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CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: Killer show murdered by a bunch of non-entities

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CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: Claudia’s killer show murdered by a bunch of big-headed non-entities

The Traitors U.S. 

Rating **

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes

Rating: **

Fluke or surefire formula? Claudia Winkleman’s reality format The Traitors, the mind game set in a Scottish castle, was the runaway surprise hit of last yr.

The query is whether or not its sadistic, addictive effect on hundreds of thousands of viewers was an accident, the inadvertent results of its perfect solid of characters combined with Claudia’s previously unsuspected streak of cruelty.

The one technique to answer that’s to try it again. The Traitors U.S. (BBC3) does just that, in the identical setting, with the identical missions, even the identical blacked-out limousines.

But there’s an important difference, one which betrays a insecurity within the format from its American producers. As a substitute of bringing together a bunch of unknowns with big personalities, half the players on this version are ‘celebrities’ from other reality shows.

As a substitute of bringing together a bunch of unknowns with big personalities, half the players on this version are ‘celebrities’ from other reality shows

They were all so in love with themselves that there was no chance for those flirtations and crushes that made Claudia’s clan of traitors and faithfuls so loveable

They were all so in love with themselves that there was no likelihood for those flirtations and crushes that made Claudia’s clan of traitors and faithfuls so loveable

For British viewers, a minimum of, these are probably the most obscure celebs conceivable. Their fame is on the dimensions of subatomic particles.

It’s not only that no person here has heard of Arie Luyendyk Jr, Kate Chastain or Reza Farahan — their shows are also meaningless to us. The Bachelor, Below Deck, Shahs Of Sunset . . . those titles sound like fakes generated by a sarcastic computer program.

And while you may know that Big Brother and The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills are popular within the States, please don’t kid me that you may have any clue who Cody Calafiore or Brandi Glanville are.

Their presence scuppers this remake, because half the primary episode was dedicated to deluded nonentities gloating about how overwhelmed the opposite players can be to come across such stardom of their midst. ‘I’m type of an icon,’ bragged Rachel Reilly, who won the U.S. edition of Big Brother in 2011. ‘That is my likelihood to make use of their fandom of me to my advantage.’

‘I like judging people,’ proclaimed Kate. ‘But I’m honest to a fault,’ she said, before adding that she’s a natural detective because Sherlock Holmes was related to her great-grandfather.

They were all so in love with themselves that there was no likelihood for those flirtations and crushes that made Claudia’s clan of traitors and faithfuls so loveable.

All 15 episodes of Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes (BBC2) are on iPlayer, as the actor goes rambling round the North-East with friends

All 15 episodes of Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes (BBC2) are on iPlayer, because the actor goes rambling around the North-East with friends

Actor Alan Cumming is the brand new host, but the foundations remain essentially unchanged. Three of the 20 players are secretly designated as ‘murderers’, eliminating one rival from the sport each night.

The others need to guess who the killers are and might expel those they most suspect. The traitors misinform protect themselves . . . and the innocents activate one another.

Aerial defence of the night:

Aerial defence of the night: Gaynor and Greg (Alexandra Mardell and James Nelson-Joyce) were suffering from a seagull on The Family Pile (ITV) and planning drastic motion — with either a dog or an air rifle. That’s silly and illegal. 

The one protection against dive-bombing gulls is a stout umbrella. 

The Americans have introduced one good twist. The players now sleep within the castle itself, and Alan stalks the battlements by moonlight in electric blue tartan, like Banquo’s ghost on a modelling task in Macbeth.

This primary show is repeated on BBC1 tonight — and the entire series is on iPlayer. So are all 15 episodes of Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes (BBC2), because the actor goes rambling around the North-East with friends.

This time, he was visiting the seaside with actor Mark Benton, not doing rather more than eating ice cream on the beach with the donkeys at Saltburn, North Yorkshire, and sucking on a sour gobstopper within the sweetshop in Staithes.

The duo had an art lesson from local gallery owner and retired teacher Ian Burke. He told them he’d been the Drawing Master at Eton College — they usually took the mickey.

That was a wasted opportunity. Mr Burke was the senior member of school staff cleared in 2006 of helping Prince Harry together with his written exam work. Robson and Mark must have asked him what he considered the reluctant royal’s current ghostwriter.

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