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Derren Brown: the Great Art Robbery

Fri Dec 13, 9-10.35pm, C4

Derren Brown is talking to Ivan Massow. He’s warning him that he’s going to steal one of his paintings: a work by the Chapman brothers. He’s telling him the exact date and time that the robbery will take place. And he’s even giving him a photograph of the man who’ll be doing the robbing. Understandably, Massow is reasonably confident that he’ll be able to thwart this plan. But then, he has seen Brown’s shows before…

Whether Brown succeeds or not is largely immaterial. ‘The Great Art Robbery’ is probably the warmest, most charming thing that he’s attempted to date and the ending is almost by the by. The plan uses society’s habit of ignoring the elderly against itself – Brown’s art thieves are a group of likeable and game OAPs.

And the preparations for the theft are, in themselves, hugely entertaining. Whether they’re scrawling (bizarre) grafitti or stealing chips, it’s brilliant to see these senior citizens unleash their inner scoundrels. There’s good cheer in this for all of us. Old age, suggests Brown, can be as much fun as you want it to be.