Channel 4’s latest venture into comedy, Very Important People, came to our screens on Friday in the form of an impressions show. For those of you already familiar with the concept, it will come as no real shock that it is practically the same as every other impressions show that has graced our TVs. Only not as good, because it’s on Channel 4.
Although, aside from the fact that it is a product of the channel that brought us half of the celebrities that it mocks, the program itself is, at the very least, watchable.
Featuring the joint talents of writer,actress and comedian Morgana Robinson, and impressionist and comedy actor Terry Mynott, Very Important People comes as a follow up to The Morgana Show – a similar Channel 4 series, again based on impersonations.
In the first episode of the new series, we go from a mock reality show involving washed-up soap star Natalie Cassidy (formerly Sonia from Eastenders) to the trailer for Some Sort Of Disagreement, a film involving Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston.
The interesting layout of the program as a montage compiled of excerpts from fake films and TV shows is an intriguing and intelligent concept, which could work better if compiled more methodically. Instead the makers seem to have crammed in as many stars as they can, whilst even returning to those they particularly dislike throughout; a feature that becomes quite tedious and irritating after seeing an impersonated Amy Childs for the third time, as apparently impressions can be as mind-destroyingly aggravating as “the real deal”.
Moreover, Mynott’s aptitude for voices, and hence the realism of the sketches – notably those in which David Attenborough tracks obnoxious comic Frankie Boyle – turns the show into more of a disconcerting parody.
Nonetheless, there remain some amusing high points. Bizarrely, the less realistic impression of Professor Brian Cox is one of them. With stunning scenery of canyons and forests and slow, drawn out panning of the camera, our gaze is always drawn back to the professor, and in particular his fashion choices.
Add to this a musical rendition from Adele (with a twist) and Tom Jones comparing Jessie J to Mystic Meg and there are worse things to do with a Friday evening.