Smack The Pony: Amanda Holden was first choice for show

The groundbreaking female-led sketch show Smack the Pony burst onto screens exactly 20 years ago.

Rachel Foley, BBC, 19th March 2019

How Smack the Pony led the way in feminist comedy

An absurdist sketch show paved the way for the likes of Broad City and Chewing Gum.

El Hunt, i-D, 28th January 2019

The timeless genius of Smack the Pony

As Smack the Pony announce their comeback, we look at the beloved sketch show's best offerings so far ... and find they haven't aged at all.

Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian, 23rd January 2019

Why we need a Smack the Pony reunion

Two decades after the cult sketch show first aired, its creators discuss its inception, near-death experiences and why they were the Spice Girls of turn-of-the-century comedy.

Ellen E. Jones, The Guardian, 21st January 2019

Comedy review: An Audience with The Goodies

Once they found their rapport we were reminded what complementary talents they were.

Dominic Maxwell, The Times, 11th June 2018

Binging: Smack the Pony

Anneka Harry demands we all start watching Sally Phillips, Fiona Allen and Doon Mackichan's show right now. And if that doesn't make you, maybe her Top 10 sketches might.

Anneka Harry, Standard Issue, 15th September 2016

The final of Nigel Smith's The History Plays, a History of Blair in 9 1/2 Voices, was about the gap between image and truth. The brilliant premise here was that this was a conversation between two impressionists, Sue (Fiona Allen), waiting to do a BBC audition, and Blair (Jon Culshaw) whom she assumed was an impressionist who didn't want to climb out of character before being seen. "You've mastered the walk, like a peacock, both arrogant and anxious," she compliments him.

Culshaw doesn't just do Blair, he does him through the generations, redefining personality and accent. There are many lines which read like the pithiest of references: "No one had any idea you had principles until you invaded Iraq - on a point of principle." Though the play ends with the pair in a desert, stalked by grief, Blair remained a spooky presence, all spin with nothing substantive, an impression of an impression, which may have been the honest truth.

Moira Petty, The Stage, 13th March 2012

I can understand the appeal of shows such as Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Women because the sight of elderly curmudgeons railing against a world they no longer understand is innately amusing. But what is the point of The Grumpy Guide to the Eighties? The eighties have gone, never to trouble anyone again. It's like complaining about the Jurassic era.

The reason, of course is that programmes like this are cheap to make and can be cobbled together with the minimum of fuss, particularly if you are lazy and go after easy targets - mullet hairstyles? Check. Rubik's Cubes? Check. Bucks Fizz? Check.

Quite apart from the inherent idiocy of mocking past fashions - as I remember, we couldn't get out of the seventies quick enough - or lambasting pop music for being shallow, the contributors to this Grumpy Guide struck me as particularly obnoxious.

While Fiona Allen waxed lyrical from her kitchen, a hideous study in Dayglo spew leered over her shoulder from the wall behind, automatically disqualifying her as an arbiter of taste in any decade. Sadly, I can't identify the charmless American oaf with a goatee beard who shared reminiscences upon mugging local yuppies, otherwise you would know to avoid him. And as for Terry Christian slagging off the eighties, isn't that like Hitler denouncing the Third Reich.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 17th May 2010