Keith Lemon’s Lemonaid lacked fizz; just why has he been commissioned for pre-watershed entertainment?
It’s often the case that TV and film producers alike are keen to capitalize on the popularity of a franchise and so over-commission, in the form of prequels, sequels and spin offs. Here it looks like Lemon’s been over stretched and he’s just not as pithy as his more lascivious, rambunctious, late night self. Stunted by a pre-watershed scheduling decision, Lemon’s humour is relegated to the odd double entendre and attempted chemistry with the preternaturally ageless and graceful Cilla Black.
Criminally underused, Black was nonplussed for much of the show, reduced to catchphrases. Given the apparent demographic of the audience, she seemed an odd choice. 68-year-old Cilla’s not been seen on a regular show since Blind Date, which incredibly ran from ’85 until 2003, a time when, presumably, little Keith Lemon wannabe Luke was still wearing nappies.
So what was the premise of the show? In typical Saturday night show style, it was bitty, with audience participation and prizes that ranged from a swing ball set to a Caribbean cruise (billed as a ‘huge floater’).
We had 3 kids who were interested in Rizzle Kicks, a band who stood out as hugely anachronistic given the age of both Lemon and sidekick Cilla. Their parents arrived to play ‘Mamma do the hump’, where they ‘spat’ water at their children, dressed as camels. Then there was a girl who wanted a new haircut and, presumably due to the pressure of the producers or the idea that she’d be on telly, allowed Keith and Cilla to lop locks of her hair off and shave her head. There was a boy whose dream was to be like Keith Lemon, (who says kids don’t have real dreams? Aim high, kid!). There was a lady whose glasses were sellotaped to her head after she complained that she was constantly losing them.
Some hybrids work well: a Liger and a Zedonk being good examples, but this was a mix of too many previous successful programmes; a mash up of the good old-fashioned family fun of the Generation Game, the prizes from Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, and an attempt at the surrealism of Vic and Bob’s Shooting Stars. But when you mix too many colours, you eventually get a big mess of brown. I’ll leave you to make your own analogies around that image.
Lacking in substance, Keith Lemon’s neutered version is like fast food; there’s just no nutritional value. Although it might have worked better on a Saturday morning, I’d probably have experienced more joy sucking a real lemon dry. At least the resulting ‘sour face’ that inspires would have entertained my audience more than this did.
Reviewed by Tannice for thecustardtv. Follow Tannice on Twitter.