The nine naffest moments of the most unintentionally funny programme we’ve seen all year:
1. The tragic story of Olive, an old woman being killed by a hit-and-run driver being reduced to melodramatic high farce, including excruciating camerawork that was supposed to elicit viewer sympathy such as a car running over a patently obvious dummy, her false teeth rocking limply next to the old lady’s prone body, the body itself shot from every conceivable angle as though a professional photographer was trying to get the best shot of a model.
2. The over-sensitive script that instead comes across as cripplingly crass. After the chapter on Olive ends, Sarah Heaney said: “I can’t imagine what pain Olive went through in those last few moments.”
3. The apparent random facts about the suspects being hunted and how this will help the public recognise them. “Police tell us that Junior Scarlett will jump fences to avoid capture.” What is he – man or salmon?
4. Mark Austin’s stern, though absolutely useless warning that: “Gerald has links with Derbyshire and Lincolnshire but he could be anywhere!”
5. The episode in which a fake market researcher manages to get enough information from five people to set up false identities in their name. What it probably failed to mention is that this was filmed during a village idiots’ convention and thus cynically exploited to terrify the viewing public.
6. Criminals who sift through people’s rubbish being given the more laughably sinister title of “social engineers”.
7. Sarah Heaney solemnly declaring: “Thankfully most of us won’t be the victim of violent crime, but with mobile phone theft it’s just a matter of time!” According to Manhunt over half-a-million phones will be stolen this year meaning that statistically everyone should have been a victim within a decade.
8. “He may have gone to Spain so if you’re going there for Christmas, look out for him. You could even print out a picture of him from our website”.
9 “He’s known to be a ladies’ man so he might be with a woman.”