It was great to see O'Grady back as Lily Savage, while Manford was very brave basing his tale on his own teenage circumcision.
He even got to dress up as a big-breasted blonde nurse. So maybe all that business on Skype was for research after all.Ian Hyland, Daily Mail, 22nd December 2012
From pantomime, we leapt to silent film for the last of Sky's quiet but acclaimed Little Crackers. Now in its third series, it too benefits from the indulgence of its creators, each episode giving a funny person the chance to make a 10-minute film inspired by their own lives. It's a bit like asking a Desert Island Discs subject to turn their best anecdote into a comedy short.
Darren Boyd, seen last year in the BBC's acclaimed Holy Flying Circus, admitted in the making-of film after his directorial debut that it was only very loosely inspired by real events, and stood more as a love letter of sorts to his mum (he wouldn't say how) as well as silent movies.
He played his own dad, sort of, alongside Doon Mackichan as his mum, sort of, as parents whose obsession with ballroom dancing left little room for their son. The absence of words demanded all the muscles of Mackichan's expressive face, most notably in a scene in which she gamely squished her face into the glass of a trophy cabinet in a grotesque staring contest with a rival dancer. Her eyes said more than those of even the greatest pantomime dame. Oh yes they did (sorry).Simon Horsford, The Independent, 21st December 2012
The seasonal series of autobiographical shorts goes out with a bang as two final celebs put dramatic flesh on the bones of a youthful memory. For actress Sharon Horgan, that means stepping into her mum's shoes for a spot of Christmas turkey plucking, while for Spy regular Darren Boyd, it takes the form of an emotionally scarring experience when a lad's moment in the spotlight at the school's Christmas concert clashes with his parents' social life.Metro, 20th December 2012
The fabulous Lily Savage makes a welcome return to our TV screens tonight when chat show host and comedian Paul O'Grady steps up to pull his Little Cracker. Inviting his drag queen alter ego to make a cameo appearance, O'Grady spins a dramatic anecdote out of a teenage trip to see The Exorcist - a spine-chilling experience that spooks the adolescent Paul (Robin Morrissey) out of his wits, finding cold comfort from his no-nonsense mam (Alison Steadman). The tale's a hoot but this cracker really takes off when Savage lets rip in all her foul-mouthed glory in the behind-the-scenes follow-up.Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and Carol Carter, Metro, 19th December 2012
Tonight's double header of autobiographical tales features Sharon Horgan and Darren Boyd. First, Horgan's story recalls Christmas 1984 on the family turkey farm. Young Sharon (Katherine Rose Morley) isn't looking forward to her time plucking turkeys until fellow plucker James (Sam Keeley) turns up. They flirt and arrange a date, but he fails to show, leading to a series of disasters for the Horgan family. At 9.30pm, Darren Boyd's tale tells of when he was chosen to sing at his school's Christmas concert.Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 19th December 2012
One of the pleasures of Little Crackers (Sky1), the series of short comedy Christmas films that only three years in already feels like a warm tradition, is spotting the one that has the legs to grow into a fully fledged series. Chris O'Dowd blazed that trail, snapping the cherishable Moone Boy out of his Cracker. And this year my money's on Dylan Moran.Keith Watson, Metro, 18th December 2012
Tonight's frolic down celebrity lane features the stand-up career born of a terrible one-man show about Al Pacino. Omid Djalili recalls how a tobacconist changed his life, and how he literally fell into comedy. Former EastEnder Ashley Kumar plays the 22-year-old Djalili as an aspiring actor trying to break out of overearnest-theatre-group hell. Fun and sweet-natured if sprinkled with cringe.Mark Braxton, Metro, 18th December 2012
Tonight's first frolic down celebrity lane features a first-love story in hospital. A 12-year-old Jason Manford (Ellis Hollins) attracts female attention while waiting for what he tells them is a brain op (in fact a circumcision). Manford himself plays the boy's father, surgeon and nurse, inviting comparisons with Peter Kay.
The second features the stand-up career born of a terrible one-man show about Al Pacino. Omid Djalili recalls how a tobacconist changed his life, and how he literally fell into comedy. Former EastEnder Ashley Kumar plays the 22-year-old Djalili as an aspiring actor trying to break out of overearnest-theatre-group hell. Fun and sweet-natured if sprinkled with cringe.Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 18th December 2012
A 12-year-old boy finds love on the eve of his circumcision. A failing young actor changes tack after a violent confrontation with the police. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Sky1, as tradition-in-the-making Little Crackers approaches the end of its third run of autobiographical comedy shorts. Jason Manford opens with the aforementioned tale of love and gross (and it really is gross) physical loss, helming a charming vignette that will warm the cockles of your heart. At 9.30pm, Omid Djalili tells a comforting and true tale of failure, involving a shambolic one-man show and a formative brush with the law. Shaky directorial debuts abound, at times to the point of distraction. But an amateurish wrapping job will always come second to what's inside it.Nick Aveling, Time Out, 18th December 2012