Tuesday, August 30, 2005
HOLIDAY! CELEBRATE! Wakey Wakey Campers, Channel 4, 9.00pm
We didn't just arbitrarily decide to make Su Pollard an icon of lowculture, you know. She fought tooth and nail for it, working her way up through the showbiz ladder and putting in thousands of stellar performances on classic British sitcoms like Oh, Doctor Beeching! and You Rang, M'Lord? However, the role that will stick with us forever was her turn as wannabe yellowcoat Peggy in Hi-De-Hi!, and it was clearly a deep and meaningful love for Su Pollard that inspired this new show from Channel 4. In the same vein as shows like That'll Teach 'Em and Brat Camp, it ships off a bunch of people to an environment they wouldn't normally step within flan-flinging distance of if there weren't the promise of temporary celeb mediocrity, and films them under the guise of "social experiment"; in this case, they're all being sent to a breezy 1960s-style holiday camp, complete with perma-grinned entertainers, mandatory games and competitions, and forced jollity of all varieties. It's not exactly an Ibiza foam party, let's put it that way (and you can tell just how past it lowculture is by the fact that an Ibiza foam party is our most modern frame of holiday reference). Unsurprisingly, it doesn't turn out to be as much fun as it looked (rather like that time we took a Saturday job in Gap, assuming that it must be a nice place to work because the staff always looked so cheerful - big mistake) and there is a level of fracas before very long. You can just imagine, though, that Monica from Friends would be in her absolute element here - not only are there ample opportunities to show off to complete strangers, but all of the fun is firmly controlled by rules.