TV Review: Vic & Bob's Big Night Out, BBC4

Following the success of Vic and Bob's Big Night Out "reimagining" last Christmas here are four brand new episodes revisiting their early unique screwball lunacy. And while I had a few misgivings about the Christmas special there are no complaints here. I don't know how they've done it but Vic and Bob really have recaptured the old magic again.

Actually I have got an inkling of how they did it. It's by shamelessly repeating some of their best moments. Want to see Vic thwack Bob in the gob with a frying pan? You can. Want to see Bob do that nutty Shooting Stars dance? It's here (see picture). And best of all the duo revisit Novelty Island again, complete with contestants Graham Lister and another familiar face last seen playing a pop star in the classic Stars for their Eyes sketch. Real Vic and Bob nuts can play spot-the-reference throughout the programme as old lines pop up. 

Having said that, however, this is definitely no mere rerun of past glories. There's a cameo from Tom Cruise for starters, played by Vaun Earl Norman. There are also some superb new surreal effects and animations and some instantly classic lines ("have you ever spewed up at a disciplinary hearing?" "how high is your cat?"). The best thing of all though, is that the chemistry between Vic and Bob is well and truly back in place. I haven't seen them having this much fun in years. Actually I said I had no complaints. I have got one. It's a shame there are only four new episodes.

Vic & Bob's Big Night Out, BBC4, Wednesdays at 10pm from November 28.

Pictures: BBC/Sophie Mutevelian

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