Best of the Worst



Alexander Armstrong


Team captains: Johnny Vaughan and David Mitchell


4Dtv for Channel 4, 1 September to 6 October 2006 (6 episodes in 1 series)


Panel game in which participants attempt to identity the Worst in a given category.

In Channel 4's last attempt to do a comedy panel game, the bafflingly popular 8 Out of 10 Cats, the format was rather all over the place. Best of the Worst is at least more coherent, with a better graphics package, a pleasant set (even if it is still unnecessarily overwhelming in size) and a clearly signposted but rather slow-moving format.

Pick the Worst challenges the teams to choose one option each from four possibilities in a particular category, such as the Worst Diet. The audience then vote between the teams' choices. Strangely, the audience vote graphic is animated in such a poor, unexciting way that you can tell who the winner is as soon as it starts.

Bottom Five runs through a list of five worst somethings, and the teams have to answer a question based on the photograph. Which Ends the Worst? is basically What Happens Next? with two videos and the teams have to guess which of the clips ends in the most unpleasant way.

Wall of Worst is the obligatory quick-fire round based on photos of funny situations. The points are then totted up and the losing team is 'celebrated' as the Worst of the Week.

Given we're now in 2006, why this show couldn't do without the elements shoplifted from 1990's Have I Got News for You, including comedy video clips at the start and funny photos at the end, is not clear. There are so few scoring opportunities in the rounds that it hardly seems worthwhile playing a game at all. It would have been better to dump the game element and just have a free-form chat show based around the worse (worser? worst?) concept.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the show was devised by two people intimately linked with HIGNFY, but at least it's better than their previous Bognor or Bust.


Giles Pilbrow and Colin Swash


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