hit40uk, Channel 4

by | Feb 25, 2005 | All, Reviews

Style: hit40uk follows the Channel 5 formula of TV pop shows – cheap looking graphics in awful colours, such as neon pink and pastel blue, with the commercial sponsor of the show plastered all over the opening titles. It looks like a low-key amusement arcade machine.

Presenter Simon Hirst, not seen but heard, is your average chart DJ, employing standard alliteration (toe-tapping track, Mancunian minstrels, sassy Southern ladies), forced chirpiness and little jokey comments. He does this well enough, but given how fast technology is advancing, it can’t be long before they invent a machine that can do all this more efficiently, rendering these chart DJs obsolete.

Added extrasInterviews with Mario, who even talked in hip hop/R&B clichés (“I like independent women” and “age ain’t nothin” but a number”), and Estelle, who went into a Vicky Pollard style incoherent ramble which perhaps made perfect sense to the chav girl audience that Hit 40 UK probably wants. Plus the top five album chart and a very easy money-raising competition. By the look of the show, they could do with the cash.

The acts The video for Green Day’s Holiday, possibly the least interesting song on their American Idiot album, featured a trip round Las Vegas in a convertible with the drummer dressed in drag.

The video for Doves’ Black And White Town was suitably grim, featuring glum, bored looking chav kids hanging around in hooded tops playing with lighters in their bedrooms and on council estates.

Sexy Ciara’s video states she’s a tough modern woman in a song about her goodies. What a strange paradox these hip hop girls have. Destiny’s Child further proved this with their latest song Solider, where they say they want a man to carry big things. Trisha, who constantly tells the female guests of her show to listen to Independent Women would be appalled! Mind you, so would most of their fans, as Soldier is a dull mess which is nowhere near as good as what they’ve done in the past.

Hirst provided insight into U2’s Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, reporting that it’s about Bono’s late father which made it rather moving albeit in a slushy sentimental way.

Overview There’s nothing here that you can’t get with higher production values for the same trouble on any other pop show. Watching this is like getting a pirate DVD when you have every intention of buying it when it comes out in the shops.

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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