Tuesday’s TV: All New Shooting Stars

December 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

ALL NEW SHOOTING STARS, BBC2, Tuesday 30th December, 9pm Alert me

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are back, and they’re scraping the barrel.  As a show, Shooting Stars is fantastic – it always has been. The sense of anarchy and wonderful, hilarious lawlessness hasn’t diminished in their years off the screen, but the boys’ ability to pull in bonafide stars to shoot has. 

Christine Walken (the gardening expert off the One Show, apparently) is a particularly strong example of Reeves and Mortimer’s dwindling cache, and whilst Jack Dee is unquestionably a great comedian he was never going to be able to fill Will Self’s shoes as he attempts to play the straight man. He doesn’t have Self’s aloofness or cynicism, he’s just a bit grumpy.

In fact, the only two people on this show who are true stars are Matt Lucas, reprising his role as Georgie Dawes with aplomb and the charisma-less but talented Dizzee Rascal. Kate Garraway and Peter Jones are hardly worth mentioning. 

Reeves and Mortimer are great hosts, but they need personalities to play off. Therefore, the best moments of this one-off resurrection are definitely their rapports with Lucas which are, without exception, laugh out loud hilarious.

Shooting Stars will always hold a very special place in a lot of people’s hearts. It effectively launched Matt Lucas and Johnny Vegas into the limelight and totally transcended  any barrier of normality or convention in such a wonderfully light hearted and chaotic way.  You could even argue that it tested the ground for shows like the Mighty Boosh as it is doubtful whether the BBC would have commissioned anything so wantonly silly and surreal without having seen the prior success of Reeves and Mortimer’s celebrity hazing. 

However, you’re left feeling more nostalgic than excited. I can’t see another series of Shooting Star happening now. Unfortunately, it seems to have passed its peak and is best left as an unruly memory.

By Christopher Harding