Talent show spoof really hits the spotBy Mike Jennings
October 15, 2008
Reality shows can be tiring. There’s X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing and more – and then, when one finishes, another begins almost immediately.
And that’s not even counting the run of shows when Andrew Lloyd-Webber decides that one of his musicals needs a publicity boost.
Thankfully, comedian Peter Kay is on hand to cut every single one of these (mostly) awful shows down to size with his first show in four years.
It’s been a long wait but, on this form, it’s definitely been worth it.
Britain’s Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice – to give the show its full title – is a biting satire of everything that makes X Factor and its ilk so cringe-worthy.
What helped make Kay’s version so fantastic was the line-up of stars – and washed-up reality show rejects – who were willing to appear and lampoon themselves for the sake of comedy.
The three judges, for instance – Pete Waterman, Nikki Chapman and Dr Fox – will be well-known to reality show fans and they did a fantastic job of being suitably over the top with their platitudes to bad singers.
Several other stars made appearances. Lionel Blair was a gloriously bitchy mentor to contestants who just couldn’t dance, Cat Deeley was the enthusiastic host, and Ricky Wilson, Rick Astley and Paul McCartney turned up, too.
And then there were the contestants. R Wayne was the typically good-looking – yet incredibly thick – young lad, Two Up Two Down were the wheelchair-bound group with a sob-story to tell, and Kay played Geraldine, a Northern Irish woman with a secret.
The performances across the board were spot-on. Thankfully, so were the jokes. Hilarious auditions were played, emotional songs played as the sob stories guaranteed places in the next round, and the judges took contestants to ‘their’ country mansions.
Even the show itself was split in half; the first hour was the final live show, with the second show as the climax of the entire series. There’s a visit to a CD-pressing plant, an emotional journey as Geraldine returns home, and lashings of suspense too. In fact, it’s a little too similar to the many reality shows that have graced our screens over the past few years.
Peter Kay can’t go wrong with material like this – biting satire that’s very close to the bone and yet, at the same time, utterly ludicrous and not taking itself seriously for a second. Fantastic.