TV Review: Stupid Man, Smart Phone, BBC3, BBC iPlayer

Russell Kane is probably the last person you’d expect to see tramping through the Morocco desert. And it is that juxtaposition which makes Stupid Man, Smart Phone so much fun to watch. The idea is that in each episode Kane is paired with an online star to go on an unlikely adventure. The only help they can get, hence the title, is by using their phone.

In the first episode of this fish-out-of-water documentary series Kane is joined by vine celebrity Arron Crascall. Their Morocco mission is to deliver a camel. Their first problem is that they can’t get the camel to move so they swap it for a cow. Which, it turns out, is the last thing they should be delivering…

What looks like an easy two-hour ride in a frankly knackered truck through the sand soon turns pear-shaped when they break down. There is something innately comic about seeing Kane dragging his wheelie suitcase through the middle of nowhere, but actually his luggage comes in handy. When they try to light some camel dung to make a fire Kane’s inflammable Shockwave hairspray proves to be invaluable.

The trip is a hoot to watch. What is nice about it is that Kane and Crascall embrace the challenge. At one point they end up meeting a Berber tribe and are welcomed into their tent. It’s all fun and hand gestures until Kane is asked to cut up a lizard for dinner. But he does it with admirable gusto – at least until the lizard starts wriggling even though its head has been chopped off. Despite the pair’s fear the tribe seem extremely hospitable, even when Kane shamelessly hands out his DVD. I like the way that when he does it he speaks English with a funny foreign accent to make himself understood. Which is what we would all do in that situation.

There is much to enjoy here. Kane and Crascall are up for almost anything, though they do draw the line at giving themselves a water enema when they are dehydrated, which is fine by me. Partly because I saw this being done by Bear Grylls a couple of weeks ago and partly because I’d much rather see Russell Kane doing stand-up – or anything for that matter – than sitting down with a tube up his rear.

Available on iPlayer here.

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