TV: The Keith & Paddy Picture Show, ITV1

I guess I’m just not the target demographic for The Keith & Paddy Picture Show. I like to think I have a sense of humour, but the first episode of this new series left me not just stony-faced but utterly confused and despairing. It makes Mrs Brown's Boys seem like a work of art.

Each week Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness set out to recreate a famous, iconic film. Star Wars and Ghostbusters are among the offerings in store (I can already think of one “slimed” gag for them), but first up is Dirty Dancing. “I told you we should’ve done James Bond,” says a nervous McGuinness at the outset. I think I agree with him, but I’m still not sure if I would have laughed.

What follows is a veritable mess of threadbare ideas. There are recreated scenes from the film, but then there are also scenes from a so-called making-of documentary, where we see the cast preparing for their roles. Jessica Hynes, playing Mrs Houseman, keeps asking what her motivation is. I kept asking how did Spaced’s Jessica Hynes end up in this.

McGuinness and Lemon, of course, take on the lead roles of Johnny and Baby, made famous by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Much of the attempts at humour come from the fact that Lemon is a bearded man dressed as a woman who has to do a sexy dance with another man. Help me as my sides start to split.

Others involved include John Barrowman, who offers dancing tips and keeps trying to create a bit of sexual electricity. Kimberley Wyatt plays Penny, who in this version doesn’t get pregnant, she gets constipation. Spoiler alert - fortunately Dr Houseman (Larry Lamb) is on hand with a box of All Bran.

The frustrating thing is that I used to like Keith Lemon a lot. I thought he was an enjoyably warped creation of Leigh Francis. But the more successful he has become the less funny I have found him. There are still hints of that original surreal imagination here, but only hints. Baby’s enormous nose has a whiff of Vic & Bob about it. But this is an ITV1 primetime slot so I guess there isn’t much scope for nuance or absurdism.

If you like the sound of this, plus elderly people doing sexy dancing, McGuinness shaking his head a lot and a large comedic watermelon this might be just the thing you’ve been waiting for. Me, I’m off to jab myself repeatedly in the face with a fork. 

The Keith & Paddy Picture Show, ITV1, Saturdays from May 6, 9.15pm.

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