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Britain’s Next Prime Minister a flop for ITV

Photo credit: BBC

ITV’s new weekday prime time talent show, Britain’s Next Prime Minister, has been canned after the pilot fails to engage viewers. 

Critics have slammed the first airing of the show which pitches two hapless middle-aged white men, with ambitions to lead the country, against each other in what the channel described as an unscripted reality talent debate format.

Jeremy Hunt, the first contestant to take to the podium, opened the show with his impression of a Dalek by repeating the word “negotiate” over and over in his weirdly modulated voice. 

With the audience visibly unimpressed by Hunt’s performance, contestant number two, Boris Johnson, riffed on Harry Enfield’s character Tim Nice But Dim for his turn in the impressions round.

The second round, which saw both contestants try to convince the audience that they could deliver Brexit, has been described as deeply derivative of the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie To You. 

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As the second half commenced, both contestants were visibly short of material and resorted to the sort of petty schoolboy sarcasm and backbiting usually reserved for satirical websites and The Daily Mail. 

A screening of a pre-recorded swimwear round was ditched at the last minute due to the show being broadcast before the watershed, leaving host, Julie Etchingham, to fill the gap by spending a full twenty minutes pressing Johnson to answer at least one question. Mr Johnson declined.  

A final quick fire questions round saw Hunt promise to build a railway and extend an airport while Johnson opted to throw an ambassador under a bus.

Aside from the quality of the contestants, the show’s biggest criticism is that the majority of viewers don’t even get to vote on its outcome.

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