New comedy series You Cannot Be Serious! made its debut on ITV this evening, a sports themed impressions/clip show fittingly broadcast straight after England’s final warm up game before the upcoming Euros. Aiming to be at least slightly more entertaining than the match at Wembley (which, frankly, shouldn’t be difficult) YCBS! is fronted by tried and tested impression supremo Alistair McGowan.
As you would imagine with McGowan’s past experiences, the highlights of the show are the impressions themselves, with the comic expertly capturing the mannerisms of England manager Roy Hodgson and imitating the overbearing exuberance of Irish Eurovision stars Jedward to a T. It does run into difficulties however, particularly with some tired and lazy jokes finding their way in between some genuinely funny sketches. The fact that it’s pre-watershed is also problematic, restricting McGowan’s material and nullifying the bite of satire that the show is trying to get across.
Without adding too much to either the impressionist or script show genres, YCBS! is perfectly enjoyable Saturday night family entertainment. Coolly handling both the hosting and the impressions themselves, McGowan has enough experience in entertainment to confidently fuse the various sections of the show together. Although it lacks a cutting edge and originality (the format is almost identical to that of fellow ITV clip show Harry Hill’s TV Burp) it’s perfectly timed scheduling will provide light relief while we at home all fret about national sporting success during the Euros and Olympics.