Charlie Brooker ended his four-year presenting hiatus last night with a coronavirus-themed Antiviral Wipe special and, judging by Twitter, fans were not left disappointed.
The one-off special, which looked at coronavirus news coverage from the last five months, was packed full of satirical swipes aimed at politicians, celebrities and at times the public.
Viewers also saw the return of Brooker’s classic characters Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) and Barry Shitpeas (Al Campbell), who eagerly chipped in their moronic takes on COVID-19.
Fans of show took to Twitter to praise Brooker’s comeback, with one user describing the special as “the best bit of lockdown telly” seen so far, while another called for Antiviral Wipe to be included in the national history curriculum.
I have to say that @charltonbrooker's #AntiviralWipe is the best bit of lockdown telly I've yet seen. Absolutely bang-on. And because Wipe has always been Charlie in His Room, in front of a telly, no audience, it still works perfectly.
(And Nice Konnie Huq is in it as well)
— Crag Manly ???????? (@lennylaw) May 14, 2020
Standout moments for many viewers included Brooker’s “genius” nicknames for various member of the Cabinet, including “mega Womble” Boris Johnson, “Apprentice semi-finalist” Rishi Sunak and Chief Medical Office Chris Whitty, who was described as “a sad Doctor resembling Tintin, prematurely aged after watching his dog drown”.
However, Matt Hancock’s moniker – “Peter Pandemic” – was by far the most talked about, with one viewer noting: “I nearly choked on my wine.”
— Agata Matusz (@AGMComms) May 14, 2020
Other satisfied fans were pleased with Brooker’s no-holds-barred approach, praising the comedian’s “spot-on” take on the current state of the world. “Finally someone who speaks with the cynicism and rage I feel every day,” one viewer wrote.
The catharsis of watching Charlie Brooker, Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk morosely describe the state of 2020, is the most normal I've felt since 2018. #AntiviralWipe
— the noisy minority ???????? ???????? ???????? (@mawusi) May 14, 2020
A few viewers were happy to see ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, who married Brooker in 2010, during the special and also to see her credited for behind-the-scenes work.
— Will Hingley (@Will_Hingley) May 14, 2020
Fans welcomed Philomena Cunk back with open arms, with the character popping up throughout the special and presenting her own “moments of wonder” segment at the end of the show. Viewers loved her interview with a vaccine-developing scientist, with one user describing it has having “made [his] night”.
— Duncan (@shaksper) May 14, 2020