Review: You can keep the bush tucker trials and moaning Madeleys, for me I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here is all about Ant and Dec
In the run-up to Christmas, there are some things you can guarantee will kindle festive spirit – the John Lewis Christmas ad, X Factor stars switching on Christmas lights and a celebrity drinking a pig’s uterus smoothie.
Yes, it’s November, and that must mean I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here (ITV, nightly, 9pm) has returned, a cavalcade of humiliation for the participants, with the carrot of extending their time in the Hello!-sphere for the winner.
I never really watched IACGMOOH until a couple of years ago, when I started watching with my son, one of the few things he watches on traditional, linear TV. I didn’t take long to get me hooked, but it’s not the trials inflicted on the celebs that keeps me coming back. It’s the hosts, Geordie duo Ant and Dec.
From being paintballed in the face on Newcastle-set kids’ TV drama Byker Grove, through a half-hearted pop career to increasingly sophisticated children’s shows to the primetime straddling behemoths they have become today, they have always given the impression they can’t believe they’re being paid millions for essentially larking about. But behind the scenes you know they must have a steely determination, a keen sense of their own worth and an eye for assembling a talented team.
People who discount them as hucksters of light entertainment frippery seem to think what they do is easy, or frivolous. Firstly, their live TV highwire act is fiendishly difficult, and secondly, in these times, frivolity is exactly what we need. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
Top Gear (BBC1, Sun, 8pm) returned with McGuinness, Flintoff and Harris, and it seemed to have moved with the times, but this week’s caravan capers veered in the direction of Clarkson’s tired old stunts.
The ingenuity of Taskmaster (C4, Thurs, 9pm) never fails to impress, and this week’s finale final task was one of the best yet, simply by making the contestants make noises behind Greg Davies’ back.