Walliams and Friend (BBC One, Fridays, 9.30pm) was so unfunny that one person dubbed it Walliams and Viewer. You know a comedy show has failed when the reviews are more amusing than the script, though I refuse to join the haters. Walliams is a nice man, a huge talent.
So what went wrong? It’s the absence of a strong partner. He flourished alongside Matt Lucas in Little Britain and with Catherine Tate in Big School. In this new show he appears with a different co-star each week. Some, such as Harry Enfield, who ripens with old age, are superb; others, such as Jack Whitehall, bring nothing to the party. If a second series is made, Walliams must aim higher.
I suggest he hires Jacob Rees-Mogg, who recently starred in Channel 5’s MPs: Behind Closed Doors. There was a time when a title like that promised grainy shots of MPs sneaking out the back door of Miss Whiplash’s flat on Charing Cross Road. But the pendulum has swung the other way, and we’re currently being encouraged to be nice to our parliamentarians. This one-off documentary was so complimentary, so bland that it felt like a public information film.
The tedium was palpable. Poor Mr Rees-Mogg had to sit through one constituent’s long recitation of the evils of the tax system and the Israeli cyberspace wars. His interlocutor was one of those bores who actually appears bored with himself. “Have you heard of a cyberworm?” he asked. Jacob said no. The bore sighed deeply before beginning his lecture.
Nick Clegg has mastered the art of appearing fascinated by people’s nonsense. Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford, seemed enthused by her work. Good work, important work – I’ve no doubt. But not very good television. Which is as it should be. Politics should be neither seen nor heard, something that quietly gets on with running the country without demanding too much attention. “Here to help.” Not to clutter the TV schedules. After 12 months of elections, I’m sure we’ll be swearing off politics for the New Year.
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