When Blue Peter Became Abba, Channel 4

by | Sep 20, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Despite having no real purpose (ex-Blue Peter presenters form an Abba tribute band and er, that’s it), this one-off celeb/reality show was surprisingly warm, funny and uplifting.

What to say if you disliked it

A thoroughly shameful exercise in giving work to Z-listers, whose CVs rightly remain covered in dust at their agents’ offices.

What was good about it?

• The endearing Peter Duncan who remained true to his BP past with a fearless attitude and, at times, ADD demeanour.

• The bizarre and slightly disturbing footage of Stuart Miles’ new career as a cross-dressing comedian. That never happened to Mark Curry. It was also unsettling to hear the former kids favourite say “Shit” every now and again.

As the group sat down to watch the cheesy, soft-focus video to Peter’s early 1980’s single (no we didn’t know he was a singer either), Romana asked “Is this your porn film?”

• The fact that Katy Hill (Geoff Capes in heels) wasn’t involved in any way.

• As the final day arrived and our band had to perform in front of a scary 70,000 rock fans, it was charming to see how much a good performance meant to them. In the end, they went down a storm but the fact that most of the audience were too pissed to move probably helped.

What was bad about it?

• Presenter Zoë Ball’s “Oh I love Abba” affirmation at the start, as fake, annoying and depressing as her similar declaration on ITV1’s Elvismania. Her presenting was in fact rather subdued for a supposed fan and she spent a lot of the programme wandering around aimlessly – surely a neat metaphor for the state of her career.

• The challenge was hardly earth-shattering, which meant the lead up to its execution was inherently dull. Cringeworthy singing lessons and lazy dance routines are 10-a-penny on TV these days (hello X Factor et al.) so the band’s preparation was a rather laborious experience for the viewer.

• How predictable to give them Dancing Queen to perform! It would have been more amusing and challenging if they were given Fernando or Summer Night City.

• Stuart Miles’ sad realisation that he should enjoy the gig since he’ll “never be in front of this many people again.”

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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