Last night's viewing: Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1
Big Bad World, Comedy Central

 

Gary Lineker's family is fascinating. But not necessarily the
ancestors he found with the help of the crack squad of genealogists
in the Who Do You Think You Are? team. More interesting is the
world of his brother, Wayne. Wayne – the black sheep Lineker – was
once sentenced to two and a half years of bird for tax fraud. He
also turned up on ITV's The Only Way Is Essex and runs a raft of
Lineker's Bars in parts of the Med usually seen in the backdrop of
Sky1's Ibiza Uncovered. The guy's a card.

Likewise George, Gary's son, whose demi-playboy lifestyle is chronicled gloriously through the Daily Mail's "sidebar of shame" and the famously Kierkegaardian utterances of his Twitter feed (for instance, Monday's: "Ever seen a bird look better after they had their lips done than they did before? Looks like a wasp's stung them.") George and his uncle Wayne in a bar, that's a documentary I'd watch.

Instead, we got good old, clean-cut Gary. He was, at least, aware of this subtext. When the show's genealogist told him that "black sheep often make for the most interesting characters", Gary immediately noted, "Yes, my brother's very interesting." Mainly, the focus here was on two ancestors with very different lives. One, James Pratt, was a serial animal thief in the 1800s ("I though I was the first poacher in our family"), the other, a legal stationer who was educated courtesy of a generous benefactor. A pleasingly Dickensian touch for a man who opened the show walking Partridgely around his mid-renovation west London home with the line: "A chap lived here called Charles Dickens... not that Charles Dickens. You can't have it all, can you?"

This wasn't the most scintillating WDYTYA? of its 10 series, but Gary was value enough ("He's after my crisps," he muttered as a guard as Leicester prison frisked him), even if the ancestry discoveries were probably more of interest to him as anyone else.

For me, as Gary's punditry chums would say, the best value came in a behind-the-scenes sneak at the antiglamour of Match of the Day's Salford studios. A sequence that crescendoed with a shot of Lawro with his legs up on the sofa watching the day's action while Alan "Al" Shearer explained that he spent the previous night eating a lasagne by himself in his room at MediaCity's Holiday Inn. Another hour-long documentary I'd watch, right there.

From Salford to Great Yarmouth and the latest sitcom to extract from the comic mine that is children moving back home to live with their parents. Big Bad World comes from the pens of Lloyd Woolf and Joe Tucker, who tackled similar material on last year's Parents on Sky1, albeit at a generation removed. Whereas Parents saw grown-up Sally Phillips move back in with her kids and retired folks, Big Bad World has Inbetweener Blake Harrison graduating with an MA in Norse literature and finding such a distinguished qualification doesn't always lead straight to a sixty-grand job in the City.

Instead, he's back to Norfolk, living with mum and dad (Caroline Quentin and James Fleet) and hanging around in the pub with his old mates and longing for old flame Lucy (Scarlett Johnson). It's pitched well. I liked the scene when Harrison's Ben applied for a volunteering job abroad and listed his skills as: "Er, essay writing, interpersonal skills... telephony." Fleet's line to his returning son, "Our house is your house, to an extent", was a nice crisp gag, too.

The world of boomerang offspring is obviously ripe for good material – I've liked few sitcoms as much as Emma Fryer's wonderfully melancholic Home Time, which came and went without much noise in 2009 – but Big Bad World isn't quite as immediately as sad and funny as that. But with a bit of time and space, like a boomerang kid, it could find its place in the world.

twitter.com/willydean

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before