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Book Quiz, BBC4

From:     Max
Category: Books
Date:     03 August 2007
Time:     02:58 AM

Review:

Forgive the negativity, but: 
This was a desperately poor half hour of telly, so bad that I lay awake afterwards thinking of how much 
it annoyed me. It was written and presented by David Baddiel. It can't have taken him long to write 
because the questions were banal and the jokes were hopeless, smug, schoolboy non-puns which 
embarrassed his guests. Baddiel twice, pointlessly, used the 'is it cos I'm Jewish' joke that he 
frequently uses (see his silly Times Book Supplement column and apparently much of his other 
output). It made me cringe. It also seemed to make Mark Thomas and Lionel Shriver cringe with the 
sheer power of its rehearsed irrelevence. The default atmosphere of the show was awkward, cheaply 
produced trivia-with-nerd. 
At the start of the show Baddiel did an imitative quiz show device of saying 'You'll hear this noise 
when someone says something particularly funny or clever' but at the end of the show we hadn't heard 
the noise! It left the viewer with the certainty that this programme hadn't been thought through at all. 
Nor does it look to have cost more than about 3.50 to stage and edit. There must be a million 
people able to write book related quiz questions more interesting or original than the ones on this 
show. As a result the whole thing stank of a self-congratulatory post-grad show for parents. And more 
than all this, I put down an exceptional book to watch it. Robbed, beaten and insulted by my digi-box. 
Bah humbug. 


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