Dame Edna Rules the Waves, BBC1, review: Dame Edna was resplendent in fire-alarm pink on a gilt throne – inews

CultureTVSharon Osbourne and Rick Stein were among the guests but this was, as ever, all about Dame Edna

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 10:02 pm

Dame Edna Rules the Waves, BBC One, 9.05pm

Talk shows can go one of two ways. You can create a welcoming space where your guests can kick their shoes off and start telling daringly revealing anecdotes. Alternatively, theres the Dame Edna formula, where the guests are cannon fodder for the host.

At 85, the Dame isnt as laser-sharp as she was 20 years ago, but you wouldnt dare play poker with her. The fiction on Dame Edna Rules the Waves was that she had taken to the high seas on the cruise ship Ocean Widow to safeguard her ill-gotten earnings, having been inappropriately touched by the taxman. Otherwise it was business as usual, though Ednas erstwhile mute companion Madge Allsop is now deceased (shes no longer with us but the chair is still damp, quipped the gross-out Dame) and has been replaced by her sister Mabel, a husk of a woman easily mistaken for a corpse.

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Resplendent in fire-alarm pink on a gilt throne, Edna chewed through her guests like a wood-chipping machine. First up was Sharon Osbourne, a woman feared for her volcanic temper and a vocabulary that would make Snoop Dogg blush, but reduced to simpering coyness in the presence of the Dame. Edna was taking no prisoners. Of course I recognise you, she said sympathetically, but youve been to the panel-beaters a few times, havent you? Osbourne admitted shed had four facelifts, and was forced to agree that an intimate part of her anatomy has been surgically overhauled.

But Sharon was failing to hold Ednas attention, so chef Rick Stein was dragged out for a brisk working-over (there was room for improvement at his Padstow restaurant, he was informed). Judge Rinder fared slightly better, but Emily Atacks stories about loving mermaids and eating cheese were idiotic, while Joe Sugg (social media star and Strictly finalist in 2018) had the impact of a feather landing on a rice pudding. In truth, wed have got better value from Edna doing a 50-minute monologue before the finale of Chic playing Le Freak, but maybe shes getting bashful in her dotage.

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Dame Edna Rules the Waves, BBC1, review: Dame Edna was resplendent in fire-alarm pink on a gilt throne - inews

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