The Morning After Show, Channel 4

by | Apr 3, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Hangover TV at its best, filling the void for trendy, cool magazine programmes for young people

What to say if you didn’t like it

A rehash of cheesy magazine programmes such as R:ISE aimed at people too high/low to tell how bad they are

What was good about it?

• This magazine programme has the classic funny man (Simon Amstell)/sexy woman (Olivia Lee) pairing that’s been missing since Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen did The Big Breakfast.

• Simon Amstell’s Mickey Mouse T-shirt.

• The phone/email operator Barunka O’Shaughnessy saying: “I want money and sweets and a galleon, but no pictures of your bits!”

• Barunka making herself look like Michael Jackson by donning a black wig, covering her face with talcum powder, drawing black circles around her eyes and smearing herself with lipstick. Amstell thought she looked like his mother!

• Barunka’s tasteless joke about Michael Jackson making a “schoolboy error”

• Simon Amstell going to a petrol station in Kent, off the M25 junction 3, helping out a woman called Gaynor. Very Adam and Joe. He told a woman off for not being polite to Gaynor (the woman’s response was bleeped out), told a policeman not to steal anything, offered an old lady some condoms and told off a man for running. Gaynor was awarded a red cardboard top hat with tinsel which said “My Life Is Better Now Thanks To Simon Amstell”.

• The good value from guests Senetra Sarker and Jo Joyner aka Anji and Beth from No Angels. Olivia complemented Senetra on looking “radiant, beautiful, round and pregnant” and Jo for her great figure and ample breasts. “So you’re saying she’s fit and I’m fat?” complained Senetra.

• The phone-in poll: What would you rather be killed by? A dog or a shark? Sharks won by 75%.

• Nelsy Talks – a video diary of a classic chav talking about global warming. “This planet’s hotting up quicker than a microwave cheeseburger!” He played in an empty children’s playground, used old booze bottles as compost and ended the segment by being pushed into the back of a police car.

• Dr Andreas Sellor from the University of London came on to talk about global warming. He explained it all in very easy terms, saying that the ocean was going to become a substance like lemon juice and demonstrated with tubes that smoked out like a Victorian factory chimney. He has a complete disregard for basic safety, though, liberally spilling liquid nitrogen everywhere.

• Barunka saying that sometimes she likes to cover herself in bacon and run past lions.

• The winning entry of the Michael Jackson look-a-like competition was a white balloon with a black wig and a surprisingly convincing drawing of his face on it.

• The not-quite-Blankety Blank game called Friend Or Phoney in which cute contestant Tom had to put up with Olivia clamping her hand over his mouth and Simon calling him “hairy kooky man” and criticising his clothes.

What was bad about it?

• The so-called “hip title sequence” was anything but. Close-ups of microwaves, kettles, bacon and eggs, toy robots and rubber ducks was a blatant rip-off of The Big Breakfast title sequence.

• This kind of programme is very Channel 4, but is usually on late at night on Fridays, where it could get away with being ruder, or on weekday mornings where at least it would be able to draw more attention to itself. This is in danger of getting lost in the midst of Sunday afternoons when most people are making the most of their free time.

• Olivia Lee’s wooden presenting style and rather ingratiating voice.

• Simon being rude to Sunetra and Jo. It’s funny when directed at pompous, egotistical pop stars on Popworld, but it feels very unpleasant when directed at seemingly ordinary and little-known actors from a popular TV series when you are actually want to hear what they have to say. It was good to see that Sunetra didn’t rise to the bait when Simon asked if her pregnancy was planned. “No, but it was a pleasant surprise!”

• The live newspaper review from Brighton’s Aquatic Life Centre with Brionny and Natasha. There was a 90-second delay between the questions and the responses, so these segments seemed to drag on for ages, especially as the girls looked very uncomfortable on camera. The saving grace was the display of the pages being held up underwater inside a fishtank.

• The blurring-out of Nelsy’s Carlsberg can.

• The generally poor production values, with clumsy camera work, umpteen technical hitches, sets falling over and the deliberately rubbish Hi-Tech Poll Device not working. This may eventually be an element that becomes popular with viewers, but maybe we’ll question whether we can be bothered to watch it if they can’t be bothered to hold it together.

• Chubby, pink mohicaned, pink eye-shadowed and pink lipsticked punk called Wil Hodgson from Chippenham who sounded like a member of The Wurzels. He did a segment about being single in Viking times, which was boring. Even the studio audience only tittered a few times at it.

• Barunka stealing the joke about describing Michael Jackson using his album titles Bad, Off The Wall and Dangerous from Bo Selecta’s Doing Porridge sketch.

• They claimed they invented their own sport with Celebrity Skittles where they had to knock down cardboard cut-outs of irritating celebrities such as Camilla Parker-Bowles, Tony Blair and Dr Fox. That game has been done on countless kids’ shows before.

Top 7 highlights of The Morning After Show, Channel 4, Sunday

1 – Simon Amstell helping out Kevin the librarian from Rugby. He livened up Kevin’s shelf stacking by soundtracking it with Europe’s The Final Countdown and letting off party poppers. He also badgered people to read the leaflets Kevin gave them, bridged a generation gap between a seven-foot chav called Spike and a tiny tweed-wearing old lady called Paula, and blowed a klaxon at a girl using a mobile phone in the library.

2 – Nelsy the chav breaks his ASBO by going to the gym as “the life expectancy of my estate is only 35!” The instructor was pleased Nelsy had dressed for the occasion wearing a tracksuit until Nelsy informed him he hasn’t changed clothes for the past 10 years.

3 – Barunka sporting a tiara, claiming to have attended the royal wedding, being the 1,327th in line to the throne, and getting a lovebite from Prince Philip.

4 – More great guests: languid Marc Warren and glacial Jaime Murray from Hustle. They came up with another good poll- if you had a time machine would you go to the past of the future?- future won by 57%.

5 – Psychologist Dr. Glen Wilson assessed audience member Compatibility Quotient and matched up two which would be perfect for one another– and they both “happened” to be dressed in clown costumes!

6 – When someone called Sophie e-mailed to say it was stupid to give away a camera as a prize when the competition was to send a photo in, Amstell stated

that they usually send people Morning After mug if their e-mails are read out but they’ll make an exception in her case as she probably already has one.

7 – Friend Or Phoney contestant Ellie’s bling-Hindu style jewellery including earrings big enough to go round Saturn.

Top 8 highlights of The Morning After Show, Channel 4, Sunday

1 – Tarvis and his Dungeons And Dragons group. He’s by far the most entertaining random member of the public they’ve had on the show. He was a geeky, plump loud American and he was a lot of fun. He and his mates, one of whom claimed he had the ability to fly, were trying to get the sound of many mobile phones ringing to reach 90 decibels to win a visit from Barunkah. They succeeded. However he screwed up the competition at the end by revealing the answer too early and the chaos afterwards was very funny. But his best moment was saying that Spaced is “the best comedy out there”, We wholeheartedly agree.

2 – The return of scientist Dr Andrea Sella, with a T-shirt saying “Mmmmm…. pi” showing how to make ice cream, to ice cream van music, using custard, cream, vanilla essence, sugar, strawberries and…. liquid nitrogen. Apparently it tasted foul, but it looked good. Amstell wondered if Sella was really a doctor and not “a witch with a degree”.

3 – Simon Amstell meeting another Simon, helping him out in a shoe shop. He got customers to vacuum the floor and polish the mirror to save Simon doing it and following him around with a poster of a desert island to create the illusion that he was outside and not in a shopping centre.

4 – Barunkah’s gorgeous Gothic black suit, black lace gloves and white beads and blue crown brooch.

5 – Nelsy the chav talks about the North/South divide by going to Newcastle. He met some Newcastle chavs, was surprised to see Newcastle United in Newcastle as he thought they came from London and ate a disgusting looking egg and toast sandwich. Apparently between the ages of six and 12 he only ate crisps.

6 – Simon Amstell announcing to viewers who’d just tuned in “Don’t worry, only 45 minutes til The OC!”

7 – Barunkah’s quick drawing of caller Rebecca after she described herself. It ended up looking, in Rebecca’s words “like Mr Potato Head”, but she liked it.

8 – The ridiculing of the hyper-irritating Daniel Bedingfield. He thought liquid nitrogen was “liquid hydrogen”; scored only two and broke the camera in the bowling game involving cardboard cutouts of celebrities; duetted horribly with Barunkah on The Lion Sleeps Tonight and beatboxed a ringtone.

Top 5 Highlights Of The Morning After Show, Sunday, Channel 4

1 – Nelsy talking about fatherhood with his son Stairwell, who’s “quality” name came from him “doing a Posh’N’Becks” and naming him after the place where he was conceived. He stole a bowling pin for him, telling him he was “the best son I never meant to have”. He also had to borrow money off him and taught him to say that everything his mum told him was lies.

2 – The return of Ellie, last weeks bling-encrusted Friend Or Phoney contestant who won nothing and so was back this week trying to get as many people into her student flat as possible to get a combined age of at least 724 to win a month’s rent. She succeeded and also won also two space hoppers some train tickets and the Jesus and horse plates at the expense of this week’s contestant, bespectacled blonde beauty Laura.

Ellie also had to do the paper reviews. She was much less wooden and more confident than the usual random members of the public they get to do it, and we got a look at her toothbrush, but the 90-second delay did make her look stupid.

3 – The question to enter a competition to win a diving holiday in Malaysia-: Which of these was NOT said in this week’s Footballer’s Wives? A) Pass the ball you flippin’ lobster!, B) My baby was fake tanned and you didn’t think to mention it? Or C) Hang on, this isn’t Bhangra!- It was C, but all three were equally bizarre.

4 –The e-mail read out from Jazz Man: “What’s this all about, where’s Stargate?”

5 – Simon Amstell commenting on the bad acting in one of their comedy sketches. “It’s like Hollyoaks!”

Top 8 highlights of The Morning After Show, Channel 4

1 –The funnier-than-usual e-mails. Sophie asked Barunkah where she got the gorgeous black gloves she wore last week. She claimed she stole them from a “dead Victorian prosto”. Sean asked if he could have a Morning After mug because his fish had died – he got a mug and another dead fish. And there was one from “Booby McCririck” asking if they could burn her husband John in a giant wicker horse.

But best of all was Lizzy who asked guest Kevin Sacre, (Jake Dean in Hollyoaks): “Kevin, you were in Night And Day as well as Hollyoaks. Do you have any ambitions to get into acting?”.

2 – Barunkah and Olivia’s weekend together. Barunkah shaves her face while Olivia shaves her legs, Olivia brushes her teeth with a bog brush, Barunkah dresses as a knight and runs around in the garden, and they both watch Bambi. Olivia goes through a box of tissues and Barunkah laughs her head off.

3 – Olivia Lee on the Sunday Mirror headline that Posh Spice has threatened to stop eating if David Beckham leaves her. “As long as she doesn’t start singing!”

4 – The flirting between Oliva Lee and Helen Pearson during the camera cabowling game. It didn’t do Pearson any good though, she failed to score a single point.

5 – Dr Peter Clapper showing how to extract DNA from a banana. You get a “manky” banana, put it in a beaker, mash it up, add shampoo, add salt and water, filter the resulting gunk through a paper towel folded in a triangle shape, and add cold alcohol such as vodka. The result was a translucent piece of white gunk which is apparently banana DNA. Simon Amstell suggested they could clone it and get another banana or better yet clone Kevin Sacre and give him away as a prize at the end of the show.

6 –The quick pictures drawn of caller Kerry as she described herself. Kevin Sacre’s was a picture of Daffy Duck!

7 – Spoof chav Nelsy talks about the Olympics. Well, actually he just knocked hurdles and the high jump poles down making a, blurred out, willy sandcastle and trying to head a shot (the sort that gets putt).

Bottom 4 lowlights of The Morning After Show

1 – The general incompetence of it is still there – they overran several times and had to cut short a few segments, the curtain rail fell again, etc. They should have got past these “teething troubles” by now.

2 – The Car Boot sale of old props and other useless junk from the show ran by James and Paul from The Apprentice. This segment was very boring and irritating. They had to raise £250 for a local children’s charity. They only raised £153, but the show coughed up the rest after we saw one of them do a terrifying and hideous donkey impression.

3 – Simon Amstell’s The People’s Prince segment where he helps out members of the public is usually very funny but it was a little annoying this week. He visited James at AltonTowers and threw people’s snacks on the floor, threw glasses of water in their face, smeared lipstick on a bloke so his picture taken at the end of a rollercoaster ride would look better. The only funny bit was when he told a group of people they could jump the queue if they came with him, but then he just abandoned them.

4 – Kim and Aggie from How Clean Is Your House?

Top 8 highlights of The Morning After Show, Channel 4

1 – The very brief appearance of Simon Amstell’s Popworld co-host Miquita Oliver. If only she’d been in longer.

2 – After being told that breathing in London air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes, Amstell said “When I leave London I have to wear a patch!”.

3 – Nelsy the spoof chav on art. He thought Art was invented by Rolf Harris and upon seeing The Kiss by Rodin he said “You can see his pecker! She’s got her zongas out!”. Tour guide Karen gave him her number but it turned out to be the number of the speaking clock.

The digs at modern art were quite good. Nelsy said: “If that’s art, so’s me unmade bed!” and Barunkah saying “I’ve done some sick in a bag, I’m going to sell it for a million pounds!”

4 – Simon Amstell rhetorically asking Kate Lawler and Iwan Thomas if their main motive for going on Celebrity Wrestling was “making money and getting on TV?” and his suggestions for other shows they could go on – Celebrity Drowning, Celebrity Autopsy, Celebrity Limb Swap and Celebrity Suicide Bomber.

5 – Olivia Lee’s bitchiness- on Richard Blackwood going on Celebrity Detox having a colonic irrigation: “He always was full of it” and on Little Mo from Eastenders and Amy Nutall from Emmerdale wearing the same brown frock to the Soap Awards, “looking like two turds!”

6 – Kate Lawler’s repressed anger and evil eyes upon being mistaken for Jade Goody.

7 – The shopping list of things that a village in Kent had to get hold of in order to win £250 for a local charity and “if they fail we shall burn the village!”. It included three local red heads, a pregnant teenager, farm animals wearing hats and a lesbian on a tractor. They got the money, but Amstell reckoned they cheated – it was implied the “lesbian” wasn’t really a lesbian and one of the three red haired children was wearing a wig. Still, they did manage to find a girl who could walk on her hands.

8 – Barunkah confusing voting with lap dancing

Bottom 4 lowlights Of The Morning After Show

1 – Simon Amstell helping out Gary the Rollerdisco attendent. Either they’ve run out of ideas for this segment or the novelty has worn off. Gary couldn’t skate, so Amstell pushed him on the floor, took a child’s birthday cake away because she didn’t buy it in the cafe, pushed people along with a broom and taped two kids together. Not as funny as it sounds.

2 – Helen Latham’s spoof Oscar speech for winning Camera Cabolling. Almost as irritating as the real thing, but with worse acting.

3 – Amstell’s joke about “hurting himself” because the show was so bad. It was a little bit cheap and the audience didn’t seem to find especially funny. Even Barunkah didn’t like it.

4 – The made-up Bible story of Jesus And The Horses was just plain daft. Daft doesn’t automatically mean funny.

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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