Relentlessly chirpy Richard Hammond's latest attempt to annoy everyone continues. Hammond commandeers a team of actors and comedians to hoodwink members of the public into believing a string of ridiculous set-ups. Tonight the team persuades a trendy youngster he's the next big thing in modern art, they take to the streets to persuade people to take part in a fake teeth-whitening advert and put together a particularly painful blind date for us to witness.The Telegraph, 12th January 2013
Prank shows have a bad rep just now, but rest assured, there are no Australian radio hosts involved here. What we have is a lightweight, family-friendly Candid Camera-style show, but with Richard Hammond in charge.
The best prank tonight involves 22-year-old Tasha convincing her parents that her new boyfriend is a prince in the Malvanian royal family (although Malvania, "a principality in the Carpathian mountains", does not exist, as Hammond is obliged to tell us several times). Tasha's parents then meet the boyfriend's family and Borat-lite excruciation ensues as they try a yak's urine drink and ceremonial hats made of turf.David Butcher, Radio Times, 5th January 2013
If ever there was a political panto ripe for sending up, then surely it's the so-called independent inquiry. And, in an hour of gloriously seat-squirming, self-serving comedy, The Thick Of It nailed it.
'You don't get in this room without bending the rules, that's the way it is,' the spin doctor's spin doctor Malcolm Tucker baited the panel, one of whom had to absent herself following revelations in the press.
Attack has long been Tucker's first line of defence and here he pulled the rug from under a process riddled with hypocrisy.
This was political farce played to perfection, The Thick Of It's prime suspects contributing to a kaleidoscope of evasion that felt all too real. The soundbites had it, with Tucker on head of press Terri Coverley: 'She wants a pension more than Richard Hammond wants a punch in the face,' hitting home best of all.
So where did it leave us? At the mercy of 'a political class that has given up on morality and pursues popularity at all costs'. That this was Tucker's parting shot - the moral compass set by the world's most cynical man - was genius.Keith Watson, Metro, 22nd October 2012