What’s The Problem? With Anne Robinson, BBC1

by | Jun 10, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say of you liked it

An acerbic appraisal of the week’s news in the capably caustic paws of high priestess of put-downs Anne Robinson.

What to say if you didn’t like it

The latest dodgy job lot for the occasional presenters of Have I Got News For You as Anne Robinson and Marcus Brigstocke blunder into the same satirical miasma as John Sergeant and Dara O’Briain.

What was good about it?

• Marcus Brigstocke is a talented comic with good timing and can deliver scripted lines with a sense of spontaneity, a skill exacerbated by his co-presenter’s ineptness in that area.

• The spark of journalistic integrity that compelled Anne to press George Galloway on his sycophantic eulogy to Saddam Hussein on a visit to Iraq before the “regime change”.

What was bad about it?

• The question mark in the title is positioned incorrectly; it should be placed after “Anne


• It comes across like a spoof chat show like the following Kumars At No 42, but overdosing on smugness so much so that photos of it will appear in the Daily Mail of a syringe of conceit hanging limply from a bulging vein in its desiccated corpse.

• Marcus Brigstocke situated a great distance from Anne Robinson like a little moon orbiting her gas giant ego. Anne also seems resentful her sidekick has any funny lines at all. “What was the reference, Marcus?” she once wearily asked, stripping the gag of all timing.

• Anne’s rabble-rousing chastisement of Cherie Blair. If the rebuke had come from the mouth of some lesser light not notorious spending more on smoothing the bumps in her face than the whole of Africa spends on smoothing their bumpy roads then her words might have had some substance.

• Colleen Nolan talking about her decision to allow her son to go to Amsterdam’s Red Light District if he does well in his GCSE’s. Such tepid topics may be endlessly fascinating to the mentally-sterile Loose Women acolytes, but exposing such trivialities to a wider audience was as embarrassing as Tony Blair or Michael Howard trying out their feeble Parliamentary witticisms in a Working Men’s Club rather than in front of their fawning lackeys in the back benches.

• The horribly stilted dialogue between and Anne and Marcus that festered throughout like two pigs bumping heads at a narrow swine trough. But the worst instance came between Anne Robinson and Colleen Nolan. “Everyone else at your son’s school got a bike?” said Anne. “Yeah,” Colleen replied, “there are a few bikes at the school.” We were surprised not to see Johnny Vaughan listed as script editor.

• And when Jean Christophe Novelli remarked: “If I say London (should get the Olympics) I might get shot outside.” “You’re too ’ot to be shot,” cooed Anne, while all around the country children tugged excitedly at their parents’ arms be-lieving that they too can make the grade as TV presenters given the dross being broadcast.

• The tedious routine about David Beckham still not speaking Spanish after two years living in Madrid which was garnished by Marcus enunciating phrases the England captain might find useful such as: “Do you do skirts for men?” For those who have forgotten, Beckham once wore a sarong about eight years ago. Next week, the bits of JFK’s brain blown out his head by the sniper’s bullet talk about their successful career as a brain stunt double and then in talkshows, where they stood in for Graham Norton to give the Irish comic’s US shows a more cerebral edge.

• Jean Christophe Novelli is the World’s Sexiest Chef according to the New York Times. Why does anyone take notice of these senseless polls about the most irrelevant people on Earth? Will it go on forever and ever until the only poll left to do is list the billions of elements on the planet in how suitable they are to father Abi Titmuss’s children?

• George Galloway snarling: “We’ve got a Parliament of poodles” moments after the film of him genuflecting before Saddam Hussein’s “indefatigability” was shown.

• The commencement of weak sequence of gags from Marcus was greeted with audible fanatical applause, but the two front rows of the audience didn’t join in until the middle of the ovation and then it was quite forced and unenthusiastic.

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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