In their day, there was something intoxicating about the no-holds-barred panel show back-and-forth. But there seems to be little room for it in a society that has begun to appreciate empathy - and neither, conversely, in a more brutal political climate that is not particularly suitable for dissecting for cheap laughs. Perhaps, when the world lightens up again, they'll be back.Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian, 29th November 2016
Some people got a bit carried away and said this was even better than Harry Enfield's 1989 masterpiece, Norbert Smith: A Life. Steady on. But it was the best example yet of Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's resurgence as satirists who have the happy air of not caring a jot what anyone thinks, whom they upset or whether every impression quite works. Spoofing the entire half-century output of BBC2 led to many lovingly crafted jewels and included several things you suspect H&P actually like, but ripped the piss out of anyway. Linking the scattered bits was Enfield in a Comedy Award-winning turn as a sweeping, Schamanic presenter. That he was wandering round a deserted TV Centre underlined the sad subtext of golden eras having passed.Jack Seale, Radio Times, 27th December 2014
Best comedy show of 2014: The funniest and most exquisitely observed comedy show of the year, of any kind.Mark Monahan, The Telegraph, 17th December 2014
Harry and Paul's Story of the 2s was an irreverent look back at the history of BBC Two as a whole. The programme was set out as a mockumentary with Harry Enfield taking the role of Simon Schama as he took us back to 1964 where Auntie Beeb gave birth to her second child. Enfield and Paul Whitehouse appear to have been given free rein to mock every programme that the channel have ever produced.
I was personally surprised that programmes such as Fawlty Towers, which are often held in high regard, were picked apart in a matter of minutes by the mischievous duo. Highlights for me included Paul's perfect impressions of both Mary Berry and Jools Holland with the latter presenting an ill-fated breakfast show 'Earlier with Jools'. I also thought the extended pastiche of the channel's recent reliance on panel shows were expertly done with Paul Merton's input on Have I Got News for You being perfectly lampooned.
At the same time I found a lot of the programme to make fairly obvious jokes including the fact that the majority of the BBC Two executives went to Oxbridge universities. In addition I felt the programme took its time getting started and that the early focus on long-running war documentaries weren't really that funny. At just under an hour in length, it felt at times as if Harry and Paul were struggling to find programmes to mock and even included a sketch from an unaired episode of Blackadder, a programme that never featured on BBC Two. But ultimately I do feel the programme was a success which featured more comedy hits than misses and just enough laughs to justify the length of the programme. Enfield and Whitehouse proved why they're still the go-to comics of choice for the BBC and the Story of the 2s was a perfect inclusion in the Bank Holiday comedy marathon. I did also find it admirable that Enfield took time to even mock himself as one sketch focused on his jealousy over the fact that Whitehouse's Fast Show had one multiple BAFTAs while his own show had never been recognised.The Custard TV, 1st June 2014
Like so many of the best Harry and Paul sketches, it combined superb acting, a take-it-or-leave-it understatedness (respectful of the viewer's intelligence) and a shrewd eye for detail.James Delingpole, The Spectator, 31st May 2014
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse skewered the entire output of BBC2 over the past 50 years in Harry and Paul's Story of the Twos, and not even that kindly. Enfield, as Alan Bennett, as a Talking Heads Stalin, torn between curtain-fussery and genocide, was the most surreal vision this perfect pair have ever concocted, but worked: as did their evisceration of such sacred cows as Monty Python, I Claudius and Have I Got News For You. It was wonderfully written, and brave, and I'd like to think that all the famous targets decked themselves with laughter. Mr Cleese may have even ventured a smile.Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 31st May 2014
Harry and Paul's Story of the 2s delivered an affectionate kick to BBC2's groin, parodying the channels output over the last 50 years. This included Boys from the Blackstuff, Monty Python, The Likely Lads, Have I Got News For You, The Ascent of Man and even some of their own contributions. The fact that several of the shows in their sights were broadcast on other BBC channels didn't seem to bother the pair at all.
The satire was of the scattergun variety, but the targets were hit far more frequently than not, and there were moments of pure comic inspiration. My own personal favourite featured the Late Night Line-Up interviewee, slack-jawed, goggle-eyed and transfixed on the legs of Joan Bakewell - or Joan Bakewell Tart, as she was rechristened for the programme.Harry Venning, The Stage, 26th May 2014