The All-New Harry Hill Show (ITV1, 2003)
After Harry Hill left Channel 4, he moved to ITV1 in 2001 and launched his long-running TV Burp show. After this started to become successful, the decision was made to revive his comedy show which had run for three series on Channel 4. Although it seems that some consider this to be a direct follow-on from that series, I feel that there are enough differences for me to give this a separate review.
Firstly, his regular bunch of characters from the Channel 4 series didn’t take part, meaning that there were no appearances from old favourites including Finsbury Park or Harry’s big brother Alan, although the terrific Stouffer The Cat did turn up occasionally. Instead Harry was assisted by a small old man who he insisted was the rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave. After a rather energetic dance routine accompanied by a band in the studio, Harry would come on stage and tell some of his rather strange jokes.
Features on the show included The Hamilton Challenge, the life of Robbie Williams told by ventriloquist dummies, a parody of News At Ten with Trevor McDonald, and the very exciting A Celebrity Hobby That You Didn’t Know About But Will In A Minute, where famous faces including Les Dennis would be interviewed by Harry to reveal the rather unusual thing that they have an interest in.
Every edition ended with Harry performing a song, and then some of the studio audience came on to the stage to join Harry on a bouncy castle. You won’t see any badger parades around here! The All-New Harry Hill Show was shown on ITV1 fairly late on Sunday nights, meaning that the ratings weren’t that great, and some viewers felt that it was a little disappointing by comparison to the Channel 4 series, and it didn’t return.
However, Harry did return for a similarly silly series called Harry Hill’s Shark-Infested Custard, which was aimed at a younger audience and shown on CITV. Harry has certainly been done a variety of things over the years, including starring in his own film, making a album, writing various books, becoming the cover star of The Dandy (although he couldn’t save it from closing shortly after), and also hosting other TV shows including Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule that I might review soon too. But his revival of Stars In Their Eyes? Ooh no, I’m not going anywhere near that one!
It is rather disappointing to think that little of Harry’s TV work has been released on DVD. Hopefully that will change one day because Harry has made some of the more entertainingly bizarre comedy shows that have appeared on British TV stretching back almost 25 years now, and I (along with many others I’m sure) certainly wouldn’t hesitate in buying any boxsets of his shows.