I was fully prepared to hate Sir Trevor McDonald’s new vehicle, News Knight, but much to my surprise – and against my better judgement – was soon roaring my leg off. Thankfully, Trev eschews any fancy-schmancy panel game stuff à la Have I Got News For You, and the show is quite simply Trev and his comedy panel quipping about events of the week, interspersed with amusing TV bloopers. The very basic and ramshackle nature of the show only adds to its charm, and is helped along no end by being hugely funny.
Some of this no doubt is due to timing. The satirical show has a habit of starting off with a bang and then declining. Readers old enough to recall Hall’s Pictorial Weekly will remember it reached its best-before date after not too many years, and so did Spitting Image. HIGNFY itself has been almost unbearably smug for years now, and this might explain why I’ve gone off Private Eye lately. Well, that and Wheen’s neocon editorialising, which threatens at times to spin out of control and turn the Eye into Democratiya with jokes.
So, back to Trev. The great man himself is possessed of a deadpan delivery coming from his thirty years of anchorman solemnity. Good performances too from his panel, regular sidekick Marcus Brigstocke and guests Clive Anderson and Reginald D Hunter (Reginald being quite hilarious). And remarkably un-PC humour by today’s standards. Don’t know if this can be sustained, but I’ll watch next week with anticipation rather than morbid curiosity.
Rud eile: In the spirit of being nice, I’ll just mention the appearance on Big Brother On The Couch by friend of this blog Johann Hari (age 13¾), whose psychological insights have been most entertaining. This leads me to think that Johann should scale down his “issues” journalism and do more personalities and pop culture. Anyway, ádh mór, Johann.
Rud eile fós: Another small joy of the weekend’s TV, watching John Simm’s Master pull off the crime of the century by comprehensively stealing Doctor Who. And it’s nice to see the Master finally get a close female companion.