The Adam 8: Joe Show Channel 4, Sat 22 Nov, llpm.


The Adam 8: Joe Show: the kebab of the telly world

Gulp down that lager, give the post- pub doner a miss, and get yourself home. Saturday night may be all right for fighting, but it's top for telly, thanks to the return of the best no-budget programme on the box: The Adam & Joe Show. Staggering onto screens last year, this hilarious, late-night, half-hour pop culture dash was written and filmed entirely by Adam Buxton and Joe Cornisi from their Brixton bedsit. It recreated movie scenes from Trainspotting and Seven with cuddly toys, and used Star Wars figures to examine Luke Skywalker's

sexual angst.

Despite having all the production values of You’ve Been Framed in a power-cut, the show was a hit with all the insomniacs, axe-murderers, junkies and assorted wasters who accidentally tuned in when it was on. Even those lucky celebs who had been replaced by teddy bears were into it.

'I bumped into Ewan McGregor,’ laughs Adam. 'He thought our Trainspotting spoof was excellent and spot-on.’

Such unleashed pastiche continues in the new series, as cuddly toys re- enact Shine, Crash, ER, Friends and This Life. Ralph Fiennes has already written to the pair about how much he enjoyed the toy version of The English Patient, which appears in the first show.

The new episodes see Adam and Joe go in for gritty investigative reporting. They think nothing of posing as rent boys on Sunset Boulevard to discover just how little their bodies are worth.

Watch out too, for Badaad, a feature in which Adam's grumpy old fella slates the singles and takes a pop at youth culture. ‘He's a crusty old bugger,’ says Adam. ‘He thinks all pop music is rubbish, that it all sounds the same, and that the kids are being conned.’

Don't let some ancient geezer put you off. Watch The Adam & Joe Show and save money on a kebab. (Peter Ross)


In a week of less than inspired five- night specials, EastEnders found its Italian connection, while Brookie found a womb with a view to be more up its Close.

Whooo soap overload! With two of

Q the majors on five-nights-a-Week : specials, some evenings you could watch an h0ur-and-a-half of straight

soap. Anyone who watched the lot must have put their lives on hold for the duration, not to mention their dinners. Sadly more can mean less when it comes to the quality of drama. EastEnders did have the advantage of a lovely Italian location, but was

' handicapped by the usual ludicrous ; Mitchell bruvvers nonsense, With the comedy as thick as their heads.

The show clearly learned nothing frOm its recent Irish disaster, With the

locals by turns portrayed as stylish

after Phil 'n'

hooligans, feisty Villagers and gun- toting police, In one extraordinary scene, the gang of paninari who were Grant were shown

actually eating Cornettos, as if about to burst into '0 Sole Mio'. Thank 3 goodness the programme isn't shown : in Italy the Pomts Of View mailbag

would collapse under the strain.

Even more unrealistically, Ian Beale

, found someone who wanted to get off

With him Clare Grogan, no less, the Scots dream popster of most 80s boys, She tried hard to convince as a hard-

nosed, soft-centred detective, but the

sheer unlikeliness of her character a sassy broad With downright weird taste in men -— made it difficult.

108 THE LIST 21 Nov—4 Dec 1997

Ian Beale's girl: Claire Grogan salvages her career in soapland

The thriller action, as Ian and his blundering henchmen raced to outwit the eVil Cindy, left a nasty taste, with the Viewer seemingly expected to cheer their attempts to snatch two y0ung children away from their home and mother, and poor, hapless Cindy left grieVing and humiliated at the airport. Some happy ending.

Another Scottish icon, Gerard Kelly, was also somewhat unlikely in the less than enthralling Brookside special, which stretched Out the usual guff for what was little more than a week-long trailer for the new Video

And the surrogate baby story, a feeble copy of a recent Corrie plot, didn't QUIte add up either why doesn't JaCQUl sell the hairdressers' to raise the money7 How cOuld Barry be brutally beaten and emerge With only a tiny sticking plaster over one eye7 And do childless cOuples really do that with turkey basters.7 (Andrea Mullaney)

Back on track: Charlie Higson (left) and Paul Whitehouse in The Fast Show



'SUits you, sir.’ ’Scorchioll' ’Nice.' ’Which was nice.' 'Brilliantlll' 'Does my bum look big in this?' 'Great.‘ If a comedy show's quality was based on the number of catchphrases created in as short a series span as DOSSlble, The Fast Show (BBCZ, Fridays) must be the funniest thing to have graced Our screens since that elephant parked the contents of its bowels on the Blue Peter studio floor. Still brings a tear to the eye, that one

With their new series, the brains behind The Fast Show, essentially Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, Will be hOping that they have come up With a new set of characters whose subtleties and sloganeering Will have the faithful clutching their bellies in mirth The partially deaf Stuntman looks a Winner but Dave Angel, Eco Warrior flopped straight onto his belly. The progress of the armchair football bore Will be worth monitOring while the overly fOundationed perfumery assistant needs tickling up a bit Not that the old faves have been shelved gardener Ted and his pining feudal master, the jazz club owner (the seriously it

Underrated John boisterous, and dull 'r rid dry when it teams

Thomson), the Cockney pub pest and the brandy- soaked, gout- nosed, leather armchair-bound last remnant of Empire all scored highly Which was nice

‘lt's a sat:rist's dream,' stated the voice-over at the beginning of Dispatches iChannel 4i with 'The Lie Of The Land,’ an expose of the scam which denies public access to land and btiildings across the c0untry Not thrOugh barbed Wire and injunctions but through lack of knowledge as to their whereabouts, and a law which prevents anyone from dropping the names of the owners into even the most casual of conversatiOns So who better than anarcho-media terrorist Mark Thomas to do the exposing

His technique was to intercut clips of

Tam seizes manages to be witless and lame.

t. ~i eaten srtdtrid h t

to be tender.

him banging on about this farcical state of affairs on stage With grave- digging contributions from the proponents of the Conditionally Exempt Land And Buildings Scheme. Elsewhere, we witnessed Thomas going his Messian way among the peOple, spreading the word that they were being denied rambling in certain areas simply because they were unable to find out where the flip they were. Now, this is hardly the Stuff Of brutal tyrannies being made to pay for torturing the elderly, but Thomas merely wants us to know that secrecy and government control over an uninformed population is wrong and dangerous in all its forms In effect, Thomas is steadily prOVIng that he is the closest thing Britain has had to Bill Hicks, the late, great spanker of America's institutionalised madness. Next week, John Shuttleworth investigates child abuse allegations Within the Dalai Lama’s inner circle. Which is nice

Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (BBCl, Sundays) was never a set text at any of the academic institutions I attended. The Current adaptation is unlikely to send me post-haste to the letter F in my local bookstore's Authors A-Z. lt may have a star-laden cast June Whitfield, Frances De La Tour, John Sessions, Kathy Burke and that bloke from 80s one-hit wOnders The Flying Pickets - but that is never a steadfast guar ntee of quality '2 manages to be witless and lame when it should be boisterous, and dull and dry when it wants to be tender

Then there's tit’e ro’e holder, Che Max Beesley While it is understandable that Albert Finney would be too hard an act to fol'ov. ‘or most actors, the fatness of his pOrtrayal of the 'pen":less parish bastard,’ is a trial to behod Stil‘, it's reassuring 'to see that the nov. beardless Brian Blessed can still bluster and bawl for Merry Old England The only character I could remotely connect with was the glazed boar being slowly rotated on the so: Which was not nice at all

Brian Donaldso'“

x; 3;.

. 'ay .. $440)“ f k. . A r :-