Saturday night television is getting a fresh and funny new addition, with The Keith and Paddy Picture Show hitting our screens this Saturday, kicking off a 5-part series of classic movie remakes, strewn with celebrity cameos.
Now, when I say ‘remakes’, what I really mean is half hour comedic adaptations, done in a hilariously unique, yet faithful fashion. The first of these is Dirty Dancing, with Paddy McGuinness playing Patrick Swayze’s Johnny and Keith Lemon doing an unnervingly authentic portrayal of Baby. As funny as it was, and it was truly laugh out loud stuff, they avoided what could have been a full-on slapstick satire, instead creating a comedic homage. Attention to detail and character nuances, such as Johnny’s tough guy sups of his beer, which had the audience in stitches and Baby’s subtle smirks of delight in the final dance, ensured authenticity and humour went hand in hand. One particularly notable scene was the dance training sequence, in which the original dance steps and songs were replaced by the hokey cokey and the conga – comedy gold!
Keith Lemon’s (Leigh Francis) performance was a departure from his usual antics, as a loud, lewd and crude host. Even with comical exaggerations, Francis impressively committed to the character of Baby, so much so, you found yourself almost ignoring who was playing the role. With a soft touch and girlish exuberance, the character was enacted brilliantly, with the comedy never taking away from the authenticity of the portrayal.
The same can be said of McGuinness’s re-enactment of Johnny. All the machismo and style was brought to life with the humour that only an authentic performance can bring. Had either character stepped into pure mockery territory, the comedy would have been compromised. This is testament to what Leigh Francis and the show’s creators insisted to me; that they absolutely respected and loved the original movies recreated in this series and wanted to do them justice, which is clearly evident.
Throughout the series, with Rocky, Jaws, Ghostbusters and Star Wars being remade, look out for celebrity cameos aplenty, including the likes of Robbie Williams, Philip Schofield, Kimberly Wyatt, Michelle Keegan and Gary Wilmot, to name but a few.
Saturday night is getting a fresh new injection of life, with Keith and Paddy’s Picture Show, stepping into the breach with this genuinely funny and brilliant series. I have no doubt in predicting that this will be the first of many series to come and a future Saturday night staple.
The Keith and Paddy Picture Show, Saturday, ITV, 9.15pm