Comedy Feeds is the series of pilots, commissioned by BBC3, and which normally get a late night airing on TV as they have done before, but this year, they’re Internet-only and can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer on the links provided below after each review, but be quick as they’ll all expire around August 12th, only reactivating if the programmes are repeated on TV.
BBC3 will most likely be gone by the time 2016’s Comedy Feeds would be due (they say it’ll continue online but if that lasts longer than a year then I’ll eat my hat. And first, I’ll have to buy a hat), but a number of the shows are transferring across to BBC1 and BBC2, and given the number of repeats along with the dumbed down celebrity dance/cooking yawnfests they’re currently showing, we need something new.
Funz And Gamez (right) is the TV version of the Edinburgh Festival award-winning show – which sadly I haven’t seen live prior to this, which is suitable for children as well as adults and featuring such gamez as arm-wrestling a child, another involving a gunge tank, the infiltrating a family’s home in order for them to have to win back their own possessions, plus a sight that cannot be unseen!
With offbeat life lessons to be learned, plus self-depreciative jokes, and many others delivered many off-the-cuff, often some nods to camera from host Phil Ellis and regular belly laughs including Uncle Mick’s (Mick Ferry) explanation about what happened to the Ritson family, this is an absolute must-watch. In an earlier life, Mick once commented (as I started trying stand-up some poems) that I didn’t need the Comedy Store, I needed a jazz club; and Phil once gave away my Fiat Punto car keys in the final game of the night at a gig.
With great support from James Meehan, Will Duggan and Janice Connolly, for a show that reminds me of the heady days of Tiswas and Vic & Bob, everyone taking part in this have been involved in comedy for a long time, so can be relied upon to keep the show fresh for as long as it will run.
In summary: Full series please!! And at around 6pm on Saturdays on BBC1. Get rid of the dull quizzes and aforementioned celeb-based claptrap. Funz And Gamez gets us back to how great family entertainment telly used to be.
With a cast of Jamie Demetriou, Natasia Demetriou, Daran Johnson, Claudia O’Doherty, Alastair Roberts, Liam Williams and Ellie White, aka Rachel in the second series of the fantabulous House of Fools, there’s a number of big laughs to be had whether from one character who doesn’t quite get how spam emails work, another with a substitute for expensive flowers, and also the Busygal garment. In addition, there’s an ’80s retro boost with Ryan Paris’ Dolce Vita as the theme tune!
Now I’m off to put too many leeks in the frittatas.
Fishbowl begins with Hattie (Katherine Rose Morley) having gone to Uni, boasting to her parents about taking hard drugs and other dodgy doings – in exactly the same way that a student wouldn’t. After her going off the rails, her parents (Mark Benton and Sally Lindsay) take her back home.
The best things about this are the always superb Michael Smiley (Doctor Who: Into The Dalek) as the rather weird Uncle Les, with a tip on how to avoid TV Licence detector vans – even though in reality there’s nothing in them, and there were rumours in the ’80s that they could use directional equipment to get the signal from a CRT TV to determine which channel you were watching, but that was never proved, and there’s no such technology in today’s flatscreen models. There’s also Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) who pops up all too briefly, but in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her role.
This programme has some good ideas and some decent editing, but I don’t think it’s got the legs for a full series. Every young adult wants to move out of the family home, even though it’s not always practical to do so, financially, so it’s not the most original premise.
Radio 1 breakfast DJ Greg James plays Jake Cross, a radio DJ, who gets to move across from a late-night show at Completely Radio 108.8 that no-one listens to, to the prime breakfast show slot, after the existing DJ, Lincoln Jones, is no longer existing, having had a heart attack live on air and snuffing it.
There was one slight smile raised from an okay joke when widow Naomi (Montserrat Lombard) lights up a cigarette in a lift and justifies it because she’s grieving, but despite support from Jarred Christmas as rival DJ Big Shane, plus Olivia Poulet, there’s not a lot else to tune in for.
Dane (Dane Baptiste) is going for promotion with an appraisal he couldn’t care less about, and he also has to suffer a racist boss, Steve (John Thompson), who keeps making comparisons to other black people. I know it’s meant to be sending up people like this but it’s a well-worn topic and one that didn’t exactly draw interest and, as for the rest of it, there’s nothing particularly revolutionary on display.
Both Thompson and the usually great Don Warrington are simply going through the motions here.
Radges is co-written by Fern Brady. I met her once, then subsequently received messages from her. I found her to be an unnecessarily nasty and hate-filled individual, as I had not done her any disservice, unless saying hello counts.
Hence, I won’t be watching this which, in one way is a shame as I do like Sarah Hadland, but given the above, it’s just a non-starter. She even appeared on Channel 4 News last year for some reason which I’ve since managed to block out of my brain, so to whoever keeps thinking it’s a good idea to put her on the tellybox, either live on TV or in an internet-based pilot, I say to you – Don’t. For the love of all that is holy. I’d rather have had a pilot from celebrity joke thief Keith Chegwin, and that’s saying something.
Seriously, I’ve seen a zillion more people who deserve to be on TV, and all of whom wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well, maybe they’d crush a wasp, but why not. Wasps deserve to die. They’re evil.
Instead of a link to her programme, below is the video for Ryan Paris‘ Dolce Vita.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.