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The BBC must’ve been delighted with the first series of Russell Kane’s ‘Live at the Apollo’-for-yoofs – a third season is already in production, before the second batch has even aired. The format remains largely unchanged for ‘Live at the Electric’ 2.0: Kane introduces a mix of character comics and sketch acts with a younger, trendier edge than McIntyre’s relatively geriatric affairs.
But, wisely, most of the pre-edited VTs that lead the first series have gone, replaced by greater focus on the ‘live’ part of the title. Welcome new additions to the line-up include suave French misanthrope Marcel Lucont (the character creation of Alexis Dubus), who dishes out some inventive sex advice, and weirdo Northern Irishman Paul Currie, who silently, and absurdly, recreates the iconic Russian roulette scene from ‘The Deer Hunter’ with the help of a monkey puppet and some theatrical gestures.
Not all the skits hit the mark, though. YouTube star Chris Kendall (know as ‘Crabstickz’ on the interwebs) spoofs Robert Pattinson’s ‘Twilight’ turn about five years too late, and Kane’s own ‘The Only Way is Shakespeare’ sketch has one joke: saying rude words in a thespian tongue. But the rotating cast make this well worth sticking with, and there are some cracking acts to come later in the series.