Touch Me, I’m Karen Taylor (BBC3, 2006-2008)
Well I’m not Karen Taylor of course. One comedy show that I really enjoyed in the early-2000s was ITV1’s The Sketch Show, and after it ended, some of the cast went on to further success, such as Lee Mack and Tim Vine appearing together in the BBC1 sitcom Not Going Out. Another cast member who was Karen Taylor went on to get her own sketch show on BBC3. It seems that it hasn’t been released on DVD, but every edition seems to be on YouTube so I’ve been having a watch of the show again recently.
Karen played a wide variety of characters throughout the show, including a divorced teacher called Miss Harper who was a little too fond of her male pupils, and young Joanna who was married to an elderly millionaire. There was also a sketch where Karen played various people who left video messages on a dating/networking site (a little similar to Smack The Pony) called mememespace.com (that dates the show) talking about their unusual interests.
Another sketch I remember was when two women watched a TV programme or film that they seemingly enjoyed, and then made an odd comment about it which made it seem that they had totally misunderstood what happened. There was also a sketch throughout every show where Karen would be challenged to complete a task such as write a song or perform a dance routine and we would follow her progress over the weeks before seeing her results at the end.
One of the most memorable sketches was Cash Cow, a parody of an interactive quiz channel. Now if you’ve ever seen any content of a real quiz channel you’ll realise that parodying this genre is almost redundant because most of the channels were beyond parody with their absurd questions, and there were a huge amount of them on TV at this time before the bubble burst. Even though this sketch was rather unflattering to them though, I bet that the team at Channel Quizzy Quiz and the like were grateful for the extra exposure.
After a pilot, Touch Me went on to have two series, and considering that I thought that most of BBC3’s comedy output was rotten, that I still remember this show and some of its characters almost a decade after it ended means that it can’t have been that bad. Also as ever with these shows the quality of the sketches varied but Karen was a great and entertaining performer throughout. I haven’t seen her much on TV though recently, the last time I can remember seeing her was on BBC1’s Pointless a few years ago as a contestant alongside her old Sketch Show mate Tim Vine but they didn’t do very well. Oh no!