Ambassadors episode 2 review

The Friday Night Project review, series 1

Published by jamdog on 29th April, 2005.

 The Friday Night Project review

The Friday Night Project

Channel 4

In a nutshell: The bit between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

The 411: Project. Doesn’t sound good does it? Only schoolchildren and middle management have ‘projects’. And both groups are verminous filth who serve no function in society other than their own propagation, both trading in human misery.

Something they have in common with the makers of late night television, in fact. The Friday Night Project has an illustrious history of pap to live down to. Denise Van Outen’s Something For The Weekend – indisputably the Worst Programme The World Has Ever Seen whose sole achievement was to make Police Academy 6 look highbrow.

"The Project has an illustrious history of pap to live down to…"

It’s also a pale descendant of The Word – that swaggering gross-out monster of the mid-Nineties who got away with the stunning ineptness of Terry Christian with a bagful of ‘tude, stellar live performances (Nirvana doing Teen Spirit, Public Enemy doing Shut ‘Em Down) and an unerring eye for controversy.

The Project features a mixture of topical comment, and hidden camera ‘stunts’. Guests complete challenges with the public and participate in themed comedy throughout the show. Sounds great, huh?

Jimmy Carr, (on presenting duty with fellow comedians Rob Rouse, Sharon Horgan and Lucy Montgomery), seems to have appeared in the mainstream with an audible pop. One moment he’s providing mildly amusing comments on I Remember 2004 at two in morning, the next he’s on Des and Mel providing mildly amusing comments for them. An almost effortless elevation which this show could put a stop to as quickly as it started.

He’s made to feel uneasy by the weekly guest presenter who foists themselves on the programme. First-up, Vinnie Jones who had the dubious pleasure of awkward interaction with the house incumbents. As one-dimensional as a presenter as he was a footballer, he still outshone the meandering nitwits on the sofa.

Yet he was far from comfortable reading out the topical funnies from the Autocue of Death. Why should he be? He’s a bonehead with no comic timing and no conception of his own lack of importance. Professional presenting ain’t rocket science but there’s a definite art to it. If there weren’t then Charlotte Church would be presenting Have I Got News For You? and Des Lynam would be an international gigolo.

While all this goes on Sharon Horgan and Lucy Montgomery have Shoot Me written across their foreheads – a couple more weeks of this and I’ll gladly oblige. The new guidelines on mercy killing should see me in the clear. ‘Not strive officiously to keep alive’? Show the court five minutes of this and there isn’t a jury in the land that will convict me.

This Celebrity Bum of the Week parade isn’t going to help a programme already on dicey ground. And next week it’s Kelly Osbourne – a woman whose very existence could have been invented to illustrate the concept of futility.

Its main problem is it seems to have fallen between two stools in nodding towards mainstream television while looking and feeling like a dangerous late-night anything-can-happen kind of show. Jonathan Ross at least has a consistency of tone – you know what you’re getting.

"the viewer feels like he’s being spit-roasted between Des O’Connor and Terry Christian…"

So, the viewer feels like he’s being spit-roasted between Des O’Connor and Terry Christian. And nobody, with the possible exception of Melanie Sykes, deserves that.

What type of project is it? The type of project that gets half-mauled by the dog, has thumbprints over it and invariably gets marked "3/100 See Me after school".

The best thing about it: Jimmy Carr – still quite funny

The worse thing about it: The Autocue. It just keeps on working.

The verdict on Friday Night Project: Best argument for 24 hour drinking I’ve seen

Marks out of 10: 4

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