COMEDY Smack The Pony Channel 4, starts Fri 14 Apr, 9.30pm.
e.“ lr‘ :4, ,_
More doors are set to open for the comic trio
Smack The Pony won an International Emmy Award last year for its frrst series, but the trro were decidedly bemused by the whole awards ceremony palaver ’They (ut the punchline off of the clip they showed,’ smarts Fiona Allen, who along wrth Doon MaeKrt’han and Sally Phillips make up the writing and performing heart of the show.
It w0u|d appear, however, that thrs was the least of their worries. ’There were a lot of women rn serious dresses ' she says, ’We were all dressed in lytra We looked like 'nookers.’ If their new series rs as well reterved as
DOCUMENTARY Cutting Edge: The Five
Channel 4, Tue ll Apr 1‘: ‘3 Channel 4’s press release announced that this dor'umentary featured 'frve people with specral needs’ PolrtKally (orreet thrs term may be, but rt was also strangely Inappropriate given thrs remarkable film's (entral message, some needs are universal. Shelter, (ompanronshrp, self-respect and love were as important to the residents of Piper House as they are to the rest of us.
Producer/drret'tor Penny Woolt'mk's boldest and most rewarding move was to treat her SUl)J(-?(iS as people, rather than as people With learning disabilities. This enabled the audiente to relate to Alain, Jimmy, Mary, Kwok and Luke without filtering their reaction through patronising sympathy Yes, we shed a guret tear when errny vrsited his mother’s graveside or when Luke returned from hrs father's funeral But we also atrepted that at times Kwok and Mary (ould be irritating, the film allowed their personalities to shrne through, for good or ill
The five flatmates' 'spetral needs'
the last, they should really get used to the etiquette of such lUfiCIlOﬂS.
Unlike The Fast Show, S/nat'k The Pony relies on srtuatrons rather than characters to move rt along The seemingly random nature of their subiet‘t matter would suggest that the (reatrve pro<ess behrnd rt must be equally hrt and mrss 'We never know if a skeICh rs gomg to work until we frlrn rt,’ explains Allen ’They’ll be ideas that on paper don’t look good, but crack us all up in the end.’
Some of the first series stalwarts resurface again, including the dating agency vrdeos and the (or'icludrng pop vrdeo pastiche; the latter rs arguably the patchrest part. Highlights from the frrst episode include a squeamrsh doctor who balks at baby-holding and breast-feeding, and _a man shopping for a bra The trro'play on popular stereotypes (sexual etiquette, offrte pOllllCSl addrng their own surreal twrsts to what rs often real lrfe mundanrty.
How many shows can yOu name WlilCh strrve to feature brkrnr lrne waxrng, Dret Coke, dogs, shoes and outdoor urination, all in half an hour7 Allen, however, has her own highlight for the serres: 'I par'trrularly lrke the lesbran Kung Fu movres we're dorng I attually do Tae Kwon Do, though I don't wat(h many lesbran Kung Eu movres ’ ilvlark Robertsonr
A morbid yet moving Cutting Edg
status did have one major benefrtral effett on the programme's (ontent, however Not only did the friends behave wrth tremendous honesty and openness, they also broke the rule which so often stultrfres fly-on-the-wall dorumentarres by interaCtrng wrth the (rew. The most startling and rnovrng example of thrs (ame early on when ermy, talkrng about hrs mother’s death, asked Penny Woolro<k if she was sad when her mummy died. SU(ll a frank, emotional moment immediately lifted the film above the professronal (ynrt'rsm Whl('h has contaminated the form in ret‘ent years The one major flaw in The Five Of Us lay in Woolmck's selection of material, which was verging on the morbrd Although the frlrnmakers spent a year With the flatmates, muth of the finished frlrn focussed on death and bereavement Movrng stuff, Certainly, but the programme would have benefrtted from more of the equally grrpprng footage of the gang hanging out, watrhrng TV, or argurng about polrtrts. It's rare to Wth a dotumentary and wrsh rt had been longer, but Penny W()()l(()(l< and ner subietts merrted more arr trrne (Rob Fraseri
Channel 4, starts Fri 14 Mar, 11.10pm.
The only guestron to be asked rs why hasn't anyone thought of putting on a show like thrs before) Billed as a Fantasy HmthaH-esgire take on the web, Crail Porter and Chris Addison snuggle up on the sofa to look at the waxy side of the rnter‘net.
The show whr(h has (hanged its name from That /nter'net Show to dotcomedy due to potentral audience confusion wrth That Peter Kay Thing (eh?)
Two netheads are better than one
sees the lVlarK (omit and Edinburgh Fringe regular get hrs
big telly break A huge fan of that \.‘/()ll(l‘.‘.«’|(l(‘ web thing, Addison apologises that some of the finest rnaterral he has en<ountered during hrs researtli
won't be broad< ast.
Stuff like the intr'oduttron of foreign bodies into human ones and people being srtk in eath other"s months We won't be showing any of that partly because of lTC regulations. But mainly betause Cjarl would probably be ill '
Poor lamb. (Brian Donaldsonr
DOCUMENTARY When Louis Met Jimm
BBCZ, Th! 13 Apr, 9.30pm.
Havrng prevrously spent some \.‘.'err(l weekends wrth porn stars, religious fundamentalrsts and right-suing renegades, Louis l'ner‘oux takes tune out wrth hrs (hrldhood idol Jrrnrny Savrle And neither (orne out of tlrrs often strlted and ax‘./k\.'.ard entounter partrt ularly well
It's little wonder that Savrle has .ed a solitary exrstente for math of hrs lrfe, if the annoying knos'x—rt-all manner he displays here is the stay he behaves when the (aineras are
Jimmy Savile and Louis Theroux do everything to enhance their negative
sWrt(hed off And Theroux's reputation as an arnrable but essentially nrrrror league rnvestrgatwe rnterwewer (oinparetl to the (age-rattling l.kes of l\/l|(l‘.(i(‘l Moore rs only enhan(e(l by his reluttante to hammer borne any
advantage he gains over the blonde one
Savrle's own attrons, though, are probably enough to (onderiin hrrn as a self-seeking, arrogant old (odger, hrs (all to a reporter ’frrend’ alter hurting hrs leg for example Still, some (r‘edrt should go to lher‘oux for broathrng,
albeit briefly, the whole paedophile r'irrnours iBrran Donaldson'
CHILDREN'S MAGAZINE FBI
BBCl, starts Sat 22 Apr, 8.45am. Saturday morning (hrldr'e'i's telly has always been a moth sought—after slot. Remember the heady days of Swap Shop, T/s'was and No /.:’7 lhe latest addition to that renoWned roster rs [~8r l/(l/fl/ Booked rntevaetrver With Kate lleavenor rlast year's new Ciail Porter) Joined by Boy/one's Keith Duffy and ex~rnodel Vernon Kay.
FBI retains the standard format of famous guests, rnusi(, (ornpetrtrons and showbr/ gossip What rs fresh and exoting about the show is their attempt to make it fully rnterartrye With the aid of websites, e-rnarl, fax and phone As Vernon Kay puts it 'Ther‘e's going to be three presenters on the studio floor but the fourth \.‘\/|ll be the Viewer"
With three hip presenters, lh’r arms to (hallenge the Cieortlre hegemony of Ant és’r De< over on llV, attrattrng both kids and the twentysornetlungs So log on and (hetk it out lAiiry (rutterrdger
Interactive telly with FBi
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