Picture: PA Photo/UKTV/Steve Peskett
Can three pairs of comedians survive in the Great Outdoors without modern day creature comforts and most notably wi-fi? That is the question posed by the new show hosted by David Mitchell, the star of Peep Show, Upstart Crow and Would I Lie To You, who is presenting and judging the show, ala Taskmaster style, rather than competing.
Mitchell, who is no Bear Grylls, says “They need not be too attached to personal comfort, to be a natural rule-breaker, and be physically deft,” adding “I’ve described the opposite of me.”
The three pairs of comics taking part in the ‘Scout Camp’ are: Toussaint Douglass and Kerry Godliman, Ed Gamble and Lou Sanders, and Jessica Knappett and Jamali Maddix , each pairing take on challenges to prove they could cope with life in the great outdoors.
“The concept is, can the contestants learn skills to survive without all the stuff we all live with every day: the buildings, the shops, the Wi-Fi, the electricity?” notes Mitchell in The Irish Examiner, “That’s a question that people have asked themselves, literally for centuries, even at times when we would consider they had no modern technology, they were thinking maybe we should be living a more rural, a more basic existence. “So it’s a show that comedically addresses that question. It’s particularly apposite now when the pandemic and the threat of climate change is making us probably ask that question even more.”
Each episode of the six-part series involves the teams, who camped together for the entirety of filming, tasked with three different activities, from felling trees to milking goats.
Mitchell also judges each pair’s competence at the tasks and awards a badge to those he considers have succeeded (they don’t have to sow them on their sleeves though). Mitchell’s withering commentary on the pairs’ attempts, along with the jocular rivalry and natural comedic talents of the contestants in completing the challenges promises a good hour’s entertainment.