Celebrity Juice. The Worst Show Ever?

The day little John and Edward Grimes lacquered their matching mops into straw monoliths for their X Factor audition, they couldn’t have imagined that in just over a year they’d be sat opposite a comedian with an orange tache arguing over which one of them should race him in a lemon eating contest. Such things are best left unimagined, let alone filmed and beamed into our homes. But a few weeks back, beamed it was. Having so far dodged Keith Lemon’s screechy panel show, Celebrity Juice (Thursdays, ITV2), I forced myself to sit through, not only the Jedward/citrus stunt, but the whole episode.

For the uninitiated, it’s Have I Got News For You for people with more toes than brain cells. Instead of current affairs, they try to riff on star gossip from the last week. It’s an area ripe for terse mocking but, alas, you’ll see none of that here. It’s so brain meltingly bad, I went back for more the following Thursday.

Lemon (Leigh Francis) wafts bad jokes, mainly about wanting to shag team captains Holly Willoughby (Holly Willo-booby) and Fearne Cotton. They’re aiming for a Vic and Ulrika-ka-ka dynamic, but with Lemon in the horny dog role it’s just not funny. And while sniffing around the attractive female guests is just part of Shooting Stars' shtick, sadly, it’s Lemon’s biggest gun. He comes off as a dull, mock misogynist and his head girls don’t have the comedy nous to bite back. “You’re so bad!” whinges Booby when Lemon attempts to take an up-skirt shot.

Celebrity Juice is fantastically unfunny, to the point where any genuinely witty observations are so out of context you miss them. The first episode's only laughable lines came from one man: Richard Bacon. When an ex-Blue Peter presenter is your lead gag machine, you know you’re in trouble. And if you’re lucky enough to score Verne Troyer as a guest (as was the case more recently this series) you should probably try to come up with something more original to spit at him than, “Who would win in a fight between you and a gremlin?”

The show’s other permanent team member, Rufus Hound, is a capable comedian and panellist but here he mainly keeps quiet and looks embarrassed. Possibly they’ve installed a cattle prod under his desk because a couple of times, out of nowhere, he did jump up and do some work. It didn’t go especially well but it was a relief to see he wasn’t dead.

The big celebrity news story the week of my Celeb Juice initiation was Lady Gaga’s meat dress. As a tribute, Lemon disappeared and re-entered covered in steak. Suspended from his groin was a gigantic salami. Again, Vic and Bob could probably have made this work, but Lemon’s unbearable verbal add-ons destroy his visual gags. These also included a dog dressed as Lindsey Lohan and simulated shagging between Lemon and Katie Price, then Lemon and Brian Dowling. I think I had a nightmare like that once.

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celebrity juice is repulsive.
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Pull your tampon out and stop crying. It's a corking programme
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Here's an idea, Ruth - and it's quite "out there", so do bare with me. Seeing as you hate the show so much, save yourself a lot of time and anguish by (wait for it)... not watching it. Top tip there. You're welcome.
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Celebrity Juice is a marvel and it took me until series four to discover it tucked away in the wee hours of ITV2. It's a rare beast in that it's a panel show that is funnier than it is smart (although I suspect that Leigh Francis is very smart indeed). Keith Lemon is a genuinely funny comic creation and, like many of the finest comic creations, he's a child in the body of an adult. He bounds around like a joyfully egocentric but basically good natured ten year old let loose on the adult world. The show itself is an extention of his persona appearing brightly on screen with Holly Willoughby and Ferne Cotton showing themselves to be clever comic stooges and Rufus Hound the only regular figure from the world of stand up. Keith Lemon clearly speaks to the idiot child in all of us and its hard not to feel joyful as he says what shouldn't be said adoring the world of celebrity and yet completely lampooning its sacred cows. Of course any attempt at an intelligent reading of the show would miss the point. The point is to succumb to the clowning and laugh until it hurts as I have at some point in every single episode. The genius of a great comic is in never trying to be clever. That's why so many of those other panel shows ultimately make you feel as if there is a cabal of very smart people allowed to be amusing who, if we are honest, don't amuse us nearly as much as a youtube video of a cat falling off a piano. Keith Lemon is such a brilliant comic creation he's funnier than a youtube video of a cat falling off a piano. That's how good he is. The Vic and Bob comparison is probably valid. Shooting Stars was an incredible break through in being a comedy panel show which was never a platform for show offs. Celebrity Juice takes the joke much further though in that this is unreservedly aimed at a cross cultural audience and plays on a knowledge of trivial nonsense that none of us should really care about but that we've all dipped into. The reviewer above has clear reasons for her point of view. But I think there's horrible reveal in the statement about it being like Have I Got News For You for people with more toes than brain cells. While I appreciate the wit the implication is a worrying one. Especially as my admiration for Have I Got News For You has been falling off lately whereas Celebrity Juice makes me laugh harder than anything else on television. Maybe I'm losing my mind.
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I have to disagree , i don't feel the humour is at all comparable to Shooting Stars. A lot of the humour in CJ comes from the fact that you're not sure whether Lemon's pervy antics are in fact genuine or not and how far off the diving board he's willing to go with it all. Shooting Stars is more surrealist oddball comedy, in which a lot of the humour is derived from the surrealism in itself. I guess it's just down to personal taste, but i like it.
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I think it's pretty good for what it is, although it certainly can be a bit cringeworthy at times!!
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i hate the show
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celebrity juice is the BEST show on ITV2
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