Little Britain Down Under, BBC1

by | Jul 27, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

Rather than being a peek behind the scenes at the writhing innards of the Little Britain phenomenon, it appeared that one layer was stripped away to reveal another stratum of performance.

What was good about it?

• Matt Lucas was clearly the most open of the pair and his timidity and nervousness as he prepared to go on stage in a sketch provided an insight into how even seasoned professionals still get the jitters.

• We’re not quite sure that if this should go in the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ sections as David Walliams’ Des Kaye who has been revived after vanishing from the TV series to host the audience participation game ‘find the sausage’, which inevitably ends up with a young man’s buttocks on show as Kaye tries to have sex with him. On the one hand it does show a willingness to stray beyond the boundaries of sloth that they seemed to have resided in since the second series, but on the other hand it can cause real offence which was shown when David received a letter from a distressed member of the audience for whom the charade brought back memories of the very real abuse he had once suffered. While David justified it with the comics’ cliché that anything is fair game for comedy, the jape did appear to be to innovate rather than to grossly offend.

• Both Matt and David seem to have realised Little Britain has run its course, at least in its current format. They could continue to peddle this show around the world for the next decade and make pots and pots of money but at the same time dig a hollow grave of worthlessness in their hearts. Both are talented and whether working together or separately will no doubt produce some fantastic TV in the near future.

What was bad about it?

• When Matt and David visited Dame Edna, which while quite funny was demeaned when the camera pulled back to reveal she had been performing to a small audience all the time.

• Andy and Lou’s cameo on Neighbours which was as pointlessly indulgent as the Pet Shop Boys’ some decades before.

• Apart from the odd moment, there was very little perspective of what the pair are like when not performing. Even backstage, David would camp it up like he does on Eight out of Ten Cats, while Matt would leer aimlessly into the camera like a mouse standing stock still waiting for the predating kestrel to pass overhead.

• Some of the sketches have aged very poorly. Even believing that something like Vicky Pollard, who once defined a generation of morons, was once funny is akin to peering incredulously back through history at the belief that affixing leeches to the skin cured fever. Although, it may have been more to do with Matt’s inability to remember his lines.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

27/07/2007

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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