Monday, June 15, 2009

Clueless No More

It's a stream of feeble puns, older even than the outdated format of the show. The chairman didn't really get into his stride and three quarters of the panel trotted out the same material they've been overusing for half a century.

To summarise - in my honest opinion, the first episode of the new series of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" was by some margin the best programme on TV or radio this year. An absolute delight, and I'm still smirking like am imbecile as I type this.

If you're new to the programme then you've missed fifty series of the best semi-improvised verbal playfulness the world has ever seen. There are running gags, scattergun punning and the groaningest end-of-the-pier innuendo known to man. There are fictional games and invisible sexy assistants. And now there's even Victoria Wood.

For just about all of the fifty previous series the chairman had been the great Humphrey Lyttleton, who brought a jazzman's sense of comic timing to the role. Stephen Fry was the chairman tonight, and although he is a formidable intellect and a considerable comedian, I was disappointed that he didn't really put across any kind of "voice" like he does when he's chairing "QI". On that programme he's geeky, unworldly Fry of Queen's College, Cambridge and it works well there. But it took 6 years of that show to get that voice right, so it is expecting a lot for him to shine on his first day in this job. And by the way, we're talking about a job that the last guy did for thirty years and I swear he was still improving right up to the end.

So why was it my favourite programme of this year when I am so critical of it?

It's simply because I feared the show was dead and that there would be no more of it. For me, this new series was like seeing an old friend in the street - one that I believed was dead. They might not seem quite themselves at the moment, but that doesn't stop you wanting to rush up and give them a huge hug and thank your choice of deity or muppet that they still live.

So, thanks be to Kermit; "Clue" is back ! It's a great comfort to know that I'm guaranteed at least a smile, a groan and a chuckle on Monday evenings.

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