TV Review: Outsiders, Dave

TV: The Outsiders, Dave

The Scouts was never like this. I don't remember anyone telling our leader to shove their badge up their arse, as Lou Sanders says to surrogate scoutmaster David Mitchell in this new series where comedians show off their outdoor survival skills or lack of them.

It's a fun idea and, shot in a forest, timely too, tapping into our current sense of end-of-days apocalypse where we might imminently have to go back to basics. Being filmed outside probably made sticking to Covid rules easier too and also makes the programme distinct from Taskmaster, which it inevitably has echoes of. Contestants Sanders, Ed Gamble, Jamali Maddix, Jessica Knappett and Kerry Godliman have even been in Taskmaster. Only Toussaint Douglass is a total newbie.

Each week three pairs of comics compete in various challenges. First up they had to chop down a tree. Their approach said a lot about their personalities. Maverick Maddix refused to follow the rules and wear gloves, Sanders rubbed her crotch against the tree. It's a hard task and I was amazed that some – no spoilers – actually managed to use the axe properly, never mind get a tree to – mostly – fall.

Next up they had to rescue a dummy version of David Mitchell dumped in the woods. Gving it gin didn't seem to be a particularly good idea. Most tried to get the body to safety, though one contestant – again, no names, no pack drill – decided to bury it in a shallow grave.

Finally each twosome had to think up a motto. I'm not saying who came up with the "smoke weed..." slogan but let's just say they like getting intimate with bark...

The result is a lot of fun to watch and, though it looks like hard work, it also looks like it was a lot of fun to film when it wasn't raining. Everyone mucks in and does their bit, most of the time anyway, and Mitchell is a great host, playing up to his bumptious persona and disappearing home to domestic luxury at the end of the night while everyone else has to rough it and camp on site (or maybe go home too after filming stops...).

I don't know whether C4 will poach this like they did with the Greg Davies/Alex Horne show, but if there is a badge for making comics go way beyond their comfort zone in the name of entertainment Outsiders definitely deserves one.

Outsiders, Dave, Wednesdays from September 29, 10pm.

Picture: UKTV



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