Did we like it?
Non. As well as being a frankly bizarre addition to the Saturday night schedule (wouldn’t this make more sense on a Sunday afternoon?), this one-off reunion for one of the 1980s most successful sitcoms felt much like the re-appearance of a long-lost crazy relative – once their harebrained humour was funny but now it feels stale, predictable and all rather embarrassing.
What was good about it?
• ‘Allo ‘Allo did deserve to have some celebration. Sold to many countries and pulling in a huge amount of viewers it turned into a televisual phenomenon. Not sure it deserved a sell-out stage adaptation in the West End, though.
• The show was always renowned for its saucy female characters and both the actresses playing kinky waitress Yvette and Resistance heroine Michelle still looked rather hot for their age. The same unfortunately couldn’t be said of Mimi Lebonq who turned up looking like a squashed Pat Butcher.
What was bad about it?
• The format – consisting of live sketches interspersed with a documentary about the show’s history – felt awkward and rushed.
• How can we say this delicately? Not all of the actors have had prolific careers since the programme’s demise and boy did it show. It didn’t help that in the first appearance of Gorden Kaye’s René, it was blatantly obvious that he was reading from a thinly-disguised script in front of him.
• The no-show from S&M Nazi Helga.
• A frankly frightening studio audience who all inanely laughed on cue as if guns were being held to their heads. Most were ‘hilariously’ dressed as their favourite ‘Allo ‘Allo character but regrettably this made them look as though they were on a coach trip to the local fetish club.
• Double entendre overload. Now, we always love a bit of camp humour but every pun and retort here was so expected, you could see it coming 10 minutes in advance. ?”Where shall we hide the sausage?” said René to a tumultuous cheer of whooping in the audience – and a barrage of groaning from anyone watching at home.