Big Top

If you were going to make an A-class comedy, what would you do? Personally,  I would try and get as many inputs and experienced comedy stalwarts as possible and work from the ground up with a good idea. Unfortunately sometimes this doesn’t work.

Big Top, the newest entry to the BBC’s comedy programme, is a perfect example of how the glittering appeal of a reality TV show can mare something that should be great. The names attached to Big Top are the things of legend. Bringing together some of the greatest names from some of the greatest BBC comedies of all time (Ruth Maddoc of Hi-De-Hi, Tony Robinson of Blackadder and John Thompson of The Fast Show) this should have been something truly special. Even Tony Robinson alone would probably have brought something amazing to the screen, never mind Ruth Maddoc. It’s a shame that whoever commissioned this show wanted to shoe-horn Amanda Holden into the mix, as the ringleader of the neediest circus I’ve ever known.

It might seem like a League of Gentlemen style premise, that of a extended family who are incredibly needy and unable to cope without one another, but sadly this lacks any of the dark comedy edges that would make me want to watch another episode of this farcical attempt at light entertainment. Holden really brings down the show just like Lesley Ash’s trout pout brings down Holby City. Sometimes there are things that shouldn’t be put together, and reality TV stars and BBC comedy are two of them. Which, as I say, is a shame, because this could be very good.

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