Excellent riddance to Famous person Juice, probably the most puerile display on tv

Leigh Francis as Keith Lemon (centre), alongside past ‘Celebrity Juice’ team captains Holly Willoughby (left) and Fearne Cotton (right) (ITV/Shutterstock)

Leigh Francis as Keith Lemon (centre), along previous ‘Famous person Juice’ staff captains Holly Willoughby (left) and Fearne Cotton (proper) (ITV/Shutterstock)

When existence offers you lemons, you are making lemonade. When existence offers you Keith Lemon, you sadly must make do with Famous person Juice. The truth collection – wherein comic Leigh Francis assumes the function of his spray-tanned alter-ego Lemon, subjecting a slew of celebrities to debasing duties and lewd panel display banter – has been squatting on our TV displays for 14 years. That’s 26 seasons up to now. However after two extra farewell specials, the top is in the end nigh: Famous person Juice has been squeezed out.

ITV introduced on Wednesday (29 June) that the collection might be coming to an finish this yr. Naturally, the cancellation of any programme that has run for the sort of very long time goes to be one thing of a giant deal; Famous person Juice pre-dates Glee, Avatar and the Obama management. Few, alternatively, would describe it as “venerable”. Reasonably, it’s simply uncannily long-lived, this sort of televisual similar of UHT milk or tinned Unsolicited mail. However whilst Famous person Juice’s fanatics may also be excused a couple of tears in any case this time, the truth is that this isn’t some nice loss for the medium. That is useless picket that has in the end been lopped off the tree. Famous person Juice used to be probably the most puerile, substanceless presentations on TV. We will have to be bidding it nice riddance.

On the subject of comedy alter-egos, it is going with out pronouncing that Lemon is fathoms under one thing just like the genius of Alan Partridge. Even the listless satire of Al Murray’s Pub Landlord turns out like a introduction of Brechtian brilliance in comparison to Leigh’s obnoxious, limply conceived counterpart. However Famous person Juice’s issues have at all times been deeper than simply the repellent Lemon character. For a lot of the time that Famous person Juice used to be on air, its humour used to be basically inquisitive about crass, smirking intercourse jokes. Lemon used to be a mouthpiece for lowest-common-denominator innuendos and dubiously ironic sexism. Lately, it had, to a point, wiped clean up its act. The laddishness has been tempered, the bawdy banter modernised a bit. It’s a nice task, too – watch one of the vital professional “absolute best of” clip presentations the collection has compiled for YouTube, and the full vibe is considered one of seedy, Nineteen Seventies-style prurience. However with the collection throwing its complete raison d’être out the window, what are we left with? Now not all that a lot. Even the display’s personal fanatics complained about its course in later years, specifically after the departures of staff captains Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

Famous person Juice used to be born out of the Noughties panel display increase, when British TV executives have been commissioning Mock the Week knock-offs like their lives relied on it. Of their haste to get as many out as conceivable, even though, it kind of feels they rather steadily forgot the will for a cogent premise. Famous person Juice began existence as a type of topical information quiz, earlier than morphing into an eccentric problem display. Why, precisely? The general public, it appeared, simply liked to look celebrities introduced down a peg or two – display they’ve were given a way of humour about themselves, display they may be able to chum it up like common other people. Famous person Juice is a long way from the one perpetrator right here, in fact. It’s an attract that a number of of the lower-brow US communicate presentations have in reality dialled into – The Overdue Overdue Display with James Corden specifically – in addition to numerous truth presentations going again many years. However Famous person Juice is among the maximum vacuous examples round, person who has no different impetus with the exception of the fleeting schoolyard snickers of Danny Dyer pulling out his outsized testicle to turn to Holly Willoughby, or Willoughby and Cotton suggestively chomping down on each and every finish of a banana (a bent to fetishistically tease same-sex intimacy between feminine contestants being simply probably the most display’s miserable sexual hangups).

There’s not anything inherently improper with lowbrow humour. A nice pratfall can blow an Oscar Wilde bon mot out the water. However there nonetheless needs to be craft at the back of it. Examine Famous person Juice to one of the vital programmes fronted via the comic Harry Hill – TV Burp, or Alien A laugh Pill. Those too are extensive and daft of their comedian sensibilities. However they’re additionally extra surreal, and far much less prurient: lowbrow comedy carried out correctly. Famous person Juice used to be, on the finish of the day, totally witless and devoid of creativeness in lampooning its visitors.

It’s possibly unfair to unmarried out Famous person Juice for such protracted condemnation when such a lot different British TV programming is simply as unhealthy. However for 14 years, it’s persistently been close to the ground of the heap, a dispiriting reminder of simply how low the bar in reality is. Its cancellation has come 13 years too past due.