“Remember, truth flies like an arrow…”

Friday, December 16, 2005 by

I’ve been enjoying Bamboozle – The Secret Gameshow on E4, even if nobody else in the world seems to be watching it. The premise is simple – three contestants are each set six tasks challenging them to hoax their way onto television. It could so easily have ended up as a nasty, cynical Balls of Steel exercise, but it’s just half an hour or so of low-budget messing about, really.

One of the best moments of the series came when one of the contestants wangled her way on to Des and Mel to demonstrate her entirely fictional “Lion Therapy” courses, only for the item to be rejected at the last minute by Des O’Connor, who’d refused to wear the lion mask she’d brought along, lest it mess up his “hair”. She did however, end up on This Morning, being quizzed by a bemused Phillip Schofield.

It’s also been satisfying to see two contestants independently end up as guests on The Joan Rivers Position, thus exposing So Television’s clearly quite hopeless production team – but fortunately they never make an issue of that aspect of the show. Nobody ever refers to “media terrorism” here.

They clearly frontloaded the good stuff at the start of the series – kicking off with the infamous “Kelly Homes” tattoo incident. But even if the hoaxes are largely now restricted to Points West and London Tonight, it’s great to see that absurd “and finally” you remembered about someone setting up a company enabling Fatima Whitbread to come to your house for dinner being revealed as a scam.

Presenter Alex Zane is surely the indie Alan Partridge, and does that thing of speaking entirely in inverted commas, but he’s likeable enough, and even the presence of Ed Hall and Ian Hyland on the judging panel (the weakest element of the show) can’t really spoil things. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Emma Fitch (“Fitchmeister!”) wins, following her sterling performance as a robot dancer on Dick and Dom, not least because of all the footage of her working in a Teddington off-licence.


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