The Funny Side Of.... Clive Anderson. Copyright: BBC.

The Funny Side Of... (2007)

BBC Two factual. 7 episodes (pilot + 1 series), 2007 - 2009. Features Clive Anderson.

Press Clippings

High intellect and pop culture combine in Clive Anderson's wry appraisal of Christmas's televisual quirks and traditions. He considers the features of a "Christmas special", reviews the history of the season's Number Ones and contrasts the turkey-cooking advice of our most telegenic chefs. He also exposes the somewhat obvious fact that most of our Christmas programmes are in fact produced in the summer. It would all seem a little smug, were it not for Anderson's evident affection for his subject.

The Telegraph, 22nd December 2009

Beforehand there's more reason to feel fearful for the future of BBC comedy, as Clive Anderson puts a Christmassy twist on his Funny Side Of format - which tends to animate quite ordinary clips with clunky commentary and lacklustre talking heads.

Alex Hardy, The Times, 19th December 2009

Somebody save Clive Anderson. He presided over the grim, toothless inanity of The Funny Side of TV Experts with a wilting desperation. This was the last chance saloon of clip shows; we had seen the clips before on every other clip show and all Anderson had to do was kill each familiar retread with a terrible line. We went from the cook Marguerite Patten to Trinny and Susannah with cursory cheap jokes and a cavalcade of TV experts talking about other TV experts. Still, fleeting glimpses of Patrick Moore, Magnus Pyke and the Baby Jane-ified features of Fanny Cradock averted a sudden slitting of the wrists.

Tim Teeman, The Times, 4th September 2009

For years now television experts have been handing out advice on how to cook, decorate, garden, dress, clean, save money and make love. There is no aspect of our lives that a tacky lifestyle programme made on the cheap cannot address, and the more colourful the presenter, the more popular the series. So here is a resumé of television experts down the ages, from Fanny Craddock and Sir Patrick Moore to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Gordon Ramsay. As a collection of pretty ordinary clips, it is no better or worse than the original programmes. It is made bearable by the fruity wickedness of Brian Sewell, who goes down the list of experts being deliciously rude about everyone with scant disregard for the laws of libel.

David Chater, The Times, 3rd September 2009

The only possible reason to watch this series would be to see the clips, since the talking heads say nothing of any interest and the linking commentary from Clive Anderson is laboured and clumsy. But not even the clips are funny tonight, unlike those on earlier programmes about politicians and animals. How many times can anyone watch a person falling over on live TV or see presenters dying on air before it becomes repetitive? It also relies heavily for its material on programmes hosted by Noel Edmonds or series such as The Word and The Big Breakfast, which are the kind of programmes that give populism a bad name. Still, it looks set to liven up next week, with Brian Sewell being rude about television experts.

David Chater, The Times, 27th August 2009

Look, it's a slow week on the TV front, okay? If it weren't, there'd be no need to focus on this torpid clip show which intersperses sporadically amusing clips with dull links from a studio-bound Clive Anderson, and occasional talking heads, all adding up to a really poor imitation of ITV's old It Shouldn't Happen To...

Scott Matthewman, The Stage, 24th August 2009

I have not been closely following Clive Anderson's career, but has it come to this: The Funny Side of Animals? This clips show did not even show new footage, but clips of wildlife documentaries in which animals behaved as animals do. Anderson tried to keep up the banter but his eyes were screaming.

Helen Rumbelow, The Times, 21st August 2009

Animals are anarchists, and here is a wealth of tremendous footage showing them doing all manner of things that they shouldn't. Ostriches, squirrels, badgers, ferrets, pigs and snakes attack presenters as if they hadn't eaten for years. Expletives are bleeped, blood flows and cameramen fall about laughing. Po-faced commentators try to do pieces to camera while cows hump joyfully in the background. The programme doesn't amount to much and Clive Anderson's banter is painfully laboured ("John Noakes famously ended up with smelly brown muck all over his shoes. Some say he was nervous and badly trained, but I'm pretty sure it was the elephant.") But you can't beat an animal behaving badly.

David Chater, The Times, 20th August 2009

TV Review: The Funny Side of Politics

The Funny Side of Politics is basically Animals Do The Funniest Things, only with politicians instead of pets. They're not so different really, politicians - they're kind of the nation's pets. Down, Hazel! George Galloway actually was one. Here, pussy pussy pussy pussy.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 14th August 2009

This new series from the Comedy Connections people has a rather misleading title.

Despite the efforts of presenter Clive Anderson and three other scriptwriters to find the funny side of different TV formats this is a fairly straight run-through.

It would certainly benefit from less of Clive's awkward links and more of what we really want to see, the clips which cover all the bases from an ancient show called Top Town right through to today's The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and John Sergeant doing his Stiffly Come Dancing thing.

Among the gems tonight is ex-Corrie actress Debra Stephenson doing impressions of judges Amanda Holden, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue.

And Les Dennis reveals that the clapometer on Opportunity Knocks was operated by a couple of prop men pushing a lever to pretty much wherever they liked. A generation is collectively gutted.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 6th August 2009