she was pushed back into fourth place in the curling.

3 – Chesney Hawkes coming a cropper three times during the speed skating and being lapped by eventual winner Philip Olivier.

4 – Kevin Simm slipping on the ice after he was announced to the crowd.

5 – Mel Giedroyc not finishing last in an event.

Top 5 highlights from The Games, Channel 4, Monday

1 – Her Royal Insignificance Princess Nobody of Nowhere’s rigidly robotic gymnastics floor routine and her subsequent expression of exquisite solemnity, which exhibited far more muscular suppleness than her somersault, as everybody else, except Mel, soared past her mark.

2 – Jonathon Morris getting his excuses in early by claiming his “hamstring” was going to restrict his vault. It didn’t, but he did somehow finished behind Philip’s awful vault with perhaps the only explanation being that the judges had rightly docked him marks for querulous whining.

3 – The variable quality of the ladies’ compulsory somersaults which ranged in excellence from winner Kirsty Gallacher’s free flip, through the mediocrity of Anna, Lisa and Princess 15 Minutes’ tumbles with a mat, to Mel’s endearing forward roll.

4 – Mel Giedroyc’s philosophical acceptance of finishing last yet again: “It’s the first time in television history there’s been a replay of a forward roll.”

5 – Jamie Theakston having to force a strained laugh at his own scripted quip about the ladies’ floor exercises: “Will it be Olga Korbut or Ronnie Corbett?”

Top 5 highlights of The Games: Athletes In Training, E4, Friday

1. Kirsty Gallacher’s fear of heights sabotaging her chances of winning the outward bound challenge course along with partner Jonathan Morris. Firstly she refused to scale a 10 metre wall, then she declined the tree ascent and finally resisted all encouragement to do the log climb (“Don’t like it! Don’t like it! Don’t like it!”).

2. The overly-serious Jonathan Morris analysing every event down to its very fibre and being utterly useless at them as a consequence. And then trying to convince himself that his methodical reasoning was somehow a virtue in the style of David Brent. “I’m logical before I’m instinctive. Isn’t that a wonderful mix? Isn’t that the mix of a winner?”

3. Sumo trainer slapping Craig Charles around the face and almost knocking the lazy scouser into next week.

4. Chesney Hawkes’s body seemingly being nourished exclusively by the level of his fame, which can be the only explanation for his emaciated frame that will fade into oblivion if he remains in obscurity for much longer.

5. Mel Giedroyc’s seething anger after gymnastics coach Colin Still called her “a blob” for simply eating a slice of Kirsty Gallacher’s birthday cake the night before.

The Games: Athletes In Training, E4, Friday

The Men

1 – Philip Olivier. Has a shoulder injury but his water skiing expertise should give him an advantage, as should his naturally athletic frame.

2 – Kevin Simm. Even though he seems to have just stepped out of a bubble of cultural ignorance when he hilariously remarked that the Sumo coach “had a big nappy on”, reality TV star and musical atrocity colluder Kevin has done well at all the events.

3 – Chesney Hawkes. Even though his scrawny frame would seem more appropriate being laid out on a barbecue to be consumed by a troupe of weight-conscious secretaries, he has shown promise at diving and sumo.

4 – Jonathan Morris. Seemed to get very frustrated in the water skiing, but his triumph was blighted after he claimed “there’s only one Johnny Morris”. Perhaps living, but in the TV world he will always be second behind the king of Animal Magic.

5 – Craig Charles. Was struck ill just before water skiing practice but that didn’t stop him from skiving off and going to buy a boat.

6 – Danny Foster. The reserve is pining for someone to get an injury so he can slip back through the big door marked “Celebrity” from his ever shrinking room of “Former Nobodies” from which Chesney Hawkes has just exited.

The Women

1 – Lisa Maffia. Approached each event with a tenacity absent in her competitors, and was rewarded with creditable showings in most events.

2 – Princess Tamara. Apparently a member of the Spanish royal family who speaks as though she’s never left Mayfair in her life.

3 – Kirsty Gallacher. Has sporting pedigree of a sort in that her father was an excellent golfer, but we suppose that’s really like saying Jason Connery should make a good spy. Wailed for help like a spoilt debutant when she got into difficulties in the rowing.

4 – Anna Walker. Not received much focus, other than a puerile leap into the foam filled landing pit in the gymnasium.

5 – Mel Giedroyc. Her incessant humour is endearing her to everyone apart from stern gymnastics coach Colin Still.

6 – Jakki Degg. The model is waiting for an injury to one of the first choice competitors, and given past series, she will probably get a chance.

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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