BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Celeb: Your views
The Blokes
Gary's son Troy (left) is from a previous marriage
Harry Enfield returns with a sitcom based on the life of Gary Bloke, an ageing rock star who is determined to carry on behaving like a teenager.

The show also stars Amanda Holden as Gary Bloke's media-savvy wife, Debs, mother to their two children, Belgravia and Cloud.

"The whole show feels like a single overlong sketch and it drags because most scenes follow the same idea over and over," wrote the BBC's William Gallagher.

But what did you think?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Have your say

Harry Enfield's characters were mildly amusing once but those days are long since gone as the banality of this programme goes to show.

Shouldn't the BBC be looking for fresh talent rather than churning out this kind of dated rubbish?
Sean G, UK

What an appalling waste of licence payers money. If this is the BBC's and Harry Enfield's idea of what is funny then maybe they should leave this type programming to those television companies that know what they are doing.
Graeme Webb, United Kingdom

Without Paul Whitehouse, Harry Enfield is as funny as piles.
Graham, London

Rubbish! What a shame that talented actors are putting themselves through this humilation ... come on BBC - wake up - you could be sliding towards ITV's appalling schedule!
Anja, England


Harry Enfield is past it and it's about time that he realised it

Dave B, UK
A truly awful attempt, this was more like a situation tragedy, than a comedy. Whoever wrote this rubbish should go back to their day job as soon as possible. Enfield really has reached the end of the line with this dreadful regurgitation of his character "Kevin". It must be axed. Now!
Mike, UK

I sat and watched the whole episode waiting for a laugh then the credits started to roll. What a waste of 30 minutes!
Gary Hooper, England

I might have found this funny eight years ago, but alas, I am no longer 14 years old.
O Palmer, Staffordshire

Poor.
Anon, UK

Harry Enfield desperately needs to get in the BBC's good books after his disasterous turn on Sky television. Adapting a Private Eye cartoon is certainly a novel idea but why would we want this when we have the Osbournes?
Matthew, UK

Give it a chance - we've only seen one epsiode so far, although it doesn't look that promising. Still, if the Beeb can recommission My Family for a third series, which is the worst type of formulaic and boring sit-com, populated by over-acting luvvies delivering horribly telegraphed "jokes", who knows how many series of Celeb we may see?
Frances, England

Rubbish. This is far, far worse than his pathetic outing on Sky 1. Harry Enfield is past it and it's about time that he realised it.
Dave B, UK


Harry Enfield hasn't been funny since Harry Enfield and Chums ended

Shanine Salmon, England
Got off to a good start with the sock gag, but all of the characters were uninteresting, and the whole thing just seemed to drag on. Maybe my expectations were too high - I'll watch it next week... maybe it'll get better.
Mark, UK

Utter rubbish! Give some new talent a shot - this guy's as washed-up as his subject!
Graham McCarey, Scotland

Appalling. Further evidence that Paul Whitehouse was the real talent behind his previous succss of Harry Enfield and Chums. He didn't really want to do that.
Ralph Buchholz, Jersey

Absolutely terrible - sorry, but just not funny at any level - I have to look at the States now for they just produce the best comedy - who would have thought it? The last good comedy the BBC did was Only Fools - when will they realise that audiences are able to cope with complex characters and pathos?
Amanda Lock, UK

I liked the idea of the sitcom when I saw the trailer but when I watched the first episode I found it only mildly amusing.

Again, this is yet another new sitcom for the BBC that will fail to raise any laughs.
Alan Jepson, UK

I love Harry Enfield and his previous work but this new show is awful, embarrassingly awful in fact. I won't be watching again.
Jane, UK

Brilliant.
Annie M, United Kingdom

Harry Enfield hasn't been funny since Harry Enfield and Chums ended and since Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson and Kathy Burke have proven that they were talented without Enfield's name attached to them. The idea of the sitcom wasn't originally his and despite claims it's not like The Osbournes he's obviously taken a lot of Ozzy's personality traits.
Shanine Salmon, England

Crass.
Russ, UH

I'll be honest, it was original. But I didn't really like it. You can't ridicule drug obsessed ageing rock stars because they gave a lot to entertain people, it's a bit harsh to rip on them. Perhaps you could save a bit of money by not filming any more episodes and spend the money on My Family instead, which is a much warmer and funnier sit-com.
Bob, UK


It might just work as a sketch, but as a series?

Andrzej, UK
Oh dear, we can comment all we like about this one, it's so bad no one will watch it, that's all the comment needed.
John, England

It's a very poor excuse for a comedy. Harry Enfield has now proved himself to be out of his depth both in terms of acting and comedy. It feels like the kind of show you really want to forget. To be honest there isn't even enough here for a three-minute sketch, let alone a 30-minute programme.

Please, please, BBC, no more of this utter garbage. The writing is so bad that most schoolchildren could do far, far better. It's a shame Amanda Holden should be subjected this is trash after she has proven herself to be an actress and comedian in her own right. Come on BBC, pull the plug before series two and develop some new writers and performers. We expect and deserve much better.
Fred Kip, UK

This is truly awful stuff. It might just work as a sketch, but as a series? As one of Enfield's mildly amusing characters might say, "You don't wanna watch that."
Andrzej, UK

The first episode was as disappointing as Harry's Brand Spanking New stuff that he did for Sky. Has he lost the plot? Has he lost the will to create humorous characters? And what's with the over-kill canned laughter? I can only assume that the sound editor was drunk.
A Tanton, England

Having just watched (yawn) Celeb, I thought I'd just been watching a (yawn) mixture of Kevin and Perry go large (yawn), and Harry Enfield's pathetic (yawn...oh dear, sorry) Sky "comedy" show where he just shouted all the time. Just like all comedians who become rich and a "personality", he's totally lost it. He'll be on ITV by Christmas. (Zzzzzzzzz)
Stuart Goodacre, UK


Tired and clichéd is a compliment to it

Siobhan Qadir, UK
Celeb just goes to show that Harry's series on Sky One wasn't just a dip in an otherwise brilliant career. Unfortunately it was the beginning of the end and Celeb will do him no favours.

Harry needs to get some fresh new ideas. Do jokes about cocaine addition really cut the mustard when most young people take recreational drugs and most parents find the whole thing repulsive?

Basically, it's not funny and the inclusion of Amanda Holden won't detract from this.
Richard, UK

Shockingly bad and not funny in at all. Amanda Holden looked really nice though.
Andrew, UK

It would have been a lot better had any of it actually been remotely funny. Tired and clichéd is a compliment to it.
Siobhan Qadir, UK

I thought that this was a bore and dragged on, not very funny at all. Half way through I became so bored I could hardly keep my eyes open.
John M, UK


The idea is good, now give us a plot!

Russell Sandberg, UK
Nice idea, but not perfectly executed and totally eclipsed by The Osbournes for humour, albeit of a completely different kind. But for the definitive ageing rocker flick, go and rent/buy This Is Spinal Tap - an absolute classic!
Ed Vista, UK

In a nutshell...I think it's hilarious! Harry never fails to entertain!
Julie, England

Harry Enfield should definitely go back to the drawing board. This programme appears to be a comedy with a cross between Posh and Becks and the Royle Family. Please! Not that entertaining.
Sarah, England

A spoof rather than a sitcom, the constant cultural references that littered Celeb means that it will age terribly. It came across as a Private Eye strip, not a live action comedy, complete with two dimensional characters and a plot thinner than Amanda Holden.

Possibly this could have worked better as a one off feature length film rather than a series as there seems little scope for the characters to grow. Having said that even the greatest sitcoms started off on far from great foundations. Perhaps if we can see the characters tackle normal life then the comedy will improve.

For now, this is still too much like its Private Eye source, a topical feature that you briefly laugh at but one that cannot sustain the laugh for a whole 30 minutes. The idea is good, now give us a plot!
Russell Sandberg, UK

Whilst Celeb, the sitcom, may not be the rib-tickling comedy that many might have wished for, it does perhaps serve to remind us that those who Joe Public turns into real-life celebs rarely warrant the extravagances they enjoy!!
Paul Tunbridge, The Netherlands

I didn't realise Harry Enfield had ever been funny!!! Maybe it's just me ........erm, nah!
Graham, England

I thought he had scraped the bottom of the barrel with his Sky One series but this drivel was far worse. Celeb was never a very funny part of Private Eye, what next Harry, a sitcom based on the eye wants section? Actually, that would be funnier than Celeb.
Tony Jones, Isle of Man

He has taken the best bits of Keith Richards and Je Suis un Rockstar and made a memorable series.
Beth, Bournemouth, UK


This felt like a five minute sketch that had been squeezed into a 30 minute show

Martin, Scotland
I wasn't aware of Harry Enfield's new series, but I happened to catch the show on TV last night. It's a bit different to his usual stuff, there were a couple of funny bits, but if I don't happen to catch the show on TV next week, I don't think I'll be missing much!
Al, UK

I watched the first show and thought only parts of it were slightly funny. Harry Enfield's other programmes have been much funnier because there have been different sketches and characters in them. It was entertaining for a short while. The couple played by Harry Enfield and Amanda Holden seemed to be a mish mash of Posh and Becks and ageing rock and rollers The Stones. It didn't seem to give me many laughs or direction. A lot of the jokes they made regarding fat people seemed slightly insensitive too. Overall I have seen much better from Harry Enfield in the past.
Claire, UK

Never liked him. Is WAY past his prime. Should have left showbusiness at the end of Men Behaving Badly. Couldn't make someone laugh if their life depended on it. Enfield....YOU SUCK!!!!
Robb Ruhl, USA

I agree with the review, this felt like a five minute sketch that had been squeezed into a 30 minute show. Perhaps Harry will be replaced in this show and then it can go onto the same level of success as Men Behaving Badly.
Martin, Scotland

Harry should stick to his original characters, this guy in Celeb just feels like a mix of his old characters. Stick to the sketch shows too.
Richard Smith, UK

Diabolical! Didn't raise a single smile from any of our family. Rude, crude, lewd and obvious.
David Sladen, UK


Sorry Harry, as you gave the world Stavros I'll always give you a chance, but it's gone mate

Martin Iddon, UK
Sitcom? How does that work? The show is a hybrid of every Enfield character and the Osbornes. Only the Osbornes is entertaining.
Simon, UK

Many really funny moments (most of which were spoilt by the endless trailers), and both Harry Enfield and Amanda Holden had their characterisations to a tee - Gary's Mick Jagger-style walk was spot on. Not that much of a plot, and the characters couldn't really develop as in other sitcoms.
Michael Hall, UK

Utter rubbish!
Bodie, UK

Terrible, simply terrible. Although Amanda holden is nice eye candy.
A Perry, England

I always watch the repeats of Harry Enfield's television programme on the UK Gold channels and they still make me laugh - some of his early 1990s work was Gold! I was very disappointed at his attempt at a similar programme broadcasted on Sky One as it lacked the wit of programmes before it. Maybe the loss of Paul Whitehouse and others to The Fast Show affected Harry more than we realised??
Adam Alexander, UK

Sorry Harry, as you gave the world Stavros I'll always give you a chance, but it's gone mate. The Sky series made me laugh once and this was just not funny. Unfortunately the incestuous world of celebrity you are trying to take the mick out of has surrounded you with a load of hangers on telling you you're brilliant when there's nothing original in what you're writing at the moment at all.

Whatever to the Friday Night Live rebels, oh yes, they all sold out when they got a few quid. Ben Elton writing Queen musicals .
Martin Iddon, UK


I had looked forward to the show all week and I wasn't disappointed - it was brilliant

Lynda, England
OI! ENFIELD! NO! - back in the days when Enfield was funny, or was that Higson and Whithouse?!
Martyn, Manchester, UK

Is it me or do all of Harry Enfield's characters have the same voice and facial expression?? Gary Bloke could be one of the old gits in a different wig!

Paul Whitehouse and Kathy Burke were the true talent in Harry Enfield and Chums...
Phil, UK

Gary Bloke has been the Celeb strip character in Private Eye for a long time. I've always understood him to be an ageing prog-rocker from a middle class background, trying to be working class in his younger days, but in his mid-life betraying his middle class upbringing. Maybe I've misunderstood the cartoon strip, but I find it hard to relate it to the trailers containing Harry Enfield's yob interpretation. I will watch the TV with interest though.
Phil, UK

I think the new Harry Enfield show is terrible. Thinking back to his many other shows and personas, his comedy has always been a bit "hot or miss". This is a definite miss.
Roger Cartidge, UK

I had looked forward to the show all week and I wasn't disappointed - it was brilliant.
Lynda, Cornwall, England

Absolutely awful. I've not seen anything as dire as this for a long time.
Paul Grayson, UK


Utter tosh!!! Woefully out of date

Iain Ferguson, UK
Sad, sad, sad. Harry Enfield should just turn into his dad and do Saga Holiday commercials for the Travel Show. He is not funny and this show is the proof. As the critics have already said, watch the Osbournes and see the real thing. Shouldn't the BBC be spending our money on better things?
Howard, England

Hugely disappointing!
Sandy, UK

He is to comedy what Rod Stewart is to music - a dinosaur! When you have Peter Kay languishing in a 10.00pm slot on Channel 4 on a Thursday night going almost unnoticed (like all of his fantastic projects) it is a travesty of justice. The only thing that kept me watching Celeb for 10 minutes was the lovely sight of Amanda Holden in tight clothing. This is not a sexist remark, but merely stating the only good thing about the show!
Mark, England

Get Paul Whitehouse and Kathy Burke back on board and we might see some real comedy again. As a team they where fantastic and rarely disappointed, now all Harry does IS disappoint.
Grant, England

Complete rubbish, My Family is far better. Most interesting bit was the shots of Knebworth House.
Ian, UK

Utter tosh!!! Woefully out of date... Why don't the BBC re-run all the Old Grey Whistle Tests, at a sensible hour, so us aging rock star fans, can see our aging rock stars in their prime!!! In fact, why not start the WGWT up again, and invite the old rockers back !!! Come on, admit it, my idea is better than this sanitised pile of rubbish.
Iain Ferguson, UK

Enfield used to be very funny, until Higson and Whitehouse left and then he wasn't, odd that, whilst Higson and Whitehouse especially continued to be funny..........
Paul, Fleetwood


All top performers should know when to bow out, so it's goodbye Harry and thanks for all the laughs

Nuno Bensen, UK
I watched the first episode of Celeb and even though I really wanted to like it, I'm afraid to say, I didn't even smile once! A promising idea done badly...sorry Harry.
Fiona James, UK

All I can say is at least the BBC are allowing people to post their opinion. Surely, when you see a preview of a show and it's rubbish, you don't let it on your channel. How this got on the TV is bewildering.
Rob, England

A sorry sight to see the death throws of a once great comedian.
Russell Hamilton, Scotland

Gary Bloke? What an imaginative name. I'm afraid it set the tone for the show as a whole - tired, unfunny nonsense. This is more like a Sky One or ITV programme - Harry Enfield's reputation as a funny man should finally be laid to rest - he was only ever funny when working with good writers (i.e. Paul Whitehouse). On his own, he's as funny as the "witty" uncle at family gatherings.
Trevor Blayney, N.Ireland

How can a show full of sad B list celebs think that it is sending up celebrity? Why lampoon what is already painfully funny and stupid in real life?
Sean, UK

What a poor show. It shows how low Harry Enfield has plummeted when he chooses to work with Amanda Holden. Poor obvious jokes, cliches, no imagination. Where is something new and imaginative from the BBC?
Peeny, UK

Very poor... hasn't Harry Enfield seen Spinal Tap?!? If he had, he'd realise how bad his latest series is...
Big Al, UK

Poor Harry Enfield, for years he set the zeitgeist in comedy and satire. Unfortunately those years were 1985 - 1995. All top performers should know when to bow out, so it's goodbye Harry and thanks for all the laughs.
Nuno Bensen, UK


I know it's Enfield but did the BBC even do a pilot before commissioning a series of this bilge? They certainly should have!

Steve, UK
What a fantastic comedy! The tears were rolling down my face and my whole family was in stitches! Harry Enfield is a comic genius and the writer should be knighted! Keep up the good work, I look forward to next week's helping!
Tom, Wales

I think the BBC has done well to take on the challenge of turning a newspaper cartoon into a television series - Harry Enfield does a sterling job with the material given to him - well done!
Ross Gordon, England

The BBC should look to comic greats like Peter Kay instead of churning out this rubbish.
Wendy Ellerington, England

I know it's Enfield but did the BBC even do a pilot before commissioning a series of this bilge? They certainly should have! If Harry had written it it may have been funnier but as it was the script seemed like a rushed first draft.

Has the BBC comedy department got no critical faculties? My Family, Celeb, My Hero...This is all tripe and should be axed.
Steve, London, UK

How do I go about getting a refund on my licence fee? I deserve it after watching 30 minutes of the worst BBC "comedy" programme in history.

Thank god Dave Gorman and League of Gentlemen were on BBC2 last night to make up for it.
Keith, England

I enjoyed it greatly. The script was original and dangerous. I laughed out loud. Then I switched on Harry Enfield and nearly slit my wrists - no more I beg you.
Harry, UK

As I said I would, I watched with interest. While I found some of it funny (especially the locals being more like Hobbits), a lot of the drugs-related gags were a bit predictable. Friends who have also read Private Eye tend to agree with me that the cartoon Gary Bloke is from a middle class background, and that Harry Enfield's interpretation is much too working class. BTW whoever did the guitar licks got it right.
Phil, UK

Boring and utterly humourless.
Sue, England


Must be the only person in the country that enjoyed this, however I think I must also be the only person in the UK that just doesn't get Phoenix Nights

Mr Nicholas, UK
Harry Enfield, where is Paul Whitehouse when you need him at your darkest hour? Time for the comedians retirement home methinks.....still Amanda Holden looked very cute....not much else can be said really.
Roy, UK

Celeb in Private Eye has always been mildly witty, but this dross with Enfield, doing a "Kevin" all the way through was an insult. This was a man who gave us Stavros and Loads, well, sorry Harry, time to retire!
Sue H, UK

I must be the only person in the country that enjoyed this, however I think I must also be the only person in the UK that just doesn't get Phoenix Nights.

Perhaps it's that I was formerly a rock music fan and am now more than happy to have a good laugh at the pomposity of it all.

Or perhaps it's just that I've long since wanted to see Amanda Holden in a sex kitten role! I think sadly, it may be the latter!
Mr Nicholas, UK

Nothing more than a bucketload of inane drivel, and thats being polite. Celeb really should have stayed where it belonged, in the darker corners of Barry Fantoni's mind, and on the pages of Private Eye.
Paul Leftwich, England

I thouht Harry Enfield's new show was funny. The best stuff he's done in years. It's not a sitcom or a sketch show, it's really unusual. Can't wait to see what happens. Mega-laughs.
Bob Davies, UK

Pick up your P45 at the door Harry. Sorry but you fail to make the nation laugh anymore. No imagination or ideas. Bring back the fast show!
Mark R, UK

This is remarkably funny. Like all the best bits from Sorry! and Oh! Doctor Beeching, rolled into one. Really makes me pleased to have paid my TV licence. Tremendous.
Edward Enfield, UK

I have to agree that this was painfully unfunny, with a man carrying a red flag walking half a mile ahead of the obvious "jokes". Utter rubbish!
D Kinkee, UK

I don't care what anyone else says; I thought Celeb was a classic comedy! Funny ,original and with some good jokes! Come on people, where has your immaturity gone?!!
Will, UK

I enjoyed Celeb - thought it original and funny. About time someone made a joke out of pop stars and Harry did it pretty well. I hope that the characters will develop with time.
John, UK

Harry Enfield has a devilish humour quite beyond the reach of most people who watch this brilliant, but not unremittingly funny comedy programme. For the happy few who understand the socially subversive nature of his work (surely the art of the true satirist) it is a delight.

Much of the material is too obliquely critical and undisguised, even crude, in its criticism of the popular lifestyles of the audience he attracts for them to find it amusing (see absurd diatribes above) but from where I am sitting.....


Michael, London, Sydney and Warsaw

An embarrassment of comedic riches! Thank you, thank you darling auntie for Celeb. And thank that nice little Mr Dyke too - he gets an unfair press. Power hasn't gone to his head.
Jack Drombie, Holland

I always thought that Harry Enfield make a character funny or even mildly amusing for longer than a sketch, so I was interested to see how he would manage to drag a sitcom out of one of them. He fails miserably. It makes My Hero look funny and that's saying something. However, I did pick up some rock and roll tips. Next time Harry Enfield's on my telly, I'm gonna hoy it out the window!
Mr W Oddie, UK

I thought this was really really bad, I didn't laugh once. Still Game which was on afterwards was much much funnier and for me was far better, maybe the BBC should be showing Still Game in the rest of the UK, bound to meet a better reception than Harry Enfield's efforts!!
Alistair Prior, Scotland

Whilst Amanda Holden looked amazing in a variety of revealing outfits, this delight wasn't enough to save this appalling new comedy. Odd how most "cutting edge" comedians lose it as they enter their late 30s but Enfield was very embarrassing in this. It sounded ideal on paper but you have to question the director of programming on why the BBC is turning into ITV 1. Oh well, there is still Alan Partridge and League of Gnetlemen on BBC Two.
Rob, UK

I'll tell you had bad it was....I didn't complain when my girlfriend turned the TV over to I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here....
Mark Draper, UK

What a great series, being a huge fan of rock music it is hilarious!! I love the way Harry portrays Gary bloke! He is just the way we imagine rock stars to be! And what a great performance by Amanda Holden as his wife. Real top stuff! A great laugh!!
Claire, Scotland

I agree that Harry Enfield is usually absolutely appalling and approached the programme with a resigned air (I did not have the remote at the time!) but it was actually really funny. Can they make the formula work for another five episodes though???
Jessie B, UK

See also:

06 Sep 02 | Entertainment
12 Aug 02 | Entertainment
26 Jul 02 | Entertainment
10 May 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes