Out of mid 1990's UK Late Night TV hell came GOD'S GIFT from the usually more conservative,cautious GRANADA TV studios,based in my hometown of Manchester.It was probably a good idea that Granada produced this kind of malarkey,and it was also a better idea that the programme was mostly scheduled in the late night/early morning timeslot at weekends,just the right time for hopelessly inebriated young people arriving home from various drunken revels,as these would be the only types of rather cerebrally-challenged humanity that would like it.In that sense,GOD'S GIFT served it's purpose efficiently,in parading young men in front of a mostly unimpressed (if themselves not inebriated) standing audience of young women,carrying out various base,lowbrow tasks,finishing with an inevitable striptease,though not to the barest of bare essentials;that would've been too low a point even for the programme's crashingly gross standards of entertainment on offer.
GOD'S GIFT was as subtle as frantically banging a nail into a wall with your forehead,but,it's one marginal saving grace was that at least it was perfectly aware that it was just so,with it's set design as tacky and campy as the various incidents on show.Just to even up things slightly,there were occasional shows featuring homosexuals,which was OK for sexual equality,but would no doubt have had finger-wagging puritan moralists in ferocious outrage.
With all this associated baggage,it was almost a parody of a parody of stupid TV shows,not really a good idea as parodies are not intended to be clever or intellectual works of art in the first place.Still,it was mildly amusing to hear the voices of familiar TV and radio presenters like Stuart Hall,and later Jimmy Saville,as the 'voice' from above,and the first major occasion that a certain Davina McCall presented a TV show on terrestrial TV in Britain.Her notorious loud-mouthed,barking,over-amplified presenting and interviewing style seemed to fit in perfectly with GOD'S GIFT crude unsubtlety,but since it has been exposed to a larger audience at more sociable times of day (BIG BROTHER,DAVINA,etc.),and to more desperately unenthused TV critics (GOD'S GIFT was more or less totally ignored by such types),it has not been at all plain sailing despite rather curiously becoming one of UK TV's best-known faces in the 21st Century. Davina in fact was so associated with the show that it soon went downhill with new presenter Claudia Winkleman and soon ended it's run.It is not saying much,but this is probably nearest the best show La McCall has,and ever will,be associated with.But it's doubtful she will talk about this show much nowadays,and if it is true that GOD'S GIFT will be looked on as her small screen pinnacle,think of the other programmes she's worked on since!
The much less explicit but still as lowbrow MAN O MAN (featuring Chris Tarrant),which had similarities to GOD'S GIFT,was made around the same era(the mid-late 90's),but was shown at a much more family friendly time of day on Saturdays.
RATING:3 and a half out of 10.
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