Way back in Series 1 of the show, a bespectacled, bald man sat next to Phill Jupitus and claimed to be 80’s star Adam Ant. I’m not sure what happened to that guy, because the real Adam Ant, complete with wild facial hair, cowboy hat and neckerchiefs, is in the building tonight, along with Paul Foot, Sara Cox, and rapper Fuse ODG. Can they keep the momentum of Series 28 going?
Adam even talks about his last appearance on the show, 27 series ago, saying, with a chuckle, ‘I’ve just got over it.’ He talks about the suit he wore and the cropped hairstyle, saying he looked like an egg.
Rhod: “How can you remember what you wore 18 years ago?”
Adam: “…it’s important.”
Rhod confirms that Paul’s one of the lowest scoring NMTB contestants of all time. This makes sense, as Paul even says “I don’t know anything about pop music.”
Rhod: “That doesn’t mean nothing.”
Adam: “Well, I’ve…I’ve heard of certain things, like…D-Duran?”
Fuse eventually gets Paul to get up and dance with him to a traditional Ghanan dance. This is quite the visual. Paul dancing is something so wonderful and unexpectedly joyous.
Fuse, afterwards: “Uh, Paul…you’d actually get stoned in Ghana for doing that.”
As Fuse offers to teach Paul the proper methods.
Noel: “This is like the weirdest episode of Strictly Come Dancing ever…”
Paul tries it with the new, Fuse-approved technique, which is great…and then he goes back to his crazy-dancing from before. Fuse, obviously getting a kick out of this, just mimes throwing stones at him.
Phill, after the number: “And if you turn over to BBC News 24 now, we are at war with Ghana…”
Adam thinks the chainsaw corresponds with Aerosmith, saying “we’ve stayed in a lot of the same hotel rooms they’ve stayed in, and they’re pretty rock and roll.”
Sara: “And were any of the legs shorter on the beds?”
Adam tells a story about Aerosmith leaving a log behind a tile in a hotel bathroom.
Phill: “Ever since Right Said Fred were on, I no longer have Toblerones from the minibar.”
Now…I, as someone who’d been watching Buzzcocks for years, GET this reference. But Rhod has to ask Phill for clarification.
Phill: “They would unwrap them, insert them, remove them, re-wrap them, put them back in the fridge.”
The whole audience takes a moment to recover.
Noel: “What, a TOBLERONE?” [He does an impression of the sides colliding with the sides of the…you know]
Phill: “They’re ridged for your pleasure.”
There’s a nice gag where Rhod uses the prop of a blowdart to fell a rogue crew member and catapult him down to the floor.
Rhod: “Noel, g’head and finish him off.”
Noel: “What should I do to him?”
Paul: “PUT THE CAKE ON HIM!”
As Paul and Noel run over to the crew member with a cake, Fuse picks up the dart and goes ‘I think it’s really unfair that you leave the African with this weapon.’
Gosh, Fuse is just naturally funny. He’s making Wretch 32 look calm.
Fuse even admits that he’s watched this show so much that he’s thrilled he gets to be a part of it, as Adam and Rhod are going over all the people Adam hasn’t dated.
Noel and Rhod have a disagreement and call each other some names. Unlike Simon and Noel, they know it’s all in good fun, and they don’t actually question each other’s methods or character. It’s just some nice joshing, sort of like Mark and Bill. There’s no hard feelings, it’s just a show.
Noel crouches down during Rhod’s standup, and is looking at the bag of tricks…and he’s trying to get his head to pop up through the bag. So they orchestrate it, and Noel’s head just pops out of the bag of tricks on Rhod’s desk.
Rhod: “Okay, round two.”
Noel: “Let’s just do the show like this!”
They pan back to see the caked crew member is still on the ground, while Noel’s head is still in the bag. Man, this episode is weird.
Then Rhod, cracking up, has to give Noel, still in the bag, his intros for he and Fuse. Noel’s just entertained as all hell.
Noel: “It’s not even funny, I’m ACTUALLY stuck! Fuck you!”
Noel, after Paul fails to get another intro: “Look, it’s literally like a dog watching a play…”
Rhod, to Adam: “Whose idea was the white lines? Was that yours?”
Adam: “Uhhh…the native American indians…the Apache…”
This is odd- even if Adam is in the ‘ejector seat’, Sara has to do intros with Phill instead of the other way around. Maybe Adam just didn’t want to do Intros, last-minute?
Phill and Sara’s ‘Run to the Hills’ intro is fantastic, not only in execution, but because Adam seems to get a tremendous kick out of it, even if he has no idea what it is.
Phill and Sara’s second intro…is Prince Charming. So they just start with the guttural scream from the top of the song. Adam immediately gets it (obviously), and just laughs out loud.
Then, of course, Adam chimes in with the correct pronunciation of the guttural scream at the top of Prince Charming, so they’re sort of doing it back and forth to each other.}
Phill, afterwards: “I am AROUSED.”
Rhod even cracks up delivering the scores. And, as they pan back out, the caked crew member is STILL on the ground.
Hell, the passed out crew member is pegged in at #6 in Phill’s ID Parade, billed as ‘Nasty Fall’.
Phill: “Adam, there, has gone with his gut instinct, and that’s fabulous…of course, the whole card that we have…is that [Sara] interviewed him two weeks ago…”
Rhod cracks up here. Even Adam’s just amused.
And, as per usual with a Paul Foot episode, Paul has to go up to the ID Parade and sniff out the real guy. Like usual, I’m not gonna write all of this down, but it’s some funny stuff.
Rhod’s visual next line is Madonna’s Into the Groove, and he does this by trying to fit his feet inside a vinyl record.
Paul: “Exploding Feet!”
Rhod: “No, NOT EXPLODING FEET!”
Rhod: “You waste your time…huh!” [he looks at Phill, as if to say ‘go figure’]
Noel: :TRYING TO GUESS INTO THE GROOVE WHILE A WELSHMAN DANCES ON A DESK.”
Rhod: “You waste your time with hope and regret, you’re broken.”
Noel: “Yeah, I know, but PAUL’s on my team.”
Overall: “While not quite as good as episodes 3 and 4, still a really nice show, with some just plain odd moments, and a fantastic retrospective for Adam Ant. It felt like everybody had some real appreciation for the guy, and it was even better that he was game enough to come back. Noel’s team did have the better edited show, as Fuse had some hilarious moments, and Paul was himself. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t like Paul as much as everyone else seems to, and I don’t think his ID Parade moments are too great, but he still had some nice lines. But yeah, good enough show, thanks to some nice moments, and to the unconscious crew member.
Best Regular: Rhod
Best Guest: Adam
Best Runner: passed out crew member