Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row
OK, so this hasn’t been the ratings hit the BBC would perhaps have liked. Scheduling has been an issue: putting it up against an on-form Emmerdale and the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals was definitely a problem. And I do wonder whether the picturesque Irish setting had a Sunday-night rather than Thursday-night feel.
But, for whatever reason, Kat and Alfie’s spin-off hasn’t inherited the soap audience in the way it was hoped it would. Which is a real shame because it’s been a classy, atmospheric drama that’s built towards a terrific last episode. In fact, the final ten minutes seem to demand a second series rather than, say, a cursory explanation in an upcoming episode of EastEnders. So, come on BBC, let’s allow the Moons some more time in Redwater. There are too many unanswered questions to leave things here.
You can tell this has been created by the production company behind BBC3’s improv-sitcom Murder in Successville: it takes the same (very good) idea and transplants it to an entertainment format. Gogglebox star and comedy natural Scarlett Moffatt is the first guinea pig, asked to act in topical sketches, present a chat show, front a satirical news programme and helm a game show with members of the public as contestants – the twist being that Moffatt hasn’t rehearsed or seen a script for any of it, but the show’s resident actors have.
Filmed “as live”, it also promises musical guests and surprise celebrity cameos. If Host the Week can capture some of the warm anarchy of Successville, and if it doesn’t just collapse before our eyes, it could be a riot.
A drama that gripped the nation is available in all three seasons. Time to revisit that maligned second run, perhaps, or just examine the subtleties beneath the addictive whodunnits of those first and last seasons. David Tennant and Olivia Colman are a sleuthing duo who won’t be quickly forgotten.