The Secret Policeman’s Ball: apparently good live, why was it crap on Channel 4?

I don’t live in Glittering London™ so I didn’t make it the the lovely Amnesty International Secret Policeman’s Ball 2008 I had to make do with the edited version on Channel 4 the next day.

Being a big comedy geek I read all the reveiws the day after the show to see A. who was on and B. who was funny. The line up looked great everyone was apparently funny and there were some surprises like the lovely and brilliant Sarah Millican being on the bill.

So I prepared myself with all the excitement I reserve for the Oscars or the BAFTAs and tuned in to Channel Four to watch.

B L A H.

From the cheap opening credits to the ‘was that it’ ending I was waiting for it to become what it has been every other year. By all accounts it was live, why wasn’t it on the telly?

All of the acts were funny, yes some of the material has been seen before but it was delivered brilliantly. So why didn’t it work? I bring it all down to editing. We as veiwers were presented the show as if it were just filmed and shown to us, after reading lots about it I know it really really wasn’t, acts were cut to teeny tiny peices and others were removed completely, boo.

There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the chopping/cutting than the ‘them off the telly’ rule, the lowest point of the night was Matthew Horne and James Corden who appeared to warrent 5 minutes of screen time with 10 seconds of material, it may have been better if I was there but it just looked like extreme filler.

The only reason I can find for the bad editing is that the director/editor don’t know that much about comedy and as good as Frank Skinner was did he deserve the longest slot and did you really need to keep Fearne Cotton in, did you?

I don’t watch the SPB to go ‘oooooh look it’s them off of that’ I watch it because I want to see lots and lots of comedy from lots of people, it’s the closest I get to feeling like someone who loves music as much as I love comedy feels at Live 8 or whilst watching festival coverage, I was cheated this year.

And AI when you have someone as skilled at public speaking as Eddie Izzard why why why why why why why why why give him dry boring autocue? You didn’t for Germaine Greer and she was awesome!

What did you think? Any good? Did you think it was badly put together? Did you miss Sarah Millican? (the only answer to that is yes)

and Ross Kemp. Why.