TV Review: Stand Up And Deliver, Part Two, C4

TV Review: Stand Up And Deliver, Part Two, C4

It was always going to be tough to top last week's hilarious, compelling opening episode in which five comics mentored five non-comics to prep them for a stand up gig, but this second show in which we see those gigs does a pretty good job. Stand by for more moments that you can only watch through your fingers.

Richard Coles was coaxed by David Baddiel into doing something a little more edgy than a stand-up sermon. Ex-pop star Coles clearly has a hinterland to draw on and his set-piece involved him telling how when he applied to be a vicar he had ticked the box saying he had taken drugs, which apparently nobody else had ever done. A gag about "genital acts" got him an applause break from the Battersea Arts Centre audience too.

Katie McGlynn, who had been taught by Zoe Lyons had a tougher time of it, drying up soon after taking the stage. It was an excruciating heart in mouth, dry-lipped moment but in a way it worked in her favour. When she got going again the audience was very much on her side. Her material – largely about coping without proper acting work during lockdown so keeping in Corrie character for Deliveroo visitors – was nothing special, but she was engaging enough to pull it off. I did wonder though how much the sets were edited and whether there were any retakes.

It was the Shaun Ryder set that I was most looking forward to. The Happy Mondays singer had been so untogether in training that at the gig Jason Manford resorted to sitting at the front of the stage holding up cue cards for Ryder to read from. Of course, he was never going to stay on-script, but, as long as you didn't mind the copious swearing he was pretty good retelling his story about giant tomatoes the size of grapefruits growing in the Salford sewage near his childhood home. Manford's skill was getting Ryder to the point where he was assured enough to talk onstage as entertainingly as he did offstage. No mean feat. Maybe having quite a few children has made Manford good at wrangling unpredictable humans. I don't quite know how he did it with Ryder, but it worked a treat.

Judi Love had done her best with Love Island's Curtis Pritchard but she hadn't quite got rid of his smutty tendencies. He seemed to think his filthy gags were hilarious but a chunk of the audience didn't. There was even a boo towards the end. Presumably not from a Love Island fan. Maybe someone who prefers Pritchard's comedy lookalike Ed Gamble. The mentors put on collective brave faces backstage as Pritchard walked off.

And finally it was Tory Baroness Warsi, tutored by Nick Helm. This odd couple might have been poles apart politically, but Helm got Warsi to let rip onstage. As it happened I thought her running gag about being on an ISIS kill list worked better in the more informal first show, but it got laughs from the audience and as she grew in confidence she even skewered a random heckler. I wouldn't go as far as to say a stand-up star was born, but I wonder if Have Got News For You's producer was watching. Having been on it a couple of times already, she could easily be a new host. After what she says about her party onstage she might need a new job.

And (spoiler alert if you haven't already seen this on All4, or guessed) the Baroness won the audience vote. 

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Watch on catch-up here.

Picture: C4

 

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