Britain Unzipped, with Greg James and Russell Kane, had me wondering whether my wife had slipped an acid tab into my nightcap. Because if I wasn't hallucinating then we must conclude the bods at BBC3 are indeed in the process of remaking The Word and trying to pass it off as ground-breaking TV.
I wish I could fully explain Britain Unzipped's format, but all I can really tell you is that someone has used your licence fee to commission a survey with the sole intention of using the results to create an hour of student pranks and celebrity-based smut. And the continuity announcer's jolly pre-show boast of 'Prepare to be gobsmacked' could yet turn out be the TV understatement of the year.
Don't get me wrong. In free-thinking modern Britain there should be a place for TV delights such as Holly Willoughby inspecting a young man's bed sheet for stains, a young girl watching her mother parading around their kitchen naked and a guy being forced to eat a burger made of dog food.
But that place should always be late-night ITV2. Not 9pm on a public service channel whose agreed remit is 'to bring younger audiences to high-quality public service broadcasting through a mixed-genre schedule of innovative UK content featuring new UK talent'.
Now, if anyone at BBC3 can explain exactly where Holly Willoughby swearing like a fishwife and a studio audience being offered a prize of beer sits in that remit I'm all ears. If they cannot then I fear they might have to employ someone to conduct a nationwide poll containing just one simple question. "BBC3 - waste of your money or not?"Ian Hyland, Daily Mail, 28th April 2012
New BBC3 series, probably the work of people who believe "wacky", "zany" and even "madcap" are compliments. Radio 1's Greg James and comedian Russell Kane will spend six weeks riffing on the findings of an "alternative social census" of the UK, asking such key questions as how much money people would want to have a toe chopped off, and where in the country people are most likely to have slept with a friend's partner. Likely to leave the Daily Mail uncertain whether to damn it as a squandering of licence fees, or plunder it for stories.Andrew Mueller, The Guardian, 23rd April 2012
In an alternative social survey, comedian Russell Kane and Radio 1 DJ Greg James attempt to get to the heart of what young Britons think. Their new six-part series mixes the serious with the light-hearted, with questions ranging from whether wealth affects the number of sexual partners you have, to how much money it would take for you to agree to have a little toe chopped off.Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 23rd April 2012