I tuned into the opening episode of 10 O’clock Live (Thursday, Channel 4) hoping for good things and dreading I’d be disappointed – in the end I was sufficiently entertained to call it a successful first outing.
Hosts David Mitchell, Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Lavern often strayed into trying to be a bit too ‘zany’ and exciting for anyone to call their performances ‘comfortable’ but the timing between them mostly hit the right tempo and with time they have the makings of a decent team.
The live nature of the show clearly left the writers racing to respond to Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson’s resignation – the biggest joke about his departure had been circulating around Twitter all afternoon – and the news theme inevitably led to comparisons with The Daily Show.
For what’s it worth, I thought the whole thing felt more like the fictional show in Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip.
While the presenters did a great job, the real praise belongs to Universities and Science Minister David Willetts for agreeing to take part in the first episode of a new live comedy series.
Mitchell’s tactic of actually allowing the minister to speak without interruption was a welcome relief after years of macho news readers trying to ‘do a Paxman’ and talk across the interviewee before they can answer any question.
Plenty of scope for fixes and polishing but 10 O’clock Live has the potential to become one of Channel 4’s biggest shows. I’ll definitely be tuning in next week.
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