REVIEW: Safeword

Hello there readers, and welcome to another review style blogpost! I’m writing this slightly earlier than I’d anticipated to, as I was waiting until the first episode was broadcast. However, having seen an advert for the series and with no other review style posts based on the programme, I thought I’d be the first to! Plus, who knows, maybe a website that posts many reviews about TV programmes will want to speak to me about the programme, and then I can publish my ideas in a magazine AND BE ON THE WAY TO GET A JOB. So, the programme that I’ll be discussing is Safeword, a brand new comedian/celebrity panel show on ITV2 that is so ITV2 style I’m surprised that Dapper Laughs didn’t appear from behind the set to be all ‘laddy’ because the show most definitely enhanced lad culture and ‘sick banter’ to the live audience. From glancing around the audience, I was definitely one of the youngest audience members, but I think this is because it was filmed on a Sunday evening, and most young people should be studying, or working, or doing something with their life. Sorry parents. I AM TRYING TO GET EMPLOYED SOMEWHERE.

Back to the programme, and as I’ve aforementioned, Safeword is a brand new format for ITV2. According to itv.com “Each episode will see two teams, made up of a celebrity guest and two comedians, compete in a competitive ‘roast’ format.  The celebrities will have their public profiles scrutinised and their social media accounts hijacked as the rival panels poke around their personal and professional lives. The only thing that can help the celebrities is using their Safe Word to make it all stop”. The series will feature Rick Edwards as the host, with David Morgan and Katherine Ryan as team captains. Fortunately, I had seen all three of these perform before, despite many around me in the queue unsure as to who they were. I had seen Rick Edwards host Free Speech in Hackney in March, so it was refreshing to see him perform in a comical role, however I personally preferred him in a more serious role, even though he was still hilarious in a ‘jokey’ format. It was also exciting to see David Morgan developing as a comedian. After his compere performance at Warwick University at the start of term 2, it was interesting to see how he works a panel show format, as I can imagine this is totally different to working a crowd of 18-21 who, let’s be honest, aren’t going to be mean to any comedian who comes to entertain us in the bubble that I call campus. Lastly, I’ve seen Katherine Ryan many a time and it was actually a conversation that I had with Katherine via Twitter that got me a production seat in the programme in the first place.

After having an informal conversation on Twitter, I told her that I had applied for tickets for the evening performance of Sunday 5th July as I was already in London that day. Her response to this was ‘YOU CAN OBVIOUSLY COME ON MY GUEST LIST, IDIOT’. After checking a couple of weeks later that this was all a-okay, I went down to the London Studios with my Dad, told the people that I had production guest list tickets, wore my silver wristband with pride and stood in the queue (with a bleeding knee after falling on the pavement, what a sober mess). Dad and I then took our seats alongside a few other production guest list people, however they were there as they knew people working on the set, and I was there because of a panellist and then watched a show. I don’t want to reveal too much just yet because I don’t want to describe a whole episode’s worth of TV and I can’t remember everything that happened, so saying I won’t reveal too much is a copout.

On to the show itself, the whole panel consisted of these people, and I’ve put their Twitter accounts below so please give them a follow because they’re all WORTH IT (The L’Oréal pun needs to be appreciated by people that were there, and once you watch the programme, you will realise just how clever I’ve been).

Rick Edwards: @rickedwards1

David Morgan: @thisisdavid

Katherine Ryan: @Kathbum

Tom Craine: @TomCraine

Matt Richardson: @MattRichardson3 (for some reason this Twitter handle is seen as a legit word?)

Vicky Pattison: @VickyGShore

Ritchie Neville: @RitchieNeville

The first round is called ‘Hacked’ and sees the two guest celebrities, in this case Vicky and Ritchie, have their Instagram or Twitter accounts ‘hacked’ by the comedians on their opposing team, and the contestants can use their Safeword once they feel they’ve been spat on enough and roasted. Vicky suffered first, but Katherine was actually quite pleasant towards her. Canadians aren’t normally known for their viciousness, and Katherine proved this to be true. With Tom providing some acerbic hashtags for the posts, Katherine and Tom were a great pairing, (but I knew they would be, I’ve listened to Tom Craine’s BBC4 podcasts which are GREAT and I encourage you to check them out!) Once Vicky had felt punished enough, she shouted out her Safeword, securing points for her team and letting Matt and David take control of Ritchie’s twitter. They definitely saw this as a ‘hot one, this choice critical, situation is difficult’ but Matt and David cleverly played on his 5ive appearances and the infamous ‘Big Reunion’ to suggest that Ritchie was leaving the band. What was crazy to see for both Ritchie and Vicky’s posts were the quick responses of their fans. If I took one thing away from the programme, it’s that we, as the British public are a gullible nation. The British public really did believe that Ritchie was leaving and Vicky was creating a She-Wee.

Other rounds saw a similar style of format, but without using their live social networking feeds. Katherine ROASTED into Vicky about the concept of celebrities yo-yoing their weight in order to sell DVD’s. Katherine is the queen of knowing everything going on in ‘trash TV’ and I love her for that because it means I don’t have to waste all my life watching it, just some of my life. Even my Dad came out saying Katherine is so right. Tom took a drier approach to roasting Vicky, but as previously suggested, the way in which they worked as a pair saw Vicky feel a slight bit of shame. However, she mentioned that both Katherine and Tom weren’t lying, so why should this stop? She’s not a Sinitta. (Sinitta is a guest on another episode and REALLY DIDN’T LIKE THE FORMAT: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/sinitta-slams-vile-new-itv2-6010235) Matt Richardson was also very clever in insulting Ritchie Neville as he suggested things that were better than 5ive, such as stubbing your toe and standing on a plug. The irony created the laughter. And that sentence explains comedy shows in general and how they work.

The last round was one-liner insult with both Vicky and Ritchie insulting Geordie Shore and whether Ritchie can actually be classed as a celebrity now as 5ive are associated with the 90’s. I must admit, I didn’t know who he was when he came on stage, but I do know the classics ‘Keep on Movin’ and ‘Everybody Get Up’ so that’s okay I guess.

The show then finished, and I thought that was it. However, as Katherine had actually got me into the show, I felt obliged to thank her, so as she walked off set I said in a slightly louder than speaking voice but not a shout ‘Thanks Katherine!’ and she heard, so I waved and she waved back. I said thanks again and then she was talking to me but I couldn’t hear her over the noisiness of the room, so went up to she and she said thank you for coming. Then, the unthinkable happened as she invited my Dad and me backstage. WHAT WAS GOING ON? Firstly, this was unexpected and I felt like an absolute tramp with a bloody left knee on my jumpsuit (the blood has now come out, thanks Mum). But, everyone else was a famous person and I felt out of place. As uncomfortable as I first felt when I walked into the room, it was a wonderful experience with great wine and I had a photo with Vicky and Matt:

In the green room with Matt and Vicky, what a turn of events!
In the green room with Matt and Vicky, what a turn of events!

Half an hour later, Dad and I had to leave in order to catch our train, so I said thank you to Katherine once again and Dad and I made our way home. All in all, it was a wonderful experience seeing a brand new format being filmed, and I hope that this ‘review’ style blogpost will encourage you to watch the show as it is definitely worth watching. I can’t wait to see the cut-down version as filming was over 2 hours for a 45 minute programme including adverts. But, most of all, I want the programme to succeed as Rick, David and Katherine were all super and they’ve worked too hard for the programme to flop. Right, so picking a song for this blogpost was simple because we’ve got a member of a band being mentioned. Just remember…

When the rainy days are dying, all the bees and birds are flying, gotta keep on, keep on trying AAAAAH. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbWJVult-9M

Enjoy,

Sophie x

I must give a huge thank you to Katherine for allowing me backstage and treating me like a pal! X
I must give a huge thank you to Katherine for allowing me backstage and treating me like a pal! X
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