Come on! Who doesn’t like Len Goodman after his judging years on Strictly Come Dancing or fronting some very good documentaries on subjects like dancing or the history of Titanic? Check out the simply awful Partners in Rhyme on BBC 1, and you’ll end up hating him and every single aspect of this horrendous drivel served up as the latest Saturday TV stinker.
Fans of Ant & Dec on a Saturday morning on ITV will remember their Wonky Donkey rhyming game featuring celebrities that lasted a few minutes and it was a laugh. Partners in Rhyme is a sub-standard rip-off with as much fun as checking out the nightlife in Pyongyang. It just might be passable as a daytime filler in sheer desperation, but psychiatric help is badly needed for the BBC boss that ordered up front, a dozen episodes of this third-rate trash.
Parlour games can work great on TV (remember Give Us A Clue), but this embarrassing nonsense with cheap graphics produced by an eight-year-old; third-rate personalities (Anton du Beke excepted) that not even Celebrity Big Brother would consider; and forced humour through clearly-rehearsed (badly) ad-libs made this an endurance test that would even eclipse having a wisdom tooth removed without the use of anaesthetic.
I’m sure that if somebody sneezed in the studio, Len Goodman would have keeled over as he looked in the first stage of rigor mortis or in a level of discomfort that he badly needed to go to the toilet to avoid soiling himself fronting this torrid turkey of a show. I may have missed it, but there were no signs of a studio audience, despite the strains of laughter appearing during transmission. Thank heavens then that any sort of humanity was spared having to sit through the recording of this abject nonsense. The BBC should act fast, hopefully by pulling the rest of the series and wiping all the episodes, so that further viewer torture is terminated.
The BBC though never admits a mistake, so Partners in Rhyme will, I’m sure, be back this Saturday. Check it out, if you dare, as it now has toppled Harry Hill’s Stars in their Eyes from three years ago as the worst Saturday night show I have ever seen. I hope that Len Goodman’s career can recover after this, with a format that even his old mate, the legendary Sir Bruce Forsyth, would have struggled to make anything out of.
Brucie’s passing last week brought a concise and precise tribute from his friend, the ex-TV boss and showbiz agent Michael Grade. He said that in public affection and the quality of his work, he was there with Morecambe and Wise, and that’s where Grade’s list ended. Bruce had some duds in his great career, but he was given a break in the late fifties when old showbiz folk like Val Parnell and Lew Grade ran the old ITV company, ATV. Bruce’s agent Billy Marsh twisted the arms of the ATV moguls to give him a shot fronting the biggest show around, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, after the first host Tommy Trinder quit over a money row.
They took a flier and Bruce became an overnight star (I wasn’t even born yet!) as he worked out what television was all about, and for the best part of 60 years he was just like an easy-going friend that viewers could rely on. He made it all look easy, which countless people have discovered it isn’t. Only the great Bob Monkhouse was in Bruce’s hosting league. Bruce loved to promote new talent, and wouldn’t it be nice if the TV companies could give a few people the kind of shot that he got nearly 60 years ago? The talent is surely out there, especially on the comedy circuit.