Comedy panel shows by their nature are hard to love but at their best there is a brutal efficiency about them which can make you laugh in spite of yourself. The Matt Lucas Awards has never had any of that of course and its Christmas special keeps it steadily on its remorseless path to being remembered as the shit Room 101. The guests are landfill stand-up stalwart Rhod Gilbert, Jo Brand and Alan Davies, the panto themed judges Bonnie Langford, Ted Robbins and Bob Carolgees.
First award category is People You’d Most Like To Take Off Your Christmas Card List and Rhod Gilbert suggests people who shave off their eyebrows only to draw them back in again. He says this towards Matt Lucas, a man incapable of growing eyebrows, and then draws some eyebrows on him. You expect a degree of contrivance on panel shows but that this was clearly set up some time around the Boxer Rebellion with not even a token attempt at disguise lets us know that the participants are as bored by the format as we are.
The Christmas special keeps it steadily on its remorseless path to being remembered as the shit Room 101.
There’s a gag about Lucas’s Christmas dinner whose payoff is its length and as the tub reels off the many things he’ll be eating on the big day the comic tension dissipates and the audible hiss of a punctured rugby ball slowly deflating becomes ever louder. This is the problem with panels – they’re usually flat.
The verdict: Hrmmm
Marks out of 10: 4