Design For Life

BBC Two can be gloriously pretentious at times… and I applaud it. Last night saw the debut of Design For Life which saw ultra-French designer Phillipe Starck being… well… ultra-French.

In the guise of an Apprentice-esque show, with nicked bits from The Restaraunt, the show saw our designer faced with a bunch of pasty faced Brits all desperate to impress him for some spurious TV reason or other.

However, unlike The Apprentice, Design For Life started with a sequence that was akin to some psychedelic scene from a ’60s spy-flick. Seriously. It kicked off with Starck wearing one leather glove, shot nine times and out of sync, knocking on the TV screen saying “Hello? Is anybody awake?” before introducing himself as “a new type of bottle opener… I am a sort of door, just to open your brain…”.

Surely it would only be a matter of time before we saw him in a secret HQ in the bowels of a volcano stroking a cat and brandishing a gun?

Well, nearly… you see, we caught up with him in some plush Parisian office weilding a bloody great silver handgun and whispering “Hurry up”.

Before we go any further, I have to confess that every quote I relay to you… well… it’s incredibly difficult not to type it out in the most ridiculous French stereotypes, filled with words ending in ‘eurgh’ and zaying singz like-eurgh zis.

That’s because Phillipe Starck is the most French French man I’ve ever seen on British television. He’s so French that after watching the show my breath smelled of garlic, my lips went black like I’d been drinking copious amounts of red wine and I started shrugging a lot. Yep, it turned me into a seventies sitcom idea of a Frenchman.

Mercifully, once I’d (nearly) got over all that (in fairness, I love how French he is – it appeals to my Whitey Liberalness) I could enthuse about how rude he was being to the design idiots sent his way. Regardless of nationality, I’d enjoy anyone being prickly with a bunch of hoorays talking themselves up.

And so.

The challenges are dished out and the ubiquitous toe-curlers and impressors unravel and we all get to scowl and cheer, just like we do with all shows like this. And it’s fun. Adam Buxton (of Adam & Joe fame) does the voiceover, which only adds to the impish fun of this ludicrous programme and we all go home happy.

Next week, we get to watch the assembled participants snipe and bitch about each other as, you see, they won’t be just competing with each other but also, living in the same house. This show could well be a cult hit. Here’s to hoping!

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