CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV

February 12, 2019 By mediabest

Our fearless celeb cops join the war on crime – in floods of tears: CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV

Famous and Fighting Crime

Rating:

MasterChef

Rating:

Aren’t celebrities wonderful? Point a camera at them and they believe they can instantly do anything — cordon bleu cookery, war reporting, ski-jumping, you name it.

Some may scoff that celebs are all rampant self-publicists who will stop at nothing to keep their faces on television, and that most are famous only in their own deluded imaginations.

Famous And Fighting Crime (C4) rounded up a cluster of part-time presenters and reality show-offs to be sent on to the streets as Special Constables

Presenter Katie Piper on the new Channel 4 show Famous and Fighting Crime that sees celebrities trying to tackle the war on crime

But in the corridors of power it has not gone unnoticed that celebrities can perform a valuable service for free, and it doesn’t have to be disastrous.

Ann Widdecombe didn’t start an epidemic when she played ward sister for a week. And when John Sergeant joined an air-sea rescue helicopter squad, nobody died.

The next step is obvious: an auxiliary police force made up entirely of people you sort of recognise. 


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Famous And Fighting Crime (C4) rounded up a cluster of part-time presenters and reality show-offs to be sent on to the streets as Special Constables.

Fearlessly, they hurled themselves into the war on crime as only celebs can — in floods of tears.

Presenter Katie Piper couldn’t get through the single day of training without hyperventilating. 

Comedian Marcus Brigstocke stars alongside Jamie Laing, Sandi Bogle, Penny Lancaster, and Katie Piper on the Channel 4 show

Pop star wife Penny Lancaster went one better, bursting into sobs when a nasty man shouted at her. 

‘It’s only pretend,’ pleaded the instructor, but Penny was having a moment and needed a hug.

Next day, she gave chase to a shoplifter, though she made jolly sure she didn’t catch the thief: that was left to the proper coppers. 

Afterwards, she went running to her new colleagues, gasping: ‘It doesn’t feel real, it feels like we’re all actors.’ Yes, dear.

 Floundering around on the beat, every one of them was wasting police time and resources

Gogglebox’s Sandi Bogle, whose nephew was stabbed to death two years ago, had good cause for wanting to understand more about policing. 

Jamie Laing, a former star of Made In Chelsea, seemed mainly motivated by the chance to pursue crooks and sit on them.

Stand-up comedian Marcus Brigstocke proved himself the archetypal Left-wing snob by saying he wanted to know whether policemen were racist and uneducated — a slur he liked so much that he said it twice.

Floundering around on the beat, every one of them was wasting police time and resources.

The show’s only value was as a recruitment device. Plenty of people might feel inspired to don the uniform after watching brave, highly competent Special PC Aga Strykier calm an angry, violent man with patience and good humour.

The middle-aged thug was lashing out at everything, punching the metal walls of his cell inside a police van. 

As MasterChef (BBC1) returned, the amateur cooks looked tougher than the ersatz constables 

 MasterChef is Bake Off’s aggressive big brother, with none of the sentiment or softness

Half an hour later, he was saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, and calling PC Strykier a ‘top lady’. 

We need a lot more like her, and a good deal fewer celebs.

As MasterChef (BBC1) returned, the amateur cooks looked tougher than the ersatz constables as they strode together in slow-mo towards the kitchen. 

MasterChef is Bake Off’s aggressive big brother, with none of the sentiment or softness. 

Presenter Gregg Wallace is very different here to the hyperactive, grinning buffoon he is on Inside The Factory

There are no hugs and snuffles when a cook is kicked off — every elimination is clinical as a firing squad.

Even the soundtrack is bullish, with pulsing drums and insistent strings. Presenter Gregg Wallace is very different here to the hyperactive, grinning buffoon he is on Inside The Factory — for MasterChef he drops the banter and strides around shouting like a sergeant major.

‘Go, go, go!’ he yells at contestants on their way to serve dishes to the judges. 

They’re heading through a pair of double doors, Gregg, not leaping out of an aeroplane at 20,000ft. Relax . . . it’s only a cookery show.

 

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