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Series cast summary:
Brian Conley ...
 Himself - Presenter (23 episodes, 2006-2007)
Christine Lampard ...
 Herself - Co-presenter (23 episodes, 2006-2007)


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Release Date:

21 August 2006 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


| (series 2)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Charlie Brooker nailed it – this is like a cruise ship to hell
30 October 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a sort of remake of The Gong Show, this mix of "entertainment" and "talent" show sees members of the public performing to a live studio audience. All of the audience members have buttons to vote the performers off and, once 50% have, the performer is gone. Those lasting the longest make it to the week's final where they compete for a place in the grand final and a change to win big money from £100 all the way up to (wait for it) £1000.

Recently a newspaper was commenting on the return of X Factor on ITV and asked the question if, after so many talent shows, whether or not there was anyone with any talent who had yet to come forward. I forget the writer's name but if I knew it I would invite him/her to watch this show to confirm that the answer to their question is "no". Normally I will only review a TV series after watching all of a season but with this I'm afraid I could barely cope with a handful of episodes. Personally I was looking for my voting button every time Brian Conley comes up with his terribly cheesy singing and corny unimaginative jokes – it must infuriate some of the acts that they get voted off while Conley is allowed to peddle his sh1te without any intervention. The recorded laughter makes the jokes all the more painful because you can only imagine how badly he must have died on the day for the editors to feel the need to use such a clunky laugh track.

As it is the show does have some people with talent but nobody with any real star power – which is why they are on this show rather than one of the primetime slots. Aside from the usual singers etc, the acts are mostly party tricks such as pottery, "Cocktail" style bar tricks right down to annoying kids doing god-awful things in the name of light entertainment. Few of them are much cop and I doubt any of them are being rushed with agents looking to sign them. While the acts are weak it is hard to look away because the whole thing is like one big daytime TV car crash played out in hideously slow motion. Charlie Brooker nailed it when he called it "cruise ship hell" because that is exactly what it is. The acts can only aspire to that level but Conley seems to have found his calling with his corny jokes, flat discussions with the mostly embarrassed audience members and doing so many cheeky winks to the cameras that I assumed he either had a serious twitch or had something the size of a pebble in his eye.

If there are any reasons for watching this then I suppose they are limited to the sheer fascination of seeing the "talent" on show – often they are bland, sometimes they are good as a curiosity but most enjoyably they are awful and you wonder why they bothered to book a day off their day jobs to be on telly. Conley is a car crash in himself but he is at least provided with eye candy in the form of Norn Irish girl Christine Bleakley, who is a touch wooden but has a sexy voice and good looks to match.

Overall then, if you think cruise ships provide the best entertainment in the world then this is the show for you because it never gets above (or in fairness aims to be above) the level of cheesy, second-rate cabaret. Conley is like the worst, most smarmy lounge lizard you've ever seen and after a few times of him trading innuendo with uncomfortable audience members I felt an urge to have a shower and burn the clothes I had been wearing. A hideous show but worth seeing so you can appreciate that no matter how bad the TV is in prime time slots, it really is a lot better than the dross that is used to fill the daytime schedules.

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