Alan Carr. Funny teeth? Check. Wonky glasses? Check. Snapped reed in a sax voice? Check. Vicious wit? Errr…
Last night, after a weekend of watching nothing but sport (it was a bit of a sports-fest wasn’t it?) I thought I’d kick back with Alan Carr’s Celebrity Ding Dong (Channel 4, Sunday, 10.55pm). Now, when I first came across Alan Carr, I didn’t like him. Turns out he’s actually very funny and that I just didn’t like Justin Lee Collins so much that I couldn’t see past it. So, I didn’t like him, then I did… and now… well, I’m not so sure.
This new show, which sees the camp-as-you-like comedian heading up a faux gameshow which pits a gaggle of hooting slebs against members of ver public. This week, we had Davina McCall, Les Dennis, Alex Zane, Konnie Huq and Kirstie Gallagher taking on a bunch from Huddersfield. So how did it go down?
There’s no doubt that Alan Carr is a funny bloke. It puzzles me that there hasn’t been his like on the box before. Before, most (male) gay comics fell into effete limp-wristery or vinegar soaked drag queenery. Now, we gots ourselves a pig ugly sharp tongued gay comic not afraid to make a fool of himself. He’s much like the gay people I know (well, the gay people I know after a few hours of drinking at any rate).
With that, Carr has found himself in the unique position of being the only realistic gay man in comedy. It’s a recipe that works. Can’t-kick-a-ball self deprecation and barbed asides. Fantastic. Giving Alan his own gameshow is a great idea. However, giving him Ding Dong isn’t. Not yet at any rate.
On paper, the idea of the show makes sense. Alan gets to take the piss out of celebrities and gets to poke fun at members of the public. However, the celebs get an easy time of it for the most part and the public get ridiculed. That in itself could be fun enough… however, sometimes it borders on cruel. You also get the feeling that Carr would be much more comfortable dishing out the kickings to no-hope shams like Alex Zane (guaranteed to ruin absolutely any programme he stars in).
What we get is Alan Carr asking a member of the public about their lives… and then, in essence, he tells everyone how pathetic it is. Thanks to Carr not being completely comfortable with it, the gags come out clunky. You get the impression he’d rather laugh with them and share an equally tacky tale of a fumbled grope in the dog-food aisle of a cash and carry he once worked in… or something. Instead, he ends up feeding lines to the cackling and baying slebs.
The celebretards on the first shows have all been indulged by the producers. They are encouraged to poke fun at the public which, instead of coming across as playful, ends up looking like scoffing. I’d much prefer to see Celebrity Ding Dong as a street fighting game show. I can see it now. Some huge bruiser from Ancoats knocking lumps outta Alexa Chung whilst her fella repeatedly headbutts Jimmy Carr. All the while, Carr rasps “OH MY GOD! STOP THE MADNESS!” secretly loving it. In an age where we bay for blood, we should be given it in the shape of kicked around Noel Fielding or something.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip