Swear I'm not Paul: TV Review: The Panel, RTE One, 27 November 2008

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Friday, November 28, 2008

TV Review: The Panel, RTE One, 27 November 2008

I wouldn't be a constant viewer of the Panel. I watch it most weeks, and most weeks it's pretty good. Last night, however, was a strange episode. As usual the show had a guest host, this week being RTE newsman Charlie Bird. Charlie does an excellent job covering the stories from around the globe, even from his hotel balcony in Beirut or whatever exotic location he's at this week. We all had sympathy for Charlie after the Love Ulster riots. The poor fella.

But his guest host performance on The Panel had to be seen to be believed. He was more wooden than an antique cabinet (sorry I couldn't think of any Roy Curtis style simile there), and spent more time looking down at his prompt cards than at the camera. Nor do I think he cracked one joke all evening. Maybe they were cut from the airing.

The guests themselves were quite interesting, especially Kenny Egan who provided a nice bit of insight into his Beijing experience, but didn't give much away about future plans. Madison Square Garden sounds more appealing than Wembley Stadium, but maybe that's just me!

When Kenny Egan did come on however, all we could see Charlie do was try to come on to him. He touched the "big fella" numerous times, and Egan was doing his best not to appear uncomfortable. He handled it very well. Charlie Bird on the other hand, needs to be much more subtle.

I would also like to highlight how I think Neil Delamere is getting funnier by the week. Practice makes perfect. I used not to like him, but he's gone way up in my estimations, and his voices and characters are splendidly funny. What Irish TV could do with is a proper sketch show, like Harry Enfield and the Fast Show rather than Naked Camera 2. Neil would be perfect for this. And if they're looking for co-writers, I'm sure I'd be available!

Seriously though, hopefully we never see Charlie Bird on a comedy program again. Darfur is more up his street.

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