Test The Nation: The Big Entertainment Test, BBC1

by | Mar 12, 2005 | All, Reviews

• How many different strains of contagious human viruses were there in the audience? Six: the Dustmen suffered from tattoo measles; bigoted arthritis afflicted the WI; the Entertainers all had that forced jollity which masks the latter stages of a fatal clinical depression; the Surfers had all contracted the dissolute infection of youthful optimism well into their 30s; the bankers endured a conformity of the mind only found in the dead and rebellious teenagers; and Piers Morgan himself is a breed of supercilious bacteria unique to repugnant former tabloid editors.

• For how long could “master ventriloquist” Jimmy Tamley keep a hoola hoop aloft using just his mouth while voicing his dummy “Lightning Les”? With his inexpert mouth constantly moving, Jimmy could maintain the hoop’s orbit for a good few hours.

• If the British workforce were employed with the same efficiency as Anne Robinson’s face, what proportion of the country would be in a job? About 10 per cent; the same fraction of Anne’s head that now seems capable of human movement as only her mouth seemed animated the rest of her face merely followed the general direction of her verbal motioning like a wheel controlling the lumbering bulk of a cruise liner.

• If smugness could be planted in fields as a crop, how many farmers would want to harvest the highly potent genes of Piers Morgan? None, for although his conceit would yield the best harvest, even handling such tainted produce would be as poisonous on the surrounding environment as the Chernobyl disaster was on western Ukraine.

• How many corpses are buried in Britain each day who haven’t seen the bit in the Office when David Brent informs the staff they may lose their jobs but he has a promotion? Nobody, but such is the ubiquity of the sketch that some people are deliberately entombing themselves in the ground to escape it.

• How many creatures are alive in Anne Robinson’s rusty ocean of Elton John-esque hair? One the shark that cut through the hair on the left side of her head, hoping that its camouflage as her smooth protruding ear would be enough to get close to its desired prey of Philip Schofield’s already nearly picked clean dignity.

• The number of respectful wreaths of condolence left on Anne Robinson’s face following a regeneration seen before only in episodes of Dr Who. One, her glasses

were laid upon the deathly still gravestone of her forehead as her vacant eyes no longer see.

• If Anne Robinson’s voice was doing a bungee jump, how strong would the rope have to be to support the monumental weight of her condescension towards the dustmen? It would need to be tested by a herd of elephants on a Rik Waller diet.

• How many times when the conversation rambled on to the subjects of ugliness and having a “face for radio” did the director cut to a close-up of hulking BBC reporter John Pienaar? Twice.

• If the world was a stereotype of the perception of bankers as dull, staid scarcely-individual ciphers, how much would it be broken by wacky Robert Cook who has done a sky dive? The skies would turn red with the fires of innovation and the world would ultimately explode and split apart to orbit the sun in fragments and resemble slug pellets encircling a glorious sunflower.

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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