Diminished

After an hour of flicking back and forth between The Apprentice and Grand Designs (yes, I'm that target audience) I went over to the usually-terrible ITV to catch the new Ben Elton-Alexa Chung show, Get A Grip.

Now, although Ben Elton is generally seen as being a complete and utter twat these days, we must remember that he was partly responsible for The Young Ones and Blackadder and must therefore be given a chance to make amends for his Lloyd-Webberisation at least once every few years. And Alexa Chung can be rather witty, if a little bit too wry for her own good.

So I watched. To give you an idea of what the show was like, let me start by saying that it successfully lived up to the official blurb:

Each week, Ben and Alexa will be having a look at events taking place in our often bizarre and frequently wonderful world. And once they’ve dissected what’s been going on, they will undoubtedly be shouting ‘Get a Grip!’. With their unique cross-generational take on anything and everything from their specially constructed newsroom, Ben and Alexa will make sure that you never look at the world in the same way again.

Oh dear lord.

Get A Grip is one of the worst things ever made for television, and would actually be just grounds for putting an end to the entire medium. Watching Ben and Alexa reading the autocue at each other while making witty observations like "isn't spam annoying?" was just excruciating.

The thing is, I feel partly responsible. I've met Ben's father, Lewis Elton (a highly respected historian and academic who looks a bit like Yoda) and just a few months ago I saw Ben himself lingering outside his own show, We Will Rock You, looking a bit worried. Maybe I should have said something to Lewis about his son's increasing money-grubbery or maybe I should have just slapped Ben in the face and screamed "STOP IT YOU FOOL! JUST STOP IT! THIS! IS! SPARTA!"

So I'm very sorry. Next time I'll try harder.