Eight years after his Big Impression, Alistair McGowan’s back on primetime with his own show, this time for ITV. You cannot be serious! is his latest offering and is a satirical look at all things sporty.
I was pleasantly surprised. As a stereotypical girl (I watch tennis and gymnastics and that’s it!) I could have been put off by the fact that it was all about sport. The advert hadn’t made this clear at all, featuring as it did, Louie Spence and Robbie Savage talking about dance. I tuned in expecting a more general impressions show but despite this, as an opening episode I was pretty impressed.
For starters it’s very Harry Hill-esque. Turns out he’s the executive producer, so that could be why, but he’s certainly made his mark. Instead of being a re-hash of Big Impression Alistair sits behind a desk and pokes fun at a whole series of clips. Sound familiar? It’s like a mash-up of Harry Hill, Big Impression, with just a little bit of Mock the Week thrown in – the round where Hugh Dennis gets some silent footage and has to make up what’s being said.
Yes it’s about sport but you don’t need to be a big sport’s fan to find it amusing, perhaps it’s better if you’re not. After all, it’s not very realistic – Jedward covering the French Open, Louie Spence training footballers and presenters reading lads’ mags whilst commentating (ok so the last one is believable) – but it is funny.
It’s not the sophisticated satire of Rory Bremner but it’s a light and fun show, probably on a par with Harry Hill and his ‘chippy chippppss!’ but with fewer visual gags and more daft wordplay instead. And so far, the impressions have been good.
I think it will improve as the weeks go on and they develop some running jokes á la Harry Hill. All they need now is: ‘I like Manchester United but then I like Manchester City. But which is best? There’s only one way to find out…!’
Yes. That’d end well.