BBC1, Saturday

TV review: I Love My Country - Be patriotic and turn off your set right now

With a set like an explosion in a Cath Kidston shop, a quiz on Britain is little short of treason

We're obviously living through a Golden Age of patriotism in the UK, but unfortunately the trickledown wealth from royal weddings/jubilees/babies and Olympic/Wimbledon wins only really amounts to the following: bunting; Union Jack cupcakes; Nigel Farage positioning himself as normal pint-loving bloke; Pippa Middleton's party-planning book; the inability to tell if someone with a flag in their window is a racist or not, and now I Love My Country.

This comedy quiz show pitches itself as good old-fashioned light entertainment – nudge-nudge naughtiness, a live band, "lovely girlies" in patriotically hued skimpy outfits. Gabby Logan beams in a set stuffed with sheep and corgis, white picket fences and red phone boxes and flags, as if a Cath Kidston shop had exploded over an episode of Last of the Summer Wine. Comedians Frank Skinner and Micky Flanagan lead teams of smiles-on-legs "stars" off EastEnders, Casualty, Saturday Kitchen. Sample comedy gem from Micky: "Gordon Ramsay on the telly. Why is he so angry? Is it because he's ended up doing a woman's job?" This man had the best-selling stand-up DVD of 2012, ladies and gentlemen.

Guests answer (incorrectly) questions such as "How many letters are there in the alphabet?", and try to place a Yorkshire pudding on a giant map to show where they think Peterborough is. Apt, given the whole thing is as stiffly formatted but soggy-bottomed and unappealing as an Iceland ready-made that's been left out of the freezer.

Another round involves guessing the song from the live band's rendition, and features wilfully obscure numbers such as the Beatles' "All You Need is Love", which turns into a singalong with words running along the screen, karaoke-style. The studio audience wear giant red or blue Afro wigs, and I Love My Country's most cringe-worthy moment comes when it attempts to celebrate diversity: about 22 seconds of London School of Samba, for a cynical splash of multiculturalism, followed by Frank and Micky attempting to samba too, in sequined bras and headdresses. Cross-dressing is another great British tradition, of course, but still ….

I Love My Country aims at the spirit of the Olympic opening ceremony only with the budget of your local pub quiz and the ambition of a primary school assembly. Don't get out your bunting; it only encourages them.

Channel 4 also brought out its own new quiz last week. That Music Show (Friday **) smacks of development desperation: part Top of the Pops-style live music show, and part Never Mind The Buzzcocks-style panel show, with an attempt at anarchic edginess à la The Word. Filmed in a Brixton gig venue, for "authenticity", presumably, the sound quality isn't great, and songs by electro-pop duo AlunaGeorge seem oddly truncated.

You would think a Nick Grimshaw-fronted music show would be after the yoof vote, but it's more likely to appeal to older viewers too knackered to do anything but collapse on the sofa after the working week. And That Music Show is nostalgia heavy: each team is allocated a year – 1995 and 2005 – to be quizzed on.

Alongside team captains Shaun Keaveny (of 6 Music) and stand-up Seann Walsh, guests are mostly from the archives, including Heather Small of M People, Sharleen Spiteri of Texas, Maggot of Goldie Lookin Chain, and – with a sigh of inevitability – Alex James of Blur.

Shaun and Alex go on about how wasted they were back in 1995 while ruefully drinking pints, but the show does hit certain "oh-my-God-I'd-forgotten-that-song" sweet spots. And if you'd had as many pints as the contestants – not implausible by 10pm on a Friday – the show's charms would likely be greater.

Grimmers does a lot of ironic grinning or grimacing at clips of embarrassing old pop antics, and although he lacks the satirical bite of, say, Simon Amstell on Buzzcocks, the more wilfully eccentric elements aren't as annoying as they could be. Scores are kept with the quirkiness of Shooting Stars – by an actual ferret.

But best is Hammered Time, where well-known recording artists are described by very sloshed members of the Great British public for the teams to guess. Honestly, it's funnier than it sounds. Turns out drunkenly blathering rude things about pop stars is more of a national skill than mastering British geography. Who'd have thought it?


Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all