Take Off with Bradley And Holly is the latest desperate attempt to create an engaging TV gameshow from ‘spontaneous banter’, such as when he says he went to Jamaica for his 40th anniversary, she says, “What? 40 years ago?” Exactly.
The two presenters – Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby – are already oversaturated on TV with The Chase, This Morning, and far too many other shows. Why not give someone new a try, and without feeling the need to pair people up, only to tick a diversity box or three? Don’t worry, they managed that for the contestants.
It runs for an entire hour and really doesn’t need to. Time is filmed with an Elvis impersonator, talking to the contestants about their life (as if anyone cares), during which we ‘discover’ one woman who claims to be a “social media influencer” – which means she opened an Instagram account that morning.
The first two are meant to guess the name of a place which involves a man supposedly looking like George Clooney, when he looks NOTHING like him. I’ll give you just one of the tough guesses they have to make when a place is depicted by these items “Pencil – van – ear”. Yes, that’s the level of this dirge.
After that game is over, it’s time for a sit-down chat with a family talking about a prank video they made. Excuse me? I thought this was a gameshow? Well, they get to that eventually, but it involves a game so random involving picking up a passport. Huh?! Yes, this is a gameshow that can only have been dreamed up by snorting a few lines of cocaine, first. Or, at least, someone who remembers Beadle’s About and thought they’d throw in some elements.
There’s also a moment where an audience member’s phone supposedly goes off, even though it wouldn’t get picked up by the microphones that are nowhere near them, and they’d be told multiple times to switch them off, but if you believe this, then I’ve got some magic beans to sell you.
And how long ago was this filmed, because they’re in front of a full audience, and they shake hands with the contestants. It must be at least 18 months ago. In fact, given that they made a pilot before Christmas 2019, and there’s a reference to George Clooney’s ancient coffee adverts, I’m guessing about two years ago. It really shows.
No-one comes out of this well, but the two presenters are laughing all the way to the bank. “The public gets what the public wants(!)” as The Jam so accurately surmised.
Take Off with Bradley And Holly is on BBC1 tonight at 6pm, but is unlikely to be available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
After broadcast, it will be on the BBC iPlayer.
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.