Bruce in Vegas, BBC1 – 5th October 2007.
Synopsis: Bruce Forsyth heads to Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World, in search of the stories behind such legendary entertainers as the Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, Liberace and many more.
For the sweet love of baby Jesus, nooooooo!
Suffice to say, Bruce does nothing of the sort. He takes his wife to the Venetian where he attempts to serenade a gondolier with toe curling results. He does a bit of a tap dancing, and looks flabbergasted when people stare suspiciously at his syrup and say, ‘Bruce who?’ Bruce and the wife renew their wedding vows. An Elvis impersonator makes a predictable appearance. Bruce meets Barry Manilow and attempts to steer the conversation round to himself. Bruce visits the Liberace museum and has a tinkle on an old Joanna. And on it goes. Where’s Songs of Praise when you need a bit of hard edged television?
However, rather than asking what the flaming arse the point of the whole thing was I think it’s tempting to surmise that the BBC has actually invented a whole new genre here. I mean, it can’t be classified as a travel show – we get shots of Vegas of course, but it doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know about the place (i.e., it’s a got a few hotels, the odd casino and an Elvis impersonator on every street corner). It doesn’t really tell you anything about the personalities that Bruce purports to interview, as the old duffer is too busy tap dancing/reminiscing/being irritating to pay much attention to whatever people might be saying.
No, what it is is an hour devoted to Bruce Forsythe: vanity television, TV’s equivalent to the vanity publishing industry (with the major exception that Brucie didn’t have to pay for it). As the programme served no real purpose, this has to be the only conclusion.
So, where next for this new genre? Well, the malevolent evil that is Cilla Black has been away for a while (save the odd spot of funeral advertising) – there’s got to be a few miles left in the old dear yet.
Update, 15th October - Censored by the Muppets! Sad news: I have been blacklisted by muppetcentral.com, so you'll have to put up with Bruce's gurning visage from the BBC website instead of the rather fetching pic I had of him and Fozzy Bear.
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