About Shooting Stars

We've all seen panel shows, from the witheringly satirical Have I Got News For You to the porky-pie filled Would I Lie To You, but nothing can ever prepare a newcomer to the madcap extravaganza that is Shooting Stars.

Shooting Stars

This being the brainchild of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer it was always going to be unconventional, and from the running gags about Ulrika Jonsson's many, many marriages to the heady days of greased-up 50s throwback Mark Lamarr, the pair of cheeky imps have never disappointed in the surreal stakes. While it's impossible to fully explain the magic and surreal mastery of the show in mere human words, there are a few constants which we can at least celebrate.

Shooting Stars has never just been about Vic and Bob – though their skanking, frying-pan wielding influence is all over it. It's also been about continually proving that Ulrika-ka-ka is a devilishly funny wit (as well as a heart-breaking jezebel), that George Dawes is the best skin-slapping baby in the music business and that there's always got to be a grumpy so-and-so who spoils it for everyone. Once, it was greasy Ted Mark Lamarr, and then he made way for perma-sulker Jack Dee. It's also about the Dove From Above, with his beautiful majestic plumage of questions and his love of being beckoned down by celebrity cooing. Or, on rare occasions, The Crow From Below or The Beast From The East (which was Ron Atkinson's head, naturally).

Other regulars in the house of Reeves and Mortimer include the club singer round, in which Vic treats the world to a well-known song rendered incomprehensible in a club style. It says more about the pop charts than Vic's melodic mastery that they're often an improvement on the original. Singing success isn't the only thing Vic's got his eye on during the show, though – there always happens to be a rather foxy female seated just to his right (pure coincidence, of course). He must have worn out countless pairs of trousers with all his thigh-rubbing over the years, but he is unquestionably smoother than a velvet weasel when it comes to going a'courtin'.

There's been a bit of re-shuffling of the lineups over the years, not least when the show made a glorious return to our screens after a hiatus. Little Georgie Dawes grew up and flew the nest, only to be replaced by part-time burger van entrepreneur and carrier bag sporter Angelos Epithemiou. Originally filling Jonny Vegas' shoes on Team B he graduated to chief score-keeper for Series 7, continuing his deeply creepy and often meat-based pursuit of the fair hand of Ulrika.

Stepping into Vic and Bob's world can be a perilous move – especially if you're easily spooked. It's a place where fruit is a weapon, Frank Bough is basically a swearword and celebs have to brave the sorts of challenges which would reduce a marine to tears. Whether expressing themselves through their powerful, pan-sexual dancing or with their peerless singing, Vic and Bob are ringmasters of utter brain-twisting mayhem. The scores might not make sense, and the prize budget might be lower than the takings of the Chad branch of Lidl, but there's no denying it's a class apart when it comes to off-the-wall quizcom action. All together now - we really wanna see those fingers...

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