Like most of the people I follow on Twitter, it seems, I watched Channel 4′s new Ten O’Clock Live last night, which is their latest attempt at a regular humorous news show. I could write a review here, but my friend Doug managed to sum up just what I would have said:
#10oclocklive needs to allow guests to speak, cut audience noise and have longer discussions. Less bits more depth & let smart folk be smart
Of course, many people will describe it as an attempt to do a British version of The Daily Show, because there’s never been any topical comedy shows on British TV ever before, have there? There’s a long tradition, stemming all the way back to That Was The Week That Was, though some of my favourite members are of The Friday Night Armistice:
There are several thoughts that come to me after watching that – one of the first, of course, is that Sue Perkins doesn’t seem to have aged much in the last fourteen years. However, what strikes me most is that there’s much more edge and bite to it, and it’s much more inclined to take risks. From attempting to bankrupt MPs in order to remove the Government’s majority to auctioning off the signed confession of OJ Simpson, or in the surrealism of Mr Tony Blair and Peter Baynham’s Miniaturised Area, there’s a show that’s not content to just go for the quick gag and wants to say something about the world it’s in.
There were times when Ten O’Clock Live was edging towards this – usually whenever David Mitchell was on screen – but a lot of the time, it just felt a bit too comfortable and needed the input of someone like Armando Ianucci or Chris Morris to give it some real bite.