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Off Their Rockers

Catchphrase; Off Their Rockers

Sun Apr 7, 6.45-8pm, ITV

By Phil Harrison
Mr Chips is alive and well. The animations are still laughably rudimentary. The musical accompaniments still sound like someone aimlessly running through the presets on a Yamaha organ. And most of the fun is still to be derived from gawping incredulously as contestants obstinately refuse to join the dots. Stephen Mulhern has moved into the Roy Walker role now but, other than that, very little has changed. So why on earth has ITV brought ‘Catchphrase’ back?

‘Off Their Rockers’, which follows immediately afterwards, offers a clue. Maybe the well of early-evening light entertainment ideas has finally run dry. ‘Off Their Rockers’ is basically ‘Trigger Happy TV’ with old people. Because everyone knows that old people are hilarious, right? Particularly when they’re swearing, talking about sex, engaging in vigorous physical activity or trying to understand modern technology. The underlying rationale of ‘OTR’ seems to be that the use of old folks can give any old joke a new lease of life. For example, they like the ‘pull my finger’ joke so much, they use it twice. Expect someone to stand on a rake in episode two. Lame.

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