An Evening with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, BBC2 - TV review: A long-overdue satire on the celebrity audience

Dressing up as Melvyn Bragg in order to offer intellectual justification for questionable comedic decisions doesn't actually make them more intellectually justified

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The Independent Culture

While BBC1 aired Lenny Henry's Danny and the Human Zoo, it can only be coincidence that simultaneously on BBC2 Harry Enfield was himself blacking up as a black-and-white minstrel and reaching for his best Brummie accent briefly to play Henry himself in An Evening with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.

This was a long-overdue satire on the celebrity audience, planted-question-filled "Evening With" format, even if it was also a vehicle for a 25-year retrospective, hosted by the men themselves.

Dressing up as Melvyn Bragg in order to offer intellectual justification for some of your more questionable comedic decisions, not least blacking up to play Nelson Mandela, doesn't actually make them any more intellectually justified, especially when, on the other channel, Lenny Henry's childhood is being dramatised as an exercise in positive discrimination. But the impressions were, of course, hilarious. Ian Hislop, if he saw it, might never have the courage to sneer again.

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