ITV clearly has big hopes for this reboot of the long-running celebrity home-invasion panel show. Both Vernon Kaye and Paul O’Grady were reportedly in the running to spend their Saturday evenings rummaging through the drawers of the great, the good and the goadawful. Then ITV decided to split the difference, handing the task over to Leigh Francis’s high-achieving alter-ego, gurning Northern malapropism-merchant Keith ‘Ooosh!’ Lemon.
And, love him, loathe him or remain in a state of semi-ignorant bafflement, Lemon is clearly in his element here, rifling through the pads of an Olympian (naturally), a couple of boy band refugees (jolly) and a former Deputy Prime Minister (oh, John…) while Dave Berry, Martine McCutcheon and Eamonn Holmes – who in the ITV-verse counts as a sage elder statesman – attempt to riddle out whose house is whose. In essence, it’s a quizzed-up ‘Cribs’ for crinklies.
Compared to much of the shiny-floored crunk that ITV (and, indeed, the BBC) has been pumping out of late, ‘Through the Keyhole’, or, as Keith has it ‘Fruit’keyhole’, is a fairly decent stab at bouncy Saturday evening fun. Decent enough, in fact, to make one wonder why it’s been shunted back to 9.20 just to make room for a few F-bombs and other assorted bleeped out swears. This has got 7.30 – and therefore bigger ratings – written all over it.