A festive edition of Matt Lucas's comedy awards ceremony, where comedians nominate awards to be handed out in daft categories. Tonight's nominators are Jo Brand, Alan Davies and Rhod Gilbert, who will determining the awards before passing over judging duties to a celebrity panel. A loose term, perhaps, as the panel comprises perky dancer Bonnie Langford, bum-chinned funnyman Ted Robbins, 80s ventriloquist Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog, chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and former footballer David Ginola.Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 17th December 2013
A man watches an episode of Outnumbered, sees Daniel Roche as the ruthlessly logical, constitutionally yet unmaliciously troublesome middle child Ben and thinks: "You know, there hasn't been a decent adaptation of the Just William stories for over 30 years. Bring me that eight-year-old boy and his agent."
Just William: The Sweet Little Girl in White (BBC1) was the first adaptation by Simon Nye of four of the hundreds of stories Richmal Crompton wrote about her hero. Aimed at William's own age demographic, it was half an hour long, went out at lunchtime and delivered a quick, charming romp through an adventure that encompassed all the most important elements of the Brown universe - the Outlaws, Jumble, woodland trespass, irate gamekeepers, eventual triumph over adult adversaries and the resplendent presence of Violet Elizabeth Bott. No one, of course, who has seen Bonnie Langford's incarnation (or indeed Bonnie Langford, full stop) can ever truly expunge the memory, but Isabella Blake-Thomas's version was probably quite thrillingly terrifying enough for this mollycoddled age.
The glory of William himself is impossible wholly to capture outside the books because so much of it comes from the contrast between Crompton's high style and William's relentless atavism, but the greatest danger is that he becomes in translation simply a naughty, cocksure boy - a danger not lessened by the borderline smugness of the pathologically confident young characters in Outnumbered. Thanks to what I suspect was a concerted effort by director, cast and crew, not excepting, of course, Roche himself, this was avoided, and William did not slip into generically slappable mischief-maker but remained the belligerent idealist of legend.Lucy Mangan, The Guardian, 29th December 2010