Tag Archives: Omid Djalili

Live At The Apollo…How ethnic do you have to be to tell ethnic jokes?

3 Apr

I am a big fan of comedy shows especially live stand up and love comedy in all its guises, with the odd exception. Yesterday I caught an episode of Live at The Apollo. It was fronted by Simon Brodkin better kno’wn as Lee Nelson who gave a pretty good performance as host and link man. He is quite funny but you do wonder how many jokes you can milk out of the “chavvy lad about town” persona.

Anyway it was not Lee I wanted to talk about. It was an aspect of  Paul Chowdhry‘s performance. Now despite Paul being an incredible Doppelganger of pop rocker Prince I think it would safe to say Paul is of a heritage that has roots in the Indian sub continent. If the name was not a give away the jokes were. Last night we got a lot of Indian jokes all quite funny and entertaining.

Now having done the Indian jokes his humour sat nav moved further to the east as he regaled us with jokes about a perpetually exasperated Chinese takeaway Restuaranter - “Wha you wan? One rye’ or 2 rye’?  Make up your mine!”.

Now I have often thought there is an unspoken, but widely accepted rule  in comedy, if you are of a given ethnic origin or racial background you can do jokes about your background, but if you are not then you are threading on dangerous ground. So we have black comedians engaging us with jokes about the Black British, African or Caribbean experiences. Same with Iranian comedians with Iraninan jokes, Jewish comedians, Irish Comedians and so on.

I don’t know if this really the case or just my perception, but if it is true how wide is the “remit” of a comedian with extra-heritages as it were. Paul reached out into the Chinese community, but if he told jokes about Somalian  could that be deemed offensive?  Anglo-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili for instance does Nigerian jokes, albeit fairly poorly, and don’t recall him getting any grief for that.

Or is this rule something I have just dreamt up and comedy is really universal with no boundaries.

ITV…Tom Daley’s ‘Splash’ was like an awkward belly flop

6 Jan

If you have followed Tom Daley’s career with any amount of interest one thing you couldn’t have missed  is that there was always a  media tint to it, so no surprise when the program ‘Splash’ was announced and he was a major part of it.

Tom is an Olympic ‘hero’ of sorts, granted it was just a Bronze medal but it far more than most of us will ever achieve sports-wise. As for the celebrities learning to dive from scratch does take a considerable amount of effort and dedication, so there are positives about the venture, but is it entertaining? With some trepidation I tuned into watch this.

In a summary the programme is like a cheap version of Strictly Come Dancing hosted in a local council’s leisure centre with diving instead of dancing.  Five episodes are to be shown with two celebrities each  from three heats making it to the Semi-finals and after that the final.

Tonight’s heat had Benidorm’s Jack Canuso, Sugar babe Jade Ewen, Comedians Omid Djalili and Helen Lederer, and Presenter Jenni Falconer competing for a place in the semi finals.

There seemed to have bussed in millions of screaming Tom Daley fans off to the Luton Regional Sport Centre, Stopsley where it is being filmed, as every time he made an appearance the volume of high-pitched screams went up several notches. Needless to say there were endless appearances of Tom in’ the micro trunks he’s made his trade mark to keep the fans contented.

The dive order was  Jade Ewen, Jack Canuso, Helen Lederer, Jenni Falconer and lastly Omid Djalili. The dive itself lasted no more than a few second which meant there was a huge amount of time to fill and a lot of it was filled by slow motion shots of the celebrity contestants boogey-ing and high-five-ing their way up onto the diving platform – all a bit weird and random.

The diving itself was mildly entertaining, Jenni was quite ambitious and seemed to have done the most technical of dives to my lay man eye’s , Omid and Jake were adventurous and Jade and Helen didn’t let themselves down as they conquered whatever fears they may have had coming into the competition.

The judging panel had Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor, Team GB coach Andy Banks and Jo Brand, yes Jo Brand the comedienne  It turns out Jo Brand has previous form as it were, she had previously fronted a programme on satellite channel Dave called Jo Brand’s Big Splash and she dived on that programme after some training with a coach of Tom Daley’s, Blake Aldrige. So there you go

The judge scores were a bit erratic, especially those from Jo. With the judge’s scores tallied up Omid emerged top of the leader board followed by Jake, Jenni, Jade and Helen in that order.

Just like strictly the judges scores are added to a public vote and out of that Omid topped the overall score and went straight into the semi-final, Jade and Helen came bottom and were voted off the show, while Jake and Jenni went into the ‘splash-off’ which jake won to also go through to the semi-finals.

The sum of what I just described could have been over and done with in 20 or some minutes how on earth this programme ran for 90 minutes is nothing short of a master class in how to pad out a TV programme, over 30 minutes of commercials also helped.

Was it quality programming? No. Was it worse than other Saturday early evening filler we have endured over the years like Total Wipe out  Bring on the Wall, etc? Not really. Will I be making a point to catch up on it? No.

But if you want to judge for yourself you can watch it on ITV Player here .

ITV…Will Tom Daley’s Reality TV Show “Splash” sink or swim?

2 Jan

Why do TV stations like reality shows? The Simple answer is because they are far more profitable when compared to the traditional format TV shows. Reality TV shows require no writers or actors and are often shot at a single location which means lower costs.

How do the costs compare? An episode of BBC’s hospital drama Casualty costs about £500,000 to produce, and BBC budgets at least £900,000 per episode for its top range dramas. An hour of Big Brother on the other hand can cost about £100,000 to produce. Reality TVs which are celebrity driven will cost a bit extra but still a lot less than scripted dramas.

More tellingly unlike other low-budget programmes Reality TV shows often deliver enviable audience figures. So it comes as no surprise that ITV’s schedule across the broadcasters network is stuffed full of reality TV formats of all flavours from “I Am a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, “Dancing on Ice”, “The X-Factor” to the “The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE)”.

You would think that by now ITV have exhausted every possible reality format possible, but you would be thinking wrong. Their latest offering takes a very photogenic, relatively successful Olympic ‘Hero’, adds a bunch of personalities with varying degrees of celebrity, and throws them into a set of task challenging enough to humiliate and embarrass and but not serious enough to injure and voila! you have Splash the new reality TV show from ITV.

The show is is a vehicle to take advantage of the popularity of Bronze medal winning Olympic diver Tom Daley and involves a bunch of celebrities learning how to dive.

Try as I may I just can’t see how this would be interesting. As an Olympic sport diving is mildly engaging, but as the premise of a reality show? We will obviously get the occasional Peter Kay style “running bomb” and some of the fitter celebs in nice looking swimwear but beyond that? We’ll have to see, reality shows have a funny way of defying convention.

‘Celebrities’ that have been lined up so far are reality TV veterans like TOWIE star Joey Essex ,Shameless’ Tina Malone and comedian Dom Joly.

Alongside them are newbies like Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe, Sugababes singer Jade Ewen,Comedians Helen Lederer and Omid Djalili, Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, Benidorm’s Jake Canuso , TV host Jenni Falconer, Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson, gardener Diarmuid Gavin, Changing Rooms star Linda Barker and ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edward.

The show is to be hosted by Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan and starts this Saturday.