Review: Phone Shop Idol | Virgin Media
Phone Shop Idol

Review: Phone Shop IdolAired Tuesday 19th January at 10pm on BBC Two (CH 102) | Rating: ★★★

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We certainly couldn’t accuse the salespeople in this documentary of, er, phoning it in, as they unleashed their mobile phone knowledge and prepared to enter a major industry competition. And it all got a wee bit emotional.

In a nutshell

“The same material used in aeroplanes… is used in this phone.” Now there’s an example of the kind of irresistible/inexplicable sales patter the salesmen and women used in this programme, which last night introduced us to “the chosen ones”. That is to say, the hotshot “high street heroes” who are deemed good enough to represent their company at the mobile phone equivalent of the Pulitzer or Booker Prize (not our words, the words of one of the sellers).

The “chosen ones” included a cheeky chappie with an almost supernatural ability to sell phones and was dubbed “an exciting geek”, and a middle-aged lady who was suitably giddy at the idea of being picked. And things got brilliantly silly at times, like when the competition sent in mystery shoppers to investigate the skills of the chosen ones while wearing cameras in their ties, like bog-standard Bonds (or Watchdog investigators). And then there were the rules – did you know you can be a “self-nominator” if you’re not a chosen one? Oh yes. Yes you can.

What's the verdict?

Boasting all the hallmarks of this kind of show – quirky xylophone music, bashful interviews, poignant bits celebrating the humble ambitions of everyday folk – this isn’t earth-shattering stuff. But it was an enjoyable insight into the genuine passion of phone-floggers. Though the less said about the team-building dancing, the better.

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