… it was Saturday tea-time after all
I will never forget the day I was standing in a market in Portugal and spotted Bradley Walsh and his other half discussing the merits of a pair of lime green underpants.
These were very much in the budgie-smuggler range and no matter what I have watched him in ever since, I often wonder that below the lovely designer suit is he sporting those dazzling drawers?
So with that in mind, I tuned into Take Off with Bradley and Holly with some trepidation, just in case he did take off the suit and we were left facing something fluorescent green and horrific, the likes of which we haven’t seen on Saturday tea-time telly since Orville was wishing he could fly.
And that is the immediate thorny issue of the show, where Bradley and Holly Willoughby try to fill 18 seats in a plane for the holiday of a lifetime. How exactly does this work in these days of red, amber and green lights, travel corridors and quarantine?
We were told that the show was filmed pre-Covid so that the people scrambling to get on the flight to Los Angeles and Las Vegas were oblivious to the madness to come and that there was a pandemic around the corner.
An Elvis Presley impersonator left you in no doubt as to where we were going and he popped up at regular intervals between some pretty awful material from Bradley (no, not those pants) and high brow games like counting to 60.
It worries me that if the next show is to win flights to Strabane that we’re going to be subjected to Hugo Duncan and surely people have suffered enough?
Other games included being the quickest to grab a passport off a table and Guesstination where a baggage carousel contained clues to a place in America.
For example, a traffic cone, a fishing net and a cat became? Connecticut. I know, I know… I think this was just a cunning attempt to get a cuddly toy on a conveyor belt, it was Saturday tea-time on BBC One after all.
The good news that a few of the 18 brave souls on board the fake plane were from here, one from Co Armagh and a pair from Co Tyrone, who were probably relieved that they had missed out on Uncle Hugo’s flight of terror.
And talking of scary rides, Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, also revolved back into our lives on Saturday evening and when he started off with a ‘hilarious’ montage of acting out Olympic events to much guffawing (mainly from himself) I was longing to see Bradley’s briefs again.
You probably haven’t noticed that the Olympics is on — there’s hardly been mention of it on the BBC — so I suppose it was no surprise that Clare Balding was one of the seven experts ready to answer questions chosen by spinning the wheel.
This is in no way like Trivial Pursuits as it has one more space which should help keep the lawyers at bay, but with the likes of Judge Rinder on board they were taking no chances.
Also there was Alex Beresford, the weatherman whose spat with Piers Morgan ensured that a large gust of hot air from a southerly direction was blown out of morning TV, and for that he will always hold a special place in all our hearts.
The catch with the show is that the spin may not go well; it’s all very well if the arrow lands on the expert’s slot (painful) but it could also mean Judge Rinder answering questions on rugby league.
By the end the three contestants had managed to get the prize fund up to a cool £46,000, which could fluctuate depending on whether you went with the smartest, average or least smartest expert.
Du Beke and Lady Leshurr filled the latter two roles and promptly lost, meaning that Uber cabbie Kemal was left with TV medic Dr Xand van Tulleken to try and win £23,000 by answering a question on which person’s dress was sold for the most money ever.
The doc diagnosed that it was Princess Di, dismissing Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn, while Kemal said he was going with his gut feeling and plumped for Marilyn Monroe.
And he was right. I’ve checked it out. It was the dress she wore to sing Happy Birthday to President Kennedy and was sold for £3.9m, just shy of the average Uber fare, but that’s nothing to how much a pair of Bradley’s budgie smugglers would go for.