For all it’s worth the BBC isn’t immune to the occasional blunder and this perhaps isn’t shown better than in Tonight With Vladimir Putin, a spoof chat show hosted by a CGI Vladimir Putin (Nathaniel Tapley). The voice isn’t unlike that of Aleksandr Orlov from the Compare the Market adverts.
The first of two 13 minute episodes sees the CGI Putin talking to former Tony Blair spokesman Alistair Campbell and former Loose Women panellist June Sarpong. Episode one also sees a CGI Meghan Markle (Gbemisola Ikumelo) in a skit that continues the programme’s style of humour, reminiscent of the ITV duds Headcases and Newzoids.
While the premise isn’t anything special, if the writing was good it would be serviceable, if somewhat redundant. But it isn’t, unfortunately.
Picking worthy targets maybe, however the writing isn’t funny or original enough for the programme to feel worthwhile. What should be anarchic satire feels safe and derivative, and why there’s a series of two episodes both short of a quarter of an hour rather than one pilot is a mystery.
Pushed back in the schedule after a negative reaction to the trailer on social media, Tonight With Vladimir Putin is on Sundays on BBC Two at 11.00pm.