Entertaining but not particularly successful celebrity spin on a winning formula (spoilers)
In the spirit of charity, two teams of 5 female and 5 male celebrities come together to put on a funfair in order to raise money for Comic Relief. Alan Sugar however is not really in a charitable mood, making it quite clear that whatever team fails to make the best use of the resources he has provided will lose the challenge, with the weakest of the team fired after the lot of them are hauled over the coals.
I've not really gone for these Comic Relief spins on other television shows but, given the success of The Apprentice formula and the fact I do enjoy the series, I decided to give it a try. With only one of the group to be fired and a short time to capture all the personalities within the challenge, it was obvious from the get go that this charity special was being very much shoehorned into the formula. The challenge feels rushed and there are some of the group that we see very, very little of (Ross Kemp and Jo Brand for example). Here and there the personalities clash but it isn't really sustained that well, even if some of them are amusing. Cheryl Cole's behaviour says a lot about her background and her current lifestyle while the tension between Piers Morgan and Alasdair Campbell is worth seeing (although, and here's the spoiler, it does cost the former dearly at the end of the day).
Fans of the show will be disappointed with how this works because it doesn't really have the urgency, tension and edge of the normal series. Perhaps it is the cheerful and charitable feel that the teams have about the challenge, aside from some smug digs at each other, there isn't really the feel of competition, back-stabbing and sheer greed that the normal series trades on. The actual task isn't that hard and mostly involves lots of rich people giving over lots of their money to charity. This bit left me a bit cold. On one hand it was great that Comic Relief got so much, but on the other hand it is perhaps a bit depressing that there are people who can decide in less than five minutes to handover hundreds of thousands of pounds while for the majority of us this amount of money requires a 25 year loan.
Entertaining stuff then but the formula that does so well in the normal series doesn't really work here.
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