Jonathan Ross returns with his ITV chat show inviting Hollywood stars, famous sporting names and music stars to take a seat on his sofa.Eloise Craven-Todd, On The Box, 2nd September 2017
Having watched most of the previous two series from Simon Day and co-creator Rhys Thomas I can definitely say that Brian Pern: 45 Years of Prog and Roll is the character's strongest outing thus far. That has a lot to do with the fact that Suranne Jones has joined the cast as Brian's new feisty American wife and manager Astrid who brings a whole new energy to the comedy. Once again Thomas stars as his documentary-making alter ego who has been called upon to make a new programme celebrating Pern's forty-five years in the music business. Day proves what a good sport he is by showcasing Brian's new surgically-enhanced look complete with new jet-black fake hair and a set of sparkling veneers. The first episode documents what happens when Astrid stars managing Brian and gets her new husband to sack his long-time partner-in-crime John Farrow (Michael Kitchen). Astrid's mismanagement means that Brian has to endure a cruise with some of his biggest fans and later suffering the indignity of being lower on the bill at the V Festival than his former Thotch bandmates. I've always thought Brian Pern was a fantastic comic creation and I think this latest series showcases the deluded rocker perfectly. Day is utterly committed to presenting Brian as an out-of-touch rocker whose obscure album concepts sell particularly poorly. Suranne Jones' note-perfect American accent is as brilliant as her deadpan comedy timing especially in the scene in which Astrid is trying to have it off with Martin Kemp whilst on a Skype call with Brian. But it's Michael Kitchen who steals the show as the foul-mouthed Farrow and the final set piece involving a stranded train full of cameoing ageing musicians is laugh-out-loud funny. The biggest compliment I can pay the latest Brian Pern series is that it was the only comedy I watched this week to provide consistent laughter for thirty minutes. Maybe it's just because the old-fashioned humour appeals to me or maybe it's because Day and Thomas know how to present classic character comedy with a modern twist. Whatever the case may be I do know that Brian Pern deserves as many viewers as possible and it's a shame that one of the funniest comedies on TV has seemingly been banished to BBC Four.Matt, The Custard TV, 15th January 2016
A new series of affectionate mockumentaries following Brian Pern, the erstwhile frontman of progressive rockers Thotch. In tonight's first episode, Brian unveils a radical look, courtesy of new wife Astrid (Suranne Jones), who reveals that she will soon be taking over as Brian's manager. Astrid's quest for easy money lands Brian at the Isle Of Wight festival, and also on a Thotch fan cruise, complete with celebrity auction. John Thomson gets it just right as Thotch's fan club president, Perry.John Robinson, The Guardian, 14th January 2016
Charlie Brooker's police drama spoof returned for a third double bill last week, with DI Jack Cloth (John Hannah) and Suranne Jones's DI Anne Oldman (pronounced "an old man", a joke that - honestly - only improves with repetition) investigating the death of Cloth's brother. To describe the comedy as hit and miss would be an understatement: Brooker unselfconsciously bombards the audience with material that veers from the tedious to the sublimely silly.The Guardian, 16th August 2014
It's co-written by Charlie Brooker and Daniel Maier, whose writing credits include Harry Hill's TV Burp, and there's a lot of Burp in both the affectionate spoofing of British television conventions and the relentless onslaught of silliness. The convoluted plots of police procedurals usually require some viewer concentration, but here it's the gags that have you reaching for rewind on the TiVo remote. There are so many of them - visual, verbal, saucy and slapstick - that to watch A Touch of Cloth is to be constantly plagued by the fear that you've missed something brilliant.
Casting John Hannah as DI Jack Frost and Suranne Jones as DC Anne Oldman (pronounced "an old man") is a particular joy, given both of them have often appeared in exactly the kind of series ridiculed here. It wouldn't be half as much fun to have a comedian deliver lines like, "You never get used to the way you get used to it and that takes some getting used to" and keep a straight face.
This season there's also new blood in the shape of Doctor Who's Karen Gillan as... er... Kerry Newblood. It's an opportunity to send up all those clichés pertaining to rookies, of which there are plenty. Not that there's any danger of the writers running out of material. As long as TV's obsession with grisly murders and maverick cops continues, there'll always be a case for DCI Cloth to solve.Ellen E Jones, The Independent, 10th August 2014
Prepare for more puerile police procedural parody, as this hilarious spoof detective drama returns to our screens.
Shamelessly sending up crime investigation shows such as Luther, Cracker and A Touch Of Frost, odd couple cops DCI Jack Cloth (John Hannah) and DI Anne Oldman (Suranne Jones) once again take on another gruesome case - this time the murder of Cloth's estranged brother. But, as ever, the plot is secondary to all manner of tongue-in-cheek gags and side-splitting visual jokes.
"The humour in this is essentially just silliness," laughs Suranne, 35. "It's just perfect fodder for mickey taking. I'm still doing Scott & Bailey, so I've now got a 'cliché monitor' in my head. Whenever I spot something, it makes me chuckle in honour of A Touch Of Cloth."
Joining the cast is former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan. Playing rookie recruit Kerry Newblood, she finds herself the victim of an ambush by a gorilla!
As a veteran of cop shows such as Rebus, John Hannah feels the genre is ripe for ridicule. "Anyone who watches TV will get the jokes in A Touch Of Cloth," claims John, 52. "I'm so sick of police shows where you know exactly what it's going to be like."Jennifer Rodger, The Mirror, 9th August 2014
A third outing for Charlie Brooker's Naked Gun-style cop spoof, although the comparison's becoming fainter and fainter. This is the strongest instalment yet, because the show's built up its own armoury of bad puns, ridiculous direction and smashed fourth walls. It no longer needs to bother about specifically spoofing individual crime dramas, either.
The story, as if that's important, concerns a serial killer who seems to be linked to a sinister therapy spa. Adrian Dunbar plays its powerful owner, doing a particularly good maniacal laugh that goes on for much too long. Karen Gillan is a bit underused as the squad's naive new flibbertigibbet, but that's fine because regular stars John Hannah and Suranne Jones are better than ever at straight-faced, dignity-shredding baloney. Keep looking out for the signs on the wall behind them.Jack Seale, Radio Times, 9th August 2014