10 O’Clock Live review – Genius

Charlie BrookerI couldn’t bring myself to watch 10 O’Clock Live for ages, but now I have I curse missing out on the earlier episodes. The suspicion was that Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell and Charlie Brooker wouldn’t really work well together, but that couldn’t be further from the truth as it turns out. Even Lauren Laverne is vaguely tolerable and only mildly annoying on 10 O’Clock Live.

The idea is pretty simple, but the result is a lot better than it sounds like it should be. The concept is basically taking serious political issues seriously, while also having a bit of a laugh, but like I said, the result is a lot less naff than that sounds. Charlie Brooker is his brilliantly virulent self, eschewing slamming one-liners like a lucid maniac, David Mitchell is cutting, critical, poignant and witty, while Jimmy Carr appears to have gone nuts, but even he comes across as intelligent and well informed more than a few times.

The most unexpected aspect of 10 O’Clock Live is Jimmy Carr’s dressed-up sketches. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d gotten used to his grey suited, line-crossing stand-up, so seeing him dressed up as a buxom blond travel operator for Gaddafi’s departure from Libya or decked out in full riot gear during last week’s London protests while literally everyone in the studio hurled eggs and flour at him was a bit out of nowhere. First there was the laugh that came out of nowhere at last year’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year and now this. Who are you Jimmy? Who are you?

However, the best part of the show is their complete impartiality, despite their protests to the contrary in the adverts. Not impartial in the straight-laced, fear of offending anyone variety that is often the case with the Beeb, but a completely abandoned impartiality where they can, and do, say whatever they want. This combined with the fact that it’s recorded live, has some great guests and genuinely interesting insight into the politics of the week makes 10 O’Clock Live a must watch. There are a few duff lines and some of the sketches don’t work as well as others, but on the whole it’s class.

10 O’Clock Live review: 3.9/5