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Matt shrugs off show's shaky start; TVChoice.

The Matt Lucas Awards (BBC One, 10.35pm) MATT Lucas has never been too far away from a good old ratings-grabber. His quirky-bordering-controversial sense of humour has bagged him some of the best gigs on the telly and along with best pal David Walliams, he quickly worked his way into the heart of the nation.

But for a while it was touch and go with this latest effort.

Radio has always been a great way to launch a TV show, but not all series successfully make the transition from the airwaves to the small screen.

In the theatre of the mind there's an unlimited budget, but nothing shows up the cracks in a format like studio lights and those embarrassed looks from certain guests.

When this show debuted on the Beeb a few weeks ago, it was clear that some of the wrinkles in the TV format still needed ironing out.

There was no problem with the eponymous star, who could probably read extracts from the phone book and make them funny, while David Arnold, easily the funniest 007 composer of all time, was having a fine old time adding musical accompaniment here and there. Alas, episode one was not a great way to launch this series, and some viewers decided not to return for a second helping - but if you're one of those, it might be time to reassess the show.

Having been thrown out of his comfort zone somewhat, Matt said: "It's not scripted and I'm not in character. I was nervous about appearing as myself, because I haven't done that much before, but I think it works well.

"Also, Mum has just retired and I thought it would be nice for her to get out of the house.

"This is the first thing I've done without David Walliams, so I wanted it to be very different. It's cleaner than some of the stuff we have done, and it gave me the chance to work with lots of other comedians."

So settle back and enjoy the last of the series as more special guests take part in the offbeat backslapping gong show.

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Different kind of show: Matt Lucas in The Matt Lucas Awards.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 22, 2012
Words:367
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