Liza Tarbuck wasn”t fully convincing playing good-time girl Linda Green, bedding a series of unfeasibly fanciable fellas. She’s really that maiden aunt you only see at weddings who smears your face with lipstick before becoming the gin-sodden life and soul of the reception. But in Channel 4’s new series, Liza’s the brusque chairwoman of the parish council, efficiently wading through business before last orders at The Plough.
Channel 4 may have its faults but finding fantastic formats is not one of them. This show is another winner. Five people try to win the hearts of a panel in order to win £50,000. Tarbuck applies a light, but not light-hearted, touch as the discussions proceed.
The voice of the public in show one was represented by a woman who personified Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, a dour Scot, a homophobic Geordie, a strident Asian woman and a 21-year-old dancer resembling Billie Piper but with a brain and no irksome husband.
As in the finals of Pop idol and Big Brother, the blandest person won. John was too young, pensioner Derek raised hackles by having the temerity to have a much younger Filipino bride, and Suzanne earned too much and wasn’t entirely honest in the hidden camera stunt sequence.
Christopher had to make do with second place. He’d upset the homophobe and the Scot all along, largely due to the fact that he didn’t realise he was gay until after getting married. “Who was wearing the frock at that wedding?” the Scot spat.
So it was left to Yvonne, the Linda Green of Swansea, to clinch the cash. She simpered under her bleached hair and the four heartbreaking affairs she’d had with married men were forgiven. Her reactionary views on immigration and support of bloodspots were forgotten (to be fair to the woman, she had no problems on the gay adoption issue). And how will she use her winnings? “I’ll get an emerald and diamond ring big enough to choke a donkey on.”