Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Richard and Judy. Quality daytime telly. I rarely get a chance to catch a glimpse these days, but I'm never disappointed when I do. I don't actually sit transfixed and watch this cozy-up, fluffy, feel-good telly, but it's good background - some good ideas like the book club and film reviews crop up and surprise you, and there's always the chance Richard's going to make one of his famous foot-in-mouth gaffes and upset the guest or guests, or Judy. This makes it a bit . . . edgy. All right, a tad edgier perhaps rather than edgy. A little less fluffy.

Richard often annoys or embarrasses his older, rather more cautious wife with reckless shoot-from-the-hip remarks and unruly behaviour compelling her to react with pained grimaces and strained laughs. This sometimes leads to a little onscreen domestic violence as slim Richard's ribs are dug into by Judy's slightly better padded elbows. She's well past dealing out the silent admonitory treatment, the 'stop it now' stealth blows are alerted by Richard's ungainly give-away physical responses and school-boyish yowls.

This seems to be the basis for their TV interviews, Richard's dangerous, chaotic freewheeling, tossing about ideas that pop into his head, riffing outside of his brief and refusing to be manacled to any prepared script. And Judy's timely interventions as his tangential style and boyish enthusiasm are expertly curtailed and brought to heel by Judy.

In today's' show Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer were on today plugging their new TV series, and virtually gave up trying to stun Richard into incomprehensible silence with their particular brand of humour chucking into the interview tricksy googlies, random absurdities and outrageous non sequiturs. Richard was there with them, toe to toe, more bonkers than them both. Their stylised madness feeding the madchild, wildchild, crazychild that lives within him. Every dip into surreality by the usually disarming Vic and Bob, Richard was there with astonishing fluency, grasping the madcappery, organising the nonsense and spinning out true and really quite funny anecdotes from V and B's incongruous juxtapositions. Judy looked on. Out of her league. No place for mumsy humour here. This is a madhouse. Judes, just keeps on smiling and waits for the next 'Tiny Terraways' type part of the show. Much more her thing.

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