What is the point of Rachel Riley?

Watching TV this week, several questions sprang to mind, not the least of which is this: What is the point of Rachel Riley?

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th February 2016, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 19th February 2016, 10:26 am
Rachel Riley with her co-hosts on It's Not Rocket Science, Romesh Ranganathan and Ben Miller
Rachel Riley with her co-hosts on It's Not Rocket Science, Romesh Ranganathan and Ben Miller

On Countdown, she defers to the older host, puts some letters up on a board and does some mental arithmetic.

On the late night 10 Cats Does... strand, her job is much the same, although she has to wear cocktail dresses and laugh at Jimmy Carr’s jokes.

On the new show, It’s Not Rocket Science (ITV, Tuesdays, 8pm), she again has to wear the cocktail dresses, but this time she laughs at the jokes of the Asian Jack Dee, Romesh Ranganathan, and feels up rugby players’ biceps.

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Hosted by Riley, Ranganathan and ‘lapsed scientist’ Ben Miller, the show was like Top Gear meets Tomorrow’s World, an uneasy mix of banter, gadgets and pop science.

Riley – who has a degree in maths from Oriel College, Oxford, seems to play third banana on this show, which was neither funny enough, nor informative enough to really stand out. Her only job seemed to be to look attractive while the two male presenters shambled about in jeans and trainers – and in Miller’s case, a waistcoat three sizes too big.

And who decided on this double standard anyway? When the female presenters have to wear the nice dresses and heels while the males can amble on in whichever shirt they could retrieve from the laundry basket?

Even professional moron Joey Essex came over as more intelligent than Riley, as he got to drive a car using the power of the mind. Not that the show really explained how it worked, just said something about different brainwaves and robotics and left it at that.

Even when she did have something to do –demonstrating how being doused in water could protect you from fire, she relied on a male doctor to explain it to her.

Rachel Riley is intelligent, can tell a joke and host a TV show – which is at least three things Joey Essex cannot do. Her talents are being wasted on this show, and so is our time. I think she should get herself a new agent.