brooker.jpgWell done Charlie Brooker for turning a little internet website into proper actual career. Well done for being quite good at it. And well done for doing all of this while looking a bit like Steve Davis (SEE!) . But he has done it too in a good way, paying his dues. Because let it not be said that TV reviewer turned presenter who pokes fun at TV has never been done before. Charlie Brooker’s Screen Wipe is a plenty of fun TV show which breaks absolutely no ground and is all the better for it*. He plays to his own strengths with is a generous snarkiness, and while the show may just be TV Burp for adults (though isn’t that just TV Burp?) it passes the time well. The Christmas Special was more of the same. Except a segment in the middle about secret out-take tapes which TV companies had made for Christmas parties. Hold on, I thought, I’ve seen that before.

And indeed I had. And unfortunately so had someone involved in the Screen Wipe show, if not Brooker himself. Because as minisculely subtitled, and later referenced, Victor Lewis-Smith did this on TV Offal ten years ago. If you have forgotten, TV Offal was a show where a TV reviewer turned presenter poked fun at TV. I got the feeling they had only realised that this was almost wholesale lifting of the TV Offal stuff when they were committed to the slot and had no time to replace it (and they had already had a piece on the Queen removed / or at least pretended to as a gag). And so in the filmed segment, Brooker not only admitted that this was lifted from TV Offal, but when feigning ignorance of Victor Lewis-Smith and his schtick, Lewis-Smith was described as “the rich man’s you” (one assumes this was written by Brooker). Amusing, honest and a good way of getting out of a hole that no-one would have accused him of. Except me.

Now if he did the Gay Daleks…

*OK: Brooker says cunt better than anyone else on television, or at least would do if it wasn’t bleeped out.