I’m Famous and Frightened 4, Living TV

by | Feb 5, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Claire Sweeney leads six celebs through a fascinating look at the paranormal goings-on at Bolsover Castle. Features Jono Coleman (DJ who has just lost his show to Jamie Theakston. How bad does that make him???), Lee Latchford-Evans (used to writhe a bit alongside a chap called H), Lucy Pinder (a modawl), Martin Offiah (used to play rugby), Ruth Madoc (used to say ‘Good morning, campers’) and Toyah Willcox (used to sing badly and probably still does).

What to say if you didn’t like it

Claire Sweeney’s grating, nasal twang commentates as six has-beens stumble around in the dark in this shameless rip-off of a much more successful, and enjoyable series.

What was good about it?

• Claire and the other parapsychologists spooking it up with tales of ‘The Riding House’ and ‘The Plague Tree’.

• The unfailing optimism of the show’s medium, despite the apparent lack of response from the stars: “So would you say you feel uncomfortable?” “Well, I’m cold and wet and standing in a dark room.” “So that’s a yes, then!”

• The celebs watching the intro videos to each challenge and pissing themselves, unaware they’re being broadcast live to the nation.

• Said celebs trying very hard (and failing miserably) to keep a straight face after someone has clearly farted.

• The sight of ‘TV Star’ Ruth Madoc blatantly flouting the rules as soon as Claire Sweeney had buggered off for the night, and leaving her forlorn tent under the ‘Plague Tree’ for a drink with the others.

What was bad about it?

• The fact that nothing really happens – the closest they get to a ghost for the whole night is the pervading phantom of despair as they watch their careers slowly drift into the ether.

• The absolutely cack-handed production team – intermittent sound, shoddy camerawork, haphazard editing, and, from 12.30, the entire show going off air due to a ‘Temporary Fault’ for two minutes.

• Claire Sweeney, a pseudo Cilla, lording it from her suite, watching the proceedings on a massive flatscreen telly and occasionally, in a weirdly echoed voice, commanding her minions to “read the scroll.”

• The show’s medium, ‘Ian’, voicing his thoughts when it becomes apparent that the birdbrained celebs don’t have any.

• More Claire Sweeney – specifically her inane comments after a séance: “I’ve studied the history and she was accurate…(looks nervously at camera)…almost.”

• The fact that this was only the first night of three, and that Famous and Frightened Extra is hosted by the equally irritating Brian Dowling.


• Which celebrity tried too hard to feel the dead spirits?

1. Martin Offiah: “I looked at the tree and thought of death.”

2. Toyah Willcox: “When I closed my eyes I felt my whole perception change. I felt nauseous.”

3. Jono Coleman: “There’s a feeling of spiritual energy about the place.”

• Most paradoxical statement – Lee Latchford-Evans: “I would like to experience something that cannot be explained. That would prove something to me.”

• Most revealing statements: Jono Coleman: “If I’m scared, I just babble.” Which means he must spend the whole of his professional existence in a permanent state of terror.

• Jono Coleman, again: “My mother caught me once with her bra on.” But judging by his flabby chest the incident might have occurred last week.

• Most fantasical statement: Toyah Willcox: “I harbour the fantasy that we’re all born psychic and it’s the way that we are educated that ‘shuts down’ the ability.”

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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