Did we like it?
Well, it was yet another cheap clip show from ITV, the masters of the genre (that’s a bit like saying Jordan is the master of the celeb world, though – it’s nothing to be proud of), but despite ourselves there were one or two genuinely funny moments. 5/10.
What was good about it?
• It had some originality in that it wasn’t a clip show based on accidental swearing, nudity, or people falling over.
• The first self help video was genuinely bizarre – some bald American guy demonstrating how to have fights in bars. Disturbing, but pretty funny – especially when the thug suggested pulling down the pants of your comatose victim and shoving a tabasco sauce bottle up the hole.
• The nutcase American who made a video about knife-throwing. Highlight was when he threw a biro at a photo on a piece of wood, saying what an effective weapon it was, then took out a handgun and shot the photo a few times.
• We loved the American actress who’d had the audacity to bring out a video advising on how to become a TV ad star – even though she was appalling.
• Some of Deayton’s lines were quite strong and delivered with his usual panache.
What was bad about it?
• The typically ITV Light Entertainment set. These bright swirling blue monstrosities need to be consigned to the 80s once and for all.
• This must have been tough to commission: disgraced star? Yep. Clip show? Yep. Female nudity? Yep. Cheap? Double yep. No wonder those ITV commissioners are falling on their swords with such pleasing regularity at the moment.
• The live audience seemed to overreact to everything. Were they drunk?
• Deayton’s line about the video of “How to be a Drag Queen” was: “featuring contributions from Camilla Parker Bowles.” It garnered a huge laugh, but it was a cheap line at an easy target.
• Some gags were either too painful or too poor for Angus to read out, so they were rolled over the footage in typically tacky graphics. For example, in the “Naked Cigar smoking” video a caption came up saying the girls should be wary of a “burning bush”. Hilarious.
• We watched poor Angus sitting there making the best of this dog’s dinner, cracking gags about naked cigar smoking, and those halcyon HIGNFY days seemed but a distant memory. He’s still the best presenter around for that show and here he is, dogging around on some late night ITV clip show, desperately trying to retain his dignity yet still looking sharp in a burgundy suit and tie.
• The fact that it’s been billed as “Help Your Self – with Angus Deayton” summed up ITV’s belief that no show will be watched by anyone unless they can be first guaranteed that a celeb will be on it.