TV: Your Face Or Mine, Comedy Central

To paraphrase an old showbiz saying, you host Your Face Or Mine twice. Once on the way up, once on the way down. Yet you could hardly say that Jimmy Carr, who co-hosted the original E4 version fifteen years ago is on the way down. If anything he is riding higher than ever with regular TV slots and a sell-out tour. And his new co-host is certainly on the way up. Katherine Ryan is pretty much the go-to name when TV people want a sassy, smart-talking female face. So much for old showbiz sayings then.

The format is pretty simple. A couple have to judge their looks compared to various celebrities, friends and family members. First up is Essex husband and wife Harry and Charlotte, who get a lot of ribbing - long-haired Harry in particular – but are good sports in return for the chance to pocket a few thousand quid.

With Carr and Ryan at the helm this is a funnier show than first time round. And probably a bit edgier. There’s a Ryan Giggs gag in the first episode which I would have thought would have had to be checked with the channel’s lawyers. And when the audience decides that Harry’s brother Fred is better looking Carr sees the bright side of Charlotte swapping spouses: “At least the kids will be related to their new dad."

In another round Harry and Charlotte have to stick themselves where they think they would come in a line-up of men/women based on who has the best/worst looks. There’s a hint of the old Never Mind The Buzzcocks ID parade here as members of the line-up get gently mocked. But it is all done in good fun. It’s a have-a-laugh programme for the Tinder era, not a science-of-attraction-PhD-thesis.

I’d love to know why Carr and Ryan have done this show. They can’t be short of job offers. And this is Comedy Central not BBC1 so it is not going to get them major mainstream exposure. They would probably say they did it because they like the concept. Which is fair enough. They have good chemistry together and Your Face Or Mine gives them plenty of scope to show off off their comic chops. I certainly enjoyed it. Please don’t judge me.

Wednesdays from May 17, 8pm, Comedy Central.

 

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