Catch Up TV review: Out of Their Skin, Friday Night Feast, Ministry of Justice, This Morning, North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State
James R | On 09, Dec 2018
Out of Their Skin (ITV Hub)
“In a predominantly white environment, somewhere along the line, you’re gonna be the butt of some jokes.” That’s Ian Wright speaking in Out of Their Skin, an ITV documentary that looks at the pioneering black footballers who have risen above prejudice to not only succeed in the sporting world, but also change it. The programme marks 40 years since Viv Anderson first played for England. It’s been 20 years, meanwhile, since Ian Wright hosted his own late night talk show, Friday Night’s All Wright, on ITV – and the former Arsenal striker just keeps getting better and better in front of the camera. Always an effusive, ebullient pundit, his commentary here on the attitudes in the footballing industry – some still pervasive – dribbles a careful line between anger and celebration. There are insightful accounts of key figures you may not have heard off from decades ago, as well as the more prominent players of today who regularly face unfair treatment or media coverage. An important, sadly timely, two-parter.
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast (All 4)
What a strange programme Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast is. Now in its sixth season, the part-talk show, part-cookery programme is like Channel 4’s edible answer to getting Bear Grylls to abseil down a mountain with a celebrity and quiz them on their childhood. But somewhere in the weird alchemy of disparate ingredients, this series works, managing to balance mouth-watering food demonstrations with a kitschy cafe set-up that places an emphasis firmly on food’s ability to bring people together. It doesn’t half help that Season 6 opens with the irrepressible Jodie Whittaker, whose enthusiasm is infectious as she waxes lyrical about Yorkshire puddings and gamely steps up to cook a massaman curry. Her interacting with the punters at the cafe is a delight in itself – and Oliver’s take on a pork roast is the gorgeous icing on the cake.
Ministry of Justice (All 4)
The Revolution Will Be Televised duo Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein return for more hidden camera pranks, but with a political edge. Given an hour to play with, they go long on their ideas, which is both a strength and a weakness. The main thrust of their new series’ opener is InstantGrammes, a fake app designed to do for drugs what Deliveroo and JustEat (and others) do for food. It’s a neat gag, one that targets both the modern gig economy and the war on drugs, but given the space to expand from pitching investors and customers in the street to recruiting drivers and attending events, the sharp concept loses some of its skewering edge – it’s only when they convince Iain Duncan Smith to take things seriously, and deliver a package with some free samples to Sadiq Khan that any real satirical shocks come into play. Other moments, like an Olympic athlete asking passers-by in a park to give him a urine sample so he can fake a doping test, only seems to highlight how little members of the public care – or how too polite they are to comment. The humiliation of buy-to-let landlord, meanwhile, never quite lands its punch. There’s potential here for something amusing and scathing, and there’s no doubting Prow and Rubinstein’s skilled imagination, deadpan delivery and sheer audacity – with Sacha Baron Cohen over in America making his own satirical portrait of the USA, and Chris Morris long gone from our living rooms, it’s a good thing to have these comics trying to do the same on UK soil. Their latest is no Brass Eye, but here’s hoping their jabs get harder and more pointed in the coming episodes.
This Morning (ITV Hub)
“You must be knackered,” Phillip Schofield says to Prime Minister Theresa May when she turns up on This Morning to discuss Brexit. It’s rare moment of sympathy in a surprisingly tough grilling from the former Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat star and co-presenter Rochelle Humes, who press May into talking about the withdrawal agreement she has proposed with the EU – and what the consequences would be not only for the country but for her own career. “It looks like the end point is disaster,” quips Scofield, before adopting a serious expression. “No!” professes May, with all the forced happiness of Gollum trying to lure Bilbo Baggins and Samwise Gangee into the dangerous lair of a giant, lethal spider. When even This Morning is making the PM look awkwardly evasive, you know someone’s days are numbered. “Why are you on here?” Rochelle asks at one point, wondering whether she’s trying to court all the MPs who don’t support her, or why she’s attempting to win over the public when she doesn’t plan for them to get a say. What an unlikely, revealing interview this is.
North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State (All 4)
The idea of living in a country where people are conditioned to be in adoring, unquestioning love with their leader may seem like ignorant bliss compared to the current state of UK and US politics. Life inside North Korea, though, is given a more serious consideration in this documentary, which interviews defectors from the country, who shed light on what it’s like to have every aspect of one’s existence controlled by the secretive state. An eye-opening companion piece to Michael Palin’s more officially state-sanctioned portrait from the perspective of a tourist.