Did we like it?
Justin and Alan were joined in a seasonal episode of the show by (it says here) the most successful girl band ever – aka Girls Aloud. For those of you unsure of who’s who (like a couple of us at Custard HQ) they are: Cheryl (aka Mrs Ashley Cole – imagine a Geordie Posh Spice who’s itching for a punch-up); Kimberley (the “nice” one); Sarah (who seemed to have adopted the ‘slapper’ role – for the show, at least); Nadine (the good-looking one with an Irish/LA accent that even Loyd Grossman would wince at) and Nicola (the ginger, anaemic-looking one). To be fair to Alan and JLC, they carried pretty much the whole show, as Sarah apart, you could have pulled any 20-something girl out of a nightclub and they would have exhibited more personality than this lot. Not a vintage episode.
• The pre-ad break interludes, when Alan and Justin paid tribute to Christmas songs from the past. Highlights included the boys as Wham, Justin as Cliff Richard and Alan as Phil Collins in the Band Aid tribute.
• We were inadvertently reminded of the excellent BBC4 Ghost Stories season by Nicola’s appearance. The apparition in ‘The Signalman’ had a bit more colour in its cheeks…
• We were really looking forward to the “Ask us Anything” feature. But it was a real let-down. Conspicuous by their absence were the questions, “Cheryl, is Ashley as much of a whining git as he comes across in his ‘autobiography’? “Did you really abuse and attack a nightclub toilet attendant?” or “Nadine, why have you cultivated that ridiculous accent?” Even the one mildly interesting enquiry, “Have any of you joined the Mile-High Club?” was met with disapproval by most of the girls. Except for Cheryl, who proved she’s the Jade Goody of the group by asking why it was called the Mile-High Club.
• What the hell is going on with Nadine’s accent? By far the most attractive of the group, her voice sounds like Loyd Grossman crossed with Ian Paisley and actually made us feel nauseous. ‘Milk’ became ‘Mulk’, ‘soundtrack’ became ‘soyndtraack’ and ‘lipstick’ became ‘lupstuck’. And those were the decipherable ones!
• Christopher Biggins, also on Friday night’s Jonathan Ross show, popped up in the ‘Who Knows the Most about the Guest Host’ segment. Ok, everybody, that’s enough Biggins thank you very much. We’ll be happy just seeing him as Lukewarm in the Porridge repeats.
• Cheryl’s hand tattoo (classy!) just looks like she’s leaned in a pool of ink.
• The girls performed their new single, I Can’t Speak French, which seems to have been written an octave too low for them as the verses were unintelligible and out of tune.