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The Greatest Shows on Earth

Mon Jun 17, 10-11.05pm, C4

Episode one
It’s been an awfully long time since Daisy Donovan first broke through on C4’s ‘11 O’Clock Show’. Though the show is best remembered for introducing us to Ricky Gervais and Sacha Baron Cohen, it also launched Donovan’s career – based on a rather pleasing schtick of acting respectable and wicked, like the head girl of a prep school who was also the biggest bully.

In the first of this new four-part series, she pitches herself as a telly addict on a mission – aiming to understand the soul of a country through its programming. It’s an enjoyable, conscientious and at times hysterical extension of the trusted ‘foreign-telly-is-bonkers’ format that kept Chris Tarrant and Clive James on ITV’s Sunday schedule for years. Here, as with her other experiential shows like ‘Daisy Daisy’, Donovan goes out to the countries and gets involved.

With Brazil the subject of this opening episode, she provides a subtle but stinging feminist counterpart to something called ‘Miss Boom Boom’ (essentially a prime-time competition to find Brazil's sexiest lady-bum) and leads us in open-jawed response ‘Na Mira’ – a brutal and bloody real-life crime show.