Big Top

A while back, Amanda Holden showed uncharacteristic foresight by predicting that her sitcom, Big Top would get battered by critics.

She said: “They’ll slate it. They’ll slate me. They’ll say, ‘Why is she a talent judge? – She’s in this show and she’s not talented in it’. But it’s fine.”

Then, she mystifyingly called it a “credit crunch comedy”. What? Something made with no money? Something that’s supposed to talk us down off the ledge?

It doesn’t really matter now because Auntie has stuck the boot in and killed the show.

Of course, this is according to tabloid reports (we, as humans, only choose to believe the stories that coincide with our way of thinking from red tops, thus showing us all up to be an inherently flawed species).

Following a bout of poor ratings, it has been announced that the series, which also stars John Thomson and Tony Robinson, will not be returning for a second run.

The Sun also claims that the Britain’s Got Talent judge’s ITV1 show Fantasy Lives may be pulled after it failed to perform well in the ratings.

An insider claims that “Amanda had high hopes that the other two shows could become long-running series.” ITV is yet to make an announcement over the future of terrible and pointless Fantasy Lives, which saw Holden living out her dreams at the expense of… well… people like us who can’t afford to piss off to LA and jape around with stunt-types.

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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