Belfast Telegraph

Laverne's strut has become a stumble

By Jane Graham

When Lauren Laverne was in teenage punka band Kenickie, she was one of the best pop stars in the country.

Spiky, sparky and outspoken, she strutted the stage like a peroxide princess who'd nicked her mum's best dress, delivering self-penned songs about boys, booze and best friends with all the brio of an adolescent Lady Gaga.

Since Kenickie though, Laverne has struggled to find her place. She has the smarts to make you listen when she talks, but her problem seems to be deciding what she's best at talking about.

She wasn't right for the Culture Show - her enthusiasm for new music only showed up her itchy awkwardness when interviewing poets she appeared to have only Googled minutes before meeting them.

Her latest role, as one of the four hosts of Channel 4's 'news satire' the 10 O'Clock Show is a terrible mistake. Her apparent lack of knowledge about topical issues - she didn't seem aware, for instance, that Ed Balls had been in the Shadow Cabinet before last week - and her inability to interrupt, trade insults at speed and be funny make her look like a piece of blonde fluff brought in to keep those three male smartasses Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and Jimmy Carr in check.

Channel 4 should have hired Sue Perkins for this show, and found something else befitting Laverne's real talents. As it is, the 10 O'Clock Show is a real backwards step, not just for Laverne, but for young women looking to be taken seriously on TV.

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