Su Pollard's voiceover did try to prepare us. 'Warning!' she growled at the outset of The Baby Boomer's Guide To Getting Old (More4). 'This programme contains old people talking about sex. Get over it!' And she wasn't kidding. Honestly, you'd think the over-70s never think about anything else.Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 14th June 2017
Debut of a new series that claims to illuminate a new demographic phenomenon - the fact that post-65 retirement is now often measured in decades rather than years - but which is mostly a reality show. The conceit is that well-known personages - among them Edwina Currie, Kenny Lynch and Esther Rantzen - will explore different aspects of later life. Tonight, it's love, with Henry Blofeld and Amanda Barrie running a dating agency.Andrew Mueller, The Guardian, 13th June 2017
Bob Servant Independent (Wednesday, BBC Four) was a slight sitcom which missed a comic trick by not treating its subject, politics, more seriously. The new remake of Yes, Prime Minster, which I will review on another occasion, shows how this can be done.
A shame, because the premise wasn't bad: that people with big egos who are successful in one field often think they can walk into a second career in politics (think Esther Rantzen who stood as an independent in Luton at the last election). The eponymous, would-be politician in this six-part comedy was a burger magnate played by Brian Cox (the other one). In terms of his appearance he was clearly meant to resemble a certain maverick MP with a Scottish accent and a moustache, but the one we're thinking of, the highly litigious one, cares deeply about his politics, whereas this character was shallow beyond belief.
The result was farcical and predicable: when the campaign poster was unveiled - "Vote Bob Servant because you know him and he's OK" - Servant was bound to do an indignant double take. There is nothing wrong in having a proud and pompous figure constantly undermined - Captain Mainwaring is the supreme example - but Servant lacked the necessary dignity to carry it off. In consequence, this was instantly forgettable.Nigel Farndale, The Telegraph, 27th January 2013
The life and career of Spike Milligan has been incredibly well-documented over the years. We know about the scars left by war, the misanthropy, the depression and the freaky and original humour. It's hard to argue that this John Sergeant-helmed doc adds very much to the world's sum of Milligan-knowledge but it's watchable enough all the same. Sergeant, in news that won't be particularly surprising to Strictly fans, began his career as a comedian. He's always been in awe of Milligan and here, he visits a few of Spike's old haunts and chats to the likes of Michael Palin, Noel Fielding and Esther Rantzen. Finally, he plays The Goon Show to a classroom of modern kids to see if Milligan's comedy stylings still cut the mustard. And cheeringly, it seems that they do.Phil Harrison, Time Out, 8th April 2012
This Radio 4 show moved to BBC4 earlier in the year, and now gets a terrestrial repeat on Friday nights. The format is simple: take a good-for-a-chuckle celeb (eg Clive Anderson, Esther Rantzen) and film them as they try a new experience. Tonight Nigel Havers tells Marcus Brigstocke what it's like to watch The Simpsons, get a tattoo and listen to The Smiths for the first time . . . As far as R4 banter-comedy goes, it's not bad. File alongside, if not necessarily in, Room 101.The Guardian, 14th August 2009