Vic And Bob’s Big Night Out (BBC4, 2017-present)
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are a double-act who have been on TV together for about three decades now. Their big breakthrough was Channel 4’s Vic Reeves Big Night Out, and then they went off to the BBC for further success including Shooting Stars. They have also contributed to sitcoms including Catterick and House Of Fools (that I also plan to review soon).
But after Shooting Stars and House Of Fools both ended around the same time, they suddenly didn’t have too much TV work on the go, and a new show for Channel 4 didn’t go any further than a pilot. So their career ended up going full circle when they decided to revive the Big Night Out format, only this time Vic and Bob would now have equal billing, how nice.
Something that is notable about the show is that it was on BBC4, a channel not really known for making many original comedy sketch shows, but after a pilot, a full series followed. However, this ran to only four editions, and seemed to be made on a budget of about £50, but fans would be hopeful that there would still be plenty to offer, recalling the days of when Vic and Bob had chart-topping singles, sell-out tours, and nice hair.
It was rather surprising to note that some of Vic and Bob’s oldest characters were revived to take part in the show, so after a long time we caught up again with the likes of Graham Lister, Mulligan and O’Hare and their lovely songs, the Stott brothers, Novelty Island, and The Man With The Stick. Their old assistant Les didn’t take part though, so some random bloke in a shellsuit joined in the sketches with them, along with a surprise celebrity guest or two who didn’t mind being mildly embarrassed.
There would also be some songs at the start and end of the show, along with some sketches on location that were rather surreal even by their own standards. There were too many studio audience cutaways for my liking though, but they all clearly had a good time. After this, there was a second four-edition series with more of the same, I think it was later repeated on BBC2, and hopefully there might be more planned to come soon.
The DVD is a little disappointing. It doesn’t contain the pilot, only the four editions of the first series with no extras, and I don’t think the second series has been released at all yet. Overall it was still enjoyable though, and along with Bob’s well-received documentary series alongside his old china Paul Whitehouse, it’s great that this double-act are still doing their unique thing all these years on.