5 items from 2017
Simon Brew Aug 18, 2017
After a career spanning over 70 years, Sir Bruce Forsyth has left us...
Here’s some very sad news. Legend of British television Sir Bruce Forsyth has died, at the age of 89. He had been unwell for some time.
His manager issued a statement, reported by the BBC, saying:
“It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children. A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last 18 months. With a twinkle in his eye, he responded 'I've been very, very busy... being ill!'”.
He leaves behind the kind of body of work that no piece like this can ever do justice too (although I have a real soft spot for the amazing time he hosted Have I Got News For You »
The Daily Mash’s new satirical TV show has a hard challenge ahead as the web spews out gags with lightning speed – it needs to find a distinctive voice
• Jack Bernhardt is a comedy writer
Launching a new satire show in the UK is hard. You know that bit in Planet Earth II, where the baby iguana has to sprint across a desert plain as dozens of snakes chase it trying to eat it alive? Replace the baby iguana with a well-manicured comedian in a suit, replace the desert with a circular desk and replace the terrifying snakes with bigger terrifying snakes, and you’ll have some idea of the challenges.
This week, The Mash Report launches on BBC2. It features some of the brightest new comedic talent in the country, it’s hosted by two-time Edinburgh comedy award nominee Nish Kumar, and it features writers from the wildly successful »
- Jack Bernhardt
Hislop, Merton and Deayton made a formidable trio – but the bond was broken when the captains turned on their host. The show hasn’t been the same since
The panel show is a strange beast. Get it wrong and you have some of the hokiest TV imaginable: all telegraphed setups and flatlining payoffs. Get it right and you have the kind of concrete slab foundation upon which broadcasting legends are built. For just over a decade, Have I Got News for You got it very right. Launching just as the wheels came off Margaret Thatcher’s premiership in September 1990, it made an immediate impact with its sparky wit and inventive format. Team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton dished out scabrous and surreal quips on the news of the week or at their hapless guests. Holding it all together was chairman Angus Deayton, whose suave but deadly one-liners made him the don of smartarse sophistication, »
- James Donaghy
Remember the good old days when Boris Johnson was only the host of TV shows? Now, TV shows are made about him … and this is just the beginning
There was once a time when Boris Johnson only made television programmes. Now, sadly, television programmes are made about him. It was a happier time, when he was just the MP for Henley who looked and sounded like someone Bertie Wooster would help get a wife. Then a couple of perfectly shambolic turns presenting Have I Got News For You thrust him into the public eye and he’s been there ever since, obfuscating and blustering his way up the pole that he greased. The cost of this man’s ambition has been heavy indeed: Brexit, endless political turmoil and the collapse of a government. All jolly good japes though.
It is the days immediately after the Brexit vote, during which the »
- Edward Tew
Mark Harrison Jun 5, 2017
Arcing storylines enrich Doctor Who and reward its audience, Mark suggests...
Warning: contains spoilers for Doctor Who series 10.
Unlikely as it might seem to long-time readers of this site, there might be some people who have only just started watching Doctor Who this year. After a year off air, Steven Moffat's brief going into this year's excellent tenth series seems to have been to give the show a soft reboot, picking up with Peter Capaldi's Doctor some time after the last series and ushering in the arrival of Pearl Mackie's new companion, Bill Potts.
To that end, the series started out with an enjoyable run of standalone episodes, boiling the show down to its essence of a madman in a box taking a young woman on adventures in time and space. »
5 items from 2017
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