Love Hate series 4 episode 4 review

Best Possible Taste review | They killed Kenny!

Published by jamdog on 3rd October, 2012.

Best Possible Taste review

BBC Four

 

What to make of Kenny Everett? On the one hand a passably amusing 80s DJ and character comedian, on the other the man responsible for Timmy Mallett, Steve Wright and Chris Evans – his lineal descendants. For good or ill he is the Typhoid Mary of madcap DJs. Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story is introduced by Oliver Lansley as Kenny Everett in his various alter egos – Sid Snot, Brother Lee Love, Cupid Stunt, Marcel Wave – explaining the premise of the show and this cute narrative device recurs throughout and is exactly the kind of fourth wall breaking lunacy we might have expected from the Scouse laughter king. But behind the laughs hid significant disappointment, unhappiness and thwarted desire for cock.

“‘It’s appropriate enough then that his initial calling was to that other funnel of repressed homosexuality and sublimated rage the Catholic Church. But when priest studies don’t work out, he turns his attenion to the world of broadcasting.”

It’s appropriate enough then that his initial calling was to that other funnel of repressed homosexuality and sublimated rage the Catholic Church. But when priest studies don’t work out, the 18-year-old Maurice Cole turns his attention instead to the world of broadcasting, sending a tape to the BBC. The minimalist telegram response arrives reading “TAPE GOOD. COME TO LONDON FOR INTERVIEW” as if penned by some inturdnet commentscum all-caps ment and the journey begins.

“The minimalist telegram response arrives reading “TAPE GOOD. COME TO LONDON FOR INTERVIEW” as if penned by some inturdnet commentscum all-caps ment.”He starts on the pirate Radio London, where he adopts the Kenny Everett name, immediately becomes popular then gets sacked for running his mouth about religion. It’s no biggie as he winds up on early Radio One where he is again a fan favourite. You likely know the Everett style: daft voices, silly characters, zany jingles, flights of fancy – if The Goons got the drivetime gig, this is what it would sound like. Strangely there’s nothing at all about his friendship with The Beatles and I imagine the BBC didn’t want to give Prince and Paris Jackson the royalties for playing three seconds of Blackbird and I suppose we can hardly blame them for that.

 It’s all going swimmingly for Ken but he just has to tear it down again, tormented maestro that he is, getting himself the sack after playfully suggesting Mary Peyton, the British Transport Minister’s wife, bribed her driving test examiner. Why if I didn’t know better I’d say he had some kind of self-destructive urge fuelled by involuntary celibacy. It is 1970 and Kenny Everett just can’t stop kicking against the pricks.

“Early on in their relationship she insists he grow a beard which is only fair given that she herself is the beard nonpareil – totally understanding of his colossal gayness, even encouraging it.”

Yet we see much of his story through the prism of his unconventional relationship with Billy Fury‘s former banger Lee Middleton – a more or less passable Sheffield piece of ass. Early on in their relationship she insists he grow a beard which is only fair given that she herself is the beard nonpareil – totally understanding of his colossal gayness, even encouraging it. Their wedding is like a fairytale, assuming your fairytales involve delusion, self-hatred and doomed love between two people who don’t want to fuck each other. Kenny doesn’t want to be kicking in the pricks – he wants to be rubbing against them.

“Puerile to his core, superficially transgressive and in desperate need of a shag – yep, that’s pretty much every DJ you’ve ever met.”I know who could help with that: Freddie Mercury (James Floyd)! Yes, apparently Kenny Everett didn’t know the touch of a man until his late 30s and needed a gentle push from the Queen frontman. I hate to fork-in-the-road but if he had joined the Catholic Church he could have had all the choirboy ass he could handle. Still, once Freddie hooks up with a waiter there’s no stopping him and he has glorious, joyous, uninhibited sex on the gay scene right at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Ah.

The Kenny portrayed is no saint. He’s needy, narcissistic and horribly thoughtless to Lee. The colossally misguided “let’s bomb Russia” Tory party conference turn (egged on by a laughably hammy Michael Winner (Andrew Greenough) did him no favours at all. This was after all the heyday of alternative comedy, Red Wedge and Class War. Ultimately, Kenny liked the trappings of rebellion but he still liked to keep all his money, hobnob with posh folk and pay as little tax as possible. Puerile to his core, superficially transgressive and in desperate need of a shag – yep, that’s pretty much every DJ you’ve ever met.

“Still, let’s give credit where it’s due. He ploughed his own furrow, stuck to his signature style and it paid off with fame, success and, eventually, sexual intercourse. Ignoring his premature death, that’s quite a happy ending.”

Nonetheless, it’s a sympathetic enough portrayal. Lansley’s Scouse accent feels a bit slippery but he does a good job with the various Everett alter egos. His stuff doesn’t date well but remember this was the light entertainment era of Cannon and Ball, Little and Large and Mike Yarwood. In the kingdom of the shite the one eyed man was king. Still, let’s give credit where it’s due. He ploughed his own furrow, stuck to his signature style and it paid off with fame, success and, eventually, sexual intercourse. Ignoring his premature death, that’s quite a happy ending.

The verdict on Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story: Wouldn’t really get away with Cupid Stunt these days would you?

Marks out of 10: 7.5

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