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Review: Last night's TV: If you're going to put animals in Room 101, then pick Bambi, says Sam Wollaston

January 25, 2014

Sam Wollaston

I like Richard Osman (massive fan of Pointless), but I very much disagree with his views, on Room 101 (BBC1), about "zoo filler". He says you only go to the zoo to see lions, tigers, monkeys, penguins and now - presumably because of a certain price-comparison website - meerkats. I went to London zoo with my son the other day; we could take or leave the cats, to be honest. One of us - the right one - most appreciated (light) petting a goat. And we both very much enjoyed the snakes and lizards. Snakes are even better if you go to a zoo where they're a bit less worried about upsetting children. I remember an afternoon in Sri Lanka, watching snakes being fed live chicks. They go on cheep-cheeping as they go down. Also, Richard, have you really ever seen a pike (the freshwater fish) in a zoo? "Yes," @richardosman tells me. (Isn't that the brilliant thing about Twitter, that you can ask people off the telly stupid questions?) Well, I think he's lying. Anyway, Frank Skinner spares Richard's "zoo filler" and mythical pike, and quite rightly puts comedian @roisinconaty's Bambi in Room 101 instead, though I don't agree with her reasons. She thinks children should be protected from death and the horrors of the world. I would very happily take my son to Colombo zoo (much cheaper entrance than London , too). Otherwise, it's a nice opener to the new series (number 14, can you believe it?). The other guest is Joan Bakewell - it's not often you get octogenarian ladies on comedy panel shows. And that should be applauded. One tiny moan on the subject of applause: I think panel-show contestants should be discouraged from applauding each other (there's a bit of that going on here), or even laughing at each other's jokes. It's both over-polite and a little bit smug: "Oh you're so funny." "No, you're so funny." That's what the audience is there for: to laugh and applaud, if they feel like it. I'd maybe put that into Room 101 , if I went on. Otherwise very good, carry on.


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Source: Guardian (UK)


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