TV: Britain's Greatest Hoaxer, C4

Simon Brodkin certainly has balls of steel. Although he has probably come close to having them chopped off when he has pulled off some of his pranks in the past, which have included showering Sepp Blatter with bank notes and joining Kanye West onstage at Glastonbury. 

This revealing documentary follows Brodkin as he plans and executes three other recent stunts. The programme is part of the Fake News season but would work well as a standalone handy how-to guide to anyone considering a career in pranking.

Brodkin, who also created comedy character Lee Nelson, certainly puts in a lot of hard work. The first prank we follow finds him attempting to get onto Britain’s Got Talent by posing as “The Rapping Rabbi”. And dammit, he gets extremely close to humiliating Simon Cowell on live television. It’s possible that his fake nose gave him away, but we never quite find out. It’s a shame he didn't get further, because his ridiculously patriotic rap is so awful it might just have got him to the final. 

His second trick was renaming former BHS boss Sir Philip Green’s superyacht. It is called Lionheart but as you may have seen in the press at the time the former doctor and his team of crack comedy commandos managed to rename it BHS Destroyer by putting a new banner on the side while it was docked in Monaco. Once again the work involved is impressive - and somehow, while the rest of the team are stopped by the police Brodkin escapes with his nuts unscathed. 

The final stunt, however, has – sadly – become bigger news since he did it, as it involved lobbing swastika-emblazoned golf balls at Donald Trump when he visited his golf course in Scotland last summer. I did wonder briefly if some of the footage was shot after the event but it’s presumably just a nice coincidence that Brodkin jokes about pissing on his hotel bed long before the recent bed-pissing stories. Once again it went off like a dream and he even avoided a potential waterboarding thanks to the Glasgow police, who took him to the airport and made sure he left Scotland.

So why does Brodkin do these things? The programme suggests he has a political agenda as much as a clownish one and that he wants to expose the powerful. In the end though Simon Cowell and Sir Phillip Green are still around and actually Donald Trump seems to have gone onto better things since being pranked. So although the Blatter escapade prompted a memorable image, how many political waves he can make is debatable. But it is certainly great fun watching him show off those balls - and we don’t mean the swastika ones. 

Britain's Greatest Hoaxer, C4. Watch here.

Watch a clip of Brodkin here.

News: Simon Brodkin Pranks Donald Trump. 


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